Ocean anglers on both sides of the border saw their opportunities expand this week with new seasons opening on Tuesday. The Pacific halibut season is now here with anglers hauling in a few big fish out of Brookings and Crescent City. California fishermen are also allowed to get back out in search of bottomfish, which always provides some of the most consistent fishing in the area.

On the ocean

Ocean fishing is now upon us with Pacific halibut season opening on May 1, with salmon seasons set to follow within the next month.

Although it is still a little bit on the early side for Pacific halibut this far north, anglers on both sides of the border have already caught at least a handful of the big fish out of both Brookings and Crescent City, which is a good sign for the season to come.

Meanwhile, anglers in Crescent City were allowed to get out in search of bottomfish for the first time this year. Cpt. Jim Mitchell of Gotcha Hooked Fish Trips said bottomfish have been biting well early in California’s season, especially lingcod.

Englund Marine Supply Company has already weighed in a 20-pound ling for its annual biggest lingcod competition, but there have been several big lingcod caught in California already.

Anglers have also been nabbing their daily bag limit of black snappers and filling out their quota with a few other species of ground fish such as vermillions and coppers.

See Fishing, Page 7A

Up in Oregon bottom fishing has remained open since the beginning of the year and is expected to stay open year round. Oregon anglers also had luck targeting bottomfish this week, especially later in the week as the ocean began to calm down.

Although Pacific halibut fishing is already open, the ocean salmon season is not far behind. Salmon will be available off the coast of Brookings starting May 19. In California the ocean salmon season is scheduled to begin June 1.

Mitchell said there are already some big balls of bait starting to form south of Crescent City towards the Sisters. Mitchell said that is likely a good sign that salmon will be in the area when the season finally opens.

River fishing

Anglers are still reporting a few springers being caught on the Rogue River throughout the week, though fishing is still fairly slow.

Fishing contacts: Jim Mitchell of Gotcha Hooked Fish Trips at 464-8482; Chetco Outdoor Store at 541-469-9151; Englund Marine Supply Company at 464-32306.

Reach Michael Zogg at mzogg@triplicate.com .