Eureka salmon back on the bite
by Kenny Priest
It appears the lull is over. Salmon are once again on the bite out of Eureka –
in pretty much the same location they’ve been all season. Table Bluff in 180 to 200 feet of water seems to be the one spot that’s consistently holding fish. A handful of sport boats were the first to capitalize fishing over the weekend on an ocean that was much nicer than forecasted. More boats, including a couple of the charter boats, joined the party on Monday and enjoyed some really good salmon fishing. The story was the same for Tuesday, but the bite really went wide-open on Wednesday. Tim Klassen of Reel Steel Sport Fishing put the wood to em’ with full boat limits by 10:30 a.m. The fish are a decent size as well, Klassen’s fish averaged a solid 13 pounds. Salmon fishing will be a good option for the weekend, but the calm seas predicted will allow for plenty of options. The Cape for rockfish, Pacific halibut, and even tuna are all within reach in the next few days.
Weekend Marine Forecast
Ocean conditions are looking ideal through Saturday, with stronger northerly winds returning on Sunday. Friday’s forecast is calling for winds up to 5 knots out of the E and W waves 3 feet at 8 seconds. Saturday is calling for N winds 5 to 15 knots and waves out of the NW 4 feet at 6 seconds. Sunday’s forecast is a little breezy, with winds out of the N 5 to 15 knots and waves NW 6 feet at 6 seconds. These conditions can and will change by the weekend. For an up-to-date weather forecast, visit www.weather.gov/eureka/ or https://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 (707) 443-7062 or the office on Woodley Island at (707) 443-6484.
Tuna within reach
Tuna conditions are shaping up nicely for Thursday and Friday, with boats on the hunt from multiple local ports. Friday looks like the day for the Fort Bragg fleet. The warm water looks to be within 40 miles straight west. Thursday is the better day for the Eureka, Trinidad and Crescent City boats. The warmest water looks to be off the mouth of the Klamath, and that’s the general area where the boats will converge. It looks to be roughly a 40-mile run out of Crescent City. Charleston has been kicking out tuna since the weekend, and plenty of Humboldt County boat owners elected to tow that direction.
Sport Crab season closed
The 2019 sport Dungeness crab season in Humboldt, Mendocino, and Del Norte counties closed on Tuesday July 30. The season will re-open on Nov. 2.
The salmon bite returned over the weekend, and has steadily improved each day. Earlier in the season the fish were off of Table Bluff, and they’re still there. A few of the charters have been targeting the area around the 41-42-lines since Monday and reported solid action. Tony Sepulveda of Shellback Sport Fishing reported limits by 10:30 am on Tuesday with fish up to 22 pounds. Reportedly, it was even better on Wednesday. With the warm water within reach and a flat ocean in the forecast, the talk of the town has been tuna. A few local boats are running from Eureka and Trinidad on Thursday, but most have elected to launch out of Crescent City where the warm water is quite a bit closer. Pacific halibut and a trip to the Cape should all be doable prior to Sunday.
The salmon bite was nonexistent last week, but picked up on Monday and Tuesday according to Captain Jake Mitchell of Sea Hawk Sport Fishing. He said, “On Monday, we fished salmon all day and ended up with six. Tuesday, we did the same thing and ended up with limits of salmon, lingcod and one California halibut while mooching near the whistle. The salmon are a mixed grade running from 5 to 20 pounds. I was able to pound my way up to Rodgers on Friday for some great rock fishing. We had boat limits in an hour and a half with some quality lingcod. Weather looks to be improving slightly for the rest of the week, so hopefully the fishing will follow suit.”
Thresher Sharks and California halibut are still both being caught along South Beach reports Chris Hegnes of Crescent City’s Englund Marine. He said, “We’re seeing three to six Threshers caught a day by guys drifting or trolling herring or anchovies. The halibut bite is still going too. I don’t think we’re seeing many limits but the fish are big, lots of 15 to 20 pounders. Trolling herring behind a dodger has been the ticket. The rockfish and lingcod are still biting at all the usual spots, but the salmon action has dried up. Not much effort on the salmon.”
Ocean salmon fishing has been fair out of Brookings, with mostly wild and hatchery Coho being caught and a few kings according to Andy Martin of Brookings Fishing Charters. “Nicer weather will allow boaters to get further offshore this week. The lingcod fishing has improved. Several boats are planning to run tuna trips with this week’s good marine forecast,” added Martin.
The estuary fishery has been up and down all week, and varying from tide to tide. Monday there were a decent amount of fish caught, with some boats getting their limit of one per angler. Tuesday the bite was slower, but some fish were caught. Wednesday was really tough, with just a few fish caught amongst the fleet. It will likely be this way until we see the first big push of fall salmon enter the river. Spring-run regulations are in effect through August 14, with a daily bag and possession limit of one salmon of any size.
“The Rogue Bay fished well last week, with a few fish over 30 pounds, then slowed over the weekend with only a handful of salmon caught,” said Martin. “Fishing was better Monday and Tuesday, with signs of bigger numbers of salmon around. This week’s big tides should draw even more fish in.”
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