Nick Varney

Reeling ‘Em In: Homer needs a Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon Olympiad

A myrida of events could be created out of fishing hole fun.

I’ve did a little less scouting during the previous week due to the fact that the Summer Olympics had kicked into high gear.

When our exceptional U.S. athletes are on the air, my lures sit on the bench; although, I have been known to occasionally make some exceptions during the badminton qualifying rounds and semifinals in the one-and two-person dinghy races.

For the last week or so, I have been spending the predawn hours hunting down live and replay broadcasts featuring everything from equestrian competitions to taekwondo bouts rather than monitoring my own gold-medal-worthy bobber presentations of plug-cut herring carcasses.

Maybe our cosmic community of the truly unique should stage a Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon Mini Olympiad.

Returning salmon could be scored for their finesse in aerial gymnastics and synchronized swimming avoidance skills, involving ravenous seal dodging.

As for the anglers? The venues are endless.

Pirouettes and unintended headers off the entrance rocks while flailing at the fish cruising through the lagoon entrance would certainly provide dynamic and scorable exhibitions of skills lacking forethought, balance, dexterity and an acceptable level of sobriety.

Pole foil fencing for primo fishing slots during the incoming tide would be a fascinating spectator sport, especially when judged on inadvertent entanglements, creative expletive exchanges and piscatorian judo engagements over waterfront space.

For those who prefer milder competitions, zones would be set aside for inverted hard-bucket keister squats and bobber monitoring. Points would be awarded for butt stamina and the ability to maintain semi consciousness during perpetual hours of tedium. Deductions would be taken for developing unsightly drool and disqualifications rendered for comatose faceplants into the pond.

Illegal snaggers would be expelled, carded with multiple C-note fines and awarded emblazoned certificates recognizing their blatant lack of ethics, depth of angling ineptness and intellect proficiency of dried kelp.

Yeah, it’s more than a whimsical idea, but from what I’ve seen and experienced out there over the decades, there wouldn’t be a problem identifying those exceptionally qualified for the aforementioned competitions. Although, getting them to enter would be a major challenge with everyone hauling around cell phones, looking for embarrassing shots to post on their Instagram accounts.

Now it’s time to take a look at the fishing report for the week of Aug. 3.

Freshwater Fishing

All sections of the Anchor River, Deep Creek, Stariski Creek and the Ninilchik River are open to sport fishing. Special Note: You may not fish for salmon above the 2-mile marker in the streams. Gear is limited to single-hook, no bait above the 2-mile markers.

The lower section of the Ninilchik remains open to hatchery kings but closed to wild king fishing. See the emergency order below for more info. All other streams are closed to all chinook fishing.

Finally, a few silvers have been counted through the Anchor River weirs. Hit the stream near its mouth on incoming tides. Remember, coho tend to get really feisty around the glimmer of dawn.

The silver and dolly counts for the Anchor River are posted on the Fish Counts website.

Small numbers of dollies and pinks are passing through the lower sections daily.

When targeting Dolly Varden using spinning gear, give them a shot with small flashy spinners and spoons. If you are stalking with fly fishing gear, beads or smolt patterns work pretty well.

Saltwater Fishing

Halibut

Halibut fishing continued to take gold medals for excellence throughout Kachemak Bay and Lower Cook Inlet last week. Tides are going to be temperate throughout the week, which will provide more time on the hook or leisurely drifts. If one approach is putting you and your guests to sleep, go for option B.

Once again, the marine weather forecast looks pretty good for the week in Kachemak Bay and Cook Inlet. Fin chasers should be able to motor out to their favorites offshore primo haunts. Just keep your eyes on the day breeze buildup.

King Salmon

Trolling for chinook last week was pretty much a belly crawl, but hunters still managed to find kings scattered throughout Kachemak Bay.

Humpy hordes are becoming more widespread throughout Kachemak Bay, which makes it harder to target what king action remains. The rudimentary nervous systems with fins are roving in large numbers from Seldovia to Flat Island.

As we have mentioned before, if you still want to try for kings in that hot mess, set you gear at sharper depths than usual to avoid the brazen, bait purloining goons.

Coho Salmon

More silvers are showing up in small numbers within Kachemak Bay. Try trolling around the tip of the Homer Spit or Point Pogibshi with thin flashy spoons or troll- size herring.

Coho fishing improved somewhat over the weekend at the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon.

The Hole’s Mayor, Tom, reported that this season’s run is developing into a fairly decent return. There have been sizeable landings made on the incoming tides and large numbers of fish are now holding in the lagoon. Many more are staging on the outside, but tend to tarry out there during the small tides.

The fish normally get their bite on when the tide is flooding into the lagoon or during the pre-gold patina of dawn. When those two circumstances coincide, a perfect storm of strikes can ensue.

Plug cut herring or small cluster of salmon eggs under a bobber will entice takedowns, and if those approaches stall out, try casting and slowly retrieving silver bladed, blue or red bell Vibrax spinners.

Side note: Mud Bay was definitely showing more jumpers and finning behaviors over the weekend.

Sockeye Salmon

Legal snagging enthusiasts are having various success with snagging sockeye in Tutka Bay Lagoon and in China Poot Bay near the creek mouth.

Personal Use

Dipnetting reds in China Poot Creek has continued to be fair to good. To increase your take, try arriving early in the start of the incoming tide. The season for the China Poot Creek dip net fishery has been extended through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 15.

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-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.

Nick can be reached at ncvarney@gmail.com unless our track teams are running faster than the silvers.

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