Lull in sockeye fishing as late run kings to open

Late-run king fishing will open Monday on the Kenai River as the early sockeye salmon run hits a lull on the Kenai River.


“Because it’s open, (it will be) probably fishable,” said Brian Miller, co-owner and manager of Trustworthy Hardware & Fishing.

As the Kenai River is currently muddy, Miller suggests anglers use darker lures for fishing the late-run kings when the river opens. If the waters clear, brighter, flashier lures are more effective, he said.

For anglers chasing sockeye salmon, Miller said the Kasilof River above the boat launch is fishing very well. The Russian River is slowing down and the Kenai River is nearly done for the first run of sockeye, he said. “Shortly here, we’ll see the second run starting here on the Kenai,” he said.

But rivers are certainly not the only option. Anglers have been successful in Cook Inlet and stocked waters in the Southern Peninsula.

“The salt water’s been fantastic,” Miller said. “Halibut fishing has been off the hook, so to speak, for quite a while.”

Halibut this year have been smaller than past years at an average of 12.6 pounds per ground fish, according to Fish and Game, but anglers have had a lot of luck with jigs or lighter tackle, Miller said. Recently, a sport fishing charter caught in three days two halibut tagged in the Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby.

Fish and Game has received a few reports of mushy — or flabby, jelly-like — halibut. Anglers should release those halibut immediately, and they are encouraged to fish in another location, as the condition can linger in certain areas, according to Fish and Game.

Anglers fishing in the stocked Selodvia Fishing Lagoon and Homer Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon have been catching fish, too, said Carol Kerkvliet, assistant Homer area management biologist for Fish and Game. Off Homer’s spit, anglers have been catching pollock, cod, flatfish, dolly and occasional kings, among other fish, she said.

Lakes and ponds are good options too for anglers. The ice on most large and small lakes and ponds is melting, and anglers have been having luck trolling, Miller said.

“If you want to go camping, bring some leaches, some spinners and have some fun,” he said.


Dan Schwartz can be reached at


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