King season opens with wide-open bite

Fishing the North Coast 5_19 photo

Eureka resident Jo Weisgerber landed the seasons first king salmon on Monday while fishing out of Eureka with Tim Klassen of Reel Steel Sport Fishing. Ocean conditions weren’t ideal for Monday’s opener, but the salmon fishing was red hot. Photo courtesy of Reel Steel Sport Fishing

Ocean looks fishable for the weekend

The good ole’ days of wide-open salmon fishing out of Eureka are back! At least that’s how it felt for a couple hours into Monday’s sport salmon opener. Much like the Halibut opener a couple weeks ago, the sport salmon season opened with a bang. The small handful of boats that crossed Humboldt bar into less than ideal ocean conditions were all rewarded with quick limits of salmon. Tim Klassen of Reel Steel Sport Fishing and Tony Sepulveda of Shellback Sporting were two of the boats that reported limits before 10 a.m. The fast and furious action came north of the entrance near the “dumpsite” in 180 feet of water, with the salmon ranging from barely legal to 17-pounds. “The ocean looks normal, like what we’re using to seeing this time of the year,” said Klassen. The water temperature has been right around 52 degrees and we’ve been seeing lots of whales, krill and other types of baitfish. The fish we caught on Monday were stuffed with krill.” Unfortunately, the weather took a turn for the worse on Tuesday, keeping the fleet tied up. Friday is looking like the day when the boats may be back on the troll.

Sunday’s rockfish opener out of both Eureka and Trinidad went off as expected. Boats making the run from Eureka south to the Cape reported a wide-open bite on a wide variety of rockfish as well as lings. Kayakers fishing out of Trinidad reported a hot bite as well.

Weekend marine forecast
The weekend forecast is looking plenty fishable, but Friday is still looking marginal. For Friday, the forecast is calling for winds out of the NW 5 to 15 knots with waves NW 8 feet at 9 seconds. The swells will start to come down by Saturday, with winds out of the south 5 to 10 knots. Waves will be out of the NW 7 feet at 10 seconds. Sunday is looking like the best day with west winds up to 5 knots and NW waves 5 feet at 9 seconds. These conditions can and will change. For up-to-date weather forecast, visit You can also call the National Weather Service at (707) 443-7062 or the office on Woodley Island at (707) 443-6484. To monitor the latest Humboldt bar conditions, visit or check out the bar cam located at

Humboldt Bay fishing trips now available
Phil Glenn, former captain of the charter vessel Shellback, is now running fishing trips inside of Humboldt Bay. Glenn will be targeting various species of sharks and bat ray’s in his new vessel, the Bluefin. Trips run from 7 a.m. until noon and the cost is $100 per person. For more information or to book a trip, call 707-442-7115.

Crescent City salmon update
Chris Hegnes of Crescent City’s Englund Marine reports a couple boats fished Monday’s salmon opener, but didn’t hear of any fish being caught. “It’s been too rough to fish since, and there probably won’t be a whole lot of effort until next month. While the ocean was fishable last weekend, anglers did really well on rockfish. Big and South Reefs both produced good numbers of ling cod. I also heard of a few halibut being caught prior to the closure near South Reef,” Hegnes added.

Shelter Cove
Reports have been hard to come by out of Shelter Cove, but with the weather improving and the opening of rockfish, we should start to hear some consistent reports. If you plan to head that way this weekend, expect a crowd. Saturday is the 10th Annual Gimme Shelter Kayakfishing Tournament and close to 200 entries are expected.

River openings
Sections of the Eel (South Fork to Cape Horn Dam), Van Duzen, Mad, Mattole and Smith will re-open on Saturday, May 28th. On most rivers, only artificial lures with barbless hooks may be used. For a complete list of river openings and regulations visit

Ruth Lake Bass tournament coming June 4
Fortuna Fire Department CO-2’s will be holding the 23rd annual “Paul Jadro Memorial Bass Tournament” on Saturday, June 4. Blast off will be at 5:45 a.m. The one day tournament event offers a first prize award of up to $1,000 with payout to 1 in 3 in addition to door prizes, and sponsor products. The entry fee is $120 per team with a big fish buy in option of $10. The tournament is catch and release and all competitors must fish from boats that are required to have operational live-wells on board. Life jackets are required. Check in at the Marina on Friday June 3 at 4:30-7 p.m. or Saturday 4-5 a.m. For more information, contact Mike Ransford at 725-6310 or Lon Winburn at 725-5021 or 725-7880. Additional information can be found online at

SkyCrest Youth Fishing Derby coming June 11
The 9th Annual SkyCrest Lake Youth Fish Derby & Firewise Day will be held Saturday June 11. The free event for youths 3 to 15 years old will be held at SkyCrest Lake, Burnt Ranch-Underwood Mtn. Rd. and is hosted by the Willow Creek Fire Safe Council. Registration begins at 8 a.m. and fishing will be from 9 a.m. to Noon. There is a free hot lunch for all from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Shore fishing only and no pets or alcohol. For more information, call 707-499-0767 or 530-629-2770 or email Directions to the event can be found at

Send in your fish photos
Land a big salmon or perch lately? Or maybe your friend or relative has reeled in their first trout.  Email your fishing photo to and I’ll run them with the “Fishing the North Coast” weekly column and also post them on the digital version on Just include the name of the person in the photo, where and when it was taken and any other details you’d like to share.

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