Cheap Alaska Fishing Trips: All You Need to Know

Cheap Alaska Fishing Trips

For same anglers, traveling to distant destinations and fishing in unknown areas is something that they enjoy the most.

Some destinations are small and accessible, while some may seem very distant and impossible to reach.

Alaska is one of those wild and remote destinations that is world-famous for intact nature and numerous fishing spots that will satisfy the needs of most demanding travellers.

Although it is far away from everywhere, trip to Alaska doesn’t have to cost a fortune.


 

With the right planning few months ahead, and enough patience to organise such a trip, it can be accessible to many anglers who wish to test their skills in this amazing and untamed landscape. From ocean bays to mountain creeks, Alaska has it all.

For all those who want to find out more about cheap Alaska fishing trips, the answers are provided in the following chapters:

• Can I Go Fishing in Alaska?
• What Kind of Fish Can you Catch in Alaska?
• What is the Best Month to Fish in Alaska?
• Where Can I go Fishing in Alaska (Best Trip Locations)?
• How Much does a Fishing Trip to Alaska Cost?
• How Much is a One Day Fishing License in Alaska?
• How Can I Travel to Alaska?
• How Dangerous is Fishing Trip in Alaska?
• Additional tips and tricks for saving some money

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Can I Go Fishing in Alaska?

Fishing in Alaska is accessible to anyone who has some money to spend and an adventurous spirit.

But how complicated will be to get there depends on where are you coming from.

For the USA residents this trip is fairly easy. There are numerous flights from other states to Alaska, or if you don’t mind driving a lot, you may even get there by car. Canadians can also access this destination quite easily.

For all those coming from other countries and continents, things may get a bit complicated.

For residents of certain countries visa is not required and you may enter the USA as a tourist with a valid passport and a return ticket. And there is a limit on how long you can stay. You can check your visa requirement status on official websites. Because changes are always possible, you are responsible for having an up-to-date information.

Visa is required for many and again, depending of a country of origin, requirements may be different.

To obtain a visa, you will have to apply on the embassy website, follow the guidelines, provide numerous documents and pay a certain fee. If you are among those who need a visa, make sure you apply as soon as possible because it may take time to get it. You will have to provide information about a location where you plan to stay and give the address so book the accommodation before you apply for visa.

Numerous booking services offer booking without having to pay immediately so even if your plans get cancelled or you don’t get the visa, your money will be saved.

Inform well and plan ahead. Unfortunately, for those needing a visa, last-minute trip is not possible.


 

What Kind of Fish Can you Catch in Alaska?

Depending on a location, fishing possibilities are endless.

Among numerous freshwater species, salmon is the most popular one, especially for foreigners who have never caught it before.

Among salmon species there are King salmon, Silver salmon, Pink salmon, Sockeye and Chum salmon.

Besides those, anglers can catch Pacific Halibut, Yelloweye Rockfish, Ling Cod, Pacific Cod and Rockfish.

Trout can also be caught in some spectacular locations, and you can really perfect your fly-fishing technique. Trout species available are Cutthroat, Rainbow and Steelhead.


 

Another interesting fish to catch is Arctic Char.

If you wish, you may try to catch Arctic Grayling, Northern Pike and Sheefish.

As you can see, there are plenty of options for both freshwater and saltwater fishing.

If you are interested in something even more adventurous, you may catch some shark species, like salmon shark, but make sure you follow the rules and regulations.

For all those interested in this kind of fishing, numerous charters are available. That is not the cheapest option but they have the equipment, boats and guides.

An abundance of fish species and endless locations will provide numerous fishing opportunities.

Cheap Alaska Fishing Trips - Sockeye salmon

What is the Best Month to Fish in Alaska?

Fishing in Alaska is possible year-round, depending on a fish species and the location you are searching for.

Summer may be more pleasant for the anglers, but ice fishing also has some benefits.

Anglers looking for some salmon adventures should fish from the beginning of June until late September. King salmon is going to be very active in June and July, Silver salmon from July to September, Red salmon and Pink salmon have the activity period in mid-summer, Between July and first half of August.

Ice fishing is legal in many locations, so when the temperatures drop, you may enjoy fishing on a frozen lake.

Trout fishing season is from June to August, depending on a location. Many species are very active in August, so if you want to catch as many as you can and catch different species, than August, especially the first half of it, is the best month.

If you want to fish in the sea, summertime is also very good, especially if you want to fish from a boat, because the weather is generally good.

Keep in mind that Alaskan waters are very diverse, and the peak season of certain species can vary in different location.

When you choose the exact location, check what anglers have to say about it online.



Where Can I go Fishing in Alaska (Best Trip Locations)?

Alaska has more than 10000 rivers and creeks. Numerous lakes and vast ocean are also great fishing locations.

Some rivers are popular fishing destinations, while on other you may enjoy complete privacy and wilderness. No matter which location you choose, you will have more than enough opportunities to catch a fish of your dreams.



Some of the famous river locations are:

KENAI RIVER

– This is the best location for King salmon fishing. It is located in south central part of the Alaska.

