Homer Alaska - Outdoors

Story last updated at 6:12 PM on Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Halibut fishing good in area waters; pinks, sockeyes start entering bay

I was parked just above the Homer launch ramp the other day when I noticed an old beat-up Chevy pickup start backing down the ramp toward an even more "seasoned" 20-foot open skiff.

It startled me because I thought the boat had become a lawn ornament years ago and the Chevy smushed into a part of an artificial reef after the cantankerous owner had, more than likely, taken up the occupancy of a plot with an epitaph snorting "What the hell are you looking at? You're next."

I hadn't seen Whiskey Jim for more than 10 years when he used to travel down from Palmer to fish for halibut and kings during the first weeks of July.

He looked like he was touching 80 back then so when he stopped showing up I figured he finally anchored in a Vets retirement facility or had flat-lined while ripping on some well meaning health care provider cautioning him about cigars and Jack Daniels.

I was wrong in so many ways, but that's another story.

What was really cool was that he had, once again, limited out on kings, halibut, and landed some beautiful Pacific gray cod and nice sea bass.

I asked the old man how he nailed most of his catch and there is no way his reply could be allowed even in a "Swear Words for Sailors" guidebook.

He gave me some hints though when he finally grumped, "Nothing much more than you and me did back then, my friend" just before he roared north in an explosion of blue smoke and a trace of rust.

Stay tuned next week for what we did back then.

Now for a look at some of the state's fishing report:

The lower portions of the Anchor River, Deep Creek and Stariski Creek are open to sport fishing except for king salmon. If you even think of taking one of those babies out of water, say goodbye to your motor home.

On the Anchor River, anglers may only use one unbaited, single hook or artificial lure until 11:59 p.m. July 31.

Anglers may use bait and treble hooks on Deep Creek, Stariski Creek and the Ninilchik River, thus giving a better chance to those less skilled.

Pink salmon are showing up in these streams and the fishing has been fair, but nothing to Twitter about, if real fishermen do that sort of thing.

The Ninilchik River is open to sport fishing including the harvest of hatchery king salmon. Hatchery fish are defined as fish missing their adipose fin and are very embarrassed about it.

Halibut fishing has been good out of Homer, Anchor Point and Deep Creek. Sampled halibut landed over the past week ranged from the size of a 3-pound pancake to a beast that could swallow a mid-sized poodle.

Reports keep popping up about jelly-flesh halibut. If you run into a batch of these things, set them free and move to the part of the bay that doesn't glow.

Pink salmon and sockeye salmon have started entering Kachemak Bay.

Anglers have reported catching pink salmon while trolling in the Point Pogibshi area and aren't exactly pleased about it.

Trolling success for king salmon continues to suck in most locations.

King salmon fishing is a bad joke at the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon, but it's still a nice place to practice casting even though it's currently closed to snagging.

Dip netting in China Poot Creek is fair, and should improve throughout the week.

There will be good clamming tides July 12-18.

Don't forget that razor clam bag limit is the first 60 clams that are dug regardless of size. Check through the sand goop removed from your hole for any additional clams prior to digging a new chasm.

Remember the minimum size limit of littleneck clams is 1.5 inches in length across the widest part of the shell and the minimum size for butter clams is 2.5 inches in length across the widest part of the shell.

It's recommended that one uses a small tape measure to ascertain the legality of size rather than some of the comparison suggestions sent to this office via jpegs.

Finally, check out these fishing regs at www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fishregulations.sport before you do any of the above.

Bail is expensive and you could end up buying a lawyer a new Rolex.

Nick can be reached at ncvarney@gmail.com if you have some good tips or just want to harass him.