20 May Alaska Fishing Report: May 20, 2016
The 2016 fishing season here on the Kenai Peninsula is officially underway and we are off to an excellent start. An early spring and warm temps have the rivers up and in great shape. Fishing for kings on both the salt water and the Kasilof river has been very productive. Anglers fishing the marine waters of Cook Inlet from Ninilchik are seeing very consistent fishing for king salmon. Trolling herring and artificial baits has been best and most boats are seeing limit catches of both feeder kings and also mature fish headed for local rivers.
Halibut fishing has been very good and we are already seeing some nice sized fish being caught. As always, tides are a big factor but so far limits of healthy, great eating halibut has been the rule.
On the Kasilof river, kings are arriving daily on the tides and each day catch rates seem to improve. Boats that put in their time and know the river well are seeing between one and three kings per trip. This will only get better as we move toward the seasonal peak of this fishery in late May and the first ten days of June. The fish are a mix of both hatchery and naturally produced kings and the best fishing has been in the holes just below Crooked Creek. There have also reports of early arriving sockeye salmon though this run typically does not arrive in catchable numbers until the second week in June. Steelhead trout have also been present in the Kasilof but these fish are out-migrating to the ocean and are post spawn. While they are fun to catch, they are all handled very carefully and immediately released.