Area Sport Fishing Reports
Southern Kenai

August Season

Halibut

Early to mid-August sees some nice fish brought to Homer and Deep Creek, but angler success varies with the weather and the tides. Larger autumn tides make it hard to keep bait on the bottom. Most fish are between 10 and 100 pounds. Later in the month, weather often keeps boats from traveling far from port.

A halibut that is kept counts towards the bag and possession limit OF THE PERSON WHO HOOKS IT, not the person who reels in the fish.
Fresh Waters - Anchor River, Deep Creek, Ninilchik River

By the end of the first week of August, silver salmon start to show in good numbers in these Lower Kenai Peninsula streams. Silvers reach their peak here around August 20, and are available after that through early September.

Please be careful to keep only the silvers! Some anglers confuse steelhead trout with silver salmon. Since steelhead/ rainbow trout are catch-and-release only in these streams, it is the angler's responsibility to be able to distinguish between steelhead/rainbow trout that must be released and silver salmon that may be kept. Check the fish ID pages in the regulation booklet. If it has spots on BOTH lobes of the tail and spots above and below the lateral line (the line running from head to tail down the center of the fish’s side), it is a steelhead/rainbow trout. If it has spots only on the UPPER lobe of the tail, it is a silver salmon.

Until September 1, bait and multiple hooks are legal gear in the sections of these streams open to salmon fishing, with salmon roe the preferred bait. Anglers fishing without bait seem to prefer smaller Spin-N-GlosTM, PixeesTM, KrocodilesTM, or TeeSpoonsTM. Whatever your preferred method, give it a try and if that doesn't work, look around and see what the lucky ones are using.

Pink salmon will also be available in these streams until mid-August.

Fishing for king salmon in these streams is closed for the season.

In August, Dolly Varden are also running in the Anchor, Deep Creek, and Ninilchik rivers. Dollies provide excellent action on light tackle.

Please consult the sport fishing regulations prior to fishing.

Saltwater Salmon Fishing

Saltwater trolling - Silver salmon are abundant in August and can be caught by trolling, weather permitting. Best results are often with downriggers, using flashers/dodgers and herring. It's still possible to pick up a late-run king salmon by trolling the salt waters from Bluff Point to the Ninilchik River in August but mostly you’ll find feeder kings (kings from streams outside of Cook Inlet that are here feeding before returning to their natal stream to spawn).

Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon - An early run of silver salmon will return from mid-July to mid-August, immediately followed by a late run of silvers. This provides almost continuous silver salmon action at the lagoon from July through mid-September. The peak of the late silver run to the lagoon is the third or fourth weeks of August. Try using salmon egg clusters or cut herring as well as spoons or spinners. Many anglers try their luck about 1-2 hours before high tide, when the water is rushing into the lagoon, through the high tide.

Silver anglers also fish right off the tip of the Homer Spit, either casting spoons and spinners from shore, or trolling from a boat.

China Poot Bay - Red salmon continue to be available for snagging through the first week of August in this bay located about 4 miles east of the Homer Spit. A few pink salmon also return here, and are available in early August.

Other locations - Fishing near Glacier Spit, located across Kachemak Bay from Homer, at the foot of Grewingk Glacier, is good in August for silver salmon. Try casting a hot pink PixeeTM from the shoreline, or if you prefer, troll close to the beach. You might pick up a feeder king if you troll along the shoreline here. More adventurous anglers can find protected moorage in a small shallow saltwater embayment located on the spit. This allows boaters to fish from the beach or even to picnic, hike, or camp overnight.

