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Tips for fishing Anchorage’s Ship Creek

By Tony Weaver 3:11 PM May 30, 2014

Alaska’s most popular fishery – Ship Creek – is the answer for anyone who fishes. It’s conveniently located in downtown Anchorage, making access easy.

Park at the dam, wayside at tidewater or the paid parking lot across from the Bait Shack.

With last winter’s low snowpack Ship Creek is running low and clear this year, meaning the water conditions couldn’t be better for seeing and spotting fish. With this year’s atypical low snowpack we might see the king run stalled and concentrated towards tidewater a little longer than usual.

The basic gear setup for effectively fishing Ship Creek is to use a simple plunking rig.

A plunking rig setup is basically a Spin-n-glo, pyramid sinker, in-slider with clip; double bait hooks 5/0 and 4/0 with salmon eggs.  Phosphorescent Spin’n-Glo’s for off -colored water or water over 10 feet (during high tides) and subtle colors for clear water.

With the close proximity to other anglers on the creek you want the position of your bait to stay put so you don’t foul other angler’s lines. Pyramid sinkers work well when fishing a stationary bait. They do not roll like oval sinkers.  A two to three ounce sinker is a good start.

You can also use Vibrax lures in a size 5 for kings or size 3 for silvers. Be sure to use phosphorescent colors for off colored water and metallic finishes for clear water conditions. Cast pause, let the blades work in the current and swing and then reel back. An occasional rod lift will dance the spinners in the water and will trigger bites

Some angler use floats, which offer drag-free presentations with bait or jigs. Floats work best on the high tide. During the silver season one can walk the creek and cover large portions of water putting bait in front of more fish.

One last tip – I cover all cork handles on my rods with Cork Seal a water-soluble brush on solution that will keep cork clean, dirt and dye free. This product is available from mudhole.com and other retailers that carry rod-building equipment.

Bring a pair of surgical gloves for keeping your hands dye and chemical free, cured eggs are hard on the hands.

Finally, I like to bring a bucket of fresh water to clean my gear at the truck. Cook Inlet Mud gets everywhere and having a source to clean your gear after fishing keeps the boots, waders, shoes and truck clean.

-Tony Weaver

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