Story last updated at 1:31 p.m. Thursday, June 6, 2002

King fishing picks up as season nears peak
by Sepp Jannotta
Staff Writer

There's almost always a trick to catching fish, though sometimes the trick is just a matter of believing.

A certain angler, who related his story on the condition that he remain nameless, knew he was going to catch a king salmon as soon as he walked up to the Fishing Hole, tossed out his baited hook and plopped down in his lawn chair. His confidence was so high that he chuckled to himself as sipped his cold beverage. Other anglers impatiently changed from one fishing method to another, from one spot to the next.

The secret, he said, was time and patience. You see, this intrepid angler had called in sick and he was approaching this particular day of fishing like it was his work. His very laid-back work.

He winked as he cleaned his catch hours later, saying wryly that perhaps the trick has something to do with the hundreds of kings swimming around the hole, held captive by the low tide.

If fish in a barrel isn't your bag, and you've been procrastinating about getting after king salmon fishing on one of the Lower Peninsula streams, then time's awasting.

Already two weekend openings on the Anchor River, Deep Creek and Ninilchik River are by the boards. This is the last weekend for Deep Creek but there will be two more weekends for the other streams.

Local king salmon runs are likely to hit their peak this weekend if they haven't already and the water levels on all three rivers continue to come down.

The fishing improved last weekend with better water clarity after a somewhat spotty opening weekend.

"The water (in the Anchor River) was just a little off color," said Heath Harrington of the Anchor Angler. "Just enough to keep the fish interested all day."

Anglers have been reporting good numbers of kings showing up at the Seldovia and Halibut Cove fisheries, which, along with the Homer Spit Fishing Hole, usually peak toward the end of June.

And it's game on as far as halibut goes. The Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby looks to have a true contender on the books after Ruth Armstrong of Eagle River hoisted a 306-pounder from the deep, grabbing a last-minute monthly $1,000 top prize as well as the overall derby lead.