Reel Deal: Extra water, extra salmon in rivers

By Adam Spencer, The Triplicate August 30, 2013 05:58 pm

“I just love it here,” said Gene Lysesenko of Crescent City after spending Wednesday fishing for lingcod and rockfish.
“I just love it here,” said Gene Lysesenko of Crescent City after spending Wednesday fishing for lingcod and rockfish. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
Early Sunday, the spigot was loosened on Trinity Reservoir, sending an extra water gush of 2,200 cubic feet per second downstream to the Klamath-Trinity River system. By Tuesday afternoon, anglers in the lower Klamath were already reaping the benefits of the extra water, which peaked at 4,800 cfs early Wednesday, finding more and more adult salmon on the hook.

Try finding salmon in the ocean, and you’ll be mostly on your own, as most anglers have turned to the next catch.

Lower Klamath R.

The extra 2,200 cfs, scheduled for Hoopa Valley Tribe ceremonies, only lasted through Tuesday night, but the feds have guaranteed to keep the lower Klamath River at 2,800 cfs through Sept. 19 to avoid a repeat of the 2002 salmon kill.

With extra water comes extra moss, according to guides in the lower Klamath, but once all the moss and debris clears out, anglers are looking forward to red-hot salmon fishing.

“There are fish throughout the system right now,” said fishing guide James Keeling, adding that anglers are catching more adult salmon and adult steelhead since Tuesday.

Fishing for salmon at the mouth of the Klamath has been very productive, according to reports.

Crescent City ocean

Most anglers have given up on trolling for salmon out of Crescent City as the bite continues to be slow with water temps getting close to 60 degrees. 

Instead, anglers have switched to targeting halibut, lingcod and rockfish. The lingcod and halibut bite has been great, according to staff at Englund Marine Supply Co. in Crescent City Harbor.  The largest lingcod caught so far this season for Englund’s Rod and Reel contest weighed 42 pounds.

Tally Ho II Sportfishing has found limits of lingcods nearly every day in the last week, and Capt. Craig Strickhouser said the black rockfish bite has really picked up.

Brookings-Harbor

The halibut bite out of Brookings is “still really good,” said Scott Stewart of Ultimate Catch Charter and the Chetco Outdoor Store. Lingcod fishing has been moderate and black rockfish are decent or good, depending on the day, Stewart said.

Salmon fishing, on the other hand, has been really slow.  

But maybe, just maybe, the prized fish will show up for the 10th annual Slam’n Salmon Ocean Derby, which starts Friday and continues through Sunday at the Port of Brookings-Harbor. More than $16,000 worth of cash and prizes will be awarded to successful fishermen. Anglers can register at the port office or at slamnsalmon.com.

Eureka ocean 

Even the charter boats out of Eureka, which have had a steady catch of ocean salmon most of the summer, are starting to see a slowdown, according to Reel Steel Sportfishing’s reports.

The salmon they have found are often small or non-keepable coho.

Fishing for halibut, lingcod and rockfish is pretty good, according to Reel Steel reports.

Fishing contacts: Tally Ho Sportfishing at 707-464-1236; Englund Marine Supply at 707-464-3230; Chetco Outdoor Store at 541-469-9151; Ultimate Catch Charter at 541-813-0330; James Keeling’s Guide Service at 707-223-7438; Reel Steel Sportfishing at 707-499-4925.

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