Halibut season opens with a bang

Fishing the North Coast 5_5 photo

Bob Pagliuco of McKinleyville landed this 47-pound Pacific halibut on Tuesday while fishing out of Eureka. Halibut season opened May 1 will run through the 15th before opening again June 1st. Photo courtesy of Marc Schmidt/Coastline Charters

Perch’n on the Peninsula this Saturday

Two days on the water sure doesn’t make a season, but if the halibut fishing is anything remotely close to the level of the past couple days, we’re in for a helluva season. The opener on Sunday was a bust due to weather, but Monday and Tuesday the fishing was spectacular. On Tuesday, Tim Klassen of Reel Steel Sport Fishing had five limits by 10 a.m. — and he wasn’t the only one catching. “The fishing started out really good on Monday too, we got two right off the bat before being blown off the water early. Tuesday was off the hook, with most of the boats fishing straight out of the entrance in roughly 300 feet of water,” Klassen added. The sport crabbings has also been good, both inside the bay and offshore. According to Klassen, his pots have been loaded the all week and easily averaging 25 per trap. With both the salmon and rockfish openers right around the corner, let’s hope they also start with a bang.

Weekend marine forecast
As of Wednesday, the weekends forecast for coastal waters out 10 nautical miles is looking pretty ugly. Saturday’s forecast is for winds out of the north 5 to 15 knots and waves NW 7 feet at 9 seconds and NW 3 feet at 13 seconds. There’s hope for the halibut anglers with Sunday’s forecast. Winds will be out of the north 5 to 15 knots and waves NW 7 feet at 12 seconds. The ocean really starts to lay down on Monday, with similar winds and waves NW 4 feet at 12 seconds. These conditions can and will change. For up-to-date weather forecast, visit http://www.weather.gov/eureka/. You can also call the National Weather Service at (707) 443-7062 or the office on Woodley Island at (707) 443-6484.

Sport crab territory expands, commercial season to follow
As of Monday, the majority of coastline in northern California has been opened to recreational Dungeness crab fishing. These areas comprise all the ocean, bay and estuarine waters south of the Humboldt Bay entrance, including the entrance and the waters of Humboldt Bay, and the area north of the southern boundary of Reading Rock State Marine Conservation Area (near Redwood Creek in Humboldt County) to the California/Oregon border. The area between the northern jetty of the Humboldt Bay entrance and the southern boundary of Reading Rock State Marine Conservation Area remains closed to recreational take of Dungeness crab. The commercial fishery will open in northern California in the same areas just opened to recreational fishing at 12:01 am on Thursday, May 12, after a 64-hour gear-setting period that will commence at 8:01 a.m. on Monday, May 9.

Trinidad boat launch information
As posted this week on the Humboldt Tuna website, the Trinidad boat launch is once again up and running. Boat launch hours for the first Halibut Season (May 1-15) will be 7 a.m. to 3p.m., seven days a week. When the rockfish and salmon seasons open May 15-16, the boat launch will be open from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call 707-677-3625 for more information.

Perch’n on the Peninsula happening Saturday
The Samoa Peninsula Fire District’s 7th annual “Perch’n on the Peninsula” a Surfperch Fishing Tournament and Fish Fry Fundraiser, will return to Samoa this Saturday, May 7.

This fun-filled, family-oriented event, which is hosted at the Peninsula Elementary School, 909 Vance Avenue in Samoa, benefits the Samoa Peninsula Fire District Volunteer Association. The fish fry fundraiser begins at noon and will include Humboldt Bay Oysters and locally harvested ocean fish. The fishing tournament begins at sunrise with the check-in deadline at 2:00 p.m. Prize presentations will begin at 2:30. There will be lots of great raffle prize items, donated by local merchants, available at the fundraiser.

You don’t have to go fishing to join in the fun because the fish fry fundraiser is open to the public. Fish Fry Fundraiser Admission is only $10.00 for Adults and $5.00 for Junior’s, children 6 and under get in free.

Adult Fishing Tournament Entry is $20.00 and Junior Fishing Tournament Entry (Under 16) is only $10.00. The fishing tournament entry includes admission to the fish fry fundraiser and one (1) door prize entry.

Tournament Day Registration is available at the Peninsula Elementary School beginning at 6 a.m. or you can get pre-registered before tournament day online at samoafire.org or at local merchants such as Mad River Bait, Tackle and Guide Service in Arcata, Pacific Outfitters, Englund Marine, or RMI Outdoors in Eureka. Fishing tournament prizes include guided fishing trips donated by Northwind Charters, Patrick’s Point Charters, Jolly Time Charters, and Fishing the North Coast with Kenny Priest. For more information contact Samoa fire at 707-443-9042 or visit samoafire.org to learn more about this event.

Halibut Contest
Don’t forget, Eureka’s Englund Marine will be holding its “BIG FISH” Halibut Contest again this year. The 10th annual event runs from May 1 to October 31, 2016. There is no entry fee and you can enter as many fish as you’d like. Fish do not need to be gutted and gilled. Prizes will be awarded to the top three fish. A complete list of rules and regulations are available at Englund Marine Supply, Co., 2 Commercial St., Eureka, CA 707-444-9266.

Petition started to ban motors on the Chetco River
The Oregon State Marine Board received a petition on April 7 requesting that the Marine Board open rulemaking to adopt a new rule to prohibit the use of motors on a portion of the Chetco River in Curry County. The petition proposes prohibiting the use of motors on the Chetco River from the downstream boundary of the National Forest near Miller Bar to the lower water tower located at approximately river mile 3.2 below Social Security Bar.

The petitioners state a new rule is needed to reduce the conflict between user groups on the river (bank anglers, non-motorized drift boats, and drift boats with motors). Specifically, the petitioners refer to motorized boat anglers who are engaged in “side drifting” and the increase in boat traffic as the source of conflict.

A public meeting will be held on June 13 at 7:00 p.m. at the Best Western Beachfront Inn Conference Room, 16008 Boat Basin Road, Brookings, OR. Written comments can be mailed, faxed, or emailed to:

June LeTarte, Rules Coordinator, Oregon State Marine Board
435 Commercial St NE Salem, OR 97301
Fax: 503-378-4597; Email: osmb.rulemaking@state.or.us

Written comments due by: 9 p.m., Monday, (close of meeting) June 13, 2016
For more information, visit http://www.oregon.gov/OSMB/info/Pages/Rulemaking-and-Public-Notices.aspx

Find “Fishing the North Coast” on Facebook and fishingthenorthcoast.com for up-to-date fishing reports and North Coast river information. Questions, comments and photos can be emailed to kenny@fishingthenorthcoast.com