Reeling ‘Em In: In memory of the fishing hole mayor

I would like to take a moment to answer a general question many of you have asked in your emails.

“Where is the Fishing Hole’s Mayor? You haven’t mentioned him in your columns lately.”

Thomas Robert Schroeder, the self-proclaimed mayor of the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon will not be joining us this season.

Last week, my friend, mentor and fisherman extraordinaire, who enjoyed many an epic battle with the lagoon’s kings over the years, was unable to prevail in his courageous fight with cancer and passed on to where fishing is celestial and grandiose brags the truth.

Tom was an extraordinary and generous man who filled many a proxy for those who could not do so for themselves because of advanced age and/or disabilities.

His contributions were vital fuel for this column and the history of his experiences working for the Department of Alaska Fish and Game were fascinating and insightful.

I will miss him, his humor, steadfast friendship, love for family, community, and country.

Maybe, if I can get this rusted hulk totally mobile again, we’ll get together in Tom’s Corner of the lagoon.

I’ll bring an extra white plastic chair and rod to place next to me as I cast a line from the bank.

Bypassers will probably just see an old dude talking to himself, but Tom and I will know better, won’t we?

Time now for the fishing report for the week of June 11.

Freshwater Fishing

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

The Ninilchik River opens to fishing for hatchery kings June 16. The fishing should be fair to middling.

The counts of both wild and hatchery fish improved over last week. To seek out newly arriving fish, try hitting the harbor area during the incoming tide.

Cured salmon roe under a bobber is the most effective setup for firing them up. With the low water conditions, smaller (size 3 or 4) pink or chartreuse spinners may draw their interest. If not, try everything in your tackle box. Still nothing? Then, why are you out there in the first place?

If you incidentally hook a steelhead or wild king, get them to the bank as swiftly as possible to release without removing them from the water.

Saltwater Fishing

Kachemak Bay/Cook Inlet


Halibut fishing was getting it on with large flats being boated last week. The fishing was moderately steady in the inlet and at locations such as Flat Island.

Fishing around slack tide is the primo time for targeting halibut because you can hold the bottom with less weight. This week it shouldn’t be hard to do with the tides going into a lower gear.

King Salmon

King fishing just south of Bluff Point remained enjoyable through the weekend. Strikes were increased by setting gear in the mid-water column. Otherwise, it remained a dice roll at other locations throughout Kachemak Bay.

Small troll herring or spoons behind a flasher has been working great. If you are clueless on how to prep a herring, try hootchies and tube flies but don’t embarrass yourself by telling anyone why you switched.

To get a shot at finding kings, try setting the gear at different depths including mid-water column and 10 feet off the bottom. Don’t know what that means? Sell your boat.

Surf Fishing

Surf fishing anglers were still doing well on several of the Cook Inlet beaches last weekend, including the Deep Creek area. Best shot locations for halibut include Kasilof, Clam Gulch, Ninilchik boat harbor, Deep Creek campground and Whiskey Gulch. There is also 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, most of them edible, along with several critters that taste like grout.

Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon

King salmon fishing improved later in the week at the fishing hole. Anglers were most successful closer to high tide in the southern lobe of the lagoon (Tom’s Corner). A plug-cut small herring or a chunk of mackerel drifting about 2 feet under a bobber has been working well this season. Casting orange Vibrax or Orange/silver Flash n Glo spinners are another options worth trying.

Seldovia Slough

Anglers were doing fine in the lagoon and at the bridge last week. Cured eggs or herring under a slip bobber were doing the trick along with spinners. The incoming tide is the best time to nail a king near the bridge. High tide produces more strikes in the lagoon.

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 Homer Office at 907-235-8191.

Nick can be reached at if he still isn’t trying to track down the rumor that a wolf eel was spotted chasing a highly motivated Chihuahua down the beach at the end of the Spit.