John Espitia of Crescent City

John Espitia of Crescent City holds up a couple big lingcod he caught off the Northern California Coast on Monday while fishing with Jim Mitchell of Gotcha Hooked Fish Trips. Mitchell said  they caught their limit of lingcod in less than an hour.

As winds have picked up on the ocean late in the week, bringing sportfishermen back to shore, local rivers have started to pick up steam. Although fishing is still a little on the slow side anglers have reported a slight increase in catches from the Rogue Bay. Meanwhile the Chinook salmon have started to come into the Klamath River where anglers are reporting catches near the mouth of the river for the first time since the spring run officially opened up on July 1.

River fishing

After a couple slow weeks to start the season, anglers are finally starting to catch their limits of Chinook salmon on the Klamath River. That may sound more impressive than it actually is, however, because the daily bag limit for Chinook is just one adult per day on the Klamath until the fall run officially kicks off on Aug. 15. It has still been a welcome change of pace for anglers, however, after a couple weeks of futility since the July 1 opener.

Meanwhile to the north the Rogue Bay has continued producing a few fish, about one or two per boat for anglers putting in a full day of fishing, according to Andy Martin of Wild River Fishing.

“There were a couple good days mixed in along with some slower days, but there are still salmon coming through,” Martin said. “There is lots of moss but the areas without the moss — closer to the mouth of Indian Creek above the 101 bridge and along the jetties — are fishing pretty well. The long stretch in between there are normally pretty good spots but there is just so much moss that it is making it difficult to fish.”

Martin said most of the Chinook salmon being caught in the Rogue Bay are still a little bit small — weighing in at less than 10 pounds.

In addition to salmon, Martin said anglers have also been hauling a few summer steelhead out of the bay.

“That is unusual on the Rogue,” he said. “We catch those on the Klamath regularly, but usually not on the Rogue.”

On the ocean

The week started out well for ocean anglers on both sides of the border with lots of rockfish, as well as a lingcod, caught by anglers targeting bottomfish in both California and Oregon. There were several particularly large lingcod hauled in out of Crescent City early in the week.

The Pacific halibut were also biting up in Brookings early in the week. According to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife a total of 463 pounds of Pacific halibut were hauled in July 8-14, the last week that it has reported data for, which is the most halibut caught in any week so far this season. The Southern Oregon Coast is still nowhere near its sublimit, however, with a total of 1,632 pounds caught towards the quota of 11,322.

Meanwhile, anglers in California also had luck targeting Pacific halibut before the winds kicked up late in the week, with at least one 81-pound fish reported by Englund Marine Supply Company. The Pacific halibut quota is a little closer to being met in California statewide, where the California Department of Fish and Wildlife has projected a total of 12,362 pounds caught — roughly one third of the total quota of 39,000 pounds. That total is still subject to change because the California Recreational Fisheries Survey has yet to report the final numbers for June and July.

Anglers up in Oregon also had some luck salmon fishing out of Brookings early in the week with schools of Coho salmon in close to the harbor.

“Lots of fish were caught,” Martin said on Thursday. “That has since slowed, they are still there but they just haven’t seemed to be biting very well the last couple of days.”

Ocean salmon fishing in Crescent City has remained slow, however. Although anglers to the south fishing out of Humboldt Bay are still catching Chinook, they have yet to show up in significant numbers further north. That is likely due to the fact that there hasn’t been much bait hanging out around the Del Norte Coast.

Further out to sea, Martin said a few commercial tuna were landed out of Brookings early in the week, but he hadn’t heard of any sportfishermen having luck yet.

Fishing contacts: Englund Marine Supply Company at 707-464-3230; Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing at 206-388-8988.


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