Homer Alaska - Outdoors

Story last updated at 10:55 AM on Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Lure of fishing defies logic; it's not about catching


I can't recall exactly how many times through the years I've been asked by the clueless, "What the #*%^ is so addicting about fishing? You're always up before dawn rumbling off with your pockets stuffed with weird lures and/or baits that would make a turkey buzzard hurl. You fish when it rains, blows, snows and in freezing conditions that would have a polar bear po'd. Have you considered seeking help?"

I've never been able to come up with a sociable answer other than a simple gesture I reserve for Neanderthals displaying the driving skills of unhinged howler monkeys.

Since I'm not the only one with an angling addiction, I did some research and found the following quotes from other fanatics and observers logged in my wicked top-secret fishing journals. I hope they'll provide insight into our compulsion and encourage you to join us.

If not, you are hopeless and should look into high-arctic lichen farming as a viable hobby.

"Since 3/4 of the earth's surface is water and 1/4 land, it's perfectly clear the good lord intended that man spend three times as much time fishing as he does plowing."

— Unknown

"If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there'd be a shortage of fishing poles."

— Doug Larson

"No man has ever caught a fish bigger than the one that got away."

— Remy Walsh

"Most fishermen swiftly learn that it's a pretty good rule never to show a favorite spot to any fisherman you wouldn't trust with your wife."

— John Voelker

"An angler is a man who spends rainy days on the muddy banks of rivers doing nothing because his wife won't let him do it at home."

— Don Champoin

"Calling fishing a hobby is like calling brain surgery a job."

— Paul Schullery

"There's a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot."

— Steven Wright

"Fly fishermen are born honest, but they get over it."

— Ed Zernuni

"If they'd been biting I would have caught my limit."

— My buddy, Wild Willie

"My worst fear is when I die my wife will sell my fishing and hunting stuff for what I told her I paid for it."

°©— Unknown

"Men and fish are alike. They both get into trouble when they open their mouths."

— Unknown

How can anyone diss a cool cult with that kind of sense of humor?

As for me, I'm still not sure why I love the sport. Maybe it's because it's not only fun but humbling. As John Steinbeck once said, "It has always been my private conviction any man who pits his intelligence against a fish and loses has it coming."

Now lets look at some of the state's weekly fishing report.

Regulation Reminders and Emergency Orders

Effective Sept. 1, the flowing waters of the Anchor River, Ninilchik River, Deep Creek and Stariski Creek are restricted to one unbaited, single-hook through Oct. 31.

Reminders: A coho salmon 16 inches or longer that is removed from fresh water must be retained and become part of the bag limit. A person may not remove a coho salmon 16 inches or longer from the water before releasing it.

The waters upstream of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game markers on the Anchor River, Deep Creek, Ninilchik River and Stariski Creek are closed to all salmon fishing, including catch and release, but open to Dolly Varden and rainbow/steelhead trout.

Rainbow/steelhead trout may not be removed from the water or kept, and must be released immediately.

Salt Waters: Halibut

Halibut fishing just eased out a "fair" rating over the past week with most of the flats fighting for the diluted dignity of being called small.

Sampled halibut harvested out of the Homer port the past week were downsized to a humiliating average of 13.5 pounds.

Salt Waters: Salmon

Anglers trolling for feeder king salmon have been making blind bets as to where the fish are throughout Kachemak Bay. Some have hit minor payoffs around Bluff Point along with Bear Cove and Point Pogibshi.

Anglers trolling for silvers reported fishing has been slow to nap time off Bluff Point, Point Pogibshi and the south side of Kachemak Bay.

Coho fishing has been poor to flat dead at the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon.

The best chance to hook a lagoon fish is in your dreams, although you might take a shot at a lost straggler when the rising tide flows into the hole.

Other Saltwater Fishing

Rockfish harvest in Lower Cook Inlet has been downright decent for anglers who enjoy gourmet victuals (they're gluten free, ya know).

Fishing success for lingcod continues to be worth the trip to get near Chugach and the Barren islands.

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 carcass that may be only pretending to be dead.

The end of the Homer Spit is less crowded lately but there's still pollock, Pacific cod, various flatfish, Dolly Varden and unidentifiable mutants that can be enticed with spinning lures or odiferous baits a maggot wouldn't touch.


Coho strikes have been gaining steam with the incoming tides in the Anchor River, Deep Creek and the Ninilchik River.

Don't forget that things also heat up early in the morning when the silvers slam the holes for a breakfast buffet.

Salmon roe clusters and plug cut herring work unless it's Sept. 1 and then the authorities will get cantankerous if they catch you using the stuff.

Dolly fishing remains a riot in these streams.


There are some pretty respectable clamming tides that began Wednesday and run through Sept. 2.

If you feel like a little fun in the mud, bear in mind that things are getting cooler fast so don't dress like you're beachcombing in Fiji or you could end up deader that the clam you're hunting.

Nick can be reached at ncvarney@gmail.com if he isn't still recovering from an unplanned dip into a pool of very icy water that significantly altered some vital body parts and bruised his ego.