Reeling ‘Em In wraps up another season

Well, it’s that time again. The sunset of summer is beginning to slide further into the expanding dusk of fall. The raucous calls of gathering cranes will soon disappear as they embark on their southern journeys to warmer climes deepening the silence left behind by the erstwhile departures of the birds of song.

It is also time again to close out Reeling ’Em In for the season.

It has been another great ride and I want to thank all of you who have provided tips, tales and the multifarious inputs that are so important in making a light-hearted fishing column like this work.

A very exceptional shoutout to Tom, Lou, Gary and Turk whose angling expertise, ethics and willingness to provide insights for this report has been invaluable and deeply appreciated.

It’s been a long time since we’ve experienced such an outrageously cool run of kings at The Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon even though its coho pulse collapsed like a rubber ducky hammered with buckshot.

But, hey, the silver showing has been rather apathetic elsewhere so I guess we can’t whine too much. Although, many of us still recall the halcyon days of a second return of those acrobatic beauties.

Another highlight of The Hole’s season was that ethical anglers finally had enough and started taking the lagoon back from the scofflaws and incompetent troglodytes with poles who couldn’t score a fish without cheating unless it was filleted and on-sale.

Principled piscatorians stepped forward and either called in the infractions and/or informed clueless deadwoods that they were violating regulations.

It was amazing what a few costly busts did to clear the banks of the clueless knuckle draggers who had the misconception that Fish and Game law enforcement didn’t give a squat about what went on at the terminal fishery.

Next year should be even better.

Before we move along to the last fishing report of the season, I’d like to remind you that the troopers are still seeking information on the person or persons who abandoned a personal-use setnet at Neptune Bay in Kachemak Bay late last month. The net had caught 79 fish and a river otter, all of them dead and rotten and unsalvageable, said Alaska Wildlife Trooper Mark Eldridge of the Anchor Point Post, E Detachment. If you have any information, call Eldridge at 907-235-3010.

Now let’s take a look at this week’s fishing report.

The flowing waters of the Anchor and Ninilchik rivers and Deep and Stariski creeks remain restricted to one un-baited, single-hook, artificial lure through Oct. 31.

Salmon may not be hunted or harvested upstream of the two-mile regulatory markers on the Anchor River, Ninilchik River, Deep Creek or Stariski Creek. Save yourself some major embarrassment and significant bucks by being able to tell the differences between a silver and a steelhead. The steelies may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately.

Lingcod season will be open through Dec. 31. The bag and possession limit of these fish with the temperament of Freddy Kruger is two fish with a minimum legal size of 35 inches. Fall and winter storms tend to seriously limit lingcod fishing big time. The beasts can be located hanging in pinnacle hoods near the Barren and Chugach Islands.

Saltwater Fishing

Halibut hookups will still be possible throughout the fall and into the winter, but fewer anglers will be chasing them because of challenging seas associated with stormy weather and the fact that the slabs have begun migrating into deeper waters.

Feeder kings are available year-round in Kachemak Bay and fishing for them has been fair to good over the last week. Try the areas around Point Pogibshi, Bluff Point, the islands near Elderd Passage, and Bear Cove.

Do your part: As a part of the Chinook Salmon Research Initiative, the F&G Department is looking at the genetic stock composition of the marine king salmon fishery. If you fished for kings in Cook Inlet, regardless of success, they’d like to talk to you. More information on the Chinook Salmon Research Initiative can be found at: dfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=chinookinitiative.main.

The end of the Homer Spit will continue to offer year-round fishing for walleye pollock, Pacific cod, a variety of flatfish along with an occasional, dumb luck, feeder king.

The fishery off the southern tip of the spit was rolling over the Labor Day weekend. Boats and kayaks were taking hits and reported catching a good numbers of small kings. One drifting skiff was spotted landing a healthy looking halibut.

As a final note, I wish to, once again, recognize the professionalism of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, especially Joey, who was instrumental in providing me with essential input for the column, and Carol for her expertise when it came to answering questions concerning everything from stocking inquiries to regulation clarifications. This column wouldn’t exist without their continuing support.

Nick can be reached at ncvarney@gmail.com.

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