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Fishing superstitions no laughing matter when success counts

Posted: July 30, 2014 - 3:24pm
Anglers rim the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon this week in hopes of catching a silver salmon.   Photo by Michael Armstrong, Homer News
Photo by Michael Armstrong, Homer News
Anglers rim the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon this week in hopes of catching a silver salmon.

My wife and I relearned a lesson over the last week and it wasn’t pretty. Since The Fishing Hole has been handing out silver liked a short-circuited slot machine in Reno, we decide that we’d slip out there and pick up a couple of those beauties for the barbecue.

Something went wrong. Way wrong.

We have this semi-secret special technique that hasn’t failed us for years and we were confident that we would be back in a couple of hours packing some nice fillets.

Nope. 

There were flotillas of fish running the beach on the outer side of the lagoon as the tide meandered up the rock bank but we couldn’t get a good set on the hooks. 

The hits were vicious and our bobbers continued to shoot down like the bait below had been snatched by a starved mutant squid that would be coming for us next. 

On the gloomy way home for a dinner of chicken salad with a side of fresh peaches, I discovered that I hadn’t worn my lucky ancient, seriously debris-encrusted boots that have been known to walk on their own and stalk helpless woodland creatures. It was no wonder I got skunked. 

Jane, on the other hand, had forgotten to layer on her, “never go fishing without it,” #13 Seahawks jersey, so we both were liable for the doomed expedition.

Needless to say, we now have a fishing ensemble checklist that would stun a commercial pilot and it’s meticulously scoured before launching from the driveway.

Yeah, I know there are a herd of naysayers out there snorting “Nick, you’re full of gull guano. Fishing superstitions are feckless and ludicrous.”

Well, maybe so, but we’re having fresh fillets tonight. How about you?

On to other things: I’ve noticed a lot of missed strikes at the pond and most of them stem from two basic mistakes.

One is that the fishermen are using bait herring too large for these silvers and they can’t get a good full bite on their target when they strike.

Use the herring that comes in the orange bag, then plug cut it a quarter of an inch or so below the bottom of the gill plate so the silvers can snarf them down easier.

The second common error is that some bobber fishermen try to set the hook too fast.

This morning I had a takedown and opened the bail to let the fish run a bit. When the float stayed under for about 20 feet, I snapped the bail shut and set the hook. It was a great fight but when I landed it, it was solidly hooked in the side of the mouth, not deeper where I expected it to be. If I would have struck earlier I probably would have pulled the herring out without getting a set. So, give the fish some time to run and you might just get your battle on more often.

Now it’s time to take a look at this week’s fishing report.

Heads up: The Youth Fishery at the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon is Saturday, Aug. 2. A portion of the lagoon will be open to youth 15 years of age or younger from 12:01 a.m. until midnight. Department staff will be present from 5-7 p.m. to help young anglers fish and tie egg loops and fishing knots, and learn the best way for releasing fish.

Areas upstream of the 2-mile regulatory markers on the Anchor and Ninilchik Rivers and Deep and Stariski Creeks open on Aug. 1 to fishing for Dolly Varden and steelhead/rainbow trout.  Salmon may not be targeted or harvested upstream of the two-mile regulatory markers.

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

Salt Waters: Halibut 

Halibut fishermen are continuing to take their limits with some nice slabs being pulled aboard. Of course some of those limits include flats so small that you could dry them and use them as cutting boards for bait herring. 

Sampled fish landed in the Homer Harbor over the past week averaged 12.6 pounds (range 4.01 to 101.2 pounds) round weight. 

Salt Waters: Salmon 

Trolling success for feeder king salmon is reported as fair to middling near Flat Island and Point Pogibshi. 

Anglers are reporting some cool skirmishes with silvers near Point Adams.

While trolling, anglers also are reporting good catches of pinks that can be turned into a buffet of bait for halibut and other hungry denizens of the deep.

They also may be served to relatives that have out stayed their welcome.

At the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon fishing for silvers has run the gamut from fine to outrageous if your timing is on target. 

Try cured salmon eggs, plug cut herring and the smaller blue Vibrax spinners; fishing around the incoming tide and ebbing tides may just rock your boat. 

Some of you out there are slipping back into some old bad habits and may end up with a ticket.

Remember: Snagging is not allowed in the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon and from the Homer City Dock near the entrance of the Homer Boat Harbor (including the Homer Boat Harbor) to the ADF&G markers about 200 yards northwest of the lagoon entrance to a distance of 300 feet from shore. 

The tripod and blue and white sign is a good size and designates where snagging is closed.

The daily bag and possession limit for other salmon (including silvers) is six.

Weights or bobbers following a hook or hooks may not be used in waters closed to snagging.

Come on gang, if you can’t nail a silver out of this run at the hole without resorting to snagging like some of the known reprehensible scofflaws roaming the lagoon, go watch the kids on Saturday for some tips or just stand near somebody who’s knocking them dead legally and ask them how they are doing it. 

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 

Fishing off the end of the Homer Spit can be a laid back way to pass the day. Finny things available include pollock, Pacific cod, flatfish species, Dolly Varden, silvers and bottom feeders The Creature from the Black Lagoon wouldn’t touch with one of his slimy webbed appendages. 

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.

It is rumored the epitome of gruesome lings may soon star in their own horror movie titled “Lingnado” spawned from the successful “Sharknado” series on the Sci-Fi channel.  I doubt it. There is no warning rating high enough for those things. 

Boaters fishing near the Barren, Chugach and Elizabeth Islands are catching limits of lingcod and rockfish as well as other sought-after critters. 

Personal use fishing

Dipnetting for sockeyes in China Poot is at a boring crawl. Fish early in the day if you have nothing else to do and want to practice with your net.  

Streams

Expect some fine fishing for dollies in the roadside streams.

Try fishing for vards with small bright spinners, fresh salmon eggs or fly patterns that resemble fish such as muddler minnows or egg patterns. 

Silvers are beginning to arrive in some of these streams. As usual, aim at fishing early in the morning or at the mouth of the stream during the incoming tide. 

Pink salmon fishing is reported as good on the south side of Kachemak Bay. Humpy Creek and the Seldovia River are popular streams to fish for pink salmon.

Emergency orders

Sport fishing for kings was closed in the saltwaters of Cook Inlet north of the latitude of Bluff Point (59 40.00’N) beginning at 12:01 a.m., Saturday, July 26, and will be through 11:59 p.m., Thursday, July 31. 

King salmon that are caught while fishing for other species may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately. 

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 @ ncvarney@gmail.com if you have any tales, tips or just want rumble on about something.

 

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