Red season winds down; trout, silvers pick up

With red salmon season winding down, anglers are seeing trout and silver salmon fishing pick up on the Kenai River.


Silver fishing was hopping last week and has slowed down on the lower part of the Kenai River but Scott Miller, co-owner of Trustworthy Hardware, said it’s still possible to limit out.

“It’s just not red hot fishing like it was last week,” he said.

The upper-middle part of the Kenai River, below Skilak, is doing well right now for anglers throwing spinners while backtrolling on the lower river is being met with success.

“Wrap it in a sardine fillet, that’s probably best,” Miller said. “Sardine is an extremely oily fish and it gets a lot of scent in the water, I think it works better than herring.”

The Kodiak Custom spinner as well as Vibrax has been the most bought spinner at Trustworthy Hardware, Miller said. For backtrolling on silvers, the Yakima Bait Company makes a plug called the MagLip that has sold well.

Silver salmon typically show up in the lower Kenai River by late July and early August and while the season does not end until November, fishing is usually best for silvers in the Russian River area around the third week of August and peaks during the second week of September, according to Fish and Game.

Anglers have been reporting good silver fishing near the Russian River.

Silver fishing on the Kasilof has also picked up.

Miller said casting salmon eggs as bait has been effective both from the shoreline and on a drift boat.

If heading further south on the Kenai Peninsula is appealing, Fish and Game is reporting trolling success for silver salmon near Flat Island, Nanwalek, Point Pogibshi, Mud Bay and Bluff Point, however the fish have been slow north of the Anchor River to Deep Creek.

Coho salmon have also been returning to the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon, look for arriving fish when tide floods the lagoon, according to Fish and Game.

In the inlet, halibut fishing has slowed but is still an option for anglers.

Anglers have had success with herring or squid on circle hooks and according to Fish and Game, sampled fish in the Homer harbor have averaged about 17 pounds in the last week.

“If the weather cooperates, halibut is really good off of Deep Creek and Homer,” Miller said.

King salmon have also picked up in the marine fishery.

According to Fish and Game, feeder king salmon have been caught near Nanwalek.

“Those are your feeder kings or winter kings,” Miller said. “They’re immature fish that are out there just feeding. They’re not spawning fish coming there this year, they tend to be smaller fish anywhere from 5-30 pounds.”

Miller said some nicer fish — those in the 30 pound range — have been caught off of Pogie Point near Seldovia.

Trout fishing has been steady on the Kenai River as well.

“I would say excellent anywhere from the lower river all the way up to Skilak,” Miller said. “Cooper Landing is getting better and better.”

Use trout beads to imitate eggs coming downstream from sockeye spawning, he said.

“Guys in the middle river are still using a lot of salmon roe and shrimp for trout, bait is still out there and it’s doing really well for rainbows,” Miller said.

Lake fishing should also pick up going into fall.

“Spinners and flies are still useful out there, but it does pick up as fall approaches and the fishing gets better and better until freeze,” Miller said.


Rashah McChesney can be reached at


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