Area Sport Fishing Reports
Southern Kenai

Archived Sport Fishing Report

July 03, 2018

Regulation Reminders and Emergency Orders

King Salmon Emergency Order

  • Per Emergency Order No. 2-KS-7-11-18, effective June 2, 2018, through July 15, 2018, sport fishing is closed on the Anchor and Ninilchik rivers and Deep Creek drainages.
  • Per Emergency Order No. 2-KS-7-12-18, effective June 2, 2018, through July 15, 2018, king salmon fishing (including catch-and-release) in marine waters within 1-mile of shore from Bluff Point to the Ninilchik River is prohibited.
    • Within the 1-mile corridor, anglers should pay close attention to the closed waters surrounding the stream mouths.

Razor Clam Emergency Order

  • Per Emergency Order No. 2-RCL-7-01-18 and 2-RCL-07-02-18 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.

Regulation Reminders

  • Anglers are now allowed to snag fish in Kachemak Bay east of a line from Anchor Point to Point Pogibshi except in the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon (Fishing Hole), which only opens by emergency order.
  • China Poot personal use dip net fishery opened July 1 to Alaska residents only, upstream of the ADF&G markers. Personal use caught sockeye salmon must have both tips of the tail fin removed. Complete regulations are found on page 15 of the 2018 Southcentral Sport Fishing Regulation Summary booklet.
  • 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.
  • Lingcod season opened July 1. Anglers are reminded that the bag and possession limit is two fish and the minimum legal size is 35 inches with the head attached or 28 inches from tip of tail to font of the dorsal fin with the head removed.
    • Lingcod which are gaffed must be retained. A gaff may not be used to puncture any fish intended or required to be released.
  • The marine waters of Tutka Bay Lagoon within 100 yards of the hatchery net pens are closed to sport fishing for any species.

Saltwater Fishing

Halibut

  • Halibut fishing was fair through the last week. Halibut sizes generally range from 10 to 250 pounds, with an average size of 14 pounds.
  • Reports of spiny dogfish (small sharks) bycatch while targeting halibut have increased. Watch out for the sharp spine behind the dorsal fin and use best catch-and-release practices when returning them to the water.
  • Halibut can be caught while trolling, drifting with the tide, and while anchored.
  • Herring on a circle hook is the most popular bait; however, 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 while your boat is anchored.

King Salmon

  • King salmon trolling continues to be poor to fair, although anglers have found success with some consistency near Bluff Point. Incidental catches of Dolly Varden while trolling have increased.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Still waiting for a bite? Try switching up flasher styles and colors, gear depths, and trolling speed. Consider the direction the tide is moving when trolling. On days with larger tidal exchanges, troll with the current for a more effective presentation.
  • King salmon fishing is winding down at the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon on the Homer Spit (the Fishing Hole). 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.

Sockeye

  • Sockeye salmon are beginning to arrive in Tutka Bay Lagoon. This is a stocked fishery paid for by enhancement taxes on commercial fisheries. Anglers are reminded to avoid commercial boats operating in the area.
  • Stocked sockeye salmon are also returning to China Poot for the personal use fishery. Fishing has reportedly been fair to good.
  • Some anglers are beginning to pick up sockeye salmon while trolling for king salmon.

Lingcod

  • Lingcod season got off to a slow start due to rough conditions beyond Point Pogibshi on Sunday. There were isolated reports of anglers catching lingcod over the 35 inch size limit.
  • Anglers have reported high numbers of juvenile lingcod while fishing for rockfish. This is encouraging news for the lingcod fishery, please remember to carefully release all undersized lingcod and to never use a gaff on a fish intended to be released.

Rockfish

  • Many anglers are successfully targeting rockfish to complement halibut or salmon trips.
  • 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, review the ADF&G Rockfish Conservation and Deepwater Release webpage.

Shellfish

  • The next clamming tides are July 10-18, 2018.
  • Razor clams can be found on beaches along the WESTSIDE 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.

Freshwater Fishing

Fresh Water Streams

  • Anglers are reminded that the Anchor and Ninilchik rivers and Deep Creek drainages are closed to all sport fishing through July 15, 2018.

Lake Fishing

  • Most of the Kenai Peninsula stocked lakes have been stocked with rainbow trout. Fishing conditions should be good. Try fishing with dry or wet flies, small spoons, spinners, or bait. The 2018 Southcentral Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet contains a current list of lakes and the species they’re stocked with.

Archives

Southern Kenai Area Archives for:
Sep 04, 2018 Aug 29, 2018 Aug 21, 2018 Aug 14, 2018 Aug 08, 2018 Aug 01, 2018 Jul 24, 2018 Jul 17, 2018
Jul 10, 2018 Jul 03, 2018 Jun 26, 2018 Jun 19, 2018 Jun 13, 2018 Jun 05, 2018 May 30, 2018 May 23, 2018
May 18, 2018