Klamath Closed to the Take of Adult Kings

Eureka resident Tia Hauan holds a jack salmon taken on the lower Klamath earlier in the season. The main stem Klamath will close to the take of adults after Oct. 5, but you can still harvest two jacks per day. Photo courtesy of Alan Borges/Alan’s Guide Service

If you’re looking to harvest an adult Chinook salmon in the Klamath basin, the Trinity River will be your only option as of Thursday. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife determined last Friday that the recreational fall-run Chinook salmon catch will have met the Upper Klamath River adult fall-run Chinook salmon quota (of 360) below Iron Gate Dam for the 2022 season as of 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 5.

This triggers the closure of the adult fall-run Chinook salmon fishery on the main stem of the Klamath River from 3,500 feet downstream of the Iron Gate Dam to the State Route 96 bridge at Weitchpec. The adult fall-run Chinook salmon fishery on the lower Klamath River, from the estuary to the State Route 96 bridge at Weitchpec, closed Sept. 5. The spit fishery at the mouth of the Klamath also closed Sept. 5 and will remain closed to all fishing for the rest of the year.

Except within 100 yards of the mouth (spit area), the main stem of the Klamath River will remain open for the harvest of salmon (jacks) less than or equal to 23 inches. All adult Chinook salmon caught must be immediately released and reported on an angler’s report card. The daily bag limit remains two jacks per day.

Both the upper and lower Trinity River sections remain open to the harvest of adult fall-run Chinook salmon. The daily bag limit on the Trinity River is two fall-run Chinook salmon with no more than one adult greater than 23 inches.

Anglers may monitor the quota status of open and closed sections of the Klamath and Trinity rivers by calling California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s fishing information hotline at (800)564-6479.

Dungeness crab testing underway
Domoic acid testing in Dungeness crabs is underway on the California coast. To date, samples from Trinidad and Half Moon Bay/San Francisco have been tested at least once. Neither of these ports tested crabs that exceed the action level of 30 parts per million. For more information, visit https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CEH/DFDCS/CDPH%20Document%20Library/FDB/FoodSafetyProgram/DomoicAcid/CrabDAResultsJulytoSeptember302022.pdf

The Oceans:
Eureka
With calm seas in the forecast for Tuesday, a small fleet of boats ran southwest in search of some late-season tuna action. Capt. Tony Sepulveda of Shellback Sport Fishing was one of the boats that set a south, southwest course. “At about 38 miles from the entrance we found 61 degree water on the northern flank of the Mendocino Ridge and started tacking west along the structure,” said Sepulveda. “There were good signs of bait over a big area with consistent jig stops on as many as four hookups at a time. We ended our day with 21 big-grade albacore between 20 and 36 pounds on a flat ocean. We also found a spot where 60- to 120-pound bluefin put on a great show, crashing bait within casting distance of the boat. But as anyone who’s spent time chasing bluefin knows, seeing and catching are very different things.” Most of the other boats landed between six and 10 fish, but they were big ones ranging from 25 to 38 pounds.

Shelter Cove
According to Jake Mitchell of Sea Hawk Sport Fishing, the tuna action slowed down last week. He said, “The warm water is still close and there seems to be fish around. It’s been tough to get the fish to bite, which is typical for this time of the year. The rockfish bite is still good, and limits have been coming pretty easily.”

Brookings
According to Andy Martin of Brookings Fishing Charters, lingcod fishing is fair out of Brookings. “Halibut fishing is good on calm weather days, said Martin. “Even though the quota for the Southern Oregon Coast has been met, ODFW has transferred unused quota from the central Oregon Coast to the Brookings and Gold Beach area, allowing halibut season to continue through Oct. 31.”

North Coast river closures
Currently, all North Coast rivers subjected to low flow fishing closures, including the Eel, Mad, Redwood Creek, Smith and Van Duzen are closed. Sections of rivers that are open include the main stem Smith River from its mouth to the mouth of Rowdy Creek. New in 2022, a low-flow angling restriction was added to the section of the Eel River from the mouth to Fulmor Road at its paved junction with the south bank of the Eel River, Sept. 1 through April 30.
The Mad River from the mouth to 200 yards upstream is closed until Jan. 1 2023. The Department of Fish and Game will make the information available to the public no later than 1 p.m. each Monday, Wednesday and Friday as to whether any river will be closed to fishing. The rivers can be opened up at any time. The low flow closure hotline for North Coast rivers is (707) 822-3164. For more information, visit https://fishingthenorthcoast.com/2021/09/22/2021-2022-low-flow-information-for-north-coast-rivers/

The Rivers:
Lower Klamath
Fishing has gotten a little tougher on the lower Klamath as the run is winding down. There are some kings still trickling in and some steelhead showed up along with some coho. The late-run kings should be making their way into the river soon, especially if we see some rain. Boat pressure has been light. The daily bag limit is two jack Chinook 23-inches or less and two hatchery steelhead.

Chetco estuary
“After a week of good fishing in the Chetco estuary, salmon fishing slowed down over the weekend before the action picked up again on Monday,” said Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing “Lots of hatchery kings and wild kings so far this season. Anglers may keep one adult wild king a day on the Chetco and two per season. The daily limit is two adult kings a day, but only one wild. A few salmon are being caught in the tidewater on bobbers and sand shrimp, but the best action has been trolling anchovies along the jetties. Salmon also are biting on the Rogue Bay, with a mix of wild kings and hatchery coho.”

Kenny Priest operates Fishing the North Coast, a fishing guide service out of Humboldt specializing in salmon and steelhead. Find it on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and fishingthenorthcoast.com. For up-to-date fishing reports and North Coast river information, email kenny@fishingthenorthcoast.com

2022/2023 low flow information for North Coast rivers

Low Flow River Closures begin Sept. 1 and run through April 30, 2023
North Coast rivers that are regulated by low flow closures, including the Eel River, Mad River, Mattole River, Redwood Creek, Smith River and Van Duzen River will begin angling restrictions on September 1st, and run through April 30th 2023. The Department of Fish and Game will make the information available to the public by a telephone recorded message updated, as necessary, no later than 1 p.m. each Monday, Wednesday and Friday as to whether any stream will be closed to fishing. The rivers can be opened up at anytime. Rivers will not automatically open to fishing once minimum flows are reached. The low flow closure hotline for North Coast rivers is (707) 822-3164. NOTE: The main stem Eel from the South Fork to Cape Horn Dam and the Mattole River will be closed until January 1, 2022.

Section of river that is open to fishing is the main stem Smith River from the mouth of Rowdy Creek to its mouth.

Areas subject to low flow closures:

Mad River: The main stem Mad River from the Hammond Trail Railroad Trestle to Cowan Creek. Minimum flow: 200 cfs at the gauging station at the Highway 299 bridge. The Mad River from the mouth to 200 yards upstream is closed until Jan. 1, 2023.

The main stem Eel River: New in 2022, a low-flow angling restriction was added to the section of the Eel River from the mouth to Fulmor Road at its paved junction with the south bank of the Eel River, Sept. 1 through April 30. The stream flow will be monitored as follows: Minimum Flow: 350 cubic feet per second at the gauging station near Scotia.

The South Fork of the Eel River: The South Fork of the Eel River downstream from Rattlesnake Creek and the Middle Fork Eel River downstream from the Bar Creek. Minimum flow: 340 cfs at the gauging station at Miranda.

Van Duzen River: The main stem Van Duzen River from its junction with the Eel River to the end of Golden Gate Drive near Bridgeville (approximately 4,000 feet upstream of Little Golden Gate Bridge. Minimum flow: 150 cfs at the gauging station near Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park.

Mattole River: The main stem of the Mattole River from the mouth to Honeydew Creek. Minimum flow: 320 cfs at the gauging station at Petrolia.

Redwood Creek: The main stem of Redwood Creek from the mouth to its confluence with Bond Creek. Minimum flow: 300 cfs at the gauging station near the Highway 101 bridge.

Smith River: The main stem Smith River from the mouth of Rowdy Creek to its confluence with Patrick Creek; the South Fork Smith River from the mouth upstream approximately 1000 ft to the County Road (George Tyron) bridge and Craigs Creek to its confluence with Jones Creek; and the North Fork Smith River from the mouth to its confluence with Stony Creek. Minimum flow: 600 cfs at the Jedediah Smith State Park gauging station.

