Reeling ‘Em In: An addiction to fishing

Over the years, I’ve been queried by the clueless, “What the #*%^ is so addicting about fishing? You always seem to be rumbling off into the morning murk with your jacket jammed with weird lures and a bucket stuffed with deceased bait that would make a hagfish hurl. You fish when it rains, blows, and in conditions that would freeze a polar bear’s butt shut. Have you considered seeking help?”

I’m tempted, at times, not to say a word and just walk away while resisting the urge to leave them with a simple gesture normally reserved for Neanderthals displaying the driving skills of an unhinged howler monkey.

To be truthful, I’m not sure why I have such a passion for the sport because it can be downright humiliating.

John Steinbeck once stated, “It has always been my private conviction that any man who pits his intelligence against a fish and loses has it coming.” Steven Wright later went on to add that “There’s a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.” Those guys would have been in hysterics watching the action at the fishing lagoon when I first showed up there back in the ‘90s.

It wasn’t my first clown show. I had previously managed to prove their points by crossing that line everywhere from the Pacific Northwest, Canada and Alaska. Not to mention taking a shot at fly fishing an amazing, brown trout, stream in New Zealand. It turned out that I was much better at swimming in it.

Time now to take a look at this week’s fishing report for Aug. 1, 2023.

Freshwater Fishing

The upper sections of the Anchor River, Deep Creek, and Ninilchik River open to sport fishing on Aug. 1. Dolly fishing will probably be pitiable to middling with fish scattered throughout the sections. Exciting, huh?

If you are looking for dollies, fish the incoming tides or take a saunter along the upper sections of these streams until you detect a pool holding your targets.

If you are fly fishing, beads, streamers, smolt patterns and your secret creations should all be effective unless the latter resembles an assortment of roadkill wood frogs. Spin fishing? Try using size 0 to 2 spinners or small spoons.

Dolly fishing in Bridge Creek Reservoir remains beyond descent. Anglers have been scoring direct hits on the small but spunky critters. You’ll have to work hard at getting skunked if you fling bait, small lures, or spoons from shore.

Saltwater Fishing


Halibut fishing has been roaring along at full throttle in Cook Inlet. When the weather isn’t displaying the Mr. Hyde side of its Jekyll alter ego, the more distant locales have continued to give up the larger fish and more of them. Don’t want to chance a run-in with that meteorological loon? Then chill out and soak your bait at nearshore locations.

You could consider drifting in new sites to locate fish before setting the anchor. But, with this week’s drag strip tides, you may end up closing in on the tip of the Aleutians before you hold bottom.

Note: Observed a couple of private skiffs pull in with some nice ‘buts from Mud Bay.

King Salmon

Trolling for kings has remained somewhat passable in Kachemak Bay with seaborn pescadors hitting fish scattered throughout the area.

Bluff Point and Point Pogibshi remain the best bests.

Other Saltwater

China Poot personal use dipnet fishery for sockeye remained smokin’ last week with limits being the norm. Things look to keep rolling at full steam throughout the coming week.

There have been mostly pinks showing up in the Tutka and the lagoon’s becoming mortified about the situation.

There are still a significant number of coho charging into the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon especially as the high tides flow through the channel. Even after the waters retreat, there are still enough silvers hanging around performing remarkable aerials to make a skeet shooter weep. Salmon egg roe clusters or plug cut herring under fashionable bobbers have been nailing them.

Hey, what is the deal with leaving your fish laying out in cute little rows? Come on now. If you didn’t bring a cooler or something to keep your fish from slowly turning into goo, at least jury-rig a stringer to keep them cool.

If you don’t have clue what a fishing stringer is, it’s time to slowly back away from the lagoon and Google the subject with your 20g/nuclear-powered, way smart iPhone or just go home. You are embarrassing yourself.

Humpies are hogging a lot of the space throughout Cook Inlet. Anglers wanting to target pinks should try fishing from Point Pogibshi to Flat Island until they can get a counselor on the phone.

Over the past week, lingcod anglers continued to have fair luck along the outer coast. How something that ill-tempered and horror-story-ugly can produce such delicious fillets remains a mystery. Of course, it thinks the same thing about you.

Surf fishing in Cook Inlet continues to be fair. Casters are finding success with halibut on the Clam Gulch beaches. Whiskey Gulch provides fine shoreline access as well.

The Homer Spit provides the best chance for variety of fish. Flounder, cod and assorted strange creatures are being landed along with a few hapless humpies that had nowhere else to hang with Tutka Lagoon jammed with the nitwits.

Emergency Order

Emergency Order 2-RF-7-20-23 reduces the rockfish bag and possession limits in Cook Inlet to three per day and six in possession of which only one per day, two in possession can be nonpelagic.

Nick can be reached at if he and Jane make it back from a round trip to Soldotna through the traffic and mob swirling around Salmonfest 2023 in Ninilchik. Last year it was like trying to negotiate a slow-motion demolition derby while avoiding a few partiers who were higher than Mount Redoubt and had the reflexes of a three-toed sloths.