Nick Varney

Nick Varney

Reeling ‘Em In: Kings acting ‘a bit schizoid’

It’s hard to tell what’s worse: thieving seals or *%$@#0# snaggers

A few of the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon’s kings have been acting a bit schizoid lately, resulting in antisocial behavior personified by displays of indifference via flipping the fin at the pole floggers trying to morph them into fillets.

They are becoming moodier, withdrawn, and spooked by uncouth stalkers trying to drag them out of the pond using any means other than legal.

Note: Some lucky fish have been able to master the conflict avoidance dance long enough to develop a noticeable blush to their hides.

Fortunately, new chromes keep rolling in to liven things up for the class-act sportsperson who prefers finesse and skill over dipstick line whippers who harass the fish almost as much as the fleet of seals napping at their butts.

Just ask Jake W., who had been fishing the hole for three days without landing anything but a cerebrally challenged sculpin.

Finally, one morning, he arrived at the lagoon prior to high tide and hit the sea-slots-triple-sevens by playing a Blue no. 5 Vibrax.

The chinook was bright silver and seriously incensed about its original dental layout being modified by treble-hook braces. J.W., on the other hand, was deeply pleased with the fish’s new grill display until the “wham!” Suddenly, his battling beauty was seal sushi and all he could do was stare and snarl as the line snapped and his prize went rocketing across the lagoon. To say the least, J.W. was far from amused and the dude’s language nearly cracked the windshields of nearby motorhomes.

The last time his buddies saw his Ugly Stik Elite, it was airborne toward the pond’s midpoint and Jake-the-highly-pissed was headed back to Palmer mumbling that “sometimes it was harder to figure what takes more fish out of the lagoon, the #& @&% -in seals or the *%$@#0# scofflaw snaggers.”

Time now to take a look at the fishing report for June 21:

Freshwater Fishing

The Anchor River, Deep Creek, and the Ninilchik River remain closed to all sport fishing through July 15. Check out the emergency orders below for more information.

Saltwater Fishing


Impressive halibut takes continue to steam ahead with a notable quantity of larger fish being landed.

The tides will be moderate for the rest of the week so drifting or anchoring up should provide decent action. That’s a big change from last week when the water was honking so fast you could have passed traffic on the spit while drifting.

King Salmon

As mentioned previously, fishing has picked up at the lagoon with additional blackmouth incoming on the fresh tides.

Anglers having been getting more strikes utilizing eggs, plug cut herring and mackerel hunks soaking beneath bobbers and steelhead floats.

Tom, the hole’s infamous mayor and raconteur, reports that the early mornings have been especially fruitful but be prepared for “the hit” to go on suddenly and then shutoff just as fast when the feeding frenzy subsides.

Try casting spinners slightly in front and on the opposite side of a school of fish as it approaches. Let the lure sink toward the bottom and then retrieve it slowly. A spinner such as a Vibrax, will catch the salmon’s attention better when the blade is slowly turning and throwing off a bit of a pulsating thump.

King fishing has also improved in Seldovia. Take a shot at them around the beginning of the lagoon during high tide.

Trolling for the blackmouth remained rather spotty with success ratings running from fair to a waste of gas. The few to be had were scattered throughout Kachemak Bay from Bluff Point to Point Adam.

Other Saltwater Fishing

Surf fishing has provided anglers consistent fishing in Cook Inlet for a variety of fish. Anglers are hooking into halibut, sharks and flounder including the infamous Arrowtooth that has a culinary rating of “disgusting.” Why? Because, it has a naturally occurring enzyme that fires off when cooked and turns its fillets into something resembling an appalling mush. Cats have been known to flee in panic from an offering of the soupy goo.

The most popular surf fishing locations have been Clam Gulch, Whiskey Gulch, and the tip of the Homer Spit.

There are rumors that sockeye may be beginning to show up near Tutka Bay Lagoon and China Poot Bay.

Boat hunters have been picking up Pacific cod while trolling for kings or fishing for halibut. Pacific cod are delicious fish, especially when prepared and served as fish-n-chips.

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-closed all sport fishing in the Ninilchik River from 12:01 a.m. Thursday, June 16 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 from 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, June 8 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 from 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, June 15 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 if you have any tips, tales or lies about the gourmet qualities of Arrowtooth chip dip.

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