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Area Sport Fishing Reports
Southern Kenai

September 22, 2020

Fall Fishing Report 2020

* Just a reminder to all our anglers, please do your part to help slow the spread of Covid-19 by following and reviewing the current State of Alaska Health Mandates in effect. This includes practicing social distancing while sport and personal use fishing and wearing a face covering when fishing and if you are needing fishing supplies from your local store as indicated in Health Alert 010.

* The Alaska Board of Fisheries adopted several proposals establishing new sport fish regulations for the Lower Cook Inlet Management Area at its Seward December 2019 and Anchorage February 2020 meetings. Please see the 2020 Southcentral Sport Fishing Regulation Summary booklet for a complete summary of the Lower Cook Inlet sport fisheries regulations.

Freshwater Fishing


  • Expect the steelhead run to reach its peak in late September. Fishing success will vary with water levels after that, which can be monitored with the Anchor River hydrograph.
  • A well-presented bead pegged under a bobber is a great way to entice a steelhead bite. Beads are typically fished with a fly rod. Add more split shot to sink the bead if the current is too fast to let the bead plink along the bottom and be sure to adjust the depth of your bobber or strike indicator as needed. Fishing with a marabou jig and bobber is a great way to get started targeting steelhead. Plugs and swinging flies may also work well. Pink and purple are typical colors of tackle used to fish for steelhead.
  • The Anchor River steelhead counts are now available on the ADF&G fish counts website.

Dolly Varden

  • Dolly Varden are beginning to adopt their colorful fall spawning patterns. There are fewer Dollies in the lower Kenai Peninsula streams than in recent years, but anglers may still catch them while fishing for steelhead.
  • Dollies also love a well-presented (i.e. dead-drifted) bead, and will bite small spinners, spoons, and flies too.


  • Salmon fishing in the lower Kenai Peninsula streams has all but wrapped up for the year. There are a few coho salmon still entering the streams and you may target them in the lower two miles of the streams. Try fishing as the tide floods or recedes from the lower reaches of the rivers and/or at daybreak. Size 3 or 4 spinners may entice a bite.

Saltwater Fishing

King Salmon

  • The fall months in Kachemak Bay typically offer some of the best king salmon trolling of the year. The feeder king salmon tend to move around the bay, but bait can concentrate them in larger schools.
  • Locations in the outer bay can be great fishing when the weather allows, including Fourth of July Creek, Silver Ridge, and Bluff Point. The inner bay has lots of great spots closer by including Bear Cove, Glacier Spit, the islands (Yukon Island area), and the green can near the Homer Spit. There are plenty of other locations amongst all of those that hold king salmon throughout the year.
  • Herring pegged in a head clip fished behind a flasher is the classic setup, but spoons with and without flashers work very well, along with a variety of other tackle like hoochies or plugs. Try trolling the same direction as the tide and try setting the gear at various depths between 10 and 100 feet.

Tanner Crab

  • The Kachemak Bay Tanner crab sport fishery will be open October 1, 2020, through February 28 2021. Please refer to the press release for more information on this years’ limited fishery. A pot or ring net may be used to target Tanner crab.
  • The highest concentrations of Tanner crab tend to be found west of the Homer spit in 300 and 500 feet of water. Pots need to be set in deep water to be successful. Use bait such as fish carcasses secured in the pots.


  • Halibut fishing will continue to be fair over the fall months at locations in Kachemak Bay and Cook Inlet. Large jigs or herring on a circle hook are effective for halibut fishing. Consider the tide, and be sure to fish near slack, especially if the tides are large.

Emergency Orders

Please review the Emergency Orders and Advisory Announcements below in their entirety before heading out on your next fishing trip.

  • Emergency Order 2-RCL-7-03-20 and 2-RCL-7-04-20 closed all EASTSIDE Cook Inlet beaches to clamming for all species from the mouth of the Kenai River to the southernmost tip of the Homer Spit in 2020.

This is the last fishing report for the 2020 fishing season. This fishing report will be updated when additional information is available. For current seasonal information, please contact the ADF&G Homer office at (907) 235-8191.


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