Alaska Fishing: Ketchikan Management Area (Saltwater)ketchikan, alaska fishing map

The marine environment of the Ketchikan area is teeming with sea life of all kinds. All five species of pacific salmon ply her waters in season, together with sea-run Dolly Varden, halibut, lingcod, and several species of pelagic and non-pelagic rockfish. Shellfish include abalone, two kinds of scallops, several types of clams, three species of shrimp, three species of king crab, tanner crab and Dungeness crab. There is no lack of opportunity for a saltwater angler here.

 

Halibut fishing in southeast Alaska


Timing is Everything!

It’s not enough to just show up in Alaska and expect to catch fish. Sure, just about any time you wet a line during the spring, summer or fall months, you’re bound to catch something. But most people have a particular species in mind, and want to target their time around peak periods of activity. Here is a chart showing general run timing of all five species of salmon and a number of saltwater species found in this area. Keep in mind that this is a large area, and there will be variations unique to the location you’re fishing. Use this as a general guide, and get the final details from the commercial operators you will be using.

Ketchikan saltwater fishing run timing chart

Access is the Key!

Saltwater fishing out of Ketchikan is excellent, but how do you get there? There are several options.

  • Fish the Road System. If the city of Ketchikan is your base camp, you can rent a vehicle locally and travel north or south on the Tongass Narrows Highway, which parallels the coast in both directions. There’s private land in the area, and you can’t park wherever you like. Check with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game for particulars on private lands and good fishing areas. Also check out our page on Fishing the Ketchikan Road System for details and specific locations.
  • Rent a Boat. Several rental outfits base out of Ketchikan, and can provide up-to-the minute directions on where to go, how to rig up and other important information.
  • Do-it-Yourself Lodges. Several operators in the Ketchikan Management Area offer opportunities for folks who like to do it themselves, but may need a little guidance. Some of these operators offer boat rentals, rods and tackle, lodging and other amenities too numerous to list here. Check our Directory for specific operators.
  • Charter Fishing Operators. A number of charters operate out of Ketchikan and the outlying area. Many of these companies will pick you up at the airport or fly you from the airport to their base. The offer anything from day trips to multi-day fishing, sight-seeing and exploring, working with you to craft a trip that meets your needs.
  • Air Charter Services. Many areas in the Ketchikan Management Area require aircraft access, and there are several operators in Ketchikan that offer those services. Check our Directory for complete listings of available operators.

Note that all commercial services, whether you're doing it yourself with rental gear, hiring a charter boat service, or flying out to a remote location, it's all listed in our Directory!

Commercial Operators in the Ketchikan Management Area

Need to rent a car or a boat to fish the Ketchikan area? Or perhaps you want to stay at a nice lodge and leave the skippering to an expert? Or maybe you just need a lift to a remote lake? Our directory contains complete listings of commercial vehicle or boat rental outfits, do-it-yourself lodges, full-service guided fishing excursions, air charter services and more. Did you take the hint? The Directory is the key to a successful Ketchikan fishing adventure!

Where to Go in the Ketchikan Management Area?

The key to a successful saltwater fishing excursion in this area is knowing where and when to go. This page provides you with both. Have a look through the locations below and mark them on your map! This is but a small sampling of what the area has to offer; once you get a feel for the kinds of areas you’re likely to find salmon, halibut, rockfish or whatever else you’re after, you can branch out from this list to similar locations nearby.

Ketchikan saltwater fishing locations
Cleveland Peninsula Area

The Cleveland Peninsula offers excellent trolling and mooching opportunities for salmon, together with halibut and rockfish nearby. If the weather comes up, there are numerous sheltered bays that offer good fishing while being protected from rough waves.

1. Ship Island area. Species: King, silver, pink and chum salmon, halibut.
2. Caamano Point area. Species: King, silver, pink and chum salmon, halibut, lingcod, rockfish.
3. Helm Bay. Species: King, silver, pink and sockeye salmon, halibut, Dungeness crab.
4. Wadding Cove area. Species: King, silver, pink and sockeye salmon, halibut, Dungeness crab.
5. Heckman Point area. Species: King, silver, pink salmon. Halibut in Behm Canal from Heckman Point to Revillagigedo Island.
6. Spacious Bay. Species: King, silver, pink salmon, halibut, rockfish.
7. Yes Bay. Species: King, silver, pink, sockeye and chum salmon, halibut, Dungeness crab.
8. Anchor Pass. King, silver, pink and chum salmon, halibut, rockfish, lingcod.
9. Snipe Point to Curlew Point. Species: King, silver, pink salmon, halibut, Dungeness crab, shrimp.
10. Hassler Island. King, silver and pink salmon.

