Fishing results mixed; some still don't understand ethical angling

Last week the Olympics offered a diversion when the fishing in some areas started gearing down to a semi-conscious crawl.

Things became so bad at one of our normal hot spots that the small schools of silvers cruising by acted as if they required fillets of lightly smoked Norwegian herring soaked in fermented sturgeon oil before they would even consider a courtesy nibble. Arrogant @%^*&^s. I hate it when they cop an attitude.

Anyway, we figured, because the games were in full swing and the fishing was as exciting as a butter clam race, we’d check out the various channels offering a plethora of contests.

Sadly, after 20 hours of viewing, we were left with the feeling that we had just binged watched 19 hours of infomercials featuring lizards and portly cartoon generals hawking insurance. Don’t get me wrong, we were able to watch some spectacular feats by our athletes but, come on, there are so many tape delay presentations that you dare not fire up your computer lest your evening is jacked by results hours before the contests are aired.

Tale from The Hole: One day last week three individuals were openly snagging fish and processing them at the cleaning tables. A good guy admonished the scofflaws and advised them that they had been called in to authorities and to knock it off.

The trio conferred and, I am not making this up, went back to their vehicles and cleverly disguised themselves by changing their hats.

The dazzling maneuver didn’t fool their growing audience and the gentleman who initially confronted the jerks advised them that their spectacularly irresponsible ploy wasn’t cutting it. (Thank you, sir, for stepping up.)

The toxic three conferred again employing their combined intellect of fruit mold and decided to jet out of there.

The bad thing is that those cretin miscreants with the ethics of rudimentary toe cheese left behind close to 13 pounds of fresh fillets in a plastic bag lying on the ground.

The good thing is that yet another good guy salvaged the fish and took them to the food bank. Is that cool or what? Class act. Thanks, Lou.

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 kings. Chinooks may not be targeted and if hooked, they must be released immediately.

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

The Kachemak Bay Coho Salmon Gillnet Fishery opened today, 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 are harvested. Permits are available at the Homer ADF&G office.

The Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon Area is closed to snagging, 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.

Saltwater Fishing: Halibut

Halibut fishing in Cook Inlet has been rolling along scoring a fair to good rating with limits the norm although some flats have to stretch a bit to be classified as small.

Sampled fish harvested out of the Homer port averaged 10.2 pounds (range 3.3-82.7 pounds). Unguided anglers can retain two halibut a day, four in possession.

Saltwater Fishing: Salmon

Various area reports reflect fair to good feeder king fishing and dawdling coho results.

Fishing for chinook near Bluff Point and just off the Homer Spit is reported as good.

Smaller herring and small spoons behind large flashers are nice trolling setups for kings in Kachemak Bay and Cook Inlet.

Don’t forget to try fishing in waters deeper than 50 feet in an effort to evade those obnoxious pinks if you are chasing kings or silvers.

Fresh silvers are still tide-surfacing into the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon. Fishing there is reported as slow to fair depending on if you are asking a human or a seal.

The best time to hit them is during tide change-outs.

Salmon roe and small bait herring, either strip retrieved or suspended under a bobber continues to work well. Shiny spinners will turn their crank too if you don’t use gear so large it leaves a wake.

Humpies are plentiful in 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 fascinating way to discover what is edible and what dissolves into goo when it nears a frying pan.

Experimental species lurking beneath the waves include Walleye pollock, Pacific cod, a variety of flatfish and things we dare not call by name.

Both Bluff Point and Point Pogibshi areas have been producing black, dark and dusky rockfish that can be taken via a variety of gear including spoons, jigs, herring and flies. These puppies have a propensity to show up when hunters are trolling with downriggers for salmon.

Streams

Reports of good fishing for Dolly Varden in the upper stream sections have been coming in. Try fishing for dollies will small bright spinners, fresh salmon eggs, or fly patterns. They are not finicky eaters.

Silvers are advancing into area streams. You’ll find that fishing will be slow during high and murky water conditions but things heat up when the river drops and the water clears. The Anchor River is a good example.

Silvers are heading in along with their backwater kin, the pinks. The dollies are fierce further upstream. Things should stay that way unless Ma Nature dumps another load of serious wet on us.

Suggest fishing early in the morning or at the streams’ mouths when the tide creeps up. You should know by now what they are hitting. If not, ask the fisherpersonage next to you who is nailing them and making you look like a loser.

Nick can be reached at ncvarney@gmail.com if you have any tales, tips or insights into the muddled minds of those with the fishing skills of an engine block and would find a way to cheat even if snagging was legal.

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