St. Theresa’s
Lakeside Resort

We're More Than a Cabin in the Backyard

Salmon, Trout & Halibut

Salmon

TROPHY KING SALMON FISHING

The Kenai River boasts major runs of four Pacific salmon species – king, red, silver and pink – in addition to trophy-sized rainbow trout and Dolly Varden. Kenai River kings, or Chinook salmon, are among the largest North Pacific salmon, often weighing from 50 to over 85 pounds. The Kenai provides anglers an 80 day window to catch Alaska’s largest freshwater fish, the king salmon. It is important to remember that the Kenai is not known for producing daily limits or extraordinary numbers of kings. In fact many other rivers in Alaska surpass the Kenai in sheer numbers of king salmon. The Kenai is a trophy river. It holds the largest STRAIN of king salmon in the world with the average fish weighing 35-40 lbs. King salmon over fifty pounds are actually common, and nine out of the ten largest kings EVER CAUGHT were taken from the Kenai River. The world record was set here in May 1985 with a Kenai king that weighed 97lbs caught by the late Les Anderson.

We also fish the Kasilof River, this is a drift boat only fishery. The Kasilof is 12 miles to the south and flows from glacier fed Tustamena Lake. It is a peaceful float drift down a pristine river filled with lots of fishing action. Bait is also allowed in this fishery. Multiple hook-ups are frequent. This a great fishing experience on Sundays and Mondays when the Kenai River is closed to guided anglers.

 

MAY-JUNE EARLY RUN

The Kenai and the Kasilof each have two annual runs of king salmon. The Kenai run begins in May and lasts until the end of June. The size of this run is smaller than the second run but with fewer anglers and boats on the river. The early run on the Kenai also coincides with the early run of both hatchery and wild king salmon on the Kasilof River and these two fisheries make both May and June a great time to visit. The experience can be more pleasant due to less traffic on the river. The low level of the Kenai river during this period, concentrates the fish in the deep holes. This run usually peaks during the middle of June but remains strong in daily counts until the second run of kings that begin to appear at the end of June.

 

KENAI EARLY RUN

Season: May 15 – June 30
Regulations: Single Hook with no bait. Fish in the 44-55 inch category must be released. One fish per day, two fish per year. No fishing after retention. Closed to guided fishing on Sunday and Mondays.

 

KASILOF EARLY RUN

Season: May 15 – June 30


 


SILVER SALMON FISHING

Coho or Silver salmon are the favorite of most Alaskan anglers. The Kenai and the Kasilof receive early runs of silver salmon with good to excellent fishing from early August to early September. They are hefty fish, with some exceeding 20 pounds. They are very hard fighters on light and medium tackle and are very aggressive and readily strike lures and take baited hooks. Late summer and fall is when things begin to quiet down on the Kenai River making these fishing trips quite enjoyable. We use lures and bait fished from boats anchored in river channels and focus on newly arriving fish fresh from the saltwater.

In addition to the Kenai and the Kasilof there is a wide range of short flight fly-out trips to the west side of the Cook Inlet. These fish see little fishing pressure and can be very aggressive. Some of the fly out services will provide bait and will provide instructions on how to best catch these silvers. These remote silver trips are also a great way to see a portion of Alaska from the air. The west side of the Cook Inlet is very scenic with glaciers, volcanoes and where thousands of lakes and rivers blanket the landscape. It is a special experience, one were the angler will have an opportunity to experience a piscatorial landscape and view wildlife.

KASILOF SILVER SALMON

Season: Aug 1 – Sept 15
Regulations: Limit two fish per day, some bait restrictions
Peak time: Aug 15 – Sept 15

 

KENAI SILVER SALMON

Season: Aug 1 – Oct 31
Regulations: Two fish per day, multiple hooks, bait allowed.
Peak time: Early Run: Aug 10 – Aug 25 Late Run: Sept 1 – Oct15

 

FLY OUT SILVER SALMON

Season: July 25 – Sept 25
Regulations: Limit two fish per day / Vary according to location
Peak time: Aug 5 – Sept 25


 


SOCKEYE SALMON FISHING

The first sockeye ( reds ) of the season are headed to the fast moving tributary of the upper Kenai near Cooper Landing named the Russian River. The Russian River supports an early and late sockeye salmon return. The early run usually arrives by June 15th, with an average return of about 70,000 fish.

The second, or late run fish arrive in mid-July and average about 100,000 fish. These fish, usually a year younger than the first run, are usually a little smaller, about 5-6 pounds on average.

