Offshore angling hampered by wind
by Kenny Priest
It was a very quiet holiday weekend, especially for the boats that wanted to head offshore. The north wind was prevalent out of Eureka all weekend, never letting up enough to allow boats to venture outside Humboldt Bay. But, judging by the number of boats, kayaks, and even bank anglers fishing in the bay, there was clearly a pretty good alternative. California halibut was the main focus for anglers, and the fishing was either good or bad – depending on who you talked to. Scores ranged from limits to skunks, and everything in between. Halibut are currently scattered from North bay all the way down to the Coast Guard Station. The Fairhaven area was the scene of some pretty good fishing the last few days by both bank anglers and boats. The mouth of Elk River also produced some decent action. Live bait always seems to produce more fish, but plenty were caught this weekend drifting and trolling dead anchovies. Swimbaits also caught their share of fish. This fishery will only get better as we move through the summer. Halibut should continue to move into the bay in bigger numbers, and they should continue to get bigger as well. The limit is three and the minimum size is twenty-two inches total length.
Weekend marine forecast
Strong north winds and steep seas will continue through Friday, but it looks like seas will settle down over the weekend. On Friday, W winds will be 5 to 10 knots with N waves 6 feet at 7 seconds and W 7 feet at 14 seconds. Saturday’s forecast is calling for W winds 5 to 10 knots with NW swells 6 feet at 11 seconds and SW 2 feet at 16 seconds. Sunday’s prediction is for NW winds 5 to 10 knots with NW swells 6 feet at 9 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.
Big Halibut Contest
Eureka's Englund Marine is once again holding their BIG FISH Halibut Contest. The annual event started May 1 and will run through October 31, 2020, or until the quota is reached. There is no entry fee and you can enter as many fish as you’d like. Fish do not need to be gutted and gilled. Prizes will be awarded to the top three fish. A complete list of rules and regulations are available at Englund Marine, 2 Commercial St., Eureka, 707-444-9266.
Eureka Ocean conditions were terrible over the weekend reports Tim Klassen of Reel Steel Sport Fishing. “We haven’t been out in a couple weeks, and conditions don’t look great heading into the weekend. Thursday is looking like the best day.”
Like the rest of the North Coast, Shelter Cove didn’t have much action over the weekend due to the wind according to Jake Mitchell of Sea Hawk Sport Fishing. He said, “It was very windy and hardly anyone was out. I think only two boats made it out for a while, and I heard they caught one salmon. Looks like we should be getting a little break from the wind this weekend.”
“When the boats have been able to get out, the rockfish bite has been excellent,” said Britt Carson of Crescent City’s Englund Marine. “The weather wasn’t great over the weekend, but boats that went out came back with limits. There were also a couple Pacific halibut caught at South Reef using B2 squid. The California halibut are starting to trickle in, I heard a few were caught this weekend. The big news is there were several salmon caught and released recently. They were in close and some were caught off the lighthouse jetty. This is encouraging with our salmon season opener right around the corner,” Carson added.
Lingcod and rockfish action remains very good out of Brooking reports Andy Martin of Brookings Fishing Charters. “Pacific halibut are being caught on calm days when boats can get offshore. Fishing is still slow for California halibut. Ocean salmon season opens June 20 out of Brookings,” added Martin.
According to Martin, spring salmon fishing improved a little on the lower Rogue last week, as more hatchery fish arrived. “Fishing remains slow, but anglers putting in their time are finding an occasional springer in the Elephant Rock area.”
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