EUREKA — This late fishing season continued in fine fashion for Eureka anglers, and Pacific halibut bit better than usual for this time of year. Rockfish limits were as easy as they usually are, and Dungeness crabs filled pots pleasingly fast.
The Reel Steel fished for Pacific halibut, first to the south of the entrance to Humboldt Bay and then to the north, where at 300 feet of water they nailed limits of halibut. The biggest unit, a 32 pounder, was caught by Jim Martin of Fort Bragg. The magic offering was a B2 Squid lure tipped with herring. Bob Stewart, fishing on the private boat, Rave On caught a 25 pounder. This is typically the time of year when halibut season slows, but this season is proving to be the exception. “This has been a great season and I set a personal best record of 9 Pacific halibut over the course of the season,” said WON Field Reporter Lonnie Dollarhide.
FINAL FLING — The final ocean fishing trip for 2012 for the Reel Steel out of Eureka was last week, with WON Field Reporter Lonnie Dollarhide, Jimmy Smith of Eureka, John Driscol of Eureka and Jim Martin of Fort Bragg, shown with Capt. Tim Klassen and 3 of their 4 ’buts caught north of the entrance to Humboldt Bay in 300 feet of water using B2 Squid topped with a whole herring.
Boats fishing the Cape Mendocino area reported a wide open bite on quality blacks, reds and lingcod. Another very productive area was a few miles below the Cape, a favorite area called Steam Boat Rock which will be off limits next year due to the socioeconomically disastrous Marine Life Protection Act and the Marine Protected Areas it spawned to garner grant money for researchers and acadamia while locking out fisherfolk.
Matt Goldsworthy of Eureka had a strange encounter with a humpback whale that appeared to repeatedly charge his small boat. Goldsworthy wisely made a lengthy run to fish another area, near the Wave Rider Buoy where he hooked and boated a 7 foot soup fin shark.
On opening day of crab season the Reel Steel went out early with crew only to set the pots. After picking up their passengers and heading back out to the pots, which had been soaking for just 2 hours, easy limits were hauled up. Some were heavy and some were not, as can be expected early in the season. Those that tried crabbing inside Humboldt Bay found the action to be just about as good as outside the Bay. Crabbing out of Trinidad was as good as it gets. Folks were surprised at how full some of the crabs were.
Jetty fishing was good for black rockfish and even lingcod. Steve Jones of Eureka fished the jetties and on 2 occasions had a lingcod up to the rocks. Each time the fish was stolen by a sea lion. Jones was casting and retrieving swimbaits.