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Alaska fishing: Seward area: page 2

Species | Sponsor | Geography | Planning | Transportation | Weather | Don't Miss | Best Fishing Times | Claim to Fame | Pocketbook Expectations | Destination Information Resources | Current Fishing Report

Seward lies in this late spring photo at the foot of Mt. MarathonDonít Miss

Seward has an appealing combination of majestic scenery, excellent fishing, community attractions, and warmer weather, so the "Favorite Seaside Town" appellation mentioned above may be close to the mark. Seward is quite close to the Kenai Fjords National Park. Non-fishing visitors pay to visit these areas and it is worth the price in spectacular scenery. As an angler, if your charter passes through the area, it will be a real delight for you as well.

Most charters offer bottom fishing and mid-depth fishing in combination, and are all-day experiences. Some offer specialized trips to more remote regions with overnight accommodations on board. A few others even target specific quarry, like the salmon shark. The choice is up to you and your pocketbook. Most fishing interest in Seward is off-shore, and shoreline, river and lake angling is limited, although possible in some places. Anglers who come will find that most opportunity is at sea.

The Alaska Sea Life Center in Seward is a new world-class sea mammal research center and aquarium and it is open to the public all year. The center offers an unrivaled close-up view and experience with Gulf of Alaska marine wildlife at relatively low cost. Compliment your trip to Seward by coming here to understand the marine environment you will be experiencing.

Best saltwater fishing times in the Seward area (ADF&G data)




King salmon

January through December

May through August

Coho salmon

June through October

July and August

Pink salmon

July through September

July and August


January through October

May through October

Dolly Varden

May through September

July and August


year round

May through August


July through December

July and August

Best freshwater fishing times in the Seward area (ADF&G data)




King salmon

May through September

June and July

Pink salmon

July through September


Chum salmon

June through September


Coho salmon

July through November


Dolly Varden

year round

June and July

Claim to Fame

One of the biggest draws to this coastal community is its annual Silver Salmon Fishing Derby. Itís the stateís largest, and the prize purse is almost unbelievable. Beyond the $50,000 grand prize for the heaviest fish, awards may include SUVís, trips to Hawaii, free charters, daily cash, gift certificates, complimentary resort stays, and more.

The derby is over half a century strong. Community planning is clearly evident. Derby rules and regulations are important to understand. Any angler who fishes the derby and does not purchase an entry ticket is making a big mistake. The derby is all part of the Seward flavor. Even tagged fish swim around with $100 to $5,000 reward clips attached to them!

And if that doesnít get your attention then show up here on the Fourth of July. The 2,005 foot mountain behind Seward is named Mt. Marathon. Runners race up and down it as part of Independence Day activities and the entire town turns out. Itís an event that supposedly originated as a simple bet between 2 sourdoughs who argued the possibility to climb and descend the mountain in less than an hour. To settle the bet they staged a race, and since 1915 racers have have commemorated the wager by running up and down that mountain every year. If youíre an angler whose family comes with you, then consider making this part of the equation-but plan even further in advance.

Here's a nice looking halibut brought up from far below and a satisfied anglerPocketbook Expectations

Since Seward is easily reached and visited by many, it offers goods and services in different price ranges. Anglers can have their pick in prices, but once again they must plan and reserve ahead in order to get them.

Alaska halibut sometimes require
both rod and gun for safe boating. 
Photo by Steve DuBois

Inexpensive ($)

  • The budget angler is in luck with a trip to Seward. You can drive right to it from Anchorage and there is no less expensive way to reach a quality fishing destination than by reaching it by car or truck. Highways and roads are good by Alaskan standards. The scenery to and from Seward is memorable.

  • There is a wide variety of accommodations in the area including campgrounds and RV parks. Even some of the smaller motels offer low rates.

  • Because there are many tour operators, most prices are competitive. You can fish the silvers for nothing if you time your arrival during the time they hit the streams. You also can fish directly from the shoreline.

  • Many businesses offer a variety of prices, but none are cheap. Food and other products are seldom inexpensive in any outlying Alaskan community and Seward is no exception. Smart shoppers purchase these items in Anchorage and bring them along.

Moderate ($$)

  • Fair transportation prices are offered to Seward via all inclusive packages from Anchorage that travel by bus, and you donít even need a car once you get there.

  • The mid-priced motels and hotels in town fill fast. Plan ahead if you want one. B&Bís abound and offer good prices with their own personal touches. Larger parties with their own transportation will do quite well by renting some of the newer properties outside of town.

  • The most moderate prices in charters come from the boats that cater to the larger parties of fishermen.

  • Check out the shops right downtown. They offer good prices on gifts and essentials. Most restaurants are reasonable.

Expensive ($$$)

  • You can reach Seward by private aircraft, Alaska Marine Highway, cruise ship, and by train. Perhaps the most interesting could be a trip from Anchorage via the Alaska Railroad.

  • There are a few luxurious all inclusive resorts around this community that will pamper your every whim. Beyond upscale accommodations, they will provide everything including boat, skipper, and fish processing.

  • If you want the royal treatment, book a charter that goes only for salmon sharks, or do an overnighter to a remote area. Pricey? Yes. Worth it? Absolutely!

  • Some of the finer shops offer original Alaskan Art. The exclusive restaurants are in the biggest hotels, and the fish processing in Seward is going to be just as costly as anywhere else in Alaska.

The dates you book will always determine what you pay in accommodations and services. The high season is mid-summer and that runs from June through August. Prices at that time are the most expensive due to demand. The shoulder season is the months of April and September. Prices then tend to be more moderate. Finally, the low season runs from October through March. Prices then are always the least.

Current fishing report from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (updated regularly during the summer months)

Seward Fishing Report 

Seward Sponsors

Glacier's Edge Sportfishing Charters

See more
directory listings

Destination Information Resources

Sewardís Chamber of Commerce publishes an excellent visitorís guide. You can request it through their website. Visitors arriving by sea should consult with the Alaska Marine Highway system or their own cruise line agent. As always, anglers who plan to fish here the first time should consult with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to ensure timing success. 

Seward text by Bernard Rosenberg, author of Fishing Alaska on a Budget


Seward Chamber of Commerce
Alaska Wildlife (including fish) Notebook Series

Magazine articles about Seward fishing

The Shark: Alaska's Toughest Fish
Seward: Alaskaís Spectacular Secret

Seward fishing information page one >>

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Area Descriptions for Southcentral Alaska

Anchorage fishing
Cordova fishing
Homer fishing

Kenai fishing
Kodiak fishing
Matanuska/Susitna/West Cook Inlet fishing
Prince William Sound fishing
Seward fishing
Upper Copper / Upper Susitna area fishing
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Area Descriptions for other regions of the state

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