This weekend's fishing might be merely "good." Then again, it could turn out to be some of the best of the season.
King salmon fishing may not be hot, but it's good and should remain good through the end of the season, according to fisheries biologist Larry Marsh, at the Soldotna offices of the Department of Fish and Game.
"The last week of July is usually a good week," Marsh said. "We should start seeing some of the big, lower-river spawners."
Anglers fishing from drift boats Monday did well with kings. At Big Eddy, some anglers were anchoring up, apparently ignorant of the fact that anchoring at Big Eddy went out with long sideburns. Anchor lines cause problems for other boats trying to fish the hole.
Fishing for kings was good again on Tuesday and even better Wednesday. If the water remains as clear as it was at midweek, king fishing this weekend should be good despite expected high water.
After a few days of low numbers of red (sockeye) salmon entering the river, a "good, strong push" of reds came in Tuesday, Marsh said. Those fish should be well distributed throughout the river by this weekend, he said.
Rainbow trout and Dolly Varden fishing on the upper Kenai has been difficult due to high water.
Fishing the Russian River and the Kenai River downstream from its confluence with the Russian was poor Thursday morning, as the "gap" between the end of the early-run reds and the beginning of the late-run reds continued to widen.
However, with tens of thousands of late-run reds now migrating up the Kenai, this fishery could improve at any time.
Both the Russian and upper Kenai are very high. A buddy with a landing net is an added asset, as beaches for landing fish remain submerged.
If you fish the Russian, wear chest waders. These rivers began slowly dropping early this week and were still dropping Thursday morning.
A few late-run kings are being taken downstream from the Sterling Highway bridge.
Red fishing has been fair to good. Almost 17,000 passed the Kasilof River sonar counter Tuesday, which should've made for some good fishing, had any anglers been there. Apparently, most have been attracted to the Kenai.
Good thing, too. There are very limited facilities and access for anglers along the Kasilof.
Lower peninsula streams
Dolly Varden fishing has been good in the Anchor River, and pink salmon fishing has been good in the Anchor and Ninilchik rivers and in Deep Creek. A few silvers are also being caught. All three streams are low and clear. The best fishing is early in the morning, before the sun hits the water.
Deep Creek-Anchor Point Marine
This fishery continues good for halibut fishing. Rod 'N Real Fishing Charters took 12 anglers out from Deep Creek to fish the morning tide Wednesday and all came back with limits of 30- to 40-pounders, according to Sharon Kruse, at Rod 'N Real's Ninilchik office. Tuesday, one angler caught a 255-pound barn door, she said.
Halibut fishing remains good, with the best fishing in the Flat Island area.
Trolling for king salmon is fair, with best fishing near Bluff Point. Some anglers have been catching silvers north of Bluff Point.
Gulf of Alaska
Fishing for halibut, lingcod and rockfish has been good to excellent along the bays and capes east and west of Resurrec-tion Bay.
Resurrection Bay is closed to fishing for lingcod. If you harvest a lingcod outside the bay and then stop to fish for salmon inside the bay on your way back to Seward, you will be fishing illegally. Carefully read the regulations before going out.
Silver fishing in outer Resurrection Bay remains hot, particularly in Pony Cove. The daily bag and possession limit is six silvers, and lots of anglers are coming in with limits.
Expect to find chum and pink salmon showing up in salt water off the mouths of Tonsina, Spring, and Fourth of July creeks. All fresh waters draining into Resurrection Bay are closed year-round to salmon fishing. Seward Lagoon is closed year-round to all fishing..
Looking for a way to get away from the salmon-crazed hordes? Get thee to one of the peninsula's 28 stocked lakes. Most of these are stocked with either rainbow trout or landlocked silver salmon; a few are stocked with both. Jerome and Upper Summit lakes, located beside the Seward Highway, contain rainbows and resident populations of Dolly Varden char.
The Department of Fish and Game has a stocked lakes brochure containing maps. For a free copy, stop by the Soldotna office at 43961 Kalifornsky Beach Road.
If you go out on any water, be sure to wear a PFD (life jacket) at all times. After you fall overboard, it's too late to put one on.
For a 24-hour recording of information about central peninsula fisheries, call (907) 262-2737.
For a 24-hour recording of information about lower peninsula fisheries, call (907) 235-6930.
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