Chetco Estuary Pumping Out Big Kings

Brody Curry, of Grants Pass, Oregon, holds a hatchery king caught at the mouth of the Chetco with guide Michael McGahan of Brookings Fishing Charters. Photo courtesy of Brookings Fishing Charters

If you’re looking to catch big, ocean-bright kings, you’ll want to keep an eye on the Chetco estuary. Salmon have been staging in the tidewater since the beginning of September and they’ll be there until rain allows them to make their way upriver. And according to Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing, the season at the mouth of the Chetco is now in full swing. “With an above-average return so far this season, the estuary has been crowded, as word has gotten out about the good fishing,” said Martin. “There is no ocean ‘bubble’ season this year, meaning all fishing must take place from the trips of the jetties inward. Trolling 360 flashers with spinner blades or anchovies has been effective this season as the technique catches on for bay trolling throughout the Oregon Coast. Trolling plug-cut herring or threaded anchovies without flashers also is working. The last two hours of the incoming tide and first half of the outgoing tide has produced the best fishing.”

The daily bag limit for salmon on the Chetco is two adult fish per day, no more than one adult wild Chinook. Anglers may harvest adult hatchery Chinook until the daily bag limit has been met. Once the adult daily limit is harvested, anglers cannot continue to fish for jack salmon. Gear restrictions are in effect upstream from river mile 2.2 until Nov. 4. For additional Chetco regulations, visit eregulations.com/oregon/fishing/southwest-zone.

Over on the Smith River, the tidewater fishing hasn’t been as good, but there are some fish being caught. Most of the fish are being caught by bank anglers tossing Kastmasters and Cleos. The best bite has been an hour before the top of the tide and then a few hours on the outgoing. The Smith River is currently closed to fishing above the mouth of Rowdy Creek due to low flows.

Weekend marine forecast
Winds will begin to decrease Friday and the ocean looks to be plenty fishable over the weekend. As of Wednesday afternoon, Friday’s forecast is calling for winds out of the north 5 to 10 knots with northwest waves 5 feet at eight seconds. Saturday, winds will be out of the southwest 5 to 10 knots with northwest waves 3 feet at eight seconds and northwest 4 feet at 13 seconds. Sunday looks even better with winds coming from the northwest up to 5 knots and northwest waves 5 feet at 12. These conditions can and will change by the weekend. For an up-to-date weather forecast, visit www.weather.gov/eureka/ or www.windy.com. You can also call the National Weather Service at 443-7062 or the office on Woodley Island at 443-6484.

Upper Klamath, Trinity salmon quota update 
The upper Klamath and Trinity adult quota closure dates are not yet set, according to Dan Troxel, an environmental scientist with CDFW’s Klamath River Project. “Typically, the quotas are based off harvest timing, meaning a set number of days following the closure of the adult Chinook salmon fishery on the lower Klamath,” said Troxel. “As of now, the upper Klamath will allow for adult harvest likely into the first week of October. As for the upper Trinity, we like to see what’s happening at Junction City and Willow Creek weirs to better inform that decision, but will likely occur mid to late October. Additionally, the Lower Trinity sector is partly informed by the recreational creel survey conducted by Hoopa Valley Tribal Fisheries; at this point harvest remains fairly low. Please keep an eye out for department press releases in the coming days and weeks.” 

Low flow fishing closures
Currently, all North Coast rivers subjected to low flow fishing closures, including the Eel, Mad, Redwood Creek, Smith and Van Duzen are closed. Sections of rivers that are open include the main stem Smith River from the mouth of Rowdy Creek to its mouth. New in 2022, a low-flow angling restriction was added to the section of the Eel River from the mouth to Fulmor Road at its paved junction with the south bank of the Eel River from Sept. 1 through April 30.

The Mad River from the mouth to 200 yards upstream is closed until Jan. 1 2023. The Department of Fish and Game will make the information available to the public no later than 1 p.m. each Monday, Wednesday and Friday as to whether any river will be closed to fishing. The rivers can be opened up at any time. The low flow closure hotline for North Coast rivers is (707) 822-3164.

The Oceans:
Eureka
Rock fishing at Cape Mendocino was excellent over the weekend, according to Tim Klassen of Reel Steel Sport Fishing. “There’s lots of variety, and the black rockfish bite is as good as I’ve seen,” said Klassen. “There’s plenty of vermilions, canaries and yellowtails, as well. The lingcod bite has been good, too. We’ve been catching them up to 20 pounds, but the average is about 6 to 12 pounds. Ocean conditions looked good Tuesday and a few boats were headed south off Gorda roughly 35 miles for tuna. It was a one-day window before the wind picks back up.”

Shelter Cove
According to Jake Mitchell of Sea Hawk Sport Fishing, the tuna action has been excellent for quite a few days. He said, “We’ve been getting them 15 to 20 miles from the Cove. We’re averaging right around 25 per day and they’re a really good grade. Our biggest this week was 44-pounds. It looks like Tuesday may be the last day for a while. The wind is forecast to pick up Tuesday night, we’ll have to see what happens to the water after that.”

Hunter Mott, of Redway, landed this monster albacore tuna last week while fishing out of Shelter Cove with Sea Hawk Sport Fishing. Photo courtesy of Jake Mitchell/Sea Hawk Sport Fishing

Crescent City
According to Britt Carson of Crescent City’s Englund Marine, a few boats were chasing tuna Tuesday. “The warm water pushed out a little, it was about 50 miles,” said Carson. “Late last week the boats did really well around 40 miles out. Hopefully the water will stick around after the wind blows for the next few days. Other than tuna, the rockfish and lingcod bite continue to be wide-open.”

Brookings
Lingcod and rockfish action is fair out of Brookings reports Andy Martin of Brookings Fishing Charters. He said, “Pacific halibut season remains open, and fishing has been good on calm weather days. Sport crabbing is slow.”

The Rivers:
Lower Klamath
Fresh kings continue to move into the lower Klamath. Anglers are catching a mix of jacks and adults from the Glen to Johnson’s. Fishing soft beads in some of the flats has been productive. Anglers can keep two jacks (less than or equal to 23 inches) per day with a possession limit of six. All adult Chinook salmon caught must be immediately released and reported on an angler’s report card. For the week ending Sept. 23, 219 jacks were harvested and 252 adults were released above the U.S. Highway 101 bridge.

Rogue/Coos
According to Martin, the Rogue Bay continues to fish well for salmon, with lots of jacks, a few hatchery coho and some big fall kings still moving in. “The Coos also is fishing well, while coho fishing is hot on the Umpqua River.”

Kenny Priest operates Fishing the North Coast, a fishing guide service out of Humboldt specializing in salmon and steelhead. Find it on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and www.fishingthenorthcoast.com. For up-to-date fishing reports and North Coast river information, email kenny@fishingthenorthcoast.com.

Tuna Water Still Sitting off Eureka

Greg Scoles of Petaluma landed a 38-pound albacore tuna while fishing Tuesday out of Eureka aboard the Shellback. Photo courtesy of Tony Sepulveda/Green Water Fishing Adventures

It’s been one heck of a season for albacore tuna off the North Coast, and it looks like it’s not over yet. In a typical year, you get a few shots at the warm water over the course of the summer and into early fall. But this year has seen opportunities every week since the latter part of July. The first tuna of the season was caught out of Brookings on July 21, and it’s been good fishing at selective ports from Fort Bragg north to Brookings ever since. And the good weather and ocean conditions appear they’ll stick around a little longer. The forecast looks good through Thursday of this week, with the warm water sitting straight west of Eureka 20 to 25 miles. Boats that chased tuna Saturday out of Eureka were rewarded with a wide-open bite 20 miles offshore. If you haven’t got your fill of tuna yet, and I’m willing to bet most have, there’s still time to fill the jars, freezers and smokers.

Weekend marine forecast
Ocean conditions are expected to get a little rougher by the weekend as winds are forecast to increase. As of Thursday, the forecast out 10 nautical miles for Friday is calling for winds out of the north 5 to 15 knots with north waves 4 feet at five seconds. Saturday is calling for winds from the north 5 to 10 knots and north waves 4 feet at six seconds. Sunday the winds will be from the north 5 to 10 knots and north waves 4 feet at seven seconds and northwest 4 feet at 12 seconds. These conditions can and will change by the weekend. For an up-to-date weather forecast, visit www.weather.gov/eureka/ or www.windy.com. You can also call the National Weather Service at 443-7062 or the office on Woodley Island at 443-6484.

