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Eureka: Best albacore bite in twenty years for Eureka boats

BY CAPT. DAVID BACON/WON Staff WriterPublished: Sep 18, 2019

EUREKA — With decent weather and warm water close by, it was a great week for Eureka albacore fishers, in fact, reportedly the best in 20 years! California halibut were on the prowl inside Humboldt Bay and jetty fishing was very good for a variety of fish.

Capt. Tony Sepulveda is spending much of his time guiding on the Klamath River at this time of year, but came back to the salt for a couple epic days of albacore fishing on Shellback. On Monday it was as many longfin as an angler wanted to catch and only 15 miles from the entrance to Humboldt Bay.


50poundflattie
A 50-POUND FLATTIE puts up quite a tussle, and John Natsume of San Francisco caught this 50.5-pound Pacific halibut fishing the Lost Coast aboard the Fishy Business out of Northwind charters out of Eureka. WON reader Byron Lim took the photo.

Capt. Sepulveda said, “We called it quits around noon with 40 onboard. Jig stops were constant, and we had some long bait bites where the fish hung with the boat. The day ended with a double, just 9.5 miles from the jetty.” WON Field Reporter Lonnie Dollarhide said that a commercial boat caught a few on Saturday just 5 miles from the entrance on his way back in.


Dollarhide fished tuna and said, “I was on board the charter Reel Steel. We ran out just 15 miles out and started fishing. Our first action was a triple hookup and two landed. After that we picked away at singles. At times we couldn't get all gear in the water before we were hooked up again. We ended the short day with 32 tuna.”


Number-wise the counts were from 20 plus to 40 and the average size was from 12 to 18 pounds. The warm, clear blue water is 14 to 15 miles out. The latest SST shot is showing a mass of warm water pushing up from the south and with no major storms in the forecast, this amazing tuna year should last for a while. Dollarhide added, “We haven't seen this kind of tuna action in well over 20 years out of Eureka.”


Inside Humboldt Bay, the California halibut bite hasn't let up. Anglers did well up in the north bay and anglers fishing in the south bay down off the Coast Guard station did very well on the larger bay halibut. Anglers fishing off the jetties caught snappers, perch and some lingcod. Who knows, before long they may be catching albacore!


On Wednesday, Dollarhide fished the lower Klamath river with Captain Tony Sepulveda who is now doing river trips in between ocean charters on Shellback. Fishing was pretty much wide open and at times there were double and triple hook ups on either steelhead, jack salmon or adult kings. It is good to see a good number of jacks in the river system.


staffertoadSTAFFER TOAD — WON Field Reporter Lonnie Dollarhide of Eureka caught his nice king aboard the Reel Steel caught on the closing day of salmon season. They were top boat with 10 kings.

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