Homer Alaska - Outdoors

Story last updated at 9:08 PM on Wednesday, May 25, 2011

King fishing odds not good; halibut fishing sporadic



By NICK C. VARNEY

Anglers and clammers got a taste of fishing last weekend with good clam tides on Cook Inlet beaches and the first opener for king salmon on the Anchor River.

King fishing opens again at 12:01 a.m. Saturday through 11:59 p.m. Monday on the river below the Anchor River bridge and reopens 12:01 a.m.-11:59 p.m. Wednesday. The lower ends of Deep Creek and the Ninilchik River also are open 12:01 a.m. Saturday-11:59 p.m. Monday.

King Salmon

While the goods are great — nothing beats a sea-bright, fresh run king salmon — the odds are awful, though, for river salmon fishing. The Anchor River sonar has been installed and counts, so far, are low. Since going in May 13, daily sonar counts have ranged from 5 to about 90. Water conditions are better than average, however. Trying fishing the mouths of the river on the incoming tide.

Note new regs for the Anchor River and Deep Creek. No more than two kings 20-inches or longer may be taken from both rivers combined. After taking a 20-inch or longer king, "a person may not fish for any species of fish in either the Anchor River or Deep Creek on that same day," the Alaska Department of Fish and Game notes in its weekly fishing report.

Trolling for feeder kings is reported to be fair to good on the south side of Kachemak Bay, near Bluff Point and Pogibshi Point. Early runs of kings have been reported near shore off Anchor Point, Whiskey Gulch and Deep Creek.

At the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon, reports have come in of early kings — if they aren't last year's kings rising to the surface after thawing out of winter ice.

Halibut

Fishing for halibut is reported to be sporadic, unless you're from Terra Bella, Calif., in which case it's awesome. Dixie Lee Micke is holding on to her lead in the Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby with a 138.2 pound barn halibut.

Clamming

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game reminds clammers of new limits on littleneck and butter clams. An emergency order issued May 14 reduces the combined bag and possession limits for littleneck and butter clams to 80 clams per person. The order affects littleneck and butter clams harvested in the Cook Inlet-Resurrection Bay saltwater area, including Kachemak Bay, and is effective through Dec. 31. The minimum length across the widest part of the shell is 1.5 inches for littleneck clams and 2.5 inches for butter clams.

ADF&G reduced the bag limits from 1,000 littleneck clams and 700 butter clams after surveys showed littleneck clam density for Jakolof Bay declined from 21 clams per square meter in 2001 to three clams per square meter in 2010. Butter clam density declined from three clams per square meter to one clam per square meter.

Littleneck clam densities also declined in the upper and lower islands of China Poot Bay, although butter clam density remained stable.

For a recorded message on local sportfishing, call 235-6930.

Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby Update

While Dixie Lee Micke maintains her derby lead, a new name is on the board for second place. Chuck Ylijoki of Melbourne, Fla., hauled in a 122.6-pound fish on May 21 while fishing aboard the Mako with Capt. Scott Glosser of Captain Scott's Sportfishing.

Fourth place has been taken over by Tim Butt of Matairie, Calf., who caught a 99.2-pound halibut May 21. Butt also was fishing with Glosser. Derby coordinator Paula Frisinger reminds anglers that Homer has a two-halibut limit per day, per person. Daily $10 tickets and $75 10-day tickets can be purchased at the Homer Chamber of Commerce and many local businesses. For more information, call Frisinger at 399-2426 or the chamber at 235-7740.

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