Reel Deal: Salmon bite as good as it gets

By Adam Spencer, The Triplicate July 04, 2013 11:15 am

Joanna Jasper and Todd Hawkins caught this 26-pound lingcod on Wednesday. Courtesy of Tally Ho Sportfishing
Joanna Jasper and Todd Hawkins caught this 26-pound lingcod on Wednesday. Courtesy of Tally Ho Sportfishing
“Red-hot,” “insanely wide open” and “as good as it gets” have been some choice terms used recently to describe this summer’s salmon bite on the North Coast in Southern Oregon, with limits of chinook salmon — and hatchery-raised silver/coho salmon in Oregon — reached quickly.


Crescent City ocean

Several 30-pound salmon and a couple 26-pound lingcod were weighed in at Englund Marine Supply Co. in Crescent City Harbor on Wednesday.  The store awards a free rod and reel to the largest chinook salmon and lingcod caught throughout the season.

Tally Ho Sportfishing has been finding the salmon to average around 12 pounds, and on Monday they had four lings over 20 pounds.

The weather forecast doesn’t look great for ocean fishing through the weekend, but — this being the North Coast, with its fluctuating weather patterns — that could change.

Fishing for rockfish has been hindered by the fact that lingcod are on the hook before rockfish can get a bite — not a bad problem to have.

Fishing for chinook salmon has been partially hampered by an abundance of silver (coho) salmon that chomp anglers’ bait before a chinook can get it — kind of a problem to have, as coho may not be retained. Unless you’re in Oregon.


Brookings-Harbor area

Scott Stewart of Ultimate Catch charter and the Chetco Outdoor store said it only took 25 minutes to get two limits of salmon out of Brookings-Harbor last Saturday.

“It’s just red hot out there,” he said.

Six to eight salmon in a couple hours is a rough average for the catch in the area, and that includes adipose-fin-clipped silver salmon, two of which can be retained daily in Oregon.

The lingcod and rockfish is also reported to be good still with easy limits for both, Stewart said.

On the Chetco River, there is still some decent cutthroat trout action, but anglers are reminded that no bait is allowed above the tide change.

Big cutthroat are reportedly being caught on the upper reaches of the Winchuck River, Stewart said.


Lower Klamath River

More spring-run salmon are reported to have been caught on the lower Klamath River, and summer steelhead are expected to start trickling into the system as well.


Eureka ocean salmon

“Insanely wide open” is the way Reel Steel Sportfishing describes the salmon bite out of Eureka, with a grade of fish averaging 17 to 18 pounds, according to their report.

Fishing‚ÄąGuide Contacts: Tally Ho Sportfishing at 707-464-1236; Englund Marine Supply at 707- 464-3230; Chetco Outdoor Store at 541-469-9151; Reel Steel Sportfishing at 707-499-4925.

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