There has been a plethora of stories written over the years about family vacation visitations. Some are humorous. Others reveal the real scientific explanation for premature graying.
Like everyone else, when company rolls in, we try to make sure our guests are exposed to as much of the dazzling sightseeing, saltwater delicacies and warmth of the Alaskan soul as they can handle during the brief time they have to share with us.
Last week was no exception.
We had 10 adult members from Jane’s side of the family rumble into town via a couple of motorhomes. Although they were only here for less than three days they gifted us with memories that will last a lifetime.
Ten people with 10 personalities that each embraced us, our home, hamlet and Alaska with genuine enthusiasm and cordiality.
The men chartered a fishing expedition while their brides opted for a leisure cruise along the south side environs to Seldovia and back. The resultant smiles from both expeditions lit up the overcast day. (Whales, otters, dolphins, puffins, salmon, halibut and fine wines, oh my!)
Once again, Homer made us proud and our visitors only expressed one disappointment: They wished they had scheduled more time. So did we.
We live in a paradise that should be included at least twice on everyone’s bucket list.
On a totally different subject but just as rewarding in its own way was the tale of one of our fine troopers nailing some scofflaws at The Fishing Hole.
Last Saturday a concerned citizen (name withheld because I forgot to ask his permission to use it) had enough when he spotted some dim bulbs with poles straight-ling (flossing) for silvers. You know the type. They are so inept that they couldn’t score a fish in the seafood section of a supermarket without shoplifting it.
One age-enhanced cheat was trying to snag with no clue how to do it while two young’uns blatantly ripped the water near three other brain pans sporting hooks above their bobbers. That was just at the south side of the lagoon. The north end had a flossing frenzy going on that only a dentist could admire.
Luckily, a trooper arrived while the debacles were in progress and our intrepid citizen made him aware of the nefarious goings-on.
The enforcement officer took a walk down the ramp and cited two for snagging and plus a bonus recognition for the one without a fishing license.
By the way, the tab for being a stone idiot is $135 for snagging and $225-plus for no license.
It’s amazing how fast the other miscreants cleaned up their act when the bust started going down.
The afternoon tide brought in a few more fish but no snagging troglodytes. At least it shows that some of them have a primitive ability to learn.
It’s time now to take a look at this week’s fishing report.
Good News: Youth-Only Fishery
The Youth Fishery at the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon is Saturday, Aug. 6. A portion of the lagoon will be open to youth 15 years of age or younger from 12:01 a.m. until midnight. Department staff will be present from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. to help young anglers fish and tie egg loops and fishing knots, and learn the best way for releasing fish.
The Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon Area remains closed to snagging. Just ask the clueless ne’er-do-wells who were nailed recently.
China Poot personal-use dipnet fishery is open upstream of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game markers and continues through Aug. 7. Personal-use caught sockeye salmon must have both tips of the tail fin removed.
The marine waters of Tutka Bay Lagoon within 100 yards of the hatchery net pens are closed to sport fishing for any species.
Lingcod season is open and those on the hunt for the creatures with malevolent grins of dismemberment fangs are reminded that the bag and possession limit is two fish and the minimum legal size is 35 inches.
The lower portions of the Anchor River, Deep Creek and Stariski Creek are open to sport fishing except for kings. Chinooks cannot be targeted and if hooked, they must be released immediately.
On the Anchor River, Deep Creek, Stariski Creek and Ninilchik River, bait and treble hooks are legal gear through Aug. 31.
The Anchor and Ninilchik rivers and Deep and Stariski creeks are open to fishing for Dolly Varden and steelhead/rainbow trout upstream from the Fish and Game regulatory markers, but remain closed for salmon upstream of these markers.
Saltwater Fishing: Halibut
Halibut fishing in Cook Inlet continues to produce fair to good results with a majority of fishermen reaching the lofty heights of their limits.
Sampled fish harvested out of the Homer port averaged 11.93 pounds (range 3.1-86.58 pounds).
Unguided anglers can retain two halibut a day, four in possession. Guided anglers should consult federal regulations at: alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/fisheries/sport-halibut.
Herring on a circle hooks remain a killer presentation. It’s also nice to have some octopus, squid, salmon heads and jigs especially if you are fishing in deep water with the tide running so hard you need an anvil to hold bottom. It’ll save you a lot of pain employing a bait that will dislocate a flat’s jaw before it comes off.
Saltwater Fishing: Salmon
Trolling for kings has been fair to good in the areas of Eldred Passage and Point Pogibshi. Other salmon species are hitting hooks in the same vicinities.
Additional locations in Kachemak Bay and Cook Inlet have proved to be puny to fair for tying into kings.
North of Bluff Point anglers are reporting king fishing as anemic with improved catches of coho and pinks.
A decent numbers of silvers have been hauled in the Point Adam area of Cook Inlet.
Recently, the smaller herring and spoons behind large flashers have been popular setups for trolling for salmon in Kachemak Bay and Cook Inlet. If you are after kings or coho try fishing the deeper waters (greater than 50 feet) to avoid those bait glutton pinks.
Fresh silvers continue to appear in the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon. Although things remain slow, improve your chances by hitting the pond as the tides change out.
Salmon eggs or herring beneath a float usually work well as do various bright bladed spinners. Tip: Experiment with varying the speed of your metal retrieval. It can be amazing how much difference your reeling rate can make.
Humpies are still arriving at Tutka Bay Lagoon with a few sockeye mixed in. This is a stocked fishery paid for by enhancement taxes on commercial fisheries so give the commercial boats operating in the area a wide berth.
Other Saltwater Fishing
Fishing off the end of the Homer Spit can be an enjoyable way to reel in something comestible that, hopefully, won’t scare off the kids or grandma.
Some recipe worthy species available include Walleye pollock, Pacific cod, and a select variety of flatfish (don’t bother with the Arrow Tooth flounder). You might even tangle with a meandering silver.
Be certain to check regulations regarding bag and possession limits and know which species it is that you’re keeping before harvesting them.
Both Bluff Point and Point Pogibshi areas are still producing black, dark and dusky rockfish. Spoons, jigs, herring and flies will attract them. Also, it is not unusual to pop a few while trolling with downriggers for salmon.
Personal-use: Dip-netting success for sockeye in China Poot is gearing down as the runs are almost kaput.
Streams: Expect good angling for Dolly Varden this week in the upper sections of the streams. Most of the dollies have moved upriver behind spawning chinooks. Flesh flies and eggs patterns should have the best success. Check out the local fly shop for expert suggestions.
Coho are starting to push into area streams. Hunt them early in the morning or at the mouth of the tributary during the incoming tide. More silvers will roll in as the water levels start to rise from rain.
Salmon roe clusters and herring will rock their boat.
Here’s the report that I’m sure you have been waiting for: Pink fishing is reported as fair to good on the south side of Kachemak Bay. Humpy Creek and the Seldovia River are cool streams to check out when targeting them. You can have my share.
Nick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any tips, tales or a printable haiku for pinks.