'Put in your time': Patience could be key to fishing success this week

Posted: Thursday, July 15, 2010

While some anglers might say you would have better luck trolling for red salmon in the cooler at Fred Meyer, others are hauling them in with dipnets or reeling them in with rods.

Submitted Photo
Submitted Photo
John Cook had this to say about his photo: This fish was caught by my grandaughter's husband, Kevin Aldernator. My grandaughter, Dana, and Kevin are from Nuberg, Oregon and are taking a second honeymoon in Alaska. When you marry a Alaskan girl this is typical as part of their honeymoon. This great fish was caught by Kevin recently in the upper Kenai, and weighed 82 pounds, had a girth of 32 inches but it was a trophy class and they ageed with their guide, Andy Hemingway of the world renown Hooked Up Adventures located in Cooper Landing, to release it. Things sure have changed since I was a kid. Had I caught this fish, if I had a camera I would have taken a picture and had it for supper that evening -- but that was 60 years ago and we ate them and realize how lucky we were to be a territoy kid.

For Ralph Meloon of Kenai River Suites in Soldotna, the sockeye fishing has been good on the Kenai River.

"They're slaying them," he said.

According to the Department of Fish and Game's sonar, sockeye counts on the Kenai have been anywhere from 5,500 to 24,000 a day over the last week.

"Not until we get 25,000 to 50,000 do we really hit them good," Meloon said.

The opening week of the personal-use dipnet fishery on the Kenai saw people getting fish but not their limits, according to Jason Pawluk, assistant area management biologist for the Department of Fish and Game.

"Dipnetting on the Kenai would be described as fair right now," he said.

Pawluk said water conditions on the river are poor, with bad clarity and high levels.

King salmon fishing on the Kenai has still been slow, he said, but things are looking up, at least in terms of bigger fish.

"We're seeing an increase in fish size compared to the first week of the late run," he said. Last week, the majority of salmon caught were jack salmon, or immature fish.

The Kasilof River is still between runs for king salmon right now, Pawluk said.

"By next week the late run Kasilof king fishing should be improving," he said.

Bob Ball of Bob's Piscatorial Pursuits in Soldotna said that overall fishing has been spotty on the Kasilof.

"One tide will bring in some fish and then the next one doesn't," he said.

He said he has seen a lot of private anglers pulling out after an hour or two on the water.

"Put your time in and keep with it, the fish will eventually come," he said. "It's just a patience game right now."

Dipnetting on the Kasilof River has been fair, and even good when there's a passage of sockeye, Pawluk said.

Upstream, the Russian River and upper Kenai are good fishing for rainbow trout but that's about it.

"We're waiting for the late-run Russian River fish, won't expect to see them for another week or ten days," Pawluk said. "Essentially it's dead until that second run picks up."

If you're headed to the southern Peninsula this weekend there's lots of marine options.

"Halibut fishing continues to be good," said Nicky Szarzi, Fish and Game biologist in Homer.

She said anglers could start trying for silver salmon, fish for kings along the bluff, catch Dolly Varden in the streams, or dig clams during the low tides this week.

There's also the tanner crab fishery which opens today for permitted anglers, she said.

Don't forget to check out the department's sport fishing regulations before going to net, pull, reel, or dig your dinner.

Brielle Schaeffer can be reached at brielle.schaeffer@peninsulaclarion.com.

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