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Things to Try During The Next Alaska Fishing Season

During the Alaska fishing season (May-September) you will have the opportunity to fish in a lot of different locations for a lot of different species. To have success in these areas, it’s important to employ a lot of different techniques to adapt to the fish in the Icy Strait area.

We’ve compiled a list of some of the most popular saltwater fishing techniques used by our guests here at Doc Warners Alaska Adventures to help you have the best experience possible. We have had a lot of success with these methods, and we know with a little bit of experimentation, you will too!

Fishing Techniques

1. Drift Fishing

Drift fishing is a very popular method for fishing halibut or pacific cod. To use this method, you don’t anchor your boat, instead, you drift across the fishing area following the current. First begin by determining the direction of the current and then move to the top of the current. Then turn off the motor, bait your lines, and send them to the bottom. 

Drift fishing

You’ll want to keep a close eye on your fish finder as you are drifting to look for significant changes in depth. That way you can adjust how much line you have out. If you ever get a snag in the line, turn on the engine and motor up the current and your line should come free.

2. Use a Downrigger

Downriggers are great because they help you get your line to a specific depth without putting weight on your pole’s line. The downrigger has 8 to 15 pounds of weight on the end of a steel cable, and a small clip loosely attaches the line from the ball to your fishing line, just above the flasher

Both lines are put down at the same time to a specific depth. It’s a good idea to put each person’s line down to a different depth until you find out where the most fish are. Next you can begin trolling (see next). Once you get a bite, yank the pole upwards, this will release the clip and weight. Another person can then reel in the downrigger weight while you enjoy fighting the salmon!

3. Trolling

Trolling is the best way to catch salmon. This can be done by placing weights on the line or by using a downrigger. To do this you can use either 8″ or 11″ flashers, but just remember that eight inch flashers require less weight than an 11 inch flasher.  This method is best done by navigating the boat in a serpentine direction going perpendicular to the shore. You do have to be very careful when you use this technique because it is very easy to snag on the bottom.

Alaska Fishing

4. Anchor your boat

The most common way to fish for halibut is by anchoring on a flat sandy bottom. You can find the fish very easily because several of these places are marked on the fish finder in your boat. After anchoring the boat, you bait your line and lower it to the bottom. Then you gently bounce the weight on the bottom. Before too long a curious cod or halibut will decide to take a bite. It’s important to remember to pull the anchor when you decide to move to a new location.

5. Jigging

Jigging Is another common technique for fishing halibut, and It can add an element of excitement to catching small to medium sized fish. This is done by using a grub and a jig head. First begin by lowering your line to the bottom. Then begin jigging the pole at random heights and frequencies. This is a very effective method because often the fish will be snagged on the side. If you catch a fish like this you have to keep it because they won’t survive if you release them.

We hope these fishing techniques come in handy on your next Alaskan fishing trip! It’s important to plan before your trip to know what fish you want to catch. That will help you decide what technique to use and what time during the Alaska fishing season will be most successful for you.

Alaska fishing season

If you are looking for the best fishing lodge in Alaska check out Doc Warners Alaska Adventures!

Contact us today to book your spot during the next Alaska fishing season.

King Salmon Fishing in Alaska: A Thrilling Catch for a True Angler

Alaska is known as one of the salmon capitals of the world, and king salmon is one of the rarest and most sought after catches here. The king salmon, also known as chinook salmon, is not an easy catch, which is why fishing aficionados expect quite a battle with this strong and feisty fish.

The chinook salmon range is a rather large area around the pacific that goes from Ooregon all the way to the Bering Strait. However, one of the most protected places for king salmon fishing is the area right around the Excursion Inlet where our lodge is located. In this area, the Alexander Archipelago in southeast Alaska, there’s a constant yearly yield of kings during the fishing season. Populations here can be larger than those fished along the Alaskan rivers themselves.

While fishing around the Alaskan panhandle of the Alexander Archipelago and the waters of the Excursion Inlet and Glacier Bay, you can find amazing catches where average King Salmon sizes vary between the 20 to 50-pound range. King salmon feed aggressively along the Alaskan coast, and they are usually fished from regular fishing boats.

There are almost as many tactics for fishing King Salmon as there are fishermen, so don’t be afraid to experiment and follow your instinct! 

Getting this amazing and thrilling catch is the highlight of any trip. However, there are a couple of things to keep in mind when you are fishing for King Salmon, and a couple of tips you should take into consideration when going for the catch of a lifetime.

Salmon around Doc Warner’s fishing lodge’s calm waters, and the nearby inner passages are quite plentiful. Since there is plenty of food for them, Kings, as well as many other species, grow huge around these parts.

Use Bright Lures

When fishing King Salmon, use bright lures or even salmon roe or herring to get the best chance of a good bite. Some fishermen have attested having had better catches to using bright tones of yellow, blue, or red lures given that they trigger more aggressive behavior in fish. However, this may vary depending on your own experience, of course.

