Reeling ‘Em In: High tides and a little hope

Last week we reported that the Fishing Hole’s chinook run has been about as productive as trolling behind a state ferry in high seas off the Barrens.

We also predicted that things might pick up when bigger tides rolled in and they did. Unfortunately, the king run’s engine coughed and sputtered and the fishing went back to being as docile as the subsequent tide cycle.

Well, this week, seriously honkin’ tides have arrived and maybe, just maybe, they’ve hauled along a significant pulse of the silvery torpedoes with them.

Easy now, don’t go blowing your back out trying to lunge into Xtratufs while snatching up tackle and freezer-burned bait just to be the first one out there. That would be somewhat unseemly, especially, if you’re in the middle of having a tooth pulled or manning a deep fryer during the lunch hour rush.

The only downside to the kings making a respectable showing is if those reprobate, fish thieving, seals show up and turn the lagoon into a clown show by going postal on hooked fish.

Trust me. I speak from years of experience dueling with those subsurface ninjas but, hey, we’re on their turf so suck it up. Although, you might take a shot at horsing your fish in so fast it’ll look like a jacked-up king on a jet ski.

Time now to look at the fishing report for June 4, 2024.

Freshwater Fishing

The Anchor River and Deep Creek are closed to all sport fishing through July 15, 2024.

The Ninilchik River is open to fishing for hatchery king salmon June 8-10.

The fishing should be slow to fair. Depending on your definition of what’s “fair.”

The counts of both wild and hatchery fish are low but they are steadily heading in. Large tides this week may kick things up a notch. Flip them some cured salmon roe under a slip bobber. Size 4 or 5 pink or chartreuse spinners have worked too.

If you incidentally hook a steelhead or wild king salmon, move them to the bank as quickly as possible then release them without removing them from the river.

Saltwater Fishing

Kachemak Bay/Cook Inlet


Halibut fishing improved near Bluff Point last week with nice flats boated. Success remained steady enough to keep anglers awake in the Inlet and a few other areas such as Flat Island.

Fishing around slack tide is the best time for targeting halibut especially with these current tides. When the water goes turbo, you are going to require so much weight to hold bottom that a 10-pound ‘butt will feel like you are into something bigger than an NFL linebacker.

Nothing new here but herring on a circle hook is the most popular bait; however, octopus, salmon heads, and jigs also work well.

King Salmon

King fishing south of Bluff Point kicked in last week with reports of nice catches near the Bluff area.

It remained spotty at other locations throughout Kachemak Bay. Stay with small troll herring or spoons behind a flasher or hootchies and tube flies if you are still being ignored.

Surf Fishing

Surf fishing anglers were enjoying some cool action on several of the Cook Inlet beaches last weekend, including the Deep Creek area. Other popular locations for surfing for halibut include Kasilof, Clam Gulch, Ninilchik boat harbor, Deep Creek campground, and Whiskey Gulch.

Beach bait launchers are nailing a variety of groundfish including halibut, sculpins, skates, sharks, flounders, and cod.

Regulations changed at the December 2023 Board of Fisheries meeting to allow surf fishing for groundfish in the conservation zones surrounding the Anchor River, Deep Creek and Ninilchik River.

You still may not fish within 200 yards of the stream mouths — look out for posted orange regulatory signs.

Don’t forget about fishing off the tip of the Homer Spit — that location can be productive for a variety of groundfish and things that aren’t.

Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon

King fishing has been sporadic in the NDFL — fish are present in the lagoon but aloof at times. Things may pick up faster with these rockin’ tides, but expect iffy success to continue this week.

Fishing the incoming or outgoing tide is typically your best shot at some action.

A small, plug cut, herring, or a cut of mackerel 18 inches below a bobber along with orange Vibrax and orange/silver Flash n Glo spinners have been taking more than their share out there. Thanks again Shelley.

Seldovia Slough

Fishing is off to a slow start here, but a few chinook have been caught. Anglers typically hit the kings near the bridge in town or in the lagoon. Try cured eggs or herring under a slip bobber, or, of course, spinners.

The Homer Reservoir (located on Skyline Drive) is a great place to take kids and catch a Dolly Varden. The fish are small, but can be voracious. Dollies are often found along the shore by the road, or the south shore. Try a variety of very small spinners and spoons. Nymphs and dry flies, such as mosquitoes, can work great when the wind is calm.

Emergency Orders

Please review the emergency orders and advisory announcements below in their entirety before heading out on your next fishing trip.

Anchor River and Deep Creek Closed to Sport Fishing

Sport Fishing for King Salmon Closed in Upper Cook Inlet Salt Waters

King Salmon Bag Limit Reduced from 2 to 1 in Lower Cook Inlet Salt Waters

Changes to King Salmon Limits and Gear in the Ninilchik River

Cook Inlet Sport Fishing Regulation Changes

East Cook Inlet Razor Clam Fisheries Remain Closed for 2024

For additional information, please contact the AKF&G Homer Office at 907-235-8191.

Nick can be contacted at if he’s back from watching a secret demonstration of a new blackmouth lure from the mystic isle of Kodiak.