a winter king salmon

The 30th annual Homer Winter King Salmon Tournament, aka the Homer Winter King Derby, is just weeks away! This popular event draws hundreds of anglers to Homer in search of salmon and thousands of dollars in prize money. Saturday, March 23, 2024 in Kachemak Bay, Alaska.

While you may think of Homer, AK as more of a summer destination, you’ll find plenty of reasons to visit all year long. In fact, one of the most exciting events of the year occurs every spring:  The Homer Winter King Salmon Tournament.

Homer’s Winter King is Alaska’s premier fishing event. It’s the biggest fishing tournament on the West Coast and the longest running of its kind with over $200,000 in cash prizes. Prize money can also be won through side tourneys and thousands of dollars of merchandise will be awarded via hourly drawings.

As you can imagine, an event this big draws anglers from around the world, and not just for the prizes. Winter king salmon are big, tasty, sought-after fish that can be found throughout the year in Kachemak Bay. They spend their winter and spring readying to spawn by fattening up in the Bay’s rich salt water.

By the time of the tournament, the winter kings have been feeding non-stop on whatever they can and average between 10 and 20 pounds. These fish are a challenge to catch and can put up quite a fight, but it’s well worth the effort. Heck, even just watching is fun!

You never know who’s going to catch a winner, either. It’s easy to assume it would always be a big, professional angler with years of experience but that’s not always the case. In fact, a 10 year old hauled in a 25.6 pound winner in 2021, netting himself a cash prize of $87,027!

2024 Homer Winter King Salmon Tournament

2024 Homer Winter King Salmon Tournament

The 30th Annual Homer Winter King Salmon Tournament takes place Saturday, March 23, 2024. It is a one-day event, with fishing lines in no earlier than 9 a.m. and out by 4 p.m. Derby Headquarters are at the Deep Water Dock Area, at 4667 Freight Dock Road. Anyone hoping to participate will need an Alaska fishing license with a valid King Salmon Stamp.

The event isn’t all just fishing, either. Homer Spit will be alive with festivities by the weigh-in stations. There will be live music, a beer and wine garden, food trucks, vendors, and more. This being the tournament’s 30th anniversary means you can expect some extra surprises as well.

Homer Harbor

Further, you’ll be in Homer, which always means fun and adventure! Explore the area’s endless beauty on a tour or bear viewing safari, peruse galleries and shops, and don’t miss out on the stunning, local food scene

There’s no end to all you can do during your Homer adventures. In fact, Homer was recently voted one of the Top Trending Vacation Destinations in the United States! The Winter King Derby only lasts one day but that’s not enough time to enjoy all that Homer has to offer. We’d suggest setting aside at least three days, so you can get a taste of the area.

Visit homerwinterking.com for more information. You can also find this event on Facebook.