It should be a weekend fit for kings, especially on the southern Kenai Peninsula.
Heath Harrington, who co-owns the Anchor Angler tackle shop, said king salmon fishing thus far on the Anchor River and at Deep Creek has been excellent.
Both the Anchor River and Deep Creek will be open for king salmon fishing from 12:01 a.m. Saturday to 11:59 p.m. Monday.
Harrington said good visibility has been helping fishing at the Anchor River and at Deep Creek. Normally at this time of year, snow melt-off is muddying the waters. But this year, snow melt-off has been minimal.
On the Anchor River and at Deep Creek, Harrington said salmon eggs are catching the most fish, but he said those using spin and fly tackle are doing quite well, too.
On the Ninilchik River, which also will be open from 12:01 a.m. Saturday to 11:59 p.m. Monday, Harrington said the fishing has been slower.
Fishing in the lower river has been good Satur-day mornings, but has tapered off as the weekend wears on.
Anglers on the Ninilchik are using salmon eggs and hardware.
Harrington also added that saltwater king fishing also had been good.
"It should be an excellent weekend," Harrington said. "It'll probably be the peak of the run for all these rivers down here."
Tabor Ashment, the owner of The Sport Shed in Homer, also said the fishing for kings is superb at the Homer Spit Lagoon.
The lagoon is not open for snagging yet, but Ashment said anglers are finding plenty of success using eggs, herring and Vibrax spoons.
On the Kenai River, Mark Gamblin, the Sportfish Area Manager at Fish and Game in Soldotna, said all is going well with the early king run.
Last year, Gamblin said the early king run was the lowest on record. This year, Gamblin said the return is average and much higher than it was at this time last year.
"The catches have been good and the harvest has been running below normal," Gamblin said. "That's because ... the effort is probably below normal. It's a good situation for us."
The water on the Kenai has continued to be low. Ray VinZant, who works at the Fishin Hole tackle shop in Soldotna, said the low water has increased the chances of anglers landing a king from shore.
VinZant said a new, gaudy-looking blue Pixee with a rattle has been having particularly good success at Centennial Park in Soldotna.
At the Kasilof River, Gamblin said fishing is going well but a number of people have been calling and asking questions about harvest restrictions.
All king salmon 20 inches or longer caught on the Kasilof must have their adipose fin clipped if they are to be kept. The adipose fin is the fleshy fin on the back of the fish just in front of the tail.
Currently, Gamblin said 30 percent of the king salmon being caught on the Kasilof have the fin clipped.
For those fishing the Kasilof near Crooked Creek, VinZant suggested fishing the incoming tide.
The halibut fishing also continues to be strong in lower Cook Inlet, according to Ashment and Harrington. The monster minus tides of last weekend are a thing of the past, so anglers should be able to get by this week with a little less weight on their lines.
For those not wanting salmon or halibut, VinZant reported that the fishing for rainbow trout on Johnson Lake has been good. VinZant said "a lot of young, vigorous, hungry rainbows" were planted in Johnson Lake a month ago.
Finally, Gamblin wanted to point out a few regulations that some anglers and guides were having a little trouble with:
n All Kenai River king salmon 55 inches or longer must be sealed within three days of harvest by Fish and Game staff at the Soldotna office at 43961 Kalifornsky Beach Road in Soldotna.
The seal is a locking plastic strip that's required before the fish goes to its final destination. Gamblin said the easiest thing to do is bring the fish in during normal business hours.
n On the Kasilof, from Fish and Game markers at the mouth of Crooked Creek downstream to Fish and Game markers near Cutbank Slough, fishing from an anchored boat is prohibited until June 30.
Gamblin said this is a recent regulation approved to reduce conflicts with shore anglers. Fishers in a boat can drift through that area and fish while drifting through, but fishers in a boat cannot anchor up and fish.
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