Alaska salmon fishing

Successful fishermen fish first, take photos later.

I am often asked, “What can I do to catch more salmon?”

The simplest and often most accurate answer is, fish where the salmon are. Or more precisely, fish in a school of salmon. Salmon will often congregate around a pinnacle, behind a rock, near a point or on some sort of structure along a shoreline to feed on herring or needle fish that are schooled up there. Often times being in the vicinity isn’t good enough – you need to be right on top of them working different depths until you find the strike zone. Once you find the sweet spot keep circling on it and work it till it’s dead.

Fish in a school of salmon!

Garmin Fish Finder

Eventually all bites die and you may have to try further down shore but don’t forget to go back and try that sweet spot again because odds are it will light back up, especially if the bait is still there. Fish have to stop feeding occasionally and digest their food just like humans but they will be hungry again in an hour or so.

The more you fish an area the better you will be at recognizing where the salmon and the bait hang out and you won’t have to spend hours trolling blindly searching for fish. Use your fish finder/sonar to look for bait. It’s much easier to see a school of bait on the sonar than it is to see salmon unless you stumble across a huge school.

Fireball WhiskySave the celebration for later!

Another tip that will help you catch more fish is: Save the celebration for later. After landing a nice fish, I’ve watched lots of fishermen stop for pictures with high fives all around followed by the shot of cinnamon whiskey and sometimes the celebration will go on for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, not only have they have drifted off the fish, they could have caught two or three more had they kept their gear in the water and stayed in the school.

Jeff's family is the original owner of the lodge property, purchasing the land from the Federal Government in the 1940′s. Jeff started fishing every summer with his grandfather in the 80's, and was instantly hooked on fishing. Over the years, visiting friends and family would all comment to Jeff, “Wow you should really build a fishing lodge here.” One day in 2005 he did. Today Jeff's property and the land he developed has become known as Chinook Shores — an Alaska fishing lodge for guided and self-guided anglers.