Few places in the entire world offer the fishing opportunities that can be found on the Kenai Peninsula in the great state of Alaska. Whether you are into saltwater fishing for giant halibut, or you want to experience the world famous salmon runs while fishing with a rod and reel or even fly fishing, the place to be is on "The Kenai," as the locals like to call it. Whittier Alaska offers their share of the great fishing and outdoors experience of the region, and their tiny size and isolation on the Peninsula really brings home just how wild Alaska really is.
Whittier isn't for the "I need every creature comfort" angler or common tourist, but if you want to go after some of the best salmon
, or pike fishing
in the state, Whittier AK fishing charters
are definitely one of the best first stops.
The town of Whittier is home to less than 500 full time residents, with the numbers varying from 300 to 400 depending on who you ask, and sits on the outer northeast edge of the Kenai Peninsula. However the town is home to a large marina and the docks are often full of both commercial fishing vessels as well as guided tours, fishing charters, and it's not even uncommon to see a cruise ship nearby or a whale watching tour.
Visitors can arrive in Whittier via cruise ship, float plane, ferry, or there is even a famous tunnel which connects the isolated town to the rest of the state. Officially named the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel, locals simply refer to it as the Whittier Tunnel since it is the only road way connecting the town to the rest of Alaska's roadway systems – and the tunnel was built specifically for that purpose. The tunnel is shared by trains and traffic which take turns on the one way road, and it is the second longest highway tunnel in the US, as well as the largest with shared train and automobile traffic. You also have the option of railroad, using the same tunnel.
Whether you come in from the roads, the skies, or the docks, you will want to pack plenty of film. Scenic Prince William Sound can be found just outside of the town and is a popular spot for Whittier AK halibut fishing charters. Plenty of big halibut can be found in this area, and the guides will know several spots to go find them! The local glaciers are enormous and beautiful, and wildlife photographers will have a serious chance at spotting local whales, porpoises, sea otters, sea lions, mountain goats, moose, bear, and a wide variety of birds. Many boats in the over 350 slip marina offer various tours for wildlife sightseeing in addition to the boats serving as local fishing charters.
If you're spending only a short time around the Whittier area, you need to make a quick decision on what type of fishing appeals to you the most. Are you aching for some freshwater fishing action going after local salmon, trout, and northern pike? Or are you more interested in trying your luck out on Prince William Sound with an experienced Whittier AK fishing charter to try and catch a giant halibut…and enjoy the hundreds of pounds of meat that can come with such a catch?
If you are a saltwater fishing enthusiast, make sure to mention ahead of time what fish you are most interested in fishing for out in Prince William Sound. While the halibut fishing is some of the best in the world off of the Kenai Peninsula, there are many other saltwater fish in the species that you can also go after. Just a short list of other fish in the area include lingcod, rockfish, and shark. In fact, some of the local charter captains even specialize in one or more of these fish to provide the full range of Alaska saltwater fishing experiences.
Maybe the saltwater fishing isn't quite your thing. That's okay, too! Aside from having incredible nature hikes and local wildlife tours, the freshwater fishing in the Kasilof River and its tributaries can more than hold their own against the competition!
Trout and salmon are native to these waters, but the northern pike is actually an invasive species in the Kenai Peninsula and most other parts of South Central Alaska. This doesn't mean they're not around – which is part of the problem. The pike thrive in this area but if there is a silver lining for anglers it's that since the Alaska Department of Fish and Game want the pike removed, anglers can keep whatever they catch! Since this attitude can change it's always important to talk to local guides and get the most up to date information on the northern pike situation.
The Kasilof River is a favorite for trout and salmon anglers because this river is often teeming with fish, offers areas of incredible beauty, and generally experiences much less fishing pressure than the nearby Kenai River. King salmon in particular can be found in abundance here, and unlike the Kenai River area, on the Kasilof River an angler can catch a king salmon, then still fish for kings on a catch-and-release basis.
If you're choosing to fish around the Kasilof River and around Whittier, then you will want to know that the first salmon runs start in mid May and many king salmon reach 15 to 20 pounds. There are always even a few larger monsters tipping the scale in the 35 pound range. The second run of king salmon normally begin in late June and go to the third week of July. These fish are even bigger and it's not uncommon to have at least one charter or guide have a customer hook a salmon pushing on 50 lbs. If you're late to the show, never fear because the silver salmon runs almost always begin in August and last through the month.
Trout anglers will have to plan their trip to Whittier carefully, as the rainbow trout fishing season is closed from May 2 through June 10. Most waters on the Kenai Peninsula open up to trout fishing on June 11, but there are some exceptions so it is important to check ahead of time or hire an experienced and trustworthy Whittier AK fishing guided tour to help eliminate any chance of breaking the law.
When it comes to lodging, you'd better call ahead if you don't want to make daily drives to and from Anchorage. Only two inns are located in Whittier: Anchor Inn and for those who like fine lodging, The Inn at Whittier, which rests right on the shore and offers incredible views of the water. There are a few Bed and Breakfast options and one of the local Whittier AK fishing charters may be able to point you in the direction of a hidden gem the tour books don't know about.
Prices for Whittier charters can vary greatly depending on whether you are going freshwater fishing or saltwater fishing and whether extras like packaging of your fish are paid for are not. Most packages should include Alaska sports fishing licenses and while prices range anywhere from $100 a day per person to $300 a day, see what all the extras include. Not having to pay to package and ship your halibut or worry about licenses can easily be worth the extra cost.
As for getting your fish home, local processors are used to taking large amounts of fish to vacuum seal, freeze, and then ship home for tourists. In Whittier the place to check out is Fee's Custom Seafoods for those types of services. Whether you are into Alaska's incredible freshwater fishing runs or the world famous saltwater offerings, there is plenty of fishing to be enjoyed working out of Whittier Alaska!