A 90-day extension on the table for emergency rockfish regulations
The California Fish and Game Commission approved an emergency rulemaking amending Section 28.55 that went into effect Jan. 6, 2022. The emergency rulemaking reduced the vermilion rockfish sub-bag limit from five to four fish, added a sub-bag limit for quillback rockfish of one fish within the daily 10-fish bag and possession limit, and added a sub-bag limit for copper rockfish of one fish within the daily 10-fish bag and possession limit. The emergency regulations were readopted on June 16. With the emergency adoption set to expire Oct. 3, the Commission sent out a notice on Sept. 15 of a proposed 90-day extension. For more info on the extension, visit www.nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=203540&inline.

The Oceans:
Eureka
According to Tim Klassen of Reel Steel Sport Fishing, the tuna bite fell off quite a bit on Monday. “The ocean was a little sporty and the storm system could have had something to do with the bite,” said Klassen. “The warm water is straight out of the entrance roughly 20-25 miles. Boats that fished the same general area did well on Saturday. Conditions for tuna look good through Thursday. The rockfish bite at the Cape is still excellent. We’re still catching a wide variety and some nice lings as well.”

Shelter Cove
According to Jake Mitchell of Sea Hawk Sport Fishing, it was a quiet weekend at the Cove. “Rock fishing was the only real option, and the bite was good at the Old Man. We got in on some pretty good top water action. The ling cod bite remains on the slow side. We should have a shot at tuna by midweek.”

Crescent City
According to Britt Carson of Crescent City’s Englund Marine, it’s been pretty quiet. “The warm tuna water is still within reach but I think most guys who’ve been out a few times have all they need,” said Carson. “There are a few charters that are planning on running this week if there’s interest. The rockfish bite is still going strong. Both reefs, along with the Sisters area is producing limits of both rockfish and lings.”

Brookings
Pacific halibut action remains good out of Brookings according to Andy Martin of Brookings Fishing Charters. “The limit has been increased to two a day, and six-pack charter boats are getting limits,’ said Martin. “Lingcod and rockfish action also is good. Bottom fish anglers are encountering lots of adult kings, which must be released, but are an indicator a big run is headed to the Chetco and Smith rivers.”

Dave Gilmore of Brookings, Ore., holds a 42-pound king salmon caught Sept. 17 at the mouth of the Chetco River while fishing with Capt. Michael McGahan of Brookings Fishing Charters. He was trolling an anchovy.

The Rivers:
Lower Klamath
Salmon fishing remains good for both jacks and adults on the lower Klamath. Side-drifting soft beads in the riffles and dragging roe through the deeper holes are both producing fish from the Glen to Johnson’s. Fresh fish are coming into the river daily, but the best fishing was above Blue Creek over the weekend. The water remains off color, but the fish do not seem to mind. Anglers can keep two jacks (less than or equal to 23 inches) per day with a possession limit of six.

Chetco/Lower Rogue
The Chetco estuary has heated up as big numbers of kings stage at the mouth of the river, waiting for rain, reports Martin. “Up to two dozen kings a day are being caught. A 42-pounder was weighed in over the weekend. Anchovies and plug-cut herring are both working. The Rogue Bay also is fishing good, with lots of jacks and adults being caught.”

Kenny Priest operates Fishing the North Coast, a fishing guide service out of Humboldt specializing in salmon and steelhead. Find it on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and fishingthenorthcoast.com. For up-to-date fishing reports and North Coast river information, email kenny@fishingthenorthcoast.com

Wide Variety of Tuna Caught off the North Coast

John Neill of Shelter Cove poses with his huge 151-pound Yellowfin tuna he landed Sunday while trolling for albacore at Vizcaino Knoll out of Shelter Cove. Photo courtesy of John Neill

There is some absolutely insane offshore fishing happing right now off the Northern California coast. From Fort Bragg to Crescent City, the albacore bite has been wide-open. But that’s just part of the story. What has everyone talking is the number of exotic, warm water species. Fort Bragg has seen the widest variety. A wide-open albacore bite on Sunday afternoon 30 miles offshore quickly turned into a tuna frenzy as thousands of 100- to 300-pound bluefin, bigeye and yellowfin tuna made an appearance. Several bluefins were hooked, but the under-gunned anglers didn’t stand much of a chance in landing one of those bruisers. However, there were quite a few bigeyes up to 160-pounds landed. Shelter Cove also got in on the exotic action as a 151-pound yellowfin tuna was landed on Sunday. The lucky boat had several others hooked but anglers were unable to coax them to the boat. Simultaneously, a nice size Dorado was landed right next to the boat fighting the yellowfin. You can’t make this stuff up. Closer to home, both Eureka and Crescent City have seen epic albacore action the last few days. Marc Schmidt of Coastline Charters boated 52 albies Sunday fishing 43 southwest of the entrance. The fish are big, too, sporting a solid 20-pound average. Out of Crescent City, one of the charter boats landed 40 albacore on Monday roughly 50 miles offshore. Weather and ocean conditions look favorable for the next few days. I, for one, can’t wait to see what the next warm-water surprise will be.

Weekend marine forecast
Relatively calm conditions will persist through Thursday before the wind increases slightly by the weekend. As of Wednesday, the forecast out 10 nautical miles for Friday is calling for winds out of the north 5 to 10 knots with north swells 3 feet at five seconds and northwest 2 feet at 11 seconds. Saturday’s forecast is calling for north winds 5 to 10 knots and waves from the north 4 feet at four seconds. Sunday the winds will be from the north up to 5 to 10 knots and west swells 5 feet at 10 seconds. These conditions can and will change by the weekend. For an up-to-date weather forecast, visit www.weather.gov/eureka/ or www.windy.com. You can also call the National Weather Service at 443-7062 or the office on Woodley Island at 443-6484.

The Oceans:
Eureka
With the warm water within reach and flat calm seas, the Eureka fleet is focused on tuna. Boats did well Sunday 45 miles southwest from the entrance on big albacore. The weather wasn’t as good Monday, but a few boats made the trip. Supposedly the high boat landed 18. The forecast for the next couple days looks good, and the warm water currently off Cape Mendocino is making its way slowly north towards Eureka.

Shelter Cove
According to Jake Mitchell of Sea Hawk Sport Fishing, boats that ran for tuna on Sunday did well. “Scores ranged from 5 to 20 fish, but they were all a good grade,” said Mitchell. “Most of the effort was around the Vizcaino Knoll. The rockfish bite is still great, but the lings are still tougher to come by. We’ve been spending most of our days at the Ranch House.”

Crescent City
Tuna is the main focus at the moment out of Crescent City. A few boats went out Sunday roughly 36 miles, with the top boat landing 14 big albacore along with a 42-inch Dorado. Monday, one of the local charters put in 40 tuna 50 miles offshore and a private boat had 12, all between 25 and 35 pounds along with a Dorado. According to Britt Carson of Crescent City’s Englund Marine, quite a few boats made the run on Tuesday and are catching all they can handle.

Brian Hermon of Brookings holds a nice albacore landed Tuesday while fishing out of Crescent City with Crescent City Fishing. Photo courtesy of Steve Huber/Crescent City Fishing

Brookings
“Lingcod fishing has improved out of Brookings as fish move back into shallow water,” said Andy Martin of Brookings Fishing Charters. “Albacore are still 50 miles or more offshore. Pacific halibut fishing has been good, but the quota is nearing its limits, with around 5 percent remaining. Rockfish action has been good.”

Low Flow River Closures began Sept. 1
North Coast rivers that are regulated by low flow closures, including the Eel, Mad, Mattole, Redwood Creek, Smith and Van Duzen began angling restrictions on Sept. 1 and will run through April 30 in 2022. Also new in 2022, a low-flow angling restriction was added to the section of the Eel River from the mouth to Fulmor Road at its paved junction with the south bank of the Eel River, Sept. 1 through April 30. When a low-flow closure occurs in this section of the Eel, it will be closed to hook-and-line fishing; other legal fishing methods are allowed during this timeframe. The Department of Fish and Game will make the information available to the public by a telephone recorded message updated, as necessary, no later than 1 p.m. each Monday, Wednesday and Friday as to whether any stream will be closed to fishing. The rivers can be opened up at any time. The low flow closure hotline for North Coast rivers is 707-822-3164. NOTE: The main stem Eel from the South Fork to Cape Horn Dam and the Mattole River will be closed until January 1, 2023.

