Trips start at $175.00
Max guests: 10
Trips start at $700.00
Max guests: 4
Trips start at $1000.00
Max guests: 6
Cooper Landing, AK
Trips start at $185.50
Max guests: 4
Trips start at $175.00
Max guests: 8
Kenai-Cook Inlet, AK
Trips start at $284.00
Max guests: 4
The coastal Alaskan city of Kenai (Kee’-nigh) offers visitors a multitude of choices. Some come to fish. Some come to just look at the miracles of nature. Others come to learn about and participate in a unique culture not found anywhere else in the United States. Some just come because, well, it’s there.
But one thing is for sure, no matter what you come to do, dress warmly. In Kenai, the summers are short and cool and the winters are long, snowy, breezy, and freezing. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 12° to 60° Fahrenheit. The “warm-season” lasts about four months, from mid-may to early September, when the average daytime temp soars to around 56°. But the views, the history, and the fishing can make you forget you are cold in a hurry.
Kenai has majestic and peaceful views as it rises next to the mouth of the Kenai River. The Alaska Range mountains provide panoramic views behind the city and also includes three active volcanoes. There’s also a nearby sandy beach that visitors like to stroll up and down, enjoying the inlet. Kenai is one of the oldest established communities in Alaska and one of the main reasons is the legendary salmon fishing in the area, especially up the Kenai River. But there are lots of other fishing opportunities as well. Area inland lakes are packed with trout and salmon and the Cook Inlet is like dream come true for halibut anglers that don’t mind putting up with the elements.
The Old Town Area of Kenai is a popular vacation and tourist destination. It’s marked by the large blue onion domes of the Holy Assumption of the Virgin Mary Church, a Russian Orthodox church built in 1890. In stark contrast, the small St. Nicholas Chapel is over 100 years old and also popular for visitors. To learn more about the area, there’s no better place than the historical and natural exhibits of the Kenai Visitor and Cultural Center. There are also great recreational facilities and resources at the Kenai Fjords National Park and the Kachemak Bay State Park. There is also a wide range of cruises and tours available for when you aren’t going fishing.
The most popular spot to fish in this area is undoubtedly the Kenai River, one of the top salmon fisheries in the world. The river is also a popular spot for rafting, kayaking, or even hiking along the rugged edges of the river. But there’s a lot more to this area.
For starters, look no further than the wide-open Cook Inlet, part of the Gulf of Alaska. Halibut fishing is king here in this pristine bay, fed by three fertile rivers: the Susitna, Matanuska, and Kenai.
Halibut fishing was overlooked for many years but just keeps getting more and more popular. Your charter captain can put you on the fish and help manage your trip by taking advantage of the tides. They can also educate you on the best way to catch halibut, whether trolling or bottom fishing. The halibut run big here, with many coming in around 20 to 30 pounders all the way up to several hundred pounds. One bonus here is also the number of King salmon that can be caught while fishing for halibut. This deepwater fishing makes for a great day of adventure.
Inland waterways offer more opportunities for anglers. There are literally hundreds of small lakes within an easy drive of Kenai. There are two huge lakes that also draw anglers that almost always get results. They are Kenai Lake and Skilak Lake.
Kenai Lake is known for its trout fishing — lake trout, rainbow trout, and Dolly Varden as well as sockeye salmon. It’s also known for its stunning bluish-green glacial water. Some areas of the lake are so thick with glacial “snow” or suspended silt that fishing is tough. Successful anglers find clearer waters brought in by the many tributaries to the lake. One popular access area here is Quartz Creek.
Sockeye, silver, and pink salmon plus all kinds of trout also inhabit Skilak Lake. This lake is a little tougher to get into, but a good guide can make it easy, just like catching a memorable mess of fish. The Upper Skilak Lake Campground is a popular access point.
These are certain waters that one doesn’t want to take on by oneself. There are so many great things to enjoy in Kenai that it’s a great place to really get your money’s worth by hiring one of the established, professional guides in the area. They can put you on the fish and the fish on your table. All you need to do is book a Kenai guide with FishAnywhere.com. And it’s no easy feat to get up here, so don’t be shy. Book more than one. The more the merrier, and the more the memories as well. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime type destination that every angler needs to put on their bucket list.