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Tuna bite explodes off Eureka/Crescent City

By Frank Galusha
07/19/12 -- My phones were off the hook and the emails were piling up fast yesterday and for good reason. Louis Robinette of Eureka, a.k.a, “Birdchaser II,” my brother Don, a.k.a. “Albacore Fever,” Tom Davison of Trinidad and our “Fishing the North Coast” columnist Kenny Priest all passed along some great news about an exploding albacore bite 21 to 30 miles off Eureka and Crescent City.

Albacore taken off Eureka, Vulpinus, Humboldt Tuna Club, MyOutdoorBuddy
Several of 19 albacore taken on one boat off Eureka yesterday. Many more should be put in the box today. If so, the season is off to a great start.  Photo courtesy of Vulpinus

All reported that warm water (~59ºF) moving north rapidly was as close as 21 miles from the Humboldt Bay Bar. That water turned out to be holding plenty of hungry albacore for several anglers who followed up on the single albacore taken in the same area on Tuesday.

The first report came from Eureka-based anglers “EurekaMarc” and “Vulpinus.” They boated 19 albacore to 12 lbs and lost two to tackle failures and three to pulled hooks.

“I think the first and last fish were 21 nautical miles from the jaws,” reported “EurekaMarc” late yesterday afternoon.

“We were fishing the outside of the finger on the temp break going up and down. There are quite possibly fish on the inside, as the [temp] break was at 13 miles on our way in this afternoon. Our numbers were in the 48/48 area, in and out a mile or two. They loved the small [Yo-Zuri] Hydromag in the blue back/silver. The yellows also produced; purples only got bit in the morning. We had six rods go off and got five, then tossed the tuna bait from the 40# box. That got them up and interested and we got one on the iron and one on the swimbait.” He advised anglers heading out today to bring chum and play the game if they are hot.

Tuna were also taken by boats that made a dash to the area later in the day. One boat skippered by “Casey” a.k.a. “Orca” reported taking a limit of nice salmon early in the day then went out and trolled up six tuna including a quad after 11 a.m.

Late last night, “Wildgoose” posted more news saying “It was a really slow afternoon for us. Only had two and we were just about to bag it around 5:30 but decided to fish until 6 p.m. We put ten tuna in the box between 6 and 8 and left a good, late bite. Our last fish was at 50n 47w with lots of bait around.”

Further north, off Crescent City, three tuna were taken including a Bluefin. After taking the fish out of the ice at the dock the anglers noticed a couple of short pectoral fins on their last fish, making it the first Bluefin tuna taken this year off the north coast.

A fourth boat reportedly took 29 albies off Coos Bay. Many boats were leaving ports this morning to give it a go. The water appears close enough to be accessible from Shelter Cove, Eureka, Trinidad and Crescent City. MyOutdoorBuddy will keep you informed about today’s bite as soon as we get the news.

Fishing Reports

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lingcod, by Larry Ellis
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McCloud River Red-band trout, courtesy of CDFE
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Man with 65 lb halibut, courtesy of Tim Klassen/Reel Steel Sport Fishing
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fish with hook in mouth, by John Higley
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Bill Matsen from Redding, Ca. with his 17 lb. King salmon, Jeff Goodwin Guide Service
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Dan Hofbauer with his 16.88lb winning salmon, by GGSA
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colorful trout, by Mike Mogler
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Feather River Hatchery, photo courtesy of CDFW
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Natalie Richardson and her family with fish, by Jeff Goodwin
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Rockfish, CDFW
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CDFW patrol boat Thresher, courtesy of CDFW
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Photo of Caleen Sisk, Chief and Spiritual Leader of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe (Dan Bacher
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Location map, by CDFW
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caltip logo
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Art work by Isabella Langaman
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Jim Broshears, author badge, myoutdoorbuddy.com
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german brown trout in Modoc creek. MyOutdoorBuddy.com
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