Silver fishing picks up on the peninsula

As the red salmon season continues to wind down, anglers on the Kenai River have seen silver salmon catches rise steadily on the swollen river.


Silver Salmon

For anglers looking to catch a few cohos on the Kenai, bait and multiple hook prohibitions downstream of the Sterling Highway Bridge, end today.

However, while salmon eggs sat on the bottom of the river may be tempting to catch the aggressive fish, Mike Fenton, co-owner and operator at Fenton Bros. Guided Sportfishing, said he was having luck with spinners.

“The larger, probably the number fives — because the river has been a little off-color — are probably working a little bit better,” he said.

The river is muddier this time of year than it has been in years past, Fenton said.

Anglers have been backtrolling for silvers as well, although with the high water Fenton said backtrolling should happen a little closer to shore as coho salmon tend to run there when the water is high.

“They’re feeling a little more secure ... when it’s muddy like that or a little dirtier they can go right next to shore,” Fenton said.

Coho salmon runs on both the Kenai and Kasilof rivers have been good recently according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s fishing report.

Fenton said anglers could also try silver fishing in Seward.

“It has been kind of tough there for the last couple three years, it has definitely improved at this point,” he said.

“The fish are actually coming up in the bay.”

Coho salmon jumpers have been seen in the Ninilchik/Deep Creek area according to Fish and Game, although fishing at Flat Island and Point Pogibshi has slowed down.


The sockeye season has been winding down on the Kenai River and Fenton said most of the fish have been in the river long enough to turn so they’re not as good to eat as they were earlier in the season.

“We still fish for them, just for the fun of it, so people can catch a sockeye and see what a sockeye looks like,” he said.

Anglers looking to catch the tail end of the sockeye run have the best chance of success in the Upper Kenai River between Kenai and Skilak lakes according to Fish and Game.


Fenton said trout fishing should start getting better next week and according to Fish and Game rainbow trout fishing on the Kenai River has been good.

Anglers looking for trout fishing can also head down to the Anchor and Ninilchik rivers as well as Deep and Stariski creeks which opened Aug. 1 for trout fishing. Salmon may not be targeted or harvested upstream of the two-mile regulatory markers according to Fish and Game.

Lake Fishing

Several of the stocked lakes on the Kenai Peninsula also provide good fishing opportunity.

According to Fish and Game’s report, bait fished under a bobber, small spinners and spoons or fly fishing from a float tube have produced good catch rates.

Halibut Fishing

While the halibut fishing is still good, most of the fish are small — averaging 13 pounds in fish sampled in the Homer Harbor over the past week, according to Fish and Game. Anglers have been having success with herring or squid on circle hooks.

According to Fish and Game, a few reports of “mushy” halibut have come in this season and incidence of catching them can be high in certain locations. Anglers are reminded to release the fish unharmed and consider moving to a different area to avoid these fish.


Rashah McChesney can be reached at

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