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Thread: Questions about fising Cook Inlet

  1. #1

    Default Questions about fising Cook Inlet

    I hear and read lots of information regarding fishing the Cook Inlet (salmon, bottom fish and shellfish) around the south peninsula areas but I can't find much information about fishing the central Inlet north (say Kenai and north toward Anchorage)? There are obviously lots of salmon in this part of the inlet since there are so many good fishing rivers that feed the north inlet. When I search for combo salmon/halibut in Kenai, it looks like they will fish the river (fresh water) for salmon then take you to the south inlet for halibut. Yet the south combo trips will fish the inlet (salt) for everything.

    So my questions are:
    I have seen photos of boats packed on the Kenai river but do folks fish the inlet (salt) before the fish enter the river?
    If not, why?
    How far north in the inlet do folks fish for Halibut, other bottom fish, and crab & shrimp?
    Can folks that live in the Kenai/Soldotna area motor out in the inlet from Kenai and crab, shrimp, and fish, or do they need to go south for some reason?
    Does the inlet area around Anchorage have a decent fishery (including shell fish)?

    TIA

  2. #2
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    This is a great question, and one that has been asked many times, even amongst experienced locals. While there are a few stories of salmon and halibut being sport caught near the mouth of the Kenai River, it is generally not a great place to fish. The main reason for this is that the water looks a lot like chocolate milk with little/no visibility at all. While fish have an extraordinary sense of smell, they generally use this sense to locate the general area of food/prey, and then their sense of sight to actually strike at the bait. I have tried several times to fish halibut and salmon out of Kenai and Kasilof... I have caught a few halibut, some flounder, and A LOT of spiny dog sharks, which are a pain in the you know what. I've never caught a salmon in the inlet outside of the Kenai, but know a few people that have.
    To make a long story short... it's possible to catch fish in the northern inlet, but your efforts are generally better spent going a little further south.
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  3. #3

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    Thanks for the information markw3. What about a little north or south of the river mouths - say 5-10 miles either way? Does the visibility improve enough to fish or is the whole central to north Cook Inlet messed up? Can a guy crab and/or shrimp (with good success) in the inlet around the city of Kenai? If not, how far must a guy go if he launched from Kenai to be successful shell fishing?

  4. #4
    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    if you want to crab you will have to go all the way to k-bay...
    might as well launch at homer.
    there is no shrimping in cook inlet at all, you would have to go around the corner past gore point at least.
    might as well launch at whittier.
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by homerdave View Post
    if you want to crab you will have to go all the way to k-bay...
    might as well launch at homer.
    there is no shrimping in cook inlet at all, you would have to go around the corner past gore point at least.
    might as well launch at whittier.
    OK, darn! It's down to Homer or Valdez then. I prefer the city of Homer but Valdez is much closer to the areas I want to hunt. Why can't there be that perfect location - is that too much to ask?

  6. #6
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I've heard of people catching rock fish around Kalgin Island, but that's about it for catching fish in the mid to upper inlet.

    Lots of places to fish in Alaska, but if you want to catch fish, it's much better to stick with the areas that you find most of the fishermen fishing out of. I've yet to see an accessible area that produces fish avoided, nor areas that don't produce fish get much action.

    If I lived in Kenai/Soldotna I'd like venture out to Kalgin. But since I'm in the Anchorage area, I'll launch out of Whittier, Seward or Homer. Too much time and $ is invested in fishing trips for me to try areas not known for good to great fishing.

  7. #7
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    the best way to catch salmon in the upper inlet is definitely a gillnet (and probably what the boats you are seeing are fishing with)
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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