Reeling ‘Em In: High tides roll in more opportunities for sport fish

Well, look what finally showed up at the ye ole fishing hole.

As the higher tides rolled in, so did several schools of rookie coho spoiling for a brawl.

Many were on the modest side but a few porkers roiled in the heavy in-flow while dodging a hail of bobbers, spinners, and bizarre lures only a starving Mississippi perch would deem as edible.

Since the influx, I have received emails inquiring as to what sort of set ups usually work on silvers, especially in the lagoon. Well, simply put, silvers can be finicky jerks so you may have to experiment.

Salmon eggs work well especially if you angle into the stream of the incoming and outgoing tides. Add a medium split shot about a foot up from your bait and eighteen inches below a bobber then cast upstream and let it drift along with the enticements of the other fanatics thrashing the watercourse.

If the fish act as though they’d rather be wolfed down by a swarm of zombie stickle backs than try what you’re tossin’, take a crack at small herring using the same technique. Suggestion: plug-cut the little guys because it’s simple to set them up to spin and enhance the scent trail.

If neither of those two techniques work, give flashy silver lures a shot such as a #3 red bell, silver bladed, Vibrax. Nada? Experiment with different body colors (orange, blue, tiger striped).

As the tidal change stills, watch for the ripple of the schools cruising the shoreline. If you are soaking bait beneath a bobber, lose the split shot and wait until the school nears you, then lightly twitch your line as they pass. The movement will draw attention to your lure. If your float submerges, be patient, let it run (5 seconds or so) then reel slowly until you feel tension and strike. I saw quite a few misses out there because people tried to rip the lips off fish as soon as their hit indicator took a dive.

If you are tossing iron, lead the school like you are hunting duck. Vary your retrieval speed and depth as the school passes.

Finally, if you spot some dude or duddette slammin’ ‘em, legally, do what they are doing. Trust me. I didn’t come up with all of the aforementioned techniques. I pilfered them from every successful piscatorialist I’ve been able to reconnoiter.

Yeah, we are a sneaky bunch. Even one of my “trusted” bros purloined my inverted, patent pending, plug cut herring modus operandi. Didn’t you, Willie?

Time now to take a look at the fishing report for July 17.

Freshwater Fishing

Expect slow fishing for dollies this week on the roadside streams. Water conditions are currently high and yuck-muddy but should improve later in the week. Fish the incoming tide in the lower river for newcomers. For fly fishing tackle, beads, streamers, and smolt patterns should rile them up.

If you are into spinning, try using size 0 to 2 spinners or small spoons.

Dolly Varden fishing remains beyond decent in the Bridge Creek Reservoir. Reports of nice, small fish, catches continue to roll in. Hit them with bait, small lures, or spoons from shore.

Saltwater Fishing


Halibut fishing continues to cook in Cook Inlet. Weather permitting, the more distant locations have been producing larger slabs and better quantities, but anglers willing to spend more time soaking bait can get slammed in nearshore locations.

No hits? Consider drifting until you find a hot patch before setting the anchor and dropping your chum bag.

King Salmon

Trolling for kings in Kachemak Bay has remained middling with anglers finding their prey pretty much scattered throughout the area.

Best bet? Point Pogibshi, but those blockhead humpies keep getting in the way and depth charges are beyond an absolute, no-no.

Other Salt water

China Poot personal use dip net fishery for sockeye continued to be a hit or miss proposition last week. Things are not looking much better for this coming week.

There have been predominantly pink salmon showing up in Tutka Lagoon. Whoa! That ought to produce a real flash of excitement throughout the sports fishing community.

As noted previously, more silvers have been arriving in the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon.

Its infamous and line flinging expert, Tom, the humbly acknowledged mayor, and raconteur of tales from the fishing hole finally got into them last week along with his executive staff assistant Shelly. The mayor even had the pleasure of playing whack-a-mole with a late arriving, ten pound and shiny chinook while Shelly put the hurt on some fine silvers.

So, what are you waiting for? The bigger the tides, the bigger the silver motherlode. Hopefully, anyway. I’ve got to cover my prognosticating kiester here.

Humpies are showing up in large numbers throughout Cook Inlet. Anglers hankering to chase pinks should try fishing from Point Pogibshi to Flat Island or consider gentle counseling.

Lingcod anglers continued to have some success along the outer coast last week returning with all appendages intact despite the beasts’ attitudes.

Surf fishing in Cook Inlet has been fair. Shoreline casters are landing some tolerable halibut along the Clam Gulch beaches. Whiskey Gulch provides good shoreline access as well.

The end of the Homer Spit is the best bet for dragging in a plethora of assorted of bottom feeders and the things that swallow them. It is suggested that you fish with a partner and make sure they are slower than you if something should surface that is amphibious and has the grin of a ravenous salmon shark.

Nick can be reached at if you have any tips, tales or rational explanation of how a humpy can function without discernible brain activity.