Although Pacific halibut fishing officially closed in California, sportfishermen have simultaneously been presented with another fishing option with schools of tuna moving to within 35 miles of the coast in Northern California. Oregon ocean anglers have been able to haul in a few tuna and Pacific halibut through the week as well, though high winds have made fishing difficult at times. Still, Oregon anglers received some good news this week with its daily bag limit for bottomfish increasing by one fish per day.
On the ocean
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife officially closed Pacific halibut fishing on the California Coast at the end of the day on Friday, citing projected catch estimates reaching the statewide quota of 30, 940 pounds. Oregon sportfishermen have caught a total of 5,108 pounds towards the Southern Oregon Coasts subquota of 8,982 pounds, leaving 43 percent of the total quota left to be harvested.
Although California anglers can no longer target Pacific halibut, sportfishermen have been able to target tuna out of Crescent City this week, with school moving to within 35 miles of shore. Oregon anglers have been able to target tuna as well over the past few weeks.
Bottomfishing has remained solid on both sides of the border whenever the wind has died down. On Wednesday, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife announced that anglers on the Oregon Coast will once again be allowed to retain five rockfish per day as part of its daily bag limit. The ODFW previously reduced the bag limit to four due to a higher-than-anticipated catch rate early in the season. The daily bag limit for lincod is still two for anglers in Oregon.
Although the sportfishing quota for adult Chinook salmon was met on the Lower Klamath River last week, the annual run still seems to be picking up steam. Although the spit is now closed, anglers are still allowed to fish the Klamath River for jacks — juvenile salmon measuring less than 22 inches in length — and are finding lots in the river.
The Rogue Bay has been a little bit slower since the water temperature has cooled, sending the salmon up river, but has still provided steady fishing over the last couple weeks.
While still early in the season for salmon on the Smith and Chetco rivers, there have been a handful of salmon caught in the Chetco Estuary every day this week, while anglers at the Mouth of the Smith River have also caught a few fish, including at least one 25-pound adult already.
Fishing contacts: Chetco Outdoor Store at 541-469-9151; Englund Marine Supply Company at 464-32306.