KENAI, Alaska — Last week in the Channel 2 Fishing Report, we came up snake-eyes in our search for silver salmon out of Seward. But in this week's report, the stench of that skunk is a thing of the past as we strike silver early and often on the Kenai River.
In September on the Kenai the king season is over and the temperatures are cooling -- but the silver salmon fishing is just heating up.
“It's been great since Aug. 1, we've been getting limits or almost limits every day,” said Kenai River guide Jimmie Jack.
Jack knows what he's talking about. A longtime guide, he parks us just off the bank and sets us up with sardine-wrapped Kwikfish lures.
“We're just sitting on anchor, just right against the bank, backtrolling -- well, not backtrolling, but we're dragging plugs into the water and just sitting there right in their path,” Jack said. “They're going to run into them, and we don't need to go anywhere because they're coming to us.”
And they come to us quickly, our efforts almost immediately netting us a fish toward our daily bag limit -- which just increased to three fish per day on the Kenai Sept. 1.
“The limit's three now, starting today. In August we're two, so now we're limit of three starting today -- so hopefully we'll see if we can find 12,” Jack said.
It’s an ambitious goal, but certainly doable. As the day unfolds, I eventually catch my second and third fish.
“OK, Carp, so you got the film: you limited out,” said my photographer, Eric Sowl.
“I limited out -- can we go home now?” I asked.
Not hardly, not with the fishing this good. In addition to Eric and I, Jack's clients include Rick and Andy Barron, a father and son visiting from Georgia -- and they've never caught an Alaska salmon. But it’s a problem quickly solved.
Another benefit of September silvers on the Kenai: they tend to be large fish.
“You know, these things gain a pound a week out in the ocean, so every week that you don't go into September they're getting bigger,” Jack said. “That's good -- we start seeing some 15, 16-pounders.”
If a trip down to the Kenai strikes your fancy, here’s a few pointers to remember: