Salmon Fishing In Alaska - Top Destinations Near Hoonah

Salmon Fishing In Alaska

Salmon fishing in Alaska is a dream for many travelers. Hoping to catch a monster halibut or the biggest salmon on record is a huge draw for the thousands of travelers who will visit the 49th state in America. There are five popular Pacific salmon species that draw anglers to their dream fishing trips, including:

  • Pink salmon

  • Chinook or king salmon is the biggest salmon species

  • Chum salmon

  • Sockeye salmon

  • Coho salmon

Visitors can also go halibut fishing in hopes of catching a giant “barn door” size fish. Fishing charter boats are available with local guides who know the area and can take their guests out to the best spots. Summer draws the largest numbers of travelers for fishing trips, with late July being the peak of the season.

For travelers who are planning salmon fishing trips to the rugged state of Alaska, there are several great locations near Hoonah, Alaska. Let’s take a look at the five top spots for salmon fishing in the area around Chichagof Island plus a top suggestion for Hoonah.

Hoonah Alaska Salmon Fishing

Fishing at Icy Strait is some of the best fishing in Southeast Alaska, and Hoonah is the place to be for halibut and king salmon fishing. Icy Strait carries the torch as the location where the biggest halibut on record was caught.

For the best fishing in Icy Strait, you’ll want to hook up with the experts at Hoonah Travel Adventures with their friendly, knowledgeable fishing guides. Their fishing expert is Captain Billy, a locally raised Tlingit of Hoonah, Alaska.

Captain Billy started fishing the waters of Southeast Alaska and Icy Strait as a young boy with his grandfather, father, and uncles. His knowledge of area waters is matchless, and he is passionate about fishing and sharing this pristine wilderness with his guests.

Call Hoonah Travel Adventures today to book your best fishing trip in Alaska!

Salmon Fishing In Alaska At Angoon

On Admiralty Island, just east of Chichagof Island, is the tiny town of Angoon. With a year-round population of under 500 locals, the population grows every summer with outdoor enthusiasts interested in rugged fishing in Alaska.

Angoon is only accessible by ferry or float plane. The Alaska Marine Highways ferry makes the five-hour trip from Juneau only twice weekly. Once you disembark from the ferry, there is still a three-mile hike to reach the small town.

Anglers can hit the water by hiring a chartered fishing boat with local guides to go salmon fishing in search of sockeye salmon, king salmon, and record-breaking monster-sized halibut. Angoon is also home to many freshwater rivers where you can fish for Dolly Varden, silver salmon, sockeye salmon, chum salmon, rainbow trout, and steelhead. Be on the lookout for bears, sea otters, sea lions, bald eagles, and Sitka deer.

Tenakee Salmon Fishing

The small town of Tenakee Springs is also available on the Alaska Marine Highway ferry system. The ferry departs Juneau twice weekly to stop at Tenakee, on the southern tip of Chichagof Island. Year-round, the population of Tenakee rarely reaches over 150 local residents, with several hundred visitors coming for fishing in Alaska in the summer.

Summertime sees plenty of travelers who come to fish, hike, and kayak in the pristine wilderness of Tongass National Forest. Tourist numbers will reach a peak from late July through August. Most visitors will also stop for a soak in the mineral-rich hot springs. At the center of town is a bathhouse where the water continually flows into a tub that is open to the public. Hours are posted on the door for times when the tub is available for men and women.

Ocean fishing is available with one of the many charters for catching salmon and halibut. Out on the ocean, it’s possible to see the humpback whales, who spend their summers in Alaska. Freshwater river fishing is also available for pink salmon, silver salmon, and chum. Bear encounters are common, and you’ll want to be prepared.

Juneau Salmon Fishing

Alaska salmon fishing in Juneau is an excellent choice when you are short on time. Both Alaska and Delta airlines offer scheduled service into Juneau International airport, and rental cars can be picked up right there at the terminal.

Reserve a fishing charter that is familiar with the area and provides all the equipment you will need, including fishing licenses. Some of the best Alaska fishing for halibut and king salmon is available in Juneau, but you’ll want to go out with an experienced local guide who can take you right to the secret places where only the locals go.

Fishing from shore is also good, although the river banks can be crowded in summer. Check out areas like Fritz Cove, Auke Bay, and Point Louisa. While you are in Juneau, don’t miss the opportunity to take a wilderness hike to Mendenhall Glacier.

Gustavus Salmon Fishing

The town of Gustavus is just north of Hoonah, at the southern entrance to Glacier Bay National Park. Gustavus is an excellent area for halibut, lingcod, silver, and king salmon fishing. Most anglers will hit the water during the high season months of May through September.

Travel to Gustavus is by floatplane or ferry. The Alaska Marine Highway ferry system travels from Juneau to Gustavus twice weekly, with a brief stop in Hoonah. It’s a scenic five-hour trip on the ferry. Alaska Airlines offers seasonal commercial flights that begin in mid-June.

In addition to salmon fishing, humpback whales are commonly spotted from May through September. Kayaking is another popular activity. Snowcapped mountains surround kayakers as they glide through the water in search of whales, sea lions, eagles, and bears along the coastline.

Elfin Cove Salmon Fishing

If you are looking for the perfect place in Alaska where you can get away from it all in a remote area with great salmon fishing, then Elfin Cove just might be your dream destination. This tiny town boasts a post office, a general store, and a couple of lodges. There are only 25 year-round residents, and even in the busy summer season, the population rarely gets above 200.

