5 Locations in the US for Amazing Fall Salmon Fishing

Last updated on March 28th, 2022

5 best fall salmon fishing locations in u.s.

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Whether it be for food or sport or a little of both, the pursuit of salmon has captivated the imagination of anglers forever. 

Although certain salmon can be found all over the world, there are certain places that stick out more than others. The United States, Canada, Iceland as well as a few other global locations dominate the salmon fishing scene.

Our focus for this post is salmon fishing in the United States, of course, and with that we are going to highlight 5 top locations for late-season action. 

Three States, 5 Magical Fall Destinations for Salmon Fishing in the U.S.

Fall in the United States officially spans from September 22 to December 21 (September 1 – November 30 in the Northern Hemisphere according to the Meteorological Seasons). Although salmon can be targeted during these months in the US, it does limit the variety of subspecies and places you can pursue them.

There are many locations in the U.S. where various species of salmon can be had throughout the year. some places though are renowned for their fall salmon fishing, where the bite can still be excellent even into the later months.

Alaska is considered the Mecca of salmon fishing in the states by many. Because of the access to the Pacific Ocean, the salmon migrate hundreds of miles upstream and into the mainland. The fall fishing season here is relatively short but it is nonetheless spectacular.

The Pacific Northwest also offers outstanding fall salmon in the states like Oregon. Moving across the country east, Lake Michigan is renowned for its king salmon that can be targeted by those who are a bit more landlocked.

 Here are the top five destinations for fall salmon fishing in the U.S.!

Ship Creek – Alaska

Flowing from the Chugach Mountains towards the Cook Inlet, the Alaskan river of Ship Creek is one of the most known destinations among salmon anglers coming from Anchorage. This is a unique spot because it is located in downtown Anchorage and access could not be easier. With blocks of city life and booming mountains surrounding you, it is a truly unique spot.

During this time of the year, the primary target is fall coho (silver salmon). Here are some tips and tricks for catching salmon in Ship Creek. Due to the popularity, you will want an edge over the competition in order to get the results you want.

  • To fish for any species in Ship Creek, an Alaskan fishing license is required. You also must have a King Stamp if you are going to target king salmon.
  • Feasible fishing times at this spot include two hours before and after a tidal change.
  • When the water at Ship Creek is silty, and it usually is, use brightly colored lures or eggs for the fish to notice.
  • Salmon roe is always the best bait option as this is what salmon eat naturally and will immediately be attracted to.
  • Specify your equipment and strategy to target fall salmon as feeding patterns will differ from the peak season.

More destination info https://www.alaska.org/detail/ship-creek-lower

Twentymile River – Alaska 

This Alaskan river constitutes mainly melted glacier water flowing from the Chugach Mountains. Fishing enthusiasts head to this destination for its great salmon fishing. Although the banks are open for fishing, having access to a boat is a gamechanger.

As far as fall fishing is concerned, silvers are running at this time. With snowcapped mountains and moose running about, the nature surrounding your fishing experience is incredible. Some important guidelines to keep in mind while visiting this destination are as the following.

  • Be aware of bears and other wildlife who will also be looking for a meal in the same spots.
  • Buying a fishing license, and potentially a king stamp will be required.
  • This is a great spot for beginners as the bank fishing opportunities are there to help those who are learning.

More Twentymile River Fishing info

Coos Bay and River – Oregon

The state of Oregon is not only known for its lush fisheries, but also for the equally mesmerizing locations where fishing happens. The scenery is something that adds to the overall experience in a great way. Coos Bay is this state’s largest coastal bay where Chinook/King salmon can be fished for in the fall. You can also get in the action with wild coho in the fall months in the Coos.

This is a spot that really needs boat access as trolling is known to be the best strategy for getting hooked up. For other considerable basics to keep in mind while visiting Coos Bay, have a look at the bulleted points below.

  • Anglers that are 18 years or older will be required to have a fishing license.
  • The best baits to consider using at this destination for salmon are plug-cut herring or salmon roe.
  • Apart from the main location, this bay has to offer, the Isthmus Slough and Milicoma are other spots to look up for fisheries as well. So, if the main sites are heavily crowded, you can go to these areas.

Additional Coos Bay fishing info

Coquille Bay and River – Oregon

Originating from a coastal range in Oregon and emptying into the Pacific Ocean, this river provides fishermen with ample fishing opportunities from late August until October. However, there are years when things get even more exciting since this peak time can extend to November as well. This is a fantastic fall king and coho salmon fishery, so if these fish is on your bucket list, look no further.

Here are some tips and tricks for fishing in this region.

  • The best fall dates are between September 1 and October 5.
  • Take advantage of the bay as it provides valuable cover from the weather.
  • Be sure to have a fishing license if you are over 18.

To learn more about Coquille Bay

Lake Michigan – Michigan

If you are from the Midwest or do not have the luxury of fishing on a coast, you must get creative. Lake Michigan is one of the Great Lakes and has some great salmon fishing opportunities in the early fall. If you have access to a boat, whether it be your own or with a guide, king salmon fishing is a true blast in Lake Michigan.

  • Take advantage of the bustling salmon fishing guide industry.
  • Target the Milwaukee River, which is a shoot-off of Lake Michigan for a unique fishing experience.
  • If you are 17 or older, you must have a fishing license.

More on fall salmon fishing on Lake Michigan

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About Dorado

John Pardal, aka Dorado, is the editor as well as an author for Reel Adventure Fishing. He has fished extensively up and down the U.S. Atlantic coast, throughout much of Florida and a bit of the Caribbean. John loves writing about all aspects of sportfishing and is passionate about conservation and promoting sustainable fishing.