Kenai Peninsula Fishing
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Alaska really, really far away?
You won't want to drive unless you have a lot of time. We are about 2,500 Highway miles from Seattle. A flight to Alaska is about three hours from Seattle, five hours from Los Angeles or Chicago, and eight hours from Washington D.C.
Do I need a passport to get to Alaska?
No. Alaska is in the United States of America. Alaska was the 49th state to enter the union, earning statehood in 1959. We use U.S. currency, and electrical outlets are the same as everywhere else in the U.S. (110 volts, 60 AC)
Where are you located in Alaska?
Alaska's Homestead Trophy Lodge is located in the heart of the Kenai Peninsula, about 150 road miles south of Anchorage in south central Alaska. Our 160 acre homestead is centrally located halfway between Kenai & Soldotna on Beaver Creek a tributary of the lower Kenai River The homestead adjoins the Kenai Wildlife Refuge.
How do I get to Alaska's Homestead Trophy Lodge?
To get to our Homestead Trophy Lodge you will need to fly into Anchorage, or Kenai, and rent a car. Alaska is serviced by all major airlines and many seasonal charter airlines so there are many choices available from all over the country. After you pick up your rental car you will head south from Anchorage on Hwy1. Allow approximately 3-4 hours drive time from the Anchorage Airport to the Homestead Trophy Lodge The drive is truly a great experience, you will see mountains, oceans, huge tides and an abundance of Alaska wildlife. There are plenty of pullouts along the way for your Alaska sightseeing enjoyment!
When is the best time to fish in Alaska?
May - September: The “best time” is relative to the species of fish, how many different species you plan to catch, whether size or quantity is the most important factor, how many days you intend to fish, etc. We discuss every one of these issues with each client to determine when is the best time for “you” to fish. We are open for the business of from mid-May until the end of September.
Will we see the northern lights?
The best time to see the northern lights, or “aurora borealis” is during a cold, clear winter night. We can still view the aurora late into May after midnight & the displays will return again in mid August. If you indicate that you want to be awakened, when the northern lights are dancing in the night sky we will give you a wake up call.
Is it really cold and dark all winter long?
No. The least amount of functional daylight we get during the winter is 7 hours and 35 minutes, and that occurs on Winter Solstice, usually around December 21. We gain daylight rapidly until Summer Solstice, which occurs around June 21 and we have nearly 24 hours of functional daylight. Temperatures range from an average low of 20 F /-7 C in the winter, to an average high of nearly 70 F/18 C during the summer.
What time is it up there?
Alaska is so big it has its own time zone: Alaska Standard Time (AST). Alaska Standard Time is one hour behind Pacific Standard Time and four hours behind Eastern Standard Time. So, if it’s 1:00 PM in California, and 4:00 PM in New York City, it’s Noon in Alaska. Don't call me at 4:00 AM in the morning unless we are going FISHING.
How far away is Denali (Mt. McKinley)?
Mt. McKinley, or Denali as it is called, is about 400 road miles away (000 km) from the homestead - about a 8 hour drive by car to the Park entrance. At the visitor's center inside the Park entrance, visitors can board shuttles to tour the interior and look for a variety of wildlife. To tour Denali will take 3 days so we would recommend that if you are going to Denali go there before your fishing
What about the bugs?
The mosquito is the Alaska State bird. They will return in May hungry like the fish & lighten up the first part of July. The further north you travel the more the bugs. We strongly advise you bring insect repellant on all fly-out trips. Don't worry, we have mosquito netting & plenty of insect repellant available at the lodge
What about Bears?
Yes: we do have BEARS at the homestead, but they have never caused us any real harm other than, killing the chickens, raiding the fish smokers, the fish freezers & the trash. They are most likely viewed very early in the morning or late in the evening as they search Beaver Creek for food.
Do you get many couples?
We have performed several weddings & many honeymooners and anniversary celebrators have joined us at the Homestead Trophy Lodge. We are very much a couple's kind of place and fun for the entire family. Pets are welcome too! The ladies really appreciate our rustic stylish Alaskan cabins!
What should I bring?
Bring along plenty of warm clothes! The best way to dress for a fishing trip in Alaska is in layers. Polypro, capilene, or wool all keep you warm even when wet and are excellent first and second layers. We suggest bringing a hat, gloves, a warm jacket, long underwear, and an extra pair of socks. Always have rain gear with you even if it's clear and sunny in the morning. Some other helpful items to bring along are insect repellant and polarized sun glasses, as they come in handy on the river. Please refer to our printable packing list for our recommendations on what to bring. We will have waders, rain gear, rods, reels, tackle and everything that you will need for your stay at the lodge.
