Want to land a king salmon at Ship Creek? Here’s what to know.

Looking to land a king salmon at Ship Creek?

The first step is purchasing a sportfishing license and king salmon stamp. They’re available at the the Alaska Department of Fish and Game website and at sporting goods stores throughout the state. For Alaska residents, an annual sportfishing license costs $20 and a king salmon stamp is $10. For nonresidents, the rate varies by duration of license and stamp.

King fishing is open at Anchorage’s Ship Creek from Jan. 1 until July 13 and fishing is allowed from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. For kings 20 inches or longer, one per day is allowed with a combined annual limit of five fish. If you retain a fish, you must record it immediately on your sport fishing harvest record card. For king salmon measuring less than 20 inches long, the limit is 10 per day.

Fishermen trying to catch a king can use a variety of techniques, bait and tackle. It’s a good idea to stop at a local outfitter or sporting goods store to get some local knowledge of the best hardware and techniques to use.

“Inline spinners, spoons, jigs — all of that is going to catch fish down here, no doubt,” said Dustin Slinker, who owns the Bait Shack on Ship Creek.

Salmon roe is popular bait, but different types of lures can also be used.

[‘We dream about this all year long’: Action heats up at Anchorage’s Ship Creek king salmon fishery]


Wearing hip waders is popular among anglers, but a pair of wader boots is the minimum standard on the muddy banks. The general consensus is that the best fishing is from about two hours before high tide until two hours after, but some fishermen, especially fly-fishing devotees, fish lower tide times. Tidal information is available online.

“With these big 30-foot tides, you’re talking a foot of water every 10 minutes coming in,” Slinker said. “That’s a lot of water coming in and if they’re not moving with the tides and wait too long, they’re going to get wet.”

Staying informed is a key factor to success in salmon fishing. Fish and Game biologist Brittany Blain-Roth said following the state’s news release system by signing up for email notifications is the best way to get information about emergency orders, both restrictions and liberalizations.

“Anytime before they go out fishing, Ship Creek or elsewhere,” she said. “Check the website and you can subscribe to them.”

Chris Bieri

Chris Bieri is the sports and entertainment editor at the Anchorage Daily News.