Homer News file photo
                                Nick Varney

Homer News file photo Nick Varney

Fishing still good despite wacky weather

The weather was a bit schizoid over the Memorial Day weekend with Mother Nature experiencing sneezing wind fits trailed by intervals of sluggish air allowing the seas to rest and boaters to refill their Dramamine stash.

No, I didn’t forget the weeping mists, blubbering clouds and a deluge or two of heavy tears from the grumpy skies. I just don’t want it to seem like I’m piling on the ole gal.

Saturday morning was an exception and example of why I love fishing the dawning hours.

A bit past 4 a.m., the northeast skyline became engulfed in fiery rubicund glow rivaling the reflection of a volcano’s roiling caldron then gradually morphed into a patina of gilded beams. It was mesmerizing and eased the pain of being ambushed by a 10-cent gas goose at the pumps before hitting the Spit.

Jeeze, you’d think the refineries would be more subtle after busting our chops with 5-cent increases over the last few months, or at least hand out complimentary seat cushions to make it easier to sit down after paying the tab.

As usual, the Spit was crowded and motorists had to exercise extreme caution when negotiating vendors row. Visitors-without-a-clue had a tendency to walk across the road exhibiting the danger-awareness of a cheese curd while drivers who couldn’t win a game of Tic Tac Toe with a saltine slammed on their brakes to video a narcissistic eagle chillin’ on a rock pile.

When enough was enough, we decided to retreat and lay low at the cabin, only to get butt-bounced by a 5.8 earthquake later that night. What a weekend.

It’s time now to set aside my grousing and lay out an abbreviated fishing update.

Unfortunately, we were unable to obtain the latest Alaska Department of Fish and Game fishing report for the week so we will start out with the Emergency Orders that are current.

Emergency Orders

Emergency Order 2-RCL-7-01-19 and 2-RCL-7-02-19 closed all eastside Cook Inlet beaches to clamming for all species from the mouth of the Kenai River to the southernmost tip of the Homer Spit for 2019.

Emergency Order 2-KS-7-11-19 limited the fishing season on the Anchor River to fishing being allowed, June 1-3, and June 8-10, 2019.

Emergency Order 2-KS-7-12-19 restricted fishing gear to only one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure in the Anchor River, Deep Creek, and Ninilchik River through July 15, 2019.

Emergency Order 2-KS-7-13-19 reduced the king salmon bag and possession limits in the Ninilchik River to one hatchery king salmon 20 inches or greater in length.

Emergency Order 2-KS-7-14-19 combined the annual limit for king salmon to two king salmon 20 inches or greater in length from the Anchor River, Deep Creek, Ninilchik, and all marine waters south of the latitude of the mouth of the Ninilchik River to the latitude of Bluff Point.

For additional information, contact the ADF&G Homer office at 907-235-8191. You can also call 907-235-6930 for a recorded message on the latest fishing report from the state.

Things are looking a bit better at the Anchor River. The chinook count as of May 27 was 49 passing through with a total so far of 288. Last year, on May 27, eight passed for a total of 51. In 2017, 35 kings traveled up for a total of 688.

The steelhead were active in the Anchor with slower results for the chinooks. Artificial flies styling bright pink and chartreuse seem to be the best charmers, Fishing became spottier when the skies became snitty with rain raising the water level and mudding things up a bit.

The Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon’s king return has been very slow so far, but the jack salmon are managing to keep most of the anglers awake enough that they don’t take a header into pond while sitting on their buckets.

Then there’s Tom, the self-proclaimed mayor of The Hole. He has developed a new technique called Z-mooching. He gets comfortable in his two-for-$5 fighting chair and zones out until a fin bearer big enough to wake him up tries to run off with his pole. He’s caught two 13 pounders that way and managed to stay on shore.

There are quite a few jacks roaming around in the lagoon, so don’t suffer an attack of severe brain flatulence and forget that, even though they are under 20 inches, they still count toward your two-per-day limit. If they are over 20 inches, they must be recorded. Snagging is not permitted except by emergency order.

Some of the cleaning tables had nice 30- to 40-pound halibut laid out on them, although a majority of the flats were a bit over snack size.

Both private boats and charters brought in nice combos of halibut and kings even though the weather limited time on the water and how far they could travel. Trolling off the bluffs remained good, with hits being taken at everywhere from 35 feet to 90.

That’s it for this week’s look at fishing in the area. Hopefully next time we’ll have more material if we can just hook up with ADF&G and mine its stash of piscatorial data.

Nick can be reached at ncvarney@gmail.com if you have any tips, tales or have spotted Tom nodding off again.

Steve Pollack IV poses on May 26, 2019, with a 133-pound halibut, the largest halibut caught in the Seldovia Human Powered Fishing Derby held in Seldovia, Alaska, over the Memorial Day weekend. Pollack caught the halibut fishing from a 13-foot rowboat. (Photo provided)

Steve Pollack IV poses on May 26, 2019, with a 133-pound halibut, the largest halibut caught in the Seldovia Human Powered Fishing Derby held in Seldovia, Alaska, over the Memorial Day weekend. Pollack caught the halibut fishing from a 13-foot rowboat. (Photo provided)

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