May 2014

by greenwater on May 25, 2014



The Eureka salmon bite is still rolling along.  Limits were the norm through most of the week with the exception of Tuesday and Wednesday when all the charter boat stayed tied to the dock due to bad weather.  By Thursday the ocean was back down and the whole fleet was on the hunt again.  Before the wind the biggest concentration of fish had been to the north off Mad River but we all knew we’d be looking at a shuffled deck.  It took about 45 minutes to hone back in on the fish but once we found them the bite was on.  They haven’t been coming in triples and quads like they do so often here but it’s been a steady fishing with limits in the boat between 11:00 and 1:00 most days.
Nobody made the run down to Cape Mendocino for bottom fish but this week with the weather being a bit unsettled and opportunities for halibut were also limited.  Both have been on a great bite and soon as conditions become favorable again I’m sure we’ll see big scores.


by greenwater on May 18, 2014



Summer fishing is in full swing and the action has been fantastic.  Everything has been on the hard chew with salmon, rockfish, lingcod and halibut all going off.  On top of that, we’ve had a flat ocean and hot sunny weather.  It doesn’t get any better.
Limit style salmon fishing was the rule up and down the beach.  While our traditional hotspot two miles in front of the harbor entrance was a little sparse, there was a big volume of fish 6 miles north and also to the south around the Eel River Canyon.  The typical summer pattern has begun to set up with big rafts of murres sitting over balls of smelt and krill.  Most boats opted to troll with anchovies rigged on a Bechhold head being my go to.  The grade has been fantastic for this early in the season with fish running from 10 to 25 pounds.  Limits flags have been flying early on all the charter boats.
With flat weather we made the 20 mile run to the legendary bottom fish waters of the Lost Coast and Cape Mendocino for opening day on the 15th On Shellback we put 6 limits of big rockfish in the boat in less than 45 minutes and then went on the lingcod hunt.  Bouncing big swimbaits on the pinnacles produced limits in about an hour.  We rounded out the day with 11 fat salmon.
The pacific halibut season is off to an amazing start and the usual areas out front in 250 to 300 feet of water have been producing.  When the drift is right the fish have been on the chew.  Bouncing a herring with a glow hoochie on the bottom gets the job done on fish up to 80 lbs.


by greenwater on May 11, 2014



With anticipation drizzled thick over the Eureka salmon opener, nearly a hundred boats crossed the infamous Humboldt Bar this morning to answer the question on everyone’s minds.  Can this north coast port once again live up to it’s legendary status as arguably the worlds best saltwater king salmon destination?  2012 and 2013 saw easy limit style action nearly every day of the season.
With favorable weather and visions of chrome I dropped gear over the rail of Shellback at 7:30 am in 150 feet of water and started tacking west.  At 7:45 a rod bounced hard and popped the downrigger clip followed seconds later by a thick bodied king flashing on the surface behind the boat.  After a few jumps and hard runs my longtime regular, Nick Johnson from Eureka led our first salmon of 2014 to net.  Gary Blasi on Seaweasel was in fish a 1/2 mile to the northwest and things were off and running exactly where they had ended the year before.  Big curtains of smelt lit the meter and bites came steady punctuated by the chaos of a pair of triple hookups.  We lost a few after good battles, missed some grabs and still put our 12th (limit) fish in the box before 10 am.
My go too offering is an anchovy fished on a Bechhold bait head and the combination didn’t let me down today.  Private boats were reporting fish on a variety of hardware including apex, hoochies and spoons.  The grade was fantastic for this early in the year with average fish running from 12 to 18 pounds.  While I never made it more than a few miles from the harbor entrance today, I heard reports of catches up and down the beach from a 120 feet out to 250.  It feels like we have a big volume in the area and the quantity of bait should keep them around.
All the charter boats were back to the docks before noon.  Smiles and laughter accompanied clicking cameras and high fives.  We’re all excited about the summer ahead.  While one day doesn’t make a season, it would appear Eureka is once again poised to set the standard by which salmon fishing is measured.  Here we go!


by greenwater on May 2, 2014



I just finished up a few awesome weeks of striped bass fishing on the Sacramento River out of Grimes Landing.  I like this fishery more and more every year and I really think it may be my absolute favorite of all my seasons.  For the first half of my time there the bite was really strong with lots of double and triple hookups.  In the second half we saw the water drop out which isn’t surprising considering the severe drought we’re in.  Despite the conditions, fishing remained solid and we were able to put together limits every day except one.  The fish in the picture was by far the biggest and weighed 41 pounds!


I’m back in Eureka and getting Shellback ready to go chase ocean salmon.  Our season will open May 10 and there are plenty of rumors circulating about crabbers seeing jumping kings so it sounds like the fish are there.  If it’s even half as good as what we’ve had the last two summers we’re in for a real treat.


***As a side note,  I just discovered my contact form chart is having an issue so don’t use it until my tech guy can get it figured out.  Email or phone (707) 845 9588 will get through to me.  I’ll let you know when the contact is up and running again.