Cook Inlet Halibut Fishing On The Upswing

The following is courtesy of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game:

Southern Kenai/LCI Fishing Report

May 22, 2024

Freshwater Fishing 

  • The Anchor River and Deep Creek are all closed to all sport fishing through July 15, 2024.
  • The Ninilchik River is open to fishing for hatchery king salmon May 25–27. Although water conditions are good, expect the fishing to be slow as there are very few king salmon staged in the river this early in the run. Try cured salmon roe under a slip bobber. Size 4 or 5 pink or chartreuse spinners could be effective, too. If you incidentally hook a steelhead or wild king salmon, get them to the bank as quickly as possible and release them without removing them from the water.

Saltwater Fishing 

Kachemak Bay/Cook Inlet


Halibut fishing is off to a slow start but should continue to improve. More consistent success is coming from offshore locations but those looking for bigger fish could try shallow water from Bluff Point to Anchor Point. Fishing around slack tide is the best time for targeting halibut so you can hold the bottom with less weight. Herring on a circle hook is the most popular bait; however, octopus, salmon heads, and jigs also work well

King Salmon

King salmon fishing south of Bluff Point has been spotty, with scattered reports from the Bluff area as well as throughout inner Kachemak Bay. Spawning herring have been spotted within the bay, with better fishing at times near those schools. Small troll herring or spoons behind a flasher is the most popular setup, but hootchies and tube flies will also produce fish. To find king salmon at any location, try setting the gear at different depths including mid-water column and 10 feet off the bottom.


Rockfish can be caught throughout Kachemak Bay and Cook Inlet by jigging or trolling. Don’t forget to use a deepwater release mechanism if you need to release one, and keep in mind that the bag limit has been reduced to 3.

Razor Clams

West Cook Inlet is open to razor clamming, but east Cook Inlet is closed. Access to west Cook Inlet is primarily by charter boat from the tractor launch at Deep Creek, but private boats and planes are also used. Tides will be large enough by the end of the week to dig for clams. The most popular locations are Polly Creek, Crescent River Bar, and Clam Cove in Chinitna Bay. Digging has been good to excellent in recent seasons.

Surf Fishing

Surf fishing on Cook Inlet beaches has been slow to fair recently. Anglers are catching a variety of groundfish including halibut, sculpins, skates, sharks, flounders, and cod. Regulations changed at the December 2023 Board of Fisheries meeting to allow surf fishing for groundfish in the conservation zones surrounding the Anchor River, Deep Creek and Ninilchik River. You still may not fish within 200 yards of the stream mouths – look out for posted orange regulatory signs. Don’t forget about fishing off the tip of the Homer Spit – that location can be productive for a variety of groundfish.

Local Lakes

The Homer Reservoir (located on Skyline Drive) is a great place to take kids and catch a Dolly Varden. The fish are small, but can be voracious. Dollies are often found along the shore by the road, or the south shore. Try a variety of very small spinners and spoons. Nymphs and dry flies, such as mosquitoes, can work great when the wind is calm.

Emergency Orders 

Please review the emergency orders and advisory announcements below in their entirety before heading out on your next fishing trip.

  • Emergency Order 2-KS-7-10-24: Anchor River and Deep Creek Closed to Sport Fishing
  • Emergency Order 2-KS-7-07-24:Sport Fishing For King Salmon Closed in Upper Cook Inlet Salt Waters
  • Emergency Order 2-KS-7-12-24:King Salmon Bag Limit Reduced from 2 to 1 in Lower Cook Inlet Salt Waters
  • Emergency Order 2-KS-7-13-24:Changes to King Salmon Limits and Gear in the Ninilchik River
  • Press Release:Cook Inlet Sport Fishing Regulation Changes

Don’t forget to purchase your 2024 sport fishing license and king stamp! You can purchase and display your fishing license and king stamp, record your annual harvest (i.e. king salmon), access sport fishing regulations and locations, and so much more on your mobile device. Download the ADF&G Mobile App today. You can also purchase licenses through the ADF&G online store and print it off from the comfort of your own home. Make sure to review emergency orders, advisory announcements, and the 2024 Southcentral Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet for the area you are fishing before you head out.

For additional information, please contact the ADF&G Homer office at (907) 235-8191.