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Bait-chomping kings thick off Eureka

Kenny priest, fishing the north coast, author badge,
he weather finally got the best of the Eureka sport salmon fleet. What had been a wide-open bite for the past week was cooled by Wednesday’s rough waters. Only a few of the bigger boats chose to cross the bar into the nasty ocean on Wednesday, and the salmon were not in the biting mood. Prior to Wednesday, boats fishing just outside of the entrance were scoring quick limits of big fat kings. A few were also being caught by boats trolling the edge of the south jetty, and the occasional salmon was being caught by anglers fishing from the jetties. The common theme around here remains the bait; both the inside and outside of Humboldt Bay is absolutely stuffed.

With more rough water in the forecast, it may be some time before we know if the fish just went off the bite, or if they’ve finally moved on.

The current session of the sport salmon season along the North Coast will run through August 16. The last session of the season will run September 1 through September 5. For more information regarding the seasons and regulations, visit here.

Weekend Marine Forecast
It looks like the snotty conditions will stick around through the weekend. Out 10 nautical miles from Pt. St. George to Cape Mendocino, Friday’s forecast is calling for 5 to 15 knot winds out of the north and northwest waves 8 feet at 10 seconds. Saturday is calling for north winds 10 to 15 knots and waves out of the northwest 10 feet at 10 seconds. Sunday’s forecast is roughly the same, with winds out of the north 10 to 20 knots and waves 9 feet at 9 seconds. These conditions can and will change by the weekend. For an up-to-date weather forecast, visit To monitor the latest Humboldt bar conditions, visit, or you can also verify the conditions as reported by looking at the bar cam at You can also call the National Weather Service at 707-443-7062 or the office on Woodley Island at 707-443-6484.

Halibut season re-opens August 1
The Pacific halibut season will re-open on Monday, August 1 and will remain open through August 15. Through July, the CDFW has projected 13,442 net pounds have been harvested towards a quota of 29,640 pounds. For up-to-date harvest tracking information, visit here.

Crabs close/Abalone opens
The 2016 sport Dungeness crab season in Humboldt, Mendocino, and Del Norte counties will close on Saturday July 30. Recreational abalone season will re-open on August 1, following a July closure. For more information, click here.

lady with king salmon, courtesy of Full Throttle Guide Service
Missoula, Montana resident Rita is all smiles after landing this big king salmon off the coast of Eureka late last week. The salmon bite had been wide-open this week, though it slowed down on Wednesday due to rough seas. Sport salmon season will remain open through Aug. 16th on the North Coast. Photo courtesy of Gary Blasi/Full Throttle Sport Fishing

The Oceans:

The salmon have been biting like crazy right outside of the entrance according to Tim Klassen of Reel Steel Sport Fishing. “The fishing was really good this past week. Some days the fish were piled on the south side and some days they were north of the entrance. There is still lots of bait around, mostly sardines and anchovies. The last few days it’s been an early morning bite that lasts for a couple hours; then it definitely dies off. The bite has been picking up again in the afternoon, and it’s probably influenced by the tide. The grade of fish has been nice, with the salmon averaging right around 12 to 13-pounds. There’s also been quite a few in the high teens caught daily and the occasional fish in the twenties.”

Before the weather turned crappy, there was a pretty decent salmon bite reports Curt Wilson of Wind Rose Charters out of Trinidad. “Late last week, they were biting pretty good right at Pilot Rock. There’s been a few caught since, but the effort dwindled once the weather turned. When the weather has allowed, the rockfish have really been snapping. The blacks have been pretty easy to come by. We had to cancel our Wednesday morning trip due to rough seas, but it calmed down in the afternoon and the rockfish bit really well,” Wilson said.

Crescent City
Not much has changed this past week reports Leonard Carter of Crescent City’s Englund Marine. He said, “The wind has been blowing pretty good the last few days so no one’s been out. Last week when the boats did finally make it out, they found a real good bite on the ling cod as well as the rest of the bottom fish. Not much happening with salmon; I heard one boat hooked six and landed three one day last week and went back the next day and they were gone. There hasn’t been any effort since,” Carter said.

Klamath Control Zone closure
The Klamath Control zone will be closed the month of August for ocean sport salmon fishing. The closed zone around the Klamath River mouth is bounded on the north by 41°38'48" N. lat. (approximately 6 nautical miles north of the Klamath River mouth); on the west, by 124°23'00" W. long. (approximately 12 nautical miles off shore); and on the south, by 41°26'48" N. lat. (approximately 6 nautical miles south of the Klamath River mouth).

The Rivers:
Lower Klamath

The summer steelhead bite picked up last weekend for the few boats side-drifting roe, with the best bite happening from Blue Creek down. There are still quite a few hatchery steelhead in the mix as well. The salmon bite has slowed in the estuary, and a only a handful of fall kings have been caught upriver. The salmon should start entering the river in bigger numbers any day.

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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