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Thread: ????cook Inlet, Up Near Anchorage. ?????

  1. #1

    Default ????cook Inlet, Up Near Anchorage. ?????

    OK, I have been talking fishing with some guys at my job. I have just moved to the area and am looking to buy a 19 ft north river boat to fish in the surrounding area of anchorage, both the cook inlet and the rivers. While talking with these guys at work, they said that there are no fish in cook inlet up near anchorage. that I would have to travel all the way down to K. River, Homer, Whitier, and the POW. They said that the water was too nasty for fish and that the inlet did not hold any year round fish. That the Inlet was all mud flats everywhere. well I see mud, but is there no where to fish?

    Now, I am new to these waters, fish species, and huge tides, but are you kidding? all of that great big inlet and no fish! I hope that they were kidding me. I know that I'm not going to be fishing out in the winter, but will I really have to travel so far to catch fish come spring?

    Does anyone fish in cook inlet near anchorage, and is this info a bunch of crap? I would like to get one trip in this weekend or next. I was going to buy a boat down in WA this late winter.

  2. #2
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, your co-workers are correct. I don't know if it is entirely true that there are no year-round fish - perhaps there are sandlance or something of the sort - but there is certainly no fishery for halibut or any other bottomfish around Anchorage. You may here the odd story here or there about someone trying, but....a very longshot at best. As far as the Peninsula is concerned, most would say that you need to go farther than Kenai - Ninilchik is generally considered the closest place in Cook Inlet to get into halibut. Whittier and Seward are beautiful areas, but they're very deep near port and not nearly as reliable at producing #'s of halibut as Ninilchik, Anchor Point, and Homer.

    A boat will serve you well on area rivers, but not in the local salt.

  3. #3

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    Thanks Brian,

    Its just hard to believe. How about the rivers off the north end of the inlet? anything held up in there? can I push up in there and catch any trout or whitefish, something like that? I just hate the idea of not being able to go for an nice afternoon trip. you know a spur of the moment thing, 35 minutes from the idea to the water. Were talking about having to drive for 2 + hrs a trip each way, i'll need to stay for the weekend at least to make it relaxing trip.






    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    Unfortunately, your co-workers are correct. I don't know if it is entirely true that there are no year-round fish - perhaps there are sandlance or something of the sort - but there is certainly no fishery for halibut or any other bottomfish around Anchorage. You may here the odd story here or there about someone trying, but....a very longshot at best. As far as the Peninsula is concerned, most would say that you need to go farther than Kenai - Ninilchik is generally considered the closest place in Cook Inlet to get into halibut. Whittier and Seward are beautiful areas, but they're very deep near port and not nearly as reliable at producing #'s of halibut as Ninilchik, Anchor Point, and Homer.

    A boat will serve you well on area rivers, but not in the local salt.

  4. #4

    Default The Ironic Truth

    The ironic truth is that with all this water around there are only three destinations within a 50 mile drive from Anchorage (not including lakes).
    They are 20-mile & Placer rivers, Knik River, & the mouth of the little Su. None of these are easy places to go boating, you either have very shallow water with shifting sand bars near the outlets of the rivers, or the often death defying crossing of Cook Inlet from the downtown Anchorage boat ramp. You can also run as far up Ship Creeek as possible from the downtown boat ramp (about 1/4 mile) before being shelled by people casting from shore!

  5. #5

    Default had the same thoughts

    When I was planning my move up here I had the same idea born of simply studying a map of Anchorage and Alaska. Since Anchorage is surrounded by water, I figured there MUST be places you could just go drop in a line off the rocks or toss a lure off a beach. I was unaware of the tides and mudflats at the time. And looking at the map, I saw Homer was just a short 200 miles away. In New Mexico, that's maybe 2.5 to 3 hours max. I hadn't counted on small towns, road construction, 55 mph highways, etc. Things are definitely a lot different up here.

    I posted on a similar fishing forum a few years ago, asking if there were any halibut or other bottom fish available within striking range of Ship Creek launch ramp. I got one reply from someone who sounded as though he'd been hitting the bottle pretty hard. He said they were out there, even 100 pounders. But a couple other replies pretty much cleared my mind of any such hopes.

