Rockfish, lingcod plentiful off Brookings
BROOKINGS, Ore. (April 17, 2023) – A break in the weather, with several fishable days per week, has allowed the Brookings Fishing Charters crew to run numerous trips the first half of April, resulting in limits of rockfish and a nice variety of lingcod. Some lunker vermilion rockfish have shown up in the catch, along with limits of lingcod on many of our longer 6-plus-hour charters. Halibut season is just around the corner!
The Brookings Fishing Charters fleet – including the Miss Brooke, Kraken, Nauti-Lady, Dash and Papa B – is running bottom fishing trips daily, as the weather allows. Beginning May 1, halibut trips will be an option. The Point St. George Reef Lighthouse, located just across the border between Brookings and Crescent City, opens to fishing May 15. Ocean salmon season for hatchery coho opens June 17. With the largest charter fleet in the area, Brookings Fishing Charters will offer a large selection of ocean charters this summer, with options ranging from 4-hour local bottom fishing trips to 8-plus-hour salmon and rockfish or halibut and salmon combo trips.
Rough weather kept boats at the docks for much of the late winter and early spring, but conditions improved this past week. The charter fleet ran several trips for lingcod and rockfish, with good catches of both. Lingcod continue to spawn in shallow water, allowing our customers to catch them with light tackle. Rockfish also are schooled up closer to shore and wash rocks, allowing lighter jigs to be used to catch them.
During halibut season, which runs May 1-Oct. 31, our charter boats anchor in productive areas for the prized fish. In recent years, the Brookings Fishing Charters crew has developed a reputation for producing the highest catch rates out of Brookings, with limits common the second half of the season. The best halibut fishing out of Brookings is usually late June through September. Halibut are caught in May, but limits of less frequent early in the season.
During ocean salmon season, our charter boats troll with anchovies or herring. While ocean salmon season is closed in California this year, it is open June 17-Aug. 31 out of Brookings. Two hatchery coho – also known as silver salmon – may be kept per day. Fishing for silver salmon is often fast and furious. They are known to be aggressive biters, and limits are common early in the season, as the fish migrate back to the Columbia River. Big numbers of hatchery coho salmon have been released into the Columbia River in recent years by Native American tribes that operate their own fish hatcheries. Those salmon migrate south after leaving the Columbia River and spend the ocean portion of their life off of Northern California and Southern Oregon. They are aggressively feeding as they make their way back to the river.
To book an ocean charter out of Brookings, visit www.brookingsfishing.com, or call our booking office, (541) 813-1082.
When the lighthouse area opens May 15, we run our long-range trips for trophy lingcod and rockfish. These trips are highly popular because of the size of the lingcod at the lighthouse, and their high abundance. Because there are no depth restrictions for rockfish this year in Oregon or California, we now will be able to combine the lighthouse trips with salmon or halibut combos, meaning we can have rockfish on board as we fish deeper water for halibut, or troll for coho salmon on the way back to the port in Brookings. These trips are only offered by Brookings Fishing Charters.
Below are some of the catches aboard our charters in early and mid April.