KASILOF RIVER

– very close to the previous one, with some large King Salmon specimens. If you like less popular but equally good locations, choose this one over Kenai.

SHIP CREEK

– if you like adventurous fishing but you dislike wilderness, this is the location for you. The river is situated in the city of Anchorage. You can catch a King salmon just a few minutes away from your hotel.

WILLOW CREEK

– also near Anchorage, this location is famous for all kinds of salmons, as well as trout and grayling

COPPER RIVER

– the delta of this river is located near a small fishing town, and it is ideal for all those enjoying peace and quiet

KODIAK ISLAND

– here you can find 2 famous locations – the Pasagshsak River and Buskin River. Salmon fishing is quite good on both rivers

CHENA RIVER

– located near Fairbanks, this river is great for grayling fishing

KVICHAK RIVER

– this is a trout fishing paradise, in the vicinity of Katmai National Park. Except fishing, you may enjoy beautiful landscapes



If you prefer lakes, try one of the following:

KENAI LAKE

– located on the Kenai peninsula, this lake is a home to numerous species such as Trout, Sockeye, and migrating Salmon species

EKLUTNA LAKE

– this popular fishing destination for salmon species

TUSTUMENA LAKE

– this location is excellent for trout and Dolly Varden LAKE CLARK – famous for trout and Arctic Char, this lake is located in pristine nature

CHILKOOT LAKE

– salmon fishing is very popular here, but sometimes it can be crowded

ILIAMNA LAKE

– this popular fishing spot is famous for trout, salmon and grayling

SKILAK LAKE

– this lake is great for boat fishing, and you may catch large specimens of trout species and Dolly Varden



Those who prefer saltwater fishing should consider the following:

HOMER

– Halibut fishing here is the best in the world. Besides Halibut, you may catch numerous other species too. From shore fishing, to charter trips, Homer has it all.

SEWARD

– this is another popular location where you can either fish from the shore or book a charter. Located deep in a bay, this location is excellent for both shore and boat fishing. Vicinity of national park and breath-taking views make it a popular choice for anglers from all over the world.

PORT LIONS

– located at the Kodiak island, this place is remote and excellent for all kinds of saltwater fishing. On this island, you can enjoy freshwater fishing too, on two great rivers, so you can have it all in one location.

Most of the mentioned locations are located in relatively accessible parts of Alaska.

Except Kodiak island, all are located on the mainland which makes them easier and cheaper to reach.

For those who are a bit more adventurous, and have more time and money to spend, numerous locations are available up north, were you will find more wilderness and less civilizations. Some of those are hard to reach and they can be dangerous for the inexperienced anglers.

Cheap Alaska Fishing Trips - Kenai river

How Much does a Fishing Trip to Alaska Cost?

This question is hard to answer, and it depends of your home country. You may have to pay visa expenses, which are usually about 150 dollars, for most Europeans who still need a visa. Fishing licence prices are going to be mentioned in the next chapter.

Airplane tickets may cost you from a few hundred to more than a thousand dollars, depending on a country of origin. Use websites like Skyscanner to compare prices and plan months in advance. You may even be lucky enough to find a return ticket from large European airports to Anchorage for less than 400 dollars, if you don’t mind traveling during less popular seasons.

Accommodation in Alaska can vary in prices. From larger hotels, to small private accommodation, there are both expensive and cheaper options. Let’s say you are going to stay in Anchorage and won’t spend additional money for traveling in Alaska, you can easily find decent looking accommodation, in August, for a bit less than 100 dollars for 2 persons per night. You will be spending most of your time outside, so the cheaper the better.



Because Alaska is large and wild, traveling within the country may be done by public transport, which is not the best option for anglers carrying a lot of equipment. Another option is by plane, ferry or rent-a car, depending of a location.

To be flexible and to organise your time efficiently, I would recommend renting a car. Car rental, during August, for a small car, can cost about 50-60 dollars per day, depending on a rental company. Those prices are stated for renting a car at the airport and returning to the same location.

To get to Kodiak island, you can book an airplane ticket as the flights from Anchorage are available few times per day. If you wish, you may use a ferry from Homer, but it will take more than 9 hours to get there. The price is between 37 and 130 dollars, depending of a seat/private cabin. The airplane ticket price varies, and some mid-range price would be around 325 dollars roundtrip.

These prices are estimates, and they greatly depend on when you book and for which dates you book. Depending on length of your stay, using these numbers can give you a good estimate of expenses you can expect, excluding the food and gas.

If you want to book a fishing charter, prices start at few hundred dollars for a day trip, up to a few thousand for more exclusive packages.

How Much is a One Day Fishing License in Alaska?

Licences are sold by the Alaskan Department of Fish and Game.

Anyone fishing in Alaska has to buy the licence and obey all the rules and regulations provided.

You can purchase it online and it can be for you or for more people.

Immediately after purchase you will receive the licence. To obtain it, you will have to fill in the details that include your name, address, country of residence and a passport number.

