When it comes to excitement, Alaskan fishing ranks high on the list.

Alaskan fishing. You've wanted to do it for so long you ached. It's finally happening. You are so overwhelmed with excitement you can hardly stand it.

You've hired the services of a guide and he leads you deep into the wilderness to a gurgling mountain stream that runs off of a glacier. You look into the water and it is is crystal clear. You reach down and touch it. It's freezing cold.

You set your gear down, bait your hook, cast and quietly converse with the guide.

Suddenly, you're startled as something hits your bait hard. You set the hook and the fight is on. You're glad that the guide is along. He coached you in the type of line and weights to use.

After a struggle, you finally land your catch. The guide weighs it on the portable scales that he carries in his backpack. He looks to you and you discover you've landed the biggest fish of your life, a 35 pound King salmon. Alaskan fishing is everything you had dreamed it would be. This trip will add wonderful memories that will last a lifetime.

King salmon, also known as Chinook, are common in Alaska, and they often weigh up to 50 pounds. Giant halibut are also found in Alaska's waters, as are northern pike, graylings, Pollock, shiner perch, sole, rockfish, sturgeon, steelhead, shad, herring, lake chub, Alaskan blackfish, smelt, trout, Arctic char, Arctic cod, walleye, Arctic flounder, crabs and shrimp.

When it comes to Alaskan fishing, there are literally hundreds of places to fish. The southeast region of Alaska, also known as the panhandle, has a wide range of places in which to fish, depending on the species you are targeting. There are hundreds of mountain streams that run off of glaciers. There are deep fjords in abundance. Winters are not as cold here as in other parts of Alaska, because this area is warmed by the ocean. Summers are cool and very moist and this is the time when halibut move into the waters near the shore. Salmon migrate to this region by the hundreds to spawn and there are a variety of trout species to be fished.

South Central Alaska is the area of Alaska that has the highest population and there are great fishing opportunities available. Just the ride to different fishing spots will provide experiences that will be remembered forever.

From Bristol Bay to the Copper River, there are watersheds and coastal waters that have an abundance of fish. Anglers can fish the coastal waters for halibut and ocean fish species. Watersheds are abundant in species as burbot, Dolly Varden, grayling, pike, trout and whitefish.

A popular Alaskan fishing destination is the area known as the Lower Cook Inlet. Here you will catch Dolly Varden, salmon species, and trout in the rivers and streams. Halibut and salmon can be fished off the coast. If you enjoy digging for clams, dig the area's beaches for a good feed.

The fishing is great in the western and Arctic regions of Alaska, as well as in the interior. These are the areas where the Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers drain. Here you will catch burbot, char, graylings, pike, trout, sheefish and more, for fish are in great abundance.

For Alaskan fishing, you will need a variety of fishing gear. Gear should include freshwater fishing rods, saltwater fishing rods, bait casting rod and twice as much tackle as you believe you'll need. Take flies, weights, lures, a variety of fishing line, a net, nylon cord, at least one water bottle or canteen, a fillet knife, nail clippers, needle nose pliers, waders, wading boots, a flashlight and extra batteries, maps, a couple of tire patch kits, a compass, a first aid kit and flares and survival rations if you plan to camp in wilderness areas.

You will need to bring along a fishing vest, warm clothes, including socks, a jacket, a winter coat, fleece clothes, rain gear, sunglasses, a fishing hat and gloves, hiking boots, bug repellent, a couple of lighters and matches, sunscreen, a floatation device, a backpack, Tylenol, any personal medications you will need, a cell or satellite phone, pepper spray for bear protection, a fishing license, a small amount of cash, traveler's checks, a credit card, anti bacterial hand cleaner, a camera and lots of film, or a digital camera.

Live bait for Alaskan fishing includes nightcrawlers, crustaceans, prawns, live bait systems, cut bait, shrimp, oysters, live fish species, crayfish, lugworms, razor fish and herring. Frozen baits consist of mackerel, herring, squid, sardines and octopus. Artificial bait includes lures, wet and dry flies, spinners, streamers, spoons and Mepps. Egg sacs work great for attracting fish species. The best rule of thumb is to use the natural bait that the targeted fish species prey upon. Also keep in mind that you need to match bait to the hook size and equipment that you are using.

If you need advice on Alaskan fishing, seek out an angler who is experienced. Nothing beats experience. If you don't know, or can't find such an angler, seek out an experienced Alaskan fishing guide. These can be found easily online. However... Beware of hiring a guide that you have never met. Email the guide service and ask how long they've been in business, if they are licensed, if they carry insurance and if they are members of the Better Business Bureau, or something equivalent. Ask them for the names and phone numbers of references. If you hire a good guide, the price you pay for these services will be well rewarded. You will land a beauty and have the memories forever.

Summing up...for many serious fishermen, an Alaskan trout fishing trip or an Alaskan Salmon fishing trip are both considered a "must do" highly exciting life experience.


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