Nick Varney

Nick Varney

Reeling ‘Em In: ‘Skunked’ continues to be the operative word

Kings starting to dribble in at the fishin’ hole

Mother Nature has been styling lately with her displays of flat-ironed seas fashioned by weather front highs and elongated days of unencumbered solar rays bathing the peninsula.

It’s a great time to be casting a line, whether it’s from a quiet beach or sea going vessel, but things could be even better. Ma needs to up her game by seeding a few more fish throughout various briny locales where “skunked” continues to be the operative word.

Now, before the report, a safety aide-memoire.

If you have the basic reading skills of a 5-year-old, you should be aware by now that the city has sagely designated a span of the Spit’s thoroughfare as a seasonal 25-mph zone including the stretch adjacent to The Fishing Hole.

Awhile back, the Homer Police Department created a cool and clever Facebook post notifying the public that the displayed speed limit in that area had been reduced from 45 mph to 25 mph for the continuing inbound autoroute. Nice touch.

Unfortunately, there are loons who still consider the lagoon’s camping area as a “hit the gas” point to shoot for 45 when departing the spit. Not cool, especially with other drivers trying to access the road in addition to random pedestrian traffic crisscrossing to pick up fishing gear or score some great food.

And, let’s not forget the clueless dips headed the opposite direction who speed through the zone with the awareness of bathroom doorstops because they might be late for work or a boat outing. Chill out, folks.

It would be much easier on the blood pressure to be able to cross over that zone in an amble rather than a dash to avoid becoming a piece of pavement art.

‘Nuf said — it’s time now to take a look at the fishing report for the week of June 8, 2022.

Freshwater Fishing

NOTE: Read the following freshwater fishing updates carefully.

The Anchor River and Deep Creek will be closed to sport fishing through July 15, 2022. Please refer to the emergency orders below for more information.

The Ninilchik River will be open Saturday, June 11 through Monday, June 13, 2022. No bait is allowed. Expect slow to fair fishing over the weekend. Please refer to the emergency orders below for more information.

The Ninilchik River water conditions are low and clear and should be in great condition for fishing this weekend.

Fishing with spinners, flies, jigs, spoons, and plugs will all work. Remember, you can only have one single hook on your tackle and no bait is allowed. See the emergency order below for more info. Make sure your gear is close to the bottom where kings are holding. Try early morning hours and in the lower river during the incoming tide.

Saltwater Fishing


Halibut fishing has really been cookin’ for early season fishing with a judicious number of decent-sized fish being caught.

Offshore locations are producing the best.

Try drifting to locate your targeted fish before setting the anchor.

Anglers continue to be doing well anchoring in shallower water between Bluff Point and the Anchor Point light. The action may be a bit dawdling at times but it also produces heftier flats.

King Salmon

Trolling for kings was at a crawl last week. The fish were scattered throughout Kachemak Bay from Bluff Point, Bear Cove, and Point Pogibshi.

Fishing remains at a slog at Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon, although more fish, including some jacks, are showing up but refusing to hit.

It doesn’t help that the peeps who don’t have a clue how to fish legally or are just flat-out jerks are tight lining and pole flailing with lightweight test lines and bare hooks. This does not amuse those who are now having to deal with getting snagged on impaled salmon towing broken lines or spooked fish that won’t hit because they have just escaped from being temporarily ensnared by gear thrown by scofflaws along the shore.

A few chinook have been entering the Seldovia slough and lagoon with every tide, but the fishing remains pitiable. Try fishing at the onset of the lagoon at high tide for the best chance of catching one of the few kings.

Other Saltwater Fishing

Surf fishing has provided anglers consistent early fishing in Cook Inlet for a variety of fish. Most popular locations have been Clam Gulch, Whiskey Gulch, and the tip of the Homer Spit where the question, “edible?” has produced some boisterous debates.

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-7-25-22 restricts the use of bait in the Ninilchik River effective 12:01 a.m. Saturday, June 11 through 11:59 p.m. Friday, July 15, 2022. All other preseason regulations outlined on page 71 of the 2022 Southcentral Alaska Sport Fishing Regulation Summary booklet remain in effect.

Emergency Order 2-KS-7-24-22 closes the Anchor River and Deep Creek to all sport fishing effective 12:01 a.m. Saturday, June 11 through 11:59 p.m. Friday, July 15, 2022.

Emergency Order 2-KS-7-10-22 reduced the king salmon annual limit north of Bluff Point from five to two fish and closed king salmon fishing within one mile of shore in Cook Inlet saltwaters. This emergency order is effective from 12:01 a.m. Sunday, May 1 through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, July 31, 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 while he’s waiting for next week’s mungo tides to hopefully roll in with a serious invasion of fish in feeding frenzy.

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