People in an inflatable kayak fish off the end of the Homer Spit on Thursday, June 23, 2022, in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

People in an inflatable kayak fish off the end of the Homer Spit on Thursday, June 23, 2022, in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Reeling ‘Em In: Fishing gets exciting with snagging opener

Southern Peninsula fishing reports and updates for the week of June 28

Something akin to the Fourth of July fireworks went off at noon Wednesday after this info hit the media outlets on Monday: Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon Open to Snagging June 29-July 1.

The pond’s king run had been fluctuating from sporadically comatose, to rowdy as a three-bucks-a-pound T-bone sale, when new fish turned up.

If the tides and time of day were right, the action hit overdrive as the chinooks tried to run the gauntlet of assorted baits, spinners and clueless line flippers who could care less what orifice or body part they got a hook into or how they dragged them onto shore, much less record them.

Anyway, once the brief span of time for the sanctioned mayhem of flying fish, rocketing hooks and inadvertent human piercings-of-the-reflex-challenged concluded at 11:59 p.m. Friday, the previous rules and regulations kicked back in.

So, as a public service, here are some tips for taking down the survivors and late arrivals while you wait for the silvers to stick their noses into the fray. These suggestions will work for the coho, too, with a few adjustments that we’ll discuss when the aerobatic coho warriors make their debut.

As for now, try fishing the shoreline outside the lagoon as the tide rises, because that’s where the tardy blackmouths will start to school up for their run into the lagoon.

Use a plug-cut herring threaded onto a single no. 5 hook. Hang it upside down 12 to 20 inches below a cool-looking bobber that is easy to spot. Cast into the deeper still waters next to the lagoon’s entrance or on the quiet side of the incoming current.

If your bait takes a hit and the float submerges, let the fish run with it. Don’t set the hook until the bobber is under water for at least five seconds. This usually ensures that it’s a committed strike and will lead to a more solid hook-up, thus allowing you the freedom to screw up and lose the fish through some other method of embarrassing incompetence.

One additional tip: If you see some dude or dudette getting more bites than a nudist frolicking in the North Slope’s summer tundra, I’d suggest that you immediately purloin their technique.

Prefer firing iron? Give a blue bell no. 5 Vibrax or a silver-bladed orange Flash-n-Glo a toss.

Now let’s take a look at the area’s fishing reports and updates for the week of June 28:

Freshwater Fishing

The Anchor River, Deep Creek, and the Ninilchik River remain closed to sport fishing through July 15.

Saltwater Fishing

Halibut

Halibut landings continue to be jazzed for June with a dandy number of hawgs hitting the cleaning tables.

The tides will become more moderate as the week rolls on so you’ll have more quality time to keep your bait soaking on the bottom without the use of weights that could anchor a state ferry.

King Salmon

Trolling for kings had been slumbering but, over the weekend, things heated up when anglers discovered an impressive number of kings at Bluff Point. Unfortunately, most other locations from Bear Cove to Point Adam, remained at a slog.

Remember the Cook Inlet saltwaters north of Bluff Point are closed to all king fishing.

As mentioned earlier, the Dudiak Lagoon closed to snagging at 11:59 p.m. Friday. Weighted treble hooks and common sense are the primary gear to use during the opening. Don’t forget to log your catch.

Although there’s still a few fresh fish arriving at the Seldovia Slough, the fishing for chinook is tanking fast. There will likely be some pink and chum salmon starting to arrive in small numbers. Oh goodie.

Sockeye Salmon

China Poot opens to dipnetting on July 1. Expect fair to good snagging for reds in the saltwaters of China Poot over the weekend. Snagging is often easiest as the tide is flooding and bringing in new fish. See page 15 of the 2022 Southcentral Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet for dipnet fishery regulations.

Fishing off the end of the Homer Spit can be a hoot for the kids as well as adults. Species available include Walleye pollock, Pacific cod, a variety of flatfish plus occasional creatures not usually found in a nuclear free zone.

East Cook Inlet beaches are closed to clamming. See the emergency orders below for more info.

Emergency Orders

Please review the emergency orders and advisory announcements below in their entirety before heading out on your next fishing trip.

Emergency Order 2-KS-7-29-22 closed all sport fishing in the Ninilchik River through 11:59 p.m. Friday, July 15, 2022.

Emergency Order 2-KS-7-24-22 closed all sport fishing in Deep Creek and the Anchor River through 11:59 p.m. Friday, July 15, 2022.

Emergency Order 2-KS-7-28-22 closed king salmon fishing north of Bluff Point in all Cook Inlet saltwaters through 11:59 p.m. Friday, July 15, 2022.

Emergency Order 2-RCL-7-01-22 and 2-RCL-7-02-22 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 in 2022.

Nick can be reached at ncvarney@gmail.com if he isn’t busy working on an amulet to ward off pinks from getting anywhere near a half mile of his gear.

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