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Area Sport Fishing Reports
August 15, 2017
Week of August 16 to August 21
Regulation Reminders and Emergency Orders
- The Anchor River, Ninilchik River, Deep Creek, and Stariski Creek are open for Dolly Varden, steelhead, and rainbow trout fishing upstream of the ADF&G regulatory markers, but remain closed to salmon fishing upstream of these markers. The lower portions of these streams are open to sport fishing, except for king salmon, and the use of bait and treble hooks are legal through August 31.
- The Kachemak Bay Coho Salmon Gillnet Fishery opens August 17, 2017. Open periods are Monday 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. Wednesday and 6:00 a.m. Thursday to 6:00 a.m. Saturday. The fishery closes when 1,000-2,000 coho salmon are harvested. Permits are available at the Homer ADF&G office until the fishery closes.
- The Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon Area is closed to snagging from the Homer City Dock near the entrance of the Homer Boat Harbor (including the Homer Boat Harbor) to the ADF&G markers about 200 yards northwest of the lagoon entrance to a distance of 300 feet from shore.
- Unguided anglers may retain two halibut per day, four in possession. Guided anglers should consult federal regulations.
Razor Clam Emergency Order
- All Eastside Cook Inlet beaches from the Kenai River to the tip of the Homer Spit are CLOSED to the taking of all clams through December 31, 2017.
Saltwaters Fishing Report
- Halibut fishing in Cook Inlet has been fair to good. The average weight of halibut harvested is improving as larger fish move from deeper waters. Halibut sampled at the Homer harbor now average ~14 lbs. up from ~11 lbs. earlier in the season.
- Anglers targeting halibut are having success using herring on circle hooks. Herring is the most popular bait, but octopus, squid, salmon heads, and jigs also work well.
- Try fishing around and during slack tide. This allows anglers to keep their bait on the bottom using less weight.
- Anglers report catching spiny dogfish while targeting halibut. Anglers are advised to move to another location if spiny dogfish bycatches are high.
- Trolling success for king salmon has been poor to fair in Kachemak Bay. King salmon were caught last week at Bluff Point, and from Point Pogibshi to Flat Island. Anglers have reported that most of the feeder king salmon have been small.
- Anglers are continuing to have good success targeting coho and pink salmon in salt water from Point Pogibshi to Gore Point. Both trolling and mooching small herring have been the most effective way to target these fish.
- Downriggers are essential for trolling in deeper water. Try various depths between 15-90 feet. Small herring trolled behind a flasher or dodger is the most effective presentation. Small thin blade spoons and large spoons have been working as well. Try fishing in deeper water over 50 feet, to avoid pink salmon when targeting king or coho salmon.
- There are good numbers of coho salmon at Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon and along the east shore of the Homer Spit. Fishing has been fair at the Lagoon and good along the Spit shore at high tide. Try fishing with bait or spinners just under the surface to get these fish to bite. There are still pink salmon arriving in Tutka Bay Lagoon but this run should be starting to wind down. These fish are mostly caught by anglers snagging with weighted treble hooks.
- The Kachemak Bay Coho Salmon Gillnet Fishery opens August 17 and fishing should be fair to good.
Other Saltwater Fishing
- Fishing for lingcod has been slow since the season opened on July 1. Those anglers returning with lingcod are most successful near Chugach or Elizabeth Islands.
- Fishing off the end of the Homer Spit can be a fun way to pass the time. Species available include walleye pollock, Pacific cod, a variety of flatfish species, and an occasional salmon. Be certain to check regulations regarding bag and possession limits and know which species you are targeting before you harvest.
- The best locations for targeting black, dark and dusky rockfish in Kachemak Bay are along Bluff Point and near Point Pogibshi, with the best fishing being outside of Cook Inlet around the Chugach Islands.
- Anglers use a variety of gear including spoons, jigs, herring and flies to catch rockfish. Rockfish are also commonly caught when trolling with downriggers for salmon.
- Rockfish caught in deep water suffer injuries from decompression. Recent research by ADF&G indicates survival of released rockfish can be substantially improved by releasing fish at the depth of capture. For more information on the use of deep water release mechanisms, see the ADF&G Rockfish Conservation and Deepwater Release webpage.
Freshwaters Fishing Report
- Expect good Dolly Varden fishing this week in the upper portions of the lower Kenai Peninsula roadside streams. Try fishing for Dolly Varden with small bright spinners, fresh salmon eggs, or fly patterns such as muddler minnows or egg patterns.
- Good numbers of pink and chum salmon are available in streams on the south side of Kachemak Bay and anglers have had good success.
- Coho salmon are slow to arrive in area streams but the numbers should improve over the next week. Expect poor to fair fishing over the next week. Try fishing early in the morning or at the mouth of the stream during the incoming tide. More coho salmon will enter these streams as the water levels start to rise from rainfall. Fishing salmon roe clusters and herring are the most effective method to target coho salmon.
- The Kenai Peninsula stocked lakes fishing conditions are good. Most of these lakes are stocked with rainbow trout which, at this time of year, are taken on dry or wet flies, small spoons, spinners, or bait. A brochure listing the locations of the stocked lakes is available on the ADF&G website and at ADF&G offices.
- The next series of clamming tides are August 19-25.
- Occasionally there are Paralytic Shellfish Poison (PSP) advisories issued by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). Contact the DEC at (907) 269-7501, or visit the DEC Shellfish webpage for more information regarding PSP.
- Razor clams can be found on beaches along the WEST SIDE of Cook Inlet and are accessed by boat or plane. Popular razor clam beaches include Crescent River, Chinitna Bay, and Polly Creek. Boaters should use caution before traveling across the inlet because of strong currents and should check weather forecast before traveling.
- Littleneck (steamer) and butter clams can be found in gravel beaches on the south side of Kachemak Bay from Seldovia to Chugachik Island.
- Good numbers of butter clams are found on the islands in China Poot Bay. Butter clams can be found up to two feet deep. Littleneck clams can be found in a variety of habitats from Jakolof Bay to Bear Cove. Try exploring new beaches for success. Typically, littleneck clams are found shallower in the substrate, up to eight inches deep.
- There will be a Tanner crab fishery season opening October 1, 2017, and closing February 28, 2018.
- All shrimp and other crab fisheries in Kachemak Bay remain closed for 2017.