Crescent City Best Bet for Tuna

Crescent City Best Bet for Tuna
Conan Moore of Eureka with a nice albacore landed Sunday while fishing out of Crescent City.
Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of Conan Moore

by Kenny Priest

The wind and currents have done wonders for the warm water placement, and for those looking to get in on the tuna action. And no port looks better right now than Crescent City. The warm water has moved right to their doorstep, well within 20 miles. The only thing that could play spoiler is the ocean conditions. As of Wednesday, conditions looked good through Sunday, but things can change quickly. Based on last weekend’s scores, we know the fish are there. Boats traveled from 30 to 65 miles offshore, with scores all over the board. Boats that went the furthest did best, with some putting in over 40 albacore. There was even an encounter with a marlin. Closer to home, the water is now well within reach of both Eureka and Trinidad. However, different weather models are painting different pictures. It will likely come down to a gametime decision. If you’re looking to head south to Fort Bragg, be prepared for a crowd if the forecast holds. The hard edge is right at 30 miles and boats will be lined up at both ramps.

Weekend marine forecast
Winds remain light each day near the coast Thursday into the weekend, while northerlies of about 10 to 15 knots persist in the outer zones. Northerlies may then ramp back up into the low to mid 20 knots range early next week. As of Thursday, the forecast from 10 to 60 nautical miles for Friday is calling for winds out of the north 5 to 15 knots with north waves 6 feet at six seconds and south 3 at 15 seconds. Saturday is calling for winds from the north 5 to 15 knots and north waves 5 feet at six seconds and south 3 feet at 14 seconds. Sunday the winds will be from the north 10 to 20 knots and north waves 7 feet at eight seconds and northwest 3 feet at 13 seconds. These conditions can and will change by the weekend. For an up-to-date weather forecast, visit or You can also call the National Weather Service at 443-7062 or the office on Woodley Island at 443-6484.

Trinidad launch closing for the season
According to the Humboldt Tuna Club website, the floating dock and moorings will be removed on Thursday and the launch is closed for the season.

The Oceans:
Conditions were once again excellent over the weekend and early this week and a few boats made the run out deep to target rockfish. Scores were very good, with most getting all they needed along with some big lingcod. A couple boats took advantage of the weather Sunday and made the long run for tuna. One of the boats found a good bite out nearly 75 miles. The warm water has moved within 30 miles of Eureka, but the forecast models are not yet in agreement if conditions will be doable.

Shelter Cove
According to Jake Mitchell of Sea Hawk Sport Fishing, deep-water fishing outside the Hat has been productive. He said, “When the weather allowed us to get out, the rock fishing was pretty good with easy limits of mostly yellowtails and a few widows, Boccaccio and vermilion mixed in.  The lingcod fishing has been very slow out there in the deep, and we’re just averaging a few per trip. If the forecast holds, we should have some good opportunities for tuna over the weekend.”

Crescent City
According to Britt Carson of Crescent City’s Englund Marine, a few boats went out for tuna over the weekend. “Some boats ran as far as 65 miles, and they did better than the boats that fished closer,” said Carson. “Reported scores ranged from high twenties to the mid-forties. The boats that fished closer scored mostly in the teens. The weather and water are shaping up nicely for the weekend. The California halibut bite remains slow, with just a few being caught by the boats trolling South Beach. The bank fishery has pretty much dried up. There are a few boats fishing out past 50 fathoms for rockfish, and they’re catching a few. I haven’t heard of any limits reported.”

“After striking out on Friday and Saturday, boats venturing out of Brookings for tuna found schools of fish on Sunday, with an average of 20 albacore per boat 30 to 35 miles out,” said Andy Martin of Brookings Fishing Charters. “Halibut fishing remains good, with a fish per rod or better. The best fishing has been in 180 to 220 feet of water. Lingcod and rockfish action also has been good. A few California halibut are being caught near the port beach.”

The Rivers:
Lower Klamath
River conditions have improved dramatically in the past couple weeks, and there’s plenty of visibility and green water. Both salmon and steelhead are making their migration 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

Chetco/Lower Rogue
Salmon fishing is fair in the Chetco estuary, and good in the Rogue Bay according to Martin. “Fresh kings are arriving daily in both systems. Salmon fishing also has improved near Grants Pass on the Middle Rogue.”

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 For up-to-date fishing reports and North Coast river information, email

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