Where can I eat and buy food?
The Homestead Trophy Lodge is only 10 minutes away from the towns of Kenai or Soldotna. These are fishing resort towns and are well populated with an abundance of grocery stores and restaurants as well as many of the national fast food stores. Your private cabin at the lodge has a fully equipped kitchen where you can prepare meals. All kitchens are well stocked with food for breakfast & a grill for cooking up the catch of the day. Contrary to what you may have heard from long ago prices are probably the same as in any other area of the country.
What else can I do beside fish?
How about golf, canoeing, river rafting, kayaking, horseback riding, bear watching, wildlife sightseeing, hiking, clamming, flight seeing, not to mention a visit to the Kenai Fjords, Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, Exit Glacier, Harding Ice field, Seward, Sea life Center, Homer, Chugach National Forest. Check out our activities page
Will I see wildlife?
The Kenai River valley is home to moose, eagles, bears, beavers, otters, and numerous fish and waterfowl. Wildlife sightings vary on each trip. Your guide will share with you ways to search for wildlife and recognize wildlife signs.
Do you always see bears on the bear viewing trips?
No. There’s always a possibility (although very remote) that you won’t see bears. However, this is a trip of a lifetime. It’s absolutely beautiful and a wild part of Alaska only a few get to experience. Don’t let the remote possibility of not seeing bears stop you from experiencing what others only dream of.
Do I need a fishing license?
Anyone over the age of 16 is required by law to purchase an Alaska fishing license. If you are fishing for King salmon you will also need a King salmon stamp.
Where can I buy a license?
You will be able to purchase a fishing license and stamp at almost any convenience store or at Carr’s/Safeway grocery stores throughout Alaska. They may also be ordered online through the Alaska Department of Fish & Game web site.
What is included in the price of a charter?
Kenai Peninsula Fishing provides all fishing rods, fishing reels, tackle, boats, bait and any other equipment you can think of on all guided fishing trips. In addition to the professionalism of our guides you can also depend that you will be provided with top quality fishing gear that has been thoroughly tested in all Alaska fishing conditions. You may want to bring a rod and reel for all of the non guided bank fishing that is available.
What is not included?
Fishing licence's that are required for all anglers 16 and older. Please plan to purchase your license ahead of time and be sure it is current. Note that Fishing for King Salmon does require an additional stamp. Also plan to bring food and beverages as necessary to keep you fueled throughout the day. Fish Processing such as vacuum packing, freezing and shipping as well as other custom processing services are available locally
Can I bring my own rod and reel?
You are certainly free to bring your own gear, although we do supply all of your gear on all guided trips. All of our gear is top notch so you will want to have comparable equipment to bring on board. Please contact us for tackle and gear recommendations.
You should bring a Rod & Reel & your own gear if you are going to be Bank Fishing for Salmon. We will have rods available for Bank Fishing but most avid anglers will want to have their own rod.
What if I've never fished before?
No previous knowledge of fishing is necessary. We have taken some anglers fishing for their very first time. You need only be in average physical condition and have a hearty appetite for adventure. Fishing in Alaska is fun regardless of your experience level. Our guides are very patient & will teach their successful techniques to anyone who has the desire to catch fish.
Can my family fish with me?
We often guide groups or families with various ages and fishing abilities. Children over the age of 12 are able to handle the Alaska fishing challenges and frequently catch the largest fish in the group! Trips with children work best when a family fills an entire boat. This ensures that your guide can be flexible and accommodating to your needs throughout the trip. There's usually enough fishing adventure and wildlife sightings to keep the entire family entertained.
Are there bathroom facilities along the river?
On the Upper Kenai, we'll be fishing through some undeveloped wilderness areas with enough trees for everyone. On the Lower Kenai, restroom facilities are always available within a short boat ride.
How about the weather?
Weather seldom affects our trips; however, COMFORT is the key to enjoyment in the outdoors. Occasionally we are blessed with warm sunny days, but be prepared, for cooler weather. We are located adjacent to several of the world's largest ice fields with the Gulf of Alaska nearby. The weather can be unpredictable. There is plenty of space in the boat to store extra clothing. Trips operate rain or shine so guests should bring quality rainwear.
