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Reel Deal: Hot spot is at the mouth of the Klamath

Anglers line the sides of the mouth of the Klamath River this week to get in on the catch.
Anglers line the sides of the mouth of the Klamath River this week to get in on the catch. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
Hundreds of fishermen continue to crowd the banks of the long, narrow spit where the Klamath River meets the Pacific, pulling salmon after salmon from the river.

Tuna fishing off the coast of Eureka and Trinidad was reportedly as good as it gets earlier this week, but small craft advisory conditions near shore and near-gale conditions in outer waters will keep most boats off the ocean until at least early next week.

Klamath River mouth

More than 3,000 salmon have already been harvested by sport anglers at the mouth of the Klamath River this season. The current configuration of the spit with a southerly mouth creates a  narrow passage nearly a mile long before the river starts to widen.

This creates a hell of a fishing opportunity at the mouth. You might hear “Fish on!” just as often as the sound of seagulls.

The redtail surfperch bite on the ocean side of the Klamath spit is also fantastic.

Kamp Klamath RV Park has started a shuttle service bringing guests to the mouth of the river to avoid the half-hour trudge across sandy Klamath Beach.

Lower Klamath River

Since Labor Day, the water temperature in the lower Klamath River has dropped 2 degrees, tempting more fish to enter the river, although salmon fishing from a boat is still less productive than at the mouth.

Fishing guide Steve Huber said it’s a combination bite with a few nice jacks and adult salmon caught on Friday, and the adult steelhead bite has consistently been great.

“The steelhead bite has been what’s saving us,” Huber said. “You have to be patient. Water is clear, but the water temp is down a bit, so the fish are pushing.”

Crescent City ocean

A fairly consistent halibut bite and persistent-all-summer lingcod and rockfish bite has been keeping anglers busy even though the salmon are nowhere to be seen near Crescent City.

Tally Ho II Sportfishing, Crescent City’s lone charter operation, has still been finding limits of lingcod and black rockfish for guests.

Many anglers are still catching halibut as well, according to staff at Englund Marine Supply Co.

Eureka ocean

On Wednesday, tuna fishing about 40 miles off the coast from Eureka was “as good as tuna fishing can get,” according to reports from Reel Steel Sportfishing.

“We had live bait that was irresistible to the hungry tuna. Several times we had tuna boiling all around the boat and every bait that hit the water got bit. The fish averaged 20 pounds-plus and gave each angler a workout. We left them biting,” Reel Steel’s report said.

Although the bulk of tuna was 40 miles out, Sherry Klassen of Reel Steel said that there were tuna jumping closer than that.

Salmon fishing outside of Eureka hasn’t cooled off like in Crescent City. Reel Steel got limits for guests by noon on Thursday.

Fishing contacts: Tally Ho Sportfishing at 707-464-1236; Englund Marine Supply at 707-464-3230; Steve Huber Guide Service at 530-623-1918; Kamp Klamath RV Park and Campground at 707-482-0227; Reel Steel Sportfishing at 707-499-4925. 

Reach Adam Spencer at  This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

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