Fishing for halibut and red salmon is almost certain to be excellent this weekend. As if that weren't enough, Fish and Game has scheduled an additional three-day king salmon opener on Deep Creek and the Ninilchik River and scheduled a 6 a.m. Saturday opener in the "sanctuary area" at the mouth of the Russian River.
Although the Kenai is in good shape and the sonar counter indicates that several hundred king salmon are entering the river daily, fishing remains poor. Charterboats have been averaging about one fish per boat. Wednesday evening, one boat launch operator said fishing had been so bad that the fish-cleaning table wasn't even wet.
The upper Kenai opened for rainbow trout, Dolly Varden char and red (sockeye) salmon Monday. Darwin Peterson, at the Kenai Cache in Cooper Landing, said their guides are catching lots of rainbows by back-trolling with plugs.
Patti Berkhahn, a biologist with Fish and Game in Soldotna, said anglers who know how to catch reds are catching their limits downstream from the confluence of the Russian and Kenai rivers. She also said "thousands" of early-run reds were already in the Russian River as of Wednesday.
The good news is that the Russian River opens today, followed quickly by the opening of the sanctuary Saturday morning.
Fishing for early-run reds in the Russian and downstream from its confluence with the Kenai should be excellent this weekend. Thursday, anglers were taking limits of bright reds downstream from the confluence of the Russian and the Kenai. See "An Outdoor View" on this page for more information on this red salmon fishery.
Fishing for Kasilof kings has been fair to good. In some of the more popular holes, drift boats outnumber salmon, as some of the guides who normally would be fishing the Kenai are fishing the Kasilof.
There were quite a few bright kings near the mouth of the Kasilof early in the week. Chances are good these will be distributed throughout the lower portion of the river by this weekend.
Lower Peninsula Streams
On Thursday, the Department of Fish and Game announced that Deep Creek and the Ninilchik River will open Saturday morning, just after midnight, to fishing for king salmon and will remain open through Monday until midnight. The traditional king fishing area in these streams will be open: from stream mouth to the Fish and Game marker two miles upstream. All other regulations on the Deep Creek and Ninilchik king salmon fishery still apply.
The Anchor River also opens again this weekend.
All three streams should be in good, fishable condition for this weekend. Deep Creek and the Anchor River were high and muddy for the first three openings but have improved since.
Deep Creek-Anchor Point Marine
The charter outfits are reporting nice catches of halibut, with a few barn doors in the mix. Wednesday, Rod 'N Real Fishing Charters reported that the catch of one party of four included fish weighing 180, 95 and 90 pounds, with the remainder in the 40s.
Also on Wednesday, Captain Tim Rebischke reported "one of the best catches I've had all year" while fishing in about 280 feet of water, more than half-way across Cook Inlet. He brought back halibut weighing 87, 90, 92 and 153 pounds.
"We caught a lot of different fish," Rebischke said. "Two different kinds of sharks, several arrowtooth flounder, some cod and two skates."
For those who like razor clams, a good series of minus tides starts next week. There's a minus 3.8 Thursday morning. The lowest low in the series is a minus 4.7 Saturday.
Anglers on charterboats have been catching limits of halibut. Anglers with small boats have been catching king salmon at Seldovia and Halibut Cove. And anglers fishing from the bank have been catching kings at the
fishing lagoon on the Homer Spit.
If you're hungry for steamer (littleneck) and butter clams, an eight-day series of minus tides begins Tuesday. Access to the Kachemak Bay beaches is by boat.
These clams are easiest to dig with a three-pronged rake, rather than a regular clam shovel. Be sure to get a permit before going, and fill it out before leaving the beach.
Gulf of Alaska
Charterboats fishing east of Resurrection Bay have been bringing back limits of halibut and nice catches of black rockfish.
Anglers have been catching kings from shore at Seward.
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