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Topic: Humboldt Bay - 6/19/24  (Read 551 times)

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LoletaEric

  • Gimme Shelter Annual Kayakfishing Tournament Director
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  • Location: Humboldt - Always OTW if there is an option.
  • Date Registered: Dec 2004
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Reports out of Humboldt Bay have been building, but you can bet there are many more skunks than we hear about...

I had the afternoon, so I hit it up. 

Today I headed out on the bay right before high tide.  I had visions of trolling nice green water up the 3rd Channel to Halibut Paradise...  When I launched I got my first wake up call - the water was brown with a significant chop, and the wind behind that chop was a little more than was forecast.  I opted for the protection of the Middle Channel, and it was a no-brainer, as I've caught many fish there over the years.  I got myself into a familiar trolling lane, put my two offerings out - straight bait (last year's tray bait), and started the process of fantasizing about catching a hali.  😆

There were several boats in the middle channel, and my style of slow-trolling a zig-zag pattern to maximize my coverage on the incoming current meant that I was doing a bit of dodging with the dories and a couple of bigger boats that were basically drifting bait while jigging a second rod per person.  I was also doing my best to avoid the ever-present eel grass, which can be maddening and will require that much more attention to your gear - two rods at once being expert level and potentially delivering a double hookup but much more often just being a challenge.

I was just about to troll under the bridge of the 2nd Channel, and a little dory motored in and landed right in front of me.  I held my hands up, and when they asked what's up I told them I'm trolling two rods right toward them.  They had no idea, and it was a good reminder that many other boaters see kayakers as being like a buoy or something - just floating along...  They were totally cool and went to move, but I maneuvered around them and it was fine.  On the east side of the bridge I saw another kayaker who I wasn't sure if I recognized.  I fished my way up the channel a bit, and when I turned around to head back under the bridge I saw that other kayaker putting his net away.  I was like, "did he just use that?..."  As I got closer to him I saw that, indeed, he'd just landed a nice halibut - the only one I saw landed all day.  Turned out it was Mario, who went out with me Fall before last at Trinidad.  He'd landed his PB on a swimbait, right near the bridge piling - 29".  I was stoked to see him with a fish, and of course I was hoping to find one of my own!

I lingered around the bridge for a bit, as it was just after high tide, and a bunch of other boats were there too - maybe half a dozen or more.  I never saw a net fly, and the tide was pulling me down toward my truck at Eureka.  I trolled and drifted my way back, and I kept two good presentations most of the time - zigzagging my way across the tidal current, covering as much ground as possible. 

By the time I got down to my launch at the old Englund Marine, I thought I might be ready to bail - 3 hours and no bite, and only one fish caught around me.  I had the afternoon, so I turned up the 3rd Channel and went for it.  The tide was only dropping a couple feet from the 12:16 high, and the prevailing NW wind would help me back in any case.  I committed myself to the paddle, and that always feels good.

Up the 3rd Channel and trying to run my two trolled offerings and dodge the eel grass proved to be a challenge, so I was limited to just one rod part of the time.  I constantly tried to maximize my opportunity, in terms of hooking a fish and not losing my bait to a crab or sculpin.
I got under the 3rd Bridge and trolled around some edges up there right before low tide, but eel grass and poor water clarity had me feeling like my chances weren't prime.  I thought about hauling in my lines and paddling for the upper end of the 2nd Channel to head back to my truck at Eureka there, but I ended up flipping a 180 and heading back down the 3rd Channel.  I'd haul a couple of new herring back to Eureka and see what happens...

By the time I crossed under the 3rd Bridge and was steadily trolling my two lines with no bites, all day, I decided it was time for a consolation beer.  I was having a flashback to last summer, when I covered this same ground and drank my celebratory beer early...  I'd do it again, and the least I'd get for it was to drink the beer!

So I trolled along, got into a pretty weed-less section, enjoyed trolling my gear through what now looked like pretty clear, green water, and right before I got back to Eureka, like, last-minute, Hail-Mary kind of shit...  I see my right side rod tip dip, just a bit.  Didn't stop, didn't tug and vibrate, just dips a bit, and holds.  So I gently stop paddling, reel in my left side setup just a couple cranks, and then very gently remove my right side setup from under my leg, and keep the tip pointed back toward the action, and it tugs.  Oh, yes!  Slight tug, and I think, "should I let it munch?...", because it's a halibut, and that's what you often have to do.  It then munches harder, and I am ready to commit.  I lift the rod, set the hook, and it's on!

