With the success of hatcheries and the return of wild salmon stocks, Prince William Sound is boiling with salmon for a good portion of the summer season. Silvers, chums, pinks, and sockeye salmon are all relatively easy to find when the time is right. Kings can also be found by dedicated fishermen.
Silver salmon are perhaps the most sought after salmon species; for good reason. Silvers are voracious feeders, good fighters, excellent on the table, and are usually present in great numbers.
The fishing usually starts in late June or early July, when the fish show up in the gulf and outer sound. Excellent fishing may continue into late September, or even October. My strategy usually employs targeting silvers as a bonus when halibut trips happily end early; and then targeting them exclusively as their numbers grow and they become available closer to port. Silver fishing is often a possibility when the storms of autumn begin to prohibit the longer runs to the halibut grounds. Whittier is usually known for experiencing a later run of silvers, but I have had good fishing from July through September; depending on the timing and health of hatchery runs.
Although we have a small number of native Alaskan King Salmon in the sound, there is a growing number of Feeder Kings (White King / Canadian King). Feeder kings are basically fish in a range of younger year classes which are out there “feeding” and growing. This does not mean they are small however. We’ve caught fish to 40 pounds! These fish are generally not found in great numbers, but on occasion, the fishing can be exciting. Typically when in search of feeder kings we employ downriggers and other trolling methods. Although king fishing tends to be a slower fishery, the reward of catching one of these elusive fish outweighs the effort for dedicated fishermen.
Unlike the kings, pink salmon usually are easily found. The hatcheries in Prince William Sound have established fantastic runs of pinks. They are usually present in the millions, and it isn’t uncommon to see the water boil with them. Willing anglers usually won’t have a problem catching them when in season.
Chum and Sockeye salmon are also available in good numbers (generally June and early July) for those who are willing to make special trips for them.