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Homer Alaska Winter King Fishing Tournament: Competitive Strategies

Updated: 2 days ago

  • The Homer Winter King Fishing Tournament is a well-known tournament with a 30-year legacy.

  • Big cash prizes attract participants, with over $200,000 in total awards.

  • The Winter King Fishing Tournament 30th Anniversary Celebration includes music by Blackwater Railroad Company, Food Trucks, and a beer garden.

The Thrill of the Homer Alaska Winter King Fishing Tournament

Known as the most enduring Winter King Fishing tournament, the Homer Alaska Winter King Fishing Tournament has captivated anglers worldwide for three decades. This premier fishing tournament attracts over 1000 anglers, signifying its popularity and substantial angler interest.

Winter Kings, or King Salmon, are the Homer Alaska Winter King Fishing Tournament stars. The event is held in winter, taking advantage of the salmon's abundance and active feeding habits, intensifying the competition for the Winter King champion title.

The 30th Annual Celebration: Mark Your Calendars

Saturday, March 23, 2024, marks the 30th Annual Homer Winter King Fishing Tournament, set to take place in the stunning Kachemak Bay and Cook Inlet.

The tournament, organized by the Homer Chamber of Commerce, is the longest-running Winter king Fishing Tournament, marking its 30th year in 2024. Over the years, the tournament has seen a surge in participation, enhancing its reputation as a popular west coast fishing event.

After being hosted in April for the previous two tournaments, it has reverted to its original March schedule, adding a touch of nostalgia to the 30th Anniversary event.

The Winning Strategy: Prize Money at Stake

The Homer Winter King Fishing Tournament isn't just about the thrill of the catch; it's also a shot at big cash prizes for the heaviest kings captured.

Since 2021, the event has consistently distributed over $200,000 in cash prizes yearly, with the winning catch typically earning $77,910. Boats can earn cash prizes, and participants can win merchandise valued in 2023 at an additional $30,000 through various drawings and prize bundles.

The prize for the biggest fish in the Winter King Fishing Tournament is determined by calculating 65% of the Tournament Entry Fees, which is then awarded to the winner. Boat Tourney winnings can add substantially to the total; 2023's winner, Gail Bilyue, received $23,313 for her 26.12-pound salmon and accumulated $62,036 in total cash prizes when Boat Tourney winnings were added in.

The 2023 second-place winner was awarded $12,270 for a 23.36-pound salmon, and the third place was awarded $9,816 for a 23.12-pound fish. All 2023 winnings are detailed on the Homer Chamber of Commerce Website.

After the Catch: Post-Fishing Festivities

After the fishing lines are pulled from the water, the fun continues with post-fishing festivities. You can watch the boats returning from the Winter King Fishing Tournament, view the weigh-in stations, and enjoy a lively environment for participants and spectators at the Deep Water Dock.

All participants must be in line for weigh-in by 6 PM, and prizes are awarded after the weighing is completed.

Food trucks will offer culinary delights and one of Alaska's favorite folk and bluegrass bands, Blackwater Railroad Company from Seward, Alaska, will provide live music.

Legal Requirements

Every angler wishing to participate in the Homer Winter King Fishing Tournament must possess a fishing license from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and a valid King Salmon Stamp.

Where to Drop Anchor: Accommodations in Homer

There are plenty of places to stay during the Winter King Fishing Tournament.

Here are a few of the options:

The Heart of the Action: Homer Harbor

The Homer Winter King Fishing Tournament is centered around Homer Harbor. Its longstanding tradition as the takeoff location for anglers participating in Alaska's premier fishing event makes it the focal point of the tournament.

Participants can easily access prime fishing spots from Homer Harbor, such as Cook Inlet, Katchemak Bay, and The Spit. Furthermore, the Homer Deep Water Dock within the harbor is the tournament area, hosting activities during the event.

To find out the options for launching or mooring your boat, contact the Harbor Master's Office.

How to Register for the 2024 Homer Winter King Fishing Tournament:

  1. The registration fee for the derby is $150.

  2. Register online

  3. Register in person at the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center.


The Homer Winter King Fishing Tournament celebrates tradition, camaraderie, and the enduring spirit of Alaskan anglers. With big cash prizes at stake and post-fishing festivities to enjoy, it's an event that offers a thrilling experience for every participant.

So, set your calendars for Saturday, March 23, 2024, prepare your gear, and get ready to be part of a thrilling tradition.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who won the Homer Winter King Fishing Tournament in 2023?

The top prize went to Gail Bilyeu for her 26.12-pound fish.

What is Winter King Salmon?

Winter King Salmon is the largest species of Pacific salmon. They can be identified by their blue-green, red, or purple coloration on the back and top of the head, with silvery sides and a white belly. The size and quality of winter king salmon can vary, but they are often prized for their size and meat quality.

When will the 30th Annual Homer Winter King Fishing Tournament take place?

The 30th Annual Homer Winter King Fishing Tournament will occur on Saturday, March 23, 2024.


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