Rough seas have kept most sport anglers docked this week from Eureka to Brookings, but conditions were forecast to improve today, letting folks get another chance at halibut and bottom fish.
Salmon action, however, has been quiet on the Brookings and Crescent City coasts.
Before the gusty north winds and steep seas came to the North Coast, fishermen were catching a fair amount of Pacific halibut, according to staff at Englund Marine Supply Co. in Crescent City Harbor.
On Sunday, the last day Tally Ho II Sportfishing went out before rough seas, guests caught some nice-sized lingcods and black rockfish, but did not limit out.
“We had to work for our fish on Sunday,” said Capt. Craig Strickhouser. “They just had lockjaw — they just didn’t want to eat.”
A few salmon were reported to have been caught sporadically before the rough seas hit, but not many.
The lingcod action has been holding steady while black rockfish take a little searching before anglers find them, according to Englund Marine.
Lower Klamath R.
Although a few half-pounders and adult steelhead have been caught by anglers fishing in the lower Klamath River, the salmon have been virtually non-existent, according to fishing guide James Keeling.
Keeling said anglers fishing from the boat ramp at Klamath Glen to Blue Creek will occasionally also pick up a salmon, but it’s few and far between considering the high water temperatures.
Water temperatures in the lower Klamath have been hovering below 73 degrees, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
“Salmon fishing has basically quit,” said Scott Stewart of Ultimate Catch Charter and the Chetco Outdoor Store. “We have water temps that are pretty high out there; until it cools off I don’t expect much.”
Like Crescent City, fishing pressure has been low out of Brookings with rough seas.
When anglers have been able to get out on the ocean, there has been a fair halibut bite, Stewart said, and lingcods are off the charts.
Rogue R. estuary
There has recently been a good afternoon bite of chinook salmon in the Rogue River estuary, according to Stewart.
Roughly five to eight boats have been trolling bait rigs for salmon in the estuary, pulling anywhere from 25–30 salmon per day, Stewart said.
After staying off the water due to rough seas for most of the week, Reel Steel Sportfishing hit the sea for salmon Wednesday, but the conditions have noticeably changed, according to Reel Steel.
Capt. Tim Klassen was able to help his four guests land five salmon Wednesday — a far cry from the non-stop limits that Klassen reported for much of the summer.
Even worse numbers were posted by many of the other charter boats in the Eureka fleet, according to Sherry Klassen, adding that the fish are really deep and spread out.
Before the choppy conditions came on, Reel Steel had a good day of fishing on Sunday with fairly early salmon limits, including a 24- and 36-pounder.
Fishing contacts: Tally Ho Sportfishing at 707-464-1236; Englund Marine Supply at 707-464-3230; Chetco Outdoor Store at 541-469-9151; Ultimate Catch Charter at 541-813-0330; James Keeling’s Guide Service at 707-223-7438; Reel Steel Sportfishing at 707-499-4925.