Area Sport Fishing Reports
It's still possible to enjoy good halibut fishing in early September, but as the month goes on, bad weather often keeps boats in the harbor, and the larger fish begin their migration off-shore. Halibut caught this time of year are typically in the 10-50 pound range.
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
Starting September 1, no bait or treble/multiple hooks are allowed in these streams. Legal gear is single-hook, unbaited, artificial lures/flies. A single hook has only 1 point.
Although past the peak, fair numbers of silver salmon will continue to enter the Anchor River, Deep Creek, Ninilchik River, and Stariski Creek until mid- to late September. Popular lures include single-hook PixeesTM, single-hook Okie DriftersTM, and any brightly-colored, flashy fly.
Steelhead fishing on the Anchor River nears its peak in mid-September. Deep Creek and Ninilchik River also support a very small run of these sea-run trout. This is a catch-and-release ONLY fishery, and rainbow/steelhead trout may not be removed from the water. A good way to record your catch on film is for both the angler and the photographer to kneel in the water, with the fish held in the water.
Dolly Varden continue to be available through ice-up. Dollies provide excellent action on light tackle.
Certain waters are open to salmon fishing, and certain waters are closed. Please consult the sport fishing regulations before heading out to fish the Anchor River, Deep Creek, and the Ninilchik River.
Saltwater Salmon Fishing
Deep Creek trolling - If the weather is good, many anglers have fair to excellent success trolling for silver salmon between Stariski Creek and the Ninilchik River. Trolling around Bluff Point is also productive. Best results are often with downriggers, using flashers/dodgers and herring.
Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon – Although it’s the downslope of the run, silvers continue to trickle into the lagoon until mid-September. Most silvers are caught fishing either the flooding high or ebbing low tides. Silver anglers also fish from the tip of the Homer Spit, either casting spoons and spinners from shore, or trolling from a small boat. The fishing lagoon opens to snagging by emergency order in mid-September if there are enough fish left. Keep alert for new releases regarding snagging.
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.
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 retained 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 overexploited. 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, greenling, 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."
Shrimp, crab - The shrimp and crab fisheries are closed year-round due to low population levels.
Clams - Lower Cook Inlet in September often sees excellent minus tides, the best times to dig for clams. You will need a lantern or strong flashlight if minus tides occur after 6 p.m.
You will 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 clams. Bury your discarded clams neck up - they can't do it themselves and will die if left on the surface. 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 the ones under the beach material you have dug up.
Only a sport-fishing license is required to harvest razor clams. There are literally miles of good razor clam beaches available 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.