- Halibut, salmon and trout can be caught much of the
year and derbies featuring cash prizes have been established during
several fisheries. Charters are available for salmon and halibut trips
throughout Cook Inlet or for fly-in fishing trips to outlying streams
- Before casting out, anglers must purchase a sport
fishing license, available at many businesses around Homer. License
fees range from 10 to 50 dollars depending on resident status and
length of validity. A king salmon tag must also be purchased by anglers
wishing to harvest these fish.
- Anglers are requested to check the Alaska Department
of Fish and Game Sport Fishing Regulations for Cook Inlet for exact
dates and catch limits. These pamphlets are free and available at
many businesses or the local ADFG office at 3298 Douglas Street off
Ocean Drive (235-8191).
- The Memorial Day weekend king salmon fishery ranks
as one of the state's most exciting events. During Memorial Day weekend,
and the following four weekends, anglers flock to the rivers trying
to catch king salmon on their way to spawning beds. River fishing
has many different techniques and gear types with egg-drifting being
one of the most popular and productive. Kings may also be caught trolling
in front of the river mouths and charters offer this service.
- The Anchor River is the closest river to Homer and
has camping facilities. It also has the Anchor River King Salmon Derby
which awards weekly and seasonal winners for the largest king salmon.
Anglers may fish from the river mouth to the forks beginning just
above the bridge.
- The Ninilchik River and Deep Creek also has king
salmon openings, however, fishing on the Ninilchik is only allowed
for two weekends following Memorial Day. Fishing is allowed on both
rivers from the mouth to a Fish and Game marker placed two miles upstream.
Camping areas on both rivers provide easy access to fishing. Also
both rivers host derbies for largest fish.
- In addition, from the king salmon fisheries these
rivers also have rainbow trout, Dolly Varden trout and steelhead.
After July 1, anglers may fish these species for the rest of the year.
However rainbow and steelhead must be released after landing.
Kachemak Bay Area
- Kachemak Bay has many small bays, coves and lagoons
which support salmon runs and fisheries. These bays are readily accessible
by small boats. Boaters without local knowledge should purchase charts
of the area for navigating in and around the bays. Boaters must also
comply with Coast Guard safety regulations, a list of which may be
picked up at the Homer Harbormaster's Office.
- Stocked king salmon return to Halibut Cove Lagoon,
six miles northeast of Homer Harbor. This run starts in early May
and peaks in June. Anglers use baits and lures, casting from boats
or the shore of the lagoon. The lagoon entrance is very shallow and
may go dry at low tide so boaters are cautioned to be aware of the
water depth at all times, and only enter when tide is flooding.
- Straight across from the Spit is China Poot Bay,
which has stocked sockeye (red) salmon which return in July and August.
Commercial seiners also target these salmon and anglers may be interested
in watching them in action. Anglers may cast from boats with spoons
and spinners to fish the lower part of the stream. A dip net fishery,
is open to Alaska residents only in July.
- Farther to the south, Tutka Bay has a large run of
pink salmon beginning in July. Anglers can enter the lagoon and cast
from boats. Look for jumpers and dark areas which indicate schools
- Finally, Seldovia Bay is also a site of an enhancement
program for king salmon. These fish can be caught on spinners and
bait. Trolling outside the harbor is also effective during the early
stages of the run.
- Later in the summer, silver salmon return to Seldovia
lake and can be fished either from a boat or on the river bank.
- Kachemak Bay and lower Cook Inlet waters are world
renown for halibut fishing. The area supports enough halibut to satisfy
summer anglers as well as yearly commercial fisheries. And this translates
into excellent success rates and fun for all.
- Since halibut can grow to great size, heavy gear
is recommended. Anglers drop a heavily-weighted, baited-hook or artificial
lure overboard to jig just above the ocean floor. Once a halibut is
hooked it must be reeled to the surface. This process can be one of
the most strenuous workouts of your life. However, many large fish,
once hooked will float to the surface without a fight, perhaps saving
their energy for their renown thrashing once aboard. To prevent this
hazard, captains may shoot the fish at the surface of the water.
To Keep a Fish Fresh
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