Fishing is a way of life in Homer and it also brings opportunities for visitors to experience it while surrounded by the town’s magnificent scenery. The rich waters of Kachemak Bay are home to a wide variety of fish and wildlife species, so when you’re casting your line you can also watch for puffins, bald eagles, guillemots, and many other birds. Humpback whales, orca whales, porpoise, sea lions, and harbor seals frequent the bay as well.
This is a true angler’s paradise with Kachemak Bay an important fish and shellfish rearing area. There’s an abundance of halibut, which has led Homer to be called the world’s halibut capital, but it’s also abundant with other fish, including five species of salmon.
If you’re planning to head to the fishing hole in Homer, here’s how to make the most of your day.
What to Know
When fishing is a priority for your Homer trip, there are a few essentials to understand to make the most of your experience.
Types of Fish
Halibut and the five species of salmon found in Kachemak Bay are the stars of the show, but you can also catch rockfish and lingcod.
Time of Year
If you’re hoping to catch halibut, the most productive period is between May and September, although the season runs all the way from February through December. With many halibut migrating out of the area in the winter to spawn, the colder months of the year aren’t the best time to come.
May through September are also optimal for salmon and the other fish species. Prominent king runs are from May through mid-August while excellent rockfish angling can be enjoyed through October. The lingcod season is in July and August.
While summer brings the best weather to Homer, it can change quickly with days varying from sunny and a warm 70 degrees to rainy and windy 45-degree days. That makes it key to dress in layers that can be peeled off when the sun makes an appearance and put back on when it gets chilly and wet.
Synthetic materials are highly preferable to cotton as they don’t hold water, are designed to breathe, and dry quickly. You’ll want a rain jacket and rain pants to avoid being wet and uncomfortable.
A billed hat, gloves, and polarized sunglasses are a must too. Those sunglasses will not only protect your eyes from UV rays but allow you to see into the water and spot fish easier.
A Delightful Itinerary
Early morning is one of the best times to target fish as it won’t be too warm yet, but thankfully there are several great places to get your caffeine fix in Homer before you head to the shore with your gear.
- Coal Town Coffee & Tea: For very early rises, Coal Town is not only the venue that opens the earliest, at 6 a.m., but it’s widely regarded as the best place for coffee in Homer. If you’re in need of a bite, the bagels are often raved about, especially when served with berry cream cheese. It also offers other baked items like muffins and huge chocolate chip cookies for an indulgent sweet treat.
- River Cafe: Open at 6:30 a.m., if you want coffee and breakfast you can grab it here, with favorites like omelets, sourdough hotcakes, and skillets.
- Ano Kissaten Coffee Roasters: A great spot for craft coffees, this coffee shop opens at 7 a.m. and is known for its high-end brewing and presentation. You can also pick up something to eat, with breakfast burritos and baked goods, including gluten-free items, all with a focus on organic ingredients.
Homer Fishing Hole Tips
Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon is locally known as “The Homer Fishing Hole.” It sits along the Homer Spit and was named for a former state biologist. His goal was to create a fishery that was accessible to all ages of anglers and in 1990, the lagoon he gave birth to was named the “Best Sport Fish Enhancement Project in the Nation.”
A terminal fishery, the stocked salmon smolt leave the area to mature out in open water before returning. They search the lagoon for a spawning stream, allowing anglers a great opportunity for a catch.
To make the most of your time at the lagoon, consider the following.
- To get there, travel three miles from the base of the Homer Spit along Homer Spit Road. The lagoon is just northwest of the Homer Small Boat Harbor.
- Chinook salmon are here from mid-May through early July while Coho arrive in mid-July and stick around through mid-August. Along the outer beach, you can catch Dolly Varden between mid-June and mid-July.
- The most successful fishing is in the morning or evening an hour or so on either side of the high tide, with the very best opportunity when water is flowing into the lagoon. Check tide tables and plan accordingly.
- Casting lures like spinners and spoons, as well as bobber setups with herring or cured eggs, and weighted bet lines are all ideal.
Have a Picnic Lunch
If you want to enjoy hours of fishing at The Homer Fishing Hole, you’ll need something to eat. What many anglers like to do is pick up a packed lunch at the world-famous Two Sisters Bakery the evening before. Everything is made from scratch, including delicious focaccia sandwiches and quiche.
Head Home to a Cozy Bed
Ordering at The Chart Room makes even more sense if you stay at Land’s End Resort as it’s right on-site. And, even better, after that amazing day of fishing, you’ll be able to head home to a cozy bed in accommodation that ranges from beachfront rooms to cabins.
Plus, the friendly staff will treat you like family and are happy to provide insider tips that make for an even more unforgettable experience.