Area Sport Fishing Reports

April through May Season

Spring fishing opportunities in the Juneau area include; king salmon, Dolly Varden, cutthroat trout, steelhead, and halibut. King salmon can be found in the saltwater areas near False Outer Point, Auke Bay, Tee Harbor, the Breadline, and Point Bishop. These areas have been known to provide the best chance to catch an early season king salmon. During this time, Dolly Varden and cutthroat trout begin to congregate at the mouths of local creeks such as Salmon Creek, Sheep Creek, and Cowee Creek to feed on emigrating salmon smolts.   Using small smolt imitation fly patterns or small spinners is the best way to catch these aggressive fish.  Steelhead can also be pursued during this time as they begin their return to natal streams to spawn. Peterson Creek and Cowee Creek are the two most popular spots to try to catch a steelhead on the Juneau road system. During this time halibut begin to move into the interior waters surrounding Juneau as catch rates slowly increase with the onset of summer.

King Salmon fishing

Spring king season is in full swing by May and offers saltwater enthusiasts the chance to land a real lunker! Please check the current year's News Release for up to date regulations including current bag and possession limits. Non-resident anglers will be subject to an annual limit, and most areas require a minimum size limit of 28” for king salmon. In Southeast, almost all kings are harvested in saltwater and are incredible table fare. You can fish from shore at one of the many popular shoreside “points” around Juneau, or head out in the boat. Shoreside anglers begin fishing the Picnic Cove and Tee Harbor shorelines in March, but catch rates usually don't pick up until about mid April. Shoreline fishing should continue to be good until the end of May. Casting with large spoons or small herring seem to be the most successful shoreside methods. If you are fishing from a boat, there is no shortage of specialized king salmon gear, so find your favorite flasher, spoon or herring rig and try your luck at trolling to entice these prized fish to bite. ADF&G Marine Creel personnel begin their surveys of shoreside fishing areas in mid to late March.  Please help them collect the requested information so that ADF&G can continue to sustainably manage king salmon stocks.

Steelhead Trout fishing

Typically steelhead anglers aim to intercept the fish as they enter into streams from the salt water in late April though May. Often, entire days can be spent searching for a few quality “looks” at a fish, so don’t be discouraged if it takes time, because the fight in a fresh steelhead will make it all worth while. Most streams that contain steelhead in southeast have small annual returns (in the hundreds) and thus can be vulnerable to over-fishing. Retention of steelhead in the Juneau area is prohibitied. Any steelhead caught in a drainage crossed by the Juneau road system must be released immediately.  Current regionwide regulations elsewhere prohibit any steelhead under 36” from being harvested and require that a harvest record be completed in ink immediately upon landing a steelhead that is to be harvested. There are a number of streams on the Juneau road system that contain small runs of steelhead that are easily fishable. Keep in mind that all fish should be treated with great care regardless of size to ensure the best chances for survival upon release.

Other trout/Dolly Varden fishing

Spring is the time when sea run Dolly Varden and other trout begin eating more and preparing for the summer in area salt waters. During the spring, some of these fish will exit their “over wintering” sites (lakes and ponds) and head downstream for the ocean. These fish are known as “anadromous” fish. Lake outlets and streams that connect to the salt water are prime places to harvest these fish in the spring. After the outmigration, the saltwater shoreline fishing can be very productive as Dollys and other trout begin to spend most of their time looking for food by cruising the rocky coves and bays. Spoons and spinners work well, as do smolt and fry imitation flies. There will also be some fish that do not exit their “over wintering” sites and head for the ocean. Known as “residents”, these fish stay in their home lake, pond, or corresponding stream the entire year. While these fish may move around in the system to take advantage of food or environmental conditions, they will be present for your fishing pleasure all year.

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