The Fourth of July celebration was enveloped by such a superb three-day weather forecast that northern worker bees were attracted to our area in impressive swarms buzzing around in everything from overpriced vanity convertibles to motorhomes with optional slide-out lawns.
Over the weekend, I took notice of a superfluity of rather unseemly comments concerning the conditions at the cleaning tables adjacent to the Homer Spit’s fishing lagoon.
While trying to fillet their catches, anglers were under siege by a squadron of sky rats with the manners of turkey buzzards jazzed after power wolfing a commercial tanker of Red Bull.
As I wander around during the week shooting the breeze with shore anglers, I’m amazed to find that many aren’t carrying a tide book either on them or in their rig.
There is a plethora of information squeezed into those little booklets covering everything from how to tie fishing knots to how to outsmart a razor clam — although I would suggest that you never admit that you had to look up the latter.
Let’s get real here. There are some of you who flay at fish rather than fillet them. It is astounding to watch seriously filleting impaired fishermen turn beautiful salmon sides into something resembling the aftermath of being jammed through a nuclear powered juicer.
Believe me, I’m not close to being an expert, but my efforts do not result in what looks like a pile of exploded salmon dip either.
So, once again, as a public service, the following guidelines are humbly submitted for your consideration.
Fishing Alert: On Wednesday, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced the Anchor River, Deep Creek, Ninilchik River and Stariski Creek are closed to fishing beginning Friday.
I just don’t get it. For weeks, information has been bouncing around the Internet and printed media that, for right now, fishermen and fisherettes may only use one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure on the Anchor River, Deep Creek and Ninilchik River.
Pretty straight forward right? Well not so fast. A quick scan of the Wildlife Trooper records and you’ll find that there are still people out there with the intellectual capacity of asphalt.
Well, now, wasn’t that a beautiful Memorial Day weekend for those of you who can dimly recall it? The weather was so nice and semi smoke free that campgrounds with the burn bans were glowing with Phase Five sunburns that served as stand-in grills for the carnivorous crowd.
The Spit resembled an Indie 500 parking lot in some areas and the boat launch was sometimes so busy you couldn’t launch a float coat without slavering it with butter.
There wasn’t a lack of fishing yarns either.
The time has come for the commencement of this year’s fish runs which coolly coincides with the roll out of Reeling ’Em In for 2014.
Once again we will be bringing you what lure soakers and draggers are scoring with in the open waters along with hints as to where to find and hopefully hook up with your prey of the day.
But first, there are some significant changes in the fishing regs this year.
Labor Day decided to be a bit testy this year. Winds pounded the wilting fireweed generating mini blizzards of white seedling parachutes spinning through the air in search of new beginnings while whitecap seas prematurely ended fishing for many of the small boat crowd.
I’m not trying to imply that things were a bit dull over the weekend but when I start noticing fireweed seed formations instead of what’s flying around off the end of sportsmen’s casting lines, there’s been a significant pause in the action.
While I was embattled with an obnoxious woodpecker that was practicing wicked marimba beats on our logs this morning, a huge flock of cranes soared over the cabin and seemed to cheer the little *&&^%$ on.
I didn’t think much about it until after the pile-driving beak with feathers suddenly decided to jet toward Malibu when he spotted what looked to be an enraged Sasquatch wielding a Wiffle bat heading his way snarling epithets that would embarrass a Navy Seal instructor.
Thar whar bright treasures in them thar high tides near the base of the Spit’s east side over the weekend. Even a half stoned pirate with dual eye patches could have sensed the glistening jewels cruising beneath the bay’s calm surface because the coho were hot popping and splashing along the shoreline as other small schools circled up to a couple of hundred yards off the beach.
For awhile, there was more silver being displayed out there than a Goth piercing convention in L.A. featuring Dennis Rodman’s lips.
As August starts to slowly glissade (“butt scoot” for those of you who consider outdoor recreation as playing “Big Fish” on an iPad) itself down the slippery slope toward fall, there’s still time to add to your stash of smoked, canned, frozen, fermented, pickled, honey cured and super secretly preserved fish that only you and your acutely deranged cat can stomach.
It’s true that the weather can get pretty nasty this time of year, but don’t forget, good fishermen know how, when and where to go after their prey.
Flat Island and Point Pogibshi have been heating up for silvers lately, so maybe those reports from boats fishing elsewhere and claiming things have been as exciting as a 20-mile speed-lumbering race for sumo wrestlers when it comes to finding the aggressive aerialists are about to change.
Lately there have been growing rumors about silvers lurking outside The Fishing Hole.
Until noon Monday I thought those tales were being generated by fishermen walking too close to some of the campsites in the area that have more smoke pouring out of bongs than their campfires.
I scouted the lagoon area around high tide for jumpers but it was deader than a porcupine Frisbee on the Sterling Highway until an angler arrived to hit the outgoing tide.
This summer the “Reeling ‘Em In” gmail inbox has been busier than a confessional booth on the day after Mardi Gras.
There have been questions about fishing techniques, how to tell the difference between certain species and when and where to fish. We even had a request for directions to a great burger joint because they were down here for the scenery and preferred landing their fillets in a supermarket where they wouldn’t get fish scales on their Birkenstocks.
Anyone cruising by the Fishing Hole recently must be thinking they would come across more people if they dropped in on a private Pebble mine, executives only, appreciation party for the Alaska Wilderness League. What can I say? It has been so slow that you can find more action sitting at home watching dandelions convert your lawn into the mother of all puffballs.
The vast staff here at the headquarters of “Reeling ’Em In” has received a plethora of inquires as to when the first silvers are going to make their summer debut at The Fishing Hole.
How in the *&*%^ should I know? We thought that this year’s batch of kings would start trickling inside around the last of May and then kick things up throughout June. We were way wrong. If they had been any later they would have been next year’s run.
By the time you read this, the tides should be almost perfect for cutting some respectable critters out the growing herds of halibut cruising around Kachemak Bay and Cook Inlet.
The flats will be looking for trouble by trying to filch sushi from the holiday-week buffets being served up on circle hooks dangling just above ocean floor. It could be a lot of fun out there.
Take a cosmic bucket full of solstice time, dump in huge tides along with hordes of panicked bait fish firing out of the water while dodging creatures trying to turn them into pureed protein and wadda ya get? Some honkin’ size halibut and a fleet of boats on the water with bent sticks wielded by semi-sane and seriously pumped fishing fanatics, that’s what.
It’s been a long time since the weather has been hotter than the fishing around here. With all of the fans blasting inside the cabin, it’s like stepping onto a wind tunnel
when the mutts and I crawl back inside from a scouting expedition.
The Fishing Hole has been an interesting enigma so far. The lagoon can be deader than daylight at a vampire hostel and then all of sudden a few kings will slide in to give napping anglers near seizures when they slam their bait.