Break in the wind puts boats back on the water

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BIG TIME NORTH COAST LING - Paul Malay of Lovelock, Nevada landed this nice lingcod out of Trinidad aboard the Shellback. PHOTO COURTESY OF TONY SEPULVEDA/SHELL- BACK SPORT FISHING
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BY KENNY PRIEST

EUREKA -The wind and seas finally relented earlier this week, at last allowing the Eureka-based fleet of boats to get back on the water. A few of the boats went south, reacquainting themselves with Cape Mendocino. The rockfish bite was good according to the few boats that made the run. By the weekend, the bite had busted wide-open and limits were the norm for the charter fleet as well as most of the sportboats. The ocean looks fishable through Wednesday before the wind picks back up.

Out of Eureka, the Pacific halibut bite went wide-open over the weekend for the charter boat fleet with the best bite north of Eureka around the 51 to 53 lines in 270 to 300 feet of water.

Most of the charters limited out well before 9:00 a.m. on Sunday morning with halibut up to 50 pounds. A handful of California halibut are being caught inside Humboldt Bay, but it isn’t red hot yet. Offshore conditions look good through Tuesday before the wind is predicted to pick back up. Captain Gary Blasi of Full Throttle Sport Fishing said, “It is on fire up here for Pacifics, and it is the best I have ever seen.”

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Farther north in Trinidad, the Pacific halibut bite slowed slightly over the weekend, but there were still quite a few caught. Curt Wilson of Wind Rose Charters reported that the best bite is south of Trinidad Head in 250 to 300 feet of water. “A few of the boats had limits over the weekend,” said Wilson. “The rockfish action between the Head and Patrick’s Point is still really good.

We’re catching mostly blacks with limits coming pretty easily. We’re also catching a few lings, but not a wide variety of rockfish right now.” Crabbing is still good and the charter captains are sending their clients home with limits of fresh Dungeness.

BRACE OF HALIBUT — Courtney McNeely from Capitola with quality halibut caught near the Mile Reef this week in summer-like weather conditions. PHOTO COURTESY ED BURRELL/CAPITOLA BOAT AND BAIT

Closer to the Oregon border out of Crescent City, rockfish and lingcod action is outstanding just about any direction you take, said, Britt Carson of Crescent City’s Englund Marine. “The weather was a little better this week, so the boats were able to spend a little more time on the water,” Just about everyone was reporting limits of both rockfish and lingcod. The redtail perch bite really took off this week with anglers scoring easy limits along Kellogg Beach. The minus tides brought out the clammers, and there were plenty of clams to be had. Lots of limits reported for medium-sized razors. A couple Pacific halibut were caught this week so hopefully that fishery is starting to heat up. Still no California halibut to speak of, but the effort remains low.”

In the southern Humboldt port of Shelter Cove, Jake Mitchell of Sea Hawk Sport Fishing took advantage of some nicer weather and made the trip north for Pacific halibut and rockfish combos. “The halibut bite was scratchy at best and we averaged only one per day,” said Mitchell. “The rockfish and lingcod bite on the other hand was fantastic, and we had quality and quick limits each day. We spent a couple days this week fishing rockfish close to home around the Hat and had pretty good results as well. We’ve been seeing a lot of salmon around last few days.” Ocean recreational salmon season opens June 29 and continues through October 31.

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