Homer Alaska - Outdoors

Story last updated at 4:50 PM on Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Silvers reportedly coming into Fishing Hole

Nick Varney

Now that most of the old fish cruising around the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon are lucky to make it 10 feet without their fins falling off, everyone is on coho alert.

After my miserable attempts to modify several chinooks' grill work by implanting treble-hook braces, I'm hoping my displays of incompetence utilizing a plethora of lures has come to an end. I heard from an excellent source some "hard-cores" have already picked up a few silvers out there so there may be hope for me when the full run of 43 cohos and a stampede of bewildered jacks thunder into the Fishing Hole.

It would be cool to see anglers cleaning a heap of silvers at the Fishing Hole tables once again. That is if they can squeeze in between the throng of flatfish hunters, some of whom are seriously filleting-impaired and so slow you can watch the seasons change while you wait in line.

Hey, I'm not close to being an expert but my efforts do not result in what looks like a pile of butt Alpo either. Then again, I use a knife that's sharper than a downrigger weight and have somewhat mastered a basic slicing technique that produces a fair fillet rather than something resembling the end result of mugging a fish carcass with a butter scoop.

There's a multitude of ways to fillet a fish and several people have asked for a suggestion on salmon. No problem. Next week I'll describe one basic approach that should keep them from ending up with a pile of omega 3 rich animal protein that could be mistaken for a lump of cat food puree.

Before we move on I have a question for certain Alaskans who think the beaches they are dipnetting from are reserved for that activity and those with poles are banned. Where did you get that bull patty info, from the Elite Fisherman Forum section of the National Enquirer?

According to a column follower, a gentleman was dogged last week around the mouth of the Kenai because he was flipping a streamer. The dippers thought the guy was violating a no-fly zone even though he wasn't close enough to interfere with their highly technical standing-in-the-water-with-hoop-net skills.

Not so, says Fish and Game. "There is no regulation that prohibits sport fishing with a rod and reel at the mouth of the Kenai River during the personal-use dipnet fishery. It is legal as long as the regulations are followed."

Nuff said, netters?

Now it's time to take a look at some of the state's weekly fishing report.

Regulation Reminders

and Emergency Orders:

The following restrictions apply to sport fishing on the Anchor River, Deep Creek, Ninilchik River or Stariski Creek: Sport fishing gear is restricted to one, nonbaited, single hook artificial lure or fly through July 31,

Sport fishing is closed for king salmon, including catch-and-release; kings may not be retained or possessed; kings caught while fishing for other species may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately.

The following emergency orders apply to sport fishing in marine waters of Cook Inlet: From July 19 to July 31, sport fishing for king salmon is closed in the salt waters of Cook Inlet north of the latitude of Bluff Point (59° 40.00' N). This closure includes catch-and-release. King salmon inadvertently caught while fishing for other species may not be removed from the water and must be released without delay.

The noncommercial (sport, personal use and subsistence) Tanner crab fishery will not open for the 2012-2013 season.

The English Bay River drainage and Cook Inlet from Point Bede to Point Pogibshi is closed to sport fishing for sockeye salmon through July 31.

Other regulation reminders:

Lingcod must be at least 35 inches long with head attached or 28 inches from tip of tail to front of dorsal fin. Those anglers who choose to fillet lingcod at sea are reminded that to comply with minimum size regulations, the fillet must be at least 28 inches long or anglers must retain the awesomely ugly carcass.

Salt Waters: Halibut

Halibut fishing is somewhat memorable to picture-worthy although most fish are still pan-sized punks with an attitude. Sampled halibut harvested out of the Homer port during the past week averaged just less than 14 pounds even with weights shoved down their throats.

Salt Waters: Salmon

Trolling success for feeder king salmon has been Victoria Secret scanty to a bit more than lackluster in Kachemak Bay.

Snagging is allowed in Lower Cook Inlet and Kachemak Bay south of Anchor Point. Don't get all excited. It's still closed in the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon.

Pink and chum salmon are involuntarily ending up on hooks in the Seldovia area.

Pink salmon have been reported looking for something flashy to snap at in Tutka Bay Lagoon.

A few silver salmon are starting to arrive at the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon although they're trying to be sneaky about it by letting jacks take the heat.

Other Saltwater Fishing

Lingcod season opened July 1. Fishing success has been sufferable to first-rate for anglers targeting lingcod near Chugach and Perl islands. Rockfish harvest in Lower Cook Inlet is gaining steam with the opening of lingcod season.

If you aren't fussy, fishing off the end of the Homer Spit can provide some interesting entertainment. Species available include pollock (a.k.a. swimming fish sticks), cod of the fish-and-chips kind, varieties of mystery flatfish, Dolly Varden and things with diminutive tails sporting heads and jaws that could swallow a daydreaming duck.

Personal Use

Good numbers of sockeye salmon have been reported in China Poot Bay. Rumor has it you could have stood on them while dipnetting last Friday.


The next cool clamming tide series began Tuesday and runs through July 23.

Try keeping your name out of an embarrassing part of the paper by remembering that the sport, personal use and subsistence bag and possession limit for littleneck and butter clams have been reduced from 1,000 littleneck clams and 700 butter clams to a combined bag and possession limit of 80 clams. If you need any more information or are looking for the latest updates check these out before you become so confused you start trying to hook into stuff in the seafood section of a local market just to be safe:

Alaska Department of Fish and Game, 3298 Douglas Place, Homer; general information: 235-8191; sport fishing information (message only) 235-6930.

Nick can be reached at ncvarney@gmail.com is he isn't sitting around mumbling to himself about what emergency orders will launch as soon as he posts this column.