Targeted Species

These are all the fish we commonly catch here at Tanaku Lodge. Learn more about the salmon, halibut, rockfish and cod varieties we often see in Elfin Cove!

Chinook Salmon (King)

This is the largest member of the Salmon family and ranges in size from 10 pound adolescents to over 60 lb slabs. Kings are available year round with optimal fishing conditions from early May into June. If you enjoy feasting on your hard-earned catch – Kings are at the top of the culinary list with its deeply flavorful flesh.

alaska salmon

Pacific Halibut

If you have a hankering for BIG CRITTERS from the DEEP – these flatties will give you one hard-fought battle you will not soon forget! It may be advisable to ‘hit the weights’ and get pumped up like Arnold before taking on these heavy-weight game-fish. We’ve seen a 450 pound halibut from time to time, but monsters landed larger than 300 pounds are uncommon. Don’t get me wrong – they are out there, but probably, due to their longevity, have learned to avoid the hook. Every season Halibut in the 300 pound class are landed in our area. Many prefer catching ‘butts’ in the 50 to 100 pound range for eating though. According to many, they simply taste better. While they are known to be bottom-feeders, that is somewhat of a misnomer, because they will chase pink salmon into the shallows at the mouth of rivers.

alaska halibut

Coho Salmon (Silver)

You will find a great abundance of this frisky fish when they begin to invade the outer strait in July; providing lively sport fishing action well into September. Coho range in weight from 6 – 18 pounds during the season, with lunkers topping 20 pounds.
Whereas Kings tend to feed greater distances from the surface water; cohos feed nearer the surface. They are a very acrobatic fighter. In terms of eatability – they are very delicious and add color to any plate with their rich, red flesh.

alaska coho salmon


One of the most awesome monsters landed from our waters is the ancient looking Lingcod. While not the most attractive game fish, many find them to be one of the tastiest fish you can get in Alaska. Lingcod range from 10 to 80 pounds. The average is around 20 pounds. You will find these ungainly creatures along the rocks and reefs of Cross Sounds and the Alaska gulf coast.

alaska lingcod

Chum Salmon (dog)

Have a reputation as a hard hitting salmon and run from 8 to 12 pounds, with the biggest breaking the tape at over 30 pounds. The Juneau Alaska hatchery releases of Chum are an enormous boom to their numbers around eastern Icy Strait waters. Smoked chum salmon is a delicacy that many of us here enjoy thoroughly.

alaska chum salmon


These fish present a rich collage of colors and flavors. All rockfish are tasty and some will provide a real challenge against your efforts to land them. Unfortunately in 2021 yelloweye rockfish have to be released due to current fishing regulations, but there are still a variety of Rockfish you can keep! The highly sought after Shortraker Rockfish is an adventure to catch. Found at 800-1,000 feet deep, these giant goldfish looking rockfish require Tanaku’s skilled guide captains to help you successfully land one of these gems. 

alaska rockfish

Black Cod/Sable Fish

Black Cod or Sable Fish are commonly targeted while at Tanaku Lodge. Known for their excellent culinary features and nutritional value, these fish are caught near 1,000 feet deep. Black Cod live well into forty years, the oldest on record in Alaska was 94 years old! They average in size around ten pounds but it is not uncommon to catch ones larger. Get your reeling arm ready for these fish and you won’t regret it!

black cod alaska

Pink Salmon (humpy)

Though relatively small, when compared to their bigger cousins (ranging between 3 to 6 pounds), pound-for-pound, these feisty game fish will provide willing anglers with fishing action they won’t soon forget! The waters of southeast Alaska are teeming with these scrappy salmon starting in early July. They are best caught on light line to give them an opportunity to showcase their boundless energy and amazing speed.

alaska pink salmon

Alaska Fish Species

This page is a list of all the types of fish we commonly catch here at Tanaku Lodge and what to know about each one. Learn more about the salmon, halibut, rockfish and cod varieties we often see in Elfin Cove, Alaska as well as the greater Glacier Bay Alaska area and regions nearby! 

There are multiple types of salmon to catch when you book a trip and fly to Tanaku Lodge, each with their own unique tendencies and ideal times for fishing. The most popular and well known is the King or Chinook salmon, prized for its largest size out of all salmon species and deeply flavorful taste. Meanwhile coho, pink and chum salmon are alternative options praised by many for their different flavor options, speed and challenge of catching and tastiness when smoked respectively. Each one of these salmon offer an exciting fishing experience and are excellent for taking home. There’s nothing like eating a beautiful salmon fillet you caught yourself!

Alaska Fish Species List

The next types of fish we regularly catch are the pacific halibut and the many species of rockfish in Elfin Cove. Halibut are massively heavy beasts that crawl along the bottom of the ocean floor, and rockfish also feed at the bottom but can vary in size depending on the species. Both are extremely tasty and fun to catch, but you may want to get some workouts in before you travel to Tanaku Lodge if you’re planning to catch halibut and rockfish: these fish are commonly caught at over 100 pounds and can be a real lifting challenge! Thankfully your fillets will be divided up into 50 pound boxes so you won’t have to repeat the challenge at the airport.

Alaskan Fish Species

Finally, there are also codfish to catch here in Glacier Bay if you’re looking at a map of Alaska. The top ones we see here are the lingcod and black cod but occasionally we’ll catch other kinds as well. While we don’t target cod specifically as often as we do salmon, halibut and rockfish here at Tanaku Lodge, cod are an excellent option for all kinds of cuisines and present their own unique catching challenges. Lingcod have been described as looking “prehistoric” because of their many teeth and are not the prettiest fish to many, but they taste amazing, and to view their rows upon rows of teeth is quite the sight after a catch. Meanwhile black cod are often caught well below the ocean surface as deep as 1000 feet, and are both excellent tasting and highly nutritious!