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Activity picking up around The Fishing Hole

Posted: July 31, 2013 - 12:52pm

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.  

I recognized him and figured if he didn’t nail something the only activity I could recommend at the pond this coming week would be competitive rock skipping.

Well, all I can say is that there are a few cohoes and dollies cruising the east banks of the Homer Spit. He worked hard for them using both small herring and his “super secret” cured eggs and came up with a couple of 6-to-7-pound silvers along with a few nice dollies. 

So, there you have it. Silvers are poking around the lagoon but not in thundering herds so you’ll have to hunt them with patience and timing.  

Here are few angling strategies that might work for you. 

If you give it a shot inside while the tide is out remember that they are fish. They hate sunlight and are spooked by shadows. You’ll have better luck around dawn or the evening hours. 

If the tide is coming up, try bobber fishing outside as it builds. If it’s headed out, drift a weighted bait line in the outgoing stream or use bobber sets within its side-eddies.

If you prefer eggs, don’t slop on a glop so massive it creates a surfing wake when it hits the water. You want them to bite not get knocked out. 

If you hurl herring, use the smaller ones (plug cut) so they can get their chops around them. These aren’t kings so blazing away with bait that would choke a seal will only expose you as a clueless tool. 

Don’t use a bobber that could alternate as a barge’s anchor buoy either. Try a small, nuclear-bright foam float that offers little resistance when a fish hits. This will make it less likely that it’ll instantly spit out the bait like it’s a curdled chunk of squid butt. 

Lastly, if the bobber goes under, don’t take a rip like you’re trying to launch the coho directly into your truck’s cooler. Let the fish run with the float submerged (I usually count to five) and then smack it. You’ll have a much better shot at a solid hook-up. 

Hopefully next week when the tides start to build again, so will the run and you’ll be able to test the level of your ineptitude.

Now let’s take a look at some of this week’s state fishing report.

Anglers are reminded that the Anchor River, Ninilchik River, Deep Creek and Stariski Creek are closed to king salmon fishing.  Kings may not be targeted in these streams and any chinook caught while fishing for other species may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately.

The youth-only fishing will be on Saturday from 12:01 a.m. to midnight at the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon. A portion of the fishing area at the lagoon will be set aside only for kids 15 and younger to fish. Fish and Game staff will be available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to help young anglers set up fishing gear and fish for silvers returning to the lagoon.

Halibut fishing is rolling along with some nice brag-about ’buts being boated. Squid and herring served on a circle hook with a dab of reeking offal works well on these uncouth feeders. 

Sampled fish landed in the Homer harbor over the past week averaged 14.8 pounds (range of 4.8-312.4 pounds). 

Trolling success for feeder king salmon has been upgraded from terminally boring to fair off Bluff Point and Point Pogibshi. 

Silver, chum and pink salmon are ending their runs early in fish holds off of Point Pogibshi and Flat Island. 

A high number of pink salmon (they are always getting in the way) are mixed with a low number of sockeye salmon in Tutka Bay Lagoon. This is a stocked fishery paid for by enhancement taxes on commercial fisheries. Anglers are reminded to be cool and avoid commercial boats operating in lagoon.

Fishing off the end of the Homer Spit can be a fascinating way to pass the time. You can hook into Walleye pollock, Pacific cod, and a variety of flatfish species. Last week an angler reported harvesting a small halibut off the beach in front of Land’s End. Another guy pulled in something he claims chased him into the Ferry Terminal’s parking lot. 

Lingcod fishing is good around Elizabeth and Chugach Islands for those anglers who enjoy a longer ride and want to pick a fight with something that would prefer you as bait.

Lingcod season is open through Dec. 31. The bag and possession limit is two fish and the minimum legal size is 35 inches.

The China Poot personal use dip 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.

Sockeye catches are reported as fair to good if you hit the tides right.

The lower portions of the Anchor River, Deep Creek, Ninilchik River and Stariski Creek are open to sport fishing; bait and treble hooks may be used.

A few silver salmon have been reported caught in the Anchor River.  Try fishing early in the morning or at the mouth of the stream during the incoming tide. 

Upstream areas open today for Dolly Varden and steelhead/rainbow trout.

Expect lousy to fair fishing for pink salmon and Dolly Varden in these streams.

Large numbers of chum salmon along with lower numbers of pinks are invading streams on the south side of Kachemak Bay in a race to see who can get uglier the fastest. 

The next series of clamming tides run Aug. 6-10. 

Digging for razor clams on Ninilchik beaches is a waste of perfectly good holes. Try the Clam Gulch beaches.

The razor clam bag and possession limit has been decreased to the first 25 clams dug through December 31, 2013. Don’t forget that the 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. 

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 the Southcentral sport fishing regulation summary booklet. 

The Cook Inlet and North Gulf Coast sport, personal use & subsistence Tanner crab fisheries remain closed for the 2013-2014 season.

Nick can be reached at ncvarney@gmail.com if you have any tips, tales or trip tribulations that you would like to share with his international audience. He received an email from Canada once.

 

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