Nick Varney

Nick Varney

Reeling ‘Em In: Finicky silvers have specific bait requirements, doncha know

It’s time to take a look at the fishing report for the week of July 30 - Aug. 5.

The huge silver run expected at The Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon this year is crawling along in second gear, but some nice coho are being taken along with a straggler king or two. Some of the latter are in good enough shape to smoke — just remember you still need to record the chinook and land them gently lest their aging heads snap off.

Where the big pulse is loitering, if there is going to be one, is anyone’s guess.

Let’s hope that they’ll storm the lagoon during these forthcoming big tides (Friday should be a hummer with a minus 5.3 at 10:11 a.m.). Fishermen will be able to troll while on anchor and over-sleeping otters will be waking up in the surf off Kodiak.

Boat hunts for coho have been pretty decent for those savvy enough to discover areas abundant with bait fish and cool waters. Knowledgeable skippers look for these schools on their fish-finders and/or scan for birds diving and feeding. Why? Because salmon will attack a ball of baitfish from beneath and tear through the middle of the mass, smacking the tasty morsels with their heads and tails. They’ll then take a 180 looking for cripples to polish off while driving their prey to the surface where lazy-ass seabirds binge on the panicked horde without much of an effort other than getting their beaks and butts wet.

Note: Whether you are fishing from a boat, a line tied to your survival suit, or an easy chair on the beach, one of the most important factors in attracting salmon is the action or the smell emanating from your lures. Presenting an erratic or wounded fish simulation is a cool methodology. Plus, it’s also a good idea to have a clue as to what they are salivating over at the moment.

How? Well, this may sound disgusting to some line-flinging weenies, but splitting the discarded bellies of gutted fish that you or someone else have nailed is a good way to discover what the predators are turning into sushi. Why offer them roe infused hummus when they are craving a candle/needle fish hoagie? That goes for the Fishing Hole too.

Roe floated 12 to 18 inches below a bobber fished on the outside of the lagoon and in the currents of the changing tides is working well, but give it an hour and small plug-cut herring will become the hot item — but only if you float them upside down 2.75 inches below a chartreuse and orange bobber with a siren activated flashing light attached. Silvers are finicky that way.

Now it’s time to take a look at the fishing report for the week of July 30 – Aug. 5.

Freshwater Fishing

The upstream sections of the Anchor River, Ninilchik River and Deep Creek open today, Aug. 1, to fishing for all species except for salmon.

Fishing with beads behind spawning pink and king salmon is a righteous way to pop dollies this time of year. The best angler access is on the Anchor River from Mile 160 on the Sterling Highway to the south end of the North Fork Road.

Coho are nosing around the lower portion of all three of these streams, but don’t get all pumped up yet and expect consistent fishing success.

Saltwater Fishing

Salmon

The silver action is still pretty spotty, but has improved over the last week with most of the take centered along the south side of the outer bay and the silver ridge area.

A high-level number of pinks are still being caught. That’s cool — at least somebody loves them or at least their cats do. But, if you are not a humpy fan, the best way to avoid hooking into those whackos is to check out other locations or set your gear at deeper depths. By the way, good luck with getting your lures down through the throngs of humps unless there is an emergency order authorizing the use of depth charges.

Chinook fishing has improved slightly with most fish being caught along the south side of the bay from Eldred Passage all the way to Point Adam.

Halibut

Larger halibut are moving into areas nearer to the Homer Spit, with good reports from the inner bay.

Note: I received some very reliable recounts of some 30 to 40 pounders being taken in Mud Bay lately.

The most reliable flat fishing is still in outer Kachemak Bay and beyond.

Other Saltwater Fishing

Reds are continuing to wander around in China Poot, but their numbers have dwindled over the past week.

Fishing safaris are travelling well outside of Kachemak Bay for regular action when it comes to lingcod and nonpelagic rockfish. Most hunters drift over rocky pinnacles utilizing jig lures to stalk lurking lingcod.

There are some large minus tides this week that will provide an opportunity for razor clamming in West Cook Inlet. There are several locations with good numbers of clams, including Crescent River Bar and Polly Creek. A row boat is not the way to travel over there. Be safe, sane, and aware of the weather before crossing the Cook Inlet to access these locales.

Emergency Orders

Emergency Order 2-RCL-7-01-19 and 2-RCL-7-02-19 closed all eastside Cook Inlet beaches to clamming for all species from the mouth of the Kenai River to the southernmost tip of the Homer Spit for 2019.

For additional information, please contact the Fish and Game Homer office at (907) 235-8191.

Nick can be reached at ncvarney@gmail.com if he isn’t being out-fished by a visiting 12-year-old piscatorian from Ohio named Liam who knows how to sling a lure and has battled walleye the size of some of our medium-sized kings. It’s going to be an interesting week.


• By NICK VARNEY for the Homer News.


More in Sports

tease
SoHi JV cagers sweep CIA

The host Soldotna JV basketball teams scored nonconference wins over Cook Inlet… Continue reading

Karl Danielson, a 2018 graduate of Kenai Central, races to victory in the Under-18 and over men's 10-kilometer interval start classic at Besh Cup 4 on Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022, at Tsalteshi Trails just outside of Soldotna, Alaska. The Besh Cup races are mostly used to select skiers for Junior Nationals, but also give younger and older skiers a chance for top-notch racing. It took over 50 volunteers to put together the two days of races, which had over 200 skiers each day.
Kenai grad Danielson sweeps Besh Cup weekend at Tsalteshi

Tsalteshi Trails hosted the Besh Cup on Saturday and Sunday.

tease
Ice Dogs sweep Brown Bears

The Fairbanks Ice Dogs got off to a solid start under new… Continue reading

tease
Hoops Roundup: Wasilla sweeps SoHi; Ninilchik boys win Cordova tourney

The visiting Wasilla boys basketball team defeated Soldotna 66-60 on Saturday in… Continue reading

Karl Danielson, a graduate of Kenai Central currently skiing for Alaska Pacific University, wins the Under-16 and over sprint at Besh Cup 3 on Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022, at Tsalteshi Trails just outside of Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai grad Danielson wins Besh 3 sprint

Karl Danielson, a 2018 graduate of Kenai Central, won the Under-16 and… Continue reading

Kenai Central's Erin Koziczkowski goes up for a shot against Nikiski on Friday, Jan. 14, 2022, at Nikiski High School in Nikiski, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai sweeps Nikiski Tip Off titles

The Kenai girls and boys swept the titles at the 30th Annual… Continue reading

Soldotna's Landon Stonecipher carries the puck against Homer on Friday, Jan. 14, 2022, at Kevin Bell Ice Arena in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
Homer, SoHi split hockey games

The Homer and Soldotna hockey teams split junior varsity games Friday and… Continue reading

tease
Kenai girls, Nikiski boys start tourney with wins

The Kenai girls, Lumen Christi girls, Bethel boys and Nikiski boys opened… Continue reading

Homer New reporter Sarah Knapp admires Alaska's beautiful landscape during a trip to Anchorage. (Photo by Ashlyn O'Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Out of the Office: Sticking to New Year’s resolution

I’m still trying to find out where I belong in Homer. You’d… Continue reading

Most Read