The Rivers:
Lower Klamath
Flows are still high, roughly 3,500 cubic feet per second on the lower Klamath gauge as of Wednesday. The releases from Iron Gate arrived on the lower river Monday and it quickly muddied up. It was still dirty as of Wednesday, and could take a few days to clear. There is a mix of jacks and adult salmon in the river and a few steelhead as well. As a reminder, the lower river quota has been met and salmon longer than 23 inches must be released. Your adult Chinook releases need to be recorded on your North Coast Salmon Report Card as normal. The bag limit is two salmon less than or equal to 23 inches and two hatchery steelhead.

Chetco/Lower Rogue
A few salmon a day are being caught in the Chetco estuary, with some of the kings topping 30 pounds, reports Martin. “Monday was the best day so far this season, with more than a dozen salmon landed. Anglers targeting bottom fish closer to the harbor also are encountering salmon, a sign bigger numbers of kings are staging just out from the jetties. Salmon fishing also remains good in the Rogue Bay, with a few coho showing up and plenty of kings. Lots of jacks also are showing in the catch.”

Kenny Priest operates Fishing the North Coast, a fishing guide service out of Humboldt specializing in salmon and steelhead. Find it on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and www.fishingthenorthcoast.com. For up-to-date fishing reports and North Coast river information, email kenny@fishingthenorthcoast.com.

Cool Temps and Great Fishing Along the North Coast

Redding resident Brittney had herself quite a day Sunday landing this nice king salmon while fishing out of Eureka. Photo courtesy of Lowell Wallace/Humboldt Charter Company

You couldn’t ask for a better week of weather and fishing leading up to and through the holiday weekend along the North Coast. First off, the weather. While the rest of the state was sweltering and dealing with excessive heat warnings, our weather remained as coastal cool as always. And that was reflected in the number of out-of-town visitors who flocked to the coast to bask in the fog. Secondly, we had some fantastic fishing, both offshore and inland. The ocean salmon season kicked into high gear last Wednesday and ended Monday on a high note. Plenty of limits were reported by anglers fishing out of both Eureka and Trinidad ports, and the fish were a good grade. The tuna water also remained within reach and boats making the 50-mile run from Eureka did well Friday and Saturday. Not to be outdone, the lower Klamath provided some of the best salmon fishing we’ve seen in a long time. It was so good in fact, the catch rate on Friday alone saw 13 percent of the entire lower river adult quota harvested. Cool weather and great fishing, it just doesn’t get much better.

Weekend marine forecast
Gale force gusts are expected for the northern outer waters late night Wednesday through early Friday. There is a potential for localized areas of strong gale force gusts Thursday afternoon and evening in the northern outer waters as well. Steep seas are expected through the end of the work week. As of Wednesday, the forecast out 10 nautical miles for Friday is calling for winds out of the northwest 5 to 10 knots with north swells 6 feet at 10 seconds and northwest five feet at 15 seconds. Winds will be out of the south 5 to 10 knots on Saturday with northwest swells 7 feet at 10. Sunday the winds will be from the south up to 5 knots and northwest swells 4 feet at 10 seconds. These conditions can and will change by the weekend. For an up-to-date weather forecast, visit www.weather.gov/eureka/ or www.windy.com. You can also call the National Weather Service at 443-7062 or the office on Woodley Island at 443-6484.

Adult salmon quota met on the Lower Klamath
In a press release issued Saturday, CDFW projected anglers will have met the Lower Klamath River adult fall Chinook salmon quota below the State Route 96 Bridge near Weitchpec for the 2022 season as of 11:59 p.m. Sept. 5.

This triggers the closure of the adult Chinook salmon fishery on the main stem of the Klamath River from the State Route 96 Bridge to the mouth of the Klamath River.

The fishery at the mouth of the Klamath closed the same day, Monday, Sept. 5, and will remain closed to all fishing for the rest of the calendar year. The rest of the lower main stem of the Klamath River below the Highway 96 Bridge at Weitchpec will remain open to the harvest of jack (two-year old) Chinook salmon (less than or equal to 23 inches). All adult Chinook salmon caught must be immediately released and reported on an angler’s report card.

Anglers may still fish for adult Chinook salmon in other reaches of the Klamath Basin, including the main stem of the Klamath River above Weitchpec and the entire Trinity River until the closure of those fisheries. Anglers may keep track of the Klamath and Trinity river quotas by calling (800) 564-6479. For more information visit, wildlife.ca.gov/News/cdfw-announces-angling-closure-for-lower-klamath-river.

Trinity River water release updates
Flows releases from the Trinity will be reduced from 950 cubic feet per second down to 450 cfs on Friday, Sept. 9. Beginning on Sept, 12, flows will again ramp up, reaching 1,000 cfs by Sept. 15. These releases are meant to keep flows at 2,800 cfs at the Klamath Glen gauge. Flows will remain at this level until approximately September 21st.

The Oceans:
Eureka
According to Tim Klassen of Reel Steel Sport Fishing, the salmon season ended on a high note. “For this time of the year, the fishing was really good,” said Klassen. “Scores were about a fish a rod or better since the bite turned on last week. The tuna water is still sitting northwest of Eureka about 40 miles. Some boats fishing Saturday did really well. The water that was coming up from the south got pushed back down with the north winds. The weather doesn’t look too good the next few days, but we may get another shot on Sunday.”

Shelter Cove
The salmon bite was pretty slow over the weekend reports Jake Mitchell of Sea Hawk Sport Fishing. “It was less than a fish per boat average,” said Mitchell. “The rockfish bite is still excellent; we’re spending most of our time at the Old Man. Lingcod are still hit or miss. We may have another shot at tuna Sunday if the weather holds.”

Crescent City
The weekend saw some really good tuna fishing reports Britt Carson of Crescent City’s Englund Marine. He said, “Boats traveled 30 to 35 miles southwest and did really well. Sounded like they caught all they wanted. The warm water is staying put for now, looks like the next opportunity could be Sunday. The rockfish bite has been great, with easy limits coming from the reefs and the Sisters.”

Arcata resident Alex Eaton landed this albacore tuna 30 miles west of Crescent City last Friday on the Scrimshaw with Marc Schmidt of Coastline Charters. Photo courtesy of Alex Eaton

Brookings
“Tuna were within 12 miles of Brookings over the weekend, giving anglers their closest shot of the season before windy weather returned Monday,” said Andy Martin of Brookings Fishing Charters. “Strong winds will keep most boaters at port through Friday, except for rockfish action just outside of the jetties. A few halibut were also caught last week before the wind arrived. Surfperch are being caught from both jetties. Crabbing remains slow.”

The Rivers:
Lower Klamath
The salmon bite was red-hot over the weekend even with the increase in flows. The river is full of jacks and quite a few adult kings are mixed in. Fish are being caught side-drifting the riffles and dragging bait through the deeper holes. The adult quota was met Sept. 5. The daily bag limit is two Chinook less than or equal to 23 inches. For more information, visit wildlife.ca.gov/News/cdfw-announces-angling-closure-for-lower-klamath-river.

Chetco/Lower Rogue
A handful of king salmon were caught in the Chetco estuary over the weekend, including a 25-pounder on Saturday according to Martin. “A mix of jacks and adults have been caught. Bottom fish anglers also released several kings over the weekend just past the jetties. Salmon fishing has been good on the Rogue Bay, although many of the kings are starting to move upriver. Jacks are now being caught in the Grants Pass area.”

Kenny Priest operates Fishing the North Coast, a fishing guide service out of Humboldt specializing in salmon and steelhead. Find it on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and fishingthenorthcoast.com. For up-to-date fishing reports and North Coast river information, email kenny@fishingthenorthcoast.com

Kings Starting to Show on the Klamath

Mark Aviles, of Arcata, landed a nice king salmon on a recent trip to the Klamath River. Photo courtesy of Micah Woolworth/Lost Coast Sport Fishing

The fall-run of adult king salmon are now making their way through the lower Klamath in pretty decent numbers. Despite the water still being off-color, catch rates improved dramatically upriver of the U.S. Highway 101 bridge last week and over the weekend. Boats fishing from the Glen to Blue Creek are catching a mixed bag of adult kings, jacks and steelhead. With the water color being what it is, the boats drifting roe or soft beads are having a little tougher time while the bank anglers at the Glen tossing beads with long leaders are catching the majority of the quota to date. If the river clears, look for that trend to reverse. All the fish being caught are dime-bright and fresh out of the ocean.

