Nick Varney

Reeling ‘Em In: Snooty silvers slipping into the Fishin’ Hole

First run of silvers can be downright insolent, but be patient.

I recently received an email from an Arizona gentleman who discovered that he and his party had hit the fishing lagoon just as most of the remaining elderly chinook were starting to swim sideways, acting like submarines that had endured one too many depth-charge attacks.

He was surprised to discover so few anglers flipping lures and inferred that one could get a better turnout from representatives of the new administration at a big-oil and gas appreciation party.

I wrote back admitting things had been deader than Steven Segal’s career when snagging closed at the lagoon, but the silvers were starting to trickle in.

I warned him that there was something puzzling about the new batch of rookie arrivals. Many of the coho are downright insolent. Other than spurts of action during the incoming tides, the critters cruise around like New York gourmets snubbing welcome baskets of lures stocked with everything from exquisitely processed roe to marvelous cut-plug herring. They are even less enamored with the undignified presentations of uncouth spinners.

So far, they are behaving more like VIP visitors attending a Smithsonian Institute exhibition. They wander aimlessly around like scholars, stopping momentarily to mill about displays before deciding that they must have missed something at the far end of the exhibition hall and roam off, rebuffing the array of proffered bait delicacies with a disgusted glance.

It’s not all bad. Like I mentioned previously, the uppity snobs can get antsy and strike as the tide moves through the ocean access cut, but once the water stills, they slide into a stupor commonly associated with spectators watching a parcheesi contest.

My advice was to have patience and throw everything legal at the scaly miscreants until something finally turns their crank. Somebody out there will figure it out and the fight will be on.

Hopefully, the silvers will grow in size and amount. Until then, try to remain a purist and ignore the urge to blow the jumpers out of the air with a skeet gun. The seals would just steal them anyway.

Now it’s time to take a look at this fishing report for the week of July 13.

Freshwater Fishing

Alert: The lower sections of the Anchor River and Deep Creek will open to sport fishing except king salmon on July 16.

Small numbers of Dolly Varden and pink salmon are starting to return to these streams.

Anchor River Dolly Varden daily counts are now posted on the sport fish web counts site.

When tossing metal for dollies, use small spinners and spoons that they can get their chops on or beads and smolt patterns if you are whipping fly-fishing gear.

Reminder: The Homer Reservoir is a super training pond to take kids for a shot at dollies. The fish are small-scale but plentiful. Little shiny spinners launched from shore will bring on the action.

Saltwater Fishing

Halibut

Halibut fishing is steaming full speed ahead.

Large fish from Cook Inlet continue to rock the holds of serious flat hunters. Both private and charter boats have been pounding them and scoring Salty Dawg brags.

The Marine weather forecast remains pretty favorable in Kachemak Bay and Cook Inlet, which will continue to allow anglers to range out to where the big boys play. The tides will be moderate for most of the week.

Herring on a circle hook continues to be the most popular bait; however, octopus, salmon heads and jigs also work well along with some super-secret, odoriferous gorp that my bud Willie swears by but ends up fishing alone when he uses it.

King Salmon

Trolling for chinook was fair to good in Kachemak Bay last week. The best bite area has been around Bluff Point and in the concentration of the water column near Point Pogibshi.

Be still my heart alert: Some pinks are beginning to show up around Point Pogibshi and Bluff Point. Oh joy!

Silver Salmon

As noted earlier, coho are starting to return to the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon in small numbers, but the fishing has been at a belly crawl.

Go after the silvers early in the morning and/or on the incoming tide when it starts inundating the lagoon.

Plug cut herring, pieces of mackerel or a small cluster of salmon eggs floating about 18 inches below a bobber will do the trick when and if the little $&*#$ decide to come down off their high horses.

Sockeye Salmon

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

Personal Use

Dipnetting sockeye in China Poot Creek has been plugging away at a fair to good pace. You’ll do better if you arrive early at 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-7-18-21 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-KS-7-17-21 closes sport fishing for king salmon within one mile of shore in the salt waters of Cook Inlet north of the latitude of Bluff Point (59° 40.00’ N. lat.). This regulatory change is effective 12:01 a.m. Saturday, June 5 through 11:59 p.m. Thursday, July 15, 2021.

Emergency Order 2-KS-7-16-21 closes the Anchor River and Deep Creek to all sport fishing effective 12:01 a.m. Saturday, June 5 through 11:59 p.m. Thursday, July 15, 2021.

Emergency Order 2-KS-7-08-21 reduced the king salmon annual limit north of Bluff Point from five to two fish through 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, July 15, 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 ncvarney@gmail.com if he isn’t busy plotting new ways to avoid pinks unless he has to walk by their cans in a supermarket to get to the sardines that have more awareness of their surroundings than the humpies do at sea.

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