As the weather has calmed late in the week, sportfishermen have finally been able to get out into deep enough water to target Pacific halibut and they have been rewarded with a few of the first catches of the season on both sides of the California-Oregon border. Anglers have also been nabbing nice hauls of bottomfish out of Crescent City and Brookings late in the week.
Meanwhile, crabbers in Oregon got some bad news as the sportcrabbing season was closed during the week due to a positive test for domoic acid. Crabbing had been fairly strong prior to the closure.
On the ocean
Sportfishermen were met with big waves and winds early in the week, but the ocean started to settle down on Thursday. Friday provided perhaps the best conditions on the ocean since the Pacific halibut season opened at the beginning of the month.
Anglers were able to take advantage with several Pacific halibut hauled in on both sides of the border. Capt. Keith Richcreek, of Pacfic West Coast Ocean Fishing Guid Service said he went out of Crescent City with a couple friends on Friday and they managed to catch their limits, with three halibut weighing between about 40 and 60 pounds.
Meanwhile the bottomfishing has been good since the weather started to calm. Lots of anglers were able to catch quick limits of rockfish and lingcod out of Crescent City, including some pretty nice-sized lingcod.
Rockfish have also been biting out of Brookings. Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing said the rockfish bite is wide open with lots of fish hanging out near the surface as they eat some of the baby crab floating near the surface.
The lingcod bite has been a little bit slower out of Brookings than in California, however.
“Because of the minus tide, and the outgoing tide in the morning there was a really strong drift,” Martin said. “So that played a factor in the lingcod fishing. It made the bottom really snaggy because the boat was moving so fast.”
Martin said they were still able to get about a lingcod per rod however.
Conditions are only expected to improve through the next few days, providing and excellent opportunity to target both Pacific halibut and bottomfish all weekend.
“It should be really good conditions to go out of both Brookings and Crescent City with really low swell, and light winds,” Martin said.
Although sportcrabbing has been producing well recently in Oregon, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife announced a closure to sport crabbing due to a positive test above the threshold for domoic acid. Crabbing is now closed from Cape Blanco south to the border.
With the Klamath, the Smith and the Chetco rivers all closed there haven’t been a lot of catches to report from local rivers.
Currently anglers best bet is the Rogue River, which is still producing a few salmon per day, but the catches have dropped off significantly in the last couple weeks.
“We are kind of in between the early spring run, and the late spring run,” Martin said.
Fishing contacts: Jim Mitchell of Gotcha Hooked Fish Trips at 464-8482; Tally Ho II Sportfishing at 707-464-1236; Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing at 206-388-8988; Keith Richcreek of Pacific West Coast Ocean Fishing Guide Service at 707-218-5573; Englund Marine Supply Company at 707-464-323.