Nick Varney

Nick Varney

Reeling ‘Em In: Silvers won’t get relief from sun until later in the month

It looks as though the weather forecast bodes well for sun worshipers and vendors hawking SPF 100 body-goop that claims to prevent the human hide from turning into something akin to a painful specimen of slow roasted jerky.

As for now, local streams depths continue to slide lower as they await the belated arrival of moisture laden clouds to sow significant rainfalls over their struggling tributaries.

Travel-weary silvers mill near the mouths of their native streams anxiously anticipating the signs of rising cool and turbulent waters so they can launch their flashy upstream invasion of the spawning grounds.

So, when can we expect a break in this low-roast scenario? I took a look at the Homer area 30-day forecast and the coho may have to back off their jets until later in the month because “I’m Singing in the Rain” doesn’t look like it’ll become a sing-along ditty anytime soon.

It’s time now to take a look at the fishing report for the week of Aug. 13 – 19.

Notice: Personal Use

The Kachemak Bay Personal Use Coho Salmon Gillnet Fishery opens for Alaska residents on Aug. 19. Open periods are 6 a.m. Monday to 6 a.m. Wednesday and 6 a.m. Thursday to 6 a.m. Saturday. The fishery closes when 1,000-2,000 coho salmon have been harvested. Permits are available at the Homer Alaska Department of Fish and Game office until the fishery closes.

Freshwater Fishing

Dolly Varden fishing in the upstream sections of Anchor and Ninilchik rivers, plus Deep Creek, continues to be respectable.

Fine tune your casts to hit behind spawning pink and kings with beads or small spoons and spinners. If one type of gear doesn’t work, keep flipping your types of presentations until you get them interested.

The best angler access is on the Anchor River from Mile 160 Sterling Highway to the bridge at the south end of North Fork Road.

As mentioned previously, there are a decent number of silvers in the lower portions of the Anchor and Ninilchik rivers, plus Deep Creek. Fishing has been fair to middling, but may not be steady until river levels rise.

Try floating eggs or herring under a bobber just before or after high tide, or in the gray light of the pre-dawn morning.

Saltwater Fishing

Salmon

Fishing for coho in the Nick Dudiak fishing lagoon has slowed some but it isn’t ready to have “Taps” played and a tarp laid over it yet. Many of the fish are still bright and feisty and will slam eggs and herring on the incoming and outgoing tides.

Take time to make sure your bait is set to the same depth the coho are swimming in. Even the denser ones will take a swipe at something that smacks them between the eyes.

Give spinners a shot if the picky critters are snubbing your gourmet offerings.

Flash-Glos with orange beads are cool. Blue Fox spinners with blue or red bells have also been working.

Please take note: With these consecutive days of sunlight beating down on the pond, your best bet for landing a silver or two is during the time that dawn begins its crawl over the horizon or the tides are flushing through the entrance.

Not much about fishing is a given, of course. The last few times I was out there, things were so slow that my hooks started to rust after their shunned baits decomposed.

By the way, the lagoon will not open for snagging before the personal use gillnets go in on Aug. 16 so things may really slow down after that.

Trolling near the Homer Spit has continued to deliver a number of silvers along with a few roaming chinook.

King fishing has been spotty with some takes on the south side of the bay, the tip of the Homer spit, and out at Silver Ridge.

Halibut

Halibut are being caught nearer to the spit and in the inner bay, but the most reliable fishing is still in outer Kachemak Bay and beyond.

If you are on the hunt for them, try drifting until you run into a few strikes before you set the hook. Using a chum bag can entice the flat gluttons to get their bite on.

Although not endorsed by the species, herring on a circle hook is the most popular way to fish for halibut. Jigs also work well.

Other Saltwater Fishing

Many lingcod and nonpelagic rockfish hunters are cruising well outside of Kachemak Bay for the best success. Most of them drift over rocky pinnacles using various jigs when targeting their prey.

Black rockfish can be caught by jigging and trolling near prominent points of land, with larger fish and more consistent fishing near Point Pogibshi and beyond.

Emergency Orders

Emergency Order 2-RCL-7-01-19 and 2-RCL-7-02-19 closed all east side Cook Inlet beaches to clamming for all species from the mouth of the Kenai River to the southernmost tip of the Homer Spit for 2019.

For additional information, please contact the ADF&G Homer office at 907-235-8191.

Nick can be reached at ncvarney@gmail.com if you have any tips, tales or sober suggestions on how to bring on some serious rain around here.

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