The Mad is in Perfect Shape

Mad River - Arcata, CA

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Fishing The North Coast

by Kenny Priest

The Mad is in perfect shape as of Tuesday according to Justin Kelly of Eureka’s RMI Outdoors. He said. “Up until Sunday, the fishing was really slow, but has since picked up. There hasn’t been one spot any better than anywhere else, you just have to look for groups of fish. I think there’s more fish in the river than we realize. We’re supposed to see a little bump in flows on Wednesday, but hopefully the river won’t get too muddy. A bigger one is forecasted for Saturday which has the river going to 8.5 feet. That will more than likely put some color in the river, but it looks like it will drop down pretty quickly. Most of the fish are coming on beads and worms, but roe is working as well.”

Mad River Steelhead Derby rules
The derby kicked-off on Jan. 1 and will run through Feb. 29. Below are the rules for those who signed up:

  • Payouts are 1st place: $500; 2nd place: $250; 3rd place: $150. One youth division winner will be awarded a $150 gift certificate to a local sporting goods store. 1st, 2nd and 3rd place payouts will be a written check from NCGASA. Winners will be determined by the fishing coordinator and a rep from NCGASA. Winners based on the longest, measured, hatchery steelhead photographed and entered correctly within the Derby event dates: Jan. 1 to Feb. 29. Upon an exact tie in length, the fishing coordinator and a rep from NCGASA will determine a new payout and prizes. Any and all disputes will be solved by NCGASA.
  • Any cheating on the derby deemed by NCGASA will be a forfeiture of all monies paid. All participants must have a valid California fishing license and steelhead report card and must follow all California Department of Fish and Wildlife rules.
  • The boundaries of the Derby are the Mad River mouth to Boundary Creek.
  • Fishing hours start on January 1, 2020 at 6 a.m. to February 29, 2020 at 6 p.m. Any entries submitted after 6 p.m. on Feb. 29 will not be included as deemed by the fishing coordinator.
  • All hatchery steelhead entered into the Derby must be measured from tip of the closed mouth to the fork of the tail with the tape on top of the fish. Photographs of this measurement showing both the tip of the mouth and the fork of the tail must be submitted with a secondary photo of you and your hatchery steelhead. Please list date, time, location of where the hatchery fish was caught or any other details when submitting. The information will be used to caption your photos on social media and on the website. All photos used will become property of NCGASA and the Derby for promotional use. You may harvest only hatchery steelhead. The adipose fin will be clipped on a hatchery steelhead. All hatchery steelhead must be caught in the mouth by rod and reel and landed legally by hand or net. Send your photos to [email protected] or contact the fishing coordinator (Tracy Mac) at (707) 496-2948 for other ways to submit.
  • All participants must follow all local, state and federal laws in order for your hatchery steelhead entry to be entered to win. All California Department of Fish and Wildlife rules are required and to be followed including low flow closures. Only fish caught while the river is open to fishing can be submitted. NCGASA reserves the right to disqualify any participate if the hatchery steelhead entry is suspected to be caught outside the 2020 Derby dates (Jan. 1 to Feb. 29, 2020). Participate agrees to these rules by entering this NCGASA members only hatchery steelhead derby
  • All entrants and people helping with the derby understand the risks involved with fishing on the Mad River and are required to follow all California Department of Boating and Waterways procedures and California Department of Fish and Wildlife rules.

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