Fishing Report: Flipping for sockeyes on the Kenai River

This Fishing Report was all about flipping for Sockeye on the Kenai and the historically big Sockeye run didn't disappoint.
Published: Jul. 22, 2022 at 11:08 AM AKDT
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SOLDOTNA, Alaska (KTUU) - Anglers from around the world come to the Kenai River for the giant kings and the huge sockeye runs.

For this fishing report, Alaska’s News Source hit the Kenai River right before the late sockeye salmon run started and it didn’t disappoint.

The fish counts have been very high as of late on the Kenai River, but so has the water level, making it tough for all of the sportfishing guides to find room for each other along the banks.

“This year has been a lot tougher mainly because of the water levels,” said Kevin Chavira, a guide for Alaska Boat Rental and Guide Service. “A lot of the spots that people tend to migrate to and fish have been underwater, or the water levels have been so high that you don’t have any fishable bank, so it has made it more competitive.”

According to Chavira, the water level is starting to drop after a high period and the fish are really starting to come through. For this trip, we left from Pillar’s Landing at around 6:45 a.m. and by 8 a.m. had already caught the limit of three sockeye.

“When they held off this long you start to get worried, but we had a lot of high water, so the water is coming down and the fish are coming in,” said Jason Basarich, a guide for 9-Finger Fishing.

The three fish limit has now been changed to six per day and 12 in possession, starting on 12:01 a.m. July 22 through 11:59 p.m. Dec. 31. It all goes to show how strong the run is and with the surge in sockeye, Chavira said that also means that more people will be on the river.

“You know, right now it is crowded, water levels are finally coming down,” Chavira said. “If we can all squeeze in a little bit and make some space for others to fish I highly recommend making space.

“We all wanna catch fish, so we all want to help each other out.”

A useful place to see regulation changes and fish counts is the smartphone app Alaska Fishtopia. The owner of Alaska Boat Rental and Guide Service, Jim Voss, developed the app and it is a one-stop shop for all things fishing in Alaska.

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