Nick Varney

Nick Varney

Reeling ‘Em In: Desperately seeking silvers on the 4th

I had received numerous emails enquiring if I had heard the rumor that silvers had been spotted off Pogi.

I did a bit of scouting over the holiday weekend in hopes of spotting a silver or two performing aerials out of the briny near the Spit and/or bay. Nada.

The private and charter boats kicked some serious ‘buts and kept the cleaning tables and freezing processors occupied with slicing blades and flashing smiles.

Although fishing was creeping at a half-past-dead pace along the Spit’s shoreline, a unique challenge awaited those with the nerve to drive through the gauntlet of wanderers and vehicle jams spread throughout the busy concessionaires’ zone.

Rigs were squeezed into slots like they had been maneuvered into the minimal openings by a deranged parking valet fueled by a three-growler breakfast.

It wasn’t pretty — with various sightseers abruptly popping out onto the road like clueless whack-a-moles rolling the dice on becoming involuntary speed bumps as they darted into view.

So, why was I there in the first place? Well, because I had received numerous emails inquiring if I had heard the rumor that silvers had been spotted off Pogi and were headed up the bay, hopefully, toward the fishing lagoon.

After checking out various cleaning stations and jawing with some offshore hunters, no one had spied any coho, but there was a consensus of opinion that they might hit the hole during the coming week’s tide buildup. Back in 2015, the silver run was rocking the lagoon on the Fourth, so you just never know. Runs are a crap shoot and Mother Nature holds the dice.

It’s time now for the fishing report for the week of July 6.

Freshwater Fishing

The Ninilchik River remains open for hatchery kings for the rest of the season. The bag and possession limits were increased for hatchery chinooks from one to two fish, and there is no annual limit. Please review emergency order 2-KS-7-18-21 below for more info.

Fishing for hatchery kings is dragging its fins. As the tide recedes in the lower river, it is still your best bet for slamming into some fresh stragglers. Dollies are starting to make an appearance in low numbers and could begin riding the tides into the river during the next couple weeks.

Hey, don’t forget about the Homer Reservoir if you would like give young’uns a crack at catching some small dollies. They are abundant and ornery enough to take onshore cast spinners that’ll keep the kids hoppin’.

Saltwater Fishing


Halibut stalkers continued to fill their holds with limits during the week with some pretty impressive Cook Inlet hawgs in the mix.

The marine weather forecast looks pretty favorable for the week in Kachemak Bay and Cook Inlet, which should allow anglers to roam out farther to super-secret hot spots. It also helps that the tides will be moderate for most of the week.

King Salmon

Trolling for blackmouth geared down somewhat in Kachemak Bay last week. The most dependable strike zones were near Bluff Point, and the bait-filled water column near Point Pogibshi.

Some pinks are beginning to nose around Point Pogibshi, but the brain stems with fins aren’t there en masse yet.

The Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon is mostly cleared out of kings but a small number of bright chinooks are still being nailed. The older kings are getting red enough to use as road flares.

Special alert! Good news. Tom, the lagoon’s mayor, seer and refined raconteur, called to report that he got into a school of silvers early Tuesday morning. Their bite was light, but they were looking for fight.

So, it looks like the wait is over, and we can start singing, “Schools are in for the summer.”

Sockeye Salmon

China Poot is open to dipnetting. Red chasers were able to scoop up and snag some quality meat for the bar-b and canners over the weekend. Remember to watch the tides or pack a cooler full of food because you could end up with a longer stay than you were planning.

Other Saltwater Fishing

If you just want to try potluck bottom fishing, flip some line off the end of the Homer Spit. Lately, some anglers have been landing chum salmon out there. You’ll also have a chance to land walleye pollock, Pacific cod, Dolly Varden, a variety of flatfish that range from tasty to something that would choke a wolf eel.

Emergency Orders

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

Emergency Order 2-KS-7-18-21 increases the hatchery king salmon bag and possession limits in the Ninilchik River from one fish to two fish 20” or greater in length and removes the annual limit effective 12:01 a.m. Saturday, June 12 through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021.

Emergency Order 2-KS-7-17-21 closes sport fishing for king salmon within 1 mile of shore in the salt waters of Cook Inlet north of the latitude of Bluff Point (59° 40.00’ N. lat.). This regulatory change is effective 12:01 a.m. Saturday, June 5 through 11:59 p.m. Thursday, July 15, 2021.

Emergency Order 2-KS-7-16-21 closes the Anchor River and Deep Creek to all sport fishing effective 12:01 a.m. Saturday, June 5 through 11:59 p.m. Thursday, July 15, 2021.

Emergency Order 2-KS-7-08-21 reduced the king salmon annual limit north of Bluff Point from five to two fish through 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, July 15, 2021. Emergency Order 2-RCL-7-04-21 and 2-RCL-7-05-21 closed all EASTSIDE Cook Inlet beaches to clamming for all species from the mouth of the Kenai River to the southernmost tip of the Homer Spit in 2021.

Until next week … Nick can be reached at if he isn’t chasing down a report that someone has a recipe for Arrowtooth flounder that doesn’t invoke an immediate gag reflex and loss of taste buds.

Two seals swim in the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon on June 24, 2021, in Homer, Alaska. Seals sometimes will take salmon caught by fishermen at the popular fishing spot. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Two seals swim in the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon on June 24, 2021, in Homer, Alaska. Seals sometimes will take salmon caught by fishermen at the popular fishing spot. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

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