After sitting on the sidelines for four days, the weather finally cooperated Monday and the Eureka boats were back on the water looking for kings. Salmon have been easy to come by this brief season and Monday proved no different. Quick limits were reported by the handful of boats. “The best bite was straight out front in 280 feet of water,” said Tim Klassen of Reel Steel Sport Fishing, who had full limits by 9:30 a.m. “The water was clear and the fish were coming shallow, right around 60 feet. There’s still some krill in the area as well as sardines. The fish are a decent size, with most around 24 inches and up with the occasional bigger one in the high teens.”
Offshore conditions are looking decent through Saturday for the holiday weekend but be aware of the minus tides that will begin Saturday. Sunday and Monday are the most dangerous as nearly 8 feet of water will be leaving the bay down to a minus 1-foot low when boats will be heading through the jaws.
Weekend marine forecast
After Wednesday, the north winds will begin to subside and the first part of the weekend is looking fishable. Friday, winds will be out of the west 5 to 10 knots and west waves 4 feet at nine seconds. Saturday is looking a little rougher with west winds 5 to 10 knots and west waves 7 feet at 10 seconds. Sunday, the wind will pick up and come out of the north 10 to 15 knots with west waves 9 feet at 10 seconds. These conditions can and will change by the weekend. For an up-to-date weather forecast, visit www.weather.gov/eureka/ or www.windy.com. To monitor the latest Humboldt bar conditions, visit www.wrh.noaa.gov/eka/swan. You can also call the National Weather Service office at 443-7062 or the office on Woodley Island at 443-6484.
Ruth Lake Bass tournament coming June 4
Fortuna Fire Department CO-2’s will be holding the annual “Paul Jadro Memorial Bass Tournament” on Saturday, June 4. Blast off will be at 5:45 a.m. or at first safe light, by draw. 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 $140 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 4:30-6 p.m. or Saturday 4-5 a.m. For more information, contact Cody Waddell at 707-496-1717.
The wind this weekend will make the beaches tough for anglers looking for redtail perch. The mouth of Elk River or King Salmon are two of the better options at the moment to get out of the wind. Fishing along the ocean beaches remains slow. The California halibut have yet to show in big numbers. A few have been caught near Fairhaven. That fishery should start to pick up soon.
It’s kind of been the same story on the salmon, 200 to 300 feet of water straight out front of Eureka, reports Tony Sepulveda of Shellback Sport Fishing. “Sardines and krill are holding the salmon in the area,” said Sepulveda. “Most mornings they start out shallow, 40 feet on the wire and biting deep sixes. As the day goes on, they head to the bottom. If you still need fish at noon, 200 feet on the wire is the ticket. We’ve had limits every day we fished them. Some days they come fast, others we’ve had to work at it a little. But they always seem to come.” The Pacific halibut bite has been a little challenging due to the hordes of small trash fish, reports Sepulveda. “There’s definitely still some nice fish to be caught though for those willing to put in the time.”
The rockfish bite in Trinidad continues to be excellent and you don’t need to travel far. Capt. Curt Wilson of Wind Rose Charters reports a red-hot bite right out front of Trinidad. “We’ve been staying close, right in front of Flat Iron and finding all the black rockfish we need,” said Wilson. “The crabbing is really good and they’re in great shape.” Ocean conditions look fishable for the week out of Trinidad, especially if you’re looking to fish half days.
The salmon bite continues to sizzle out of Crescent City, reports Britt Carson of Crescent City’s Englund Marine. He said, “Just about all the boats that went out Tuesday came back with limits. Most are starting around the red can towards South Reef and the Sisters. The fish are still shallow and watermelon Apexes and Cut Plugs are two of the top baits. The rockfish is still excellent, too, with both reefs and the Sisters producing limits of rockfish and lings. There hasn’t been much effort on Pacific halibut but that will likely change once salmon closes after next Tuesday.
Lingcod and rockfish action was good last week and over the weekend out of Brookings, despite windy weather, reports Andy Martin of Brookings Fishing Charters. “Big schools of fish are just outside the harbor, feeding on anchovies and herring near Chetco Point and the entrance buoys,” said Martin. “Wind chop has limited the opportunity to venture offshore for halibut, but calmer conditions are expected later this week. Salmon season opens June 18 for hatchery coho and June 25 for kings.”
Sections of the main Eel (South Fork to Cape Horn Dam), South Fork Eel (South Fork Eel River from mouth to Rattlesnake Creek) Van Duzen, Mad, Little River, Mattole and Smith will re-open on Saturday, May 28. On most rivers, only artificial lures with barbless hooks may be used. For a complete list of river openings and regulations visit http://www.nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=190456&inline
According to Martin, spring salmon continue to make their way up the Rogue River, and are being caught all the way up to Shady Cove. “Fishing has been fair on the lower river, as the run begins to taper off, but overall fishing has been above average this season. The Chetco opened to trout fishing on Sunday, with decent success for sea-run cutthroat in the upper tidewater on small spinners.”
Kenny Priest operates Fishing the North Coast, a fishing guide service out of Humboldt specializing in salmon and steelhead. Find it on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and www.fishingthenorthcoast.com. For up-to-date fishing reports and North Coast river information, email email@example.com