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prince of wales island

Some of Alaska’s best fishing is on and around Prince of Wales Island. The mix of species in salt water and fresh water makes this place the serious angler’s gotta-go destination.



Salmon are our most celebrated fish, but anglers’ targets range widely, from halibut hundreds of feet down in ocean depths to trout in high-mountain lakes. 

No matter where you fish, you’re wetting your hooks in clean, cold, fish-rich water. All five species of Pacific Ocean salmon are available during spring and summer. Halibut lurk in cold, deep waters around the island; flatfish at 150 pounds or greater are caught here, but fish in the 20- to 50-pound range are easier to land and make for better eating. Red snapper and several species of cod also await those who fish deep.

Charter skippers can set you up with saltwater day trips. Lodges with fishing guides offer several-day packages. Lodging styles range from world-class plush to down-home rustic. Experienced guides can take you trolling for big king salmon offshore or flyfishing for salmon and trout on clear island streams.

Do-it-yourselfers can reach good fishing on salt water or inland fresh water off the extensive road network. Lakes offer good fishing for cutthroat trout, salmon and Dolly Varden. Some lakes are near roads; others are accessible by floatplane, boat or on foot above ocean estuaries. Dime-bright steelhead run into streams in early spring and fall. Dolly Varden and rainbow trout also make their way into rivers and creeks. Dungeness crabs are found all over Southeast Alaska. These delicious crustaceans are harvested in crab pots by those with fishing licenses. 

Plan your trip around the times of year fish of different types are more plentiful. No matter what time of year you come, you're bound to have a great time and go home with a box full of fish! 

King salmon can be caught throughout the year, but the best time to land them and other species of salmon are June through September. Halibut, ling-cod and rock fish can be caught throughout the year and are plentiful. Don't forget about the crab and shrimp - dungeness crab and spot shrimp make a great addition to every fish box!

If you’re a guest at a full-service lodge, your catch can be cleaned and packaged for you to take home. Do-it yourselfers fishing independently or with guides can get waxed, insulated fish boxes from local stores or lodges and pack their chilled fish to ship as checked baggage.

Fishing licenses are available from sporting goods stores, fuel sellers, some lodges and online at www.admin.adfg. state.ak.us/license.


Most communities around the island have public docks at which boats can be launched. Coffman Cove has public floats. Craig has three harbors with more than 200 slips; vessels to 125 feet can be accommodated. Services include water; power; waste/oil disposal; restrooms; and showers. The office is staffed daily and monitors VHF 16. False Island has a ramp. Hollis has small public floats. Hydaburg has state public floats and moorage. Kasaan has public floats. Klawock harbor has float moorage and a boat grid. Naukati Bay has a public float installed by the state. Point Baker and Port Protection have small state-maintained floats. Thorne Bay’s two harbors have transient slips and boat launches. Services include water; power; waste/oil disposal; restrooms; showers; Wi-Fi; and a boat grid. Staff monitor VHF 16. Whale Pass moorage is private.




Whether you want to be taken out on a guided charter or chart your own course, there are many options available!

Adventure Alaska Southeast, LLC

Packages including: cottages, boats, vehicles, saltwater charters, or guided stream fishing. Our facilities include: tackle store, hot tub, freezers, canoes, laundry, and more. Serving POW for over 20 years.

Alaska by Sea, LLC

Experience Alaska in an unfogettable way aboard a 5-day private yacht charter for 4-6 guests. Custom all-inclusive cruise package options including fishing, coastal hunting, and wilderness expeditions.

Anderson Lodge Alaska/Tackle Shack

Experience Alaska with a personal touch! All-inclusive Charter & Self-guided packages for every season in our newly remodeled lodge in Thorne Bay. Call for details and custom packages.

Catch-a-King Charters

Fishing charters for salmon, halibut, bottom fish from May through September. Lodging for up to thirty guests. Twenty years in business with very experienced and friendly guides.

Dreamcatcher Inn & Charters

Luxury waterfront lodging in Craig, Alaska. Enjoy one of our three guestrooms all with private baths, phone, DIRECTV, Wi-Fi, and homemade buffet style breakfast. Charter packages available, open year-round.

Eagles Wings Wilderness Lodge

Our inclusive package includes: 5 nights lodging, 3 meals/day, 3 days guided saltwater fishing plus a 4th day of self-guided salt or freshwater fishing (or a variety of other choices). We filet, vacuum seal, freeze, and box your catch for your trip home. Beautiful, remote, authentic lodge on Wadleigh Island (a 20-minute boat ride from POW Island). Lodge & 2-private cabins, sauna, kayaks, on the water.

Fireweed Lodge

The only full-service fishing resort. 10 boats, kayaks, recreational facilities, spa and fitness room.

Harlequin Lodge

Come stay with us and enjoy Charter fishing, wildlife viewing, or self-guided hunting. Our operation is intimate and flexible and can customize your escape! Day trips when available. A truly relaxing Alaskan experience!

Hooked on Alaska Charters

LET THE FUN BEGIN!  From world-class fishing to picturesque scenery and wildlife, there is something for everyone to enjoy. We accommodate up to 10 people, day/multi-days, all inclusive.

Island Charters

Come enjoy a day with Alaska naturalist, Salmon Cannery historian, and member of Alaska Historical Society and whale watching enthusiast Kathy Peavey on her 22-foot, heated Hewescraft Ocean Pro. Video and film crews welcome! Photograph and explore! Lunch provided. USCG licensed. Drop-offs and pickups to fishing boats, remote cabins, and lodges available. Whales, whales, whales!

J & J Charter Service

Full-service fishing & lodging. Freshwater, saltwater, and waterfowl charters. Also offering cave tours, wildlife viewing, and sightseeing. Lodging and meals also available.

KingFisher Charters & Lodge

Full-service fishing lodge, family-run. Three-day packages starting at $3,400 includes round-trip airfare from Ketchikan International Airport to Craig. 32-foot walk around boats.

Prince of Wales Excursion Outfitter, LLC

POW Excursion Outfitter rents many types of rugged outdoor equipment for the Do-It-Yourself Island resident or visitor.

Silverthorn Charters, Inc

Quality Charters in beautiful Thorne Bay, Alaska. Book today for an experience of a lifetime fishing for halibut, salmon, ling cod, and/or shrimping, crabbing, whale watching. GAF permits available.


The Craig/Klawock Fishing derbies help the hatchery produce fish. Salmon anglers and ticket buyers who never wet a hook can win in the annual Craig-Klawock King Salmon Derby. Ticket sales spin off cash and help to fund Port St. Nicholas Hatchery near Craig. The derby is split into two contests, May 1-June 30 and July 1-Aug. 15. Monthly prizes range from $2,000 for the biggest fish to $500 for third place. Every ticket is entered into a drawing for a $10,000 prize. The drawing is at the annual dinner in mid-August; winners need not be present. Tickets are $35 each or $100 per family and are good for both derbies. Get them at AC Thompson House; Alaska Gifts; Black Bear Store; Davies-Barry Insurance; J.T. Brown’s Store; Log Cabin Sporting Goods; Petro Marine Services; and the Prince of Wales Chamber of Commerce. Some lodges have tickets. 

Check out the events calendar for fishing derbies in other island communities including Thorne BayCoffman Cove, and Hydaburg

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