Ketchikan Alaska Fishing | Fishing on a budget

Do you feel like a fishing trip to Alaska is completely unattainable on your budget? Don’t worry, you’re not the only one that has this common misconception. The reason behind this is, fishing lodges are very heavily marketed, causing people to be under the impression that if they go fishing in Alaska they have to purchase one of these packages. From an insiders perspective, you don’t. Of course, an “All Inclusive Fishing Trip” sounds like your best option, but many people can not afford to pay for these excursions. Traveling to Alaska to fulfill your lifelong dream of hooking a salmon in the land of the midnight sun doesn’t have to be as expensive as you think, and I’m going to tell you how!

All of the following information refers to fishing in Ketchikan, Alaska. Not only am I a Ketchikan native, but I am the most familiar with these waters. I truly believe it is the best place to go for salmon and halibut fishing. Ketchikan is regarded as “The Salmon Capitol of the World”.


  • First order of business is flight prices. Right now a round trip ticket from Seattle to Ketchikan is $360. Of course, where you are coming from will determine what your ticket price will be. Alaska Airlines flies directly from Seattle to Ketchikan with no stops in between. Flight time runs a quick hour and 45 minutes.


You can find many places to stay on the VRBO website, as well as staying at a hotel in town. My top recommendation would be to contact Knudson Cove Marina. They have condos for rent during the summer months if you book far enough in advance. The Marina is also your #1 place for renting a boat and taking yourself on a self-guided fishing trip. They offer daily charters as well(with the largest charter fleet in Southeast Alaska). However, if you’re truly looking to save as much money as possible, the self-guided route should be the avenue you pursue, and Knudson Cove should be your first point of contact. Click here to see more detailed information on boat rentals. You can rent a skiff for as little as $100 per day and be out fishing from 6:00am-7:30pm! Or you could spend $225 per person for a 6 hour salmon charter. If you are short on cash but have always dreamed of fishing in Alaska, this is the way to go!


  • I am often asked what kind of gear is necessary for traveling to Ketchikan. While it may be 90 degrees during the summer months where you live in the lower 48, Ketchikan is a different story. Ketchikan lies in the middle of the largest national rainforest, getting approximately 150″ of rain per year. Even in the midst of the summer months, you NEED to come prepared with the proper rain gear unless you want to be miserable and cold while you’re out on the water all day. Even in the summer months, most of the time a sweatshirt(or long sleeves in general), jeans, and boots is not considered overdressed.

TOP PRODUCT RECOMMENDATIONS(I never get in the boat unless I have all of these in my bag)


Helly Hansen Mandal rain jacket and Mandal rain pants

Helly Hansen produces fantastic waterproof products, so this set is my top choice for rain gear. However, if you’re on a really tight budget this set isn’t as cheap as the other two I’ve listed. The Helly Hansen Mandal rain jacket and pants are made with 100% polyester, and are PVC coated and completely 100% waterproof. The jacket has a hood with bungee cord. They are also mildew resistant(a huge plus for being somewhere that gets an average of 150 inches of rain a year).

Froggs Toggs waterproof ultra-light rain suit

The Frogg Toggs Ultra-Lite2 Suit is 100% waterproof and breathable to protect you in the wettest of weather. It is made of lightweight polypropylene and has ultrasonic seam seals to keep water out. It has an attached hood to keep your head dry and raglan sleeves so you can stay comfortable and maintain mobility. It is lightweight and has a full-zip front with storm flap. You can read reviews here ==>

Coleman Nylon Rain Gear

These will keep you dry without being too heavy. The goal here is to stay warm and dry while you’re fishing. Between $30-$39 for the set, this is definitely a budget friendly item. ==>



XtraTuf Fishing Boots

These boots are a MUST have item for Alaska fishing. They are waterproof and fish-slime approved! These are the boots of Alaskans and almost everyone living in Southeast Alaska owns at least one pair of these. They are also sold with an insulated version, but I wouldn’t recommend those unless you’re going to be spending time in Alaska during the winter. The non insulated ones are perfect for summer, and don’t make your feet sweat. If you’re worried about cold toes, just bring a pair of good wool socks. ==>

Merino Wool Boot Socks

There are no better socks for making sure your feet stay warm. If you worry about your feet being cold from being out on the water all day, these are definitely an item to take with you. ==>