Eureka Kings finally make a showing

Chris Pinkham of San Francisco landed this 25-pound king salmon last Sunday while fishing out of Eureka. After getting off to a slow start, the salmon have finally shown up in Eureka as well as Trinidad. Boats fishing over the weekend scored limits of kings up to 30-pounds.
Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of Gary Blasi/Full Throttle Sport Fishing

by Kenny Priest
7-17-2020
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The salmon have finally shown up in Eureka. That’s the good news. The bad news is so did the wind. Following a fairly hot bite that started last Wednesday and lasted through the weekend, the wind has kept the Eureka boats from staying on the fish. Back to the good news. The fish are here, they’re close, and they’re big. Boats fishing between the 48 and 50 lines in roughly 120 feet of water were treated to some pretty good action on Thursday and Friday. The word quickly spread – and by the weekend – boats were out in force. And everyone was catching. This year’s crop of kings is substantially bigger than last years. These fish are amped up on krill, and running 10 to 25 pounds. While the wind and bar crossing has stifled the Eureka fleet, some of the bigger boats fishing out of Trinidad have been able to push through the tough conditions. Tony Sepulveda of Shellback Sport Fishing was on the water all week and reported a really good salmon bite. “The lagoon area has been loaded with birds, krill, whales and fish,” said Sepulveda. “Deep sixes and downriggers at 40 feet on the wire are crushing limits of 8 to 20-pound kings, with a few bigger ones in the mix. The last few days mornings have been a little slow and then they come on strong around midday.” Fishable conditions look like they are returning for the weekend. Hopefully the kings will be sitting right where we left them.

Marine Forecast
Conditions for the weekend are looking a little rough, but may be doable for salmon trolling. As of Wednesday, Friday’s forecast is calling for N winds 10 to 20 knots and N swells 6 feet at 7 seconds and NW 3 feet at 12 seconds. On Saturday, winds will be out of the NW 10 to 15 knots and waves will be out of the NW 6 feet at 10 seconds. Sunday is looking better, with winds out of the N 5 to 10 knots and waves NW 5 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.

Sport Crab season coming to a close
The 2020 sport Dungeness crab season in Humboldt, Mendocino, and Del Norte counties will close on Thursday July 30. The season is expected to re-open on Nov. 7.

The Oceans:
Eureka
Salmon fishing finally busted open last week out of Eureka, and there were some quality kings coming over the rail. The action started on Wednesday, with Gary Blasi of Full Throttle Sport Fishing and Matt Dallam of Northwind Charters both finding some fish near the dumpsite. On Thursday, the fleet converged. “The bite was off the stacks in 120 feet of water,” said Tim Klassen of Reel Steel Sport Fishing. “Boats averaged roughly a fish per rod, but there were some nice fish landed. The story was pretty much the same on Friday. Saturday the fishing improved, and a solid bite materialized around the whistle buoy where there was lots of bait. The bite remained solid on Sunday around the whistle, with fish ranging from barely keepers to a solid 18-pounds. The bite was best when the tides weren’t moving the bait too far out or in. The bigger fish were in close, but there were quite a few jelly fish to contend with. Overall, it was really good fishing for the four days, with the grade of keepers running from 10 to 25 pounds.” With all the salmon excitement, the Pacific halibut got a reprieve. Boats that dedicated a little time over the weekend were rewarded with easy limits. No change there.

Trinidad
The salmon bite was outstanding Thursday through Sunday according to Curt Wilson of Wind Rose Charters. He said, “There were salmon scattered from Reading Rock to Patrick’s Point. There were some big ones in the mix too, quite a few 30-pounders were boated. There were plenty of shakers as well. The wind picked up Sunday afternoon, so we haven’t been able to get back up to where the bigger schools are. Since Monday we’ve been running half-day trips. We’re getting our limits of black rockfish and then trolling for salmon. We’re catching a handful each day venturing as far north as Cone Rock,” Wilson added.

Shelter Cove
Salmon has been a slow pick for the most part according to Captain Jake Mitchell of Sea Hawk Sport Fishing. He said, “We’ve been averaging about a fish per rod this week. The weather hasn’t allowed us to venture too far and look elsewhere, so we’re fortunate that there’s been some fish hanging close. The salmon fishing is still happening right inside the whistle. And the fish are still a really good grade, with fish running 10 to 25 pounds. The rockfish bite was great this week but the lingcod have been pretty inconsistent. Most of the rock fishing I did this week was around the Hat. Looks like we’ve got some decent weather coming our way for the next several days.”

Crescent City
According to Chris Hegnes of Crescent City’s Englund Marine, a few salmon are being caught.  He said, “Not very many people are trying. There were a few small fish caught roughly 8 miles from the entrance on a 270 heading. The rockfish bite is still pretty good at all the usual spots,” added Hegnes.

Brookings
Salmon fishing remains hit and miss, with poor catches for most, out of Brookings reports Andy Martin of Brookings Fishing Charters. “A few boats scored multiple fish early this week near the mouth of the Chetco,” said Martin. “The schools of fish that provided wide-open action early in the season appear to be north of Brookings, as fishing has been good from Bandon to Newport. Lingcod and rockfish catches are good, with lots of bigger lingcod last week. A few Pacific halibut also are being brought in.”

The Rivers:
Lower Klamath
Spring salmon fishing has been fairly slow for trollers in the Klamath estuary. A small handful of fish are being caught each day, though the boat pressure has been light. Anchovies rigged with a spinner blade has been the top producer so far, but some are being caught on Cut Plugs. Best fishing has been on the incoming and a couple hours after the high.

Lower Rogue
The Rogue Bay is still slow according to Martin. “A handful of salmon a day are being caught, but most boats are going fishless. Lingcod fishing has been very good at the Rogue Reef, but bar conditions limit the window to fish,” said Martin.

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