Tying Salmon Mooching Rigs

You should also use a salmon mooching rig. Mooching a fishing hook is as simple as securing a rig and lowering it to a certain depth using a downrigger, then trolling at a fair speed to draw more attention to the bait and improve the chances of a bite.

It’s important that your mooching rigs are properly set up. Luckily, Doc himself spends the off-season making mooching rigs to be used by anglers who come to visit our lodge to make sure they’re ready to go when the time comes to get the catch of a lifetime.

If you’re planning to go for a big salmon catch this year, you can contact us to set up the perfect fishing trip where you’ll have the best chance to try for this rare catch. Just off the coast of Juneau, along the Excursion Inlet’s junction with the Icy Strait and beyond, you’ll have a great opportunity for some big salmon fishing, along with the rest of the species unique to our northern Pacific waters.

How Much Does A Fishing Trip to Alaska Cost?

Planning a trip to Alaska can be a long project. Assuming you have a love for fishing, you’re in the right place. It is worth the trip. To help motivate you to make up your mind, we’ll dig deeper to find out how much a trip like this can cost.

Alaska fishing trip prices have many factors. There is location, lodging type, duration of stay, itinerary, and services to consider. Let’s talk about these factors.

Pricing Factors on Alaska Fishing Trips

Drive-in or Fly-in:

The first question to ask: is your lodge a fly-in or a drive-in? Flying allows for greater privacy and a quicker commute. It’s also usually a sign of a more remote and secluded lodge (read: better fishing!). Doc Warner’s Lodge provides fly-in, drive-in, and boat-in on a catamaran boat trip.

Guide and Lodge Amenities:

The services of the lodge will affect the price. Is this an all-inclusive fishing lodge? Is it built for beginners to take lessons on how to fish? Does it have private professionally-guided tours for experienced fishermen? Does it include your fishing equipment? These questions will have bearing on the cost.

Accommodations and Meals:

Food is important, not only in life but in your Alaskan lodge experience. Is it included? Is it a la carte? Is it a buffet?

The accommodations at your lodge will determine how well you rest between adventures. How much has the lodge invested in maintaining comfortable accommodations? Ask these questions when you’re planning.

We provide the details on our seasonally updated pricing page. We pride ourselves on providing the best possible product. Some of our guests have been visiting us for decades.

By now you’ve gained a better understanding of what factors into the cost of an Alaskan fishing trip. Visiting Southeast Alaska will be an unforgettable trip worth your time and money. Worth all the planning.

Visit our site to learn more.

Alaska Guided Fishing Trips vs. Self-Guided Fishing Trips

Should you go on a self-guided trip to Alaska? Or should you go with a professionally-guided trip? This is a common question that we can help answer.

By the end of this article you will be even more ready for your Alaska Fishing Adventure.

Guided Fishing Trips To Alaska

Professional guides will take you to the best fishing spots at the most opportune times. They don’t do the fishing for you. That said, they will go with you and guide you through the process. They make sure you make the most of your hard-earned trip. It’s less stressful and will allow you to soak in the views and the adventure of being in “the last frontier”.

Both experienced and novice fishermen will enjoy the services of a professional Alaska fishing guide. You don’t live in Alaska and your time here is short. Your guide will help you learn about the Alaskan landscape and ensure you see the best this area has to offer during his scheduled guide time. 

There’s always something new to learn while fishing. Whether about lures, observation of the water, reeling, or the fish themselves. Having a professional guide on hand will make that process go quicker. It will also guarantee you gave yourself the best odds at bringing something home at the end of the day. Once the captain or deckhand have hooked a fish, you and the other guests on the boat will take turns reeling in. Check with the area you expect to fish as often the bag limits are less for guided than for self-guided.

Self-Guided Fishing Trips To Alaska

Self-guided trips offer independence. You can plan your own daily fishing schedule. You can try to find your own hotspots for halibut or salmon. A lot of fishing enthusiasts like the adventure that this brings.

While fishing alone in Alaska we recommend establishing contact with a local lodge. Should something unfortunate happen you need to have an ally in the area. You might also get pointers and hints on where to go and what to use. This method will give you the flexibility to make the most of your trip and still create unique memories.

What kind of trip do you want?

Either way, you will enjoy the incredible Alaskan scenery. The fishing is good, especially if you know where to look. Here at Doc Warner’s Alaska Adventures, we offer both options. Enjoy our comfortable accommodations between fishing adventures.

Learn more about it on our website and book your fishing trip to Alaska as soon as you can.

Alaska Fish Species: What to Catch and When to Catch It

Whenever or wherever you go for your fishing trip, Alaska fish species will always provide unique fishing opportunities. In this article, we’ll guide you through some of the Alaska fish species to be found in your fishing adventure, and when to find them.

