EUREKA: The 'great salmon bite of 2012' continues
EUREKA — Pacific halibut and rockfish were the alternates for a port bent on salmon fishing during the best year in memory. Early in the week the hot salmon bite continued and then slowed late in the week, although good counts sere still common.
The three charter boats out of Eureka: Shellback, Sea Weasel II and Reel Steel put in a solid week of limit-style fishing on salmon and rockfish. Pacific halibut and lingcod added spice to the great catches. Good weather made it a fabulous week for fishing.
Capt. Gary Blasi on the Sea Weasel II said, “It's still great fishing here in Eureka. We've had limits everyday of 14 fish. We've also caught a few pacific halibut on our combo trips. Life is good… the grade is still 8-14 pound salmon with the occasional 20 plus pounder.”
On Monday Capt. Tim Klassen of the Reel Steel put 5 salmon in the box that were over 15 pounds and the rest were better than 12 pounds. One passenger said the fishing is so good he wants to see if he can catch a salmon on a dill pickle. Any bets?
On Tuesday Capt. Klassen took his group for limits of rockfish plus 5 lingcod. They also hooked a 60-plus-pound halibut that almost spooled the fisherman. On Wednesday his passengers caught limits of Pacific halibut to 60 pounds. Most halibut action was right out of Eureka in 250 to 300 feet of water.
Lonnie Dollarhide, WON’s Field Reporter in Eureka said Thursday, “Today guys ran from Fort Bragg, Shelter Cove and Eureka for Tuna, though no one had any success on the long fins. I heard a rumor from Crescent City that some tuna were caught but no details were provided.”
Salmon good, rockfish limits for Half Moon Bay, Pacifica anglers
HALF MOON BAY/PACIFICA — Boats fishing salmon found plenty of action all week, with mid-week to late-week proving to be the best periods. Rockfish and lingcod provided consistent limit-level fishing. Surf fishers enjoyed solid action on striped bass to 32 pounds.
Capt. Tom Mattusch on the Huli Cat created satisfied anglers by steadily putting them on salmon and rockfish. “Cindy Sodini and Jamie Harlan of Fresno got in on the great salmon action near B Buoy while trolling on the Huli Cat Wednesday. They caught limits of high-grade salmon,” said Capt. Mattusch.
On Saturday Lucy and Liza Mah fished the Tunitas and San Gregorio area on the Huli Cat using diamond bars with a shrimp fly teaser on Spectra to tease hefty vermillion rockfish. On Sunday, Capt. Mattusch said, "One group had over 60 hookups to put 22 salmon in the box to 22 pounds up near the S Buoy. In addition to salmon fishing, the Huli Cat had a very successful rockfish trip. Rockfish are biting locally and at the Farallon Islands.”
The Queen of Hearts enjoyed a stellar day of salmon fishing on Thursday when 25 anglers boated 31 salmon to 25 pounds. “We must have lost 40 salmon that were hooked up that day. It was just wide open fishing,” said Sherry Ingles of Half Moon Bay Sportfishing and Tackle. The salmon enjoyed swimming with the jelly, which made it difficult to troll, but the results made the effort worthwhile. The Queen of Hearts also got into the groundfish thick on Saturday when 35 anglers caught 349 rockfish and one cabezon.
Ingles reported a 32-pound striper caught in the surf north of Half Moon Bay. That report was substantiated by Mark Glisson of New Coastside Bait & Tackle in Pacifica who said, “Striper action picked up Thursday night and continued through Saturday. Night time has been best, through they are biting during the day as well. We’ve had lots of small anchovies and smelt move into the surf zone which fired up the striper bite.”
Crab season ended locally on the 30th. “It was a very good, not a great, season but sure gave us all something to do during the winter,” said Glisson.
Salmon action on the upswing, groundfish steady at Fort Bragg
FORT BRAGG — Trollers found salmon action to their liking near Fort Bragg and they didn’t have to go far. With improving salmon action on the upswing, less pressure was put on rockfish, even though limits were the rule. Shore fishers turned in good reports of rockfish and cabezon.
“The wind calmed and our boaters found the salmon. On Saturday it was about one fish per rod, but before that it was even better. Our water temps came up to 51 degrees and krill moved in thick, triggering the hot salmon bite this week,” said John Gebers of Noyo Fishing Center in Fort Bragg, whop added, “Ninety percent of our people troll for salmon and the most common lures are the convict (black and white bands) and purple haze hoochies.”
Capt. Randy Thornton of Telstar Charters said, “Bottom fishing was great about 6 miles south of Fort Bragg. The blue rockfish are back in force after a hiatus of a couple of years. It was easy limits on the Telstar. On Friday I had 22 anglers catch limits of rockfish plus 11 lingcod to 14 pounds and on Saturday 23 people caught 7 lingcod to 14 pounds to go with their limits of rockfish. Then on Saturday we also went salmon fishing and enjoyed a great bite with 3 or 4 fish on at a time.”
The Trek II also fished rockfish with good success, concentrating efforts up the coast towards Westport. On a salmon trip Saturday, 12 fishers boated 10 salmon to 21 pounds.