Halibut Fishing On Rise In Lower Cook Inlet

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

Southern Kenai/LCI Fishing Report

May 23, 2022

Freshwater Fishing 

  • The Anchor River, Deep Creek, and Ninilchik River will open to sport fishing this weekend but expect slow fishing for king salmon. These runs are off to a slow start but there may be a few fish moving through by the weekend. Please refer to the emergency orders below for more information on these waters.
  • The water conditions are high and muddy in all three streams which will limit success. Ninilchik River will be the best bet for catching a king salmon.
  • For the Ninilchik River, cured salmon roe clusters suspended under a bobber will be the most effective presentation.
  • For Anchor River and Deep Creek, fishing with large spinners at the start of the incoming tide near the stream mouths will be the best bet for intercepting newly arriving fish.

Saltwater Fishing 


  • Marine weather has been favorable for getting anglers out on the water over the last week.
  • The Anchor Point and Deep Creek tractor launches are now operational.
  • Halibut fishing has been slowly improving over the last couple of weeks and will continue to improve throughout May as more fish move from overwintering waters back to summer feeding areas in the Cook Inlet and Kachemak Bay areas.
  • The tides are more moderate this week which should provide more effective fishing time while anchored.
  • Anglers also tend to be successful anchoring in shallower water between Bluff Point and the Anchor Point light this time of year. Catch rates tend to be slower for this approach but produce above average size fish.
  • Herring on a circle hook is the most popular bait; however, octopus, salmon heads, and jigs also work well.

King Salmon

  • Trolling for king salmon fishing has been poor in Kachemak Bay and in lower Cook Inlet. Fish can be scattered everywhere throughout Kachemak Bay. Please refer to the emergency orders below for more information.
  • Most anglers use downriggers and fish with troll sized herring or spoons behind flashers.
  • A few king salmon have been caught already in the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon on the Homer Spit but expect slow fishing over the holiday weekend.

Other Saltwater Fishing

  • Surf fishing has provided anglers consistent early fishing in Cook Inlet for a variety of fish. Most popular locations have been Clam Gulch, Whiskey Gulch, and the tip of the Homer Spit.

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-7-12-22 modifies the king salmon bag and possession limits in the Ninilchik River to two hatchery king salmon 20 inches or greater in length. Bait is allowed but gear is restricted to one single-hook only. The gear restrictions are effective from 12:01 a.m. Saturday, May 28 through 11:59 p.m. Friday, July 15, 2022. The bag and possession limits are effective from 12:01 a.m. Saturday, May 28 through 11:59 p.m. Monday, October 31, 2022.
  • Emergency Order 2-KS-7-11-22 prohibited the retention of king salmon and restricted fishing gear to only one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure in the Anchor River and Deep Creek drainages effective 12:01 a.m. Saturday, May 21 through 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, June 22, 2022.
  • Emergency Order 2-KS-7-10-22 reduced the king salmon annual limit north of Bluff Point from five to two fish and closed king salmon fishing within one mile of shore in Cook Inlet saltwaters. This emergency order is effective from 12:01 a.m. Sunday, May 1 through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, July 31, 2022.
  • Emergency Order 2-RCL-7-01-22 and 2-RCL-7-02-22 closed all EASTSIDE Cook Inlet beaches to clamming for all species from the mouth of the Kenai River to the southernmost tip of the Homer Spit in 2022.

Don’t forget to purchase your 2022 sport fishing license and king stamp! Help maximize social distancing and purchase your 2022 sport fishing license and king stamp through the ADF&G online store and print it off from the comfort of your own home. Also, make sure to review emergency orders, advisory announcements, and the 2022 Southcentral Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet for the area you are fishing in before you head out.

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