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Good ol’ days back at Fishing Hole

Posted: July 24, 2014 - 3:32pm
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Fishermen work the incoming tide on Thursday afternoon at the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon on the Homer Spit.  Photo by Michael Armstrong, Homer News
Photo by Michael Armstrong, Homer News
Fishermen work the incoming tide on Thursday afternoon at the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon on the Homer Spit.

If you haven’t visited The Fishing Hole lately, there’s only one way to describe it. It’s a “Back to the Future” scenario with silvers performing Cirque du Soleil flips over each other while rabid fishermen throw everything at them from plug-cut herring to Pixies the size of 1200cc Harleys.

After a few years of dismal returns, it’s starting to look like the good old days may be beginning to roll again.

Even curious tourists are back and taking pictures of the sign at the disabled parking area that depicts two salmon facing the opposite direction of each other, one with the word “kings” and the other with “silvers” on it.

I don’t know how many times over the years that visitors, after staring intently at the sign, have asked how the kings and silvers know which side of the pond to go to when once they entered the lagoon.

I tell them the truth. 

My dufus bud Wild Willie solemnly swears that there is a duplicate underwater notice placed just after the entrance that directs each arriving species to their section of the hole.

Note: This village is overflowing with fine artists. Why hasn’t someone volunteered to repaint those two fish and add a little dignity to The Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon? 

It would be a nice optic offset to that gull projectile pooping zone around the cleaning tables and open gut trailer.

Moving on.

Last week I promised those who are somewhat angling challenged a few suggestions as to how to hunt the silvers coming into the lagoon. So be it. 

As the tide approaches The Hole, the fish school up off the outer beach and hold there until the water pours inside. Try casting your baits and lures into and just ahead of the schools cruising near the entrance. It’s not hard to figure out where to target them. They are primo narcissistic exhibitionists that are all attitude as they rocket out of the water flipping the fin while taunting “Yo, roe breath, we’re over here!” 

Next, when the sea starts to flood the lagoon there will probably be a thundering herd of pole thrashers suddenly switching to the interior. If you just chill and stay put, it can be a cool way to hook into cohos running the shoreline without having to go all Hulk Hogan on the guy next to you to bust open up a space to land your catch.

One other “heads up.”

Don’t forget that silvers usually “go the bite” a bit after dawn takes its first morning stretch to the east. The “bite” can be wild and very short but it’s an experience that you’ll never forget, especially if it’s low tide and they are trapped inside the lagoon. 

Next Thursday, I’ll have some more tips for tackling those rowdy silvers somersaulting in the tarn singing “If I only had a brain,” but now it’s time to take a look at this week’s fishing report.

Salt waters: halibut 

Halibut fishing has been a bit above pretty darn decent to just below awesome depending on where you splash the anchor. Limits are becoming ordinary. 

Sampled fish landed in the Homer Harbor over the past week averaged 11.8 pounds (range 2.09 to 112.6 pounds) round weight. 

Salt waters: salmon 

Trolling success hasn’t changed much for feeder kings with fair results reported near Flat Island and Point Pogibshi. Things are somewhat more pathetic north of Bluff Point.  

Anglers are getting into more and more silvers near Point Adams.

While trolling, rod holders also are reporting using up righteously expensive herring on greedy pinks that are jumping the bait like they just came off a week long Richard Simmons colonic diet of a half a krill a day. 

Sockeye salmon mixed with pink 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 the area. 

Other saltwater fishing 

Angling off the end of the Homer Spit can be an intriguing way to kick back and enjoy “Grab Bag Fishing.” You never know what you’ll tie into. All it costs is a chunk off some profoundly deceased sea creature, a geared up fishing rod and a place to plant your butt.  Finned critters available include pollock, Pacific cod, flatfish, Dolly Varden, and things no one will talk about. 

Personal use fishing

Dipnetting for sockeye salmon in China Poot remains fair.  Hopefully things will fire up soon.

Streams

Expect good fishing for Dolly Varden in roadside streams as most runs are just starting to arrive. Fish near the stream mouths for better action. The Anchor River has been really rockin’ the dollies, especially in the lower river 

Pink salmon are entering streams on the south side of Kachemak Bay.  Humpy Creek and Seldovia River are popular streams to fish for pinks.

On the Ninilchik River most of the hatchery king salmon have darkened and are in spawning condition. Pretty soon the only thing that will keep them together will be Duct Tape.

Shellfish 

The next series of clamming tides run July 26-30.

The Ninilchik beach from the north bank of Deep Creek to a marker located approximately 3.2 miles north of the Ninilchik River at 60º 05.66’N. latitude is closed to the taking of all clam species effective through Dec. 31.  

The bag and possession limit for razor clams harvested from the remaining eastside Cook Inlet beaches, extending from the mouth of the Kenai River to the southernmost tip of the Homer Spit, is reduced to the first 25 razor clams dug per day effective through Dec. 31.  

North of the Clam Gulch access road has been the most productive this season.

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

Regulation reminders and emergency orders

China Poot personal use dipnet fishery is open through Aug. 7. Both tips of the tail fin must be removed. Complete regulations are found on page 14 of the Southcentral Alaska regulation booklet.

The marine waters of Tutka Bay Lagoon within 100 yards of the Tutka Bay Lagoon hatchery net pens are closed to sport fishing.

Sport caught pink salmon may be used as bait in the saltwater fisheries. 

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

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

The Cook Inlet and North Gulf Coast sport, personal use and subsistence Tanner crab fisheries will not open for the 2014-2015 season.

Nick can be reached at ncvarney@gmail.com if you have any tips, tales or fishing rants that would stir things up around here.

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