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Tough fishing continues on the Klamath

Fishing the NOrth Coast by Kenny Priest, author badge,

ast week, the ocean finally laid down enough to allow the Eureka sport fleet to set their sights on the oh-so-elusive Albacore tuna. A bunch of boats made the 25 or so mile trek out of the Humboldt entrance on Thursday to the warm water bubble that’s been tantalizing the hardcore tuna anglers for weeks. Unfortunately, the day turned out to be nothing more than a beautiful boat ride. No albacore were caught, or even seen for that matter. What were spotted were numerous schools of bluefin tuna, supposedly by a few different boats. A few tried to entice a bite, but the bluefin aren’t typically caught using the same gear and methods as the albacore. The next weather window looks to be early next week. You can bet the fleet will be better equipped to handle the bigger cousin of the albacore, which can grow to be several hundred pounds.

Weekend marine forecast
Ocean conditions out of Eureka will be a little rough this weekend, but should improve heading into next week. Friday is calling for winds out of the North 5 to 15 knots with swells to 7 feet at 12 seconds. Saturday looks similar, with winds up to 15 knots and NW swells 7 feet at 11 seconds. Sunday looks better, with winds from the south 5 to 10 knots and swells 5 feet at 10 seconds. For an up-to-date weather forecast, visit To monitor the latest Humboldt bar conditions, visit You can also call the National Weather Service at 707-443-7062 or the office on Woodley Island at 707-443-6484.

Rain possible next week
According to Reginald Kennedy of Eureka's National Weather Service, our next chance of rain will be Wednesday the 7th. “Right now, the models are showing rain beginning Wednesday and sticking around through Friday evening. Totals won’t be much, possibly a half to three-quarters of an inch,” Kennedy added.

Young Anglers Tournament Oct. 4
The Trinidad Pier Youth Fishing Tourney will take place on Sunday, Oct. 4 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The free event is open to all children ages 6 to 15. Prizes will be awarded in each category and fishing gear and bait will be provided. An adult must accompany children. Hot dogs and refreshments will be served following the event. Catch and release is encouraged and no fishing license is required. Look for the sign up table on the Trinidad Pier. For more information, contact Ken Jones at

Klamath River quota update
The mouth closure is really starting to affect the number of adult salmon being landed on the Klamath River. According to Sara Borok, an Environmental Scientist on the Klamath River, only 95 adults were caught last week by sport anglers between the estuary and the hwy. 96 bridge. The season total stands at 4,690 harvested, leaving 2,377 left to catch. As a reminder, the spit area is closed to fishing, but the estuary is still open.

Sebastopol resident David Prudhomme landed this nice Chinook, Photo courtesy of Alan’s Guide Service

Sebastopol resident David Prudhomme landed a nice Chinook salmon on a recent trip to the Klamath River. The mouth of the Klamath has been partially closed the last few days, which has made the fishing conditions tough. Photo courtesy of Alan’s Guide Service

Low Flow River Closures now in effect
North Coast rivers that are regulated by low flow closures, including sections of the Eel, Mad, Redwood Creek, Smith and Van Duzen are all closed to fishing as of Oct. 1 due to low flows. The Mattole, also falls under low-flow regulations, but doesn’t open to fishing until Jan. 1. For more information and up-to-date closure info, call the North Coast low-flow closure hotline at 707-822-3164.

2015 Chetco River Bubble Fishery
The 2015 Chetco River bubble season starts on Thursday, October 1 and runs through the 11th. The fishable area is within three nautical miles of shore between Twin Rocks and the Oregon/California border. The bag limit is two Chinook per angler per day, but no more than 1 non fin-clipped Chinook per day. Anglers are allowed five non fin-clipped for the season. Minimum length is 24 inches and the terminal tackle is limited to no more than two single point barbless hooks. Weather conditions look fishable for the weekend. Saturday’s forecast is calling for N winds around 15-20 knots with a mixed swell, W 4 feet and NW 3 feet. Wind waves will be 5 to 6 feet. Sunday, winds will be out of the NE 8 to 10 knots with swells NW 4 to 5 feet. Wind waves will be around 2 feet. For more information, visit

The Oceans:

Taking advantage of calm seas off the coast of Eureka, Tim Klassen of Reel Steel Sport Fishing ran south to the Cape the past couple days targeting rockfish. As has been the case all season, the fish are there and willing to bite. He said, “On Tuesday, the wind really came up and the swells got tough to fish through. There were plenty of blacks and lings around to keep us all busy, along with a few other species.”

The Rivers
Lower Klamath

The mouth of the river has been mostly blocked for awhile reports Mike Coopman of Mike Coopman’s Guide Service. “It’s gotten real tough the last few days; we’re down to 3 to 4 bites per trip. The ones we are catching have been good ones, real big and bright. There just isn’t many around right now. It will continue to be tough fishing until the mouth breaks open,” Coopman added.

Middle Trinity
Tim Brady of Weaverville’s Trinity Outdoors reports the steelhead fishing is pretty good in the middle Trinity, but there isn’t a lot of salmon around right now. “The majority of the action is taking place below the North Fork from the reports I’m hearing. The boats drifting the Douglas City area are catching a few steelhead, but not a ton of salmon. Most of the salmon are likely springers and past their prime. Spinners have been the top producer for bank anglers targeting salmon,” Brady added.

Find “Fishing the North Coast” on Facebook and for up-to-date fishing reports and North Coast river information. Questions, comments and photos can be emailed to

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