Fishing Areas - Kenai Peninsula

The Kenai Peninsula is known as Alaska's Playground for a good reason. Depending upon where you are at nearly every part of the Peninsula is possible in a day trip.  This includes Homer, Seward, Whittier, Anchorage, and Girdwood  just to name a few.  

If you're looking for detailed information on the Kenai River you definitely need to check out our Kenai River Fishing for a detailed look at salmon run timing, upper, lower, and middle sections of river, water flow, and how to fish it!

In 1984 the Alaska legislature recognized the importance of the Kenai River and established the Kenai River Special Management Area (KRSMA). The KRSMA covers more than 100 miles of rivers and lakes and includes the popular Kenai River. The Kenai River Special Management Area is Alaska’s largest sport fishery, world renowned for its record-sized King salmon. The Kenai River is an angler’s paradise, boasting all five species of Pacific salmon and large rainbow trout.


All in all, 36 different species of fish, call the mighty Kenai River home. Fish and anglers aren’t the only ones who benefit from the remarkable Kenai; bald eagles, caribou, trumpeter swans, moose, and bears are just a few of the inhabitants that make the Kenai River a prime location for watchable wildlife.

Kenai River Fishing Holes
Kenai Peninsula Fishing Map

The Kenai River is divided into 3 main sections. The upper section which runs from Kenai Lake to Skilak Lake, the middle section which runs from the outlet of the Skilak Lake to the Soldotna bridge, and finally the lower section which runs from the Soldotna bridge to the outlet of the Kenai River, Cook Inlet.


 Some parts of this river are drift only such as the Upper Kenai River from Lake Kenai to Skilak Lake. The Middle Kenai River between Skilak Lake and Soldotna Bridge is a mixture of drift only, rapids, and sections where powerboats are permissible. 


The Lower Kenai River between the Sterling Hwy Bridge and Cook Inlet is the region where most people fish because of its accessibility and because the fish are fresh from the ocean! 

Lower Kenai

The Lower Kenai is by far the most well-known and popular inland water in Alaska. It was in fact, this section of river where the world record 97 lb 4 oz King Salmon was caught by Les Anderson on May 17th, 1985. 


Access to bank fishing along the Kenai River can be challenging due to the large portions of the banks that are closed to fishing in an attempt to lesson angler impact on riparian habitat.


As a result, some fishing spots that are easily accessible from the bank can be over-crowded. However, with one of our boats, you can enjoy the river without the limits and stress of “combat fishing.”


Middle Kenai River

The middle Kenai river flows from Skilak lake to the Soldotna Bridge for a length of around 30 miles.  The section of the river sees less powerboat activity as it encompasses some areas for powerboating and some areas that are drift boat only.


 Naptown Rapids just below Bings Landing are considered Class II-III and sometimes even Class IV rapids depending on the time of year.

Dip Netting

If you are a resident of Alaska, our boats are perfect for dipnetting.  Alaska residents are permitted to dipnet on the Kenai River between July 10th and July 31st each year.  Regulations and restrictions on this are changed often.  For more information, visit .

Area Regulations

The KRSMA has a variety of rules and procedures to ensure that everyone can have a safe and rewarding experience while protecting this delicate natural resource. At Alaska Boat Rentals we ensure that all of our boats meet these requirements.


A full list of regulations can be found via the Alaska Division of Parks and Recreations website:

Kasilof River


Coastal Waters

Cook Inlet

Operating on Cook Inlet or coastal waters will require additional equipment and experience.  Persons interested in boating in the Inlet or coastal water, need to contact us in advance to determine equipment availability and requirements.  See Rental Information page for further details.  


The Cook Inlet stretches 180 miles from the Gulf of Alaska to Anchorage.  At the mouth of the Kenai river, the inlet is roughly 30 miles wide.  The inlet offers numerous opportunities for Halibut, Rockfish and Cod. We can show you several spots along the inlet where you can go clamming as well.  Because of the size and remoteness of the inlet you do not want to be out there if the weather turns foul.  The good news is that on bad days you can fish the river!

Check out our Clam Digging Video at Polly Creek


Homer is about 75 miles from Soldotna by vehicle.  Homer is best known as the “Halibut Capital of the World.  It is also known for King Salmon as well. The nutrient-rich waters of Kachemak Bay and lower Cook Inlet converge to create one of the most prolific game fish areas of Alaska. 


If you haven’t fished out of Homer before, we recommend you first take advantage of one of the many charter services in this area, then try it for yourself!

Halibut fishing through Alaska Boat Rental is unique in the sense that you are able to target two halibut of any size rather than abiding by the "over and under" size restriction one would face with a charter. 

Whittier Sound

Whittier is the western gateway to Prince William Sound and the starting point for marine activity proceeding from its small harbor. Literally surrounded by glaciers, waterfalls, and mountains, its deep water port leads anglers to saltwater fishing opportunities that lie somewhat protected from wind but open to good opportunity.


Waters of the sound boast five species of salmon, Pacific halibut, lingcod, rockfish, and salmon sharks. Fishermen who fish the Sound are often rewarded with good catches while surrounded by stunning topography complimented with abundant bird and marine mammal activity.


For years, this community lay somewhat isolated and served only by railroad or ferry, and its angling opportunities were largely overlooked. Today’s visitor can now reach it by road, and though fishing is saltwater only, Whittier is emerging as a popular fishing and sightseeing destination.

From boats, mountain bikes and RV rentals to full service guided adventures, lodging and customized trips, Alaska Boat Rental & Guide Service does it all. We invite to you explore what we do and give us a call to learn more