Reel Deal: Promise of good river fishing ahead

By Adam Spencer, The Triplicate August 10, 2012 07:47 pm

If projections are fulfilled, a record number of roughly 380,000 fall chinook salmon will return to the Klamath River this season.  

This summer’s extraordinary salmon fishing on the ocean has given anglers reason to trust the numbers.

Rockfish and lingcod fishing continues to be wide open, but the fishery closes for boat-based anglers south of a point near Cape Mendocino (40 degree N. latitude) on Aug. 15. Del Norte’s fishery stays open until Oct. 31.

Klamath River fishing

Klamath salmon hunters are preparing for a projected run of 380,000 fall chinooks. Starting Wednesday, anglers will be allowed to keep four adult salmon per day.

 

“I’m getting ready to hit it hard and heavy,” said Ron MacMaster of Catch My Drift.  “It’s going to really start picking up here really soon.”

Adult chinook salmon have been making infrequent appearances, but Klamath anglers are primarily catching steelhead and salmon jacks.  

“Steelhead bite has been wide open,” said fishing guide Mike Coopman.

Spinners have been working well just up from the mouth of the river at all times of the day, said Gary Whittaker of Wild River Fishing.

Crescent City ocean fishing

Calm conditions made for some “Lake Pacific” moments in Crescent City this week.

The salmon bite is slower, but the reward is better, according to fishing guides.

“Guys are having to work a little harder for them but they’re bigger,” said Craig Strickhouser of Tally Ho Sportfishing.

Rockfish and lingcod fishing continues to be great.  

Jim Mitchell of Gotcha Hooked Fish Trips has been doing well with lead heads, scampi lures and purple and black shrimp flies.

Shore fishing

Redtail surfperch are still biting along most Del Norte beaches, especially from Wilson Beach south.

“Night crawlers work really good even though they die when they hit saltwater. They bite it right away,” Whittaker said.

Eureka ocean fishing

Early limits of salmon for Reel Steel Sportfishing continues, joined by limits of lingcod some days and a 53-pound halibut on Monday.

Reel Steel took three generations of a family visiting from Spain out Wednesday, and got salmon limits by 9 a.m., with the grandmother catching a 22-pound salmon — the biggest fish of the day and her life.

Shelter Cove

Albacore tuna came in within 30 miles of shore over the weekend, and anglers in the cove took advantage.

The fourth annual fishermen’s festival is Saturday. The band Flannel Head will be headlining.  Fish dinners at the festival were all donated by fishermen, and proceeds will go to building a new softball diamond in Shelter Cove.

Fishing Guide Contacts: Mike Coopman’s Guide Service at 707-465-1367; Tally Ho Sportfishing at 707-464-1236; Reel Steel Sportfishing at 707-499-4925; Gotcha Hooked Fish Trips at 707-464-8482; Wild River Fishing at 707-498-4491 and wildriverfishing.com.

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