    I've discovered in my six years here, that the 2.5 hour drive to the Kenai or Seward, or 4+ hour drive to Homer is much different than a similar drive in central/southern New Mexico. It seems to go much quicker: the sights are magnificent; rivers are everywhere; the road twists and turns; glaciers in some places; mountains and the midnight sun; the time just passes much quicker even at 55-65 mph than an 80 mph burn down a straight path with brown/gray vistas on either side (this would be ABQ to, say, Elephant Butte Lake to the south in NM).

    And I've learned that, yes, I do need to expand my trip time if I want that "relaxing" element. I've come to force myself to leave a little earlier so I'm not the idiot on the road trying to pass everybody. And to accept the long lines in the summer coming from or going to the Peninsula. Then the drives themselves become the relaxing part of the trip. Which is a good thing, because I've always agreed with the old adage:

    There are two types of fishermen - those who go to relax...and those who catch fish!

    Welcome to Anchorage - tight lines.
    "The Gods do not subtract from the allotted span of men's lives the hours spent in fishing" Assyrian Tablet 2000 B.C.

  6. #6

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    Itd be intresting to see somone launch at the ship creek launch and fish for halibut for a couple days a few miles out... very intresting, who knows :P

  7. #7

    Default So the question begs to be asked...

    Why go thru the effort of constructing the boat ramp in the first place? If it's ill-advised to venture out into the local waters, no fishing to speak of, no other recreational uses, etc, what's the point? So the rescue squads can launch their boats to retrieve those folks who are not playing with a full deck?
    Seems like there's GOTTA be some fish to catch! Ya hear a lot about halibut hanging around streams/rivers when the salmon carcases empty out into the saltwater, why any different around Anchorage? Water too muddy for them?
    By the way, I do believe I'd be one of those who'd give it a try anyway!
    Jim

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    Member Bookseller's Avatar
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    I learned this lesson about fishing Alaska waterways a long time ago. If it's an easily reached area (ie Cook Inlet) and there STILL isn't anyone else fishing there...don't bother. It's either closed to fishing or the fishing sucks.

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    I too had the same idea when I got up here......

    I've spent an afternoon out in front of ship creek in about 50 feet of water jigging for anything that would bite. I was using hooligan and herring as bait. I did mark several fish near the bottom. I struck out, didn't get so much as a bite. This was in late summer when the silvers were running 2 years ago. The water is unbelievably silty and reminds me of a chocolate milkshake!

    As far as running up the arm, it gets real shallow once you get past Elmendorf and unless you know where the channels are I would not advise it. Best bet if you are set on going that direction is sticking to the east shore until you get to Eagle River. Thats about as far as I have ever made it.

    I once attempted to motor up to the Knik because the tide went out and I could not load the boat in Anchorage..... Lets just say that I spent a half day waiting for the tide to come back in.... It sucked! That was the last time I put my boat in at Ship Creek. Bottom line is that I would not mess around out there, it's just not worth it.

  10. #10
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Jim View Post
    Why go thru the effort of constructing the boat ramp in the first place? If it's ill-advised to venture out into the local waters, no fishing to speak of, no other recreational uses, etc, what's the point?
    Jim - The boat ramp is used a lot by people who have setnet sites on the other side of Cook Inlet. It can be used by recreational boaters, but I don't think that is the intended purpose.

  11. #11

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    Thanks for the input guys. All posts were very helpful.
    Any successful fishing stories from the north inlet?

    I guess I'll try and catch a few trout out of the lakes, and rivers before the snow hits hard, or maybe some pike. I need to here the reel drag.

  12. #12

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    Thanks Brian for the clarification; obviously I didn't think of that possibility.
    I didn't realize there were set net sites that far north in the inlet.
    Jim

  13. #13

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    Anyone ever had a fluke catch?

  14. #14

    Default Ninilchik/Deep Creek from Anchorage?

    How dangerous would it be for a guy to launch at Anchorage on an outgoing tide, stay in the channel and head for the Deep Creek area? It seems you could be there in an hour or two if the tide were going out with you. Then the same coming back. Is that just a crazy idea?
    Hike faster. I hear banjo music.