Revillagigedo Island Area

Revillagigedo is a complex island with many bays, inlets and passages to discover. No matter which way the wind is blowing, you can find a sheltered area in which to fish. Keep in mind that tidal currents in this area can be quite strong, particularly between land masses, where it can rip like a river at certain phases of the tide. Bring your tide tables and time your trip accordingly or you could encounter rough water unexpectedly.

11. Neets Bay. Species: King, silver, pink and chum salmon, halibut, rockfish, Dungeness crab, shrimp.
12. Traitors Cove. Species: King, silver, pink and chum salmon, halibut, rockfish, Dungeness crab, shrimp.
13. Escape Point to Indian Point. Species: King, silver, pink and chum salmon.
14. Naha Bay. Species: Sockeye, silver, pink and chum salmon, halibut, Dungeness crab. Caution: a severe tidal race exists between the head of Naha Bay and Roosevelt Lagoon. Use great caution.
15. Back Island / Betton Island area. Species: King, silver and pink salmon, halibut, rockfish.
16. Clover Passage. Species: King, silver, pink salmon, halibut, rockfish, Dungeness crab, shrimp.
17. Survey Point. Species: King, silver and pink salmon.
18. Carroll Inlet. Species: King, silver, sockeye, pink and chum salmon, halibut, Dungeness crab, shrimp.
19. Thorne Arm. Species: Silver, sockeye and pink salmon, rockfish, halibut, Dungeness crab, shrimp.
20. Bold Island. Species: Silver and pink salmon, halibut.
21. Lucky Cove. Species: King, silver, sockeye and pink salmon.
22. Point Alava. Species: King, silver and pink salmon, halibut.

Gravina Island Area

Gravina offers great marine fishing opportunities along the western and southern sides, along with some shelter from wind chop. The majority of the western edge is featureless and exposed, however if the weather is right, the currents of Clarence Strait, which separate Gravina from Prince of Wales Island, serve up a smorgasbord of baitfish and game species every time the tide changes. It’s worth a run.

23. Vallenar Point. Species: King, silver and pink salmon, rockfish, halibut. Nearby Vallenar Bay also has Dungeness crab toward the head of the bay.
24. South Vallenar Point. Species: King, silver and pink salmon, rockfish, halibut.
25. Grant and Nelson coves. Species: King, silver and pink salmon, rockfish, halibut.
26. Bronaugh Islands. Species: King, silver and pink salmon, rockfish, lingcod, halibut, Dungeness crab, shrimp.
27. Bostwick Inlet. Species: Silver and pink salmon, halibut, Dungeness crab.
28. Blank Inlet. King, silver and pink salmon, rockfish, halibut, lingcod, Dungeness crab, shrimp.
29. Tongass Narrows. Species: King, silver and pink salmon, halibut.

Annette Island

Annette Island is a private Indian reservation (mostly Tsimshian natives, although Tlingit and Haida live there as well). Freshwater fishing is closed to the general public, as is saltwater fishing within 3,000 feet of the shoreline.

Duke Island

Duke is a fairly exposed island, however it offers some great marine opportunities for several species. The entire perimeter of the island is punctuated with rocks and kelp beds, and is relatively shallow. Here are a few hotspots to consider, but by all means explore!

30. Point White area. Species: King, silver and pink salmon, rockfish, lingcod, halibut and Dungeness crab.
31. Cape Northumberlnd to White Rock. Species: King, silver and pink salmon, rockfish, lingcod, halibut.
32. Duke Point. Species: King, silver and pink salmon, rockfish, lingcod, halibut.

Revillagigedo Channel Area

While the entire Ketchikan area is wild and wooly country, you really enter the outback once you cross the Behm Canal into the Misty Fjords National Monument area. Fishing locations are nearly too numerous to mention here, so let’s hit the high spots.

