What's the best time to fish?
We have the biggest halibut in all of Alaska... 3 times bigger than Sitka, Seward and Homer. Our king salmon catch rate is the very best in the state (ten times and a hundred times better than most other locations). One of the best things about fishing with the Highliner is that we can catch salmon, halibut, lingcod, and black rockfish everyday. Most places you only catch salmon on one day and halibut, lingcod and rockfish on another day. Also, we can keep 2 halibut per day. Many other places you can only keep one small halibut!
For us there are 4 criteria:
- Best weather (historically driest): May through June (believe it or not)
- Silver salmon: July - Sept (July 15 through early September best)
- King salmon: May through June best (but still really good fishing through mid Aug… although sometimes there are so many darn silvers biting that it's hard to catch a king). Our catch rates are better than Sitka's (less competition) and 2 to 25 times better than anywhere else!
- Halibut, sablefish, rockfish and lingcod fishing is evenly great ALL season long! The best time might be when we have an opening.
Usually, we fish for salmon until around lunch time and then fish for halibut in the afternoon. More than half of our fishermen limit out on king salmon and halibut on the same day. We target lingcod and rockfish if we haven’t caught them incidental to fishing for halibut and they are relatively easy to catch. Our guests averaged 120 pounds of fillets over the last five years, after 4 days of fishing!
2021 Daily and Annual Catch Limits
*Last updated on May 5, 2021
King (Chinook) Salmon
- Our daily bag and possession limit is one king salmon, 28 inches or greater in length; the annual limit for nonresidents is 4.
Silver (Coho) Salmon
- Our daily bag limit on silver salmon is 6 per day with no size limit and no annual limit.
Sablefish (Black Cod)
- Our daily bag limit on sablefish (black cod) is 4 per day 8 per year.
- Area 3A: The daily bag limit on halibut for Area 3A is 2 per day; one fish any size and one fish under 32”, no annual limit, no halibut retention on Wednesdays.
- Area 2C: The daily bag limit on halibut for Area 2C is 1 per day; under 50” OR over 72”, no annual limit. No restrictions on Wednesdays.
- We have licenses to fish for halibut in both areas (not in the same day) and our guests have the choice to keep two halibut a day of any size in either area using our Guided Angler Fish!
- Our daily bag limit on lingcod is 1 per day, annual limit is 2 (one of the 2 must be between 30-40" and the other has to be over 55").
- No retention of non-pelagic rockfish in all southeast waters.
- Our daily bag limit on pelagic rockfish is 5 per day with no annual limit.
HIGHLINER LODGE FISHING TIMELINE
May and June: King Salmon and Halibut are abundant at this time (and continue to be so through September!) We have the driest and sunniest weather this time of year as well.
July 1: Dude Fishing starts
Early August: Cohos start to get big!
September: Coho numbers peak in late August to early September, but the fish just keep getting bigger!