Reeling ‘Em In: Heads up: Silvers are sneakin’ into the hole

Anyone driving by the Spit’s fishing lagoon recently must have thought that they could have spotted more action at an Alaska Oil and Gas Association appreciation party for the current administration.

Don’t despair. According to the lagoon’s mayor, he did pretty well last week as fresh kings straggled into the pond. Most of the chinook were bright or slightly blushed, with only one maroon male.

Significant note: He did manage to get his first silver early one morning, a very feisty 6-pound female.

Yeah, I said “silver,” so heads up.

When do the rest of mighty warrior coho make their debut? Well, if they don’t take a wrong turn and end up somewhere off Adak things will, hopefully, go like this …

A few hard chargers may stir up a bit of excitement any time now with the large tides.

Once they seriously start vaulting across the briny to run the Lower Kenai Peninsula streams, the shiny missiles should be available for scrappy brawls throughout early September.

On another matter, I recently came across the post of a man and his daughter displaying a couple of amazing ling cod that produce some of the finest eating on the planet.

Yeah, I know that they are Freddy Kruger gruesome and showcase a set of choppers that stun predatory sharks into blowing their anal fins when they meet head-on. They are also antisocial to the point of relishing an occasional pop-up brunch featuring unfortunate neighbors and relatives.

Lings prefer to chill unless you diss them by getting anywhere near what they consider their personal space with a hook and/or a gaff. Then it’s mindset adjustment time and the beasts develop an attitude reflecting a deep desire to alleviate their capturers of carelessly exposed appendages.

Just kidding of course, but they do come across as being sorely pissed about joining you in the boat.

Putting side their nasty personalities and proclivity toward violence, ling do have a positive side. They are beyond succulent and countless gourmets would rather wolf down a batch of deep-fried Panko-crusted ling than a platter of skillfully prepared halibut famous for being ambrosia to the palate.

Time now for the fishing report for the Week of July 12, 2022:

Freshwater Fishing

The lower sections of the Anchor River, Deep Creek, and the Ninilchik River will reopen to sport fishing on July 16.

A fair number of dollies are starting to return to these streams. Fly fishing aficionados should do well using smolt patterns or beads. Spinning with small spinners and spoons will get their attention too.

Saltwater Fishing


Halibut fishing remained in the hot zone the last week with some impressive flats landed in offshore locations.

Hit a dead zone? Try a drift until the ‘but action fires up.

King Salmon

Trolling for kings has continued to be a bit like a snipe hunt until pursuers cruise over a concentration and then things kick into high gear.

Last week, the chinook were discovered hangin’ at Bluff Point and on the outer coast near Point Adam. Fishing remained a near-death experience in most other locations within Kachemak Bay.

As noted earlier, there are still blackmouth being caught in the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon. But, remember, snagging is closed. Early morning and tide change-outs provide the best likelihood of strikes.

Sockeye Salmon

There has been a stadium full of reds in China Poot Lagoon. Rod benders and net sweepers have had nice success with both dipping in the fresh waters of China Poot Creek as well as snagging in the salt waters of the area.

The number of fish in the area fluctuates with tides and with commercial fishing openers. Be wary of the ebbing tide and the southwest day breeze creating large waves as you exit the lagoon.

Snagging within Tutka Lagoon has also been fruitful for sockeye. Pink salmon should start to show up in bigger numbers soon. Not a big bucket list item from what I hear.

Coho Salmon

The coho return is off to a trickle start in the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon and the fishing will likely remain slow unless the tides provide a surprise. Expect better fishing later in the month.

The silvers should start to show up in catchable numbers in offshore locations along the North Gulf coast.

Other Saltwater Fishing

Lingcod season opened on July 1. Generally, fisherpersonages targeting lings take a charter or have hefty private boats to get to the outer coast and drop lures near the Chugach Islands.

Good minus tides for clamming in west Cook Inlet occur this week. An impressive number of medium to large succulent clams can be found in both locations.

All eastside Cook Inlet beaches are closed to clamming in 2022. See the emergency orders below for more info.

Emergency Orders

Emergency Order 2-KS-7-29-closed all sport fishing in the Ninilchik River through 11:59 p.m. Friday, July 15, 2022.

Emergency Order 2-KS-7-28-22 closed king salmon fishing north of Bluff Point in all Cook Inlet salt waters through 11:59 p.m. Friday, July 15, 2022.

Emergency Order 2-KS-7-24-22 closed all sport fishing in Deep Creek and the Anchor River through 11:59 p.m. Friday, July 15, 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.

Nick can be reached at if he isn’t lurking around the fishing hole waiting for the mayor to doze off giving him a shot at pilfering some of his double super-secret, party sized, custom-cut and imported oily mackerel bits before the silver run gets real.