Ocean charter season begins, salmon, halibut openers near
The river guides who spend the fall and winter fishing for salmon and steelhead the Chetco and Smith rivers for Wild Rivers Fishing are also saltwater charter boat captains. Through our sister company, Brookings Fishing Charters, they run lingcod, rockfish, salmon, albacore tuna, California halibut and Pacific halibut charters out of Brookings and Gold Beach.
The Miss Brooke, Papa B, The Dash and ‘Bout Time have been running ocean charters since January. Ocean fishing was good in March, before stay-home orders brought charters to a standstill just before Spring Break. Lingcod fishing has been especially good this year, and the number of large vermilion rockfish has been above average. With the charter fleet grounded because of social distancing mandates, the crew has been taking their families fun fishing, and getting nice limits of lingcod and rockfish.
We hope to resume ocean charters in May, just in time for the Pacific halibut opener. Pacific halibut season runs May 1-Oct. 31. Fishing is hit-and-miss off the coast of Brookings, but Brookings Fishing Charters has the highest success rate of any local charter company catching these prized fish. Several Pacific halibut are brought in by the Brookings Fishing Charters crew each year.
The ocean salmon season out of Brookings will run June 20-Aug. 7 this year. Late June and early to mid-July are the peak season for king salmon. Brookings Fishing Charters is one of the most successful charter fleets on the entire Oregon Coast at catch king salmon in the ocean for customers. This year’s ocean season is promising, with a combined ocean abundance forecast for the Sacramento, Klamath and Rogue rivers of nearly 1 million adult king salmon. Salmon from the Sacramento River make up the majority of the ocean catch off of Brookings. This year’s forecast for the Sacramento is almost 500,000 adult kings.
California halibut have been off the coast of Brookings for decades, but the fish have been fairly elusive. While Cali Hali are incidentally caught each summer by anglers targeting bottom fish or salmon close to shore, few skippers have been able to dial in how to catch them. Last summer, Capt. Andy had several impressive days fishing for California halibut, with catch rates of three to five fish per angler. The best time for Cali Hali is July through September.
Brookings Fishing Charters also was successful last summer at getting customers into albacore tuna. The six-pack charters were able to quickly get offshore and find the prized fish, with very good catch rates. Tuna trips are based on a call list. Call (541) 813-1082 to get on the list. Trips are booked when weather and fishing conditions allow.
To learn more about our ocean charters, visit www.brookingsfishing.com. We off daily trips, weather permitting, out of the Port of Brookings. We also have a dock slip in Gold Beach for Rogue Reef lingcod and rockfish in June, July and August. For information, call (541) 813-1082.
All of the ocean charters working out of the Brookings Fishing Charters office are six-pack charter boats, with local owners and operators.