Think of the possibilities: Fishing Hole Olympics

I’ve done a little less scouting this week due to the fact that the Summer Olympics have kicked into gear. When our outstanding U.S. athletes are on the air my lures aren’t flying through it.

My bride has even commented that I’m suddenly showing enough sense to come in out of the rain once in a while.

Personally, I think The Fishing Hole holds endless possibilities for an Olympics of its own.

Fish could be scored for their finesse in synchronized swimming, aerial gymnastics and scrum avoidance skills involving rabid seal dodging.

As for the fishermen, the venues are endless.

Pirouettes and unintended headers off the rocks while chasing schools cruising through the lagoon’s entrance would certainly provide point accruable displays of dramatic lacks of coordination and forethought.

Pole fencing while jostling for primo fishing slots would be a fascinating spectator sport. Especially if judged on inadvertent entanglements, creative expletive exchanges and piscatorian judo engagements, i.e., territorial rumbles.

For those who prefer milder competitions, zones would be set aside for inverted bucket squats and bobber monitoring. Points would be awarded for butt stamina and the ability to maintain semi-consciousness during perpetual hours of tedium. Deductions would be taken for uncontrolled drool.

Naturally, lawless snaggers would be banned, summarily fined, and heckled from the area for not only cheating but for the blatant display of their ineptness and possessing less intellect than the combined contents of the cleaning tables’ gut wagon.

I have other suggestions but haven’t made up the rules yet.

Update: Busts for illegal fishing continue at The Nick Dudiak Lagoon.

It seems that the true sportsmen have finally had enough. Cell phones are being fired up and complaints lodged with the authorities against the scofflaws befouling The Hole’s unique fishing experience and opportunities for the novice and skilled alike.

Hopefully sportsmen like Tom, Lou, Mark and Turk will be joined by additional concerned anglers speaking up when bad actors flaunt their disregard for simple rules, ethics, and basic courtesy.

Thanks, guys, and special kudos to the Fish and Game Troopers who are listening.

Now let’s look at this week’s fishing report.

Regulation Reminders

The Anchor and Ninilchik rivers and Deep and Stariski creeks are open for Dolly Varden and steelhead/rainbow trout upstream of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game regulatory markers, but remain closed for salmon upstream of these markers.

The lower portions of the Anchor River, Deep Creek and Stariski Creek are open to sport fishing except for chinooks. The kings are off limits and may not be targeted. If hooked, they must be released immediately.

On the Anchor River, Deep Creek, Stariski Creek and Ninilchik River, bait and treble hooks are legal gear through Aug. 31.

Special note: The Kachemak Bay coho salmon gillnet fishery opens Aug. 18. Open periods are 6 a.m. Monday to 6 a.m. Wednesday and 6 a.m. Thursday to 6 a.m. Saturday. The fishery closes when 1,000-2,000 coho salmon are harvested. Permits are available at the Homer Fish and Game office until the fishery closes. The Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon Area remains closed to snagging from the Homer City Dock near the entrance of the Homer Boat Harbor (including the Homer Boat Harbor) to the Fish and Game markers about 200 yards northwest of the lagoon entrance to a distance of 300 feet from shore.

Saltwater Fishing: Halibut

Halibut fishing in Cook Inlet has been fair to decent with limits being the norm even though a lot of the fish are on, let’s just say, the smallish side.

Sampled fish harvested out of the Homer port averaged 12 pounds (range 3.3-82.7 pounds).

Unguided anglers can retain two halibut a day, four in possession. Guided anglers should consult federal regulations at: alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/fisheries/sport-halibut.

Bait herring garnishing circle hooks will morph the most flats into fillets but octopus, squid, salmon heads and jigs will kick start the transformations, too.

Saltwater Fishing: Salmon

Sports tackle buffs are reporting respectable to nice fishing for feeder kings and sluggish for silvers.

Pinks in the 8- to 10-pound range are being whacked from Point Pogibshi and along the south side Kachemak Bay and Bluff Point area. That’s pretty hefty. I wonder if the sneaky @%$#&^%$ have been running off the small silvers and stealing their bait balls.

Small herring and small spoons behind large flashers are still bringing on the hard strikes when used to troll for salmon in Kachemak Bay and Cook Inlet.

You will have a better chance to avoid those Jabba the Hutt Humps if you try fishing in waters deeper than 50 feet when you are chasing kings or coho.

Silvers continue to slide into the Nick Dudiak Fishing lagoon in just enough numbers to keep competent fishermen awake. The ones we spotted taken Tuesday were bright silver and fat but there were way more totally skunked events than “fish on!” cheesy high fives.

Salmon eggs or herring suspended under a bobber are working well if the bite is on. Various bright spinners will get their attention too especially when fresh sea water starts flooding into the lagoon on the incoming tide.

Humpies are still rolling into Tutka Bay Lagoon mixed with very few sockeye. This is a stocked fishery paid for by enhancement taxes on commercial fisheries. Sport fishermen are cautioned to avoid commercial boats operating in the area.

Other Saltwater Fishing

Fishing off the end of the Homer Spit can be an interesting way to pass some time meeting foreign visitors and strange beings from exotic locales known as The Matanuska and Downtown Spenard.

Everyone seems to have a unique approach to angling for Walleye pollock, Pacific cod, flatfish and things best released before they touch shore or anything mammal.

Many of the techniques even include sobriety.

Both Bluff Point and Point Pogibshi areas are still producing black, dark and dusky rockfish.

Hunters for these fish deploy a range of gear including spoons, jigs, herring and flies. These prey are frequently nailed while trolling with downriggers for salmon.

Freshwater Fishing: Streams

Recent rains have resulted in high and turbid stream conditions. Expect some good fishing for dollies this week in the upper stream sections. Most of the Dolly Varden have moved upriver behind spawning kings.

These char love to take a shot at small bright spinners, fresh salmon eggs, or fly patterns.

More silvers are moving into area streams.

Hit them early in the morning or at the mouth of the stream during the incoming tide.

More coho will jet into these streams as water levels are rising from the rains.

Salmon roe clusters and herring will entice them to hit and go airborne.

Pink fishing is reported as idling along on the south side of Kachemak Bay. Humpy Creek and the Seldovia River are cool if you are dying to comprehend what a strike feels like.

Lake Fishing

The Kenai Peninsula stocked lakes fishing conditions are good. Most of these lakes are stocked with rainbow trout which, this time of year, are taken on dry or wet flies, small spoons, spinners, or bait. A brochure listing the locations of the stocked lakes is available on the Sport Fish web site and at Fish and Game offices.

Shellfish

The next clamming tides run from Aug. 16-23.

Razor Clam Emergency Order: All Eastside Cook Inlet beaches from the Kenai River to the tip of the Homer Spit are closed to all clams through Dec. 31.

Tanner Crab Emergency Order: The Cook Inlet and North Gulf Coast sport, personal use and subsistence Tanner crab fisheries will not open for the 2016-2017 season.

All shrimp and crab fisheries in Kachemak Bay remain closed for 2016.

Nick can be reached at ncvarney@gmail.com if you have any tips, tales or lies on how cook a palatable arrow tooth flounder.

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