Homer, Alaska, is "at the end of the road" on the western side of the Kenai Peninsula. Homer is a mid-size city by Alaska standards and is home to a robust commercial and sport fishing industry. Halibut, black cod and five different species of salmon are found in the waters surrounding Homer. Before fishing these waters make sure you have a valid Alaska fishing license.
Halibut and Gear
Kachemak Bay and Lower Cook Inlet are full of halibut. Because of the large size of this bottom dweller heavy gear is recommended, according to the Homer visitor's website. Use a heavyweight baited hook or artificial lure thrown overboard to sink to and jig just above the ocean floor. In addition, your line should be a minimum 80-pound-test. Use a set of two three-way swivels attached to a wire leader and sinker. Because halibut tend to flap and thrash once hooked and landed in the boat you should be prepared with a gaff.
Salmon Fishing and Gear
Salmon fishing seems as if it's everywhere to be found in and around Homer. Landlocked anglers can gain access to the best fishing from the Homer Spit. If you are planning to troll for salmon, try artificial divers or herring attached to flashers. If you choose rather to go cast-fishing for these prizes, bring shiny spoons or spinner lures or weighted baits. There is a dip-net fishery in July for Alaskans. If planning to dip-net, bring a dip-net pole that is a minimum of 10 feet long.
Due to the weather extremes of coastal Alaska you need to have gear appropriate for changing meteorological conditions. Bring extra layers of non-cotton clothing, and heavy-duty rain gear such as calf-length rubber boots, known as "Xtra-Tuffs" to Alaskans. Polarized sunglasses, gloves and a hat with a visor help prevent eye fatigue and glare off the water or from glaciers. If you are fishing from shore or in remote areas bring bear spray and be trained in its proper use. A GPS unit or map and compass are a necessity for fishing in remote locales, which in Alaska can be as little as one mile from the village.
Article Written By Eric Cedric
A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.