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Area Sport Fishing Reports
Southern Kenai

August 30, 2021

Fall Fishing Report

* Just a reminder to all our anglers, please do your part to help slow the spread of Covid-19 by practicing social distancing while sport and personal use fishing, and wearing a face covering when social distancing is not possible and if you are needing fishing supplies from your local store.

Freshwater Fishing


  • Coho salmon fishing in the lower Kenai Peninsula streams is still fair but will be wrapping around mid-September. You may target them in the lower two miles of the streams with unbaited, single-hook, artificial lures starting September 1. Size 3 or 4 spinners or heavily weighted flies are the most effective gear.


  • Expect the steelhead run to reach its peak in late September. Fishing success will vary with water levels after that, which can be monitored with the Anchor River hydrograph.
  • A well-presented bead pegged under a bobber is a great way to entice a steelhead bite. Beads are typically fished with a fly rod. Add more split shot to sink the bead if the current is too fast to let the bead plink along the bottom and be sure to adjust the depth of your bobber or strike indicator as needed. Fishing with a marabou jig and bobber is a great way to get started targeting steelhead. Plugs and swinging flies may also work well. Pink and purple are typical colors of tackle used to fish for steelhead.
  • The Anchor River steelhead counts are now available on the ADF&G fish counts website.

Dolly Varden

  • Dolly Varden are beginning to adopt their colorful fall spawning patterns. There are fewer Dollies in the lower Kenai Peninsula streams than in recent years, but anglers may still catch them while fishing for steelhead.
  • Dollies also love a well-presented (i.e. dead-drifted) bead, and will bite small spinners, spoons, and flies too.

Saltwater Fishing

King Salmon

  • The fall months in Kachemak Bay typically offer some of the best king salmon trolling of the year. The feeder king salmon tend to move around the bay, but bait can concentrate them in larger schools.
  • Locations in the outer bay can be great fishing when the weather allows, including Fourth of July Creek, Silver Ridge, and Bluff Point. The inner bay has lots of great spots closer by including Bear Cove, Glacier Spit, the islands (Yukon Island area), and the green can near the Homer Spit. There are plenty of other locations amongst all of those that hold king salmon throughout the year.
  • Herring pegged in a head clip fished behind a flasher is the classic setup, but spoons with and without flashers work very well, along with a variety of other tackle like hoochies or plugs. Try trolling the same direction as the tide and try setting the gear at various depths between 10 and 100 feet.

Tanner Crab

  • The Kachemak Bay Tanner crab sport fishery (visit the online store for permits when available) will be open from October 1, 2021, through February 28, 2022. A pot or ring net may be used to target Tanner crab.
  • The highest concentrations of Tanner crab tend to be found west of the Homer spit in 300 and 500 feet of water. Pots need to be set in deep water to be successful. Use bait such as fish carcasses secured in the pots.


  • Halibut fishing will continue to be fair over the fall months at locations in Kachemak Bay and Cook Inlet. Large jigs or herring on a circle hook are effective for halibut fishing. Consider the tide, and be sure to fish near slack, especially if the tides are large.

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 through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, October 31, 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.

Don't forget to purchase your 2021 sport fishing license and king stamp! Help maximize social distancing and purchase your 2021 sport fishing license and king stamp through the ADF&G online store and print it off from the comfort of your own home. Also, make sure to review Emergency Orders and the 2021 Southcentral Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet for the area you are fishing before you head out.

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


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