Last week I reported that the king run at The Fishing Hole had been about as productive as trolling from a boat and trailer being towed down the Seward Highway.
Things have changed a bit after a series of high tides. Fishing is picking up during both the ebb and flow of the lagoon’s salt water.
Easy now, don’t give yourself a deep gouge wedgie trying to lunge into your waders while grabbing a pole and bait just to storm out there. That would be unseemly especially if you’re at work. The run is so slow that the seals haven’t given the place a second sniff and the jerks that can’t catch a fish without snagging it are still lurking in root cellars caressing their special gear.
The fish being caught are small averaging around 7 to 10 pounds with some hitting the 12 mark. Others are diminutive dudes and confused enough to qualify as jack salmon (20 inches or under). They all taste good but remember a jack counts toward your daily limit of two kings although they don’t need to be recorded.
Note: A beautiful 25-pound male chinook was taken on the outside on May 21. It was 38 inches long and hit on a herring. It was probably wandering around lost after inadvertently taking a right into the bay when it refused to asked directions to the Anchor River.
One hundred and thirty thousand coho and 110,000 chinook smolt have been planted in The Hole during the last few weeks. The silvers will return in a year and the kings everywhere from one to four years. Another batch of silver tykes will be introduced in the coming weeks.
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Now let’s take a look at the area’s fishing reports and updates for the week of June 4-11.
The following emergency orders restrict king salmon fisheries on the Anchor River, Deep Creek, and Ninilchik River and the marine fishery south of the Ninilchik River mouth to Bluff Point. These restrictions are in effect through Sunday, June 30, 2013 except where otherwise noted.
The Anchor River remains closed to sport fishing on Wednesdays. The Alaska Departent of Fish and Game regulatory marker is relocated approximately 1,000 feet downstream of the North and South fork junction.
The combined annual limit is two king salmon 20 inches or greater in length for fish harvested from May 1-June 30 in the Anchor River, Deep Creek, Ninilchik River and all marine waters south of the latitude of the mouth of the Ninilchik River to the latitude of Bluff Point.
After harvesting a king salmon 20 inches or greater from either the Anchor River, Deep Creek, or the Ninilchik River, fisherpersonages better find something else to do because they are required to cease fishing for any species in these streams for the rest of the day.
Anglers may only use one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure on the Anchor River, Deep Creek, and Ninilchik River.
Ninilchik River king salmon bag and possession is one naturally produced or hatchery-produced fish during regulatory weekend openings in May and June; beginning July 1, bag and possession is limited to 1 hatchery-produced king salmon.
Memo to Budweiser Breath at The Anchor last weekend, I’ll say it again: No, you cannot dip or soak your artificial lures in herring oil. What is it about the meaning of “artificial” that baffles you? It has to be rough being intellectually dimmer than your fishing gear.
Other Regulation Reminders
The nasty tempered lingcod may not be harvested until July 1.
Salt Water: Halibut
Early-season halibut fishing is fair to good though most fish are small enough that they’d lose a fight with the bait if it wasn’t dead. Things will get better as more fish start motoring in from the winter depths to take advantage of the shallower summer feeding areas.
Some larger fish are being harvested in the sport fishery such as the 142.2 flat caught May 27. Sampled fish landed in the Homer harbor over the past week averaged 12.4 pounds (range of 4.5-97 pounds).
Here we go again: The department has received a few reports of “mushy” halibut this season. The flesh of these fish is very soft or flabby, sometimes with pockets of jelly-like tissue, and fish are mushy after being cooked as well. Experience during years of high prevalence of this condition (1998, 2005, 2011, 2012) shows that the incidence of these fish can be high for anglers fishing certain locales, so if you catch a fish that feels flabby or does not look as robust and rounded as a healthy halibut should, release it immediately unharmed and jet to a different area to avoid these creepy critters. Department research on this condition is ongoing.
Salt Water: Salmon
Trolling success for feeder king salmon remains fair to good from Bluff Point north to south of Deep Creek and Point Pogibshi.
This time of year early-run king salmon typically cruise in the near-shore salt waters of Anchor Point, Whiskey Gulch and Deep Creek. Chinook hunters usually concentrate their fishing efforts in near shore, shallow waters between Anchor Point and Deep Creek. The fishing has remained fair to good with king salmon being caught from south of Deep Creek to north of the Anchor River.
Other Saltwater Fishing
Fishing off the end of the Homer Spit can be really entertaining for both the angler and observer especially if a creature surfaces that they’ve only seen in horror movies. Species available include Walleye pollock, Pacific cod, a variety of flatfish species and things.
Fresh Water: Salmon
The Ninilchik and Anchor Rivers and Deep Creek, will open to fishing at 12:01a.m., Saturday, June 8, through midnight, Monday, June 10.
The water conditions continue to be a drag because of changes in weather and snow melt. Expect water levels to be high and muddy on Deep Creek for this weekend along with semi rotten fishing results.
The water on the Anchor River has been dropping but it’s still a little muddy. Hopefully things may improve by the weekend. Only 84 fish have been counted through the sonar so far and fishing has been slug slow.
The Ninilchik River had better water conditions this past weekend and will likely be good for this weekend. For what, I’m not sure unless the fish show up.
If all else fails, try fishing the mouths of these streams on the incoming tide for arriving kings. Sometimes they just like to chill around out there before rocketing upstream.
Shellfish — Razor Clam Emergency Order
Don’t forget that the razor clam bag and possession limit has been decreased to the first 25 clams dug if you decide to hit the clamming tides that run June 7-12.
Mollusk seekers are reminded that possession limit refers to the number of unpreserved clams a person may have in their possession. Preserved is defined on page 5 of your regulation summary booklet.
Digging for razor clams on Ninilchik beaches is poor no matter what some TV stations claim. Try Clam Gulch beaches or beaches on the west side of Cook Inlet for more razors.
All shrimp and crab fisheries in Kachemak Bay are currently closed.
Nick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have some tips, tales or general comments that can be used in a family newspaper.