Reeling ‘Em In: An angling addiction

Fishing is not only fun, but humbling

I don’t recall, nor want to, how many times I’ve been asked by the chronically clueless, “What the #*%^ is so addicting about fishing?”

I’m not sure how to answer that, but ever since I caught my first fish with stick, string, safety pin and a highly cheesed off angleworm, I’ve always loved getting up before dawn and roaring off with my fishing jacket stuffed with cherished lures and secret baits, some of which have been known to cause a scavenging seagull power hurl.

If the fish are running, I’ll chase them when it rains, blows or is so cold polar bears seek shelter, but I draw the line at flash floods. It’s tough to keep an eye on my bobbers and spinners when they get hung up in passing trees. No, I haven’t considered seeking help.

I am not the only one with an angling addiction. I did a little research and found some opinions from other fanatics and observers of the deranged.

As for me? Maybe it’s because it’s not only fun, but humbling. As John Steinbeck once said, “It has always been my private conviction that any man who pits his intelligence against a fish and loses has it coming.” Who can disagree with that?

Thus, guys like me are determined to refine our pescador skills in order to reach a higher level of subsistence proficiency because, as an old saying goes, “Since 3/4 of the earth’s surface is water and 1/4 land, it’s perfectly clear the good Lord intended that man spend three times as much time fishing as he does patching up things around the homestead especially if a big run’s on.” Surprisingly, this is a highly debated subject in many households.

Steven Wright once said “There’s a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.” He should have added, “If you don’t believe me, just watch Nick.”

Now, before I get in anymore trouble, it’s now time for the fishing report for the week of June 24.

Freshwater Fishing

Anchor River and Deep Creek remain closed to all sport fishing through July 1.

The Ninilchik River is still open to fishing for hatchery kings through July 15. The fishing should be pretty darn fair with the probability of plenty of new hatchery fish arriving through the week.

Bait is now prohibited so gear is limited to single-hook artificial lures. For targeting rookie arriving fish, hit the harbor area on the incoming tide.

With these low water conditions, smaller (size 3 or 4) pink or chartreuse spinners should draw some nice strikes. Flies, plugs, and spoons will also fire up their chase reflexes.

If you incidentally hook a steelhead or a wild king, pull it to the bank as quickly as possible, then release it without removing the fish from the water.

China Poot personal use dipnet fishery is off to a tortoise-slow start. Water conditions are high and the sockeye run is just starting to get into gear. Fishing should pick up over the week.

Saltwater Fishing

Kachemak Bay/Cook Inlet


Halibut fishing remained semi-hot for large fish last week. The bigger ‘buts were boated in a plethora of locations, including Cook Inlet and the outer coast near the Chugach Islands.

Flat Island has been steadily producing a good number of smaller fish. Fishing around slack tide is still the primo time for nailing halibut primarily because you can hold the bottom with less lead and they are a lot more fun to fight without a shotput for a weight.

King Salmon

King fishing south of Bluff Point registered dismal on the Suck-o-Meter last week. Expect small numbers of kings to be scattered to be throughout Kachemak Bay.

Small troll herring or spoons behind a flasher are still working, if you can find the fish. Try setting your gear at different depths including mid-water column and 10 feet off the bottom.

Sockeye Salmon

Sockeye fishing in China Poot and Tutka Bay Lagoon is slowly improving. Expect better fishing later in the week.

Surf Fishing

Dogged surf anglers continued to enjoy good action along several of the Cook Inlet beaches last weekend, including the Deep Creek area and the Homer Spit.

Line launchers can expect to tangle with a variety of groundfish including halibut, sculpins, skates, sharks, flounders and cod. Beware of the things that stare back at you and bare their teeth.

Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon

King fishing has been poor to just fair at the fishing hole. The eleven seal arriving on the tides hasn’t helped much either.

Most of the action occurred closer to high tide around Tom’s Corner of the southern lobe of the lagoon. A plug cut, small herring, or a hunk of mackerel about 2 feet under a bobber has been working well this season. Casting spinners is another option worth trying if you can figure out what the “color of the day” is for the finicky chinooks.

Special Note: Shelley, the fish whisper, sent us an “heads up” that, although there is still a decent number of fish wandering around in the hole, the critters are coloring up. It won’t be long before the 0-dark thirty snaggers will be hauling in body parts instead of a whole fish backwards and/or sideways.

Seldovia Slough

Anglers were finding slow action in the lagoon and at the bridge last week. This fishery is now open to snagging for the rest of the season.

Emergency Orders

Please review the emergency orders and advisory announcements below in their entirety before heading out on your next fishing trip.

Changes to Gear in the Ninilchik River

Sport Fishing For King Salmon Closed in Upper Cook Inlet Salt Waters

King Salmon Bag Limit Reduced from 2 to 1 in Lower Cook Inlet Salt Waters

Cook Inlet Sport Fishing Regulation Changes

East Cook Inlet Razor Clam Fisheries Remain Closed for 2024

For additional information, please contact the Homer Office at 907-235-8191.

Nick can be reached at if you have any tips, tales or info about the dude in a bunny suit wandering around a spit beach over the weekend… ah never mind.