Andy Sorensen

Salmon Derby

Reel in the best catch of the day for the chance to win big during Anchorage’s only king salmon fishing derby.

Grab a rod, pull on hip waders and head to Ship Creek for the annual Downtown Soup Kitchen’s Slam’n Salm’n Derby. The competition to land the biggest king salmon in the heart of the city is tentatively scheduled for June 9-18, 2017. Pick up a free derby ticket before wetting a line for the chance to win thousands of dollars in cash and prizes.

As one of the only urban fishing derbies in America, the derby provides a unique opportunity for visitors and locals to get in some “reel” action in the center of the state’s largest city. For those traveling without gear, several local businesses rent fishing poles and boots and sell licenses. Watching the combat fishing is almost as fun as taking part. Find a spot on the bridge spanning the creek or stop in at the Bridge Seafood restaurant and watch people catch their dinner while you eat yours.

Ship Creek is one of Alaska’s most popular sport fisheries; steps from downtown hotels and high-rises, its close proximity draws visitors and locals alike for a day or a few minutes of fishing fun. Ship Creek is just the beginning of Anchorage fishing; many of Alaska’s most iconic fishing spots are within a day’s drive. Salmon runs flow into the rivers around Anchorage, the Mat-Su Borough and the Kenai Peninsula. And halibut, grayling arctic char and trout can also be found in the region’s waters. For local advice and access to some of the hottest spots, pick out a fishing guide and get ready for a memorable adventure.

The ten day Slam’n Salm’n Derby is a benefit for the Downtown Soup Kitchen, a community organization assisting Anchorage’s working poor and homeless. Monday through Friday, volunteers serve lunch to more than 500 people; they also provide emergency clothing and a place to shower.