This fish fought well, but the art of subduing a halibut can have much to do with surprise and being still.  By the time I got this fish in the net, maybe a minute or so after hooking it, I was so ready to execute that operation that it's not even funny.

I let out a gigantic hoot when I had this fish securely in my net, and my disposition has been positively affected throughout my day.  It's amazing what one converted bite can deliver.
Fresh halibut for dinner, and spirit fulfilled.   :smt001
I am a licensed guide.  DFW Guide ID:  1000124.   Let's do a trip together.

Loleta Eric's Guide Service

loletaeric@yahoo.com - call me up at (707) 845-0400

http://www.loletaeric.com

Being an honorable sportsman is way more important than what you catch.


LoletaEric

  • Gimme Shelter Annual Kayakfishing Tournament Director
  • Manatee
  • *****
  • The focus is achieving a state of mind.
  • View Profile LoletaEric.com
  • Location: Humboldt - Always OTW if there is an option.
  • Date Registered: Dec 2004
  • Posts: 19106
...
I am a licensed guide.  DFW Guide ID:  1000124.   Let's do a trip together.

Loleta Eric's Guide Service

loletaeric@yahoo.com - call me up at (707) 845-0400

http://www.loletaeric.com

Being an honorable sportsman is way more important than what you catch.


LoletaEric

  • Gimme Shelter Annual Kayakfishing Tournament Director
  • Manatee
  • *****
  • The focus is achieving a state of mind.
  • View Profile LoletaEric.com
  • Location: Humboldt - Always OTW if there is an option.
  • Date Registered: Dec 2004
  • Posts: 19106
...
I am a licensed guide.  DFW Guide ID:  1000124.   Let's do a trip together.

Loleta Eric's Guide Service

loletaeric@yahoo.com - call me up at (707) 845-0400

http://www.loletaeric.com

Being an honorable sportsman is way more important than what you catch.


LoletaEric

  • Gimme Shelter Annual Kayakfishing Tournament Director
  • Manatee
  • *****
  • The focus is achieving a state of mind.
  • View Profile LoletaEric.com
  • Location: Humboldt - Always OTW if there is an option.
  • Date Registered: Dec 2004
  • Posts: 19106
...
I am a licensed guide.  DFW Guide ID:  1000124.   Let's do a trip together.

Loleta Eric's Guide Service

loletaeric@yahoo.com - call me up at (707) 845-0400

http://www.loletaeric.com

Being an honorable sportsman is way more important than what you catch.


LoletaEric

  • Gimme Shelter Annual Kayakfishing Tournament Director
  • Manatee
  • *****
  • The focus is achieving a state of mind.
  • View Profile LoletaEric.com
  • Location: Humboldt - Always OTW if there is an option.
  • Date Registered: Dec 2004
  • Posts: 19106
Get up here and fish, if that's on your mind.   :smt001
I am a licensed guide.  DFW Guide ID:  1000124.   Let's do a trip together.

Loleta Eric's Guide Service

loletaeric@yahoo.com - call me up at (707) 845-0400

http://www.loletaeric.com

Being an honorable sportsman is way more important than what you catch.


Jacks

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pasha

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Impressive filets.
Well done!
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Sailfish

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Thanks for the great report and pictures Eric.  You got skills in filletting Halibut  :smt007
"Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass...it's about learning how to dance in the rain."


123engineering

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Thank you for the report.  I always enjoy reading your well-written reports.
I hope to meet you this summer.

Paul
Paul C.

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LoletaEric

  • Gimme Shelter Annual Kayakfishing Tournament Director
  • Manatee
  • *****
  • The focus is achieving a state of mind.
  • View Profile LoletaEric.com
  • Location: Humboldt - Always OTW if there is an option.
  • Date Registered: Dec 2004
  • Posts: 19106
Thanks, fellas.  Pan fried hali this evening was very good.  I'll deep fry some soon too.

Quote from: 123engineering
I hope to meet you this summer.

Paul

I have a best way to do that, Paul!   :smt003
I am a licensed guide.  DFW Guide ID:  1000124.   Let's do a trip together.

Loleta Eric's Guide Service

loletaeric@yahoo.com - call me up at (707) 845-0400

http://www.loletaeric.com

Being an honorable sportsman is way more important than what you catch.


SpeedyStein

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- Kevin


Fisherman X

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Thanks for taking us along on the trip. Nice Hali!
-Success is living the life you want-
Joel ><>

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Code3

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Thanks for the report!  Score  :smt004
We're gonna need a bigger boat!


  • Dave The SynthGuy
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Way to get it done!  Hope to get out there soon.  Loved the detail on the filet education.  :smt006
Detonate the reality bomb.