Eureka boats find the halibut after wind spoils opener

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Bob Pagliuco of McKinleyville landed one of the season’s first Pacific halibut out of Eureka Wednesday while fishing aboard the Reel Steel. Photo courtesy of Tim Klassen/Reel Steel Sport Fishing.
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BY KENNY PRIEST

EUREKA – The widely-anticipated Pacific halibut opener was slated for last Monday, but good ol’ Mother Nature had other plans. Ocean conditions up and down the coast were horrible, with gale force winds keeping fleets from the Bay Area to Brookings tied to the dock both Monday and Tuesday.

That’s the bad news. The good news is the seas subsided and boats headed out through Humboldt Bay on Wednesday in search of the season’s first haul of Pacific halibut. And once the boats made it to the halibut grounds, it didn’t take long to find the season’s first biters.

A few charter and private boats took advantage of decent weather and put in quick limits of halibut up to 50 pounds. Ocean conditions look fishable at least through the weekend, and we now know the fish are there.

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The Pacific halibut season will be open until Nov. 15 or until the quota is reached, whichever is earlier. The fishery will be open seven days a week, and the limit remains at one with no size restrictions.

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