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Updated 4:21pm - Jul 26, 2016

Home arrow News arrow Sports arrow Reel Deal: Ocean’s hot ... Klamath’s not


Reel Deal: Ocean’s hot ... Klamath’s not

Chinook salmon bite in Klamath ‘marginal at best’

Gary Engelke of Cloverdale holds up a chinook salmon caught in the Klamath River. Submitted
Gary Engelke of Cloverdale holds up a chinook salmon caught in the Klamath River. Submitted
Ocean fishing continues to produce, and Klamath spring salmon are still MIA. A series of low tides continues into the weekend that should make for good gathering of shellfish.

Today there will be a -1.8 tide at 8:41 a.m., a -1.2 at 9:29 a.m. Friday and a -0.5 on Saturday, according to saltwatertides.com.

Battling bait fish, full moon

With an apparent abundancy of bait fish in the ocean, it can be hard to get the snappers to bite.

“The snappers have been eating a lot of bait,” said fishing guide Jim Mitchell of Crescent City. “When we bring them into the boat, we’re seeing them spit up fish, so we are fishing in the middle of a bait ball trying to make our rubber fish look appealing.”

Usually, Mitchell of Gotcha Hooked Fishing Trips will jig his rubber bait covered in scent right off the bottom, like a wounded anchovy.

But when there’s a surplus of bait fish out there, Mitchell goes for a “reaction bite.” After finding the bottom, retrieve fast and even fully fed snappers might just hit your rig out of instinct.

Mitchell’s boat caught 30 black snappers Saturday out of one hole, in about 50-75 feet of water.

Golden Bear Fishing, also based in Crescent City, has just recently got its season started.

“It’s been a full moon and that makes for slower fishing,” said Bridget Hicks of Golden Bear, adding that fish eat all night when there’s a full moon, making it harder to get fish to bite in the daytime.

Golden Bear has been catching more blue snapper than anything else.

Missing springers

Despite lofty predictions of large returns of Klamath River spring chinook salmon this year, the bite has been “marginal at best,” said guide Mike Coopman.

Coopman’s been able to put clients on a few fish here and there, including the large chinook pictured on this page, caught by Gary Engelke from Cloverdale.

“A few fish showed up on these tides this week,” Coopman said. “But it’s really past the point of prime time and they’re still not here.”

Eureka salmon

The ocean salmon fishing out of Eureka has been “insane” to the point that it’s seems like a slow day if the boat doesn’t get its limit of salmon before 10 a.m., according to the reports from Reel Steel Sport Fishing.

“I don’t remember King salmon fishing this good in my lifetime (and I’m starting to get kind of old),” Tim Klassen of Reel Steel wrote on his website. “If you ever wanted to catch a salmon NOW is the time to do it.”

Salmon fishing was so good Tuesday that Klassen’s clients took turns on two fishing rods, because the fish were biting too fast to get more lines in the water.

“Unless they jump in the cooler without being hooked salmon fishing will never be better than what it is right now!” Klassen wrote for his Tuesday report.

Fishing guide contacts: Jim Mitchell of Gotcha Hooked Fish Trips at 707-464-8482; Golden Bear Fishing at 707-951-0119; Mike Coopman’s Guide Service at 707-465-1367; Reel Steel Sport Fishing at 707-499-4925 or This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

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


Del Norte Triplicate:

312 H Street
P.O. Box 277
Crescent City, CA 95531

(707) 464-2141

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