After sitting on the sidelines watching the wind blow for nearly two weeks, boats fishing out of Eureka were finally able to make their way to the halibut grounds Monday. The fishing was decent but the sample size was small as only a handful gave it a go. Gary Blasi of Full Throttle Sport Fishing landed on the hotspot and boated limits for his crew. The other boats all landed a few and reported some missed opportunities. Tuesday’s flat ocean allowed more boats on the water and the fishing was pretty good. Limits were reported by multiple boats. The smaller ports to the north and south continue to benefit from short rides to the fishing grounds and have enjoyed some of the best rockfish action we’ve seen in years. Strong winds are forecast to return Wednesday and blow through at least Saturday.
Weekend marine forecast
After a nice ocean Tuesday, the north wind picked backed up Wednesday and are forecast to stick around through Saturday. Winds will be out of the north Friday, blowing 15 to 25 knots and waves north 8 feet at seven seconds. The wind will start to come down on Saturday, coming out of the north at 5 to 15 knots with north waves 6 feet at seven seconds and west 3 feet at 13 seconds. Sunday is calling for north winds 5 to 10 knots with north waves 4 feet at five seconds and west 4 feet at 12 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 at 443-7062 or the office on Woodley Island at 443-6484.
Trinity Lake kids fishing derby
On Saturday, May 22 all kids ages four to 15 are invited to the Carrville Dredger Pond (located five miles north of the Trinity Center) for the 48th Annual Trinity Lake Lions Fish Derby. Registration is from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. The derby will run from 9 a.m. to noon. Free fishing tackle will be provided for the first 100 kids registered. Kids must supply their own fishing pole. Bait fishing only, lures cannot be used. Prizes will be awarded in many categories. Free soda, water, and chips will be available. For more information, call Pete at 530-598-2877.
Klamath/Trinity Rivers 2021 salmon season set
Following last year’s low returns and with only 181,500 adult Klamath kings said to be in the ocean this fall, anglers are again facing a much lower sport quota in 2021. During last Thursday’s meeting, the California Fish and Game Commission adopted bag and possession limits for the Klamath Basin based on a quota of 1,221 fall-run adults. On the Klamath, the fall season begins on Aug. 15 and closes Dec. 31. The fall season begins on the Trinity Sept. 1 and closes Dec. 31.
On the Lower Klamath, from the Highway 96 bridge at Weitchpec to the mouth, 611 adults will be allowed for sport harvest. The section above the 96 bridge at Weitchpec to 3,500 feet downstream of the Iron Gate Dam will get 208 adults.
The Spit Area (within 100 yards of the channel through the sand spit formed at the Klamath River mouth) will close when 15 percent of the total Klamath River Basin quota is taken downstream of the Highway 101 bridge. In 2021, 183 adults can be harvested below the 101 bridge before the closure at the mouth is implemented. The rest of the area below Highway 101 (estuary) will remain open to recreational fishing.
On the Trinity side, which will be open to fall-run Chinook salmon fishing Sept. 1 and run through Dec. 31, the quota is set at 402 adults. The quota will be split evenly; 201 adults for the main stem Trinity downstream of the Old Lewiston Bridge to the Highway 299 West bridge at Cedar Flat and 201 adults for the main stem Trinity downstream of the Denny Road bridge at Hawkins Bar to the confluence with the Klamath.
The daily bag limit will be two Chinook salmon, no more than one of which may be greater than 23 inches, and a possession limit of six, of which only three may be greater than 23 inches. Once these quotas have been met, no Chinook salmon greater than 23 inches in length may be retained (anglers may still retain a limit of Chinook salmon under 22 inches in length).
Klamath/Trinity spring salmon fishery
The spring Chinook salmon fishery on the lower Klamath River (downstream of the Highway 96 bridge at Weitchpec) and Trinity River (upstream of the confluence of the South Fork Trinity River) will open on July 1 and will run through Aug. 14 on the Klamath River and through Aug. 31 on the Trinity River. The daily bag limit has been set to one Chinook salmon (no size restrictions), and the possession limit set at two Chinook salmon.
“The wind finally eased up and we were able to get back on the water Monday and Tuesday,” said Skipper Tim Klassen of Reel Steel Sport Fishing. “The Pacific halibut fishing started off slow both days but after the tide change, the bite picked up. We only landed a couple on Monday and I heard the bite may have been slightly better to the north. On Tuesday we moved north and after another slow start, we were able to get all the clients a halibut. Looks like we’ll only get a couple days on the water before the wind picks back up,” said Klassen.
Captain Curt Wilson of Wind Rose Charters reports the rockfish bite continues to be wide-open. “Tuesday’s conditions were perfect, and we didn’t have to go far to catch limits of both rockfish and lingcod,” said Wilson. “The sport crabbing is excellent as well. “We had 40 keeper crab in one pot Tuesday.”
Jake Mitchell of Sea Hawk Sport Fishing has been on the water just about every day and reports an excellent rockfish bite. “We were able to get limits everyday but Friday, which was exceptionally rough,” said Mitchell. “The lingcod bite hasn’t been as good; we really had to work for them. The Old Man and the Hat have both produced excellent fishing, but we’ve had our best days at the Ranch House. I haven’t heard of any Pacific halibut caught as of yet.”
According to Britt Carson of Crescent City’s Englund Marine, one Pacific halibut was caught last week but there hasn’t been much effort. “The rockfish and lingcod bite is still wide-open when the boats can get out,” said Carson. “I haven’t heard of any California halibut being caught yet but they’re here. I’ve heard a few have been caught out of Brookings. The perch bite at Kellogg Beach has been hit and miss, but it is picking back up,” Carson added.
Rough weather kept Brookings boats at the docks last week, but fair conditions Sunday and calm seas Monday allowed anglers to get back offshore, reports Andy Martin, of Brookings Fishing Charters. “Lingcod and rockfish action has been good,” said Martin. “Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife fish checkers confirmed three Pacific halibut on Monday. The best shot at a halibut is in 180 to 220 feet of water off of Bird Island. Ocean salmon season opens June 12 for coho and June 19 for kings and silvers. Lots of anchovies inside the harbor and the arrival of pelicans have anglers optimistic about the salmon openers.”
According to Martin, salmon fishing has shown no sign of improvement on the lower Rogue, where spring kings are few and far between. “The best shot at a salmon is near Rainey Falls downstream of Galice, where a few springers are holding up because of low flows,” Martin said. “The Rogue Bay fishery won’t heat up until late June or July. The Chetco opens to trout fishing May 22.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org