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Salmon fishing improves off North Coast


By Frank Galusha
05/18/15 – More take downs, more fish per rod, a slightly larger grade of king salmon, scads of small to medium-size lingcod and the sighting of countless whales highlighted the weekend’s salmon fishing from Fort Bragg to Eureka.

Skipper Matt Dallam of the Fishy Business reported three limits for three anglers on Sunday with fish ranging from 10 to 17 pounds.

Shelter Cove boats also did well. Captain Jake Mitchell of the boat Sea Hawk of Shelter Cove reported great fishing for rockfish.Captain Justin Wilder of the Samurai of Hooked On Mendo Sportfishing in Fort Bragg ran two trips on Sunday with limits of lings and half-limits of rockfish for 5 anglers in the morning and limits of crabs, four lings and over half-limits of rockfish for four anglers in the afternoon.

Philip of Irvine displays his 17-lb king salmon taken on Sunday. Philip and his son Mike both got limits. Photo courtesy of Matt Dallam, skipper, Fishy Business, Northwind Charters, Eureka
Philip of Irvine displays his 17-lb king salmon taken on Sunday. Philip and his son Mike both got limits. Photo courtesy of Matt Dallam, skipper, Fishy Business, Northwind Charters, Eureka
While full limits of rockfish were hard to come by on many boats that was only because of the 5-fish limit imposed on anglers this year for black rockfish. The positive side of this is the fact the anglers do get to catch a lot more fish, even if many of them are blacks which have to be released once the five-fish limit is reached. If you "lip" your blacks over the side, expect to have many small cuts in your thumb!
 Limits of crab and limits of lings came on board for anglers fishing with Captain Justin Wilder of the Samurai at Fort Bragg. Photos courtesy of Hooked On Mendo Charters
 Limits of crab and limits of lings came on board for anglers fishing with Captain Justin Wilder of the Samurai at Fort Bragg. Photos courtesy of Hooked On Mendo Charters
Limits of crab and limits of lings came on board for anglers fishing with Captain Justin Wilder of the Samurai at Fort Bragg. Photos courtesy of Hooked On Mendo Charters

The boat Reel Steel of Eureka also had a good day on the salmon with 12 salmon for six anglers, small to 20 lbs. First Mate Sherry Klassen also passed along this note from Skipper Tim Klassen: “The salmon fishing just seems to get better each time we are out. The fish are still a ways out and there are plenty of small fish. There are a few nice ones to be caught as well. We have been fishing in the middle of a huge number of whales. It is the most whales that I have ever seen at one time. There are literally hundreds of whales within sight of the boat while we are fishing. As far as the fishing goes we had limits for everyone on board including the Captain by 11:30 a.m. on Sunday. Definitely our best day so far this season.”

Joli Time Sport Fishing, also of Eureka, caught four salmon and released four but had to come in early due to unfavorable conduct by some passengers, according to skipper Ian Kramer

Eureka seems to be the king salmon capital at this time and it is also a great port for those wanting to watch whales. However, all boats reported seeing numerous humpback, other whales and sea birds along the coast. If you want to watch or photograph whales, contact any of the charter boat skippers advertising on this page to determine if they are taking whale watching trips.


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