King action hit and miss off the coast
by Kenny Priest
It’s been awhile since the North Coast has played second fiddle to other parts of the state when it comes to sport salmon fishing, but that’s the reality right now. Unlike the ports to our south, who are enjoying some of the best salmon fishing that anyone can remember, the large concentrations of keeper-size salmon have yet to move into the Eureka/Trinidad area. That’s not to say if you went trolling tomorrow you’d be bored, you’d just likely come home with lots of empty bait trays and maybe a keeper or two. The amount of undersized kings and silvers around right now is exciting for the future – and also a little bit of a nuisance. “There’s lots of areas of shakers, especially offshore,” said Tim Klassen of Reel Steel Sport Fishing. “The areas that have some of the bigger fish are really small and scattered, if you find one you’ve got to grind away at it. As of Tuesday, there was a better chance for an occasional bigger fish to the south, but there were lots of little ones. To the north, there’s more keepers but they’re really spread out. There just isn’t any large concentrations of bigger fish right now.” With plenty of good sized kings coming over the rails in the southern ports, it should be just a matter of time before we see a convergence of kings right off our front porch.
Weekend marine forecast
The ocean is going to be a little bumpy this weekend, but should be good enough for some of the larger salmon trolling boats. As of Wednesday afternoon, Friday’s forecast is calling for N winds 10 to 20 knots and waves NW 5 feet at 7 seconds and north 2 feet at 11 sconds. Saturday’s forecast is calling for N winds 10 to 20 knots and swells NW 9 feet at 9 seconds. Sunday’s prediction is NW winds 5 to 15 knots and waves NW 7 feet at 7 seconds. These conditions can and will change by the weekend. For up-to-date weather forecast, visit www.weather.gov/eureka/. You can also call the National Weather Service at (707) 443-7062 or the office on Woodley Island at (707) 443-6484. To monitor the latest Humboldt bar conditions, visit www.wrh.noaa.gov/eka/swan
Humboldt Bay Dredging
The 372-foot dredge STUYVESANT is scheduled to arrive Thursday in Humboldt Bay to begin dredging operations in the bar and entrance channels. You can help by spreading the word to all mariners to give the dredge plenty of room to work as it’s a very large boat and is restricted in maneuverability. Mariners should use extreme caution when transiting in the area near the dredge and be aware of the prop wash.
Fish Lake Kid’s fishing derby this Saturday
The 44th annual Kid’s Fish Lake Fishing Derby is taking place on Saturday, June 23 in Orleans. The derby starts promptly at 8 a.m. and runs until noon. It’s open to kids from Pre-K to the 8th grade. Poles and tackle will not be provided and an adult must accompany all children. Hot dogs and lemonade will be provided; adults are encouraged to bring a side dish or salad to share. The Orleans Rod and Gun Club, Orleans Ranger District, Coast Central Credit Union, CA Deer Assoc., Pacific Outfitters, AmeriCorps Watershed Stewards, and Our River Community host the event. For more information, visit www.evensi.us/44th-annual-kid-fish-lake-fishing-derby/260187580
Vessel inspections coming to Woodley Island
The Crescent City USCG Auxiliary has arranged to come to Woodley Island Marina on Saturday July 07 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to conduct free recreational and commercial vessel examinations. The H and I Parking Lots will be available for vessels who wish to come in by trailer. In-water inspections will also be available. For more information, contact John Knox at 707-218-0162.
With the salmon bite not quite up to speed as of yet, skipper Tony Sepulveda of Shellback Sport Fishing, along with most of the charters, has opted to run some combo trips. “The rockfish bite at the Cape has been incredible this week. We’ve been catching some real big lings, with quite a few in the 30-pound range. The vermilion continue to chew on anything we throw at them, and they’re big too. We haven’t been focused on the blacks as much, we’re rounding out our limits with plenty of coppers and quillbacks. There are lots of salmon around, but it just hasn’t been consistent. We’ve had good fishing, bad fishing, and everything in between. There’s certainly no shortage of small kings, and there’s some pretty big silvers around too,” Sepulveda added.
Given the number of shakers and silvers in the area, it’s always a good idea to make sure you can identify the difference. For identification info, visit nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=36125&inline
Following a few days of heavy winds, the Trinidad fleet were back on the water on Monday reports Curt Wilson of Wind Rose Charters. He said, “The salmon bit pretty well on both Monday and Tuesday. Most boats reported at least half limits, with plenty of opportunities for full limits. On Monday the fish were right at Pilot Rock where the bait was thick. Most of the action on Tuesday was right out front from the whistle buoy to Pilot Rock in 50 to 60 feet of water. The bite was real steady all morning. We’re still catching some rockfish, especially lot of blacks. The crabbing is a little slow, but we’re getting some real nice-sized males.”
The wind and the big minus tides forced us to cancel our trips last week, but conditions are looking good this week reports Jake Mitchell of Sea Hawk Sport Fishing. He said, “On Sunday, we headed right back to where I saw all the bait last week outside The Hat in 50 fathoms. The bait wasn’t as thick, but the fish were there and bit pretty well. We put our 16th fish in the box for limits for clients and crew just before 1 p.m. The fish averaged right around 8-pounds. On Monday, the fish seemed to be a lot more spread out and we covered a lot of territory to put just nine fish on the boat. The grade was a bit better, with a couple fish over 15 pounds.”
The weather has finally calmed down and a few more salmon have started to hit the deck reports Britt Carson of Crescent City’s Englund Marine. “They showed up pretty good on Wednesday, Pacific West Coast Ocean Fishing Guide Service boated eight. The hot spot was out in the halibut grounds in 180 to 200 feet of water where there’s a pretty good temperature break. Lots of silvers have showed up as well. There’s quite a bit of bait in close, and I think there’s fish there too. More people are starting to show up, so we should start to get some better salmon reports.” Carson said.
After showing signs it was about to bust wide open, salmon fishing slowed this week reports Andy Martin of Brookings Fishing Charters. He said, “Strong winds late last week lowered water temperatures to 47 degrees, and although there is a bunch of bait, the salmon are not biting. A few nice halibut were caught in 200 feet of water last Tuesday. The Rogue Bay also is slow, but with water temperatures warming and bait in the bay, salmon fishing should improve soon.”
Not much has changed on the Klamath. The hot weather inland continues to push the moss downriver, making it tough for those sitting on the anchor. There seems to be a few fish around but the conditions are hindering the bite. A few boats have started to troll the estuary, but there hasn’t been much action yet.
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