According to Dan Troxel, an environmental scientist on the Klamath River Project, 226 adult salmon have been harvested from the State Route 96 bridge at Weitchpec to the Klamath mouth toward the quota of 1,060 for the week ending Aug. 26. Of those, 49 adults were caught at the spit area of the mouth. As of last Friday, 269 adults remained of the 318-adult sub-quota for the mouth.

Trinity River quotas begin on Sept. 1
Fall regulations for Chinook salmon fishing on the Trinity River will go into effect on Sept. 1 and run through Dec. 31, with a sport quota of 699 adults. The quota will be split almost evenly: 350 adults for the main stem Trinity downstream of the Old Lewiston Bridge to the State Route 299 West bridge at Cedar Flat, and 349 adults for the main stem Trinity downstream of the Denny Road bridge at Hawkins Bar to the confluence with the Klamath. The main stem downstream of the State Route 299 Bridge at Cedar Flat to the Denny Road Bridge in Hawkins Bar is closed to all fishing Sept. 1 through Dec. 31. 

Anglers may keep track of the Klamath and Trinity river quotas by calling 800-564-6479. For Klamath and Trinity fishing regulations, visit nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=169262&inline.

Trinity River water release
Last Friday, Aug. 26, the Bureau of Reclamation increased flows to the Trinity River as a preventative baseflow increase to improve hostile conditions in the lower Klamath River. Releases began to increase from 450 cubic feet per second and reached 1,050 later in the day. Klamath River flows will increase to 2,800 cubic feet per second at the Klamath Glen gauge and will remain at that level until approximately September 21st.

Weekend marine forecast
Stronger northerlies will return for the latter half of the week and into the weekend, with winds in the southern waters reaching around 20 knots by Friday. Out 10 nautical miles north of the cape, Friday’s forecast is calling for north winds 5 to 10 knots and waves out of the west 5 feet at 11 seconds. Saturday is calling for north winds 5 to 10 knots and waves north 5 feet at five seconds. Sunday, winds will be out of the north 10 to 15 knots and waves northwest 5 feet at six seconds and west 3 feet at 14 seconds. These conditions can and will change by the weekend. For an up-to-date weather forecast, visit www.weather.gov/eureka or www.windy.com. You can also call the National Weather Service at 443-7062 or the office on Woodley Island at 443-6484.

Saturday is statewide Free Fishing Day
The last chance of the year to fish for free arrives over the Labor Day holiday weekend. Free Fishing Day is offered by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife Saturday, Sept. 3. While no fishing license is required on free fishing days, all fishing regulations, such as bag and size limits, gear restrictions, report card requirements, fishing hours and stream closures remain in effect. Every angler must have an appropriate report card if they are fishing for steelhead or sturgeon anywhere in the state or salmon in the Smith and Klamath-Trinity river systems. For more information, visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/Licensing/Fishing/Free-Fishing-Days.

Sport salmon season closes Sept. 5
Sept. 5 is the last day of the recreational salmon season from the California/Oregon border to Point Arena, which includes Shelter Cove and Fort Bragg. For more information, visit the ocean salmon webpage at www.wildlife.ca.gov/oceansalmon or call the CDFW Ocean Salmon Regulations Hotline at 707-576-3429 or the National Marine Fisheries Service Ocean Salmon Regulations Hotline at 800-662-9825.

Tuna update
It was another epic day of albacore fishing all along the North Coast Tuesday. Boats fishing out of Fort Bragg found the fish at 30 miles and just about all of them put in over 20 big tuna. Some boats put in more, and there were also a handful of Dorado caught as well as a couple Bluefin. Those who chose to fish out of Eureka and not trailer to Crescent City also found plenty of tuna. They had to travel a little further to find the schools, roughly 45 miles, but it paid off. Scores ranged from 20 to 50 fish per boat, and all were a good grade. Several Eureka boats chose to trailer their boats to Crescent City, which really paid off. There they joined the local fleet and put a pretty good whipping on the tuna. Some boats made it only 20 miles out before they were on the fish while some chose to go a little further. Reportedly, the boats that went out 30 miles did really well with some boats pulling in close to 50 fish. Ocean conditions look like they may cooperate through Friday, so expect more of the same the next few days.

The oceans:
Eureka
This past week was quiet out of Eureka due to rough ocean conditions, but that all changed Tuesday. Boats headed in all directions chasing rockfish, salmon and tuna. According to Tim Klassen of Reel Steel Sport Fishing, there’s warm tuna water both north and south. “The water to the north is starting to break up a little, but the water to our south is looking good, and about 34 miles from the entrance. We’ll have a good idea after Tuesday where the fish are. There hasn’t been much effort on the salmon due to the conditions, but there were some caught last week on the 44-line.” Sept. 5 is the last day of the recreational salmon season from the California/Oregon border to Point Arena.

Trinidad
With the tuna once again within reach, Tony Sepulveda of Shellback Sport Fishing was back on the hunt Tuesday. “We headed about 40 miles northwest of Trinidad and didn’t hit warm water until just shy of the 125 line,” said Sepulveda. “At about 40 miles, we found the fish fairly quickly. It wasn’t wide-open, but just good enough where I felt like it would be foolish to leave. We picked away at em’ steady until we called it at 2 p.m. with 32 big-grade albacore. Wednesday was more of the same for Sepulveda, except he found the fish closer. “We angled north and inside from Trinidad hoping to connect the dots between where the Eureka/Trinidad fleet fished yesterday and where the Crescent City boats did their work. Hit the break 28 miles from Trinidad and at 30 we were in 62-degree water. We were in fish immediately but mostly singles and doubles. Around 10 a.m. they came up big. Jumpers under birds and it was “you spot em, you got em” fishing capped off by a stop that saw nine hanging at once for six guys.  We called it good at noon with 68, all a big grade.”

Shelter Cove
“The salmon finally showed up last Tuesday,” reports Jake Mitchell of Sea Hawk Sport Fishing. He said, “Fishing was pretty good all week, and the fish were a good grade. Most fish were in the 15-to-25-pound class. Since then, it’s been an early morning bite and then it just shuts down. The best fishing has been right at the Coast Guard buoy. Rock fishing was pretty good last week, too, but the lingcod fishing slowed down. Tuesday was kind of slow for the Cove boats who went after tuna. Most had two to 12 fishing about 30 miles offshore. Scores were much better south near Fort Bragg.”

Crescent City
As of Tuesday, the tuna water was sitting about 30 miles off Crescent City reports Britt Carson of Crescent City’s Englund Marine. He said, “We’ve heard some good reports coming in Tuesday morning, sounded like the fishing was good. The rockfish bite is still excellent, but the salmon fishing hasn’t been good at all. The California halibut bite remains slow.”

Brookings
Several boats were icing up Monday in preparation for tuna runs Tuesday and Wednesday reports Andy Martin of Brookings Fishing Charters. “The weather looks good, but the albacore appear to still be around 50 miles off of Brookings,” said Martin. “Pacific halibut remains open in Oregon, and action has been good. The daily limit increases to two on Sept. 1. The rockfish limit, meanwhile, drops to four fish a day beginning Sept. 7, as Oregon is on the verge of reaching its black rockfish quota. A few early kings have been caught by anglers trolling herring and anchovies at the mouth of the Chetco.”

Lower Rogue
According to Martin, the Rogue Bay is still producing big numbers of kings, with a mix of jacks and large adults. “Fish topping 30 pounds are being caught daily. Salmon fishing also has busted open on the Coos River in Coos Bay.”

Kenny Priest operates Fishing the North Coast, a fishing guide service out of Humboldt specializing in salmon and steelhead. Find it on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and www.fishingthenorthcoast.com. For up-to-date fishing reports and North Coast river information, email kenny@fishingthenorthcoast.com

Albacore Go Wide-Open Monday

William Justesen, of Carlotta, holds an Albacore tuna caught Monday while fishing off of Trinidad. Photo courtesy of Eric Justesen/707 Sport Fishing

When the ocean conditions and water temperatures align, there’s always that chance at an epic day of tuna fishing. And Monday was just that day. It was a one-day weather window and those who jumped at the opportunity were rewarded with coolers full of tuna. This wasn’t a day about trying to come back to port with the highest total. This was all about how much space and ice do we have. And do I have enough strength left in me to possibly reel in another albacore. In other words, it was a pretty good day of fishing and the boats caught all they could handle. These types of days don’t come often but when they do, they’re extremely rewarding. Most of the fleet found the tuna just north of Trinidad, roughly 30 miles from Humboldt Bay. Scores ranged from 20 to 60, depending on the size of your boat and the strength of your crew. The fish were a good size, too, with just a few in the high teens and most averaging well over 20 pounds.

