Some anglers are lucky. Then there's the Carey family.
While fishing for halibut off of Anchor Point this week, Ron Carey's sister, Bonnie White of Georgetown, Texas, hooked and landed a 300-pound halibut aboard Carey's 21-foot Silver Streak fishing boat. That catch brought to an end one of the most bizarre and lucky fishing stories to hit the Kenai Peninsula in a long time.
It started in June, when Carey, of Anchorage, was fishing with his wife, Nancy. A big halibut hit Nancy's rod hard. Hard enough that it took all the tackle rod, reel, hook, line and sinker over the side of the boat.
"The fish just took it," Carey said Thursday.
Knowing that an expensive set-up and a large fish were waiting at the bottom of the ocean, Carey marked the spot with his on-board global positioning system.
A month later, July 14, Carey was fishing in the same spot when an 85-year-old fishing buddy of his named "Old Charlie" somehow managed to hook into the lost green halibut rod.
"I took it into the rod and reel man and he cleaned it up," Carey said.
With the misplaced pole back in his hands, Carey returned to the waters of Cook Inlet earlier this week with Nancy, Bonnie and Bonnie's husband, Richard, aboard. Carey also brought along the green rod.
Not long after the four started fishing, Bonnie got a tug at the end of her line a big one. After a prolonged struggle with the enormous fish "everyone had a hand in landing it," Ron said Bonnie pulled in the halibut, estimated at 330 pounds based on its 84-inch length.
That the monster fish was caught on the exact same rod Carey lost over the side of his boat shouldn't have come as a surprise. After all, he said the man who worked on the reel after it was plucked from the water told him in July that Ron possessed a special piece of fishing gear.
"He said it was a blessed rod," Carey said.
As if that weren't enough, that's not the only bit of luck the Carey family has had this summer. Earlier this summer, Carey's son caught an 86-pound king salmon while dipnetting in the mouth of the Kenai River.
"We've had a pretty good year," Carey said.
Anglers looking to hook big fish this weekend should find good luck fishing in salt water off Anchor Point or Ninilchik. Halibut catches still are reported to be strong and some coho and even chinook salmon can be picked up by casting spinners or trolling herring just off shore.
In the Kenai River, silver salmon fishing still is slow, although some fish have been taken in the lower part of the river. Kwikfish wrapped in sardines seem to be the most productive lure right now, although Spin-and-Glo's baited with salmon eggs also are a tried-and-true method.
Pink salmon can be caught just about anywhere throughout the lower river using bright, shiny lures. The best places to find large concentrations of these 2- to 5-pound salmon are around slow-moving sloughs that dump into the main stem of the river. Pinks also can be caught near the mouth of the river by casting upstream and reeling in spinners with a slow retrieve.
The Kenai River is full of pink and sockeye salmon throughout the system. This means rainbow trout are never far behind and anglers floating beads or flesh-fly patterns on the Kenai above and below Skilak Lake should begin having success in the coming weeks.
In Seward, silver salmon are being caught in strong numbers, and several large fish have been caught in the past few days in the Seward Silver Salmon Derby. As of 5 p.m. Wednesday, the derby leader was Renee James of Eagle River, who landed a 19.79-pound silver on Tuesday. Corey Gallt of Michigan was in second place with a 18.59-pound coho, while Seward's "Butch" Tiner was in third with an 18.29-pound fish. The derby runs though Aug. 21.
The leader of the Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby as of Monday is Don Hanks of Sparks, Nev., with a 352.6-pound fish caught Monday in the mouth of Cook Inlet near Pearl Island. For August, Betsy Sharp of Fairbanks is in second place with a 317-pounder. In third place is David Croft of San Diego with a 280.2-pound fish. William Collins of Rhodesdale, M.D., caught a 264.6-pound fish for fourth place and Tom Seals of Sparta, Ill., is in fifth place with a 254.6-pound halibut. The derby continues through September.
Peninsula Clarion ©2013. All Rights Reserved.