Rain clouds may have silver lining

Posted: Friday, August 20, 2004

The wet weather predicted this weekend may be just the boost anglers need to get more silver salmon moving up peninsula waterways.

"The fish are coming in on the Kenai, but further south, things have been slow in the Anchor River and Deep Creek. Hopefully, this rain will drive some fish in," said Dave Atcheson, author of "Fishing Alaska's Kenai Peninsula."

Fishing for silver and pink salmon has been reported to be very good on the lower Kenai River. Many fish are being taken by soaking eggs held close to the bottom with appropriate weight, or drifting eggs under a bobber.

For more active fishing, bright spoons, spinners and plugs are also working well.

Cast upstream into the current and vary your retrieve for best results.

Multiple hooks and bait may be used from the mouth of the Kenai River upstream to the Upper Killey River, but anglers need to remember that after retaining a second silver salmon 16-inches or longer, they may not fish this section of river for the remainder of the day.

Silvers and pinks are also being caught in the Kasilof River, and bank anglers can access good fishing areas from the Crooked Creek campground off Cohoe Loop Road.

Further to the south, silvers are entering Deep Creek, Ninilchik River and Anchor River, but as Atcheson pointed out, only in low numbers, possibly due to warm temperatures and very low water levels in these waterways.

Steelhead are also starting to show in these rivers, and anglers should be able to distinguish between them and silvers. Steelhead have small black spots on the back, sides and tail. They have a white mouth with white gums at the base of the teeth on the lower jaw.

Silver salmon have black spots on the back, dorsal fin and usually on the upper lobe of the tail only.

Also, silvers have a black mouth with white gums at base of teeth on lower jaw.

The Homer Spit Fishing Lagoon has continued to provide very good fishing on the flooding and ebbing tides. Vibrax spinners have been working well, along with cut herring and salmon eggs under a bobber.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Division of Sportfish, along with the Kachemak Bay Research Reserve will host a youth fishing fair today from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Fishing Lagoon.

This is a hands-on event where youths can learn about fish, fish habitats and gain knowledge about fishing.

Participating youth are encouraged to bring fishing equipment so they can fish, and volunteers will be available to help the youths.

Across the peninsula, there only two weeks left in the Seward Silver Salmon Derby. To date, more than 3,628 fish have been caught with an average weight of 9.44 -pounds.

As of Wednesday, the derby leader was Renee James of Eagle River with a 19.79-pound lunker.

Trailing close behind is Corey Gaalt of Michigan with an 18.59-pound silver, and in third place is Bill Bixby of Soldotna with a 18.46 fish.



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