Wind cur­tails hal­ibut ac­tion

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

Hal­ibut con­tin­ues to be the shin­ing light out of both Eu­reka and Trinidad as the siz­zling bite con­tin­ued into this week. It’s look­ing like the only thing that will slow it down is if you can’t get to the fish­ing grounds. And that’s ex­actly where we are. Af­ter a long stretch of good weather and even bet­ter fish­ing, the ocean lumped up, giv­ing the Pa­cific hal­ibut a breather. Over the week­end and ear­lier in the week, the char­ter fleet were re­port­ing lim­its for six cus­tomers as early as 8:30, which is prac­ti­cally un­heard of. With vir­tu­ally no salmon to speak of, hope­fully the hal­ibut will still be on the chew once the seas come back down. The Cal­i­for­nia hal­ibut bite hasn’t been quite as hot, which can be at­trib­uted to the mi­nus tides and big swings we’ve had this week. Hum­boldt Bay was packed over the week­end, and there were quite a few boats that re­ported three fish per an­gler lim­its. For a well-known salmon port like Eu­reka, the lack of salmon is a tough pill to swal­low. But at least we have our hal­ibut.

Week­end ma­rine fore­cast

Northerly winds and steep seas will per­sist through the week­end. As of Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon, Fri­day’s fore­cast is call­ing for N winds 5 to 15 knots and waves NW 9 feet at 8 sec­onds. Satur­day’s fore­cast is call­ing for N winds 10 to 20 knots and waves N 8 feet at 8 sec­onds. The winds will in­crease on Sun­day, com­ing out of the N 15 to 20 knots and waves NW 8 feet at 10 sec­onds fore­casted. Th­ese con­di­tions can and will change by the week­end. For an up-to­date 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.

Fresh­wa­ter La­goon trout plants

Ac­cord­ing to the CDFW web­site, Fresh­wa­ter La­goon has been planted with trout since mid-April. Re­port­edly, the fish­ing has been ex­cel­lent this month for keeper-sized rain­bows. Fresh­wa­ter is open to fish­ing year-round and the limit is 5 trout per day and 10 in pos­ses­sion. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www. nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FishPlants or call (530) 225-2146.

Eu­reka is still the place to be for all things Hal­ibut. The only fac­tor that can slow the bite ap­pears to be the ocean con­di­tions, and that’s what’s hap­pen­ing right now. “The Pa­cific hal­ibut ac­tion over the last two weeks is the best I’ve ever seen,” said Tim Klassen of Reel Steel Sport Fish­ing “But now it looks like they’re go­ing to get a break. We have some pretty rough con­di­tions fore­casted through the week­end. Ear­lier in the week the fish­ing was lights out, with just about all the boats catch­ing their limit or close to it. The fish have been in the same gen­eral area, straight out and rang­ing from 250 to 320 feet of wa­ter. Most of the fish are still on the small

side, but we are start­ing to see a few big­ger ones be­ing caught. In­side the bay, the Cal­i­for­nia hal­ibut bite has been fair, mostly due to the mi­nus tides we’ve had this week. There seems to be plenty of fish around, but the big tide swings seem to have slowed the bite.”

Skip­per Tony Sepul­veda of Shell­back Sport Fish­ing fished the Cape through Satur­day and re­ports the ling­cod bite was on fire. “Lim­its ev­ery day with more 20 pounders for the week than I could count and sev­eral over 30,” said Sepul­veda. “The top fish was a 37 pounder. The great weather started

break­ing down so I’ve moved the boat north to Trinidad. We’re mak­ing a 20-mile run from there for lim­its of ling­cod and color­ful rock­fish in an area that’s more pro­tected from the wind than the lost coast. Pa­cific hal­ibut have also been on the chew and we’ve been top­ping off our bot­tom fish lim­its with some shots at them. A 58-pounder was our best fish, but most are run­ning 10 to 20 pounds.”

Trinidad

Ac­cord­ing to Curt Wil­son of Wind Rose Char­ters, the weather hasn’t been great this week. He said, “We did a few hal­ibut trips, and only caught a few. The fish are def­i­nitely still here, but it can be tough to get them in rough wa­ter. A lot of the smaller boats didn’t make it out this week. The rock­fish bite is still go­ing strong. Flat Iron and the Tur­tles are some of the bet­ter spots. We’ve been find­ing a bet­ter va­ri­ety out deeper. A few keeper salmon were caught this week, but there isn’t much ef­fort.”

Shel­ter Cove

Ac­cord­ing to Jake Mitchell of Sea Hawk Sport Fish­ing, the salmon bite was pretty spo­radic this week. He said, “Some days were pretty good, but you had to be there at the right time. Most of the salmon ef­fort was in­side the whis­tle in 40 feet of wa­ter. The grade this week was pretty good with many fish in the 20-pound class. The rock­fish bite was pretty good down off Bear Har­bor this week as well.”

Cres­cent City

A cou­ple of boats came in on Tues­day with lim­its of salmon re­ports Britt Car­son of Cres­cent City’s Englund Ma­rine. He said, “The fish are re­ally scat­tered, and there aren’t many boats try­ing. The fish that were caught on Tues­day came south of the South Reef. The rock­fish and ling­cod bite are still go­ing strong, with an­glers com­ing back with lim­its of both. There hasn’t been much ef­fort on Pa­cific hal­ibut, and I haven’t heard of any Cal­i­for­nia’s caught this week.”

Brook­ings

The salmon opener off of Brook­ings on Satur­day was the best in sev­eral years, with more than 100 boats re­turn­ing with salmon on­board re­ports Andy Martin of Brook­ings Fish­ing Char­ters. “Most had mul­ti­ple fish,” said Martin. “The fish were shal­low, feeding on schools of an­chovies and her­ring close to the har­bor. Fish­ing also was good Sun­day and Mon­day, but slowed Tues­day, al­though sev­eral dozen kings were caught. Fish­ing was es­pe­cially good con­sid­er­ing the windy weather and choppy seas early this week. The Miss Brooke of Brook­ings Fish­ing Char­ters had two dou­bles and a triple on Satur­day, with 12 adult kings from 10 to 20 pounds for six an­glers.

Fish­ing for rock­fish has been ex­tremely good, with quick lim­its. Lots of fish have moved close to the har­bor to feed on an­chovies. Ling­cod fish­ing is fair, with de­cent num­bers of fish caught this past week. Rough weather has kept boats away from the hal­ibut grounds.”

Lower Rogue

Salmon fish­ing re­mains slow on the Rogue Bay, but should im­prove with quickly warm­ing wa­ter tem­per­a­tures ac­cord­ing to Martin. “The tem­per­a­ture at Ag­ness in­creased from 61 de­grees last week to 72 de­grees on Tues­day. The warm wa­ter halts the up­stream mi­gra­tion of salmon and forces them to hold in the bay, spark­ing the sum­mer fish­ery in Gold Beach,” added Martin.

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF LAWRENCE SOBOLEWSKI

McKin­leyville res­i­dent Lawrence Sobolewski hauled in this whop­ping 37-pound Cal­i­for­nia hal­ibut last Fri­day in­side Hum­boldt Bay.

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