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Fishing looking good for holiday weekend

Posted: July 2, 2013 - 2:59pm  |  Updated: July 5, 2013 - 11:31am

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.

If you listen to your charter crew or are already a knowledgeable ’but buster, the fish will be rather easy to catch because they have an IQ lower than your unquestionably deceased bait and tend to hook themselves once they start to jet off with the line. The hauling-in process then becomes quite simple unless you are in 400 feet of water with nine foot seas and you can’t tell if it’s the wind howling or your captain. 

Warning: If such an unfortunate weather circumstance should occur and you had to spend an inordinate amount of time convincing your loved one to go fishing in the first place, rest assured that your next hunter-gather adventure for seafood will be an open market somewhere in central Kansas.   

For those of you who prefer flogging the water from the beach, The Fishing Hole may not to be the place to hang this week unless you need a nap or want to practice semi-pro bobber staring. The last few times I was out there it was deader than an open bar at a Mormon convention but who knows, it may have a mini surge of belated kings as the tides rise gain. Oh yeah, someone picked up a shiny 5-pound pink on the outgoing tide last Sunday.

That might be of interest to some of you. Others may flee. 

The end of the Spit was much livelier with anglers sporting buckets full of cod-like things, coolers chilling flopping flounders and one guy with three nice Dollies that he probably smuggled down to the shore via a live bait bag so he could slip them on his hook for bragging rights. 

Try as I might, I just can’t trust my old fishing buddy Willy when he comes up with a score like that because the only things he’s usually excellent at catching are snags or profoundly psychotic Irish Lords the size and shapes of mangled hockey pucks.

Now here’s some info from the state’s weekly fishing report:
 
King Salmon Emergency Orders

King salmon sport fishing remains prohibited (including catch-and-release) within one mile of shore in marine waters south of the latitude of the mouth of the Ninilchik River to the latitude of Bluff Point.

The Anchor River, Deep Creek, Ninilchik River and Stariski Creek are closed to sport fishing through July 15.

Anglers are reminded that in waters closed to king salmon fishing, king salmon may not be hunted and that any king caught while fishing for other species may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately.
Just as you are scrubbing out your huge cooking cauldrons, this pops up.
Tanner Crab Emergency Orders

The Cook Inlet and North Gulf Coast sport, personal use & subsistence Tanner crab fisheries will not open for the 2013-2014 season.

Bummer, what are we going to do with all of this melted butter?

Lingcod season opened July 1 and runs until Dec. 31. Anglers are reminded that the bag and possession limit is two fish. The minimum legal size is 35 inches.

Warning: If you take pictures of these things, be careful who you share them with. Movie producers of slasher films won’t touch them as subject matter.

Snagging is allowed in Kachemak Bay east of a line from Anchor Point to Point Pogibshi through December 31, except in the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon.

Saltwater Fishing: Halibut

Halibut fishing is fair to smokin’ depending on where you set your hook. Sampled fish landed in the Homer harbor over the past week averaged 15.4 pounds (range of 4.0 – 246.0 pounds).

Saltwater Fishing: Salmon
Trolling success at Point Pogibshi and the Seldovia area for feeder kings is reported as fair to “something to brag about.”

King salmon fishing is reported as fair at the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon on the Homer Spit at 04:32:12 on Tuesday mornings when the wind is from the east at 4kts and the ambient temp is 58.2 degrees F. Other than that it’s a craps shoot.

Sockeye salmon are arriving into Tutka Bay Lagoon. This is a stocked fishery paid for by enhancement taxes on commercial fisheries. Anglers are reminded to avoid commercial boats operating in lagoon.

Pink and chum salmon are beginning to return the Kachemak Bay streams.

Try fishing for Dollies along the east side of the Homer Spit.
Personal Use

The China Poot personal use dipnet fishery is open to Alaska residents through Aug. 7. No permit is required. The bag and possession limits are six sockeye per person per day. Only sockeye salmon may be retained.

Shellfish

Clamming tides run July 7-11. Digging for razor clams on Ninilchik beaches remains pitiable to depressing. Try Clam Gulch beaches or beaches on the west side of Cook Inlet.

Don’t forget that the razor clam bag and possession limit has been decreased to the first 25 clams dug through Dec. 31.  
Clam jumpers 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 the Southcentral sport fishing regulation summary booklet.
Additional Regulation Reminders

The bag and possession limit for littleneck and butter clams is a combined limit of 80 clams.  Diggers are reminded that the legal size for littleneck clams (steamers) is 1 ½ inches or wider and the legal size for butter clams is 2 ½ inches or wider. To distinguish littleneck clams from butter clams, refer to page 9 of that Southcentral sport fishing regulation summary booklet that you always carry with you along with a clam calculator and an official shell measuring tape.

Cook Inlet:

All shrimp and crab fisheries in Kachemak Bay are currently closed.

Nick can be reached at ncvarney@gmail.com if you have any tips, tales or reports about how well things are going at your super secret numbers on your fish finder.

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