There are only two ways to get into Elfin Cove, by floatplane or boat. There are no roads and no motorized vehicles. What they do offer is an amazing getaway. Charter boats with local fishing trips take guests out on the water in search of halibut, king salmon, rockfish, lingcod, and more.

While most visitors will head out onto Alaska’s waters for deep-sea fishing, in Elfin Cove, you’ll also find rivers and streams for freshwater fishing. While standing along the beautiful river banks, you can try your luck with a lure or fly fishing for trout, Dolly Varden trout, pink, coho, or silver salmon.


Call Hoonah Travel Adventures today to book your best fishing trip in Alaska!

3 hours
Group Size
Up to 30

Guaranteed Whale Watching in the Icy Strait Point, Alaska Area - LEO, Military, Teacher Discount!

Our Hoonah whale watching tour begins when we pick you up at the Icy Strait Point Excursions Hub. We drive along Shaman Point to the Hoonah City Harbor where our charter boat is waiting. Along the way, you may spot some of our local wildlife, including bald eagles, blacktail deer, and more. Hoonah is home to the largest concentration of Alaskan brown bears in the world, so keep your eyes open!

We then board the boat and leave Hoonah Harbor. While traveling along the shorelines, sightings of bears, deer, coastal ducks and geese, blue heron, puffin, terns, cormorants, and more are common. In the water, you may get a chance to spot humpbacks, orca, sea otters, sea lions, porpoises, and seals.

Large numbers of humpback whales come to Hoonah to feed in the nutrient-rich waters of Point Adolphus, Glacier Bay and Icy Strait every summer before migrating south again in the winter. The whale population begins to arrive in Hoonah in May and stays through September. Humpback whales are large baleen whales that can reach over 50 feet in length and weigh as much as 50 tons. They are most famous for their whale songs, thought to be used by males as a mating call. Humpbacks are amazingly active and typical whale sightings include diving, blows, and flukes (tails). Lucky whale watchers may get to see breaching or bubble-net feeding, a cooperative feeding method where a pod forms a circle and dives under the water. They blow air to create a wall of bubbles that force krill and plankton to the surface where the whales can eat them. Observing humpbacks practice bubble-net feeding is a real treat and a truly thrilling experience. We have a $100 whale sighting guarantee! If a whale is not sighted on your tour your will be credited $100.

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3 hours
Group Size
Up to 10

Wilderness Tour and Brown Bear Search - LEO, Military, Teacher Discount!

Chichagof Island, or Shee Kaax, is an island in the Alexander Archipelago of the Alaska Panhandle. At 75 miles long and 50 miles wide, it has a land area of 2,048.61 square miles, making it the fifth largest island in the United States. Chichagof Island has the highest population of bears per square mile of any place on Earth and its dense rain forests are some of the last grizzly strongholds!

The community of Hoonah, with a year-round population of approximately 750, is located in the northern part of Chichagof Island. The vast majority of the island is made up of pure, uninhabited Alaskan wilderness teeming with wildlife! The Ursus arctos, or brown bear, is the king of the forest, but Sitka black-tail deer, bald eagles, minks, martens, beavers, ducks, and seabirds thrive on the island and are sometimes spotted on this tour.

This Alaskan wilderness and bear search tour is only offered May through September because those are the months that afford the highest probability of bear sightings. In late April and May, the bears are coming out of hibernation and looking for food. In June, the bears are mating and eating grasses on the tidal flats. Older males fight each other for dominance and mating rights with the females, who at times are not receptive and force the male to give chase.

In July, the salmon start their migration from the ocean up the rivers and we find the bears feeding in coastal rivers and streams. In August and September, the salmon have made it further up the rivers to shallow streams where the bears chase them.

Depending on the month and the weather, the wildlife can be found in different locations throughout the island. Your guide spends a lot of time in the forest and knows where to look.

Join us as we search for these amazing creatures!

This tour is located on the Tongass National Forest under special use permit from the Forest Service, USDA.
Hoonah Travel Adventures LLC is an equal opportunity provider.

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3 hours
Group Size
Up to 6

Icy Strait Fishing Adventure

Fishermen come from around the world to cast their lines in the waters of Southeast Alaska in search of halibut and salmon. Join the ranks of these traveling fisherman and book a trip with us today!

3 hours
Group Size
Up to 12

Icy Strait Kayak Adventure

The reasons to Kayak with us are endless! A few reasons might be to experience unspoiled nature and stunning scenery amid a mountainous back drop! Or simply the serenity and peace that speaks to ones soul while gliding silently across the water in this majestic, remote location.

3 hours 30 minutes
Group Size
2 to 10

Chichagof Island Birding & Nature Adventure

In the lush vegetation of Chichagof Island, near Hoonah, Alaska, where Brown Bears outnumber humans, birding is an adventure! Your expert bird guide is also a naturalist, and you will learn about the natural and human history of the area, the plants, animals, fish, forests, and rivers. Pigeon Guillemots, Bald Eagles, Varied Thrushes, Steller’s Jays, Chestnut-backed Chickadees and Red-breasted Sapsuckers are some of the favorites, but this is so much more than just another birding tour. Come experience the vibrant ecological web created here, in Hoonah, Alaska, near Icy Strait Point where the towering temperate forests of Chichagof Island tangle with the rich marine life of Icy Strait.