Weekend marine forecast
Northerly winds are expected to increase Friday and into the weekend. Friday’s forecast is calling for winds 10 to 15 knots out of the north and northwest waves 7 feet at seven seconds and 2 feet at 10 seconds. Saturday is calling for north winds 15 to 20 knots and waves out of the northwest 9 feet at eight seconds. Sunday’s forecast looks similar, with winds out of the north 10 to 20 knots and waves northwest 8 feet at eight seconds. These conditions can and will change by the weekend. For an up-to-date weather forecast, visit www.weather.gov/eureka/ or www.windy.com. You can also call the National Weather Service at 443-7062 or the office on Woodley Island at 443-6484.

The Oceans:
Eureka
Like the majority of the fleet, Tim Klassen, of Reel Steel Sport Fishing, opted to chase tuna Monday. “We were a little south of the fleet roughly 25 miles from the entrance,” said Klassen. “Water conditions were perfect and the fish were coming fast. Most of the day we could only get one or two rods out without having a fish on. The fish are a really good grade. We only had a few in the high teens and the rest were well over 20 pounds. It sounded like all the boats caught as many as they wanted. There are a few salmon being caught straight out in 180 feet of water and the fish are holding right on the bottom. When conditions allow, the rockfish bite at the Cape is still really good. There’s lots of variety and some nice lings being caught.”

Pat Higgins with a nice Cabezone caught over the weekend at Cape Mendocino. Photo courtesy of Reel Steel Sport Fishing

Trinidad
Curt Wilson, of Wind Rose Charters, reports the rockfish action is cranking right along, with lots of black rockfish coming over the rails. “Between the Head and Patrick’s Point is still producing quality limits of black rockfish,” he said. “We made a couple trips out to Reading Rock and caught a nice variety of rockfish and some big lingcod. A few boats are going straight out and catching a few salmon each day. The fish are right on the bottom. The wind is expected to return later this week and into the weekend.”

With the tuna within striking distance, Tony Sepulveda of Shellback Sport Fishing put away the rockfish gear for the day and headed 27 miles northwest of Trinidad and found the tuna. “It was a flat ocean and conditions were perfect,” said Sepulveda. “We found a defined break, 64 degree water, great chlorophyll and the fish right where satellite images said they should be. The morning bite made me feel like we were well located but they were a touch reluctant. Bites came every few minutes but most were singles or doubles and they were a touch shy, favoring the long lines. We continued to box the area steadily picking away, and about 11 a.m. they came up in force. Lines would just hit the water and three to five rods would go off. Called it good at a touch after noon with 53 in the box.”

Shelter Cove
“Rock fishing was pretty good last week and the lingcod fishing has finally improved a bit,” said Jake Mitchell, of Sea Hawk Sport Fishing. “We’re spending most of our time at the Ranch House and Bear Harbor. The salmon bite is still nonexistent.  I’ve heard of three salmon caught last week. I put in a total of about eight hours this week for salmon and have t even had a scratch. It doesn’t look like we’ll get a weather window for tuna until midweek.”

Crescent City
According to Britt Carson of Crescent City’s Englund Marine, the tuna fishing was wide-open Monday 35 miles south of the harbor. “Boats that ventured out landed all they could handle,” said Carson. “The Sisters and the South Reef continue to provide limits of quality rockfish and lingcod. “The salmon action continues to be slow but, but I did hear of a few caught last week. The California halibut bite remains slow, but it typically picks up around the first of Sept.”

Customers who fished aboard the Dash of Brookings Fishing Charters celebrate their albacore catch Aug. 22. They found big schools of tuna 52 miles out of the harbor. Photo courtesy of Brookings Fishing Charters

Brookings
Salmon season closed Sunday out of Brookings, and Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife fish checkers counted 18 kings reports Andy Martin of Brookings Fishing Charters. “Nearly two dozen boats ventured out for tuna on Monday,” said Martin. “The Brookings Fishing Charters fleet found big numbers of albacore 52 miles out of the harbor. Capt. Mick Thomas put a customer into a 38-pounder. Scores ranges from 10 to 45 fish per boat for private vessels and charters. Lingcod and rockfish action has been good, while Pacific halibut catches also have been strong. The halibut limit increases to two fish a day Sept. 1.”

Thirteen year-old Braedon Simpson landed this nice salmon on a recent trip to the Klamath River. Photo courtesy of Nick Simpson

The Rivers
Lower Klamath
The water color continues to be an issue on the lower Klamath. Some adult kings and jacks were caught over the weekend, despite the water conditions. The salmon are starting to spread out from the Glen to Blue Creek, but the water clarity is definitely hampering the bite.

Fall Quota Update
According to Dan Troxel, an environmental scientist on the Klamath River Project, only 44 adult salmon had been harvested from the State Route 96 bridge at Weitchpec to the Klamath mouth toward the quota of 1,060 for the week ending Aug. 19. Of those, 30 adults were caught at the spit area of the mouth. As of last Friday, 288 adults remained of the 318-adult sub-quota for the mouth. Anglers may monitor the quota status of open and closed sections of the Klamath and Trinity rivers by calling the Klamath information hotline at (800) 564-6479

Lower Rogue
According to Martin, salmon fishing busted wide open on the Rogue Bay again over the weekend, with guides getting one to two kings per rod. “Fishing pressure is heavy, but plenty of fish are held up along the north jetty. Windy weather returns Tuesday afternoon.”

Kenny Priest operates Fishing the North Coast, a fishing guide service out of Humboldt specializing in salmon and steelhead. Find it on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and www.fishingthenorthcoast.com. For up-to-date fishing reports and North Coast river information, email kenny@fishingthenorthcoast.com.

Fall-Run Salmon Quotas Underway on the Klamath

Vic Haskett, of McKinleyville, landed a nice Chinook salmon while fishing the Klamath River estuary last Monday. The fall-run adult salmon quota for the Klamath River basin began Monday, Aug. 15. Photo courtesy of Mike Thall

Fall regulations began Aug. 15 on the Klamath River, triggering the start of the fall salmon quota. The California Fish and Game Commission adopted bag and possession limits for the Klamath Basin based on a quota of 2,119 fall-run adult kings. On the Klamath, the fall season closes Dec. 31. The fall season on the Trinity begins Sept. 1 and closes Dec. 31.

On the Lower Klamath, from the State Route 96 bridge at Weitchpec to the mouth, 1,060 adults will be allowed for sport harvest. The section above the bridge at Weitchpec to 3,500 feet downstream of the Iron Gate Dam will get 360 adults.

The Spit Area (within 100 yards of the channel through the sand spit formed at the Klamath River mouth) will close when 15 percent of the total Klamath River Basin quota is taken downstream of the U.S. Highway 101 bridge. In 2022, 318 adults can be harvested below the U.S. Highway 101 bridge before the closure at the mouth is implemented. The rest of the area below U.S. Highway 101 (the estuary) will remain open to recreational fishing. Important reminder: All legally caught Chinook salmon must be retained while fishing the spit. Once the adult component of the total daily bag limit has been retained, anglers must cease fishing in the spit area.

On the Trinity side, the quota is set at 699 adults. The quota will be split almost evenly: 350 adults for the main stem Trinity downstream of the Old Lewiston Bridge to the State Route 299 West bridge at Cedar Flat, and 349 adults for the main stem Trinity downstream of the Denny Road bridge at Hawkins Bar to the confluence with the Klamath.

The daily bag limit will be two Chinook salmon, no more than one of which may be greater than 23 inches, and a possession limit of six, of which only three may exceed 23 inches. Once these quotas have been met, no Chinook salmon greater than 23 inches in length may be retained (anglers may still retain a limit of Chinook salmon less than 23 inches in length).

Visit www.nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=202686&inline for a complete list of regulations. Anglers may monitor the quota status of open and closed sections of the Klamath and Trinity rivers by calling the Klamath information hotline at 800-564-6479. All anglers on the Trinity and Klamath rivers must have salmon harvest cards in their possession when fishing for salmon.