The 5 Types of Pacific Salmon

The most amazing thing about the biodiversity of Alaska fish species is the fact that you can fish all 5 species of Pacific salmon. The saltwater bodies in Alaska carry that abundance of fish that supports both commercial and sporting fish enterprises all over this great northern state. Let’s do a quick rundown of these species as well as info on when and where you can find them.

Sockeye Salmon

One of the smaller types of salmon, also known as “red salmon” in Alaska because of how its head turns green and its body turns red when in freshwater. Sockeye run June-July and are the fewest in number. They can be tricky to catch because they generally don’t take a lure. Snagging is a common way to catch these beautiful fish. This species is high in Omega-3s, has a strong flavor, and is a good choice for grilling.

King Salmon

One of the most popular and most challenging catches in Alaska, and also one of the most rewarding. King Salmon is one of those Alaska fish species that make the trip worth it! The Alaska King salmon can grow as large as almost a hundred pounds (once in a lifetime catches!), and most you’ll find in Alaska will be between 20 to 50 pounds. These are most prevalent from June to early July. A king stamp is required to fish for these fish. They have firm meat and are good for grilling.

Silver Salmon

What makes silver salmon also known as Coho, stand out among other fish species in Alaska is how much they struggle when they bite, and how hard they can strike that hook. They can even throw themselves upwards while trying to get rid of your hook. They are available mostly from July through September. Their firm meat has a milder flavor than King or Sockeye and is considered the very best for grilling.

Chum Salmon

Chum salmon are very common in Alaskan waters, and with a lot of fishing spots on local rivers where they are abundant. They are found for the most part in July, with most of the general salmon population. Chum Salmon are found in deeper water and are a good choice for smoking.

Pink Salmon

Pink Salmon are the most common and abundant of all salmon species. They are found throughout the entire season, most prevalent between June to mid-August. Their softer meat lends itself to stews, salmon cakes, and the grill.

Halibut Fishing in Alaska

Halibut is always in supply year-round, being at their most strong and hungry during the summer months of June through September. These large fish provide a good battle even for more experienced fishermen, though, so get ready!

Common Catches

The following are fish that are also prevalent in Alaskan waters, and you should know about them, so that you’re not surprised whenever you see them.

Pacific Cod

Pacific cod is often seen as a common and a not-so-treasured catch, given its tendency to bite aggressively and to travel in large schools. There are plenty of recipes with Pacific cod, and you’ll find them in all seasons. It is becoming more popular and is the fish you usually find in a fish sandwich at a fast-food restaurant. They can be used as bait for halibut.

Rockfish

Rockfish is a catch-all term that refers to several different species of fish. Black, red, yellow eye to name a few. These, like the pacific cod, are also found in large schools and are abundant throughout the entire season, and unlike the cod, can be found at almost any depth. It is important to be able to identify which species since some are illegal to catch and others have small limits.

If you are curious about the fish that can be caught around Alaskan waters, why not come catch some and see them for yourself? You can book a fishing trip to Alaska now and see what types of Alaska Fish Species await.

Weekly Report Ending January 22, 2021

Busy week interviewing. The staffing lists are filling up and our guests will appreciate all the great staff they will encounter this year. We are super excited about this coming season. The next step for Mark and Kristina will be to put the final touches on the food menus; that will occupy another couple of weeks. We will try and write about some of the new food options as we finalize the items.

Mark did get all of the foundation concrete and steel ordered for the new powerhouse and drying room floor. He is not looking forward to pouring 30 yards of concrete from 80 pounds bags by hand.
Fortunately, he has some good helpers.

We have been receiving some of our fishing supplies at the office this week. One of the items that we are adding is rubber nets (easy to untangle hooks from). Not being able to able to touch and feel at a trade show made ordering difficult but from the picture, you can see that they will be big enough to handle a big sucker fish! The handles are in a separate box. Don’t worry, we will attach them before you arrive.

Lynda has been busy working on reservations. She has been working on truing up the reservations for this year and she noted that the 2022 season is already starting to fill quickly. We are thankful that so many of you are planning ahead. Lynda has also been looking at ways for people to do payment plans rather than get nagging emails from us when payments are due. Our hope is that we have more conversations about fishing and less about money when our guests call! Fishing calls are always more fun.

Weekly Report Ending January 15, 2021

Interviews have occupied most of the week for Mark and Kristina. We are excited about those that are returning. It is going to be a particularly difficult decision to select the best candidates for the season. We think we have enough good applicants to fill the open positions twice over or more. We expect to have the hiring done by the end of the month. We are thankful that we have been blessed with so many choices; we have high expectations of a fabulous season.

Lynda continues to help guests get into their preferred weeks. She sent out the invoicing last week. We have been having internal discussions about how to move people to automatic payment plans. We think this will help our guests and not require so much “bugging”. We love to talk with people but it is always more fun to talk about fishing than money.

