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Fishing Report: From shore to shore near Homer

Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 11:09 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Alaska Shore and River Fishing took Alaska’s Sports Source out to Seldovia in hopes for halibut, and then on the shores of the Anchor River in search of steelhead.

To kick off the trip, the crew said so long to the Homer Spit and went across Kachemak Bay to Seldovia. After getting off of the boat, the team got onto a golf cart that Alaska Shore and River Fishing rented from the Boardwalk Hotel in Seldovia. The golf cart proved to be a live saver as the anglers pulled the shore fishing cart with all of the gear for the day behind it.

The destination was the outer beach where greenling and halibut were the targets.

“This is a nice way without having to go out on a boat if you get sea sick, if it is rough, if your family can’t go out on a boat — this is a good way for families and kids and people that might just want to go out on a fun day on a beach fishing as opposed to going on a hardcore fishing trip,” said McKenzy Haber of Alaska Shore and River Fishing.

Haber is exactly right: if people get seasick or just get nervous about being out in the ocean, then shore fishing is right for them. People get the experience of reeling in what many would consider a deep sea fish, from the comfort of the beach. As far as kids go at the outer beach, when the tide is low they will find some of the best tide pooling in the area.

“It is really rewarding to cast your own line out there, catch a fish on your own and bring it in,” Haber said. “You get to decide where you cast, maybe you think the fish are swimming over here, maybe you think the fish are swimming over there, as opposed to just being taken to a spot and being told to drop it right down.”

Haber rigged up the rods with a 6-ounce triangle weight a foot or two away from the hook, so that the weight snuggles into the sand and the herring on the hook can freely float and attract fish. He then launched the rig out into the ocean 70-100 yards with a powerful surf cast that is worth the price of admission in itself. After all of the rods were in the water, just like with many other types of fishing, the next step is to wait.

While waiting for a fish to take the bait, Haber showed off his Alvey Fly Reel. A reel from Australia that is a spinning reel and a fly reel all in one. For those who want to see how the reel works, check out the video below.

It wasn’t long before the anglers struck flounder with the Alvey Fly Reel, but while they did reel in four flounders Haber said the fishing wasn’t as hot as it has been in the area and there was a reason for that. A harbor seal popped it’s head up after a few hours, and Haber explained that the seal was probably scaring off the bigger fish and using the bait as bait of it’s own.

The group fished the outer beach until the sun started to go down then returned back to Homer where Alaska’s Sports Source’s Austin Sjong stayed the night in the Alaska Shore and River Fishing’s AirBnB, Homer’s Whispering Meadow. From the deck on the AirBnB one could see where the group had fished all day across the bay, but in the morning it was a different shore they were looking to score on.

The next day’s destination was the river portion of what Alaska Shore and River Fishing has to offer. It involves about a mile hike to a spot on the Anchor River, and the fishing was hot to say the least. On the first cast of the day, Haber hooked into a nice sized Dolly Varden and while the group didn’t quite land the fish, it was a great way to start the day.

The first fish landed was caught by 9-year-old August and the silver salmon that he got onto the shore was about the size of his leg.

In this area of the river, people aren’t allowed to target and keep silvers, so the silvers that got caught while targeting steelhead were released.

Anglers were using a bead instead of fly to start it off, but after the bite started to slow down a bit they switched to a bright green fly. It wasn’t long before the switch payed dividends and Sjon hooked into a silver. It was a intense fight that lasted over 5 minutes before Haber helped land the silver, capping off what was not only a fun but extremely successful fishing trip.

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