Fishing has been better; pay attention to emergency orders being released

The king run at The Fishing Hole has been fluctuating from being on the verge of comatose to somewhat entertaining with patient fin hunters nailing a few hungry chinooks entering with the tides. 

The kings are relatively undersized and could have used a few more years at sea to add some heft to their fillets by wolfing down small schools of corpulent herring along with a side order of roe-wrapped candlefish when they felt the need to feed.

One small tip: Try fishing the shoreline outside the lagoon as the tide rises because that’s where the fish start to school up for their run into the lagoon. Use a small plug-cut herring threaded on a single No. 5 hook. Hang it upside down twelve to twenty inches below a cool looking bobber. Cast into the still waters next to the lagoon’s entrance or on the quiet side of the incoming current. If your herring takes a hit and the float disappears, let the fish run with it. Don’t set the hook until the bobber is under water for at least five seconds. This usually ensures that it’s a committed strike and will lead to a more solid hook-up thus allowing you the freedom to screw up and lose the fish through some other method of embarrassing incompetence. 

One big tip: If you see someone getting more bites than a nudist in the Everglades, I’d suggest that you immediately steal their technique like I do. 

 If you prefer firing iron give a blue No. 5 Vibrax a shot or a silver bladed orange Flash-n-Glo. I personally don’t enjoy spinning at the lagoon because it requires abandoning my dual cup holder enhanced custom fishing recliner to stand up and go through repetitive casting motions that may be misconstrued by my retired buds as doing serious work.  

 Now let’s take a look at the area’s fishing reports and updates for this week; and there are some major announcements. 

Emergency Orders 

King salmon sport fishing is prohibited (including catch-and-release) within one mile of shore in marine waters south of the latitude of the mouth of the Ninilchik River to the latitude of Bluff Point.

The Anchor River, Deep Creek, Ninilchik River and Stariski Creek are closed to sport fishing through July 15.

Ouch.

 Don’t forget that in waters closed to king salmon fishing, they may not be targeted and that any king salmon caught while fishing for other species may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately.

Additional Regulation Reminders

 The surly and malevolent looking lingcod may not be harvested until July 1.

Saltwater Fishing: Halibut

Early-season halibut fishing is fair to good although most fish remain small enough to qualify as Frisbees with a tail. The fishery will pick up steam as the flats slide from winter waters into the shallower summer buffet areas.

 There have been some beauties caught. Sampled fish landed in the Homer harbor over the past week averaged 10.7  pounds (range of 4.0 – 204 pounds.). 

Keep an eye out for those nasty “mushy” halibut. The flesh of these fish is very soft or flabby, sometimes with pockets of jelly-like tissue. These fish are a long ways from being gourmet goo on platter after being cooked — so don’t waste your time.  

 If you get into a batch of halibut that feel funky or don’t look as robust and rounded as healthy fish should, set the critters free immediately, unharmed, and smoke off to a different area.

Saltwater Fishing: Salmon

 Trolling success beyond one mile from shore Bluff Point north and Point Pogibshi and Bear Cove for feeder kings is reported as fair to nearly exciting at times. 

King salmon are making their royal presence known in the Halibut Cove Lagoon and Seldovia Harbor. 

Other Saltwater Fishing

 Fishing off the end of the Homer Spit can be a hoot for the kids along with the adults. Species available include Walleye pollock, Pacific cod, a variety of flatfish plus an occasional creature that is usually not caught in a nuclear free zone.

Dolly Varden are adding to the fun along the east side of the Homer Spit. Grab some ultra-lite gear along with a hat full of small flashy lures and have at it.

Razor Clam Emergency Order

The razor clam bag and possession limit has been decreased to the first 25 clams dug through Dec. 31, 2013, but we’ll talk more about that when June 21-28 approaches with its minus 5-foot tides.

 Nick can be reached at ncvarney@gmail.com if he isn’t trying to sneak up on a rather rotund king he saw roll outside The Fishing Hole Tuesday morning.

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