Weekend marine forecast
Steep, short-period seas are forecast to peak Wednesday and are expected to diminish during the latter portion of the week. Friday’s forecast is calling for north winds 5 to 15 knots and north waves 5 feet at six seconds. Saturday is calling for northwest winds 10 to 15 knots and waves out of the northwest 5 feet at six seconds. Sunday’s forecast is better, with winds out of the northwest up to 5 knots and west waves 3 feet at 10 seconds. These conditions can and will change by the weekend. For an up-to-date weather forecast, visit www.weather.gov/eureka/ or www.windy.com. You can also call the National Weather Service at 443-7062 or the office on Woodley Island at 443-6484.

The Oceans:
Eureka
According to Tim Klassen of Reel Steel Sport Fishing, the tuna bite turned on pretty well last Friday off of Eureka. “Boats didn’t need to go much farther than 20 miles,” said Klassen. “The tuna were in that general area for a while but they were spread out. Friday, for whatever reason, they decided to come up and the boats did well. With all the warm water, the salmon fishing hasn’t been great. Top scores have been a couple per boat. The fish being caught are on the bottom. Hopefully the wind we’re seeing this week will cool the water.”

Trinidad
The rockfish bite out of Trinidad remains excellent according to Curt Wilson of Wind Rose Charters. He said, “They come a little slower when we have minus tides, but overall, the bite is still good. Some days we’re getting a nice variety and others, it’s nothing but black rockfish. The lingcod bite is still going strong too. Fish are being caught from Flat Iron all the way to Sue-Meg (formerly Patrick’s Point). There are some salmon being caught, mostly out in deeper water and the fish are right on the bottom.”

Shelter Cove
Another good week of rock fishing at the Cove reports Jake Mitchell, of Sea Hawk Sport Fishing. “The lingcod bite improved a little bit as well,” said Mitchell. “The salmon bite is still slow. We tried fishing real deep one day and were able to land a couple small kings but that’s been about it. The wind started blowing and things are starting to cool down so hopefully the salmon action will start to improve.”

Crescent City
“Tuna fishing last week was excellent,” said Kevin Hooper of Crescent City’s Englund Marine. “Boats had to travel nearly 50 miles offshore but it was worth it. The wind has picked up this week, but conditions could be right by the weekend. The rockfish bite continues, with easy limits being reported. Most of the boats are doing well at the two reefs as well as the Sisters. The salmon bite is still slow, but I’m not sure how many are putting in the effort. Last week’s minus tides produced some great razor clamming. The next round of good tides arrive next Thursday.”

Brookings
“Tuna fishing busted open out of Brookings last week as the albacore moved within 32 miles of the harbor, and calm weather allowed charters and private boaters to get in on the action,” said Andy Martin of Brookings Fishing Charters. “Most boats returned with 20 to 45 tuna Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Windy weather returned over the weekend. Halibut fishing also was good last week, while salmon action has been slow. A few nice kings were caught Monday by the buoys.”

The Rivers:
Lower Klamath
The water color is finally starting to improve after last Monday’s blowout. It’s not quite green, but it’s improving slightly each day. There’s plenty of steelhead to be had from the Glen up and some fall kings are making their way into the lower river. Fishing should really improve over the next couple weeks. Fall regulations went into effect Monday, Aug. 15. The daily bag limit will be two Chinook, no more than one adult (longer than 23 inches) and the possession limit is six, no more than three adults.

Lower Rogue
Salmon action is fair on the Rogue according to Martin. “Most guides have switched to Pro Troll flashers, short leaders and 3.5 spinner blades. The technique is tricking two to three kings per boat. Warm water has slowed the anchovy bite, with fewer salmon being caught on bait. Crowded conditions also have reduced catch rates. Upwards of 100 boats a day are trolling the bay.”

Kenny Priest operates Fishing the North Coast, a fishing guide service out of Humboldt specializing in salmon and steelhead. Find it on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and www.fishingthenorthcoast.com. For up-to-date fishing reports and North Coast river information, email kenny@fishingthenorthcoast.com

Pacific Halibut Season Closes, Boats Turn to Tuna

Leslie Russo, pictured with husband Joe, of McKinleyville landed this giant Albacore tuna while fishing out of Eureka Wednesday. The fish weighed in at 45 pounds. Photo courtesy of Gary Blasi/Full Throttle Sport Fishing

One of the better Pacific halibut seasons came to a close Sunday with boats catching some nice fish right up until the final buzzer. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife announced Sunday’s closure late last week with the expectation that quota would be exceeded if the season remained open. And I don’t think they were wrong. But as we say goodbye to halibut, we welcome albacore tuna to our decks. The warm water that tuna seek is just a few miles offshore but most boats are looking out in deeper water in hopes of finding large schools. As of Monday, the scores weren’t off the charts but the fish being caught are big. Not many peanuts are being caught — most are in the 20-pound class and quite a few 30-plus-pound tuna are being caught. Boats will have a couple more days to search for tuna with windy conditions predicted to return later in the week.

Weekend marine forecast
Winds slowly increase in speed through the end of the week with moderate breezes across the waters by Friday. Friday’s forecast is calling for north winds 5 to 10 knots and northwest waves 4 feet at eight seconds. Saturday is calling for north winds 5 to 10 knots and waves out of the northwest 4 feet at seven seconds. Sunday gets a little rougher, with winds out of the north 5 to 15 knots and waves northwest 5 feet at six seconds. These conditions can and will change by the weekend. For an up-to-date weather forecast, visit www.weather.gov/eureka/ or www.windy.com. You can also call the National Weather Service at 443-7062 or the office on Woodley Island at 443-6484.

Cooper Sharp, of Lewiston (left), landed a monster 97.5-pound Pacific halibut Sunday while fishing out of Eureka with Eric Justesen (right). The Pacific halibut season came to a close Sunday, August 7. Photo courtesy of Eric Justesen/707 Sport Fishing

The Oceans:
Eureka
According to Tim Klassen of Reel Steel Sport Fishing, the tuna water is within 20 miles of the entrance. “Sunday and Monday, we found fish roughly 18 miles offshore,” said Klassen. “The fish are really scattered, no real big concentrations of fish. Scores were slightly better 35 miles out Monday but still not red-hot. However, the fish being caught are a really good grade with most of the fish being over 20-pounds. The wind is forecast to return Thursday. With all the warm water close to shore, the salmon bite hasn’t been great. Most of the fish are being caught right on the bottom. North of the entrance off the stacks in 100 feet of water has produced some quality keepers.”

Trinidad
“The halibut season ended with a bang; the fishing was really good Sunday,” said Curt Wilson of Wind Rose Charters. “The black rockfish bite has slowed the last few days. We’re still catching nice ones and getting limits but it has slowed a little. Not sure what role the ocean conditions are having on the bite; the water is really clear and calm. The lingcod bite is still good if you put in the effort. There are some nice ones around, too, up to 25-pounds. The salmon bite has been slow. A few were caught on the beach and out deep right on the bottom. A couple have also been caught out near Redding Rock.”

Shelter Cove
It continues to be a pretty dismal year out of Shelter Cove, reports Jake Mitchell, of Sea Hawk Sport Fishing. “Rock fishing has been pretty good but that’s been about the only consistent fishery we’ve had. Salmon fishing has gone from bad to worse and until the water cools off — it probably won’t get any better. We had a decent albacore bite last week, but that has petered out and boats are only getting one to three fish over the last several days. The warm water is only 10 miles out and it’s in every direction. I think we need a good blow for a few days to reshuffle the cards. There was a decent halibut bite Sunday up at Gorda for the last day.”

Crescent City
According to Britt Carson of Crescent City’s Englund Marine, the Sisters and the South Reef continue to provide limits of quality rockfish and lingcod. “The salmon action continues to be slow but we aren’t seeing a whole lot of effort,” said Carson. “That may change now that halibut season is closed. Currently, there isn’t much in the way of tuna water near Crescent City. One boat did run quite a ways south Monday and boated six.”

Ashley Brous set the California state record on August 5th with her amazing Canary rockfish caught out of Crescent City. This record rockfish weighed in at 9 lbs. and was 25″ long.

Brookings
Ocean salmon fishing continues to be mostly a miss with a few kings showing up in the catch reports Andy Martin of Brookings Fishing Charters. “Pacific halibut are biting in 200 feet of water off of Bird Island,” said Martin. “Plenty of quota remains on the Oregon side of the border. Lingcod and rockfish action is good. A few boats went out of tuna on Sunday, and found fish well offshore, 50-plus miles out.”

