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.

So let’s start this off with some cool news. The kings are already doing some drive-bys in the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon. 

 This week’s high tides have given them a boot in their scaly butts, and they’ll strike if you time things right and serve what they consider the catch of the day.

 Several of the fish nailed so far have been going for the silver spinners such as the blue belled Vibrax and other gaudy stuff like orange beaded Flash and Glos with various flasher accents. 

Herring remains a killer lure especially when it’s plug-cut small enough for a chinook to chow down without fear of unhinging its jaw. 

 Hint: If you land one, quickly bleed the beast. Don’t leave it exposed on the bank to slow roast until only a seagull with a death wish would pick at the mush. Throw something in your rig that you can utilize to protect the fresh stiff until a friendly Fish and Game trooper discovers you haven’t recorded your catch and confiscates it. 

 Remember last year when the now famous all black, round bobber made its debut and its devotees swore it increased their hits? 

 Well, those things are back so keep an eye on the guys using them. I don’t know what good it will do though. There isn’t an outfit in the ville, that I’m aware of, that sells them. 

Oh yeah, if you are a skilled piscatorian and follow the rules be forewarned that the tight liners and others with their illegal end of the line weighted imitation fly set-ups are already prowling the banks. Why, I’m not sure, because it usually takes bigger schools of fish for them to snag something. 

Maybe they are just trying to get a jump start on vying to be this season’s major jerks of the year.

OK, it’s now time to look at the fishing report for this week.

King Salmon Emergency Orders 

In an effort to meet king salmon escapement goals in the Anchor River, Deep Creek and Ninilchik River drainages, the following sport fishing restrictions are in effect through July 15: 

 • The Anchor River is closed to sport fishing except on Memorial Day weekend (May 23-25) and the following two weekends (May 30-June 1 and June 6-8).

 • The Anchor River drainage above Old Sterling Bridge is closed during the May and June weekend openings.

 • Anglers may only use one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure on the Anchor River, Deep Creek and Ninilchik River during the three weekend openings in May and June. 

• Until July 15, the combined annual limit is two king salmon 20 inches or greater in length 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.

• From July 1-15, the conservation zone surrounding the Anchor River mouth will remain closed to sport fishing, and the regulations associated with the Special Harvest Areas two miles north of the Anchor River to Bluff Point will remain in effect.

Got that? If not, make a copy to carry around. It’ll help keep you out of the newspaper police reports and being required to sit outside during church services.


Razor Clam Emergency Order

All Eastside Cook Inlet beaches from the Kenai River to the tip of the Homer Spit are closed to all clams through Dec. 31.(Please, no emails stating, “Now we know why there are only clams on the west side of the inlet.” Or “Where are they supposed to go?”) Just stop it.


Saltwater Fishing Report: Halibut

Early-season halibut fishing is fair though many fish appear to be just out of daycare. Certain charters along with private boats have brought in some serious white meat though and the fishery will continue to improve as more flats roll in from deeper waters.  

Anglers can retain two halibut a day, four in possession.

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, and guided anglers have an annual limit of five halibut.  


 Additional Regulation Reminders

 Lingcod may not be harvested until July 1.



As a part of the Chinook Salmon Research Initiative, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game is looking at the genetic stock composition of the marine king salmon fishery.  There are port samplers stationed at the Homer Harbor, and Deep Creek and Anchor Point tractor launches conducting quick interviews and collecting biological information, scales, and genetic clips from sport caught king salmon.  If you fished for king salmon in Cook Inlet, regardless of success, they would like to talk to you. More information on the Chinook Salmon Research Initiative can be found at: 


The Anchor River Weir is operational and fish counts are available online at:


 Trolling success for feeder king salmon is reported as fair to sometimes “rockin’ the boat” around Bluff Point and Point Pogibshi. 

This time of year, early-run king salmon are usually idling along the near-shore salt waters of Anchor Point, Whiskey Gulch and Deep Creek. 

 Knowledgeable fisherpersonages usually concentrate their fishing efforts in near shore, shallow waters between Anchor Point and Deep Creek while trying not to run into things that dent the hull.

 The fishing has been variable due to recent weather days with few reports of kings being caught north of Bluff Point. 

 We have already discussed the happenings at the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon. Just remember, there is no snagging allowed and the bag and possession limit is two per day plus kings 20 inches or longer must be recorded. 

Note: The smaller jacks still count as part of your daily limit.


Other Saltwater Fishing

 Fishing off the end of the Homer Spit can be a righteous way to fill your cooler with edibles such as walleye pollock, Pacific cod, a variety of flatfish and an occasional salmon.Tip: If you start to pull in something that stares back at you like it’s searching for an edible body part, cut the line. 


Fresh waters Fishing Report: Salmon

Local streams along the Sterling Highway south of the Kasilof River are currently closed to all fishing. 



Clamming tides run May 16-21. Included in this tide series are some minus four foot tides.

Razor clams can be found on beaches along the west side of Cook Inlet and are accessed by boat or plane. Popular razor clam beaches include Crescent River, Chinitna Bay and Polly Creek. 

 Boaters should use caution before traveling across the inlet due to strong currents and should check weather forecast. 

 Butter clam and steamers have a combined limit of 80 per day/ 80 in possession. Remember you need a sport fishing license to harvest clams. Bring a shovel or rake and a container to hold them. 

All shrimp and crab fisheries in Kachemak Bay remain closed for 2015.

Got a good fishing yarn? Maybe even one that’s got a little truth to it? Share it with Nick at ncvarney@gmail.com, so he can share it with Homer News readers.