Here is one of the BEST places to "catch" up on fishing the Kenai Peninsula! Weekly video on the fishing hot spots, an interactive map of the Kenai River, tips, sonar counts - it has it all!
Click here to view TIGHT LINES
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game also offers some updates on early run King Fishing in the Kenai River at: Click Here!
Read the Descriptions of Alaska Salmon below or Click Here for additional information.
King Salmon are Alaska's State Fish, and are one of the most sought-after salmon on earth due to their size. King salmon are sometimes also referred to as chinook, spring salmon, quinnat, tyee, tule, and also blackmouth salmon depending upon which region you are in, as they can be found from Monterey Bay are near California to the Chukchi Sea of Alaska. But on the Kenai - they are king, and for good reason! The world record sport fish-caught king salmon was landed from the teal blue waters of the Kenai River in 1986. At a whopping 97-lbs. this "hog" is on display at the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center located on the Sterling Highway in Soldotna. Remember, you will need to have a "king salmon stamp" to affix to your State of Alaska Fishing license!
The Kenai River Sport Fishing Association offers a great trophy mount program called "Release a Hog, Take Home a Trophy". It is a great opportunity to enjoy the thrill of fishing our Alaska waters, while still preserving the resource for future generations. Click Here to read more about the program!
Another great salmon to hook into when sport fishing during your stay at Aspen Hollow Lodging is the Coho Salmon. Personally, we think these are one of the most enjoyable to catch - as they like to play your line similar to trout. They are also called Silver Salmon, and are one of the later running salmon on the Kenai Peninsula. On the nearby Kasilof River, Coho run late July into September.
By far the most prevalent salmon species in the area around Aspen Hollow Lodging would be the Sockeye Salmon that return in droves to spawn in the cold estuatries from Homer to the Mat-Su Valley region north of the Kenai Peninsula. Both the nearby Kasilof and Kenai are noted for heavy salmon runs, and are popular due to their accessibility. They are easily identifiable from Chinook, Pink and Coho salmon by an obvious lack of black dots along their back/ tail sections. They earn their title of "RED SALMON" due to the coloration that forms after they enter fresh water to spawn. They have a distinct greenish head and red body when they are nearing the end of their life's journey, but are best when bright and fresh soon after they leave salt water.
A neat place to enjoy the migration of salmon in their upstream battle to spawn is the Russian Lakes Trail located 1 mile down Russian River Campground Road at Mile #52 of the Sterling Highway in the Cooper Landing area. This trail is an easy trek the first 3 miles to Russian River Falls, but the whole trail is actually over 20 miles long. Be on alert for bears though - they are frequently in the area feeding on the salmon.
Another easy stop are the viewing platforms nestled near the rest stop on the edge of Tern Lake, located near the "Y" intersection of the Sterling and Seward Highways.
Of course no trip to the Kenai Peninsula would be complete without a salt water charter for Halibut. Ninilchik is located just south of Aspen Hollow, and is a jumping off point for your day at sea. There are a number of charter operators that we can recommend. Homer, Alaska, one of the great day-trip options when you base your Kenai Peninsula visit out of Aspen Hollow Lodging in Kasilof, calls its self "The Halibut Fishing Capital of the World". If you fish out of Homer, don't make the mistake of forgetting to purchase a Homer Halibut Derby ticket - it is worth $$$THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS$$$ to the lucky person who hooks into one of the tagged halibut. Check out current standings here:http://www.homerhalibutderby.com/
You will want to allow yourself a full day when booking a halibut charter, unlike most salmon charters that are only half day excursions.
HALIBUT LASAGNA This is a white-sauce based dish, very UN-traditional in the sense of what you would expect with lasagna! Serve with crusty french bread, a nice salad, and a table of good friends!
Lasagna Noodles (I usually add a chicken bullion cube and garlic to the water when I cook these)
2 Cups SWISS cheese – grated
2 lbs. halibut cut into 1-inch cubes using 2 Tablespoons butter, saute halibut – season with garlic and thyme until halibut flakes. Remove halibut. In same pan, stir until light golden brown:
1/3 Cup all-purpose flour (wheat flour does NOT work well for this)
1/3 Cup BUTTER
Remove from heat and add
1 Cup chicken broth
1 Cup cream (I have used canned milk, although the cream is best)
1/2 Cup white wine
Over low heat, simmer until smooth – stirring gently
In bottom of lasagna pan, spread a thin layer of white sauce, followed by layers as follows:
Repeating as needed, with cheese as the final ingredient
Cover. Bake at 350· for 20 minutes
Uncover. Bake an additional 20 minutes
Remove from oven and let set for 15 minutes before serving
Want to find out how to filet a WILD ALASKA SALMON properly? CLICK HERE to access ASMI step by step instructions!
The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute has some excellent recipes you may want to try - and scroll down to the bottom of the page for loads of information on caring for your catch from the Cooperative Extension Service.
Follow this link to read about how to "can" fish:
Canning Fish in Quart Jars? Can it be done? Read here:
Cooking your Alaska fish:
Steps to canning your catch:
Smoked fish CAN be "canned"!
Valuable information on storing and shipping your fish:
Tips on freezing your fish:
Home Canning Smoked Fish and Home Smoking Fish for Canning:
Adding variety to your home processing:
Smoking Fish - yes you can do it at home:
Do you have fishing photos you want to share? You can submit them to the Peninsula Clarion newspaper here: Tightlines