Fisherpersonages: Here’s how to catch cohos

Last week fisherpersonages were starting to sink their hooks into more silvers at our infamous Fishing Hole.

The upswing continues even though there are times when the tide’s out that the coho will motor around the lagoon in small packs impertinently ignoring your gourmet presentations while leaving you standing there looking like a clueless dweeb.

Why is that? Well, first, they abhor bright sunlight and are easily spooked so you if you insist on fishing when the sun is rockin’ the pond, you will have a much better chance of landing a fission-fired sunburn than potential fillets.

If the tide isn’t rolling in or out, you’ll have much better luck just after the darkled side of dawn or bedding of the western sun.

Fret not diurnal stalkers, cool overcast skies increase your chances of getting hits throughout the day. Stir in some light rain to further dampen the water’s heat and things could get hotter than your breakfast bacon.

No promises of course. I’ve seen line launchers out there that couldn’t land a plastic guppy tied on by a volunteer at a kiddie carnival’s fishing booth.

Last week we tackled some techniques to use in the streams of the changing tides.

This time around we’ll look at approaches for bobber/float advocates because they usually come with standard butt-plant folding chairs featuring beverage holders along with options for bait bags and fish whackers that can double as drunk dissuaders.

If you prefer using cured eggs, chill out on burying your hook in a mutant mass of roe so huge it sets off tsunami warnings when it hits the salt. You want them to ingest the offering, not suffer a gag reflex.

Also, lay off floats that could double as bum-bouncing Pilate balls.

A 2-inch, torpedo- shaped, foam bobber offers little resistance when the fish makes a take-down; thus, they are less likely to spit the bait out. I prefer the small steelhead, black on bottom, red on top, float.

This next suggestion is very important. Don’t get all hyper jazzed when the bobber goes under and take a rip like you’re trying to land the head and leave the body for the seals. Bad piscatorian!

As I have recommended year after year, let the fish run with it.

When the float dives, do a five second count and, if the bobber is still in submarine mode, smoothly tighten the line and set the hook.

The delay gives you a much better chance to solidly nail your prey.

If you’re chucking herring (plug cut, of course), utilize the smaller ones so that the silvers can get their chops around it.

One last suggestion: when you see schools headed your way, cast just ahead of the horde and, as they pass, slightly twitch your line. This will make your herring flash and/or draw attention to your eggs.

Now it’s time to take a look at this week’s fishing report for July 26 through Aug. 2.

Regulation reminders:

Snagging is allowed in Lower Cook Inlet south of Anchor Point through Dec. 31, except in the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon, so stop with the illegal tight-line action out there you acutely inept miscreants.

China Poot personal use dip net fishery is open upstream of the ADF&G makers and continues through Aug. 7. Personal use caught sockeye salmon must have both tips of the tail fin removed prior to transport.

The lower portions of the Anchor River, Deep Creek and Stariski Creek are open to sport fishing except for kings. Leave the chinooks alone. If you hook one, release it immediately.

On the Anchor River, Deep Creek, Stariski Creek and Ninilchik River, bait and treble hooks are legal gear through Aug. 31. The upstream locations remain closed until Aug. 1.

Lingcod season opened July 1. The bag and possession limit of these beasts with a mutant smile is two fish and the minimum legal size is 35 inches with head attached or 28 inches from tip of tail to front of dorsal fin with the fang enhanced head removed.

The bag and possession limit for spiny dogfish sharks is five per day and in possession with no recording requirement. I wouldn’t want a record of that either.

The bag and possession limit for all other sharks is one per day and in possession, applies to the annual limit of two and must be recorded immediately on the back of your fishing license.

The marine waters of Tutka Bay Lagoon within 100 yards of the hatchery net pens are closed to sport fishing for any species.

Saltwater Fishing Report


Halibut fishing in Cook Inlet is flat fine with most anglers nailing their limit.

Unguided anglers can retain two halibut per day with four in possession.

Large herring hung on a circle hook with care nearly assures that halibut will soon be there. Octopus, squid, salmon heads, and bright jigs are cool backups.

If the tides are pumpin’, try fishing around and during slack tide. This will help you keep your bait on the bottom without the assistance of a cement filled cinder block.


Trolling success for kings has been pretty fair from the Eldred Passage area, Point Pogibshi and the south side of Kachemak Bay. Other salmon types are being popped in these areas as well, especially the obnoxious pinks.

Reported run-ins with Coho are coming in from the Chugach Islands to Point Pogibshi, Silver Salmon Ridge and Kachemak Bay.

There are also accounts of smashing catches of humpies along the south side of Kachemak Bay. The big whoop here is that pinks may be used as bait in the salt water fisheries so at least something finds them palatable. Don’t forget that they are counted as part of your daily bag limit.

Fin stalkers are reporting decreased catches of late run kings from Anchor Point to Deep Creek. Put your troll on in the shallow waters during high tide for a better crack at them.

Silvers have continued to surf through the entrance to the spit’s Fishing Hole.

Big T reports that good numbers began moving into the lagoon during the commencement of the high tides. Catches have been sporadic on the inside — either early morning or on the flood. Lots of fish cruising, but typical of finnicky coho, not biting at times. Fishing on the outside has been steady with lots of fish. Very few fish in 8-10 pound range, mostly 5-8 pounds. Thanks, Tom.

Try bright spinners if previously mentioned techniques suck wind like a turbo charged Hoover.

Fishing in Tutka Bay Lagoon for pinks and sockeye has been good.

Dipnetting for sockeye in China Poot remains good. The peak of this run was around the middle of July, so look for this fishery to zero out soon.

Other Saltwater Fishing

Fishing off the end of the Homer Spit can be an agreeable way to share quality time with family and friends while flailing for Pollock, Pacific cod, and munchable flatfish excluding the Arrow Tooth flounder that puts the “y” in yuck.

Boaters are reporting catches of black, dark and dusky rockfish along Bluff Point and near Point Pogibshi while utilizing a variety of gear including spoons, jigs, herring and hoochies.

An eight-foot female salmon shark was recently caught in Central Cook Inlet. Don’t forget that there is an annual limit of two sharks, excluding spiny dogfish who are a bit sensitive about the issue.

Fresh waters Fishing Report

On the Ninilchik River, some bright to blush hatchery kings are still available. Salmon egg roe clusters, plug cut herring, spinners, and spoons should all be righteous bait and tackle for landing the hatchery blackmouths.

Dolly Varden fishing has been good in roadside streams. Hit them at the mouths of the streams with small, bright single-hook spinners; fly patterns that resemble fish, such as muddler minnows; and egg patterns.

Some silvers are arriving in area streams; try fishing early in the morning or at the mouth of the stream during the incoming tide.


Razor Clam Emergency Order

All Eastside Cook Inlet beaches from the Kenai River to the tip of the Homer Spit are closed to the taking of all clams through Dec. 31, 2017.

The next clamming tides run from Aug. 6- Aug. 11.

Occasionally there are PSP advisories issued by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation. Contact them at (907) 269-7501, or check out their PSP page on the Internet at, ( for information regarding paralytic shellfish poisoning.

There will be a Tanner crab fishery opening Oct.r 1 and closing Feb. 28, 2018.

All shrimp and other crab fisheries in Kachemak Bay remain closed for 2017.

Nick can be reached at if you have any tips, tales or a secret source of pink repellant.