Tough opener for sal­mon an­glers

Times Standard (Eureka) - - FRONT PAGE - Kenny Priest

Prior to Satur­day’s sport sal­mon opener, the ocean out front of Eureka was swarm­ing with life. Lots of bait, piles of birds and fa­vor­able wa­ter temps. All of which typ­i­cally in­di­cate the sal­mon are close by. By Satur­day, those signs had van­ished, tak­ing with it any hopes of a sal­mon bounty. A cou­ple boats landed on some fish and man­aged to box lim­its of small sal­mon, but that was far from typ­i­cal. Over­all, it was dis­ap­point­ing start to what was sup­posed to be de­cent sea­son. Af­ter watch­ing the Bay Area boats load up on big kings daily and plenty of qual­ity fish com­ing out of Shel­ter Cove, hopes were high. But it wasn’t meant to be. At least not yet. For all we know the fish could be out in deeper wa­ter, or they could still be mak­ing their way here. Cres­cent City had a good opener, so that’s en­cour­ag­ing. Un­til the kings ar­rive, hal­ibut and rock­fish will suf­fice.

Week­end marine fore­cast

Light winds and long pe­riod swells will con­tinue through the week­end. Satur­day’s fore­cast is call­ing for winds out of the S 5 to 10 knots and W swells 5 feet at 9 sec­onds. Sun­day’s pre­dic­tion is winds out of the N 5 to 10 knots and W swells 6 feet at 9 sec­onds. These con­di­tions can and will change by the week­end. For an up-to-date weather fore­cast, visit gov/eureka/ or https:// To mon­i­tor the lat­est Hum­boldt bar con­di­tions, visit www. You can also call the Na­tional Weather Ser­vice at 707-443-7062 or the of­fice on Wood­ley Is­land at 707443-6484.

Af­ter the first week­end, it doesn’t look like the sal­mon are here re­ports Tim Klassen of Reel Steel Sport Fish­ing. “Most of the fish caught were shakers, and it doesn’t seem like there’s many of those around ei­ther,” said Klassen. “The keep­ers caught over the week­end were small, most in the 22 to 24-inch range. What­ever signs of life we saw prior to the opener is gone now. There isn’t much bait, birds, and we haven’t seen any whales. It’s pretty life­less, but the wa­ter temps are still good. Boats spread out over the week­end cov­er­ing wa­ter from the Eel Canyon north to the 50line and couldn’t lo­cate any schools. Hope­fully they’re around and we just haven’t found them yet. The Pa­cific hal­ibut bite is re­ally good right now, but the fish are mostly small.” With sal­mon be­ing tough to come by, Skip­per Tony Sepul­veda of Shell­back Sport Fish­ing has been mak­ing his way to the Cape daily in search of qual­ity rock­fish. “It’s been the usual deal,” said Sepul­veda. “Lim­its of ling­cod to 25 pounds and rock­fish the size of bas­ket­balls. Lots of reds, cop­pers and ca­nary. And in the mid­dle of a great stretch of weather too.”


“The sal­mon opener out of Trinidad was sim­i­lar to Eureka — a few small kings around,” said Curt Wil­son of Wind Rose Char­ters. “I’ve only heard of a cou­ple caught since the week­end. The Pa­cific hal­ibut ac­tion is still re­ally good, with just about ev­ery­one get­ting lim­its up to 20-pounds. Rock fish have been on the bite at Red­ding Rock, with lots of va­ri­ety and lings up to 40-pounds. The sport crab­bing is spotty, but we’re get­ting lim­its or close to it ev­ery trip.”

Shel­ter Cove

Ac­cord­ing to Jake Mitchell of Sea Hawk Sport Fish­ing, the sal­mon bite has slowed way down the last few days. “There was a de­cent amount of fish caught on Satur­day, but it has dropped off to nearly noth­ing last cou­ple days,” said Mitchell. “Most of the ef­fort has been right around the whis­tle, but boats have been spread­ing out the last cou­ple of days look­ing but didn’t find any­thing. The rock­fish ac­tion at Rogers Break is still ex­cel­lent and the ling­cod bite has re­ally picked up.”

Cres­cent City

There were a few nice kings caught on the opener, but it wasn’t stel­lar re­ports Britt Carson of Cres­cent City’s Englund Marine. He said, “A few boats were able to score lim­its of sal­mon, and some de­cent size fish were caught. Over­all, it seems the fish are re­ally spread out and there’s lots of shakers around. Boats have been look­ing from 175 out to 300 feet of wa­ter. The rock­fish bite con­tin­ues to be good, with easy lim­its in­clud­ing lings. A few small pa­cific hal­ibut have been caught, but the Cal­i­for­nia’s have yet to show.”

An­glers fish­ing out of Brook­ings are catch­ing lim­its of rock­fish and some ling­cod as they wait for the June 20 sal­mon opener on the Ore­gon side of the border re­ports Andy Martin of Brook­ings Fish­ing Char­ters. He said, “Lots of bait schooled up near the har­bor com­bined with promis­ing re­ports from Cres­cent

City have Brook­ings an­glers op­ti­mistic about the opener at the end of next week.”

Lower Rogue

The first few sal­mon have been caught in the Rogue Bay ac­cord­ing to Martin. “It is still early, and fish­ing is slow, but a few kings are hold­ing in the bay. The wa­ter at the tips of the Gold Beach jet­ties is ex­tremely shal­low, as low as 2 feet dur­ing the mi­nus tide. Bar con­di­tions have been ex­tremely rough all spring. The dredge will ar­rive in July. Moss is mak­ing spring sal­mon fish­ing tough up­river,” added Martin.

Send in your fish photos

Land a big sal­mon or hal­ibut lately? Or maybe your friend or rel­a­tive has reeled in their first perch. Email your fish­ing photo to kenny@fish­ingthenort­h­ and I’ll run them with the “Fish­ing the North Coast” weekly col­umn and also post them on the dig­i­tal ver­sion on times-stan­ Just in­clude the name of the per­son in the photo, where and when it was taken and any other de­tails you’d like to share.

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@ fish­ingthenort­h­

Light winds and long pe­riod swells will con­tinue through the week­end. Satur­day’s fore­cast is call­ing for winds out of the S 5 to 10 knots and W swells 5 feet at 9 sec­onds.


Michael McGa­han of Brook­ings fished the sal­mon sea­son opener out of Cres­cent City with friends, land­ing eight keeper kings and los­ing a few more trolling an­chovies. The kings were 5 to 18 pounds.

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