Halibut fishing has been fantastic! I have some space for the first week of July, which should be a really productive set of tides. Anybody looking to get out of the heat and catch a bunch of fish should give me a call! Its a blast!!
I wasn't planning on going out and buying a new boat but, well, the stars aligned. Replacing my 21' Willie Classic is a new 23' Willie Raptor. This boat is beautiful and will offer us more space to fish out of. Also, the deeper V hull will make for a more comfortable ride in open, choppy water. this will be huge for our bay fishing this summer.
Speaking of fishing, I've been out in the bay and halibut are here! I expect an excellent summer and fall of fishing for these tasty critters. I've also been out on the Lower Klamath for spring salmon. While the fishing here wasn't red hot, there are some fish around and if you'd like a chance to take home the best eating salmon on the planet, June will be you're time. If you are interested in a couple days of fishing, it is very possible to combine halibut and river fishing in that trip. Shoot me a call and we can make that happen!
We wrapped up our Striped Bass season this last Monday. Thanks to all who came and fished with me, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did! All in all, fishing was nothing short of epic, check out a few of the highlights below. If you missed out, make sure you plan on it for next year, it's really one of my favorite times of year...
Looking forward, I will take the next week or two off and then I will start fishing California Halibut in Humboldt Bay. I've been looking forward to the bay halibut fishery all year, as I think it will be excellent season and Humboldt Bay and its halibut have a special place in my heart. Fishing will be done with live bait and light tackle and for those who like the idea of catching and eating halibut but seasickness is an issue, this is the fishery for you. Humboldt Bay has no influence from open ocean swell, so conditions are very similar to being on a lake. The limit is 3 fish per person and the fillet yield is very high, so a generous bag of fish at the end of the day is very possible. Last year the bay was loaded with fish and I expect more of the same this year.
I am also offering spring salmon trips on the lower Klamath for late May and June. This is our opportunity to take home a coastal salmon this year as the ocean fishery is shut down and fall salmon will be closed to take in Klamath system. Spring Salmon are the best eating salmon on the planet and it isn't even close. For those of you who prefer to do multiple day trips, doing a day of Halibut fishing and a day of Salmon fishing is a great option.....
But, fortunately there is dry weather in the future. That is, if the weatherman doesn't miss on that too!! Over the last couple of weeks, we've been dealing with high river levels constantly. But for the conditions, there have been decent numbers of fish around. The rivers look to be finally be dropping into good shape by the weekend, which will be nice. Hopefully, we are in for a bit of a dry spell.
Jack Ontiveros with a solid Smith buck.
David Larsen with a super bright Smith River hatchery hen.
Kieth Larsen with a pretty girl.
Chris Sowersby catching chrome in the big trees.
As you know, we're in the middle of a wet winter. Winter started this year in Mid October and the rain hasn't taken an extended absence since. This is a good thing. While we may lose some days of fishing due to high river conditions, getting out of this drought is the key to keeping our fish thriving. At this point, the northern half of California is looking to be in great shape, water wise. I believe we are in for some excellent fish returns in the not so distant future...
Steelhead fishing after the last rise was good to very good, but the last few days have gotten tough with low, clear conditions. We are scheduled to get rain through the weekend, which should push a bunch of new fish in. It should be fun, as we are right in the middle of prime time...
Mike Combs with a mid-teener. If only he spent more time on his fishing instead of his hair. He could be truly dominant! Haha!
Josh Wolst with a perfect Smith hatchery steelhead...
Trinity Meadows inspired this fish to cartwheel across a heavy rapid a couple of times. Good show!
I know I haven't posted here in ages. My laptop has been down for months now and updating this site on my phone has not been a real practical option. Instead, i've been doing all my reports recently on my Facebook site. However, I've got all that taken care of and I'll now be able to update on this website as well, as I know some of you aren't on Facebook (I'm talking to you, Carl Casale, lol!). However, I will be posting more pics on Facebook as this blog site will not let me post galleries from my mobile devices which is what I'm using to do reports.
Currently, after a slow start to winter steelhead, things have picked up in the last week or so. However, we are getting pounded with another storm that will take us out of action for the next couple of days. I expect good fishing after the dust settles.
Well, you guys didn't see any Striper updates here as both my computer and camera took a dump on me. If ya wanna backtrack and check it out, take a look at my Facebook page, Redwood Coast Fishing with Mike Stratman.
As many of you know, the Blue Creek stretch was closed on the Klamath last year, making summer steelhead fishing very difficult to plan for. Well this year, Fish and Wildlife have opened most of that stretch of river back up. That means we'll be back out there starting in early July and I will be taking advanced bookings. This really is the most underrated fishery of the year, with lots of hard fighting, bright steelhead, uncrowded conditions, and beautiful weather. Give me a call soon to get the best dates, they will fill fast. The steelhead fishing will start to taper about the middle of August and at this point the salmon should start filling in the river.....
The pics above are from past summer steelhead seasons, except for the one with my son, Jackson, holding a spring salmon. We caught that last weekend. There will be springers in the Klamath from now till the end of June. I don't do a ton of trips this time of year as I take a little time off to hang out with my family and vacation. However If you would like to book a trip for the tastiest salmon of the year, give me a call and I'll see if I can make it work.
It's been awhile since an update. However, February was a very busy month. The majority of our fishing has been up north in the Smith and Chetco where fishing has been mostly solid. I did get to spend a few days on the Eel but fishing was surprisingly tough here. February is usually a lights out time to fish this system, so the slow fishing was a bit of a surprise.
Heavy rain started again last weekend and looks to continue at least through this weekend. I'll head up north when the weather settles down and there should be a ton of post spawn steelhead and some late season chromers waiting.
Steelhead aside, the rain we've had in March should lead to an outstanding Striped Bass season in April. I still have some space, so shoot me a line if you'd like a day.
I've been fishing on the Smith/Chetco systems since just after Christmas. While there have been a couple of tough days, fishing on the whole has been pretty good. Unlike the last few winters, our weather has been more typical of Januarys on the North Coast with rain on a nearly daily basis. As long as this pattern continues, I expect to remain fishing on either the Smith or Chetco.
After the weather system that arrived early this week, rivers up north rose and we had 3 days of pretty productive fishing. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough water to sustain good fishing any longer. However there is a series of storms predicted to begin on Saturday which should kick off some very productive and extended action on the Smith and Chetco Rivers.