Area Sport Fishing Reports
October through November Season
Very few boats are able to leave port in October and November, due to wintry weather and heavy seas. Halibut anglers will find fish mostly in the under-30 lb 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.
There may be a few steelhead trout lingering in the Anchor River in early October, but typically the run is over by then. The steelhead/rainbow trout fishery is catch-and-release only. Steelhead/rainbow trout may not be removed from the water before they are released. Dolly Varden also continue to be available through ice-up. Dollies provide excellent action on light tackle until ice clogs the river (and the guides of your fishing rod).
Saltwater Salmon Fishing
Anglers sometimes find success trolling for "feeder" king salmon throughout late fall and early winter. Feeder kings are fish that are feeding in Lower Cook Inlet, preparing for their eventual return to their home stream. Plastic hootchies or tube flies in green, chartreuse, or blue trolled behind dodgers/flashers are often effective, as are variously-colored spoons and spinners. Dressing the tackle with herring can improve success.
There is no seasonal limit south of Bluff Point from October through the end of March, but all daily bag limits and possession limits still apply. A king stamp is still required (unless you have the ADF&G Senior License or ADF&G Disabled Veterans License, or unless you are under 18 years old).
Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon - The salmon runs here are over for the year. Check back in May for early-run king salmon action.
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 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."
Ninilchik River, Anchor River, Stariski, and Deep Creek closed to all fishing.
Shrimp, crab - The shrimp and crab fisheries are closed year-round due to low population levels.
Clams - Although there may be some excellent minus tide series in late fall/early winter, only the hardiest clammers brave the weather. You will need a lantern or strong flashlight if minus tides occur after 3 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 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 the smothering of animals under the pile you’ve dug from the hole.
Only a sport-fishing license is required to harvest razor clams. There are literally miles of good razor clam beaches available from the Anchor River north 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.