33. Point Nelson area. Species: King, silver and pink salmon, halibut.
34. Point Skyes. Species: King, silver and pink salmon, halibut.
35. Behm Canal entrance. Species: Halibut and rockfish.
36. Mary Island area. Species: King, silver and pink salmon, rockfish, halibut, Dungeness crab.
37. Slate Islands. Species: King, silver and pink salmon, rockfish, lingcod, halibut.
38. Boca de Quadra. Species: King, silver, sockeye, chum and pink salmon, halibut, rockfish, Dungeness crab, shrimp.
39. Kah Shakes Cove. Species: Silver, sockeye, chum and pink salmon, rockfish, lingcod, halibut, Dungeness crab.
40. Foggy Bay. Species: King, silver, sockeye, pink and chum salmon, rockfish, halibut, lingcod, Dungeness crab, shrimp.
41. Cape Fox. Species: King, silver, sockeye, pink and chum salmon, halibut.
42. Sitklan Island. Species: Silver, sockeye, pink and chum salmon, rockfish, lingcod, halibut.
43. Nakat Inlet. Species: Silver, sockeye, pink and chum salmon, halibut, rockfish, Dungeness crab, shrimp.

Pearse Inlet / Portland Canal to Hyder

This area is the southern border of the state of Alaska, shared with British Columbia. It’s a rich fishery and a long run from Ketchikan. It offers numerous small inlets and anchorages to prospect. Here are some general places to keep in mind.

44. Lower Pearse Canal. Species: King, silver, sockeye, pink and chum salmon, rockfish, halibut, lingcod, Dungeness crab, king crab, shrimp.
45. Portland Inlet area. Species: King, silver, pink and chum salmon, rockfish, halibut, lingcod, Dungeness crab, king crab, shrimp.
46. Belle Bay area. Species: King, silver, pink and chum salmon, rockfish, halibut, lingcod, Dungeness crab, king crab, shrimp.
47. Upper Portland Canal. Species: King, silver, pink and chum salmon, rockfish, halibut, Dungeness crab, king crab, tanner crab, shrimp.

Behm Canal

The majority of Behm Canal is closed to sport fishing for salmon for most of the summer. Check with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Sportfish Division, for details.


Area SponsorClassic Alaska Charters Logo

Classic Alaska Charters offers excellent overnight custom cruises aboard the “Saltery C”, their fully-outfitted 40’ live-aboard Bayliner Explorer Motoryacht. Each trip is an adventure customized to your requirements. Meals prepared by the onboard chef are unequalled in the business, and include healthy entrees such as fresh Alaska seafood and delicious desserts. Activities include fishing (freshwater and saltwater), kayaking, wildlife viewing, photography, crabbing & shrimping, hiking and just relaxing along the spectacular waterways of Ketchikan, Prince of Wales Island and Misty Fjords National Monument.

CAC is a US Coast Guard certified & registered guide / outfitter with the US Forest Service and ADF&G. Adcanced booking required… 6-12 months in advance, at least! Ketchikan Alaska fishing with Captain Rob is a true wilderness experience! We also have our Federal Halibut Permit for 6 anglers. Call or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.! We’d love to have you aboard! 1 (907) 225-0608. 


Need More Information?

Check out our other Ketchikan Management Area fishing pages!

Ketchikan Road System Fishing | Ketchikan Remote Freshwater Fishing | Ketchikan Saltwater Fishing

If you’re looking for other areas to fish in Southeast Alaska, check out our pages for the following areas:

Haines / Skagway | Juneau | Ketchikan | Petersburg | Prince of Wales | Sitka | Wrangell | Yakutat

If you’re interested in hunting opportunities in Southeast Alaska, check out our hunting pages at the following links:

Juneau | Ketchikan | Petersburg | Sitka


Rules and Regulations

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is responsible for maintaining the sport fisheries across the state of Alaska. Their website provides a wealth of information about our sport fisheries as well as the regulations you need to know. Additionally, the Department issues Emergency Orders throughout the season, that have a direct bearing on last-minute changes in bag limits, openings and closings of seasons and much more. Fishermen are responsible for knowing the regulations, including these Emergency Orders. You can find all of that information and more at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s website, or at the regional office in the area where you are fishing.

ADF&G Sportfisheries Division
Ketchikan Office:
Alaska Department of Fish and Game
2030 Sea Level Drive
Ketchikan, AK 99901
1 (907) 225-2859

 

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