Will we be Fishing from the boat or from the shore?
Most of your guided fishing will all be from boats. King Salmon fishing is typically done entirely from the boat. Silver Salmon fishing will also be from boats, unless we bank the boat to throw spinners. Sockeye Salmon are best taken by flipping fly's from shore. Guided rainbow fishing is predominantly from the boat with some bank fishing.
What type of boats will we be using?
On the Kenai River we generally uses powerboats that handle 4 fishermen. We like our “Willie Predator's” 22 feet long and 7 feet wide. This boat is an excellent fishing platform. We also fish from drift boats on the Kenai River on request and exclusively on the Kasilof River. Our ocean fishing vessels, are 30 to 40 feet long and handle 6 to 10 fishermen respectively. We feature custom “Willie” and “Fish Rite” Drift Boats with comfortable seating for four anglers.
What is the average size King Salmon?
Kasilof River kings average 20 pounds, Kenai River and saltwater kings average 35-40 pounds. Our best king came from the Kenai River and officially weighed in at 84 pounds.
What is the average size halibut?
The average for Lower Cook Inlet is 25 pounds. Our catches are consistently well above average and can range up to 300+ pounds. The fish are marked so you can identify which fish you caught and take those specific fish home with you.
Can we keep the fish we catch?
Unlike Canada you can keep your fish. You can keep all fish within the daily bag limit of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game regulations. There is no limit on the amount of fish you take home with you. You decide whether or not to keep a fish you catch – we don’t choose your fish for you or make you keep fish you don’t want, unless that fish will not survive if it is released.
What is the saltwater catch limit for halibut? Salmon? Rockfish? Lingcod?
The catch limit for halibut is two per person per day. For salmon (excluding King or Chinook salmon), the limit is six per person per day. When fishing outside the bay, only three of these six can be silver salmon, while inside Resurrection Bay, all six could be silvers. The limit for black bass is five per person per day; for yellow eye rockfish and lingcod, the limit is one or two, depending on the area fished.
What are the freshwater daily fish limits?
One King per day; two Kings per year from the Kenai River. Two Silvers per day, Three Reds per day. We adhere to a catch and release policy for trout on the Kenai River, this way you can catch them again when you return to Alaska. Some of our rainbows would weigh in at ten -fifteen pounds!
Do you clean the fish?
Yes, your guide will filet your catch for you to take to package yourself or eat. We can also arrange for custom processing with several businesses in the local area that specialize in vacuum sealing and preparing for shipment on the airlines with you or via Fed Ex / UPS. Many of our clients also choose to exchange part of their catch for various kinds of smoked salmon & halibut that the processor prepares. These local businesses also can get shrimp, crab, red salmon, halibut, and other seafood if you would like to purchase it directly.
How do I get my fish home?
Most of our guests check the fish boxes directly with their airline as baggage. The fish fillets are vac-packed and flash-frozen, then packed in a wet lock box that stays frozen for 36 hours. The airline industry will allow two pieces of checked luggage, not to exceed 50 lb per piece. Local processors will freeze wrap, smoke, and ship/Fed Ex your fish anywhere in the world you want!
How do you cure your salmon eggs?
It depends how sick they are! Actually, there are several pre packaged mix's that you can apply to your salmon roe. We have our own secret for our salmon egg bait cure. A carefully guarded secret and as they say, "If I told ya...I'd have ta kill ya"! Come on up and check it out and we will show you some of the secrets to curing your eggs !
How long does it take to get the halibut fishing grounds?
Halibut fishing takes us about two hours to get to our prime fishing spots. For salmon, it really depends on where the fish are, and could be from 30 minutes up to 2 hours.
How fast are the halibut boats?
Saltwater boats travel at speeds in excess of 24 knots. If the water is choppy we must slow down in speed, which adds additional time to get to our destinations.
What happens if the seas are too rough to go fishing?
A full refund for the day’s fishing or rebook, customer’s choice. The full refund is guaranteed, the rebook is strictly space available.
Our Top Ten Questions in Fun and Frequency
What’s the elevation of the Seward boat harbor?
How big is this lake?
Are those penguins?
How much longer?
Have you ever caught fish here before?
How deep is it here?
Do I still have any bait?
Was that a bite?
How come he/she’s catching fish, and I’m not?
Our favorite: When do the smoked salmon run?
Why aren't we fishing over there I saw one jump?
Where is that floatplane going?
Does this river flow to the sea?