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While the rest of the nation endures the ravages of winter in the form of severe rain, snow, and cold for those of us living here in Alaska we might as well call this our second summer -- with no bugs! Temperatures in Southcentral and other areas of the state are seeing the apparent effects of an El Niņo year as above freezing weather is bringing great conditions for still getting out to enjoy our fishing opportunities. Fortunately there has been enough cold snaps to put about 6 to 8 inches of ice on Peninsula lakes and a foot or more on the lakes in the Matsu Valley for those who enjoy the hardwater fishing winter provides. Wayne Mize of Sterling shows off a nice hefty rainbow trout taken last weekend from a lake in the Swanson River road area. But for those who are still hungry for fresh salmon, Homer is providing nonstop action on Winter feeder kings with limits the norm and very mild weather and water conditions to go along with the action. Allan Hornberger from Moose Pass poses with a beautiful winter king salmon in the mid 30 pound range while out on a trip December 15th with Captain Shane Blakely who runs DRIFTWOOD CHARTERS. The guys ended up with five kings plus a chicken halibut and a couple of cod and rockfish as unexpected but welcome "guests" for the fish box. Captain Shane runs his charters year round, fishing every month of the year unless the harbor freezes over in Homer. But that never lasts long and he is frequently the first boat back in the water and tracking down more king salmon. The winter limits are two kings per day and they are not recorded on the license from October 1st thru March 31st each winter.

In my assessment Alaska's Sockeye Salmon is the #1 rated fish in North America's freshwaters. I even go so far as to say its a World Class fish and deserving of that title even ahead of our King salmon. Pound for pound there is no other fish that I have encountered that is so powerful, so acrobatic, and so determined to beat you than a red. It is by far what most Alaskans wait all year for and what the majority of our visiting anglers target to fill their fish boxes for the ride back home. It is the staple of Southcentral anglers.

Because there are thousands of visiting newbies as well as a number of Alaskan anglers who are relatively inexperienced at catching sockeye salmon legally, I have put together some guiding information as well as the recipe for tying up the Kenai Krill Killer sockeye fly. You may prefer a plain old coho fly or a yarn fly but this pattern and its unique fishing properties will result in far fewer foul hooked fish and you will still put just as many on the stringer legally. For those who are expert sockeye anglers that have no trouble getting your fish you can pass on this article and get out there fishing. The reds are pumping into the Kasilof and Kenai rivers as I write this today.

RECIPE FOR SUCCESS - The Kenai Krill Killer

Watch a great video on how to clean Alaska razor clams dug at Clam Gulch on the Kenai Peninsula.

Every other week of each month there are a set of minus tides that provide outdoors lovers an opportunity for some good fun and exercise. And oh, some excellent eating too. So if you had your fill of fishing and want to pursue some other Alaskan game, there are plenty of razor clams waiting for the summer diggers. And to make the process of cleaning your clams an enjoyable activity I've whipped together a quickie clam cleaning video that will warm the hearts of every digger that has been doing it THE HARD WAY all these years. The video will open in a new window. CLICK HERE or on the photo above to activate the clip. PLEASE DRIVE SAFE~! -KK-
IPHC Rules regarding Filleting Of Halibut at Sea

Know the proper way to fillet your halibut at sea in Alaska's ocean waters of the Kenai Peninsula and Prince William Sound.

ANCHORAGE -- Under federal rules that are in effect now, a halibut may not be cut into more than two ventral (bottom side) pieces, two dorsal (top side) pieces and two cheeks, all with the skin on. Anglers are allowed to consume halibut while at sea after filleting. This new rule applies statewide.

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