Tough start for Cove salmon anglers


by Kenny Priest
4-6-2017
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Saturday’s recreational salmon opener at Shelter Cove was much as advertised, a very windy day on the salt with a little fishing and not much catching. Four boats launched into some pretty rough water and howling winds and the report was only one shaker landed. The ocean calmed down on Tuesday, and a few boats took advantage. The scores weren’t much better however. Two keepers were landed amongst the eight boats that launched. I’m sure better days lie ahead, but it may not be this weekend. Saturday’s forecast is calling for NW winds from five to 15 knots and W waves 10 feet at nine seconds and SW two feet at 15 seconds. Conditions improve slightly on Sunday, with S winds to 10 knots and W waves 9 feet at 12 seconds predicted. For an up-to-date Shelter Cove marine forecast, visit forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lon=-123.82128&lat=39.44792.

Weather ahead
“After a brief hiatus, the wet pattern is returning to the North Coast,” said Reginald Kennedy of Eureka’s National Weather Service. “The rain will return on Thursday and will continue through Friday. We’ll likely see some pretty decent totals, with up to three inches falling in both Del Norte and Humboldt Counties. Another quarter to three quarters is predicted for Saturday. During the day Sunday looks to be dry, but another system will move in starting in the evening and will be with us through Monday. Rainfall totals will range from a half to an inch, with the higher elevations seeing the majority of the rain. The next system is forecasted for Tuesday evening on into Wednesday, with a half to an inch predicted.”

Trinity River flows on the rise
The federal Bureau of Reclamation has increased the release of water from Lewiston Dam to the Trinity River starting on Wednesday, April 5. The releases are for Trinity Lake storage management purposes. The release will begin increasing up from 300 cfs at 2 a.m. Wednesday; reaching 1,500 cfs at 2 p.m. Reclamation will be continuously monitoring daily and making adjustments to the releases as necessary. For more information, visit trrp.net/restore/flows/current.

Perch'n on the Peninsula coming April 8
The Samoa Peninsula Fire District will be hosting their 8th Annual Perch'n on the Peninsula Surfperch Fishing Tournament and Fish Fry Fundraiser on Saturday, April 8 at the Peninsula Elementary School. This is a fun filled family-oriented fishing event that benefits the Samoa Peninsula Fire District Volunteer Organization. Fish Fry Fundraiser admission is only $10.00 for adults and $5.00 for juniors. Adult fishing tournament entry is $20.00 and junior fishing tournament entry (under 16) is only $10.00. Fishing tournament entry includes admission to the fish fry fundraiser. Tournament day registration is available at the Peninsula Elementary School in Samoa beginning at 6 a.m. or you can pre-register until April 6 at Mad River Bait and Tackle in Arcata, Pacific Outfitters, Englund Marine and Shafer’s Ace in Eureka. Online signups will be available until 10 p.m. on April 7 at samoafire.org. For registration and door prize information, visit samoafire.org or call 707-443-9042.

Fish and Game Commission meeting on April 13
The California Fish and Game Commission will meet on Thursday, April 13 in Sacramento at 10 a.m. to adopt and discuss changes to the upcoming sport fishing seasons. Members of the public may participate in the teleconference at the CDFW Conference Room, 50 Ericson Court in Arcata. The meeting will be live streamed at www.cal-span.org, for listening purposes only. If you’re interested in the Klamath River fall salmon fishery, you’ll want your voice to be heard. On the table currently are three alternatives, including one in which no in-river salmon fishing would be allowed. Also on the agenda is the adoption of proposed changes to recreational Pacific halibut fishing regulations and the proposed changes to season dates, size limits and daily bag limits for May to November 2017 recreational ocean salmon fishing.

HASA dinner April 15
The annual HASA fundraiser dinner will be held Saturday, April 15, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Arcata Community Center, 321 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway in Arcata. Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for children. Food will be provided by Ramone’s and some great items will be auctioned and raffled off. Tickets are available from the following Eureka merchants: Bucksport Sporting Goods, Englund Marine, Pacific Outfitters, RMI Outdoors, W&W RV & Sporting Goods, and Mad River Tackle located in Arcata. For more information, email hasa6191@gmail.com

The Beaches
When the ocean’s been calm, the redtail perch action has been excellent along the beaches. There are some spots that are typically better than others, but you can catch them just about anywhere. Conditions don’t look good for the next several days, with swells in the 8 to 13-foot range along with heavy winds. A couple of good spots to get away from the rough seas are inside Humboldt Bay at the mouth of the Elk River (Stinky Beach) and King Salmon Beach.

The Rivers:
As a reminder, the South Fork Eel, Van Duzen, Mattole, Mad, Redwood Creek, and the Chetco all closed to fishing on March 31.

Main Stem Eel
It’s been the same ole’ story for the main stem Eel all season; just as it’s started to turn green, another storm comes along and turns it back into a raging, muddy mess. As of Wednesday, flows were down to 9,000 cfs on the Scotia gauge and dropping. The next round of storms that begin on Thursday are predicted to push flows above 53,000 cfs by Saturday.

Smith River
Fishing remains tough on the Smith,” said Mike Coopman of Mike Coopman’s Guide Service. “I was out the last couple days and we landed three fresh ones and one downer. For whatever reason, the downers are staying upriver. We’ve got a pretty good storm coming this weekend where we could see up to a four-foot rise, hopefully that will be a start. There should be plenty of good fishing to come.”

Find "Fishing the North Coast" on Facebook and fishingthenorthcoast.com for up-to-date fishing reports and North Coast river information. Questions, comments and photos can be emailed to kenny@fishingthenorthcoast.com.