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Sitting on the shores of Humboldt Bay is the city of Eureka, known for its majestic redwood trees and historic architecture. It was once one of the regions that gold-seekers flocked to during the California Gold Rush, which resulted in the death and displacement of many members of the Wiyot tribe who originally made their home in the area. As part of its mission to heal from this sordid past, the local government of Eureka has since returned one of the sacred islands on the bay to the tribe, an unprecedented move that brought the city to the international headlines.

Apart from its rich history and scenic landscape, Eureka is also a fantastic Northern California fishing destination, enjoying access to the bay and the Pacific Ocean and the many diverse fish species that are attracted to the rich waters.

Eureka Fishing: A Northern Californian Fishing Haven

Fishing in Eureka means having instant access to Humboldt Bay. This body of water attracts a great variety of fish species, including California and Pacific halibut (with California halibut being the most popular target species in the county and the bay), a wide variety of perch, leopard sharks, jacksmelt, bay ray, and salmon, among many others. Some of the best spots to access the bay are the Eureka Public Marina and Del Norte Street Pier. 

The Eureka Boardwalk may not be officially meant for fishing but it certainly offers anglers even more opportunities to fish the bay. Here you can fish for redtail surfperch and white seaperch from the boardwalk extension or on the rocky shoreline, or try to vie for the prized catch in the area, the California halibut which you can fish on the bottom along with starry flounder. 

Many fishing charters that head out into the Pacific Ocean launch from the bay itself, so if fishing in the open ocean for salmon and lingcod is on your bucket list, make sure to book yourself a charter boat in the marina. 

Some of Northern California’s best fishing rivers are easily accessible from Eureka as well. This enviable list of productive rivers includes the Mad River, the Eel River, and its major tributary the Van Duzen River. All offer up great winter steelhead fishing, as well as fishing opportunities for Coho and Chinook salmon. Time your visit between the heavy rains in the area, as these waters tend to get muddy, making fishing a little too challenging and fruitless to be enjoyable.

Fish species
Redtail Surfperch 
Redtail Surfperch  fish

Habitat: Inshore

Weight: 1 - 4 Pounds

Length: 12" - 16"

Pacific Halibut 
Pacific Halibut  fish

Habitat: Continental Shelf, Offshore

Weight: 20 - 500 Pounds

Length: 0" - 96"

Chinook Salmon
Chinook Salmon fish

Habitat: Onshore, Nearshore, River, Lake

Weight: 10 - 50 Pounds

Length: 30" - 59"

Lingcod 
Lingcod  fish

Habitat: Onshore

Weight: 25 - 85 Pounds

Length: 20" - 60"

California Flounder
California Flounder fish

Habitat: Inshore, Nearshore

Weight: 6 - 30 Pounds

Length: 54" - 60"

Starry Flounder
Starry Flounder fish

Habitat: Bays, Lagoons, Rivers, Harbors

Weight: 1 - 3 Pounds

Length: 12" - 36"

Leopard Shark 
Leopard Shark  fish

Habitat: Onshore, Nearshore, Reef

Weight: 10 - 44 Pounds

Length: 50" - 78"

Steelhead Trout
Steelhead Trout fish

Habitat: Coastal, rivers

Weight: 2 - 35 Pounds

Length: 12" - 46"

Appreciate the Unusual on Your Eureka Trip

1. Go on a Haunted House Tour

Enjoy a historically haunting tour of some of Eureka’s historic structures. It’s a great offbeat way to get to know the city and its urban legends.

2. Find Art Everywhere

Visit the unique Romano Gabriel Mural which features the late folk artist’s sculpture garden, then walk around the Old Town District to spot all the murals on Opera Alley and the seven tiny door installations scattered all over the area.