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End in Sight for Pacific Halibut Season

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After a solid week of fishable ocean conditions, the end is near for our Pacific halibut season. With more good weather forecast through the weekend, it will be a close call whether we make it until the first of August. The hope was the halibut quota would carry well into August and coincide with the arrival of tuna season, but that doesn't look to be the case. Between fishable conditions, plenty of fish and anglers getting good at catching, we're looking at a shortened season. As of July 23, California's share of Area 2A's quota, which includes Washington and Oregon, is at 84 percent, with 33,119 net pounds harvested against the 39,520 quota. Once the quota is met, rockfish will be the only option for offshore anglers until the tuna arrive, which is looking like it'll be soon. To monitor the in-season tracking, visit wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/marine/pacific-halibut#31670772-in-season-tracking.

Marine Forecast

Out 10 nautical miles, ocean conditions look to remain fishable through the weekend. As of Wednesday, Friday's forecast is calling for north winds 5 to 15 knots and waves north 4 feet at six seconds. Saturday, the winds will be the same with waves north 4 feet at five seconds. Sunday, winds will be out of the north 5 to 15 knots with waves out of the northwest 4 feet at five seconds. These conditions can and will change by the weekend. For an up-to-date weather forecast, visit weather.gov/eureka or windy.com. You can also call the National Weather Service at (707) 443-7062 or the office on Woodley Island at (707) 443-6484.

Ruth Lake parking lot closure

According to the Ruth Lake Community Service District, the marina parking lot will be closed to the public July 28-Aug. 4 due to asphalt repair. Boat launching will be available at Ruth Rec Campground. For more info, call (707) 574-6194 or visit ruthlakecsd.org.

Sport Crab season coming to a close

The 2023 sport Dungeness crab season in Humboldt, Mendocino and Del Norte counties will close July 30. The season is expected to reopen Nov. 4.

The Oceans:

Eureka

The Pacific halibut bite is still going strong, although the bite was a little tougher for some Monday, reports Tim Klassen of Reel Steel Sport Fishing. "It was definitely a mixed bite Monday, some got them and some didn't," Klassen said. "There's fish scattered over a large area from the Eel Canyon up to the 54-line. But overall, the fishing is still really good and quite a few limits are being caught each day. There's also been some nice Canary rockfish showing up in the halibut grounds. The rockfish bite is still excellent at the Cape when boats can get there."

Shelter Cove

"Ocean conditions have been pretty bad and have kept us close to home a couple of days," said Jake Mitchell of Sea Hawk Sport Fishing. "On top of that, the rock fishing was tough. The days the weather allowed us to get to the Hat, we did pretty well. Lingcod fishing remains pretty slow. Crabbing is still good and we're getting easy limits each day fishing below the bell."

Crescent City

A few California halibut are being caught along South Beach, according to Britt Carson of Crescent City's Englund Marine. "Small boats trolling anchovies have had some good success this week," said Carson. "The effort on Pacific halibut has definitely slowed down, but the fishing hasn't. The rockfish bite is as good as ever and we're seeing some big lings being caught. We had a couple up to 35 pounds come in. The thresher shark bite slowed down, I haven't heard of any caught this week. A few boats are still targeting them."

Brookings

"The first albacore of the season were caught out of Brookings on Monday, less than 20 miles from the harbor," said Andy Martin, of Brookings Fishing Charters. "Water temperatures are as high as 62 just 18 miles from shore. Windy weather could limit success this week. Halibut fishing is fair to good out of Brookings. Lingcod fishing has improved."

Lower Rogue

Salmon fishing is kicking into high gear on the Rogue Bay, according to Martin. "Catch rates have improved as the run builds. Most guides had multiple fish over the weekend. The bay also is crowded, with few salmon options elsewhere."

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 fishingthenorthcoast.com. For up-to-date fishing reports and North Coast river information, email [email protected].

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