If Captain Kirk and his gang from the starship Enterprise had popped out of a reverse time warp above the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon over the weekend, they would have stumbled onto a scene that would have spawned serious flashbacks. Only this time around it would have been “The Trouble with Trebles.”
Things were slow at first because at 12:01 a.m., it was a bit tough to see but innovative snag addicts fired up headlamps and went at it before the slow rolling silver schools caught on that something had drastically changed. Especially when the pack’s leader abruptly started surfing backwards and the school’s dim bulb shot sideways out of the water like he had backed into a frozen rectal thermometer.
As dawn stole a glimpse over the eastern horizon to contemplate donning a helmet for its run to the west, the trebles were multiplying faster than government handouts in an election year.
Meat hunters were flinging everything from weighted hooks that could knock a hole in an engine block to stuff so puny they’d instantly snap free sending the barbed metal rocketing in search of some nearby piscator’s profoundly personal body parts.
While I didn’t observe any howl-inducing piercings, I was witness to a couple of inadvertent alterations and punctures complementary added to a few expensive Cabela wardrobes that seemed to jack up the owners to code red on their personal “What the )*&^*^?” meters. Go figure.
Man, if you are going to wail away in the midst of a horde of the snagging dead, dress the part. Epic grunge comes to mind. Clothes so eye-watering odiferous that they create a 10-foot dome of disgusting particle emissions between you and your nearest competitor, plus being tattered enough that if the fabric takes a hit it instantly tears away and the lead wallops the clown behind you who insists on casting over your head.
The simple truth about why there is so much trouble with trebles is that you really need to know what you are doing when you unload.
Take the guy who was a bit less bright than his new reel and managed to get his buddy so wrapped up in his line after a hellacious attempt at a sideways cast that it took 10 minutes to unwind him. I don’t know what was more entertaining, the disentanglement dance or the nuclear expletive squawks that would have mortified Andrew Dice Clay.
Needless to say, after that episode his family wouldn’t fish within 20 yards of the dipstick and disavowed any common bloodlines.
Now don’t get me wrong, most of the fishermen out there didn’t have a bit of difficulty slinging the trebles, hauling in their limits, filling their coolers and being neighborly.
But, as for me, I’ll stick with my old ways and enjoy the fight because the trouble with trebles is that they’re simply a drag.
Now let’s take a look at this week’s fishing report:
• Lingcod season remains open through Dec. 31. The bag and possession limit for these creatures with nightmare-inducing smiles is two fish with a minimum legal size of 35 inches.
• The rockfish and lingcod must have developed an early warning system because anglers keep reporting the fish have become furtive devils thus harder to find and catch. That’s OK. Lingcod are packing so much ugly in one body they shouldn’t be allowed to surface anyway.
Salt waters: halibut
Halibut fishing is bouncing along just fine with limits as common as the herring used to catch them.
Sampled fish landed in the Homer Harbor over the past week averaged 10.2 pounds (range 34 to 115 pounds) round weight. Many anglers had success using herring on circle hooks.
Salt waters: salmon
Trolling success for feeder kings has jumped its hot meter reading up to just around good near Bluff Point, Point Pogibshi and along the south side of Kachemak Bay.
Boat floaters also are reporting nice sea clashes with cohoes near Bluff Point and roughly 24 miles offshore near the Compass Rose.
There are still stocked early-run silvers available at the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon. Why? I don’t have a clue. Nets in the water, weighted hooks in the air and seals on their butts, oh my.
Other saltwater fishing
Fishing off the end of the Homer Spit can be an entertaining way to test your casting and dodging skills prior to heading to the fishing lagoon. While you’re practicing, if you want a shot at some fish such as pollock, Pacific cod, various flatfish. dollies, and spooked silvers, slap on some bait and go for it.
The no limit takes of pollock and Pacific cod in Kachemak Bay continues to fill freezers and wear out fillet knives along with their owners.
The Kachemak Bay coho gillnet fishery opened August 18. A permit is required and available at the Homer Alaska Department of Fish and Game office.
Silver fishing in area streams is reported as good and getting better. Fish early in the morning, later in the evening or during push-in tides especially around the mouth of the streams.
Dolly fishing remains terrific in roadside streams.
Dolly Varden can’t seem to resist small bright spinners, fresh salmon eggs, or fly patterns that resemble fish such as muddler minnows or egg patterns.
The next good series of clamming tides run Sept. 7-13.
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 are open to fishing for Dolly Varden and steelhead/rainbow trout. Salmon may not be targeted or harvested upstream of the two-mile regulatory markers.
Sport-caught pink salmon may be used as bait in the saltwater fisheries.
Snagging began Friday, Aug. 15, through the remainder of the year in the waters from the Homer City Dock (near the entrance, but not including, 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.
The Cook Inlet and North Gulf Coast sport, personal use and subsistence Tanner crab fisheries will not open for the 2014-2015 season.
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.
Nick can be reached at email@example.com if you have any tips, tales, or defensive measures you took not to get a load of lead in your butt when moose season opened.