May 2012

by greenwater on May 30, 2012

The wide open salmon bite off Eureka is still going strong. With a huge band of fish stretched out to both the north and south of Humboldt Bay entrance it’s pretty hard to miss as long as the weather cooperates. On the toughest day we had our 12 kings in the box by 10:45, on the good days you couldn’t even put a bait in the water without it getting bit. The fleet has been focused a few miles south in 140 to 160 feet of water but it really doesn’t seem matter which way you go. On Memorial day I was a little burned out on fishing with the weekend crowds the day before so I decided to head the opposite direction for some solitude and found plenty of fish to keep us busy. There’s lots of bait through the whole area and fish are gorging on both krill and candlefish. I’ve been sticking to my bread and butter tactic of a trolled green label herring but people are doing great on spoons, apexes and just about anything else you can drag behind the boat. So far the huge run forecasts for the 2012 season seem to be on target. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen salmon fishing this good so early in the year.

As a bonus, there’s been some really nice halibut around although the bite hasn’t been as consistent as I’d like. One day they bite good and the next it flops. When the weather lays down I’ve been making the run down to Cape Mendocino and putting on limits of rockfish and some real nice lings to 20 pounds. It makes for a nice way to round out the day after catching limits of salmon.

The picture is of Amy Benton of Yuba City posing with her mid twenty pound range king. Amy hadn’t been out on the ocean since she was a little girl and decided it was time to give it a try again. She fished like a pro landing her limit of salmon in short order.

We’ve also got some springers coming through the Klamath. The action hasn’t been hot but the big tides coming up over the next week should bring in the biggest push of the season. If it’s going to happen, now’s the time.

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by greenwater on May 17, 2012

I ran my first trip of the season on the ocean through our sister company, North Wind Charters and salmon fishing was about as good as it gets. The new pier in Trinidad won’t be ready to go until Friday so I ran out of Eureka today and found tons of life out front. Most of the fleet was in about 300 feet of water and a little north of the entrance but there were fish spread far and wide. I did the bulk of my damage in 180 feet of water straight out in front of the jaws. There were huge balls of both krill and finbait with plenty of willing kings mixed in. We put 14 fish in the box counting a limit for me before going inside and pulling our crab pots. While the fish weren’t huge they were a respectable grade with an 8 to 10 pound average capped off by a 20 pounder.

While I’m generally a bigger fan of photos of individual fish fresh from the water to highlight their beauty, here’s a classic meat shot for you.

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by greenwater on May 12, 2012

That’s a funny looking salmon. I just got back from a 10 day jaunt up to the Columbia River for a little R and R before I start running "Fishy Business" out of Trinidad on Tuesday. We started the trip out on the Willamette just bellow the falls at Oregon City to see what all the hype was about. While far from a wilderness experience it was really pretty neat to see such a well run urban fishery. Hundreds of boats were turning out every morning but despite the crowds people were friendly and everyone was there to have a good time. Action wasn’t red hot with far more boats than fish but we managed to bag a few each day back-bouncing roe with a pinch of sand shrimp. The sturgeon fishing was closed to retention but still open to catch and release so we’d spend some time every afternoon playing with big diamond backs. Bites came quick with fish running from 10 to 90 pounds. Over the course of the trip we saw some truly giant ones free jump.

The second half of the trip we went up the Columbia looking for one of the big walleye that the river is famous for. The constant winds made it difficult but the fish were there and wanted to play. Bouncing crawler harnesses was the ticket as you could cover a lot of ground and find pockets of fish. The one is the picture was the big girl of the trip that taped out at 11 pounds. We let here swim off to spawn and kept a few smaller males for shore lunch.

All and all it was a great 10 days of exploring some new waters with good friends.

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by greenwater on May 1, 2012

I’m back from striper fishing on the Sacramento River out of Colusa and we had a great time. For the most part the fishing was great. Some days it took a little more work than others but we always managed to find limits of chunky linesides. On the best days the action was nonstop with double and triple hookups common when we were on big pods of fish.

I’ve got about a week and a half of down time before I start my ocean charters out of Trinidad Harbor and I think everyone is excited to see what this season is going to bring in terms of salmon fishing. It’s been open for a few weeks already down south and the bite is as good as anyone can remember. I’ll get reports up as soon as we get going.

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