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Eureka and Crescent City Top Ports for Halibut



Anglers fishing out of Eureka and Crescent City enjoyed some of the best Pacific halibut fishing of the season this week. Both ports kicked out limits for boats willing to put in some time. And most days it didn't take much time. Out of Eureka, charters were loaded up and headed to the dock not long after dropping anchor, sometimes within an hour. That's some pretty good halibut fishing! And that's despite unfavorable tides and having to contend with those pesky black cod. The halibut fishery has really caught fire in Crescent City, where anglers are enjoying one of the best seasons anyone can remember. Ocean conditions have been great the last few days, and I'm sure that didn't hurt the cause. But there's little doubt the sea floor is covered in halibut right now. Eyeing the weather ahead and where we stand with the quota, you'll want to get in on the action before the end of the month. Or you may miss the boat.

Pacific halibut quota update

The CDFW has projected 21,454 net pounds of Pacific halibut have been harvested through July 2. In 2023, the Pacific halibut allocation for California is 39,520 pounds. The Pacific halibut fishery will run through Nov. 15 or until the quota is reached, whichever is earlier. To view the latest catch projection information, visit

Weekend marine forecast

After a nice stretch of calm seas, the wind is forecast to pick up slightly Thursday. As of Wednesday afternoon, Friday's forecast is calling for north winds of 5 to 15 knots and waves from the north 6 feet at nine seconds and northwest 2 feet at 11 seconds. Saturday's forecast is calling for north winds of 5 to 15 knots and north waves 7 feet at eight seconds and west 2 feet at 10 seconds. Winds will increase slightly Sunday, blowing 10 to 15 knots from the north with waves north 7 feet at eight seconds. These conditions can and will change by the weekend. For an up-to-date weather forecast, visit or You can also call the National Weather Service at (707) 443-7062 or the office on Woodley Island at (707) 443-6484.

Mendocino area all-depth rockfish season opens July 16

The all-depth recreational groundfish season will open July 16 in the Mendocino Groundfish Management Area (GMA), which includes Shelter Cove and Fort Bragg, and will remain open until Dec. 31. The San Francisco GMA will also open at the same time. The all-depth, boat-based season allows fishing in these GMAs regardless of depth, outside of state or federal marine protected areas or other closures where fishing is prohibited.

The all-depth, boat-based season provides access tonearshore rockfish, cabezon and greenlings along with deeper shelf and slope rockfish species and lingcod. Take of bronzespotted rockfish, cowcod and yelloweye rockfish continues to be prohibited year-round at all depths.

Divers and shore-based anglers will continue to be exempt from boat-based season restrictions affecting rockfish and otherfederally managed groundfish, which allows for year-round diving and shore-based angling in line with current regulations.

The Oceans:


According to Tim Klassen of Reel Steel Sport Fishing, the Pacific halibut bite is really good right now. "There seems to be a lot of fish out there, and some days the limits come quickly," he said. "Boats are catching from the Eel River north to the Mad. There are some small ones in the mix, 6 to 12 pounders, but there's also fish up to 80 pounds. The average is running right around 20 to 25 pounds. Herring is still a top producer. The black cod and Hake are thick out there, you'll need to check your bait every few minutes. The rockfish bite at Cape Mendocino has been excellent, though it's tough to get past the black rockfish as they are voracious. The lingcod bite continues to be on the slow side."


According to Tony Sepulveda of Shellback Sport Fishing, the Pacific halibut got a touch more elusive this week. "We still put fish on the boat every day we tried with plenty of good ones up to 60 pounds," said Sepulveda. "Limits of jumbo black rockfish went along with them. The negative tides made them a little fickle, but still no problem loading the boat. Out near Reading Rock produced limits of lingcod and rockfish every day we made the remote waters run. And the jumbo lings went on the hard chew late in the week. We had five over 20 pounds, topped by a 30-pounder Sunday, to go along with limits of jumbo rockfish and couple bonus 40-pound Pacific halibut."

Shelter Cove

"The rockfish bite continues to be wide-open," said Jake Mitchell of Sea Hawk Sport Fishing. "However, the lingcod bite is still slow. Most of the rockfish action is happening outside the Hat. The halibut bite has been slow this week."

Crescent City

"The Pacific halibut bite has been excellent, the best we've seen in a long time," said Britt Carson, of Crescent City's Englund Marine. "Most of the boats are targeting the South Reef area in 230 to 280 feet of water. There's also been a few caught by anglers targeting rockfish near the North Reef. Both the rockfish and lingcod bite are still wide-open, with limits coming easily. The reefs along with the Sisters have been productive. The California halibut bite has been hit and miss. Not many coming from the rock wall, but the trollers are getting a few along South Beach. Razor clamming, which just opened back up last week, has been productive for the guys who know what they're doing." The daily bag limit for razor clams is 20 and the first 20 clams dug must be retained regardless of size or condition. The fishery in odd-numbered years is open north of Battery Point, Crescent City, in Del Norte County.


"Halibut fishing has busted open out of Brookings, with an average of a fish per rod," said Andy Martin, of Brookings Fishing Charters. "Some charters are getting their two-fish-limits for Pacific halibut. The best action has been in 180 to 240 feet of water. Lingcod and rockfish action also is good out of Brookings. Catch rates improved with the calm weather over the weekend. Fishing has been slow for coho salmon."

Lower Rogue

The Rogue Bay is producing a few salmon, but overall action has been slow, according to Martin. "Just a handful of kings are being caught each day," he said. "Fishing generally picks up by late August. Surfperch are biting along the south jetty."

Kenny Priest operates Fishing the North Coast, a fishing guide service out of Humboldt specializing in salmon and steelhead. Find it on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and For up-to-date fishing reports and North Coast river information, email

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