Nick Varney

Nick Varney

Reeling ‘Em In: Bobber snaggers have skills of bread mold

I received an interesting batch of emails after last week’s report and most of them centered on the king return at the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon.

Many of The Hole’s chinook stalkers were fired up about the improving size of the fresh fish invading the pond. A good number of those blackmouths were packing some serious fighting pounds and had an attitude that could clean out a biker bar if they could have grown a set of legs to walk into one.

Unfortunately, others were even more fired up by regulars who continue to show up and blatantly tear into the submerged king cruisers with bobber snagging and tight line techniques that seriously spook and damage the fish.

Cute little marshmallows and jerry-rigged Styrofoam floats with hook setups between them and the pole doesn’t cut it. Some of the scofflaws were even teaching clueless tourists and kids the methodology along with ways to avoid recording their catch.

Fortunately, there is a growing number of true sportsmen out there who are openly censuring those with the reg compliance skills of bread mold, the basic ethics of a fishing gear thieves and the moral compasses of sleazebag poachers. And, it seems to be working.

The embarrassed scoundrels usually pick up their equipment and wander off after replying with a few indignant snorts and blustery vernacular that would liquefy the sidings of a church. It’s a smart move considering the next step would have been to call the authorities and report the episode along with personal descriptions and license plates.

Many of the messages stated that the efforts will continue utilizing cell phones as dissuaders and incident recorders until violations tickets start flowing like a full moon tide.

On a lighter note, I was privy to an epic battle between a highly incensed, girth-enabled king, and a woman of slight stature who sported the determination of a lioness. The fight went on for at least 15 minutes with the huntress manipulating the beast up along the lagoon’s banks. When it finally started to lay over from exhaustion, the equally fatigued lady yelled for her husband and a net. He came alive and stormed into the water waving an apparatus big enough to land a beluga. Not cool. No need for the water dance nor roundhouse swings at a fish that would have happily swam ashore just to avoid the pond-thrashing dipstick. Yes, he lost it. Yes, she was majorly #!$$^+. He is lucky that it’s the beginning of summer. It’s going to be honkin’ cold camping out in their tool shed come winter.

It’s now time to check the fishing report for the Week of June 18 – June 24.

Freshwater Fishing

The Ninilchik River is open to sport fishing for hatchery kings only. Both hatchery and wild fish are present in decent numbers; however, fishing gear and bag and possession limits are in effect through July 15, 2019.

Check the fish out for the absence of the adipose fin before removing it from the water. The bag and possession limit is one hatchery king 20 inches or greater from the Ninilchik.

Chinook can bite any time of the day but stalking them early in the morning and late evening is usually most effective.

Saltwater Fishing

Halibut

Halibut fishing has been pretty steady at offshore locations in Cook Inlet and outer Kachemak Bay. Action is also starting to pick up inside the K.

Fishing during smoking tidal currents can be difficult and score high on piscatorian sucko-meters. Time your attacks around the slack tides to make it easier to fish and your bait doesn’t end up spooled out to the Kodiak Archipelago. Drifting can work too if you don’t need a rusted-out Harley to keep your lure near the bottom.

Herring impaled on a circle hook is the most popular bait, although they aren’t particularity enthused about their reputation. If things are slow, it doesn’t hurt to try a variety of lures like red-eyed white jigs and various odiferous baits that would gag a sculpin.

Salmon

There are still kings roaming the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon, but they have been harder to catch. Take a shot at fishing on the outside of the lagoon during the outgoing tide. They can get a bit feisty out there.

Chinook trolling has been slow. Some fish have been caught in the Point Pogibshi and Bluff Point areas.

Pink salmon are also starting to show up in outer Kachemak Bay. Oh goody. Fresh bait.

When chasing salmon, a wide variety of lures can be effective, especially on pinks that are brain stems with fins. A herring or lure behind a flasher remains the go-to presentation. Use a downrigger, diver, or banana weight to get your lure to where you think the fish are. A quality fish finder and/or feeding seabirds can do your thinking for you if you tired of embarrassing yourself.

Other

Anglers have been kicking it fishing for a variety of groundfish that range from the good, the bad and the ugly off the tip of the Homer Spit. Try using a chunk of herring.

Good numbers of rockfish have been caught from the Bluff Point and Point Pogibshi areas over the last couple of weeks. Both trolling and jigging are effective for nailing them.

Emergency Orders

Please review the Emergency Orders and News Releases below in their entirety before heading out on your next fishing trip.

Emergency Order 2-RCL-7-01-19 and 2-RCL-7-02-19 closed all east side 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 and it is currently closed through July 15, 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, please contact the ADF&G Homer office at (907) 235-8191.

Nick can be reached at ncvarney@gmail.com if he isn’t still down from a cold that has flattened him like he was hit by a Delta Junction buffalo stampede.

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