Reel Deal: Lingcod, rockfish there for the taking

By Adam Spencer, The Triplicate June 07, 2013 01:39 pm

From left, John Pudoff of Cloverdale and Lonnie Dollarhyde of Fortuna caught chinook salmon Wednesday in the 20-pound range out of Eureka with Reel Steel Sportfishing.
From left, John Pudoff of Cloverdale and Lonnie Dollarhyde of Fortuna caught chinook salmon Wednesday in the 20-pound range out of Eureka with Reel Steel Sportfishing. Courtesy of Reel Steel Sportfishing
Ocean conditions continue to be pretty rough, but those who brave the winds and swells are getting easy limits of lingcods and rockfish out of Crescent City.  For ocean salmon, Eureka has been fairly steady. 

A small craft advisory for winds is in effect from Crescent City to Cape Blanco State Park until Monday night.

Crescent City ocean

Captain Craig Strickhouser, of Crescent City’s lone ocean charter, the Tally Ho II, was able to get out for a trip Wednesday, limiting out on black rockfish and lingcod, including a ling that weighed in at more than 24 pounds at Englund Marine Supply for the store’s annual largest lingcod contest.

“When we can get out, we limit out,” Strickhouser said.

Ocean anglers have said that the salmon bite out of Crescent City is picking up a little bit, but the prized fish aren’t here in full force yet.

“If the wind stays down, it looks promising,” Strickhouser said.

Eureka ocean

After taking a break due to nasty weather for four days, Reel Steel Sportfishing went out Tuesday and despite 10-foot swells and 15-knot winds, the group was able to get limits of chinook salmon by 10 a.m.

On Wednesday, Reel Steel’s clients caught and carefully released several coho salmon before they were able to reach their limits of chinook salmon, with three in the 20-pound range.

Brookings-Harbor area

Rough seas have kept most anglers off the water in Brookings, according to Scott Stewart at the Chetco Outdoor Store, but when they can get out, the halibut bite has been pretty good.

“The salmon bite is pretty much non-existent” and bottom fish have been fair, Stewart said, adding that a huge upwelling and sizable shrimp spawn has created cloudy water and clear bait that has created a tough scenario for drawing in fish.

“We’ve got a huge wad of bait out here; they just haven’t come for it yet,” Stewart said.

Surfperch fishing has been good when conditions allow.

Cutthroat trout

Both the Smith and Chetco rivers provide great angling for cutthroat trout in the spring and summer, which can offer a nice alternative when the ocean is rough, as has been the case recently.

Only artificial lures with barbless hooks may be used on the Smith River through the summer. Two cutthroat trout, at least 10 inches in length, are allowed per day.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife allows two cutthroat per day on the Chetco and states, “The estuary usually holds larger fish, but anglers may need a boat to access this fishery. The upper river is more for bank anglers fishing small spinners or flies.”

Fishing contacts: Tally Ho Sportfishing at 707-464-1236; Chetco Outdoor Store at 541- 469-9151; Reel Steel Sportfishing at 707-499-4925.

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