THE SPORTSMANS CORNER: Hot bite for salmon on coast

By Gary Roussan

For the past two weeks, the salmon fishing off the Fort Bragg coast has been red hot. Limits have become the norm for anglers seeking the ocean delicacy. Most days before this catch increase were termed under par for many.

In my first trek of this salmon season, I again was invited to try my luck in cousin Bob Petersens great fishing boat, the Osprey. The boat is 32 feet long and is powered by two 350-horsepower Chevrolet inboard engines. It was built about 25 years ago by Bob and some friends. This boat will get up and go.

This particular day, the ocean was a bit snotty, so we did not run for the fishing grounds at anywhere near full speed as we left the channel entrance at 6:15 a.m.

It was only a short, straight run to about 350 fathoms, and we began fishing. There were five of us aboard that morning, and for three of us it was the first trip of the year.

My grandson Keola Wilson stands alongside a 20-plus-pound salmon caught off Fort Bragg this week.

It wasnt long before we were into the fish and by 8:10 a.m. we had our limit of 10 fish. They ran slightly smaller than normal, but three of the fish were 20 to 23 pounds. After a short trip to the harbor, we were tied up to the dock by 8:40 a.m.

Most of our fish were taken on green-and-chrome flashers, with a white-and-grey hoochie and an anchovy.

Although this years salmon season started slow, anglers are now making up lost time, and the fishing off Fort Bragg is at its best right now.