Other Saltwater Opportunities

Rockfish are occasionally caught in Lower Cook Inlet while trolling for salmon or while fishing for halibut south of Point Pogibshi. Rockfish may be kept year-round. The bag limit in Cook Inlet is five rockfish, only one of which may be non-pelagic species. Most of the colorful species, such as the yelloweye rockfish (or "red snapper"), are in the non-pelagic category. Check the rockfish identification pages in the regulation booklet to identify non-pelagic species. Additional protection is needed for non-pelagic rockfishes because of their extreme longevity and low productivity. Anglers are encouraged to fish with a single hook and to avoid fishing in rocky areas so as to avoid catching non-pelagic rockfish. Rockfish caught in deep water suffer injuries from decompression. Recent research by the department indicates that survival of released rockfish can be substantially improved by releasing fish at the depth of capture. For more information on the types and use of deep water release mechanisms, see the department’s web page at
http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fishingSportFishingInfo.rockfishconservation.
 

Additional protection is needed for non-pelagic rockfishes because of their extreme longevity and low productivity. Anglers are encouraged to fish with a single hook and avoid fishing in rocky areas to minimize their catch of non-pelagic rockfish. Rockfish taken from more than 10 fathoms (60 feet) of water usually do not survive release, and should be retained if possible.

Lingcod fishing is open July 1 through December 31. The limit in Cook Inlet waters west of Gore Point is two lingcod daily or in possession. All lingcod must be at least 35 inches long.

Sharks are occasionally caught in Cook Inlet. The season is open year-round. The bag and possession limit is one shark of any species, except for spiny dogfish which have a bag/possession limit of five fish. There is an annual limit of two sharks of any species, except for spiny dogfish which have no annual limit. All harvested sharks must be recorded immediately upon capture on your license or harvest record. The most common sharks are the spiny dogfish (also called "sand sharks"), salmon sharks, and sleeper sharks. Sleeper sharks are generally inedible and should be released. Salmon sharks have high urea content and should be gutted and bled upon capture to ensure that the meat is edible. Spiny dogfish are a long-lived, slow to mature species that require long recovery times when stocks are over-exploited. Large and abrupt increases in the spiny dogfish population are unlikely because of their low reproductive rate. Spiny dogfish are highly migratory.

Good fishing for pollock and cod can also be found throughout Kachemak Bay. Other species that may be caught include Dolly Varden, greenlings, Irish lord, flounder, sole, and skate. TIP: Fishing during slack tide or relatively small tidal exchanges requires less lead (sinkers) to get to the bottom and will allow greater time anchored, all of which spells "easier fishing."

The Division of Sport Fish collects data on the recreational bottomfish harvest landed in Homer and on the beaches at Anchor Point and Deep Creek. Fishery technicians interview returning anglers and sample halibut, rockfish, and sharks for length, weight, sex, and age. You can help by providing information when interviewed and by allowing technicians to sample your catch. Information collected by this project is used to monitor the health of the fishery, advise halibut management agencies, and help the Alaska Board of Fisheries formulate regulations that protect fish stocks and provide maximum fishing opportunity. Contact Barbi Failor in Homer at (907) 235-1730 for additional information.

Shellfish

Shrimp, crab - The shrimp and crab fisheries are closed year-round due to low population levels.

Clams - Lower Cook Inlet has low minus tides in August, but the minus tides usually arrive later in the day. By mid- to late August, you might need a lantern or strong flashlight. Minus tides are the best ones to dig for clams because more beach area is exposed.

You will also need a sport fishing license to dig clams. Butter and littleneck clams have different size and limit restrictions. Pictures in the sport fishing regulation book can help you learn to recognize the differences to avoid taking undersized butters. Bury your discarded clams neck up - they can't do it themselves and will die. Additionally, fill in any holes dug in search of clams for the protection of the other beach creatures in the hole and to prevent smothering animals under the pile you’ve dug out of the hole.

There are literally miles of good razor clam beaches available from north of the Anchor River to Cape Kasilof. The limit is the first 60 razor clams dug. All razor clams dug must be kept.

Occasionally there are PSP advisories issued by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation. Contact them at (907) 269-7629, or check out their PSP pages on the Internet.

For more information on fishing contact the Homer ADF&G Area Office at (907) 235-8191.