EUREKA — Each day that the winds and seas allow boaters out of Eureka Harbor seems to result in fairly easy fishing for salmon, and Pacific halibut counts rose dramatically to limit levels. Exploratory rockfish trips prove productive.
Monday morning was a very slow pick on salmon until a private boater reported a hot bite on the 49.5 by 22.5 line. Steve Haines of Eureka reported that when he arrived at those numbers there were keeper salmon feeding on the surface. He said they could not get their rods into the holders after dropping 60 feet on the wire before they were hooked up. Everyone who ran out to the numbers had limits in very short order. The salmon were on the small size, from 8 to 14 pounds, but they were plentiful and hungry.
The Shellback and the Reel Steel both made runs this week to Cape Mendocino and found big hungry rockfish. Limits were the rule and the quality was great. A regular on the Shellback, Jim Pardise of Arcata, had big fish honors with a 15-pound ling cod
By Mid-week, boats had the salmon dialed in. WON Field Reporter, Lonnie Dollarhide said, “All that were out reported limits again. Those that were fishing down deeper from 90 to 100 feet on the wire were getting some fish in the teens to just over 20 pounds, all were trolling.” The biggest fish announced this week was a 40 pounder caught by Tom Markings of Eureka. “Tom is our rep at all the rockfish meetings with the PFMC,” explained Dollarhide.
Salmon were not the only opportunity. Captain Tim Klassen Reel Steel had an awesome day at midweek for his clients. By 10:30 a.m. they were limited out on Pacific halibut. They had plenty of time left, so they changed venue and caught limits of salmon. Then they made another move and pulled a couple of crab pots to finish the day with Dungeness crabs.
On Saturday, after easy limits of salmon, the Reel Steel went out to the halibut grounds for one Pacific halibut. Brandi Easter of Eureka was the lucky lady who caught a 30 pounder. B2 squid and herring tempted the fish.