Alaska Silver Salmon Fishing

Advice on identifying and fishing for Alaska silver salmon a.k.a. coho salmon

Also see Alaska red salmon fishing and Alaska king salmon fishing

alaska silver salmon fishing, alaska coho salmon fishingThe late summer arrival of Alaska's silver salmon, also known as the coho salmon, signals the height of the fishing season for many sport fishermen in Alaska.  Known to be one of the more aggressive and acrobatic species of Alaskan salmon, the Alaska silver salmon fishing is the ultimate sport. 

Silver salmon are the third largest of Pacific salmon and possess a strong predatory nature, which makes them easy to lure when fishing. 

Alaska silver salmon treat anglers to show engaging in a series of determined runs and leaps when they're on the line.  A tough battler, Alaska's silver salmon gives anglers an exhilarating fight.

Alaska coho salmon fishing has it's rewards.  Though not quite as rich as the meat of red salmon or king salmon, the flesh of the coho is delicious and full of flavor.  Whether grilled, smoked, pan fried or canned, silver salmon is a great fish for eating.

Silver salmon are some of the most plentiful sport fish in Alaska and can be found in thousands of streams and rivers across the state.  Alaska silver salmon fishing in fresh water is usually done using spinning gear. 

Coho are drawn to shiny, flashy lures.  A lure with the color combination of gold and silver paired with bright colors will be the most successful.  Bait using salmon roe is also known to be highly productive, but is illegal in some areas.  Herring is very popular for silver salmon fishing in saltwater.

How To Identify Species While Fishing For Silver Salmon In Alaska

Alaska Coho Salmon, Alaska Silver SalmonA medium sized salmon, the typical weight for silvers is around 6 to 9 pounds with larger fish reaching weights of 20 pounds upwards.  Coho salmon are identified by metallic silver sides, grayish blue or dark green backs, white bellies, and black markings irregularly scattered on their top sides. 

Similar in appearance to small king salmon, silvers can be further identified by a smaller tail that has spots on the upper lobe only, and of course the absence of the black gum line that are characteristic of kings. 

Alaska Coho Salmon Spawning, Alaska Silver Salmon SpawningDuring spawning season, silver salmon become deep red on the sides with dark green to black coloring on the head and back.  They also grow larger teeth and jaws.  As with many salmon species, coho males typically develop a more dramatic spawning appearance than females do.

Prime Spots For Alaska Silver Salmon Fishing
Locations in the Southeast for Silver Salmon Fishing

Skagway and Haines:  Lutak Inlet, Chilkat, Chilkoot Rivers

Sitka and Petersburg:  Lower Stephens Passage, Stikine, Sitka, Ernest, Frederick Sounds, Wrangell Narrows, Blind Slough, Sumner Straits, Upper Clarence, Duncan Canal, Petersburg, Anan, Kadake, Thoms, Sitkoh Creeks, Salmon Bay, Eva, Petersburg, Red Lake Systems, Kadashan, Kah Sheets, Harding Rivers, Stikine River System

Klawock, Prince of Wales:  Gulf of Esquibel, Bucareli Bay

Juneau:  Icy Strait, Stephens Passage, Lynn Canal,  Klage Bay, Sweetwater Lake Systems, Cross Sound, Favorite, Saginaw Channels

Yakutat:  Lost, Doame, Kiklukh, Tawah, Situk Rivers, Yakutat Bay

Ketchikan and Prince of Wales:  Bucareli Bay, Clarence Strait, Gulf of Esquibel, Revillagigedo Channel, Salmon Bay, Ketchikan Creeks, Yes Bay, Behm Canal, Wilson, Klawock, Naha, Kegan River Systems, Gravina Island

Fishing Spots for Silver Salmon in the Northwest

Seward Peninsula:  Nome, Fish-Niukluk, Sinuk Rivers

Norton Sound: Shaktoolik, Kwiniuk, Unalakleet, Inglutalik, Tubutulik, Ungalik Rivers

South Central Silver Salmon Fishing Spots

Lower Cook Inlet:  Chakachatna, McArthur River Systems, Crescent, Beluga, Amakdedori, Kameshak Rivers, Silver Salmon, Polly Creeks

Shelikof Strait:  Big, Swikshak Rivers

Afognak, Kodiak and Shuyak Islands:  Carry Inlet, Ugak, Neketa, Shuyak Bays, Deadman, Portage, Roslyn Creek Systems, Pauls Creek System, Red, Saltery, Karluk, Dog Salmon, Afognak, Pasagshak Rivers, Malina, Olga, Little River Lake Systems, Chiniak Bay Streams

Upper Cook Inlet:  Wasilla, Jim, Fish Creeks, Lewis, Theodore Rivers, Little Susitna

Wrangell Mountains:  Tonsina River System, Strelna Lake

Kenai:  Russian, Anchor, Swanson, Moose, Kenai Rivers, Kachemak Bay, English Bay, Ninilchik, Kasilof Rivers, Crooked, Deep Creeks, Engineer, Upper Jean, Centennial, Union, Stormy Lakes

Anchorage: Campbell, Bird, Ship Creeks, Twenty Mile River System

Chugach and Prince William Sound: Passage Canal, Orca Inlet, Resurrection Bay, Valdez Arm

Susitna:  Lake, Willow, Sheep, Montana, Alexander, Peters Creeks, Talkeetna, Chulitna, Deshka, Talachulitna Rivers

Mat-Su Valley:  Wolf, Memory, Loon, Finger, Matanuska Lakes

Southwest locations for Silver Salmon Fishing

Alaska Peninsula:  King Salmon, Egegik, Ugashik River Systems, Nelson Lagoon, Meshnik, Ilnik, Chignik Rivers, Mortensen Lagoon, Lefthand Bay, Volcano River, Russell Creek, Beaver River

Bristol Bay:  Wood, Togiak, Nushagak-Mulchatna, Alagnak, Naknek River Systems

Lower Yukon:  Andreafsky, Anvik Rivers

Kuskokwim:  Arolik, Aniak, Goodnews, Kanektok, Kisaralik, Holitna Rivers

Interior spots for Silver Salmon Fishing

Upper Tanana: Seventeen Mile Slough, Nenana-Clear Creek, Delta Clearwater River