Rough seas delay rockfish, halibut openers

Mother Nature can be so cruel sometimes. After months and months of anticipation leading up to Tuesday’s rockfish and halibut openers, boats from Crescent City to Shelter Cove were forced to stay in port due to howling north winds. Blustery winds this time of the year are common, and they actually do way more good than harm. But the timing could have been a little better. The good news is we won’t have to wait long to get on the water. By Thursday, wind and seas are forecasted to die down considerably. The forecast is also calling for light winds and calm seas through the weekend, so expect to see plenty of halibut and rockfish flying over the rails very soon.

Weekend marine forecast
As of Wednesday, the forecast for coastal waters out 10 nautical miles is looking really good for halibut and rockfish anglers for the next few days. Friday’s forecast is calling for winds out of the NW 5 to 10 knots and waves N 3 feet at 4 seconds and NW 4 feet at 12 seconds. Saturday’s forecast is calling for winds out of the NW 5 to 10 knots and waves N 2 feet at 4 seconds and NW 2 feet at 10 seconds. Sunday’s forecast is calling for winds out of the NW 5 to 10 knots and waves NW 3 feet at 4 seconds and NW 2 feet at 9 seconds These conditions can and will change. For up-to-date weather forecast, visit To monitor the latest Humboldt bar conditions, visit You can also call the National Weather Service at (707) 443-7062 or the office on Woodley Island at (707) 443-6484.

Brookings rockfish update
“Windy weather made bottom fishing tough out of Brookings early this week, but there has been a window to catch fish before the wind comes up by heading south toward the border,” said Andy Martin, who runs Brookings Fishing Charters. “The grade of rockfish and lingcod has been good. Conditions look ideal for halibut fishing Thursday through Sunday. We hooked our third salmon in recent weeks on Tuesday while bottom fishing, a great sign for the May 19 Oregon salmon opener.”

Ruth Lake Bass tourney this Saturday
The Southern Trinity Volunteer Fire Department is hosting its 12th annual Ruth Lake Bass Tournament this Saturday, May 5. Blast off begins at 6:00 a.m. Entry fees are due May 4. Entries are $150 per team (includes Big Fish). First Place is $1,500 and second place is $1,000. Big Fish will win $100. One in five payback based on full slate of 40 boats. This is a catch and release tournament; live wells and life jackets are required. Check in is Friday at Journey’s End at 4:15-5:30 p.m. or Saturday 4:45 a.m. at the Marina parking lot. HBMWD is requiring that all boats be inspected for Quagga and Zebra mussels before launching. For more information, call RLCSD at 707-574-6332. For more info on the tournament, contact Todd Perras at (707) 273-9621.

Sport-Harvested Mussels quarantined
In a press release issued on April 30, The California Department of Public Health announced the annual quarantine of sport-harvested mussels gathered along the California coast. The quarantine began May 1 and applies to all species of mussels that are recreationally harvested along the California coast, including all bays and estuaries. The quarantine is in place to protect the public against poisoning that can lead to serious illness, including coma and death.

In addition to this annual quarantine, consumers are urged not to eat recreationally harvested razor clams from Humboldt and Del Norte counties due to continued high levels of domoic acid. To read the entire press release, visit

Fishing the NC 5_3 photo

Fourteen-year-old Blue Lake resident Gabriel Lewis took second place in last Saturday’s Perch’n on the Peninsula fishing tournament with her junior’s division 13.62-inch Redtail perch. Lewis was fishing at Mad River Beach. Photo courtesy of Samoa Peninsula Fire District

Perch’n on the Peninsula results
According to even coordinator Charlie Holthaus, an event-record 109 participants from as far away as Monterey braved the pouring rain and big swells in search of giant perch in this year’s Perch’n on the Peninsula. “Mother Nature was not very kind to us this year”, said Holthaus. “It rained on tournament day, and it rained a lot. The surf also came up a bit from the previous day and anglers experienced waves several feet larger than forecast. Many anglers reported rough conditions and a tough bite. On average, the fish entered this year were smaller than past years. Despite the tough conditions most anglers still caught a few perch.” This year’s tournament winner was Thomas Jones with a 15.55-inch redtail caught at Gold Bluff Beach. The second largest perch was a 15.15-inch redtail caught by Gary Whitmer at Samoa beach.

Nine-year old Destanie Jones of Arcata brought back the largest surfperch for the junior’s category with a 14.56 inch and a 13.82-inch redtail caught at Gold Bluff Beach. Gabriel Lewis, 14 years old from Blue Lake, placed second in the junior competition with her 13.62-inch redtail caught at Mad River Beach. Third place in the junior competition was claimed by Vincent Melms with a 12.99-inch redtail. The other contenders in the junior competition were Psalm Meyer, fourth place, with his 11.10-inch redtail and Lane Baker, fifth place with a pair of Walleye surfperch that measured 7.8 and 7.7 inches. The junior competition winners were awarded various fishing gear items donated by Sportsman’s Warehouse.

The Rivers:
Main Stem Eel
The main stem Eel is emerald green and in perfect shape. As of Wednesday, it was running at just over 3,100 cfs on the Scotia gauge. I haven’t heard of any fish being caught, but there should be some downrunners and summer steelhead around. And there’s always the chance that a few bright winter fish are still making their way upriver.

Lower Rogue
The Rogue was good at times this past week on the lower end, with much of the effort focused on the Riverview restaurant area reported Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing.  He said, “The bite continued to be an afternoon bite until Tuesday, when a few fish were caught in the morning. Overall springer fishing the past week has been slow.”

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