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Saltwater Fishing Opportunities
Halibut fishing in the Kodiak area is normally excellent throughout August. Popular areas within Chiniak Bay to target halibut during this time include Buoy 4, Cape Chiniak and waters surrounding Long and Spruce Islands. Anglers occasionally also travel as far as Marmot and Ugak Bays for less crowded fishing. . Halibut harvested from Kodiak waters average 30-35 pounds. Mooching with herring, octopus, salmon heads and artificial jig are preferred methods.
Rockfish fishing can be good throughout the month of August. The rockfish bag limit in Kodiak area waters is 5 fish per day and10 in possession, of which only 2 can be non-pelagic species and 1 can be a yellow-eye. Pelagic species (i.e. black and dusky rockfish) are frequently caught and typically weigh between 3 and 4 pounds. Occasionally, the more brightly-colored yellow-eye are caught in deep water and average 9 pounds. There are no size restrictions for harvesting rockfish. Anglers targeting rockfish are encouraged to fish for black or dusky rockfish in waters less than 10 fathoms (60 feet) or use a deep water release mechanism to minimize mortality of released fish.
Lingcod fishing remains open, with a bag limit of two fish daily (four in possession). All lingcod gaffed during landing must be retained. Lingcod are often caught by jigging over submerged rock piles and pinnacles.
Sharks are occasionally taken in the Kodiak area. The daily bag limit for sharks is one fish of any species (except spiny dogfish), with an annual limit of two sharks. The bag limit for spiny dogfish is 5 per day, 5 in possession with no annual limit. Edible species include spiny dogfish and salmon sharks. All harvested sharks must be recorded immediately upon capture on your license or harvest record if an annual limit applies. Please do not cut off the head or tail until after the fish is landed to ensure that ADF&G port samplers have an opportunity to obtain measurements.
The Division of Sport Fish annually collects data from the recreational marine waters fishery in the Kodiak area. A department technician interviews returning anglers and samples halibut, rockfish, lingcod, and sharks for length, weight, sex, and age statistics, and also records individual catches of salmon. You can help the success of this program by agreeing to be interviewed and waiting to fillet or cut up any harvested fish until they can be sampled at the harbor by department technicians. Information collected by this project is used to monitor the health of the fishery, advise halibut management agencies, and help the Board of Fisheries formulate regulations that protect fish stock and provide maximum fishing opportunity. For more information about the ground fish research program, contact Barbi Failor in the Homer ADF&G Office at (907) 235-1730.
Salt water trolling for Kodiak king salmon has become very popular. King salmon can be found in salt waters year round, with typically excellent fishing success during August. The best-known fishing spots along the road system are Cape Chiniak and Buoy 4. Kodiak king salmon average 20 pounds or less but fish up to 70 pounds are occasionally taken. In addition to their sport fishing license, anglers sport fishing for king salmon must purchase a current year's king salmon stamp.
Kodiak's Road System (Includes salt waters within 1 mile of Kodiak Island)
In early August continue to look for pink salmon in salt waters near streams as well as in fresh waters. Try nearshore fishing off Myrtle and Chiniak creeks and Rosyln River near Cape Chiniak; Sargent and Russian creeks in Women's Bay; the Buskin River; and Pillar and Monashka Creek in Monashka Bay. Peak time for fishing for these excellent sport fish is mid-August. They are dime-bright in salt water, and excellent table fare. By the end of the third week of August, the pink return normally begins to taper off.
Red salmon fishing at the Saltery River can still be productive during early August, although a four-wheel drive or ATV is needed to access the fishery. The Saltery run normally continues through mid August. Returns to Saltery have annually averaged 30,000 red salmon over the past 10 years.
Chum salmon are also still returning to Kodiak Road System streams through early August. Try the lower sections of the Olds, American and Saltery rivers for these large, feisty salmon.
By mid August small numbers of Kodiak's large silver salmon begin to show in road system streams. Angler success is often good, especially on the Buskin, Olds, and American rivers. Excellent silver salmon action can also be found by chartering a boat to troll the near shore salt waters.
Mill Bay and Mission Beach are closed to snagging August 16 through September 15.
King salmon returns to the road system are typically over by early August. Fish can still be found in small numbers in the American and Olds rivers, however.
Dolly Varden are available in many of the Road System streams, and present an excellent, uncrowded opportunity for light tackle action. Try the American, Olds, or Buskin rivers.
Remember that road system streams are closed to salmon fishing upriver of highway bridges from August 1 through September 15. Exceptions to this regulation are the Buskin River and Kalsin Pond which are open year round for salmon fishing.
Rainbow trout are annually stocked in over 15 lakes on the Kodiak road system. Some of the more accessible and better producing lakes include Horseshoe, Abercrombie, Lily Pond, Jack, Lee, Aurel and Caroline. The daily bag and possession limit is 10 rainbow trout (only 1 may be 20 inches or longer). There is not an annual limit or closed fishing season on stocked rainbow trout. Rainbow trout fishing is catch and release only in road system lakes that are not currently stocked by ADF&G. Check the current sportfishing regulations booklet for an updated list of stocked lakes.
August in Kodiak's Remote Area
King salmon fishing in fresh waters is now closed for the rest of the year.
Although pink salmon are normally not a targeted species in Kodiak's remote area, excellent fishing for pinks can be found at a number of streams. During even-numbered years, drainages on Kodiak Island's west side often produce exceptionally large adult pink returns.
Strong late runs of sockeye salmon are normally present on both the Karluk and Ayakulik Rivers during the month of August.
Chum salmon fishing in the Remote Area is at its peak in August, with the largest return occurring on the Sturgeon River.
Silver returns to Afognak and Shuyak islands are earlier than those at other Kodiak drainages. From mid to late August, silver fishing typically peaks in each of these areas.
Silvers also return to numerous other drainages including the Ayakulik, Karluk, and Uganik rivers. Late August through early September is the best time to fish the Ayakulik for silvers. The Karluk River return doesn't normally peak until later in September, but small numbers of silvers usually are available by late August. On the Uganik River, the silver salmon return usually peaks in mid-September.
Fishing for resident rainbows should remain productive throughout the month in areas supporting sizable populations of fish, such as the Malina, Marka and Afognak rivers. Fishing Kodiak Island for rainbow/steelhead trout is open year round, with an annual limit of no more than 2 fish 20" or longer. All harvested rainbow trout/steelhead 20" or longer must be recorded immediately upon capture on your license or harvest record.