A visit to the Eureka Boardwalk

Last weekend saw a visit to the north coast for the Trinidad Youth Fishing Tournament. I drove up a couple of days early so that I could fish in Eureka, Crescent City and possibly Brookings. I did fish all those towns but not necessarily where I originally planned to fish. In Eureka I found the Del Norte Street Pier, or more properly its parking lot, the center of a homeless encampment. And though I imagine most of the people were safe there were a couple that looked downright dangerous and I did not want to leave my car in the parking lot while heading out to the pier. Instead, I decided to go fishing the next morning at the Eureka Boardwalk where I had had some success a few years previous. It turned out to be not only a good fishing trip but also a BEAUTIFUL morning.

Signs on the Boardwalk

The Boardwalk was largely deserted when I arrived at 7:15 but I was met by a beautiful sky along with a couple of locals who would regale me with stories of their past for the next two hours.

A beautiful sunrise with Woodley Island sitting a short distance away in the bay

Although the tide was not full, it was high enough for some decent fishing. On a low (or low, low) tide, the waters around the Boardwalk can better be described as a mudflat.

The Boardwalk and bay looking toward Woodley Island

Looking toward Indian Island. As usual, sea gulls are a constant companion at the piers

A commercial fish processing plant sits just down the shoreline from the Boardlwalk. A ship was unloading a load of albacore while I was there

Sea gulls are always close

The Boardwalk

The Boardwalk and a changing sky

Although the sky was beautiful it was also time to see what was biting. I rigged up a high/low with some pileworms and shrimp as bait and dropped it down by the rocks near the Boardwalk

Just about as soon as I dropped the rig into the water I felt a couple of taps on my bait and I knew there were some perch to be had

The local I was talking to noticed the taps on the rod and mentioned them. Yes, I said, there is a perch checking out the bait.

Shortly thereafter I pulled in a white seaperch and my new friend came over to admire the fish. I asked him if he would hold the fish so I could get a picture and he oblidged. I released the fish to fight another day while my friend continued describing his career as a fisherman in Alaska, Oregon and California. His stories of giant halibut and hard fighting salmon seemed to make my perch pale in comparison but that was then and this was now.

The sky had changed color but was now rippled with some interesting clouds

Different but still beautiful

After a couple of white seaperch, I pulled in a striped seaperch and asked my new found friend to once again hold the fish while I took a picture

The Boardwalk

Although the perch continued to bite, they were now joined by smaller shinerperch and bothersome bullheads (staghorn sculpin). I decided to take my longer rod and cast out a Sabiki to see if I could get some sardines for fresh bait. Three casts produced five sardines.

Woodley Island

About this time my companion left to talk to a young lady who was parked by the Boardwalk, walking a police dog, and (I think) looking to either buy or sell some pot. I continued to cast out the Sabiki and was joined by a new local who said he was from New Bedford, Mass and had been a commercial fisherman all over the East Coast. He began to tell me about the giant striped bass he used to catch as a kid and the swordfish he had helped catch on the long-line boats. The storied made sense and enlivened  the fishing.

By this time the sardines had disappeared and been replaced by anchovies which while coming in 2-3 at a time were not what I wanted. However, my new companion said he had a handline and could use some bait. He was soon the proud owner of several sardines and a plethora of anchovies. It was now time to head north to Crescent City since I knew I would be stopping to take some pictures.

A research boat owned by Humboldt State University

Another boat/ship

They were still unloading albacore from the Nanbellis Jo and apparently cleaning out the hold since a steady stream of blood was flushing into the bay

I was told this house is owned by a doctor who rows his rowboat across the bay into downtown Eureka each day. I wouldn’t mind owning that house.

A few more people were gathering on the Boardwalk

It was finally time to bid the Boardwalk adieu!

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