Last week Lynda took a call from a guest from last year. It was memorable because the guest indicated that he had come fishing with us as a once-in-a-lifetime trip with his brother. They decided that was incorrect. They had such a good time; they really want to come back again! We love hearing those types of calls.

Lisa has also had a busy week. After getting all of the tax work done for the year, she found time to meet with the embroiderer and drop off this year’s new clothing for the trading post. She has also been working on getting large bottles of soap, shampoo, and conditioner for the showers. Our plan is to convert to the larger bottles as we finish using up the smaller ones this season.

Weekly Report Ending January 8, 2021

We are back in the office after the holidays more often now. Much of our work is portable so it made it easier to take some time off but still get things done as needed.

Kristina and Mark are working diligently with the hiring processes. We have several returning staff that have committed to the season and we begin interviewing new candidates next week. We are making adjustments trying to identify and remove any bottlenecks in our guest experience.


Lisa has wrapped up the end-of-year financial things and has us in top shape for this coming year. She also helped us attend our tackle buying show remotely. We don’t think we really like the remote format. It is hard to handle things with our hands via the internet. To compensate we have had to talk directly with manufacturers over the phone and try and describe the need and their solutions verbally. Both the vendors and the buyers are looking forward to in-person shows in 2022.


Lynda is starting the next round of invoicing. As people’s plans change, the invoicing activity creates some movement in the available space. She has already been able to reduce some of the waitlists. She does enjoy it when each of your calls in to visit.

Weekly Report Ending January 1st, 2021

Happy New Year! This last week has been filled with typical end of year activities. Lisa has been busy wrapping up financial details and preparing for the next year. She also found that under the current travel- to-Alaska protocol, people still need to have a PCR test 72 hours before departure.

There is a couple of changes to how to report the test. We know that it will change by the time the season kicks in so we are not troubling people with details until we are much closer. Overall, it should not be near as challenging as last season.

Lynda continues to find space for people at the lodge as guests’ plans change. We continue to have record bookings for the next season. The return of so many of you in 2021 has impacted when we bring in staff and supplies. The adjustments will allow us to train better and to improve our customer experience starting day one of the summer.

Mark has been chipping away at some of the long-term projects. He has been making adjustments to the hiring documentation, operational documentation, and a more formalized training plan for seasonal
staff. He and Kristina continue to work on the menu for next summer and trying out new products and items.

What are Alaska Fishing Lodges Like?

The Alaskan wilderness is beautiful. It’s known as the “Last Frontier” for many reasons, one of which is that the best fishing in the US can be found here. Your Alaskan fishing lodge will serve as your home base throughout your vacation so we would like to give you a quick description of what a lodge will look like, what purpose it serves, and what amenities it should have.

Fishing lodges can vary wildly from simple cabins to full-fledged resort facilities. This makes the general makeup of an average Alaska fishing lodge something difficult to determine on the whole, but there’s three main things that make a lodge what it is, and we’ll go through each one with you.

Alaska Fishing Lodge Locations

First and foremost the location of the lodge can make or break your trip. If you’re looking to get away from civilization, then take that into consideration. Here at Doc Warner’s we’re far enough away to help you disconnect, yet close enough to have access to health services if needed.

Whichever the case for any specific one, all Alaska fish lodges share something in common: beautiful vistas. The 49th state has natural beauty in abundance, and you can go to lodges that take you near glaciers, snow-capped mountains, forests, rivers, waterfalls or all of them. Whenever and wherever you’re fishing in Alaska, be prepared to feel goosebumps with all the beauty around you.

Accomodations in The Last Frontier

You can count on comfort and safety while going to most Alaska fishing lodges. There are various options for accommodations in a fishing lodge, from shared dorms to small cabins, to luxurious rooms. As they are, most lodges have much more than just the basic amenities for you. You can stay in separate private cabins within a lodge’s grounds, or a spacious dormitory with common areas.

Not only will you be able to keep warm and keep clean with comfortable living quarters, there’s also much more that has to do with the task of fishing itself. For Alaska fishing lodges that pride themselves on their name, as ours does, you’ve got meeting spaces, gardens, a fire pit, and dining facilities to sit down together and share stories. And speaking of sharing stories…

Meeting Amazing People

Most of what makes an Alaska fishing lodge is the people who work and stay there. These people love two things: Alaska itself, and fishing in Alaska. Having these two things in common means you’ll be in the perfect place to share your passion for angling and having a great time with people who appreciate a good catch. There’s always good conversation to be had at a fishing lodge, and there’s always something to learn while spending some time with fellow anglers.

If you enjoy fishing in Alaska and are looking for a lodge to have a great fishing experience, you’re more than welcome in our Alaska fishing community at Doc Warner’s Alaska Adventures! Visit our website and check our availability!