Keep in mind that prices may change, but currently the prices for non-residents and foreign/alien non-residents are the following (in US dollars):

• One day sports fishing licence – 25
• Three days sports fishing licence – 45
• Seven days sports fishing licence – 70
• Fourteen days sports fishing licence – 105

However, if you want to catch king salmon, you will have to buy additional stamps, and the prices are:

• One day king salmon stamp – 15
• Three days kind salmon stamp – 30
• Seven days king salmon stamp – 45
• Fourteen days king salmon stamp – 75

Prices are available online and you can check them anytime.

For residents, prices are a lot different.

As a resident you can get annual sport fishing licence for 29 dollars. For those with disabilities, prices are less than a dollar.

Non-resident younger than 16 don’t need a licence.

This law, with all the restrictions and details stated on the official websites applies to both marine and freshwater fishing.



How Can I Travel to Alaska?

As already mentioned, for Canadians and US residents, there are 2 options, a plane ride or a bit longer, multi-day, road-trip.

For the rest of the world, the only possibility is flying. And sometimes, direct flights are not possible, so you may have to get more than one flight.

Flights to Anchorage are available from almost every major US airport, so the easiest way, if you are coming from another continent is to change flights in one of those.

Some airlines offer direct flights from Europe and Asia, but those are not that frequent and they are subject to seasonal changes.

There are more than 200 arrivals daily at the Anchorage airport. It would be impossible to list all the flight combinations you can take to get to Alaska.

Unfortunately, you will have to use internet and do an extensive research to find the best and of course, cheapest, option.

To get the cheap Alaska fishing trip, avoid last-minute bookings.



How Dangerous is Fishing Trip in Alaska?

When traveling to a place such as Alaska, especially if you plan to fish in remote areas, you have to be well prepared.

For all those who underestimate such a location, a nice fishing trip can turn to a disastrous event.

For those who are going on a trip like that for a first time, the most important thing to know is that it is not the same as fishing on a local river in your hometown.

Weather my change fast, there are wild animals around and sometimes the nearest civilization is a few days drive.

Fishing in distant locations requires more planning and equipment.

From tents and sleeping bags, to extra food and warm waterproof clothes, even if the forecast seems nice. Bring a map, navigation device, a mobile phone and some kind of chargers. And keep in mind that in some locations you won’t have signal to use it. This is especially important for a multi-day expedition.

I would advise anyone who is inexperienced to hire a local guide, at least for the first time.

You should have basic medication and first-aid kit in your bag.

If you are going in small group, always inform someone where you are going and how long you plan to stay.

If you plan to stay in a town and fish near-by, you may skip certain steps as everything you need will be close-by.

And to be extra safe, always buy a travel insurance, possibly the one that covers MEDEVAC. Those services are extremely expensive in the USA and you don’t want to pay off a broken leg and a helicopter ride for the next 50 years.

Cheap Alaska Fishing Trips - Brown bear

Additional tips and tricks for saving some money

You will not save a fortune, but every dollar count, so you may save a few extra by following these guidelines:

Never exchange currency in a hotel or at the airport. Change cash you wish to use before you travel, in your local bank. They have far better exchange rate.

• Keep in mind that a lot of prices in the USA are before tax, so some things may end up to be more expensive than you think. Inform yourself about it.

• If you want to buy some fishing equipment you need for this trip, compare prices of certain items at your home country and in Alaska. Buy them wherever the prices are lower.

• Check with your bank about commission and provision they charge when using your bank card abroad and see which card is best to use. You may even get one of those with great travel options, if available.



• Book airplane tickets and accommodation months before the trip. There are numerous websites offering crazy discounts but only limited to a certain day of purchase or travel date. Don’t buy the first ticket you see and spend some time online. It is possible to get a return ticket to Anchorage from some European cities for a few hundred dollars.

• Decide during which month you plan to travel and if you plan to stay, for example, 14 days, be flexible with dates within that month. Airplane ticket in Tuesday may be a lot cheaper than the one for Saturday.

• If possible, go in off-season. During tourist season and summer prices of both flights and accommodation are higher. And fishing conditions may be even better for certain fish species.

And one more advice, but more for security and peace of mind, is to use bank cards with PIN, in case you lose it. Also, check your daily limit and increase it if necessary, to avoid problems when paying larger amounts, like accommodation expenses.

Conclusion

If planned right, fishing trip to Alaska may be an adventure of a lifetime, that does not necessarily cost a fortune.

Enjoining the landscape and catching fish species that are not possible to catch at your home are worth traveling the distance. You will improve your skill and go outside of your comfort zone.

Cheap Alaska fishing trips are possible if you wish to spend some time planning and waiting for good flight/accommodation offers.

And remember, always obey the limits on closed season and do not keep too small specimens! That will ensure years of great fishing opportunities in the future!

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I'm Sina, the guy behind Slo-fishing.si. This site is base camp for fishing enthusiasts from all over the world. I love fishing and want to share all my stories, knowledge and my experience with any and all potential anglers. Read more ...

 
 

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