The largest lingcod caught this season thus far for Crescent City Englund Marine's rod-and-reel contest was plucked from the Pacific last week by an angler aboard Tally Ho II Sportfishing charter boat.
John Passmore, from Grants Pass, caught the lunker of ling weighing in at 33.5 pounds on July 11, putting him in first place for Englund Marine's annual contest.
On the ocean, bottom fishing for lingcod and rockfish is as good as ever, but salmon are a bit tougher unless you go to the Klamath River, where fall chinook are starting to show.
Lower Klamath River
July can be a good time for steelhead / salmon combination trips, and this year is no exception.
Fishing guide Pergish Carlson of Blue Creek Guide Service said that salmon fishing has been good at the mouth of the Klamath River, and some bigger fall chinook are starting to show up.
"It isn't wide-open action but there's a good bite by the mouth," Carlson said, who was using spinners near the mouth.
Steelhead fishing using roe and yarn has been pretty good from Klamath Glen to Blue Creek, as well.
Carlson found salmon limits this week for a seasoned Klamath angler: 98-year-old Ken Z. Berg, who has been fishing in Klamath since the 1950s.
"He won't stop; that's what he lives for. He just lives to fish," Carlson said.
Crescent City ocean
When weather permits, bottom fishing on the north reef out of Crescent City Harbor has been "red hot," according to Capt. Craig Strickhouser of Tally Ho II Sportfishing, but Mother Nature isn't always so friendly.
"This wind is driving everyone crazy," Strickhouser said. "But when we get out, it's great."
Keith Richcreek of Pacific West Coast Ocean Fishing Guide Service said that salmon fishing has been tough, but there are usually at least a few opportunities to land king salmon. There are lots of silver (coho) salmon being caught right now, and anglers are reminded to make sure they know how to identify silver salmon so they are properly released.
Local angler Jim Mitchell, who plans to be guiding an ocean charter boat soon, was just about to net a salmon near the boat when a huge sea lion chomped down on the fish and swam away. Mitchell won the tug-of-war, taking home a salmon marked with sea lion dental records.
Brookings ocean fishing
Ocean conditions near our neighboring port to the north, Brookings-Harbor, haven't been much better, but folks at Chetco Outdoor Store said that salmon fishing has been pretty good when conditions allow and anglers can find the schools.
Tally Ho II Sportfishing at 464-1236 and tally-ho-sportfishing.com; Pergish Carlson at 951-1284 or www.bluecreekguideservice.com; Pacific West Coast Ocean Fishing Guide Service at 218-5573 and www.pwcofishingguide.com; Chetco Outdoor Store 541-469-9151.
Reach Adam Spencer at firstname.lastname@example.org.