Anglers have been able to haul in a fish or two on local rivers, especially early in the week, but fishing has slowed as the week has progressed, despite good conditions on rivers. Similar to last week, the salmon that are still in the system seem to be taking advantage of the high water level to shoot through the system. Meanwhile fewer steelhead have been spotted this week after a few were caught last week.

Meanwhile, recreational crabbers continue to haul in lots of crustaceans throughout the week. Sportcrabbing has been strong since the season began with anglers reportedly catching fairly easy limits both inside and outside of Crescent City Harbor.

River fishing

There have been a few salmon hooked off and on throughout the week, and rivers seem to be in good shape, yet anglers haven’t been having a lot of luck, especially late in the week, from the Smith River all the way north to the Elk River.

“I’ve been on the Chetco, the Elk, the Sixes and the Smith this week. It has been pretty slow fishing — it is definitely winding down,” said fishing guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing. “The Elk and Sixes were good early in the week, but it slowed down as it got closer to the weekend. The Chetco River fished well on Wednesday, the first day it rounded back into shape, but that has slowed down too. There were also a few salmon caught on the Smith on Sunday near Rowdy Creek. It is slow fishing, but the conditions are good right now.”

After a few steelhead were hooked on both the Smith and Chetco rivers last week, anglers were hopeful that the run might start a little early, but the steelhead run seems to have dropped off this week.

“The steelhead run was showing a lot of promise that it was going to come in early, but now it has slowed down again,” Martin said. “But there will be more fish coming. Right now we are running plugs for salmon first, then side drifting for steelhead towards the bottom end. There just aren’t a lot of fish in any rivers right now.”

That could change any day however, especially with more rain in the forecast for today.

“We are just waiting for more steelhead to come in, and it could happen any day with these rains.”

Ocean fishing

The sportcrabbing season has been popping off ever since the season began, and recreational crabbers are still hauling in fairly easy limits of keepers both inside and outside of the harbor. Although many of the crab are large enough to keep, crabbers are reporting that the crustaceans are still a little on the lean side, which is the reason for the two-week minimum delay for the commercial crabbing season announced this week.

The commercial season will not open until the average crab has a meat content of 22 percent. Testing completed by the Pacific Fisheries Management Council showed average crab size was 16.7 percent meat out of Crescent City when tests were conducted on Nov. 6. A second round of testing is scheduled to be completed prior to Dec. 7.

Bottomfishermen still have a month left to target rockfish and lingcod before the 2017 season comes to a close. Bottomfishing has remains strong out of Crescent City whenever ocean conditions cooperate.

Fishing contacts: Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing at 206-388-8988; Englund Marine Supply Company at 464-32306; Jim Mitchell of Gotcha Hooked Fish Trips at 464-8482.

Reach Michael Zogg at mzogg@triplicate.com.

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