Alaska has over 3,000 rivers to fish in so catching salmon in Alaska is a fisherman’s dream. Salmon are large, tasty, and challenging to catch. Not to mention the scenery is simply gorgeous! This is our second season out in Alaska so we’ve learned a thing or two about catching, cleaning, and cooking Alaskan salmon. Everyone has their own way of doing things but here’s how we like to catch, clean and cook Alaskan salmon.
How to Catch, Clean, and Cook Alaskan Salmon

Catching alaskan salmon

Salmon stop eating the moment they start going up stream so a traditional hook and lure simply won’t work. If you’re not out on a boat, snag fishing and also fly fishing are the best options to catch salmon from shore. Snag fishing is a form a fishing that’s not allowed in many US states but IS allowed in certain parts of Alaska.

The snag fishing technique is waiting for a fish to pass by and pull the line hard. It’s a combination of a lot of luck and a lot of hard work. Snag fishing is a VERY active form of fishing so if you’re interested in a lazy day on the river, this is not the type of fishing for you. The video above shows the different techniques so check it out!

Fishing Regulations

The most challenging part about fishing in Alaska is the varying regulations. Make sure to check at the local fish house or information online. Each river, bay, and stream has a different form of fishing that’s allowed at different times of year. And don’t forget your fishing license. Fishing is highly regulated in Alaska and take their regulations very seriously (which they should).

Cleaning alaskan salmon

Traditionally, you gut the fish, cut off the head, then go from there. But if you want a nice salmon fillet, you can skip a few steps. All you need to do is cut behind the gill plate, find the backbone, and then glide along the ribs. The video above shows how to do this better than a photo can.

How to Catch, Clean, and Cook Alaskan Salmon

Cooking AlaskaN Salmon

Prep time: 3 minutes

Cook time: Approximately 9 minutes


  • Salmon fillet
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt + pepper
  • Fresh herbs (we prefer rosemary)
  • Lemon

We watched a Gordon Ramsey video on how to cook the perfect crispy salmon that changed our lives. For an even cook, first make small half inch slits in the salmon skin. Add salt and pepper to both sides and place into a hot pan with oil, skin side down. Let the salmon cook  on medium for approximately 5 minutes then flip over to cook for another 4 minutes. Add fresh herbs and lemon juice at the end and enjoy!

We also can the salmon if we can’t eat it all fresh. For a few recipes with canned salmon, check out our salmon fritata recipe and also salmon patties.



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