Story last updated at 4:14 p.m. Thursday, July 25, 2002

Anglers bagging lunkers

Casting About

Sepp Jannotta
Two huge fish had bystanders gawking on the Kenai Peninsula this week.

Up on the Kenai River, a 16-year-old Anchorage boy hauled in an 87-pound king salmon that momentarily had people wondering if Les Anderson's 17-year-old world sport-fishing record had fallen.

Ultimately, Patrick York's fish fell short of the 97-pounder reeled in by Soldotna's Anderson.

Nonetheless, the fish York landed Saturday afternoon put up a legendary fight, doing its best to rip the rod from York's hands for the better part of an hour.

"Well, I was holding the pole and it just bent right over," York told the Peninsula Clarion of the battle's first moments. "It just kept taking line for a good 15 seconds."

The story of the near-record fish has given the record showing of late-run kings on the Kenai an added note of prestige.

In Homer, prestige and a little wealth apparently eluded a halibut fisherman who weighed out a 380.4-pound flatfish on the Spit on Sunday, according to Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby officials.

The angler, who did not give his name, would have jumped into the derby lead by more than 70 pounds, except for one problem. He hadn't purchased a $10 derby ticket.

Oops. This year's derby champion is expected to win around $30,000. Last year's winning fish weighed 323 pounds.

Anglers on the Spit have been catching a few silver salmon as the early run of fish begins to move into the Fishing Hole. Bait was reportedly effective, though anglers were also having decent success with spinners. The daily bag limit for Fishing Hole silvers is six fish.

Some folks have been pulling some good-sized Dolly Varden off the end of the Spit beyond Land's End.

Bigger sea-run Dollies are also appearing in the Anchor River, with the fishing best under cloud cover or out of direct sunlight. Flies and egg patterns have proven effective.

Kachemak Bay will see a series of moderate clamming tides running through Sunday. Clammers hunting littleneck and butter clams are required to carry the free Alaska Department of Fish and Game shellfish permit in addition to a 2002 sport fishing license. There is no permit required for razor clams, but the daily bag limit is the first 45 clams.

Pinks and Dollies are showing up in various locations across the bay as well as in Deep Creek and the Anchor and Ninilchik rivers.