If the last couple days are any indication, we may yet have a salmon season out of Eureka. Since the opener on June 1, the fishing – and subsequently the effort – have both been underwhelming. That could all be changing now. Tim Klassen of Reel Steel Sport Fishing put in a solid effort on Tuesday down near the Eel Canyon and found a decent school of keeper kings. He put nine salmon in the box for his five customers and could have limited but decided to head in early with a sick passenger. The word spread throughout the fleet, and the boats headed back to that same general area on Wednesday. The fish were still there, and they were in a biting mood. It wasn’t hot and heavy like we’ve seen in year’s past, but it was the best we’ve seen this year. Tony Sepulveda of Shellback Sport Fishing scored first, putting five limits on board. They were nice fish too, all between 10 and 15-pounds. “Once we got on the fish, we were done in under two hours,” said Sepulveda. The other charters were on the bite as well, with most limiting out or just a fish or two short. This is by far the best salmon fishing we’ve seen this year, but the million-dollar question remains – will they be there tomorrow?
Weekend Marine Forecast
The ocean looks like it might be a little bumpy the next couple days but should be plenty fishable. Friday’s forecast is calling for 5 to 15 knot winds out of the NW and NW waves 5 feet at 7 seconds. Saturday is calling for NW winds 5 to 15 knots and waves out of the NW 5 feet at 6 seconds. Sunday’s forecast is a little better, with winds out of the NW 5 to 10 knots and waves NW 3 feet at 5 seconds. These conditions can and will change by the weekend. For an up-to-date weather forecast, visit www.weather.gov/eureka/. To monitor the latest Humboldt bar conditions, visit www.wrh.noaa.gov/eka/swan. You can also call the National Weather Service at 707-443-7062 or the office on Woodley Island at 707-443-6484.
Halibut season re-opens August 1
The Pacific halibut season will re-open on Wednesday August 1 and will remain open through August 15. The season will open up again on Sept. 1 and run through Oct. 31, or until the quota is reached, whichever is earlier. Through July 15, the CDFW has projected 13,836 net pounds have been harvested towards a quota of 30,940 pounds. For up-to-date harvest tracking information, visit https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Marine/Pacific-Halibut#31670772-in-season-tracking
Sport Crab season coming to a close
The 2018 sport Dungeness crab season in Humboldt, Mendocino, and Del Norte counties will close on Monday July 30. The season will re-open on Nov. 3.
It looks like we may finally have a salmon season out of Eureka. After hearing what Klassen did on Tuesday, the sport fleet beelined for the same area and got into a pretty good bite. Just about everyone caught fish, and quite a few limits were reported. Boats were working near the 43-line in 250 feet of water. Aside from the bite to the south, there’s been a little action right out front just south of the whistle buoy in roughly 80-feet of water. It hasn’t been red-hot, but quite a few have been caught in that area. According to reports, one boat landed six late yesterday. The signs are there, lots of bait and birds. When the weather allows, boats fishing the Cape are reporting some wide-open rock fishing. Not much has changed down there, lots of big vermilion, canaries and quillbacks. Some big lings are coming over the rail too, Sepulveda boated a 38-pounder recently. The California halibut fishing is as good as it can possibly be according to Sepulveda. “There’s tons of fish around, and there’s lot of bait too. We had 21 keepers in just a few hours on Tuesday. The fish have been here, but the tides have been really good this week,” said Sepulveda.
The Trinidad salmon bite was a little sporadic this week reports Curt Wilson of Wind Rose Charters. “There is just enough salmon biting to keep you interested. Most of the action was right on the beach in both directions. A few were caught south of the Mad River on Monday as well. Sunday was our best day when we put four keepers aboard. The ocean was nice on Monday and Tuesday, and the rockfish bit really well. We had some nice canaries, vermilion, and some good-sized lings as well,” Wilson said.
Captain Jake Mitchell of Sea Hawk Sport Fishing has been running south 25 miles down the coast to highway 1 where the salmon fishing is red hot. “The fishing has been great, and we’ve had quick limits the last three times down with a 15-pound average. I stayed close to home last Wednesday cause of weather and mooched up limits of rockfish and four nice salmon to 25-pounds. A few salmon are being caught out front and although it’s not wide open, the ones being caught are very nice. I saw the first 30-pounder on Tuesday. A few boats ran for tuna on Monday towards Gorda Valley and high boat had 20 fish,” added Mitchell.
Boats have been catching a few salmon this week reports Chris Hegnes of Crescent City’s Englund Marine. He said, “I heard of some limits and there’s been lots of ones and twos. The best bite has been south between Round Rock and the Sisters in 60 to 100 feet. The fish have been a pretty good grade too, over 10-pounds. We’ve also had a pretty good California halibut bite along South Beach. The rockfish have been biting as well, and we’ve seen some real big lings being caught,” Hegnes said.
“The Brookings ocean salmon bite really took off on Wednesday according to Andy Martin of Brookings Fishing Charters. “Lots of boats had limits or close to it. The best bite was in 90 feet of water 30 feet down,” added Martin.
Klamath Control Zone closure
The Klamath Control zone will be closed the month of August for ocean sport salmon fishing. The closed zone around the Klamath River mouth is bounded on the north by 41°38’48” N. lat. (approximately 6 nautical miles north of the Klamath River mouth); on the west, by 124°23’00” W. long. (approximately 12 nautical miles off shore); and on the south, by 41°26’48” N. lat. (approximately 6 nautical miles south of the Klamath River mouth).
On Tuesday, the estuary bite went wide-open for boats trolling anchovies. Lots of salmon were caught, and quite a few boats put on limits. The moss has cleaned up some, and now the best bite has been an hour before high tide and on through the outgoing. On Wednesday, the bite slowed considerably and there were lots of zeros posted. Spring-run regulations are in effect through August 14, with a daily bag and possession limit of two salmon of any size.
Last week was the best week so far this season for the Rogue Bay according to Martin. “This week’s catch rates are slightly less, mainly because boat traffic has increased to 50 to 75 boats a day. Many guides are getting a fish per rod with big groups, or limiting out with two customers. Anchovies and size 3.5 gold Hildebrandt blades are working best.” According to Martin, fish are averaging between 20 and 22 pounds and a few over 30 were caught on Tuesday.
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