Photo Credit Scott Harrison
Humboldt Bay Kayak, Canoe, SUP & Kayak Fishing Information
Humboldt Bay consists of two basins. The northern basin is the Arcata Bay and the southern basin is the Humboldt Bay. The two basins are connected by a channel of water. The bay ranges from one-half-of-a-mile to fourteen miles in width.
Large parts of the bay are included within the Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge, and it's a prime spot for bird watching and observing marine life. The peak season to view wildlife is from September through April. It's also a working bay, and one will see large ocean going vessels loaded with logs and pulp, and many small fishing vessels headed out to sea and back.
Recreational boating opportunities are available for watercraft ranging from canoes and kayaks to larger vessels. Canoes and kayaks are popular for exploring the salt marshes that ring Humboldt Bay. There are several launch areas that are suitable to launch canoes and kayaks around Humboldt Bay. A public canoe/kayak launch area is located at Woodley Island Marina. In addition to canoe and kayak rentals, sales and lessons are also available at Woodley Island. Two private marinas are also located in the community of King Salmon, closest to the entrance to Humboldt Bay.
There are several nice locations to kayak and canoe within Humboldt Bay. Indian Island, the southern end of the North Spit, the area between Fields Landing and the entrance to Humboldt Bay. The South end of the North Spit, aka the Samoa Peninsula, provides launching access at the Samoa Boat Ramp County Park. It is not advisable to paddle this area of the bay when the swells are too large offshore. If those conditions exist, your best bet is the Indian Island trip or paddle towards the southern end of South Bay
The ideal time of year to fish for halibut in the Humboldt Bay is the months of June through August. Halibut are usually found in shallow water with sandy bottoms and can reach a size of 50 to 75 pounds. The springtime is a good time to snare a redtail perch around the docks, piers and wharfs during incoming tide when there is a three to four foot difference between low and high.
Open: Boating and camping is available year-round seven days a week. The day use area is open from sunrise to sunset.
Fees: There is a fee to camp, but no day use or launch fees at the campgrounds