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.

Three nefarious knot heads managed to cover a nice slice of the possible violations without resorting to small explosive devices in the Ninilchik River. 

One decided a treble hook would be cool. It wasn’t and the guy will almost certainly end up with lighter wallet. The report didn’t mention if he had to forfeit the gear attached to his three-pronger or if attending a common sense management class will be mandatory. 

A gentleman from Fairbanks thought that slathering his lure with scent gel would be the perfect way to ninja fish. It’s hard to figure out why he figured the gel wasn’t bait. Maybe he was just suffering from FBF (Fairbanks Brain Freeze) and was truly clueless. Probably not; anyone who tries to pull a stunt like that is so dense that he most likely gets his fishing tips from SpongeBob SquarePants reruns on the Cartoon Channel.

Our third miscreant was an Anchorage man who was nailed for fishing with bait. Isn’t it pitiful when someone doesn’t have the rules-reading and comprehension ability of the lure he’s using? He must be used to fishing in home aquariums. 

Now let’s take a look at this week’s fishing report:

What’s really cool about the following announcement is that there are actually some kings wandering into The Hole and the kids might have a shot at a greedy chinook.

The first Youth Fishery at the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon is Saturday. A portion of the lagoon will be open to youth 15 years of age or younger from 12:01 a.m. until midnight. Department staff will be present from 3-5 p.m. to help young anglers fish and tie egg loops, fishing knots, and learn the best way for releasing fish.

Salt Waters: Halibut

Early-season halibut hunting keeps improving with some nice slabs being bounced into fish holds. Things should start firing on more cylinders as more fish move from deep, over-wintering waters back into shallow, summer feeding areas. Plus, there are some nice ’but tides headed toward us during the week to come.

Sampled fish landed in the Homer Harbor over the past week averaged nearly 13 pounds (range 5.3 to 54.4 pounds) round weight. 

Herring on circle hooks continues to rock the halibut’s taste buds.

Salt Waters: Salmon

Trolling success for feeder king salmon has been fair along the southern shore of Kachemak Bay and Point Pogibshi and fair to good from Bluff Point north. 

Note: Trollers are also starting to pick up sockeye, chums and the cerebrally challenged pink salmon.  

Early-run king salmon continue to saunter along in the near-shore salt waters of Anchor Point, Whiskey Gulch and Deep Creek. Anglers are reporting fair to good fishing. 

King salmon are returning to the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon on the Homer Spit and fishing success is reported as ranging from fair to good.

Also there have been some nice dollies taken on the outside where they’re scarfing up smolt like free cheesey fries at Hooters.

So far this year, 79,000 coho and 110,000 chinook smolt have been planted in the lagoon. An additional 110,000 baby kings will be introduced soon. The future is looking good even though the normal availability of a 110,000 silver brood stock source was limited this time around.  

A small school of kings has been reported in Seldovia Lagoon.  

Other Saltwater Fishing

Fishing off the end of the Homer Spit can be a riot if you get into a mess of walleye pollock or Pacific cod. There’s also a variety of flatfish available along with Dolly Varden and a salmon if you are nauseatingly lucky.

Anglers are also reporting good catches of walleye pollock and Pacific cod in Kachemak Bay.

Fresh Waters: Salmon

Ninilchik River, Anchor River and Deep Creek, as defined by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game markers, will open to fishing at 12:01 a.m. Saturday through midnight Monday.

As of June 2, 512 kings had passed through the weir. 

On May 30, there was a spike of 114 fish but the count has fallen off with 30 fish on the May 31, followed by seven on June 1 and 12 on June 2.

The water conditions in these streams are expected to be good.

Expect fair fishing for the kings. 

The best time to hit these waters is in the early morning hours and at the mouth of the streams on the incoming tide.  

Familiarize yourself with the differences between kings and steelhead trout before you fish and practice good fish handling if you catch one. Remember hooked steelhead trout must not be removed from the water and they must be released immediately or you’re probably headed for a distinguished spot on the police report plus a bank loan for the fine.


The next series of clamming tides run June 11-17.

All shrimp and crab fisheries in Kachemak Bay are currently closed.

Derby Update

Gordon Muir, of Fort Benton, Mont., is the new Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby leader. He caught a 91.2-pound halibut on Tuesday while fishing with Capt. Pete Wedin on the Julia Lynn. Mark Mehalo of Grand Blanc, Mich., caught a $250 tagged fish with Capt. Tom Bunnell on the Halibut Hunter on Sunday. The fish was sponsored by the Best Western Bidarka Inn.


Most of you have already read the following in past columns, but it doesn’t hurt to review these items so you don’t make a fool out of yourself out there. These are only a sample of the dos and don’ts.

Regulation Reminders and Emergency Orders

King Salmon: The Board of Fisheries approved changes to king salmon regulations and additional pre-season emergency orders have been issued. These changes are summarized below and are in effect through June 30.

The combined annual limit is two king salmon 20 inches or greater in length for fish harvested from May 1 to June 30 in the Anchor River, Deep Creek, Ninilchik River and all marine waters south of the latitude of the mouth of the Ninilchik River to the latitude of Bluff Point.

After harvesting a king salmon 20 inches or greater from either the Anchor River, Deep Creek, or the Ninilchik River, anglers are required to stop fishing for any species in these streams for the rest of the day.

Ninilchik River king salmon bag and possession is one wild or hatchery-reared fish during regulatory weekend openings in May and June; beginning July 1, bag and possession is limited to one hatchery-reared king salmon.

New Sport Fishing Regulations

Sport-caught pink salmon may be used as bait in the salt water fisheries.

Regulation changes are in effect for guided anglers fishing for halibut. The bag limit for guided anglers is two fish per day, one of any size and one less than or equal to 29 inches in length. 

Federal regulations can be found at: http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/frules/79fr13906.pdf. You can also contact NOAA fisheries at 1-800-304-4846 or 907-586-7228 with questions about regulations pertaining to sport fishing for halibut.

Nick can be reached at ncvarney@gmail.com if you have any tales, tips or just want to rat out your fishing buddy.