Oregon Fishing Report from TGF
Oregon's most complete and accurate fishing update.
Updated for November 29th – December 5th, 2013
Oregon Fishing Update
Willamette Valley/Metro - Few, if any anglers are venturing out to fish the lower Columbia since the cold weather hit. Catch and released sturgeon fishing should produce for anglers willing to brave the frigid weather.
A few bank anglers are lining up along Meldrum Bar waiting for the first winter steelhead ring their bell. Catch and release sturgeon fishing should be good in the harbor above and below the St. John's bridge as well as in the Milwaukie section.
McKenzie water levels are at seasonal average following the freshet over the past week. While there are no winter steelhead here, redsides will cooperate with long-rodders throwing Caddis imitations.
Fish passage at Willamette Falls is nil. While there are coho in the North Santiam, they have been challenging to hook and are starting to show their age. At least water conditions will be decent for the three-day weekend.
Lack of effort on the Clackamas River leaves little to report. The first winter steelhead could be caught within the week, though the bulk of the run isn't due to show until sometime in January.
The mid-week holiday will likely bring out a few anglers to try the Sandy River in hopes of catching a Thanksgiving steelhead. Cold, windy weather will make the fishing tough to bear but a steelhead or two will likely hit the bank.
The 2014 Oregon Sport Fishing regulations are now available online, at ODFW offices and at most places that sell hunting and fishing licenses.
Northwest – The only thing left on the lower Columbia is sport crabbing. Although crabbers fishing close to the Oregon side struggled for good catches over the weekend, those crabbing lower Desdemona Sands fared well. The commercial crabbing delay will afford the sport fleet additional opportunity if the weather cooperates. East winds hampered effort last weekend.
Thanksgiving is the traditional winter steelhead kick-off and rumors of early season steelhead are starting to trickle in. The Kilchis, Wilson, Necanicum, North Fork Nehalem, Three Rivers and Nestucca systems should all produce rare, early season opportunities. The North Fork Nehalem and Three Rivers are likely to be prime targets for bank anglers, there have been confirmed catches on the North Fork. Match your bait size to water conditions using small baits in clear water and larger offerings when rivers run colored.
Late season chinook fishing on the Wilson and Kilchis systems has been disappointing. Despite historic hot fishing on a few of these north coast systems, these late November fish have been largely absent. There should remain a rare opportunity for a December chinook but anglers should not count on any consistency.
Ghost Hole trollers haven't been deterred but catches remain poor. Crabbing in Tillamook Bay was fair at best over the weekend along with most north coast estuaries. Tides will get challenging by the weekend.
An unprecedented period of calm ocean conditions last week produced great catches of bottomfish, especially large lingcod for deep-reef fishermen. Seas are expected to sour by the weekend with limited opportunity throughout the winter months. The delay for the commercial crab fleet may also yield fair ocean catches after December 1st however most keeper males migrate to deeper water this time of year.
Southwest- Large lingcod were taken over the past weekend out of central Oregon ports and rockfishing has yielded good catches as well. Limits or near limits of bottom fish are common at this time of year. Getting out is the trick.
Offshore conditions look mixed over the coming weekend with a friendly ocean predicted for Saturday, November 30, deteriorating into Sunday. Check conditions late this week to launch safely.
Recreational ocean crabbing will open on December 1 but commercial efforts scheduled for that same date will be delayed until December 15 or later as samples indicate Dungeness are not up to strict standards.
It remains to be seen if fresh winters show this week on the Alsea although coho are being caught on pink spinners and plugs. Steelheading is likely to heat up following the next round of rainfall.
While crabbing slowed in Coquille tidewater and Coos Bay following rainfall early last week, it will be improving with dry weather this week. Chinook are coloring up.
Chinook fishing in Rogue Bay is all but wrapped up for the year. Lower Rogue flows are back to pre-freshet levels with adult steelhead and half-pounders being caught near Agness. Results have been sporadic on the middle river for anglers using either bait or lures. Steelheading should be good on the upper river on Black Friday though it'll be for summers, not winters, and most are showing colorful signs of their lengthy freshwater residence. There is considerable pressure above Shady Cove where bait is allowed but drifting cured eggs has been effective.
Rockfish and lingcod are available in the ocean just outside Brookings Harbor and results for anglers using jigs has been good. Last week's storm raised Chetco levels rapidly but levels fell almost as fast with dry ground soaking up the water. Plunkers scored initially and then driftboaters as water levels dropped although overall it was just fair fishing. Expect low, dropping levels over the coming weekend with more rain in the forecast early next week.
If rain falls in the coming week as predicted for the southwest corner of Oregon, there should be some decent chinook fishing on the Elk River. Sixes River has been getting driftboat traffic but producing few fish in low water.
Trout fishing has yet to heat up as expected as the weather cools at Diamond Lake. Bait anglers are catching a few fish however.
Eastern – Water temperatures are good on the lower Deschutes although air temps will have guides icing up. Trout fishing is fair to good with Caddis hatching afternoons. Steelhead are scattered in the river but slow to bite or strike in frigid weather. Try mid-afternoons.
Results have been mixed for trollers at Crescent Lake with some boats landing several large lake trout while others have blanked.
Lake Billy Chinook is producing fair to good kokanee catches and the occasional bull trout to trollers. Avoid the Metolius Arm as it's closed at this time of year.
Off-season trollers at Green Peter are catching some kokanee.
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