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Alaska fishing: Homer & Lower Cook Inlet area

Alaska salmon fishing, Alaska halibut fishing, Alaska fishing, king salmon, silver salmon, halibut, Pacific halibut, rockfish, lingcod, Homer, Kachemak Bay, Deep Creek, Ninilchik, Kasilof, Kamishak Bay, Cook Inlet, Lower Cook Inlet, razor clams, crabs, charters, charter boats, deep sea,Homer sport fishing areaListen to a RealAudio™ interview (7:49) with Alaska Department of Fish and Game sport fish biologist Nicky Szarzi (907/235-8191) for additional information about Alaska fishing in the Homer / Lower Cook Inlet area.


Species of primary saltwater angling interest in the Homer/Lower Cook Inlet area include king salmon, coho salmon, and pink salmon. Groundfish anglers seek include halibut, rockfish, ling cod, tanner crab, dungeness crab, and razor clam. In fresh water, anglers pursue Dolly Varden, rainbow trout, and steelhead.


Alaska's Homer/Lower Cook Inlet looks on the map like a crack in the surface, and that is what it is, more or less. On the west side of the Inlet the land is hilly or mountainous; on the east rises the Kenai Peninsula like a broad plateau. To the south of Kachemak bay, an eastern extension of Cook Inlet, the land rises to beautiful glaciated mountains. Cook Inlet is wide and can be rough. The waters are somewhat silty during the summer months with glacial outwash. Kachemak Bay is somewhat more sheltered but should also be boated with caution.

A day's catch of small halibutTransportation

Not particularly huge, the "chicken" halibut
caught by these anglers, but tasty
nonetheless.  Photo by David Johnson

Homer is served by regular commuter flights from Anchorage. It is also connected to Anchorage by road. The Alaska Marine Highway connects the community to Kodiak, Seward, and Prince William Sound communities. Transportation to the Kamishak Bay area on the west side of Cook Inlet is normally by float plane, although some larger boats may make the trip.


Planning Pointers

Angling in Homer is big business. The area can be easily reached, has plenty of accommodations, and offers the finest in halibut chartering. If you hope to fish and stay in this area, pre-planning and reservations are essential.

Due to the popularity of the Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby, Homer draws thousands of visitors. The derby is the state’s richest and longest, and takes place from May until the end of September. We recommend preplanning and reserving your accommodations way ahead of time.

The same advice goes in arranging fishing charters. Due to predictable tidal changes, some days have better tides in which to fish. These opportunities are popular and sell out early. Again, preplanning and reserving a seat on the boat can improve your odds of fishing the better tides. Ask your skipper about optimum tides and use his recommendations in bookings.

Our best advice is simple. Use the information provided here, visit our sponsors, and start the entire process the moment Homer becomes the community of your choice. You can find comprehensive information about Homer fishing charters in our directory and accommodations on the Homer Chamber of Commerce website.

And don’t forget Homer’s most popular “ace in the hole”. Engineers dug a small lake with a trench to the sea years ago right out on the Homer Spit. As the tide comes in the trench fills with water and dumps fresh seawater and salmon into the lake. Known as the Fishing Hole, this popular spot offers the angler a park and fishing opportunity for kings and silvers. It is a popular spot for parents to take their children to fish. It is easily accessible and wide open for parents to teach or keep an eye on their children.  Fishing does not get any easier!

Best saltwater fishing times in the Homer area (ADF&G data)




King salmon

January through December

May through August

Coho salmon

June through October

July and August

Pink salmon

July through September

July and August


January through October

May through October

Dolly Varden

May through September

July and August


year round

May through August


July through December

July and August

Best freshwater fishing times in the Homer area (ADF&G data)




King salmon

May through September

June and July

Pink salmon

July through September


Chum salmon

June through September


Coho salmon

July through November


Dolly Varden

year round

June and July


Click for Homer, Alaska Forecast

The weather in Kachemak Bay can be fairly unpredictable, so always be prepared for rain or shine (especially rain and cool temperatures). Layering of clothing is recommended and it's a must to bring your rain gear (pants and jacket).  Waterproof footgear with good traction is essential. Also, bring your gloves and a warm hat!


Current Homer fishing report from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (updated regularly during the summer months) 

Homer Fishing Report

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Area Descriptions for Southcentral Alaska

Anchorage fishing
Cordova fishing
Homer fishing

Kenai fishing
Kodiak fishing
Matanuska/Susitna/West Cook Inlet fishing
Prince William Sound fishing
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Upper Copper / Upper Susitna area fishing
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Area Descriptions for other regions of the state

Arctic, Yukon and Kuskokwim

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Boating areas, Southeast Alaska fishing areas, southcentral Alaska fishing areas 

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