Reeling ‘Em In: Fishing season begins in earnest

Weather forecast is sunny side up with good tides.

Welcome back to Reeling ‘Em In for its 2022 summer run of fish tales, tips, and multifarious angling reports from around the southern peninsula’s ‘hood.

As always, our extensive staff will attempt to ferret out hot spots for discerning piscatorians and screen questionable reports provided by dubious dipsticks with the credibility of flea market bit coin peddlers.

We will also keep you advised as to what’s up at Homer’s infamous Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon. The pond’s self-proclaimed mayor has, once again, gregariously offered to pass on action intel plus insights as to what the bait soakers and lure draggers have been scoring with, if anything.

He stated that lagoon activity has been light with a few 5- to 7-pound kings taken along with a heftier hen estimated at around 12 pounds.

The mayor also grumped small dollies are being a major pain in the keister with their conniving and bait stealing ways.

I can’t repeat how he expressed his verbal pronouncements regarding their lineage, but let’s just say that he is fully capable of setting off distant church alarms when he gets riled up out there.

As for the Memorial Day weather forecast for the weekend, it appears to be sunny side up with little chance of being inundated by squalls or flattened by winds.

The tides are looking pretty cool too so hauling up a 10-pound flatfish won’t feel like you’re dragging in a sunken Conex.

Now, before we get into this week’s fishing report, I’m going to reverse things and slip in this year’s Emergency Orders first, thus you’ll have the latest updates and no excuse for being a clueless reg breaker and all-around jerk.

Take a serious look at the following before you sink a line or you may end up having an up close and personal interface with a congenial wildlife trooper along with his not so genial ticket book and “bottomless ink” pen.

Emergency Order 2-KS-7-12-22 modifies the king salmon bag and possession limits in the Ninilchik River to two hatchery king salmon 20 inches or greater in length. Bait is allowed but gear is restricted to one single-hook only. The gear restrictions are effective from 12:01 a.m. Saturday, May 28 through 11:59 p.m. Friday, July 15, 2022. The bag and possession limits are effective from 12:01 a.m. Saturday, May 28 through 11:59 p.m. Monday, October 31, 2022.

Emergency Order 2-KS-7-11-22 prohibited the retention of king salmon and restricted fishing gear to only one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure in the Anchor River and Deep Creek drainages effective 12:01 a.m. Saturday, May 21 through 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, June 22, 2022.

Emergency Order 2-KS-7-10-22 reduced the king salmon annual limit north of Bluff Point from five to two fish and closed king salmon fishing within one mile of shore in Cook Inlet saltwaters. This emergency order is effective from 12:01 a.m. Sunday, May 1 through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, July 31, 2022.

Emergency Order 2-RCL-7-01-22 and 2-RCL-7-02-22 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 2022.

And, don’t forget to purchase your 2022 sport fishing license and king stamp while snapping up a free 2022 Southcentral Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet.

Now, on with the South-Central Fishing Report for the week of May 23, 2022

Freshwater Fishing

The Anchor River, Deep Creek, and Ninilchik River will open to sport fishing this Memorial Day weekend but expect slow-crawl action for the kings. These runs are off to a somewhat dawdling start but there may be a few more fish moving in by the holiday.

The water conditions are high and muddy in all three streams which will limit your chances of nailing a blackmouth. Ninilchik River should be your best bet.

For the Ninilchik River, cured salmon roe clusters suspended under a bobber usually rocks their tastebuds.

For Anchor River and Deep Creek, fishing near the stream mouths with large spinners will give you a better chance at getting into fresh arrivals.

Saltwater Fishing


Note: The Anchor Point and Deep Creek tractor launches are now operational.

Halibut fishing has been slowly gearing up over the last couple of weeks and will continue to percolate faster throughout May as more flats move back to their summer feeding areas in the Cook Inlet and Kachemak Bay areas.

Boat hunters tend to be successful anchoring in shallower water between Bluff Point and the Anchor Point light this time of year. The action may be a tad slower but the area yields above average size fish.

King Salmon

Trolling for kings has been wheezing along in Kachemak Bay and in lower Cook Inlet. The chinooks seem to be peppered throughout the bay.

As noted earlier, a few blackmouths have been nailed cruising around the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon. Don’t get too excited. Expect sluggish fishing over the holiday weekend unless the developing tides deliver an unexpected pulse of potential fillets.

Other Saltwater Fishing

Surf casting usually provides reliable early fishing in Cook Inlet for a variety of fish. Most popular locations have been Clam Gulch, Whiskey Gulch, and, finally, the tip of the Homer Spit where some hooked creatures have been known to chase their angling antagonists up the beach.

Until next week …

Nick can be reached at unless you’re seeking bail because you defied the Emergency Orders and are a profound loser.