Reeling ‘Em In: Silver fishing remains slight at Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon

Fishing might pick up on big tides to come.

Hopefully, as you read this, the air has been rinsed clean of the Siberian haze and the region’s yards are beginning to look less like turfs displaying façades of moderately singed toast.

Last Monday when I stepped out to pick up the paper, the sun had already ironed the bay flat, and our outdoor thermometer was diligently climbing toward the previously day’s nettlesome reading of “What the #^*+?”

Even Big Duke, our normally horndog wild pheasant and all-around bad boy, was slubbing around the yard dragging his sweltering tail feathers and nursing a wilted libido, much to the relief of the harried hens peeking out from the pucker brush.

The tabloid reported that the weather seers were predicting rain for most of the remaining week, giving rise to the possibility of a descent dose of precipitation to partially slake the thirsty environs, especially the Anchor River, which has been running exceptionally low and clear.

As for the Nick Dudiak Lagoon, rain or no rain, there hasn’t been much to get riled up about when it comes to the current run of silvers, according to Tom, the mayor and fish guru of The Hole.

He reconfirmed what we reported last week that the coho action continues to suck like a sudden sinkhole in Florida, although a fair number of silvers are still staging in the lagoon.

The main bite, if there is one, has been during larger evening tides. The action lasts 30-45 minutes and then hits the “ignore” button.

There have been some nice schools cruising around, but there is nothing close to reflecting a strong return, yet. Nor have there been any significant signs of fish around the barge basin or Mud Bay either – not a good sign.

Hang in there; large tides will be rolling in when this paper hits the stands, and maybe, just maybe, they’ll be hosting a motherlode of silvers to fire up even the most pessimistic of piscatorians.

Now it’s time to take a look at fishing report for the week of July 20.

Freshwater Fishing

The lower sections of the Anchor River, Deep Creek and Stariski Creek remain open to sport fishing, except king salmon. A small number of dollies and pinks are wandering through those areas daily.

Note: The daily Dolly Varden counts are now posted on the fish counts website for the Anchor River.

The lower Ninilchik River is also open for all species, except for wild kings. You may fish for hatchery kings, but the run is quickly skidding to a stop.

When chasing dollies with spinning gear, try using small spinners and spoons. Beads or smolt patterns will get their drool on if you are utilizing fly-fishing equipment.

The Homer Reservoir still has a plentiful supply of small Dolly Varden to give the kids and even grownups a super outing. Tossing spinners from shore works great on the feisty critters.

Saltwater Fishing


Halibut fishing was rocking the poles over the weekend with a plethora of large fish being taken throughout Kachemak Bay and Lower Cook Inlet.

The marine weather forecast looks pretty favorable for the week in Kachemak Bay and Cook Inlet, which bodes well for venturing out farther to primo offshore hot spots.

It’s no secret that herring cranked on a circle hook is a winning setup, but octopus, salmon heads and various jigs will also fool the gluttons. And no, I won’t tell you the recipe for Willie’s infamous stink bait. Even cats won’t live with him.

King Salmon

Trolling for chinook ran fair to good in Kachemak Bay last week. Bluff Point continued to be the most dependable strike area.

Note: Anglers will be limited to south of the latitude of Bluff Point starting Wednesday through July 31, 2021. See emergency order 2-KS-7-47-21 below for more info.

Bait stealing pinks are becoming more numerous throughout Kachemak Bay, and they’re getting in the way of the hunters stalking kings. Large, obnoxious, packs of humpies are roaming from Seldovia to Flat Island. If you want a cleaner shot at the blackmouths, try setting your gear at deeper depths to get below the insufferable @**#^^%$.

Coho Salmon

As mentioned previously, the coho run continues to be at a dead crawl the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon.

Try fishing outside of the lagoon during the receding tide for milling fish.

Plug cut herring or small cluster of salmon eggs under a bobber have been the best approach, so far.

The rising tides should push some new talent into the lagoon, and the rains might just cool things down enough to energize the fish to strike something other than a pose when they swim by you.

Remember, silver abhor the bright sun and aren’t a bit enthusiastic about dining in a warm lagoon, so hit them early in the morning or waning glow of sunset.

Sockeye Salmon

Anglers continue to have some success with snagging sockeye in Tutka Bay Lagoon and in China Poot Bay near the creek mouth.


There are good clamming tides from July 22-27. The best bet is for razor clams in West Cook Inlet in the Crescent River Bar and Polly Creek areas. East side beaches are closed to all clamming. See the emergency orders below for more info.

Personal Use

Dipnetting sockeye salmon in China Poot Creek has been fair to good. For the best success try arriving early in the start of the incoming tide.

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-7-47-21 closes sport fishing for king salmon, including catch-and-release, in all Cook Inlet salt waters north of the latitude of Bluff Point (59° 40.00’ N. lat.) This regulatory change is effective 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, July 21 through 11:59 p.m. Saturday, July 31, 2021.

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.

Until next week …

Nick can be reached at if you have any tips, tales or legal pink avoidance profundities to share.