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    Member Eksak's Avatar
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    we used to use the boat ramp in the 80's when we would go beluga hunting. but since that was outlawed, the only reason we use the boat ramp now is to fish the mouth of ship creek, or head north and fish the mouth of 6 mile creek on Elmendorf.
    If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you can read this in english, thank a veteran

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    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    Wink boating near Anchorage

    This guy was not fishing,, but just relaxing,, and he got plenty of Attention..
    heres how I remember the News story as it played out..

    Someone or several people saw a guy climb in a small inflatable boat with small oars.. he paddled out from the mud flat area,, and just stayed out there all day...
    It was such a strange sight to see someone in a boat of any kind off shore of Anchorage, that people started calling the Authorities of different agency's around Anchorage.. the cops, the fire dept, the coast guard...
    people lined the shore looking with Binoculars to see what the fellow was doing in that little raft...
    finally the authorities could take it no longer and sent out a craft of some kind.. .. I think it was one of those Hovercrafts....
    the guy was Asleep in the raft, and had to be awakened.... he had knocked down a 12 pack of beer sitting out there in the summer sun and was sleeping off the private party...
    anyway.. they brought the guy to the beach,,, the press was on hand to see what derainged man would actually take a boat off shore of Anchorage and sit in it all day long....
    anyway,, the cops ran a check on the guy and he had a couple of outstanding traffic violations or something, so they hauled him in for that,, and told him to never,,, Never scare the good people of Anchorage by taking a boat out on the silty waters of Cook Inlet .......
    LOL
    Does anyone else remember that event??? and how close was I on what happened???
    Max
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    Member FishSean's Avatar
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    Truth!! I was calling for unrestrained panic!

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    Default yes it is a crazy idea

    Quote Originally Posted by wildog View Post
    How dangerous would it be for a guy to launch at Anchorage on an outgoing tide, stay in the channel and head for the Deep Creek area? It seems you could be there in an hour or two if the tide were going out with you. Then the same coming back. Is that just a crazy idea?

    The upper inlet has currents and rips that are very dangerous and coming down the inlet can be very rough. Remember the tides have about a 6 hour range from Homer to Anchorage and vary by time across the inlet. The rips form and wind and waves can build very fast. There is no where to seek shelter once you start down until you get to Kenai and then it may be rough on the bar entering the Kenai.

    Trailer you boat to Deep Creek and enjoy the ride down. You will be safer and those going with you will thank you for it.

  19. #19

    Default Don't be scared use caution, & lots of it!

    First I'll say that the water off Anchorage can be very very bad, loads of caution should be used. Fished it many times in the past 30 years.
    Cook Inlet came from Capt Cook. Turnagain came from that same trip, he had to turn around again, hence him comanding "Turn-Again"
    Halibut well the closest is the mouth of the Kenai River. Almost always caught a couple as they sit out there and gobble down the salmon floating back out.
    Anchorage Boat Launch, when the salmon are in the mouths of the Big & Little Sue are just loaded and all along the Point.
    Any one ever notice the Big Ships that come in here, well the trip from Anchorage to Homer is done most every day. Done it in a 32 foot boat. But you had better be able to read and 100% understand charts and be able to read the water and tides. And to many other locations across the inlet.
    There are many boats that roll on the bottom with the tides North & South, you can hear one hit the legs of the platforms every once in a while.
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildog View Post
    How dangerous would it be for a guy to launch at Anchorage on an outgoing tide, stay in the channel and head for the Deep Creek area? It seems you could be there in an hour or two if the tide were going out with you. Then the same coming back. Is that just a crazy idea?
    I'm sure plenty people have done it. Just use common sense and lots of caution. The weather can and does change rather fast in Cook Inlet, even on those beautiful clear summer days, particularly the wind. Not too many places to duck out of it either when it kicks up. There are kelp beds to get into, lost nets with rope and floats attached that are just barely visible, and not to mention those pesky 50' cottonwood trees just floating around (sometimes VERY hard to see). Yah, hit one of them 5 miles out and bust off your lower unit. Lost of variables to consider, that's why most people don't do it. But it can and has been done. Me personally, I'll drive down there and not risk it. Good luck if you do it.

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