Reeling ‘Em In: For some, fishing not a social sport

I am not a combat fisherman. I’m a conscientious objector when it comes doing battle for room with more than two anglers especially if they are within sight, so I move around a lot and fin hunt during the darker hours of the early morn or after the sun closes its eyes on the western horizon.

It’s not that I’m antisocial but with everyone packing camera phones nowadays I don’t want to go viral on a website for the brain dead after inadvertently snagging the butt of some babbling, beer-basted, tight-lining, loser during the back cast of one of my more infamous hurls.

It’s embarrassing enough that my buddies prefer a minimum separation of a football field when I practice my skills but the notion of being caught on camera snagging snaggers is as disconcerting as watching our state legislature in inaction.

This aversion to public humiliation keeps me from fishing during weekends when things can get so crowded that you wish there was a way to take a number for a crack at the nearest commode and away from the angling impaired who couldn’t land a wall-mounted perch without cheating.

I have already run across new lead treble hooks lying along the path beside the Spit’s fishing hole and heard tales of Neanderthals wrenching hefty lures in so rapidly that, even if they induced a righteous hit, the only thing that they’d beach would be a surprised looking set of lips.

If these miscreants are so incompetent that they have to stoop to chicanery to take home some seafood, I suggest they visit a “drive thru” and order a huge sack of compressed-fish sandwiches with a colossal side order of pathetic fries for the exceptionally lame.

It’s time now to slow our roll and take a look at this week’s fishing report.

Regulation reminders from the Southcentral Alaska Sports Fishing Regulations Summary: Snagging is not allowed in Kachemak Bay east of a line from Anchor Point to Point Pogibshi until June 24.

Before heading out to fish on freshwater streams, consult pages 64-66 for the Anchor River; pages 66-67 for Deep Creek and page 69 for the Ninilchik River.

We have expounded on the aforementioned advice in previous fishing reports but as the old quote goes from the movie Cool Hand Luke, “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.”

What else can one say when anglers are still getting hit with pricey fines for a failure to log the king 20 inches or longer that they’ve kept?

Come on people, the state’s sports fishing reg book actually shows you how to do it on page 5.

Check out the troopers’ section of this week’s police report for additional entertainment.

Hooked steelhead trout must not be removed from the water and must be released immediately.

A chinook, 20 inches or longer, that is removed from salt or fresh water must be retained and becomes part of the bag limit of the person who hooked the fish.

After taking a king, 20 inches or longer, from the Anchor River, Deep Creek or Ninilchik River, anglers may not fish for any species for the rest of the day.

In freshwater, the bag and possession limit for king salmon less than 20 inches is 10 fish.

Saltwater Fishing: Remember that while you may retain five rockfishes per day, only one may be a nonpelagic species (see chart on page 90. It has pictures of these critters).

Lingcod may not be harvested until July 1.

All lingcod caught accidentally must be carefully released and may not be punctured with a gaff. We’ll talk more about the upcoming battles with these beasts when the season opens on both the fish and the angler annoying it.

Halibut: Early-season halibut fishing is cooking right along with some of the flats sporting impressive girths and length.

Things will get even better as more ’buts cruise in from their deep water ’hoods to check out the cornucopia of bottom feeding delights waiting in the shallower summer feeding areas.

These horizontal voyagers are hot for large bait herring but will be more than happy to give octopus, squid, salmon heads, and bright jigs a shot.

Unguided anglers can retain 2 halibut a day, 4 in possession.

Salmon: Trolling for feeder blackmouths has been reported as poor to fair from Bluff Point north and throughout Kachemak Bay.

There continues to be a high prevalence of bait fish within K-bay and that gives the kings a plethora of areas to go shopping therefore they are not concentrated in any particular location.

Various sized herring are still working well, when you can find the fish. Thin blade spoons and/or their larger equivalents may also put salmon in the hold as will blue/green hoochies. All usually work better with flashers.

Watch for seabird commotions or whale activity to help pinpoint the possible whereabouts of bait fish.

Kings are continuing to enter the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon and fishing has improved somewhat depending on when and how you fish.

First of all, let’s make something perfectly clear. Snagging in Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon is open by emergency order only and there’s not one.

Dim bulbs using marshmallows as floats so they can tie a hook on the line between the potential smore ingredient and their pole creating a snag line reflect the intellect of sea urchins on Xanax should check out the special regulation section on page 72 of the regulations summary.

Too lazy to pick one up? OK then, here’s one important part pertaining to The Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon Area.

“Weights, bobbers, or any floatation device (including pieces of foam or marshmallows) following a hook or hooks may not be used when these waters are closed to snagging.” Heck they even draw pictures for you. If you still don’t get it maybe someone with a phone out there will call and have a friendly trooper drop by for a face to face.

Try fishing the tide fluxes using cured eggs or plug-cut small herring a couple of feet below a bobber or fling a # 5 Blue Vibrax just ahead of the moving schools. The darker red bell will also work if roe becomes the hot item.

Chinook fishing at Seldovia Lagoon is improving as more fish enter the lagoon. Try hitting them during the incoming tide as new fish nose into the mere.

Anglers are using spinners, herring and shrimp as bait.

A few ardent anglers have been giving Halibut Cove Lagoon a try this season but there have been no reports of kings being caught.

Other Saltwater Fishing: Fishing off the end of the Homer Spit can be an intriguing way to pass the time if you are into whacking Walleye pollock, Pacific cod, an assortment flatfish, a bait fish chasing king or simply cutting the line on things that should never see the light of day.

Anglers are reporting catches of black, dark and dusky rockfish along Bluff Point and near Point Pogibshi.

Fresh waters: The Ninilchik River will open continuously to fishing for hatchery only king salmon from the mouth upstream approximately 2 miles to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game regulatory markers on June 16.

The Anchor River will open to fishing from the mouth upstream approximately 2 miles to the ADF&G regulatory markers on Wednesday, June 14; Saturday, June 17 through Monday, June 19.

The Anchor and Ninilchik River weirs are operational and fish counts are available online at: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/sf/FishCounts/ As of June 12 when 146 kings were counted moving into the system, the total run, so far, came to 2,422 fish.

River conditions on the Anchor and Ninilchik rivers are expected to be good.

Expect fair to good fishing for king on the Anchor River over the next week.

Fishing should be fair for hatchery king salmon on the Ninilchik River and will improve through the rest of June.

Salmon roe clusters and herring suspended under a bobber have been the most effective but spinners and flies are doing fine. Try fishing near the mouths of these streams during the incoming tide to target the newbies.

Shellfish: All Eastside Cook Inlet beaches from the Kenai River to the tip of the Homer Spit are closed to the taking of all clams through Dec. 31. The next clamming tides run from June 20-29.

There will be a tanner crab fishery opening Oct. 1 and closing Feb. 28.

All shrimp and crab fisheries in Kachemak Bay remain closed for 2017.

Breaking Fishing News: On Monday, Garrett Neugebauer from Bend, Ore., took the lead in Homer’s Jackpot Halibut Derby by landing a 200.2-pound halibut while fishing with Capt. Max Shifler on F/V Big Easy of Alaska Saltwater Adventures.

Nick can be contacted at ncvarney@gmail.com if you have any tips, tales or questions on subject matters that he might be able to bluff his way through.

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