Kenai River Fishing: Get To Know The Saltwater Fish

Kenai River Fishing: Get To Know The Saltwater Fish

Now is the time! Start planning your Kenai River fishing trip. At Big Sky Charter and Fishcamp, we offer Alaska’s premier fishing charters so you can get out and catch the perfect fish. Whether you are looking for saltwater fishing or freshwater fishing, we will make sure that you have everything you need to lure in the ideal fish. However, before you get out and start reeling in these fish, it is essential to know what you are looking for on your ocean charter!


Halibut is a name applied to the two flatfish in the genus Hippoglossus from the family of right-eye flounders. They are demersal fish, meaning they live and feed near the bottom of the sea or rivers. The average halibut in Alaska ranges between 15 and 40 pounds are highly regarded as food fish. Halibut are dark brown on the top with an off-white belly. This color scheme camouflages halibut from above, blending them with the ocean floor, and from below, blending them into the light from the sky; this is known as countershading.


The lingcod, also known as the buffalo cod, is a fish of the greenling family Hexagrammidae. Though this fish is not related to either cod or ling, the name “lingcod” originated because it resembles those fish. The lingcod is a popular panfish and is thus prized by anglers. They are found on the bottom, with most individuals occupying rocky areas at depths of 32 to 328 ft.  They are spotted in shades of grey and live a maximum of 20 years for females and about 14 years for males, reaching a maximum size around 35 inches and 47 inches. However, in Alaska, they may reach up to 70 pounds. Lingcod are voracious predators, feeding on anything they can fit in their mouths, including invertebrates and many species of fish.


Sebastes is a genus of fish, commonly known as rockfish. Rockfish range from the seashore to almost 9,800 ft deep, usually living in the region of the lowest level of a body of water, often as the name suggests, around rocks. There are nearly three dozen rockfish species in Alaska. However, only 1/3 of those are commonly pursued by anglers. Of these species, the most common is the black rockfish and the yelloweye rockfish. Black rockfish are often mistakenly referred to as “black bass” and Yelloweye are commonly called “red snapper.”

Black Rockfish

These fish are found in schools of over a hundred or small pods near rocky reef areas. They are black on their backs, turning gray on the sides, and a whitish belly. These fish are voracious feeders and active fighters. They can reach sizes up to 25 inches and weigh over ten pounds. Even though they are found on or near the bottom, they feed just about anywhere, and can sometimes be caught on the surface.


One of the biggest rockfishes and one of the most prized fish in Alaska is the Yelloweye. They are red on the back, bright orange on sides, and most of their fins are black on the tips. The Yelloweye is found at depths exceeding 250 feet. They reach lengths of 30 inches and are among the longest living rockfishes in Alaska, with some fish over 120 years old.

At Big Sky Fishcamp you will have the opportunity to catch a variety of fish, whether you are looking for saltwater fishing or freshwater fishing, you will have endless possibilities to hook the perfect fish. Moreover, when you need a break from all the fishing excitement get cozy in your cabin. We have three different cabin units to choose from, with the river right out your front door. Check out our accommodations and get ready for your fishing adventure.