Reeling ‘Em In: Deserted waters make for a watery desert

The spit’s fishing hole has been a watery desert lately as hard-core lagoon lurkers pace the water’s edge in anticipation of a sign that the silver run is on the way.

Meanwhile, some of the lingering chinook wannabee spawners are getting so dark that they are packing the moniker of zombie kings. If any of those critters still have a partially functional nervous system and strike, their heads will come off.

On the positive side, there are sparse fish stylin’ shiny sides slipping in with the tides, if you can stand the monotony during the interim.

It won’t be all that bad. You’ll have a fleet of thieving seals patrolling the lagoon in case something sneaks in. What could be more fun to contend with than those thieving reprobates?

Well, ask Jake B. from Wasilla who had been fishing the pond over the weekend without landing anything but a cerebrally challenged Irish Lord.

Last Saturday morning, he finally tied into a respectable king whose body was still in one piece and the fight was on. The chinook was shimmering silver and seriously annoyed about its dental display being modified by treble-hook braces. Jake, on the other hand, was deeply impressed with the fish’s new grill until, wham! Suddenly, his brawling prey became sushi and all he could do was stare and snarl as his prize was devoured twenty feet in front of him.

J.B. was less than amused. The dude’s linguistic outburst could have singed church steeples if he had been nearer to town. The last time I saw his rod, it was flying toward the outer beach and he was breaking camp to head back north. Note: His wife salvaged the pole. It turned out that it was hers. I’ll bet that was a long ride home.

Time now to take a look at the fishing report for July 11.

Freshwater Fishing

The lower sections of the Anchor River, Stariski Creek, and Deep Creek will open to fishing for all species except for kings on July 16th, 2023. Expect laid back fishing for dollies and the empty-headed pinks.

There are still a few hatchery chinooks showing up in the Ninilchik River but not enough to provide any cool selfies.

Dolly fishing in Bridge Creek Reservoir has remained righteous. Anglers report nice catches of the small fish. Best bet? Try casting bait, small lures, or spoons from shore. You’ll have fun and the kids will love it.

Saltwater Fishing


Halibut fishing steamed along in Cook Inlet over the past week. As usual, if the weather chills its attitude, the more distant hot spots have been producing larger fish and better hauls. Anglers with time to spare soaking bait have been landing some respectable flats at nearshore locations.

Try drifting in various localities to pinpoint fish before setting the anchor. Don’t forget to launch a funky chum bag to suck them in.

King Salmon

Trolling for kings in Kachemak Bay remains fair with trollers getting strikes around the bay. The most consistent take downs have been around Point Pogibshi but fishermen are battling through pinks to find the chinook. Looks like the bait stealing @$*&^%$s are back in force.

Other Saltwater

China Poot personal use, dip net fishery for sockeye was haphazardly successful last week. Don’t expect things to get any better this week.

There have been some sockeye and pinks showing up in Tutka Lagoon. Humpies? That will keep the collective IQ average of the fish in the lagoon near zero.

Since the humpies are starting to show up into Cook Inlet, anglers wanting to target them should try fishing from Point Pogibshi to Flat Island especially if they like to be alone.

Lingcod seekers continued to have respectable results along the outer coast last week. Leadhead jigs with a white grub tail were nailing the beasts famous for exhibiting a grin that white sharks would admire.

Surf fishing in Cook Inlet has been fair. Anglers are finding success with halibut on the Clam Gulch beaches. Whiskey Gulch provides good shoreline access as well. Homer Spit is the best bet for variety and numbers of fish. Some even identifiable.

It would be an excellent idea to review the following emergency orders and advisory announcements before heading out on your next fishing trip. It may save you some serious bucks and a rather embarrassing appearance in a police report. Just sayin’…

Emergency Order 2-KS-7-13-23 closed the Anchor River and Deep Creek to all sport fishing through July 15, 2023.

Emergency Order 2-KS-7-12-23 in the Ninilchik River, restricts gear to single hook but allows bait, changes the king salmon bag limit to 2 hatchery king salmon 20” or longer, and prohibits the retention of wild king salmon. The bag limit for king salmon less than 20” has changed to 10 hatchery king salmon and you may not retain wild king salmon under 20”.

Emergency Order 2-KS-7-14-23 reduces the king salmon bag limit to one fish any size in Cook Inlet and Kachemak Bay south of the latitude of Bluff Point from May 15 through July 31.

Emergency Order 2-KS-7-15-23 closes sport fishing for king salmon in Cook Inlet and Kachemak Bay north of the latitude of Bluff Point from May 15 through July 31.

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 you have any tips, tales or rational explanation of how a humpy can function without discernable brain activity.