Tuna remain out of reach for most anglers

Tuna remain out of reach for most anglers
Mason Mitchell of Garberville had his hands full after landing a nice albacore while fishing out of Shelter Cove Sunday.
Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of Jake Mitchell/Sea Hawk Sport Fishing

by Kenny Priest

The warm water that holds all types of tuna continues to sit well offshore from Eureka, Trinidad, and Crescent City. But that hasn’t stopped a few dedicated and hardcore anglers. On Sunday, ocean conditions were ideal and a few boats made the long run leaving from Eureka and Trinidad. The boats needed to travel over 60 miles out, but it was worth the effort. Scores that were reported ranged from 20 to nearly 50 per boat. A handful fished out of Crescent City as well, with most of the boats getting skunked. Reportedly there were four tuna landed between the small fleet. Local boats are once again keeping an eye on Sunday for another possible weather window. Ports to our north and south continue their assault on the longfins. Fort Bragg was one of the hot spots. Boats fishing within 40 miles of port did really well, with the high boat reportedly bringing over 80 albacore aboard. With borderline conditions here locally, many are hitting the road and headed north to Coos Bay where the edge is within 40 miles and the fishing has been consistently good.

Weekend marine forecast
A small mid period northwest swell and a long period southerly swell will persist into the weekend. Out 10 to 60 nautical miles north of the cape, Friday’s forecast is calling for north winds 10 to 15 knots and waves out of the north 5 feet at 5 seconds and south 3 feet at 11 seconds. Saturday is calling for north winds to 5 to 10 knots and waves north 4 feet at five seconds and south 3 feet at 14 seconds. Sunday, winds will be out of the north 5 to 15 knots and waves north 5 feet at five seconds and south 5 feet at 17 seconds. These conditions can and will change by the weekend. For an up-to-date weather forecast, visit www.weather.gov/eureka or www.windy.com. You can also call the National Weather Service at 443-7062 or the office on Woodley Island at 443-6484.

The Oceans:
Conditions were excellent over the weekend and a handful of boats targeted deep-water rockfish. Scores were reportedly very good, with most getting all they needed along with limits of lingcod. A few boats also took advantage of the weather and made the long run for tuna. Most of the boats ran out at least 60 miles, but he fishing was good. Scores ranged between 20 and 50 albacore per boat.

Shelter Cove
“We spent the last couple days of the nearshore rock fishing season right in front in 40 feet of water,” said Jake Mitchell of Sea Hawk Sport Fishing. “We had easy limits of rockfish and even got limits of lings both of those days.  We had a one-day window Sunday to get offshore and chase tuna. We fished around the Knoll, roughly 36 miles from port, where we had a very good early morning bite, but it died off late morning. We ended the day with 29 mixed grade albacore. The weather doesn’t look good the rest of the week so we’ll likely be deep-water rock fishing.”

Crescent City
A few Thresher sharks are being caught at South Beach, according to Britt Carson of Crescent City’s Englund Marine. He said, “Guys who are doing best are sitting on the anchor with chum lines to bring the sharks to them. I know of at least five caught last week, including one that weighed 198 pounds. The California halibut bite has slowed a little, but the guys who know what they’re doing are still catching. Trolling anchovies along South Beach has been the ticket. A few boats have been rock fishing out past 50 fathoms when possible and are doing ok.

Tuna fishing has been slow out of Brookings, as the albacore are 80 to 100 miles out reports Andy Martin of Brookings Fishing Charters. “Some Brookings-based boats have been trailering to Coos Bay to fish 15 to 30 miles off Charleston with better success,” said Martin. “Halibut fishing remains good, especially on calmer weather days. Lingcod fishing is fair, while rockfish action has been wide open. Ocean salmon is now closed out of Brookings.”

The Rivers:
Lower Klamath
The river has cleared enough to fish, but it’s still not green. Reportedly there are some fish, both salmon and steelhead, making their way upriver. Fishing pressure is light. The daily bag limit is two hatchery steelhead or hatchery trout per day on both the Klamath and Trinity rivers, with a possession limit of four. Anglers must have a Steelhead Fishing Report and Restoration Card in their possession while fishing for steelhead trout in anadromous waters. For more information, visit nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=202686&inline

Lower Rogue/Chetco
According to Martin, the Rogue Bay remains solid for fall salmon, with a mix of adult kings, jacks and now wild and hatchery coho. “Cooler water temperatures have allowed bigger numbers of salmon to move upriver. Salmon are now being caught by bank anglers near Grants Pass. The Chetco estuary is slow to fair for salmon, with a handful of kings caught each day.”

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 www.fishingthenorthcoast.com. For up-to-date fishing reports and North Coast river information, email kenny@fishingthenorthcoast.com.

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