Last Saturday during the incoming tide, I decided to take on a unique challenge by attempting to simultaneously scrutinize two events at the Fishing Hole while enjoying a hot lunch with my wife and ignoring a death stare from our official munch monitor, a treataholic miniature poodle.
Unfortunately, the scenario didn’t play well with our diminutive mutt. The mid day indulgence highly annoyed our emergency back up dog who perpetually tries to make things into an international urinary crisis when we don’t share our food. It’s her way of making our chow as cold as her normal dinner entrées if she can convince us that her bladder is about to go nuclear.
Not this time. We had her number and, unless drama dog let fly with her customary signal for a relief romp by crossing her hind legs and spinning like a plane that just lost a wing, she’d just have to chill.
Fortunately, she canned the small mutt theater and we went back to attacking our shrimp po boys and watching the action in the lagoon.
The first event, as the tide rolled in, was the remarkable displays of various techniques utilized by fishermen who were legally slamming the incoming schools of fish.
Eggs and herring dangled beneath a bobber or merely tossed into the current with nothing more than a weight to hold the bait under the surface were working well.
There also were flashy spinners flying through the air resembling everything from anti aircraft missiles to things that would scare the hell out of starving salmon shark. As usual, the Vibrax lures (red, deep orange and blue) seemed to rule unless they were sporting treble hooks so massive they could alternate as scaling grapples.
The second event was “sneaker snagging” and trust me there were so many tight lines in the water that they would have made Joan Rivers envious. I swear if she has anymore plastic surgery, she’ll be hanging her earrings from her kneecaps.
Anyway, when I tried to politely advise some of them that their set ups were illegal, many replied they didn’t realize what they were doing was wrong but since no one checks their gear, they weren’t that concerned.
So be it, but if I can spot explicit violations while wrestling with our pooch to remove a fossilized Cheese Doodle stuck in her teeth that she snorted out of the weeds I’m sure the law could have emptied a ticket book.
It’s time now to take a look at the fishing report for the week of Aug. 12-19.
Major alert: The question “to snag or not to snag” will be a non-issue in a blink of a day according to the following. Be prepared to duck.
Snagging opens beginning 12:01 a.m., Friday, Aug. 15, through the remainder of the year in the waters from the Homer City Dock (near the entrance to the Homer Boat Harbor) northwest along the east side of the Homer Spit to the department marker approximately 200 yards northwest of the lagoon entrance, and 300 feet from shore.
For the clueless, that includes the Fishing Hole, but not inside the boat harbor folks, so don some body armor, safety goggles, grab a first aid kit and join the stampeding herd.
Note: I contacted the North Star Terminal and was told that their land and barge basin is posted private property and not open to fishing from shore. If you want to float a boat in there and wail away at schools of silvers go for it, but lay off the beach invasion.
Halibut fishing success has been steady with limits continuing to be the norm although lately some of the ‘buts could qualify as munchkins. Not to worry, there’s still a bunch of big flat screens cruising the bottom out there.
Sampled fish landed in the Homer Harbor over the past week averaged 12.2 pounds (range 3.14 to 88.6 pounds) round weight.
Trolling success for feeder kings is reported as excellent to critical cool near Point Pogibshi. Herring, hootchies, tube flies and spoons are rocking the Chinooks so don’t rely on just your normal blind luck.
Boat hunters are reporting beyond decent catches of silvers approximately 24 miles offshore near the Compass Rose. Don’t worry about the “approximate” bit. When you get that far out, look for jumpers; the idiots are famous for craving attention.
Other saltwater fishing
Fishing off the end of the Homer Spit can be a great way to catch fish while avoiding the heavy treble hook arsenal flying around inside the fishing lagoon.
Species available include pollock, Pacific cod, a variety of weird flatfish, dollies, and silvers that are doomed anyway once they pass outside the boat harbor’s entrance. They would rather go down in a fair fight than be hauled in sideways like some schlep pink.
Lingcod season remains open. The bag and possession for gruesome beasts limit is two fish and the minimum legal size is 35 inches.
Unfortunately, fishermen are reporting few catches of rock fish and lingcod.
The Kachemak Bay silver salmon gillnet fishery will open Monday, Aug. 18, at 6 a.m. A permit is required and available at the Homer Alaska Department of Fish and Game office.
Did you catch that, snagger nation? Come Monday they’ll be zapping up cohoes like a Hoover Vacuum salesman demonstrating the suction capability of the latest 200 horsepower Dust Whacker. I’d suggest camping out there for the weekend.
Expect continuing fine fishing for Dolly Varden in roadside streams.
Coho fishing in area streams is reported improving with the tides especially in the Anchor River.
This should stop your heart. Pink salmon fishing is reported as excellent in Humpy Creek. It should be. Those things will knock themselves on a rock if they think it moved.
All shrimp and crab fisheries in Kachemak Bay are currently closed.
Areas upstream of the two-mile regulatory markers on the Anchor and Ninilchik Rivers and Deep and Stariski Creeks opened 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 bag and possession limit for spiny dogfish sharks is five per day and in possession with no recording requirement. The bag and possession limit for all other sharks is one per day and in possession and these must be recorded immediately on the back of your fishing license.
Sport caught pink salmon may be used as bait in the salt water fisheries.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any tips, tales or want to share your treble hook removal procedure after the weekend.