Alaska Fishing

Fishing in Homer Alaska

Homer Spit Fishing
Image courtesy of the US Fish and Wildlife Service

Homer Alaska Fishing Information

Homer Alaska is a town on the southern tip of the Kenai Peninsula Borough in south central Alaska.  Also known as the “Cosmic Hamlet of the Sea”, Homer has a few claims to fame including Homer’s reputation as the “Halibut Fishing Capital of the World”. Every year, starting in May and going until September they have their Jackpot Halibut Derby where cash prizes are awarded for halibut catches in various categories. Another claim to fame is being the birth place of Tom Bodett of Motel 6, songstress Jewel, and John and Andy Hillstrand, captains of the F/V Time Bandit from the popular Deadliest Catch television program.

However, Halibut Fishing is not all that Homer Alaska has to offer the Sports Fisherman. They have a variety of other fishing opportunities to offer including Salmon Fishing, Shellfish, and Halibut.

There are several great places to Fish in and around the Kenai Peninsula, but what you might catch will be determined by where you fish.  Here is a list of some of the more popular fishing spots in the area.  Some are accessible only by boat, fortunately there are various services which allow you to rent or charter boats and buy or rent gear in the area. If you feel like you need a little more help, there are several Guides and Charters that can put you right on top of the kind of fish you are looking for and help you with learning how to catch them.

Fishing in Kachemak Bay

Surrounding the town of Homer from the South to the East is Kachemak Bay, which is one of the most biologically diverse parts of the Cook Inlet.  There are many wonderful fishing spots for the sport fisherman. Whether you would rather troll in the bay or cast a line from the shore, Kachemak’s unique currents keep nutrients in the bay which means there are plenty of fish every year.   The bay itself allows deep water trolling year round for King Salmon which are a spectacular fish for the sport fisherman.  However, the bay also offers Pink Salmon, available from late June to Mid –August,  and Halibut from March to late- September for  experienced sea fisherman with adequate boats or to those that charter a boat for Halibut fishing.

Fishing on the Homer Spit

The Homer Spit is a four and a half mile jut of land shooting out from the southern tip of Homer into the Kachemak Bay.  It is the home of the Homer Boat Harbor as well as the Dudiak Fishing Lagoon, known locally as the “fishing hole”.   The lagoon is stocked by the Trail Lakes Hatchery Facility with Salmon Fry, which are then fed by volunteers.  When the fry get big enough they leave the lagoon for the oceans to live as normal wild Salmon only to return to spawn in a couple of years.   Here Fishing for King and Coho Salmon can be done from the shore and with it constantly being restocked; they have no shortage of fish for the angler that prefers to stay on dry land to catch his share.  The Homer Spit also offers Dolly Varden from mid-May to mid-July. If you like digging, they’ve got clams as well which are available year round.

Halibut Fishing in Homer

Fishing on Bluff Point and the Cook Inlet

Bluff Point is the stretch of beach running along the bottom edge of the Kenai peninsula.  Here you can fish from the shore for Coho or King, though you’ll have better luck with the Coho which like shallower waters during their salt water phase than the King Salmon do.  However, people who fish here usually go out in boats to fish for Halibut.  The further out into Cook Inlet, and the deeper the water, the bigger the Halibut are likely to be as adult halibut are bottom dwellers that live typically in waters at a depth of fifty to two hundred feet.   As with anytime you fish for Halibut, charters are a good idea as bait and tackle are often included, plus having an experienced guide at the wheel of the boat can be invaluable that far out.

Fishing the South Shore including China Poot Bay, Halibut Cove Lagoon, Seldovia Cove and Tutka Bay

The south shore of the Kachemak Bay has many opportunities to fish Salmon both Coho and King and even Sockeye.   If you are looking for Sockeye Salmon, China Poot Bay and Tutka Lagoon are a great place to fish.  China Poot Bay, which is about four miles south of Homer across the Cook Inlet is mostly mud and sand at low tide, but at high tide it fills up with water.  Here the Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association stocks the area with Sockeye Salmon for commercial use.  Those that escape the nets of commercial fishers are available for dip net fishing to the public.  It should be mentioned that only Sockeye Salmon caught her may be retained.  King or Coho Salmon caught here have to be released, so if you catch something other than Sockeye (aka red) salmon here don’t take it out of the water. Just let it go.

As mentioned earlier, another great place for Red Salmon is Tutka Lagoon.  Tutka Lagoon is on the other side of the choked piece of land from China Poot Bay.  This bay is similarly stocked by the Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association.  Here the fishes are stocked for commercial use just like China Poot Bay.  In fact, the sockeye sit in this lagoon before moving out into China Poot Bay.  If you want to angle for your Sockeye, this is the option to choose over China Poot Bay.  Essentially, a barrier waterfall prevents the Sockeye from being able to return to the lake to spawn as there is no spawning ground, so all fish that are not caught by the commercial fishers may be caught by sport fisherman.

However, if you want King Salmon, Halibut Cove Lagoon and Seldovia Bay are great places.  Halibut Cove Lagoon is only accessible by boat during high tide and can be found about 12 miles south east of Homer Spit .  The Lagoon has been stocked by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game with King Salmon for many years now to attract sport fisherman.  The King Salmon run here begins about mid may and continues through July, but peaks around mid-June.   Seldovia Bay is in the other direction from Homer Spit just just at the edge of the mouth of  Kachemak Bay, about twenty miles distance.   This is similarly stocked by the ADF&G with king salmon and has been for nearly over 30 years.   The salmon runs about start in May, peak in June and end in early July.

Geoffrey Deshazer
Alaska Fishing Contributor

Visiting other towns in the Kenai Peninsula and Southcentral Alaska? Here are more places to look for Alaska fishing information on the Kenai Peninsula:
Nikiski, Soldotna, Kenai, Seldovia, Ninilchik, Anchor Point, Kasilof, Sterling, Seward.

Fishing in the Anchorage Area