Homer Alaska - Outdoors

Story last updated at 6:17 PM on Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Time to think about winterizing your fishing gear




It's going to be a very interesting week. Not just because this is the last fishing column of the year, but it also is the commencement of Jane's monitoring of any procedures associated with winterizing my fishing gear.

We're talking beyond-wicked supervision.

Simply put, the bucket doesn't cut it anymore.

Back in the good old days it only took a couple of minutes to stick all of my gear into the same plastic pail that I sat on while fishing and stuff it under the stairs.

The following spring I simply reversed the procedure and threw away everything that was either stuck together or seemed to be developing as a new life form. Thus, I always had an excuse to buy some new flashy stuff. Not anymore.

After last May's Visa bill hit the mailbox it was subtly mentioned if I wanted to retain at least one viable lung and be healthy enough to cast next year, I might want to consider cleaning and organizing my lures, reels and assorted gear once I was done with them.

I would have probably protested such an arduous task, but she was still somewhat peeved about another matter.

It seems she just discovered that the smell emanating from the rear of her eco-putt SUV's storage compartment was some long forgotten bait formula that I had misplaced after a Wal-Mart run.

I almost had her convinced that the odor pollution was the result of graphic indiscretion left behind the spare tire by our elderly toy poodle.

Never mind. Let's get back to gear talk.

Normally I have three tackle boxes. The first is for show only. This is the box that I open publicly because everything shines and reflects me as the ultimate pro. It never leaves the back of the truck.

The second box is much smaller and contains secret things that I actually use. It never leaves my side.

The third box contains rusted junk and various unknown jelly-like substances. This box I leave on my bumper in hopes that some jerk will steal it. (This may be going away soon since I now have to actually take care of my stuff.)

Enough of my tribulations, it's time to take a look at some of the state's weekly fishing report.

An emergency order closed the Tanner crab fishery east of a line from Anchor Point to Point Pogibshi through the March 15 spring season closure date.

The flowing waters of the Anchor River, Ninilchik River, Deep Creek and Stariski Creek are restricted to single hook and no bait through Oct. 31. These streams will close to all fishing on Nov. 1 until the 2012 king salmon season.

The areas upstream of the two-mile regulatory markers on the Anchor and Ninilchik rivers and Deep and Stariski creeks are open to fishing for Dolly Varden and steelhead/rainbow trout. Salmon may not be targeted or harvested upstream of the two-mile regulatory markers.

Streams

Fall fishing success on the Homer area streams will fluctuate with changing water conditions associated with periods of rain. It's tough to fish when you're dodging small buildings being washed downstream.

Steelhead trout runs on these streams typically peak in mid to late September. Fly anglers find success by dead-drifting a variety of streamers, leeches and egg patterns.

Other stuff like spinners, jigs suspended under bobbers and corkies with yarn will work great, too.

Dolly Varden will be hanging around through ice-up. They'll snap at the same fly fishing tackle used for steelhead. A trout's a trout.

Salt Water: Halibut

Halibut fishing continues to slow down with the larger fish beginning their migration offshore.

Salt Water: Salmon

As usual feeder kings will remain in Kachemak Bay throughout the fall and winter.

Some of my fishing buds have been nailing some nice ones near Bluff Point in about 50 feet of water. Point Pogibshi and the island waters around Eldred Passage have coughed up a few too. Try flashers with herring, hootchies or green tube flies.

Shellfish

Tanner crab fisheries remain open through the 2011-2012 season in Cook Inlet Area waters west of the Anchor Point to Point Pogibshi line, including Kamishak and North Gulf Coast waters. A free permit is required and available at Fish and Game offices in Homer.

Individuals possessing Tanner crab harvest permits should retain the permits if planning to fish in open waters. Individuals not planning to fish in areas outside Kachemak Bay are encouraged to return the permits to ADF&G Homer office as soon as possible.

Both razor and hardshell clams sport fisheries are open the entire year. You will need to be slightly nuts and have a lantern or strong flashlight if minus tides occur after dark. On the positive side, it won't be crowded out there.

There are literally miles of good razor clam beaches available from north of the Anchor River to Cape Kasilof. The limit is the first 60 razor clams dug and no more the 120 in possession. All razor clams dug must be kept.

Hardshell clams are found on gravel beaches on the south side of Kachemak Bay and are most commonly access by boat from Homer Harbor.

Shrimp, king crab and Dungeness crab fisheries in Cook Inlet are currently closed.

Nick can be reached at ncvarney@gmail.com

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