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Thread: Winter Shore Casting for Cod, Flounder, Halibut

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    Default Winter Shore Casting for Cod, Flounder, Halibut

    Been wanting to do some saltwater fishing from the shore. I have heard many different opinions on if the fish move to deeper water in the winter or if some stay in the shallows. I am new to Alaska so I have no clue. Any pointers on where to fish? I have heard Seward, Homer, Whittier, but don't know where abouts to cast from shore. I am intrested in catching anything from the saltwater, just for something to do. We fished the Homer Spit a couple summers ago and ended up with some sole, cod, and pollock. The pollock were very wormy so let them back.

    Also, have heard that there is a fish plant in Homer that dumps fish parts in the spit, is it true? I know I have seen lots of birds around those tripod metal stands in the water at Land's End. Was thinking, if they are there should be lots of fish where the parts are coming from, right?

    Last, when do the Halibut come to the shallows in spring and for what reason? I've heard that they spawn in the shallows, but I've heard that they come to feed on prey also. Any info is apriciated.

    Thanks for your time.
    Eatsleepfish

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    Might be able to get down to Homer this weekend to chuck out some herring, depending on the weather and if my schedule works out. Guess you don't know 'till you try! I'll report back if I caught anything.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Saltwater shore fishing in Alaska is one of the least explored fisheries. Not to say that the shore fishing is necessarily great, but so few people go out and shore fishing that it's tough to say how good or bad the shore fishing is.

    So my recomendation is look at charts along the shore of Cook inlet, use the search feature in this forum as there have been some discussions of shore fishing, and go out and see what you can catch.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

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    I was near the docks on a kayak Saturday and there were a ton of birds. Oddly I didn't mark any fish or catch a fish trolling in the area. Maybe I watch too many Discovery channel shows but you got to believe something is there.

    Saw one person fishing there, didn't see him catch anything but i only watched a few minutes.

    In late April and May there are a few spots you can surf cast for halibut, greenling, cod, etc. should be ok through the fall. Rarely is it productive as a boat but it can be done.




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    Quote Originally Posted by Eatsleepfish View Post
    Last, when do the Halibut come to the shallows in spring and for what reason? I've heard that they spawn in the shallows, but I've heard that they come to feed on prey also. Any info is apriciated.

    Thanks for your time.
    Eatsleepfish
    Halibut spawn from November to March in very deep water from 600-1900 feet of water. The vast majority of spwaning takes place off the continental shelf. Halibut will move into the shallows of Cook Inlet in May & June to take advantage of the spawning Sand Lance and the Hooligan that are making there spawning run along the beaches towards their river of choice.
    Your bait stinks and your boat is ugly

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    ESF
    Adult Halibut go way out to deep water to spawn in the winter. Return to shallower water in Cook inlet to feed during the summer. Immature halibut remain in the shallow Cook Inlet waters year round, til mature enough to spawn. At least this seems to be the general consensus. During the fishing season, Charters clean the fish at various cleaning stations around the Homer harbour, the carcases are tossed into dumpsters, which are regularly towed around to the east Side and dumped into Cook inlet where the tide will move things further out. A few years ago people used to just toss the fish carcases in to the harbour but it was determined that the tides weren't cleaning the harbour out well enough so that was changed. There used to be a cannery on the spit, that pumped their waste product through a line that emptied out right under where the USCG ship ties up. It was always great shore fishing right there for anything and everything. I don't see why you couldn't catch cod, pollock, flounder, and ??? off of Lands End this time of year. go4it!

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    Kardinal's post and pic above show just where to fish of Lands End (Homer spit). In his pic u can even see the difference in color of the water from the offulent (spelling?) coming out. Fish to the right anywhere from 10 to 300 ft to the right of the outflow and you will be guaranteed to catch fish. Lots of flounder. Some cod. Occasional butts.
    Numerous other threads on this area and subject on the search button. Off the spit I like to buy a small thin pack of pork chops and use nickle sized pieces on plain hook with sliding sinker. Eight to 12 pound test line good enough. Pork piece usually gets u multiple fish before rebaiting. Have the rest of the pork chops w your fish when u go home.
    I'll be breaking out my surf gear for butts, skates, cod, and whatever else is shoreside before March ends. I think I got a small butt last yr in March off the deep crk beach. I know for sure by Mid April they are cruising the shoreline. Good luck.......cod

    ps........good dolly fishing starts on the spit by early April.
    Your sarcasm is way, waaaayyyyyyyy more sarcastic than mine!

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    Went down to homer. Got a starry flounder. No other bites, real slow. No one else was catching anything. Brought the flounder home and went to fillet the fish and it was very mushy and jelly like. Was thinking did the flounder have the same thing they say the Halibut have???

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    ESF, when you keep flounder you must fillet/ process them immediately.... They have enzymes that activate after they are removed from the water? That deteriorates the meat at a very rapid speed.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Eatsleepfish View Post
    Went down to homer. Got a starry flounder. No other bites, real slow. No one else was catching anything. Brought the flounder home and went to fillet the fish and it was very mushy and jelly like. Was thinking did the flounder have the same thing they say the Halibut have???
    I've had the same issues with the flounder at the spit. We brought a few back and about half of the fish were the jelly nasty ones. The other half were perfectly fine. We had kept the yellowfin sole from the area. May have to try and fillet them sooner as suggested. We used to never have a problem with it though in the past.

    Properly taken care of and in good condition, both yellowfin sole and starry flounder are considered decent food fish with commercial operations so they should be edible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hunt&FishAK View Post
    ESF, when you keep flounder you must fillet/ process them immediately.... They have enzymes that activate after they are removed from the water? That deteriorates the meat at a very rapid speed.

    Before we have not processed them until we got home, and there was a significant differecnce in this fish than the other we have caught in the past. I gilled the flounder as soon as I caught him and put him water to get as much blood out as possible. Also the fish had a lot of sea lice, do sea lice hurt anything? Is the fish edible with them?

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    Don't sweat the sea lice, no correlation between sea lice and edibiliy of fish.

    Flounder are great if you fillet them and cook them as soon as possible after catching them. I'm not sure exactly what you can do to prevent the flesh from breaking down. The fish is still edible it's just the consistancy is mushy.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

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    I've heard of catching Irish Lords off the spit, are they edible? I asked someone and they said they never eat them because of the worms in them, but I've found worms in Halibut or any other fish. Has anyone eaten Irish Lord? I assume you would have to catch a big one because they are mostly mouth. Just fillet them like any other fish?

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    Most any fish is edible...

    Tasty is another matter.

    Irish Lord?

    1 for 2....
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaHippie View Post
    Most any fish is edible...

    Tasty is another matter.

    Irish Lord?

    1 for 2....
    Sorry AH, I should have asked if they tasted good instead. Guess I relate edible with tasty, if it's not tasty I don't usually eat it. What do you mean 1 for 2 though???

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eatsleepfish View Post
    Sorry AH, I should have asked if they tasted good instead. Guess I relate edible with tasty, if it's not tasty I don't usually eat it. What do you mean 1 for 2 though???

    Edible, NOT tasty.
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