Catching Kings and Winning Things


Catching Kings and Winning Things

By Scott McKelvey, Posted 3/27/2024

With the 2024 season opening only a few months away, there’s definitely some excitement and anticipation in the air.  Guests arriving in June should be arranging flights and getting prepared to land some beautiful king salmon (Chinook), especially with the current bag limit of 3 through the end of June. 

The highlight of the fishing season for our guests is the King of King Salmon Tournament, one of the largest sport fishing tournaments in Alaska. Every day, the guest with the largest king gets:

  • Recognition at dinner, on social media and a Waterfall cap
  • Entry into the season-end drawing for a Ford F-150 truck
  • Opportunities to win King of the Week, of the month and of the season, each with great rewards including return trips and, for the largest of the season, $10,000!

Our 2023 season-end drawing winner was Ryan Anderson, a long-time guest, who opted for 2024 Edge Titanium instead of a Ford F-150 truck: 

"My dad, Dick, and I have been coming annually to Waterfall for almost 20 years. The fishing has always been fantastic and great memories for both of us. 
We catch lots of fish and have fun wagering on who will catch the biggest King. 
Well, over the years I’ve caught a 48-pound king and a couple mid 30 pounders, and have the resort weight patches to prove it. Unfortunately for my dad, he has never reached that 30lb marker to be awarded that special patch, and I keep reminding him of that every year. 
This year, 2023, was the ultimate insult. Not only did I catch a 39-pound King but I also won the grand prize, a 2023 Ford F-150. Thanks Waterfall!" - Ryan Anderson


You may be wondering what size king to anticipate. Take a quick look at some of the largest-of-the-season past winners and their stories by click their names.  Keep in mind that when a king is landed over 50 pounds, it’s tradition to bring out the Crown Royal and for the Guide to take a dip in the cold waters of the harbor.  Brrrr.. but maybe that Crown Royal helps keep ‘em warm?

Each of these winners won King of the Month adding a 3-night return trip to the $10,000 cash prize they received. For all the daily winners, view the 2023 King of the Day Photos on Facebook or in our posts on Instagram.  In fact, for this 2024 season, sign up now for text messages for daily KOD announcements and more.

Imagine not entering the tournament only to discover that you landed a winning salmon!  You’d end up with no award other than “if I had” bragging rights.  Of course, everyone enjoys all the delicious fish to take home, an award in itself!

If you prefer the fun of landing lots of Silver Salmon (Coho), you won't be left out.  Each year we give $2,500 to the Silver of the Month for King of King Salmon Tournament participants.  

For our halibut lovers, we do not award prizes, but you certainly get the thrill and recognition at the dock and in our social media for pulling in those 100 to 500 lb giants!  And then there’s lingcod, not part of the tournament either, but so much fun showing off those toothy smiles – the fish’s, not yours.

Are you ready to join the fun?  Be sure to register for the King of King Salmon Tournament. Everyone can sign up now for King of the Day text messages, watch the leaderboard, and follow us social media (Facebook, Instagram) for daily winners once the season starts in June.

Let's go fishing!