Northern CA Saltwater Fishing Report

Eureka anglers bracing for a hot saltwater season

BY BUD NEVILLE/WON Staff WriterPublished: Mar 27, 2012

EUREKA — While recent weather trends haven’t helped the short term saltwater action for anglers in the Eureka area, the stage is set for a great year on the big pond. One example is the razor clamming, said Ben Williams of Pacific Outfitters, retired.

“This year, the south side of Clam Beach is open, and that’s the tougher side,” said Williams. “The north side has the best beds, and that was open last year. It was fantastic. Sometimes I had my limit in 15 minutes.” The down side last year was the size of the clams until later in the year. But the abundance, and a year of growing, promises even better clamming in 2013. As for this season, the south side, despite it’s reputation as a tough dig, produced limits for a few diggers willing to explore.

“John Corbett and Tom Helberg from Pacific Outfitters went and walked over a mile, maybe closer to two miles, to find a good bed,” said Williams. “I’m going with them on this next set of minus tides the end of March and beginning of April.”

Another example of a great season are the surf smelt runs. Commercial smelters have been netting both night and day fish. “Last year, the night fish ran all the way through August,” said Williams. Surfperch are also a good bet when the ocean settles down. But probably the greatest anticipation is focused on the coming salmon season.

“Last year, we had a phenomenal season,” said Williams. “I have never seen so many fish.” Despite the banner year, resource managers are predicting an even stronger season this year.

WON field reporter Lonnie Dollarhide said his Sunday check at the Englund Marine pier, six anglers were fishing and crabbing. “They had no luck on the fish, and only had one legal crab,” he said. “Most of the time, they had tiny crabs in their rings when they pulled them up.”

Earlier in the week, the ocean conditions allowed a private boater to get out and check pots outside the mouth of the bay. Two anglers on Vulpinus put out six pots, and they had their 20-crab limit after an hour soak. About a third were jumbos. For anglers waiting out the outside ocean conditions for surfperch, the in-bay spot near King Salmon has been a good bet. Redtail surfperch were taking raw shrimp there.

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