Reel Deal: Plenty of choices for local ocean sport fishing

Adam Spencer, The Triplicate

With the option of targeting salmon, rockfish or halibut, ocean sport fishing is red hot right now, and spring chinook salmon on the Klamath River is just picking up.

For shore-based anglers, redtail perch fishing in the surf continues to be very productive this spring along most of the North Coast.

Crescent City

More salmon have already been caught this year than all of last

year's ocean salmon season in Crescent City, according to Chris Hegnes

of Englund Marine Supply.

"There was more caught even a couple days ago than all of last year," he said.

Although the bite has slowed a bit, the limited fishing pressure due

to windy weather and the small Crescent City fleet doesn't give the

whole scope for the amount of salmon out there. After all, "those fish

got tails," Hegnes said, and they move around a lot.

"Things will be getting better," he said.

Since the boat-based season for lingcod and rockfish opened Saturday, the catch has been good, Hegnes said.

Fishermen have been easily getting their daily limit of two lingcod and coming close to the daily limit of 10 rockfish.

Brookings

A 19-foot fishing boat, the Meal Ticket, launched out of Brookings on Tuesday, pulling out lots of lings and a halibut.

"Lingcod were wide open and I had three on at once," said local fishermen Mike Nolan of Hiouchi.

The only halibut hauled into Brookings that day was caught by Nolan.

At 36 inches, it's small for a halibut and called a "chicken," Nolan

said.

The Meal Ticket didn't trigger any bites until it moved into deeper

water and then within 15 minutes caught the halibut at a depth of 300

feet.

One of the lingcod was a "hitchhiker" coming up to the surface

because it was biting onto a smaller lingcod. Once the hitchhiker was in

sight, the crew gaffed it, getting two fish for one.

For bait, they used herring caught in the Crescent City harbor and green squid skirts.

Nolan didn't hear any talk of salmon fishing in Brookings. Most anglers targeted halibut and rockfish.

Springers in Klamath River

About eight spring chinook salmon were caught in the Klamath River on

Wednesday within five miles of the U.S. Highway 101 bridge, according

to fishing guide Gary Whittaker of Wild River Fishing.

"Springers are happening," Whittaker said.

After a successful month of dorado fishing in Mexico, Whittaker is

back to target Klamath salmon. He recommended small chartreuse spinners

with hammered blades.

"I do short notice trips. call me up, and let's go fishing," he said.

Whittaker also recommended fishing on the shore for redtail perch with another set of minus tides starting Friday.

Eureka

After his crew caught its limit of Pacific halibut on Tuesday, Tim Klassen of Reel Steel Sport Fishing targeted some salmon.

"We lost a fair number of fish but it didn't matter because when one

came unhooked another was waiting to take his place," he said in his

fishing report at reelstee

lsportfishing.com . "So at the end of the day everyone had a limit of beautiful King Salmon to go with their halibut."

On Sunday, following some feeding birds led Klassen into "red hot" salmon fishing and a limit for everyone on board.

Contact fishing guide Gary Whittaker of Wild River Fishing at 707-498-4491 or get more info at wildriverfishing.com .

Contact Reel Steel Sport Fishing, call Sherry at 707-499-4925 or email Reelsteel@humboldt1.

com.

Reach Adam Spencer at aspencer@triplicate.com .

14028095
The Del Norte Triplicate
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