Weather window puts boats back on the water

Fishing the NC 5_11 photo

Eve Phelan of Grants Pass, Ore., holds one of the lingcod she caught April 30 while fishing with Capt. Andy Martin of Brookings Fishing Charters. The ling hit a diamond jig near March Arch north of Brookings.

After being off the water since late last week due to gale force winds, boats were back at it on Wednesday. The small weather window, which looks like it may close by Friday, had boats on the halibut grounds and a few made their way down to Cape Mendocino. I didn’t catch any reports from the Cape, but I’d be willing to bet it was phenomenal seeing how those rockfish and lings haven’t been tempted with a bait since October. A few halibut were reportedly caught out of Eureka, and at least one keeper was landed in Trinidad. If it wasn’t for the weather, we’d be off and running to a pretty decent start to the saltwater season. And that’s just what we need to take the sting out of a season with no salmon.

Weekend marine forecast
The weekend forecast is looking a little iffy as of Wednesday. For Friday, the forecast is calling for winds out of the SW 5 to 15 knots with waves W 3 feet at 7 seconds and 11 feet at 12 seconds. The swells will start to come down a little by Saturday, with winds out of the NW 5 to 10 knots. Waves will be out of the W 10 feet at 11 seconds and NW 2 feet at 7 seconds. Sunday is looking like the best day with NW winds 5 to 15 knots and NW waves 6 feet at 8 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

Dredger on the way to Humboldt Bay
Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company’s 315 foot dredger “Terrapin Island” is making its way to Humboldt and will be arriving around May 19 to begin dredging operations in the bar and entrance channels of Humboldt Bay. Mariners are advised to use caution when transiting near the dredge. The dredge will be restricted in their ability to move and the prop wash may be extreme. The dredge will be operating on VHF channel 13 and 16. For more information, contact the Suzie Howser at the Harbor District office at 707-443-0801.

Crescent City
Chris Hegnes of Crescent City’s Englund Marine reports the wind pretty much put the saltwater action on hold. He said, “The ocean has been too rough since last Thursday due to the wind. I know a few boats got back on the water on Wednesday, but I didn’t hear how they did. I haven’t heard of any halibut being caught yet, but there hasn’t been much effort either. The redtail perch bite has been off the charts the last few weeks,” Hegnes added.

Shelter Cove
Like everywhere else, the wind curtailed a lot of fishing plans last weekend at the Cove. “I haven’t been out since last Thursday due to the wind, I ended up cancelling all of my weekend trips,” said Jake Mitchell of Sea Hawk Sport Fishing. “Last Thursday we had limits of lings and rockfish. The ocean looks to finally be settling down a bit and I plan on being on the water through the weekend. Hopefully this wind got the upwelling going and maybe we’ll find some salmon when we get back out.”

Ruth Lake Bass tournament coming June 3
Fortuna Fire Department CO-2’s will be holding the annual “Paul Jadro Memorial Bass Tournament” on Saturday, June 3. 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 2 at 4:30-7 p.m. or Saturday 4-5 a.m. For more information, contact Lon Winburn at 725-5021 or 725-7880.

Main Stem Eel update
“The main stem Eel is looking better every day,” said Paul Grundman of Rio Dell’s Grundmans Sporting Goods. “The water level has dropped considerably this week, and it should be fishable by the weekend. I wouldn’t be surprised if there wasn’t some downrunners around and you may even run into some fresh ones as well.” As of Wednesday, flows were hovering around 5,000 cfs on the Scotia gauge.

Send in your fish photos
Land a big salmon, trout or perch lately? Or maybe your friend or relative has reeled in their first fish. Email your fishing photo to and I’ll run them with the “Fishing the North Coast” weekly column and also post them 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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