These wild runs support the second largest recreational fishery for this species in Alaska. The Kenai River also supports a relatively new (a significant harvest has occurred here since the mid-1980’s) recreational sockeye salmon fishery. This fishery has expanded significantly in recent years and is now the largest sport fishery for this species in Alaska. These powerful fighters are mint bright, just out of the saltwater, and average 8 – 12 lbs. They are considered Alaska’s best-tasting salmon and are nearly everyone’s “meat & potatoes” when it comes to stocking up for the winter or filling a fish box to take home. The Kenai river run is huge with 600,000 – 1,000,000 reds entering the river during a four week period. They are incredible fighters on a flyrod or medium spin gear and will thrill you with their drag – burning runs and somersaults during the fight. St Theresas Lakeside Resort can place you in areas minutes away were fishing is very productive.

 

KASIL OF SOCKEYE SALMON

Season: June 25 – July 25
Regulations: Single hook, Limit three fish per day.
Peak time: June 25 – July 15

 

RUSSIAN RIVER SOCKEYE SALMON

Season: June 12 – July 20
Regulations: Single hook, fly-only. Limit three fish per day.
Peak time early run: June 12 – June 25 
Peak time late run: Mid July

 

KENAI SOCKEYE SALMON

Season: July 1 – Aug 10
Regulations: Single hook, Limit three fish per day.
Peak time: July 13 – July 25

 

FLY OUT SOCKEYE SALMON

Season: June 10 – July 31
Regulations: Single hook, Limit three fish per day.
Peak time: June 25 – July 15

 


Trout

KENAI RIVER RAINBOW TROUT & DOLLY VARDEN FISHING

The upper Kenai above Skilak Lake has a remarkable catch and release trout fishery where in-river numbers have been estimated by the US Fish & Wildlife Service to reach as many as 2000 rainbows per mile. Kenai rainbows average a remarkable 20 inches and fish over five pounds are really quite common. The fishing here is good all summer but as salmon begin to spawn in late August the action picks up as big rainbows and dollies feed on the abundant salmon eggs. The upper Kenai River is fished using drift boats as this is a non-motorized section of the river. A day of trout fishing can often be the highlight to a great week of Alaska fishing.

 

KENAI TROUT

Season: Dollies: Year round, Rainbows: June 12 – April 15

Regulations: Single hook artificial on until July 1. July 1 – Oct: Single hook. All catch and release.

Peak time: June 12 – Oct 15


Halibut

COOK INLET HALIBUT FISHING AND SEASONAL COMBOS

If you would like to enjoy some of the best halibut fishing in Alaska, neighboring Cook Inlet, Homer and Seward are all great choices. Fishing is good to excellent for most of the summer with tides and weather being the biggest factor. Cook Inlet has the second highest tides in the world and water movement can be 20+ feet each way, twice daily. During May and part of June many of the Ninilchik area captains offer our guest combo trips… a chance to troll for near-shore migrating king salmon. Anglers have a chance to catch kings headed for local streams in the area or possibly one of the bigger kenai kings passing through.

The average Halibut charter runs 6 to 8 hours, add 2 hours for a combination charter. These times are dependant on the magnitude of the tide and weather. It’s an all-day adventure with plenty of rod-bending actionand plenty of delicious halibut fillets to take back home at the end of the trip. Please come prepared and on time, as the tide waits for no one.

A world record (unofficial) halibut was caught just off Deep Creek in September of 1987 by a 70 year old woman. The halibut was 94 inches long and was estimated to weigh 466 pounds. There was not a scale large enough in town to weigh the monster! In 2002 the winning halibut in the Ninilchik Halibut Derby weighed in at 375 pounds. There are a few really big halibut caught in Cook Inlet each Summer.

 

HOMER HALIBUT

Season: May 1 – Sept 1 
Regulations: Two fish per day
Peak time: May 15 – Aug 15, tidal dependent
Travel time to fishing grounds by boat: 1.5 – 2.5 hours

 

DEEP CREEK / NINILCHIK HALIBUT

Season: May 1 – Sept 1
Regulations: Two fish per day
Peak time: May 15 – Aug 15, tidal dependent
Travel time to fishing grounds by boat: 25 – 45 minutes

 

SEWARD HALIBUT

Season: May 1 – Oct 1
Regulations: Two fish per day
Peak time: May 15 – Sept 15, tidal dependent
Travel time to fishing grounds by boat: 45 minutes – 2.5 hours


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