Nick Varney

Nick Varney

Reeling ‘Em In: Silvers are still not strong in Fishing Hole

While Turk and I were watching the water evaporate at The Fishing Hole early last week, a guy let fly with a rig composed of a bobber and a dangling herring. A common set-up but, unfortunately, it drew the attention of a patrolling gull that swooped down, snatched up the sinking bait and sparked a ruckus.

The gentleman took exceptional umbrage at the uncouth pilferage and commenced bellowing smokin’ expletives that my bud claimed elicited bootcamp flashbacks and would have, in all probability, stunned his drill instructor.

The uproar subsided as quickly as it started when the feathered thief took one glance at the frothing terror angrily hauling it toward shore and screeched, ditching the filched lure.

Why am I mentioning this minor bit of chaos? Because it was about the only unique entertainment I came across while scouting the pond during the week.

Although, I should mention one individual on Saturday who continually baited up with a bright crimson glop of what he called his “exclusive, glowin’-goo, roe” that turned the water into something resembling a toxic red tide and left his hands looking like they belonged to a serial killer.

The eggs were quite impressive, especially when he layered so much of gunk on his sliding, dual-hook combo that the only way he was going to nail a fish was if it inadvertently slammed into the sunken mass and got stuck.

Over the last few days, I’ve received several emails suggesting that since the king run ended, the fishing has slowed so much that they could probably come across more action at a wake.

Not so, folks. Yes, there are days that your bait will decompose from boredom and the only way metal flingers will get a thrill is when they snag bottom, but hang in there. We’ll discuss what’s still working and when a bit later.

It’s time now to take a look at the fishing report for the week of July 28 – Aug. 3.

Freshwater Fishing

Dolly Varden

Dolly fishing on the lower Kenai Peninsula roadside streams, including the Anchor River, remains downright sluggish.

The Anchor became a bit messy with the rains, but is clearing up and receding. No reports of clueless pinks or aerialist silvers yet, but it won’t be long.

The upstream sections of these lower streams open to sport fishing on Aug. 1 and anglers can expect fair fishing. Beads should work best in the upstream sections, but it’s always worth trying various tackle presentations including small spinners and spoons, and flies.

Pink and chum salmon have started showing up in the small streams on the south side of Kachemak Bay. Humpy Creek and Seldovia River offer the best fishing.

Sockeye salmon

China Poot Personal Use dipnetting has continued to be a crap shoot. Sockeye should continue to arrive through the remainder of the season.

Saltwater Fishing


Halibut fishing has been consistently rockin’ the rods in offshore locations and there’s been some honking slabs hitting the decks throughout July. If you don’t have a boat, there’s plenty of great charters with primo crews to put you on the fish in Homer, Anchor Point and Ninilchik.


Trolling for silvers has been pretty decent on the outer coast but has been on a slow crawl in Kachemak Bay and Cook Inlet.

As mentioned earlier, coho fishing has been dragging its fins at the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon. Work the outside of the pond at the commencement of the outgoing tide or around the inside banks of the entrance as the water rolls in. Eggs or herring under a bobber are your best play along with a bucket full of patience.

Special Note: A youthonly area will be setup on Saturday, Aug. 1 ,and it’s a great way to spend a day out with the family.

Try ambushing the coho with small spoons on either side of the Homer Spit as the run, hopefully, builds for the fishing lagoon and other Kachemak Bay locations.

King trolling has been a bit of drag but hunters are still popping chinooks in numerous locales around Kachemak Bay and Cook Inlet, including south of Bluff Point and Point Pogibshi.

Pinks continue to get in the way at outer bay locations. To have a better chance at the kings and coho, drop your rigs deeper to avoid those irksome humpy >!*$!#^$.

Generally, boat floating piscatorians use downriggers and fish with troll-sized herring or spoons trailing flashers.


Good clamming tides will be running from Aug. 1 through Aug. 5. Don’t want to paddle board that far? Consider the possibility of taking a charter to west Cook Inlet for razors.

Remaining Emergency Orders for the Southern Area.

Emergency Order 2-KS-7-42-20 closed king salmon fishing in Cook Inlet salt waters north of the latitude of Bluff Point from Friday July 24 through 11:59 p.m. Friday, July 31.

Emergency Order 2-RCL-7-03-20 and 2-RCL-7-04-20 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.

Remaining Emergency orders for the Northern Area as of July 23: Check out the latest complete northern area fishing report at

Emergency Order 2-KS-7-42-20 prohibits king salmon fishing (including catch-and-release) in the salt waters of Cook Inlet north of the latitude of Bluff Point (59° 40.00’ N. lat.) effective 12:01 a.m. Friday, July 24 through 11:59 p.m. Friday, July 31. King salmon incidentally caught while fishing for other fish may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately.

Emergency Order 2-KS-1-41-20 closes the Kenai River drainage to fishing for king salmon and prohibits the use of bait in the Kenai River from its mouth upstream to ADF&G markers located at the outlet of Skilak Lake. This closure prohibits all sport fishing for king salmon, including catch-and-release fishing, effective 12:01 a.m. Friday, July 24 through 11:59 p.m. Friday, July 31. King salmon may not be retained or possessed; king salmon caught while fishing for other species may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately. On Wednesday, ADF&G also banned the use of multiple hooks from Aug. 1-15.

Emergency Order 2-RS-1-36-20 increases the bag and possession limit for sockeye salmon, 16 inches or longer, from three to six fish per day and twelve in possession in all portions of the Kasilof River open to salmon fishing. No more than two salmon per day and two in possession may be coho salmon. This regulation change is effective through 11:59 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020.

Emergency Order 2-KS-1-35-20 prohibits the retention of king salmon while sport fishing in the Kasilof River downstream of the Sterling Highway Bridge. Only one unbaited, single-hook artificial lure may be used when sport fishing. King salmon may not be retained or possessed, may not be removed from the water, and must be released immediately. This regulation change is effective through 11:59 p.m. Friday, July 31, 2020.

Emergency Order 2-KS-1-30-20 prohibits the retention of king salmon in the Kenai River personal use dip net fishery effective through 11 p.m. Friday, July 31.

Emergency Order 2-RS-1-27-20 expands the personal use salmon dipnet fishing area on the Kasilof River effective through 11:59 p.m. Friday, Aug. 7, 2020. Salmon may be harvested from the shore from Alaska Department of Fish and Game markers located on Cook Inlet beaches outside the terminus of the river upstream to the Sterling Highway Bridge. Salmon may be harvested from a boat from ADF&G markers located on Cook Inlet beaches outside the terminus of the river upstream to ADF&G markers placed at approximately river mile 3.

Emergency Order 2-NP-1-02-20 prohibits the retention of any species of fish in East Mackey, West Mackey, Sevena, Union, and Derks lakes for the 2020 season.

Emergency Order 2-DV-1-01-20 prohibits the retention of Arctic char/Dolly Varden in Stormy Lake for the 2020 season.

Until next week.

Nick can be reached at if he still isn’t trying to memorize all of the Emergency Orders that expired on July 31, 2020.

Fishermen try to catch silver and pink salmon on Tuesday, July 21, 2020, at the mouth of Resurrection Creek in Hope, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Fishermen try to catch silver and pink salmon on Tuesday, July 21, 2020, at the mouth of Resurrection Creek in Hope, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

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