Fishing Report: Angling in Anchorage at Ship Creek and Campbell Creek
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Alaska is home to some of the best fishing in the world and just because Anchorage is the largest city in the state, that doesn’t mean that the fishing isn’t good. You just have to know where to go.
The last week of July and the first week of August is prime silver salmon season and while we are a little past that, Dustin Slinker, owner of The Bait Shack, and Dylan Christisen, a guide at The Bait Shack, knew exactly where to go.
The trip started on Campbell Creek, which is about a 20-mile fishery that runs right through the heart of Anchorage. Thousands of people drive over the creek every single day on various bridges around Anchorage but little do they know that there is some really good fishing right below them.
“We are using salmon eggs today floating underneath the bobber, changing our depth trying to find where those fish were hitting different holes, bouncing down the creek,” Christesen said. “Enjoying a little hidden gem in Anchorage. You get into some spots back there where it doesn’t even look like you are in town. It is beautiful, it’s majestic. If it wasn’t for the cars going by you would think you were in the middle of nowhere.”
We bounced cured salmon eggs or “Creek Candy” that Slinker makes himself on the bottom of Campbell Creek underneath a bobber in various different fishing holes. Unfortunately, every fish that we found ended up either taking the bait or getting off, and with the water being so high and murky from the recent rain it was tough to get back on them.
After fishing Campbell Creek for most of a day it was decided that we take a break and hit Ship Creek an hour before high tide the next morning. Ship Creek is one of the most popular and busy fisheries you will find in the Anchorage area and much of that has to do with the location.
“The accessibility — we are right downtown. You fly into Ted Stevens, we are about a 10-minute drive from the airport, so accessibility, you can literally walk from your hotel two blocks down the hill and be on the water in minutes,” said Slinker, who has owned and operated The Bait Shack that sits right on Ship Creek for 11 years.
We may have changed creeks but our method stayed the same floating the “Creek Candy” down seams in the creek, the only difference this time was the fish. Slinker put us on the fish almost instantly and there truly isn’t any feeling quite like hooking into a feisty fresh coho salmon.
The limit for cohos is three per day and The Bait Shack offers rentals on hip boots, fishing rods, and everything you need to get in the game. Slinker says that the creek will stay hot for a while but once it starts to slow down, Bird Creek and other fisheries on the Turnagain Arm will start to heat up.
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