Bellies up and down the North Coast have been stuffed with salmon lately as the bite continues to be “fast and furious,” as described by Sherry Klassen of Reel Steel Sportfishing in Eureka.
Reel Steel has been getting limits of two salmon per person in just an hour all week.
“They can’t even get four rods in the water before a fish is on,” Klassen said.
“WIDE OPEN!! RED HOT!! Whatever you want to call it, the salmon fishing in Eureka is off the charts,” said Reel Steel’s Friday fishing report.
Reel Steel was having the most luck with spoons and chrome dodgers.
“Why waste the bait if they’re going to bite on artificial stuff?” Klassen said.
The salmon aren’t too deep either. Harry Adams of Crescent City has been fishing out of Eureka and they were catching fish by running their downriggers at just 20 to 25 feet.
With mostly flashers and apexes, Adams and eight other anglers were able to haul in 18 salmon in less than two hours.
“My son-in-law wanted to know why my grandkids call me ‘Papa Fish’ so I took him fishing,” Adams said.
Harry Adams (left) and Jacob Gregory (right) with several king salmon caught out of Eureka. Submitted by Harry Adams
Apexes were the ticket for his boat. The one rod that Adams’ boat fished with bait didn’t catch a single fish. An even more effective tactic was “mooching,” which one boat employed to catch nine salmon in five minutes, Adams said.
Mooching is a type of fishing where the boat’s engine is not used, but instead the boat drifts in the current and wind while anglers use bait and various jigs. More on mooching in the next Reel Deal.
Jim Mitchell of Gotcha Hooked Fish Trips had much more luck with bait fishing out of Crescent City on Monday.
Using anchovies, Mitchell and a friend hooked ten fish and landed four nice keepers. Mitchell also recommends fishing with a salmon hoochie and a strip of herring tied to the hook for smell.
The salmon bellies have been filled with krill, Mitchell noticed.
Same news, different week on the lower Klamath River, with a below par season for spring chinook salmon.
Fishing guide Steve Huber said they are still catching just a couple fish a day at the most, and steelhead are still moving into the area.
With the Trinity River expected to drop this week, Huber predicted changes in the Klamath fishing forecast.
Summer is a good time to fish for cutthroat trout in the Chetco and Winchuck Rivers, according to Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
“Cutthroat are spread throughout the (Winchuck) river. One of the best places to fish for cutthroat is in the estuary,” said Oregon DFW’s website.
Cutthroat fishing in the estuary or upriver in the Chetco is also worth a shot in the summer time.
Fishing Guide Contacts: Reel Steel Sportfishing at 707-499-4925; Jim Mitchell of Gotcha Hooked Fish Trips at 707-464-8482; Steve Huber Guide Service at 530-623-1918.