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A guide to planning a fishing trip to the Kenai Peninsula: August

March 14, 2024

When to fish the Kenai Peninsula rivers?

A guide to planning a fishing trip to the Kenai Peninsula. Part 3: August

In Alaska the bulk of our fishing season takes place over the course of 4 months from June-September.  Each month offers unique fishing opportunities in both the rivers and ocean.  It can often be confusing and difficult for anglers to decide on the best time to come and fish the Kenai Peninsula.  The goal of this blog is to provide anglers looking to fish the Kenai and Kasilof rivers with a timeline of the fish run timings to better help them plan their fishing trip.

Without a doubt August is one of my favorite months to fish on the Kenai Peninsula.  August offers a ton of diversity with various different species to target.  Early in the month the weather can be great with lots of sunny days and very few rainy days.  However, as you transition to the later half of the month the rains seem to show rather frequently.

Sockeye Salmon:

It seems that our Sockeye salmon runs on the Kenai River have been stretching later into August each year.  Anglers can encounter very good Sockeye salmon fishing on the Kenai River through the 10th of August and some years the strong fishing continues until around the 20th.  Nice bright fish are to be found all throughout the river system and with such a big river you can leapfrog above the fish as they migrate upriver.  August has become a hidden gem as there is often much less angling pressure as the July crowds start to dissipate.

A nice Sockeye salmon limit caught in August.

Silver Salmon:

Silver Salmon start to enter the Kenai and Kasilof Rivers in early August in catchable numbers.  The Kasilof River fish seem to show in abundance first and can provide great angling opportunities.  Most anglers enjoy this unique drift boat fishery as it offers a different venue and fishing experience.  A float down the upper Kasilof River in August can provide great Silver Salmon fishing and lots of wildlife viewing opportunities.  It’s very common to run into lots of migratory birds, moose, river otter, eagles, and seals.   Mid to late August is also the peak of the first run Silver Salmon and great fishing can be found in the lower river.  My favorite part about Silver Salmon fishing is the different techniques you can use to catch them.  Casting spinners, bobber fishing or back bouncing eggs and anchor fishing plugs are just a few super fun methods we use to catch Silver Salmon on the Kenai River in August. 

Bright Silver salmon from the Kenai River in late August.

Rainbow Trout/ Dolly Varden

Rainbow Trout and Dolly Varden fishing can be very productive during August and most years keeps getting better as the month progresses.  With countless Sockeye Salmon carcasses floating down river, King and Pink Salmon spawning fishing can be lights out.  Some anglers exclusively want to target Rainbow trout and Dolly Varden while some look to add some action to their day by chasing them after achieving a nice limit of Salmon.  I highly recommend the trout fishery out on the Kenai River.  Its action packed with lots of bent rods and it’s very common to catch fish in the mid to upper 20-inch range with fish sometimes pushing 30 inches.  Trout fight hard and love to leave the water, making them my favorite fish to target on the Kenai River.

A beautiful Kenai River Rainbow trout on a sunny August afternoon.

Ocean Fishing:

August is a great time to head out and fish the salt water.  Halibut, Rock Fish, Ling Cod, and Salmon are all catchable in good numbers in August.  Weather can sometimes be tough and not allow you to get out on the water but that’s just the way fishing the ocean goes.  I can promise you if an ocean captain wants to cancel you don’t want to be on the ocean that day.

A very fishy and fruitful August day in the ocean out of Homer, AK.

Much like July, August is a very good time to visit and fish on the Kenai Peninsula.  It’s hard to find another month with such diversity and  high abundance of fish to catch.  I hope this blog was helpful in informing you about fishing opportunities on the Kenai Peninsula in the month of August.  Tight lines and happy fishing.



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