The rockfish bite continues to be red-hot out of Trinidad and Crescent City. Both ports have quick access to the rockfish grounds, making it much easier to be on the water even when the ocean is a little snotty. And the fishing has been phenomenal. Limits have been pretty easy to come by. In Trinidad, there are plenty of good spots between the head and Patrick's Point. Up in Crescent City, there is an abundance of rocky outcroppings whether you head north or south to the Sisters.
The Eureka fleet, having to deal with a dangerous bar crossing as well as a long boat ride south to Cape Mendocino, hasn't had nearly the amount of time on the water compared with the other coastal ports. For the entire month of May, the fleet has seen less than 10 fishable days. That's not necessarily good for business or the freezer. It looks like the weather will cooperate for the next few days before the wind pops back up Saturday. If it's rockfish you're after, Trinidad or Crescent City are the two best options going.
Weekend marine forecast
The next few days look decent but the wind is predicted to pick up by the weekend. Friday's forecast calls for winds out of the north 5 to 15 knots and waves north 6 feet at seven seconds and west 3 feet at 11 seconds. Saturday is not looking good, with north winds 10 to 20 knots and waves northwest 8 feet at eight seconds and northwest 4 feet at 16 seconds. Sunday looks a little better, with north winds 10 to 15 knots and north waves 7 feet at eight seconds and northwest 6 feet at 13 seconds. These conditions can and will change by the weekend. For an up-to-date weather forecast, visit www.weather.gov/eureka/ or www.windy.com. To monitor the latest Humboldt bar conditions, visit www.wrh.noaa.gov/eka/swan. You can also call the National Weather Service at 443-7062 or the office on Woodley Island at 443-6484.
Ruth Lake Bass tournament this Saturday
Fortuna Fire Department CO-2's will be holding the annual "Paul Jadro Memorial Bass Tournament" on Saturday, June 5. Blast off will be at 5:45 a.m. or at first safe light, by draw. The one-day tournament event offers a first prize award of up to $1,000 with payout to 1 in 3 in addition to door prizes and sponsor products. The entry fee is $140 per team with a big fish buy in option of $10. The tournament is catch and release and all competitors must fish from boats that are required to have operational live wells on board. Life jackets are required. Check in at the Marina on Friday June 4 at 4:30-6 p.m. or Saturday 4-5 a.m. For more information, contact Lon Winburn at 707-725-5021 or 707-725-7880. Free boat inspections will be held at Reynolds R V Repair, 988 Hwy. 36. Inspections are by appointment only, call 707-725-3426.
Fish for free this weekend in Oregon
Oregon will be having a Free Fishing Weekend June 5 and 6. On those two days, no license, tag or endorsement is required to fish, crab or clam anywhere in Oregon. This applies only to waters already open to fishing, crabbing or clamming. All other regulations, such as bag limits, still apply. Visit https://myodfw.com/articles/2021-free-fishing-days-and-events for more information.
Trinidad Pacific halibut contest
Trinidad Harbor and the Seascape Pier are hosting a Pacific halibut contest starting June 1. Sign-ups are at the bait shop and are free. Fish must be caught by boats launched or moored at Trinidad Harbor. Halibut must be weighed and photographed by Harbor crew members. The contest ends when the 2021 quota is met. First place is $100 cash and dinner for two at the Sunset Restaurant. Second place is a Redwood Coast Godfather spreader bar. Third place will win two t-shirts from Migration Clothing.
Wind and rough seas kept the Eureka boats tied up over the holiday weekend. The Pacific halibut fishing was good last week, with the best fishing between Eureka and Trinidad in 250 to 300 feet of water. Several of the charter boats returned to port with limits of halibut averaging 15 to 25 pounds. Ocean conditions look decent starting Wednesday, but the wind is forecast to return by the weekend.
Being within a few miles of the fishing grounds continues to be a huge advantage for boats fishing out of Trinidad. Ocean conditions weren't great late last week, but the Pacific halibut didn't seem to mind. Curt Wilson of Wind Rose Charters was able to put limits on board Friday fishing in sloppy conditions with fish up to 30 pounds. Tony Sepulveda of Shellback Sport Fishing had a similar day Tuesday putting 6 halibut in the box up to 60 pounds. The rockfish bite remains solid, with boats finding no shortage of quality black rockfish just north of Trinidad Head. Crabbing is still good and the charter captains are sending their clients home with limits of fresh Dungeness.
Ocean conditions allowed boats to hit Rogers Break last Monday and Thursday, reports Jake Mitchell of Sea Hawk Sport Fishing. "The rockfish and lingcod bite was great as it usually is up there," said Mitchell. "The weather kept us close to home the rest of the week where we managed limits of rockfish in marginal conditions. A few boats tried for Pacific halibut off Gorda Thursday, but couldn't find any takers. Windy conditions are in the forecast for most of the week."
When the boats can get out, the rockfish and lingcod action has been excellent, according to Britt Carson of Crescent City's Englund Marine. "Boats going both directions have been scoring limits of quality rockfish and some nice lings. The Pacific halibut bite is starting to show signs of life as two were caught last week. Most of the effort is on the backside of the south reef roughly six miles from the harbor," he said. "Skilled diggers have been getting limits of razor clams the past few days, taking advantage of the minus tides. The clams are small to medium in size. The redtail perch bite has really picked back up, anglers are reporting easy limits coming off of Kellogg Beach. The California halibut fishery has yet to take off, mostly due to ocean conditions."
"The ocean salmon openers are just around the corner out of Brookings," said Andy Martin. "Anglers can begin salmon fishing and keep hatchery coho on June 12. Kings cannot be kept until June 19, when the season opens for both wild and hatchery kings and hatchery silvers. There are big schools of anchovies near the harbor and salmon are being caught and released by bottom fish anglers. Windy weather has kept the fleet in close but limits of rockfish and some lingcod are being caught. A break in the wind is expected this week."
A few boats are trolling the Rogue Bay for salmon, but success is poor according to Martin. "A few salmon are usually caught by mid-June and some years the end of June produces limits. Fishing for springers is poor upriver," added Martin.
Kenny Priest (he/him) operates Fishing the North Coast, a fishing guide service out of Humboldt specializing in salmon and steelhead. Find it on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and www.fishingthenorthcoast.com. For up-to-date fishing reports and North Coast river information, email firstname.lastname@example.org