World Record King Salmon – Kenai River, Alaska

On May 17th, 1985 around 7:00 am Les Anderson hooked his world record king salmon at Pillar’s Drift on the Kenai River, he was accompanied by his friend Bud Lofstedt.  He fought the fish for about an hour, and after a long exciting fight up and down the river they attempted to net the fish, but the net was too small for the giant salmon.  Les and Bud pulled over and managed to successfully get the fish in the boat.

The two anglers didn’t know it was a world record and continued to fish for the rest of the day. Five hours later, the fisherman weighed their big catch on the official scales at Echo Lake Lockers and was surprised to find that the salmon was 97.25 lbs! Easily beating the previous record of 93 lbs.  Because the fish wasn’t weighed earlier in the day, it may have even lost a few pounds. Les Anderson’s world record king salmon is displayed at the Soldotna Visitor Center. Les Anderson also received $500 for winning the biggest fish on the annual king derby. Les Anderson passed away in 2003, but he still holds the record for largest king salmon to this day.