Eureka boats find the tuna

The ocean and water conditions aligned for tuna last Sunday, and a handful of boats from Eureka took full advantage. The run was long, 55 or so miles, but the reward was well worth it. After hearing good reports from Saturday, Tim Klassen of Reel Steel Sport Fishing went all in for Sunday. “The edge of the warm water was about 53 miles from Humboldt Bay,” said Klassen. “Once we got in the area, it took us a little while to find some fish. We found some fish boiling and put a few on the deck pretty quickly. From there we moved around for a fish here and there. Our last stop produced 14 fish, with some coming on live bait. With a long boat ride home, we pulled the plug at 1:30 p.m. with 29 tuna aboard. The fish are good sized. We only had two peanuts, with the rest between 15 to 25 pounds,” added Klassen. Reportedly, one of the other boats fishing in the same general area boated 50 albies.

Lonnie Dollarhide with a nice tuna caught on live bait. Photo courtesy of Reel Steel Sport Fishing

Shelter Cove as well as boats from Fort Bragg also got in on the weekend action. Jake Mitchell of Sea Hawk Sport Fishing boated 39 after running 45 miles from Shelter Cove. The next weather window will be a short one. Conditions look excellent for Thursday, and quite a few boats will be making the run out of Eureka. After that, it looks like we’re back to the wind.

Marine forecast
Northerly winds and steep seas will increase over the weekend as high pressure rebuilds and a thermal trough reforms near the coast. Friday’s forecast for coastal waters from Point St. George to Cape Mendocino out 10 nautical miles is calling for NW winds 5 to 10 knots with 6-foot waves at 10 seconds out of the N and SW 2 feet at 16 seconds. The forecast for Saturday is calling for N winds 10 to 20 knots, with N waves 8 feet at 7 seconds. Sunday’s forecast is for N winds 5 to 15 knots and N waves 8 feet at 8 seconds. These conditions can and will change by the weekend. For an up-to-date weather forecast, visit or 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.

The Oceans:
A fairly quiet week for the Eureka fleet with the closing of salmon and Pacific halibut seasons. The only real option, other than tuna on Sunday, has been rockfish at the Cape. Tony Sepulveda of Shellback Sport Fishing spent the last few days at that exact spot and reports some good fishing. “The last couple days it’s been breezy, but the fishing has been easy,” said Sepulveda. “A 20-knot breeze and screaming fast drift made combing flats the game. Limits of giant rockfish and quality lingcod have been no problem. On Tuesday, we had 60 rockfish and 12 lings wrapped up in just 2 hours.”

Damon Collicut of Willits, right, is all smiles after boating a nice tuna on Sunday with the help of Jake Mitchell. Tuna fishing was red-hot on Sunday for Shelter Cove and boats fishing out of Eureka. Photo courtesy of Jake Mitchell/Sea Hawk Sport Fishing

Shelter Cove
According to Jake Mitchell of Sea Hawk Sport Fishing, the salmon bite was pretty good this past week. He said, “We only fished for them four days and had full boat limits twice, with fish up to 26 pounds. Trolling and mooching were both catching fish around the whistle. We fished up at Rodgers on Saturday and the rockfish and ling’s bit pretty well. We were able to get limits pretty quickly. On Sunday we took advantage of the conditions and ran 45 miles west to Gorda Valley looking for tuna. They were there, and ready to play. They didn’t bite really well for us in the morning, but it picked up a little bit for us in the afternoon. We ended the day with 39 good-grade albacore.”

Crescent City
The rockfish and lingcod bite has been excellent reports Britt Carson of Crescent City’s Englund Marine. He said, “Most of the boats are fishing the North or South Reefs. Limits have been the norm this week. The California halibut bite has picked up, and they’ve been biting pretty well along South Beach. Boats trolling as well as bank anglers fishing off the rock wall caught quite a few this week. The Thresher bite has slowed way down this week, I didn’t hear of any being caught.”

Capt. Michael McGahan of Brookings Fishing Charters holds a lingcod that hitchhiked on another lingcod Aug. 18 near the Point St. George Reef lighthouse. Photo courtesy of Brookings Fishing Charters

Halibut fishing continues to be a solid bet out of Brookings according to Andy Martin of Brookings Fishing Charters. “With 70-percent of the allocation still remaining for the zone that includes Brookings and Gold Beach, the Pacific halibut season should last at least through September,” said Martin. “The best action is in 180 to 240 feet of water straight out from Bird Island. Fishing for lingcod is wide open near the Point St. George lighthouse. Sport crabbing is still open out of Brookings and is improving now that the commercial pots are out of the water.”

Mason Kinkeirn from Cincinnati landed a nice fall-run adult salmon Tuesday on the Klamath River. Photo courtesy of Kenton Bansemer/Gold River Guides

The Rivers:
Lower Klamath
The steelhead fishing remains excellent and a few fall salmon are starting to trickle in. There were a few adult salmon caught this week, along with some jacks. The number of adult steelhead and half-pounders around however, is more than making up for the lack of salmon.

Fall regulations in effect on the Klamath Fall regulations went into effect on the Klamath River for fall-run Chinook salmon beginning Aug. 15 and run through Dec. 31. On the Trinity, the fall quota will begin on Sept. 1 and run through Dec. 31. The in-river quota for the entire Klamath Basin is 1,296 adult fall Chinook. The daily bag limit will be two Chinook, no more than one adult (greater than 23 inches) and the possession limit is six, no more than three adults. Two hatchery steelhead or hatchery trout may also be retained, with a possession limit of four each. Anglers may keep track of the Klamath and Trinity river quotas by calling 800-564-6479. For Klamath and Trinity fishing regulations, visit

Lower Rogue
The salmon action on the Rogue Bay has been slow for the past week, as the temperature in the bay is in the low 70s and the kings holding along the jetties are lock-jawed reports Martin. “There was a decent bite on Tuesday, the best in several days. Summer steelhead are now being caught upriver.”

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