Fishing in the winter? As cold and absurd as it sounds, it’s actually a great opportunity to catch large and tasty fish.

Other than halibut, winter kings are an anglers most sought after fish during the colder months. Because of the rich oils and fatty meat of the winter “feeder” kings, this makes it as tasty of a fish as it is exhilarating to catch. They’ve been dubbed “feeder” kings because they are not yet mature, not yet ready to return to the river of their birth to spawn. So, they feed voraciously and pretty much non-stop on whatever prey (candlefish, herring, squid, hooligan, etc.) they can catch. These king salmon on average range between 10- to 20 pounds and can put up quite the fight. The primary method for catching kings is to troll using downriggers, flashers and bait, most commonly used bait is herring.

If you have fished for salmon during the summer months in Alaska, you may know and can recall the crowds it draws and how busy it is. This is a great reason why fishing in the winter can be an even more delightful experience. No lines, no crowds, and only a few other boats in the water—that means more fish to catch. Homer winter king fishing is abundant year round and their size gets larger as the spring progresses, and as a result the Homer Winter King Tournament is held in March, as the kings have had a chance to feed all winter and grow. This one-day tournament draws only about 1,000 fishermen annually (continually increasing in attendance), awarding tens of thousands of dollars in prizes for the largest kings caught. The latest winner won $72,000 for her 26-pound white winter king! Opportunities like these are what makes Alaska so unique for anglers.

Another reason that makes Homer winter king fishing so great is that the 2-per-day feeder king bag and possession limits caught between September 1 and March 31 do not count towards your total king salmon season limits of five kings; plus, these fish are just plain delicious and known for having an extra-high fat content. If you are visiting Alaska this time of year for the Sportsman Show or any other reason, it is a great opportunity to go fishing.

If you are worried about fishing in the cold weather that an Alaskan winter can bring, don’t fret! Both our F/V Blackjack and Game Changer are equipped with heated cabins and comfortable amenities that will fulfill any need your angler heart desires. With the right gear and a couple trips into a warm cabin, you will not be bothered. You may even enjoy being on the waters with the cool, crisp, clean air that can be refreshing and re-energizing. Besides, once you have a fish on, you won’t even think about the cold when you’re too focused on the exhilarating battle between you and a hard-fighting king.