Area Sport Fishing Reports
Southern Kenai

Archived Sport Fishing Report

August 08, 2018

Regulation Reminders and Emergency Orders

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

  • The Anchor River, Ninilchik River, Deep Creek, and Stariski Creek opened 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 Creek personal use dip net fishery closed August 7.
  • 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 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 efforts remained steady during the past week. Most vessels ventured west from the Homer Harbor, although a few weather days kept boats tucked into the inner bay. Most halibut brought back to the harbor were small, but two over 200 pounds and a few just under 100 pounds were brought in as well.
  • 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.
  • If you have fished from a harbor in Southcentral Alaska you may be familiar with the Department of Fish and Game groundfish port sampling program. The groundfish port sampling program was a featured on KTUU

King Salmon

  • Hot spots for feeder king salmon trolling continue to move around the bay. Some anglers have found success near Bluff Point and Homer Spit in the last week. Your best bet is to target king salmon in their usual haunts and expect a hodgepodge of pink and coho salmon in the mix as well.
  • 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.

Coho Salmon

  • Plenty of coho salmon are present both inside and outside the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon (the Fishing Hole). Notice what other anglers are doing, and if it’s not working, try something different! A well-timed spinner can entice an otherwise tight-lipped coho to bite. Fishing is best on the incoming or outgoing tide. Try fishing in the current just outside the mouth of the lagoon.
  • 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.
  • 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. Make sure to respect private property in this area.

Sockeye and Pink Salmon

  • 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

  • Lingcod fishing was decent this past week. Both private and charter vessels have returned to the Homer Harbor with combos of halibut, lingcod, and rockfish. Boats targeting lingcod continue to travel ‘around the corner’ to areas near the Chugach Islands.
  • Anglers have reported high numbers of juvenile lingcod while fishing for rockfish or salmon in waters near Bluff Point and the Chugach Islands. 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. More nonpelagic rockfish species have been caught in 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.

Shellfish

  • 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 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.

Freshwater Fishing

Fresh Water Streams

  • Coho salmon fishing has been fair and should continue to improve in the streams on the lower Kenai Peninsula. High water brought a push of coho salmon through the Anchor River, Deep Creek, and Ninilchik River weirs over the weekend. Many methods can be effective, including eggs or herring under a bobber and spinners. Try fishing on an incoming tide near the river mouth on the Ninilchik River, Deep Creek, or Anchor River. Early morning is the best time.
  • Fishing for Dolly Varden above the two-mile markers should be fair to good this week. There were a few days of good fishing last week prior to high water in the streams. Most dollies appear to have passed the weirs on Deep Creek and Anchor River. Fly fisherman are having success with beads and streamers, while small spinners and spoons have been effective on spinning gear.

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