The Rivers:
Lower Klamath
The entire river blew out Monday due to heavy rain near last year’s fires, sending mud and debris from Happy Camp all the way to the mouth. While upriver of the estuary is dirty, boats trolling for salmon did quite well Monday. Your best bet will be to fish the incoming when the tidal influences push back the dirty water. Upriver will be fishable again by the weekend. Spring-run regulations are in effect through Aug. 14, with a daily bag and possession limit of one salmon of any size. The fall quota will begin next Monday, Aug. 15.

Lower Rogue
According to Martin, the Rogue Bay heated up again over the weekend, but crowded conditions are making fishing tough. “The salmon that are being caught are big, with numerous fish each day over 25 pounds and some topping 30 pounds.”

Kenny Priest operates Fishing the North Coast, a fishing guide service out of Humboldt specializing in salmon and steelhead. Find it on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and www.fishingthenorthcoast.com. For up-to-date fishing reports and North Coast river information, email kenny@fishingthenorthcoast.com.

Changes Coming to Sport Rockfish Regulations in 2023

Brookings Fishing Charters deckhand Eric Howard holds a vermilion and tiger rockfish caught July 30 at the Point St. George Reef Lighthouse near Crescent City. Significant changes are coming in 2023 to California’s rockfish regulations. Photo courtesy of Andy Martin

In response to recent scientific information suggesting some nearshore groundfish species are in decline, significant changes to California’s groundfish sport fishing regulations are expected starting next year, according to a press release issued by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. The upcoming changes were developed by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) to reduce pressure on these stocks, resulting in shorter fishing seasons in nearshore waters, but new opportunities in deeper water.

In 2022, nearshore groundfish fishing season lengths ranged from eight to 10 months, but in 2023, they are expected to shrink to not more than five-and-a-half months in all areas.

Within the 10-fish daily combined rockfish, cabezon and greenling bag limit, the sub-bag limits of one fish each for quillback and copper rockfish, and four fish for vermilion rockfish will continue in 2023. These sub-bag limits have been in effect since January of 2022 and were necessary because new information in 2021 indicated severe declines in the populations of quillback and copper rockfish off California, and recreational vermilion rockfish catch continued to be greater than sustainable harvest limits.

While groundfish fishing seasons will be shorter for nearshore waters and some bag limits are reduced, new opportunities to fish in deeper water beginning in 2023 will allow anglers to target healthy populations of shelf and slope rockfish in deeper waters, like schooling mid-water widow and yellowtail rockfish, or bottom-dwelling blackgill rockfish. Additionally, the sport fishing seasons for some other federally managed groundfish species like sablefish (sometimes called “black cod” or “butterfish”) will be open year-round without depth constraints. Access to these previously closed depths means new experiences for anglers as they explore new habitats, new fishing locations, new target species, and new gear configurations to assemble and deploy.

“Next year is expected to bring a momentous shift in the sport groundfish fishery as all but one of the overfished shelf species that drove management decisions for the better part of the past two decades are now healthy,” said CDFW Environmental Program Manager Marci Yaremko.  “While concerns for quillback and copper rockfish will impact the nearshore fishery in the coming years, there are also a number of new opportunities for anglers, and CDFW looks forward to supporting their development.”

To stay informed of in-season regulatory changes, call the Recreational Groundfish Hotline at (831) 649-2801 or visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/Fishing/Ocean/Regulations/Groundfish-Summary.

Weekend Marine Forecast
Following a breezy mid-week, winds will begin to weaken Friday through the weekend. Friday’s forecast is calling for winds 5 to 10 knots out of the northwest and northwest waves 4 feet at nine seconds and west 5 feet at 14 seconds. Saturday and Sunday are calling for winds up to 5 knots. Saturday waves will be northwest 4 feet at nine seconds while Sunday waves will be from the northwest 3 feet at eight seconds and south 2 feet at 13 seconds These conditions can and will change by the weekend. For an up-to-date weather forecast, visit www.weather.gov/eureka/ or www.windy.com. You can also call the National Weather Service at 443-7062 or the office on Woodley Island at 443-6484.

Donovan Scott from Scottsdale Arizona was all smiles after landing a nice Albacore tuna on Monday while fishing out of Shelter Cove with Jake Mitchell (pictured right) of Sea Hawk Sport Fishing.

Tuna Update
Fort Bragg and Shelter Cove were the hot ports the last couple days. Bragg boats found the tuna as close as 20 miles offshore. Scores ranged from the high teens to the mid-30s. The fish are big, too, with a hefty number of 30-pounders coming over the rails. The cove boats had it better, having to travel only 10 to 12 miles to find the right water and fish. The average score was about 30 per boat and mostly a nice grade of fish. A Dorado was also reportedly caught Monday.

Pacific Halibut quota update
The CDFW has projected 35,778 net pounds of Pacific halibut have been harvested through Aug. 2. In 2022, the Pacific halibut allocation for California is 38,740 pounds. The Pacific halibut fishery will run through Nov. 15 or until the quota is reached, whichever is earlier. To view the latest catch projection information, visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/marine/pacific-halibut#31670772-in-season-tracking.

The Oceans:
Eureka
According to Tim Klassen of Reel Steel Sport Fishing, Monday’s salmon opener was a little on the slow side. “There were a handful of fish caught over a wide area, didn’t sound like anyone found schools of salmon,” said Klassen. “There were a few caught in the Table Bluff area and down at the Eel River canyon, and a few up north. Just no big concentrations of fish. The water has warmed up north of the canyon, that could have something to do with it. We did find some really good sign between False Cape and Centerville on our way back from the Cape and had a couple quick bites, but nothing stuck. The rockfish bite at the Cape is excellent right now, with a wide variety and a really good grade. The Pacific halibut bite is still going strong, with the best bite coming between the 50 and 54 lines in 200 to 220 feet of water.”

Trinidad
“No big schools of salmon were located out of Trinidad on the opener,” said Curt Wilson of Wind Rose Charters. “There were a handful caught but they are definitely scattered. A few were caught south off the beach in 60 to 100 feet of water. The black rockfish bite is still excellent out front, but Sue-Meg (formerly Patrick’s Point) seems to be the best spot at the moment. A bunch of canary rockfish have shown up as well. The ling cod bite has been a bit tougher lately. Pacific halibut has slowed slightly but is still good for the boats putting in some time.”

Shelter Cove
The Cove was the place to be this week for Tuna reports Jake Mitchell of Sea Hawk Sport Fishing. “There was a good bite on Monday straight out 10 to 12 miles. The boats that ran averaged about 30 tuna each. We boated a quick 25 then went rock fishing, which is still really good. Still a few Pacific halibut being caught when conditions allow you to get to Gorda. Salmon fishing is still very slow. We dedicated a whole day to it last Thursday and only ended up with two fish for the day.”

Crescent City
According to Britt Carson of Crescent City’s Englund Marine, Monday’s salmon opener was very slow. “I only heard of a handful of fish caught but it was just one day,” said Carson. “Hopefully they are out there somewhere. The Pacific halibut bite has been on fire this week. We’ve weighed in some big ones in the past few days, including some weighing 70 and 80 pounds. Most of the boats are targeting the halibut south of the South Reef. The rockfish action is steady, with limits coming easily. Lings are a little harder to come by. A few California halibut have been caught this week at South Beach.”

Brookings
Fishing remains decent for Pacific halibut out of Brookings, but slow for salmon reports Andy Martin of Brookings Fishing Charters. “A few nice kings were caught last week, but overall catch rates are poor for salmon,” said Martin. “Lingcod and rockfish action has been good, with limits of both for charter boats. Sport crabbing is decent in the Chetco estuary. Several boats ventured offshore for tuna last week without success.

The Rivers:

Lower Klamath
There doesn’t seem to be a lack of fish milling about the estuary, but the bite has been pretty tough. The water is extremely warm, which is likely one of the factors.  There are a few being caught on the tides daily, it’s just not red-hot. It will likely be this way until we see the first big push of fall salmon enter the river. Spring-run regulations are in effect through Aug. 14, with a daily bag and possession limit of one salmon of any size.

Lower Rogue
According to Martin, salmon fishing has slowed on the Rogue Bay, but expect action to heat up again any time as August is the peak season. “Water temperatures are in the lower 70s near Agness, forcing kings to hold up in the bay. Fishing was good early last week, but the lull in the action over the weekend continued through Monday.”

Kenny Priest operates Fishing the North Coast, a fishing guide service out of Humboldt specializing in salmon and steelhead. Find it on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and www.fishingthenorthcoast.com. For up-to-date fishing reports and North Coast river information, email kenny@fishingthenorthcoast.com