Area Sport Fishing Reports
Archived Sport Fishing Report
May 18, 2018
Regulation Reminders and Emergency Orders
Razor Clam Emergency Order
- All Eastside Cook Inlet beaches from the Kenai River to the tip of the Homer Spit are CLOSED to all clamming through December 31, 2018.
- Anglers are reminded to review Emergency Orders and News Releases and the 2018 Southcentral Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet for the Homer Area before heading out on their next fishing trip. The Regulation Summary booklet is available on the ADF&G website, at ADF&G offices, and local vendors.
- King salmon regulations for the Cook Inlet saltwaters are located on pages 72-74 and begin on page 66 for Kenai Peninsula freshwaters.
- Anglers are reminded a king salmon 20 inches or longer that is removed from the water must be retained and becomes part of the bag limit of the person who hooked the fish.
- Steelhead trout are present in the Lower Cook Inlet streams in the spring. Be familiar with identifying steelhead and king salmon before you go fishing. Steelhead may never be retained or removed from the water.
- Halibut are federally managed by NOAA. Make sure you know the regulations! Unguided and guided anglers have different rules to follow. A more extensive description of the Federal Regulations can be found on NOAA’s Fisheries Sport Halibut Fishing in Alaska webpage.
- Early season halibut fishing is fair, although efforts have been below average due to frequently rough weather. This fishery will improve throughout May as more fish move from overwintering waters back to summer feeding areas in the Cook Inlet and Kachemak Bay areas. Halibut sizes range from 10 to 250 pounds, with an average size being 14 pounds.
- There are scattered reports of large halibut around 60+ pounds being caught over the weekend in multiple areas.
- Herring on a circle hook is the most popular bait, but octopus, salmon heads, and jigs also work well.
- Fish near slack tide so you don’t need as much weight to keep your line on the bottom.
- Trolling for king salmon has been limited recently due to windy weather. Effort has been low for this time of year in Kachemak Bay, but anglers are finding some feeder king salmon throughout the bay. When weather has allowed boats to get out, the Anchor Point tractor launch has reported good catches in Lower Cook Inlet
- Trolling effort in Kachemak Bay along the bluff towards Anchor Point Light increases in the spring as spawner king salmon head up Cook Inlet. Anglers also target these fish from the Deep Creek and Anchor Point tractor launch.
- Popular trolling set-ups for king salmon include herring, hootchies, tube flies, and spoons behind a flasher or dodger. Try various leader lengths for different gear action behind flashers.
- A downrigger setup is necessary to troll deeper water. Banana weights work well to troll gear near the surface.
- To find king salmon, try fishing a variety of depths up to 100 feet near rocky points and kelp beds. Look for birds feeding on bait fish.
- ADF&G is continuing to sample the genetic stock composition of the marine king salmon fishery. There are port samplers at the Homer Harbor, Deep Creek, and Anchor Point tractor launches. If you fished for king salmon in the Cook Inlet area, regardless of success, we’d like to talk to you and collect biological samples from your fish.
- King salmon will begin showing up in the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon, the Fishing Hole, in mid-May. A variety of methods can work here, including spinners, and herring or eggs suspended beneath a bobber. Try fishing when the incoming tide begins to flood the lagoon for a chance at fresh king salmon.
- Rockfish are found near rocky points and in kelp beds. The most popular places to target pelagic rockfish in Kachemak Bay are near Bluff Point and Point Pogibshi.
- Try fishing for them while trolling by using spoons, tube flies, or herring. Jigs also work well.
- Use deepwater release methods to release incidentally caught rockfish! Never heard of deepwater release for rockfish??? For details, see the ADF&G Rockfish Conservation and Deepwater Release webpage.
- Clamming tides are May 14 – May 18, 2018.
- Razor clams can be found on beaches along the West side of Cook Inlet and can be accessed by boat or plane. Popular razor clam beaches include the Polly Creek beach, Crescent River Bar, and Chinitna Bay. Boaters are advised to use caution before traveling across the Cook Inlet because of strong tidal currents and variable weather conditions.
- Littleneck (steamer) clams can be found in gravel beaches on the south side of Kachemak Bay from Seldovia to Chugachik Island.
- 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.
- Occasionally there are PSP advisories issued by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). Contact the DEC at (907) 269-7501 or visit the DEC PSP webpage for more information.
Other Saltwater Fishing
- If you’re limited by access to a boat or by the weather, fishing off the end of the Homer Spit can be a great way to wet a line. Species available include walleye pollock, Pacific cod, Dolly Varden, a variety of flatfish species, and the occasional king salmon.
- The first Anchor River king salmon weekend is May 19 - May 21, 2018, and Wednesday May 23. Expect water conditions to be relatively high and turbid. Expect poor to fair fishing for this weekend.
- Salmon egg clusters are usually the most effective in these water conditions. Try fishing at the mouth of the river on the incoming tide for newly arriving fish. Herring or spinners may also work well.
- The ice is gone from most Kenai Peninsula stocked lakes. Spring fishing can be great for hungry trout after a long winter under the ice. Most of these lakes are stocked with rainbow trout, which can be taken on dry or wet flies, small spoons, spinners, or bait. Review the 2018 Southcentral Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet for a current list of stocked lakes.