Nick C. Varney

Seabird fishing frenzies signal some good fishing

Before we get rolling, I’d like to take a step back to last Thursday when I took a shot at those 

anglers that wale away at kings using dork enabled, 2-fer-1, $9.99 Cosmos Combo Caster Specials while fishing the Spit’s lagoon.

 I still think they come across as having the intellect of dried squid because of the commotion they cause in a limited space. 

Think of your fellow anglers when fishing at Lagoon

I received a minor flood of email after last week’s initial report and most of them centered on the king return at the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon.

There were complaints about anglers who couldn’t tell the difference between a real fishing rod and a 2-fer-1, Wal-Mart, $9.99 Cosmos Combo Caster special that couldn’t control a mortally wounded mini stickleback much less a highly aggravated king.

Let the fishing begin

The rumors are true, folks. The staff of Reeling ’Em has signed on for another summer of profound and incisive reporting about fish enabled topics. 

It may get braggadocios because this year we’ll be using oiled reels, fresh line, new hooks and poles sporting complete tips and functional eyelets not held together with Duct Tape.   

 We figured it was about time for change when we suffered more malfunctions last year than the federal employees’ financial record-keeping systems and email accounts. It was embarrassing, at least for us.

Shorebirds, fish tell us spring has arrived

Everyone seems to have their personal description of when spring officially arrives. Some stick with the “official” March equinox designation that claims it occurs when the sun crosses the celestial equator on its way north along the ecliptic. In the Northern Hemisphere, the equinox is known as the vernal, or spring, equinox, and marks the start of the spring season. 

Homer’s 2015 Winter King Tourney happens March 21

The solstice celebration on March 20 will probably be somewhat sedate due to the fact that it’s been pretty much a spring-with-a-cold for most of the winter. 

The weather’s been so mild that this is the first year local sourdoughs can remember more green grass on the ground than under grow lights.

Be that as it may, soon things will truly heat up when fisherpersonages start thundering into town in search of chinooks and buckets of cash during the 2015 Winter King Tournament on March 21.

Heavenly lights dance on a silent Christmas Eve


his Christmas Eve it will be two decades since I experienced an unrivaled eruption of grandeur helping me sidestep a pointless night of lonesomeness.

It began as just another occasion where I ended up working along a high arctic section of the Dalton Highway during a festive time of year. 

Vocation rotations work out that way sometimes, and during particular spans of employment I spent more than my share in remote locations with the military and then again in various civilian endeavors.

Let’s celebrate: Grump Month passes

I’m not sure what it is about this time of year that puts me into a mood that my wife refers to as my “Grump Month” but it has happened every year since I spotted my first gray nose hair.

It’s not an aging thing, trust me.

I’ve accepted that aggravating process with the grace of a moderately constipated grizzly.

November is a turning point where annoying things that I’ve let slide throughout the year finally overload my laid-back psyche and my dark side starts firing snarks at the butts of the pseudo intellectual clueless.

Silver fishing plays itself out; Nick wraps it up for summer

am going to go out on a very thick limb and declare the silver run at the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon deader than a seniors-only concert featuring Roseanne Barr singing the national anthem after activating her one remaining brain cell.

I had heard rumors that there were still some jumpers accompanying the incoming tides so Jane and I checked it out on Sunday.

Be careful out there: Lead is flying

If Captain Kirk and his gang from the starship Enterprise had popped out of a reverse time warp above the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon over the weekend, they would have stumbled onto a scene that would have spawned serious flashbacks. Only this time around it would have been “The Trouble with Trebles.”

Don’t miss current stampede of silvers

If you haven’t joined the silver stampede yet, just wait. Toward the end of the week there are going to be a series of tides so huge the cohoes could be surging into the area in schools larger than the old Sierra Nevada Comstock Lode.

Anyone visiting the Spit during the last few weeks who has the observation skills of a plastic garden gnome knows the silvers have been somersaulting out of the water everywhere from the base of Mud Bay to inside the boat harbor.    

Fishing superstitions no laughing matter when success counts

My wife and I relearned a lesson over the last week and it wasn’t pretty. Since The Fishing Hole has been handing out silver liked a short-circuited slot machine in Reno, we decide that we’d slip out there and pick up a couple of those beauties for the barbecue.

Something went wrong. Way wrong.

We have this semi-secret special technique that hasn’t failed us for years and we were confident that we would be back in a couple of hours packing some nice fillets.


Fishing Hole could use a little help

Over the weekend, I took notice of a superfluity of rather unseemly comments concerning the conditions at the cleaning tables adjacent to the Homer Spit’s fishing lagoon.  

While trying to fillet their catches, anglers were under siege by a squadron of sky rats with the manners of turkey buzzards jazzed after power wolfing a commercial tanker of Red Bull. 

Small gift may help someone catch fish

As I wander around during the week shooting the breeze with shore anglers, I’m amazed to find that many aren’t carrying a tide book either on them or in their rig.

There is a plethora of information squeezed into those little booklets covering everything from how to tie fishing knots to how to outsmart a razor clam — although I would suggest that you never admit that you had to look up the latter.

Ignoring fishing regs won’t pay in long run

I just don’t get it. For weeks, information has been bouncing around the Internet and printed media that, for right now, fishermen and fisherettes may only use one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure on the Anchor River, Deep Creek and Ninilchik River. 

Pretty straight forward right? Well not so fast. A quick scan of the Wildlife Trooper records and you’ll find that there are still people out there with the intellectual capacity of asphalt.

Before you go fishing, give yourself refresher course on regulations

Well, now, wasn’t that a beautiful Memorial Day weekend for those of you who can dimly recall it? The weather was so nice and semi smoke free that campgrounds with the burn bans were glowing with Phase Five sunburns that served as stand-in grills for the carnivorous crowd.
The Spit resembled an Indie 500 parking lot in some areas and the boat launch was sometimes so busy you couldn’t launch a float coat without slavering it with butter.
There wasn’t a lack of fishing yarns either.

As part of research, ADF&G wants to talk to anglers

The time has come for the commencement of this year’s fish runs which coolly coincides with the roll out of Reeling ’Em In for 2014.

Once again we will be bringing you what lure soakers and draggers are scoring with in the open waters along with hints as to where to find and hopefully hook up with your prey of the day. 

But first, there are some significant changes in the fishing regs this year. 

Diehard anglers don’t duck for cover

Labor Day decided to be a bit testy this year. Winds pounded the wilting fireweed generating mini blizzards of white seedling parachutes spinning through the air in search of new beginnings while whitecap seas prematurely ended fishing for many of the small boat crowd.

I’m not trying to imply that things were a bit dull over the weekend but when I start noticing fireweed seed formations instead of what’s flying around off the end of sportsmen’s casting lines, there’s been a significant pause in the action.

Summer is slipping into fall, but there’s still lots of good fishing

While I was embattled with an obnoxious woodpecker that was practicing wicked marimba beats on our logs this morning, a huge flock of cranes soared over the cabin and seemed to cheer the little *&&^%$ on. 

 I didn’t think much about it until after the pile-driving beak with feathers suddenly decided to jet toward Malibu when he spotted what looked to be an enraged Sasquatch wielding a Wiffle bat heading his way snarling epithets that would embarrass a Navy Seal instructor.   


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