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KMZ Closes, Shelter Cove Best Bet for Ocean Salmon 

click to enlarge A group of anglers are all smiles after boating limits of king salmon while fishing out of Shelter Cove last week.

Photo courtesy of Jake Mitchell/Sea Hawk Sport Fishing

A group of anglers are all smiles after boating limits of king salmon while fishing out of Shelter Cove last week.

The ocean sport salmon season ended Sunday just like it began 34 days ago –quietly. Some nice kings were caught the week prior off Eureka, which led us to believe the season could potentially end on a high note. Didn't happen. So now it's rockfish only within the KMZ (Klamath Management Zone). However, if you're still hankering for salmon, Shelter Cove is a pretty good option right now. Though it's slowed down a little this week, it's still your best bet at the moment. "The fishing pressure got pretty intense and that definitely slowed the bite," said Jake Mitchell of Sea Hawk Sport Fishing. "The best bite had been between the launch and the bell buoy in 10 to 30 feet of water. There's been a lot of bait in the area, mostly anchovies, herring and some small needle fish. It's been about a fish per rod on average with a few random limits mixed in. The fish are a nice size, with quite a few tipping the scales well over 30-pounds." The sport salmon season out of Shelter Cove will run through Oct. 31.

Weekend Marine Forecast

Gusty north winds will begin to pick up as we head into the weekend. Friday's forecast is calling for winds 5 to 15 knots out of the north and west waves 5 feet at 10 seconds. Saturday is calling for north winds 5 to 15 knots and waves out of the north 5 feet at six seconds. Sunday's forecast is similar, with winds out of the north 5 to 15 knots and waves northwest 6 feet at seven seconds. These conditions can and will change by the weekend. For an up-to-date weather forecast, visit www.weather.gov/eureka/ or www.windy.com. To monitor the latest Humboldt bar conditions, visit www.wrh.noaa.gov/eka/swan. You can also call the National Weather Service at 443-7062 or the office on Woodley Island at 443-6484.

Junior Angler Fishing Day

This Saturday, Aug. 7, there will be a Junior Angler Fishing Day held at Freshwater Lagoon Beach for anglers 16 and younger. Loaner fishing equipment is available for those that need it (available on a first-come-first-served basis). Get a Junior Angler program/booklet with which kids can earn a fishing badge, free stickers and other giveaways. Limited to 40 participants who need to be accompanied by an adult. Sign up is required. Call 465-7762 or emailing redw_volunteer@nps.gov.

Tuna Update

The first tuna of the season was caught on Monday out of Shelter Cove. A single boat ran 50 to 55 miles towards the Gorda Valley and boated three albacore. Currently, the better conditions are off of Crescent City where the warm water is sitting within 45 miles as of Wednesday. All it will take is some calm weather to get the boats out looking.

The Oceans:

Eureka

With the sport salmon season now closed, full attention will turn to rockfish at Cape Mendocino. According to Tim Klassen of Reel Steel Sport Fishing, the bite has been excellent this week. "The black rockfish are like piranha's and are very aggressive biters, said Klassen. "They are a good size as well; we're seeing a lot of 5 to 6-pounders. The ling cod bite has been good too, and we're able to get limits or very close to it most days. The weather looks good at least through Thursday before the wind picks back up."

Trinidad

"Rockfish out of Trinidad remains limit-style fishing," said Curt Wilson of Wind Rose Charters. "The weather the past few days allowed us to venture out to Reading Rock where the fishing is outstanding," said Wilson. "The lingcod have really moved in at the Rock and we're getting limits pretty quickly with fish up to 30-pounds. Closer to home, the black rockfish bite is still wide-open between the Head and Patrick's Point. A bunch of big canary rockfish have shown up as well."

Crescent City

According to Britt Carson of Crescent City's Englund Marine, the rockfish bite is still wide-open. He said, "The Sisters and the South Reef continue to provide limits. The California halibut bite was decent this week and quite a few are being caught daily off of South Beach by trollers and by anglers tossing jigs off the rocks."

Brookings

After weeks of slow fishing, action improved for both Pacific halibut and salmon out of Brookings over the weekend, mainly because of calmer weather conditions reports Andy Martin of Brookings Fishing Charters He said, "Boats were able to get offshore, where action has been decent for halibut and salmon. Kings are being caught in 250 feet of water straight out from the harbor. Halibut are in 180 to 200 feet. Several boats had multiple fish on Saturday, Sunday and Monday when returning from the offshore water. Action remains good for rockfish and fair for lingcod. A few boats are preparing to search for tuna with Friday's good forecast."

The Rivers:

Lower Klamath

The estuary fishery remains inconsistent and the bite varies from tide to tide and day to day. A handful of adult kings along with some jacks are being caught daily. It will likely be this way until we see the first big push of fall salmon enter the river. Spring-run regulations are in effect through Aug. 14, with a daily bag and possession limit of one salmon of any size.

Lower Rogue

The Rogue Bay fished well over the weekend, with a fish or two for many boats according to Martin. "The size of the salmon is impressive, with a handful of 30-pounders a day being weighed in. Lots of jacks have arrived as well. Good tides this week could lead to even better action," added Martin.

Kenny Priest (he/him) operates Fishing the North Coast, a fishing guide service out of Humboldt specializing in salmon and steelhead. Find it on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and www.fishingthenorthcoast.com. For up-to-date fishing reports and North Coast river information, email kenny@fishingthenorthcoast.com

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