Long-rang lighthouse trips yield lunker lings
BROOKINGS, Ore. (May 19, 2023) – The highly anticipated lingcod and rockfish season opener at the Point St. Geoge Reef and lighthouse lived up to its expectations, with easy limits of lunker rockfish and steady action on big lingcod. Halibut fishing also is off to a good start near the lighthouse, and has improved off of Brookings.
Aside from local half-day bottom fishing trips out of Brookings, and all-day long-range trips to the lighthouse, anglers fishing out of the Port of Brookings also have an ocean salmon season to look forward to. The coho salmon season off the Oregon Coast begins June 17, and Brookings is often ground zero for the best action in late June and early July.
The lighthouse area is a highly popular trip because of the Alaska-style fishing often found in the productive waters of Point St. George Reef. Aside from big lingcod and halibut, the thriving reef is home to massive schools of blue, black, canary and yellowtail rockfish. Tiger, vermilion, China, copper and quillback rockfish also are caught near the lighthouse, located halfway between Brookings, Oregon, and Crescent City, California. Few boats venture to the far side of the lighthouse, where the Brookings Fishing Charters fleet has a large number of tried-and-true hotspots for lingcod and rockfish.
Each season, lingcod topping 40 pounds are caught near the lighthouse. Charter boats fish shallow pinnacles, catching lingcod in was as shallow as 30 feet, and deeper water up to 250 feet. The lighthouse area often has more consistent fishing for lingcod compared to reefs closer to Brookings or Crescent City.
Brookings Fishing Charters has been running trips daily. Half-day local trips are offered for lingcod and rockfish, along with a longer-range 6-plus-hour targeted lingcod trip. The lighthouse trips run 8 hours. All-day halibut trips also are available. Halibut season runs through Oct. 31 out of Brookings, with the best fishing in later June, July and August.
Salmon fishing is closed in all of California this summer, but will open out of Brookings June 17. Two hatchery coho, also known as silver salmon, may be kept each day. River fishing for salmon also will open as normal on the Chetco and Rogue rivers this fall. River fishing for salmon is closed in California this year.
During a charter in mid-May to the lighthouse, a large king salmon was released on the Nauti-Lady. Several salmon also have been released by anglers fishing out of Brookings. Plentiful boat is a good indication of healthy ocean conditions, which generally lead to good silver salmon fishing. The action is often fast and furious, with double and triple hookups common during coho season.
Fishing in California waters opened May 15, and the Brookings Fishing Charters fleet spent much of the first week of the season at the lighthouse. The Nauti-Lady and Miss Brooke ran several trips to the lighthouse during the opening week, with limits of big rockfish daily, and boat loads of big lingcod.
For more information on the lighthouse, visit www.brookingsfishing.com, or call (541) 813-1082.