Area Sport Fishing Reports
Archived Sport Fishing Report
August 01, 2018
Regulation Reminders and Emergency Orders
- 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.
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.
- The Anchor River, Ninilchik River, Deep Creek, and Stariski Creek open on August 1 to fishing for Dolly Varden and steelhead/rainbow trout upstream of the two-mile markers. Steelhead/rainbow trout may never be removed from the water and must be immediately released. You may not fish for salmon upstream of the two-mile markers.
- The lower portions of the Anchor River, Deep Creek, and Stariski Creek are open to sport fishing except for king salmon. Anglers are reminded that king salmon may not be targeted and if hooked, they must be released immediately. The bag and possession limit for other salmon is three per day, three in possession - only two per day, two in possession may be coho salmon.
- On the Anchor River, Ninilchik River, Deep Creek, and Stariski Creek, bait and treble hooks are legal gear through August 31.
- Anglers are allowed to snag fish in Kachemak Bay east of a line from Anchor Point to Point Pogibshi except for 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, through August 7. 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 the NOAA 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 the front 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.
- The Youth-Only Fishery at the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon is Saturday, August 4, 2018. A portion of the lagoon will only be open to youth anglers 15 years of age or younger from 12:01 a.m. until 11:59 p.m. ADF&G staff will be present from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. to help young anglers fish, tie egg loops and fishing knots, and learn the best way for releasing fish.
- Halibut fishing effort remained steady over the past week, though anglers reported lower success over the weekend. One halibut over 200 pounds returned on a vessel to the Homer Harbor, as well as a few others over 100 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.
- Hot spots for feeder king salmon trolling continue to move around the bay. Some anglers have found success near Bluff Point or the Homer Spit in the last week. Pink and coho salmon have been mixed in with the catches.
- Fishing for late run Cook Inlet king salmon in shallow waters slowed in the past week, but a few persistent anglers have continued to find success. Expect pink, sockeye, and coho salmon to be present as well. Try fishing large spoons near high tide to catch these spawners near the beach.
- To find feeder 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.
- Fishing for coho salmon at the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon (the Fishing Hole) has been fair to good. Schools of coho salmon have been cruising the beach on the outside of the lagoon as well. These fish have been avoiding anglers somewhat. Try drifting herring under a bobber to avoid spooking them.
- A variety of methods can work at the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon, including spinners and herring or eggs suspended beneath a bobber. Notice the depth the salmon are swimming at and adjust the depth of your bait accordingly. Try fishing when the incoming tide begins to flood the lagoon.
- Trolling for coho salmon in Cook Inlet and Kachemak Bay in the inner bay and near the Homer Spit has also been productive.
- Anglers are also intercepting coho salmon from shore at high tide along the Homer spit north of the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon.
Sockeye and Pink Salmon
- The sockeye salmon return to China Poot Creek has slowed down in the past week. Please be mindful of where you clean your fish in order to reduce bear activity in the area.
- There are sockeye and pink salmon 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.
- Lingcod fishing has been good the past week, with anglers having success ‘around the corner’ near the Chugach Islands. There have been reports of vessels traveling as far south as Shuyak Island in search of lingcod over the weekend.
- Anglers have reported high numbers of juvenile lingcod while fishing for rockfish or salmon. 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.
- Many anglers are successfully targeting rockfish to complement halibut or salmon trips. More nonpelagic rockfish species have been caught in outside Cook Inlet waters near Chugach and Perl islands.
- 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.
- The next clamming tides are August 9-14, 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 not having 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, coho salmon, and the occasional king salmon.
- Coho salmon counts have been slow, but steadily increasing, through the Deep Creek and Anchor River weirs. Try fishing for them on early morning incoming tides in the lower part of the river. Salmon eggs under a bobber are often the most effective presentation, but coho salmon can also respond heartily to spinners and spoons.
- Fishing for Dolly Varden above the two-mile markers should be fair to good this week. Most dollies appear to have passed the weirs on Deep Creek and Anchor River. Fly fisherman are most successful with beads and streamers and small spinners and spoons are effective on spinning gear.
- 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.