August has silver salmon lining: Anglers report landing coho, pinks and some sockeye

Posted: Thursday, August 05, 2010

Although king salmon fishing is closed for the Kenai and Kasilof Rivers, August began with a silver lining.

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Submitted Photo
Submitted Photo
Jason Wilbur, of Westminster, Colo. and his 313-pound Homer halibut, but he did not have a derby ticket.

Scott Anderson, of Soldotna, said the early days of August are a good time to land some silvers, after the king chasers have left and before the pink salmon starting coming in thick.

"The river is peaceful and calm and the silvers are in," he said. "You could go out there right now and get your limit in silvers."

Coho salmon are known for their acrobatic and very active nature, frequently surfacing and popping out of the water.

Anderson recommended using salmon roe and light gear to hook some coho, or use spinners for a more exciting way to fish for them.

Down south, silvers are starting to arrive in the Anchor and Ninilchik Rivers and Deep Creek, with anglers having the most success fishing near the river mouths during high tide.

As of Monday, 67 silvers had been counted by the Department of Fish and Game in Deep Creek, with 16 swimming upstream that day.

This weekend there will be a youth-only fishing day at the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon in Homer where area Fish and Game staff will be there to help little anglers try to land a coho.

Mark Glassmaker, a Soldotna fishing guide, said there has been some silver salmon coming into the lower Kenai River but things will not really pick up until later in the month. Same goes for pink salmon, he said.

"It's going to be a little bit before things charge up again," he said.

Glassmaker recommended anglers getting out this weekend should cast their lines for silvers and trout on the Kenai.

Tom Ferguson of Fergie's Alaskan Charters and Lodging reports anglers have been hitting silvers on the Kasilof.

And the sockeye are still coming in on the central Peninsula waterways.

The sockeye run on the Kasilof bumped up again Monday with 5,603 fish swimming upstream for a total of 245,768 since counts began. But the run is coming to an end and dipnetting closes on the river Saturday.

While the sockeye numbers in the Kenai have been steadily fluctuating, the latest counts tallied 778,714 red salmon in the river total, with 22,139 as of Monday. But Fish and Game says angler success has been declining over the past week because of the lower number of fish moving to the river.

According to the department, slightly high water levels on the Kenai mean fair fishing conditions on the river because of daily changes in water clarity.

On the Russian River sockeye fishing has been slow and the bag limit is three in possession and three per day, despite the six per day bag limit on the mainstem Kenai River, said Jason Pawluk, assistant area manager for Fish and Game.

As the silver season heats up, anglers are reminded that of the six salmon daily limit on the mainstem Kenai, only two may be coho salmon.

Halibut fishing is still hot out of Homer with anglers doing well with herring, octopus, squid, salmon heads, and jigs as bait. But, don't forget to get a derby ticket if you plan to catch flatfish.

Jason Wilbur, of Westminster, Colo. could have had a chance to win the derby with his 313-pound halibut, the first one more than 300 pounds recorded out of Homer this season, but without a ticket he was also out of luck.

And if you're itching to make some chowder, this weekend has good clam tides starting Sunday and lasting throughout the week.

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



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