Willamette Valley/Metro – Chinook numbers remain depressed at Bonneville Dam and anglers will remain sidelined for the foreseeable future. The mainstem Columbia is closed to almost all fishing, catch and release sturgeon remains one of the few options.
Coho are entering the Sandy and Clackamas River systems in better numbers now, but until significant precipitation comes, they will be challenging to catch. The lower reaches of each of these systems is holding the best numbers now, but fish are slowly making their way to upstream pools. Cloudy skies are helping increase success rates, but anglers are anxiously awaiting the first fall rains. Pro guide Jeff Stoeger (503) 704-7920 of O2BFISHN Guide Service reports, “This week, the Sandy was up and down for catching coho and steelhead. The upper river has been slow as well as the lower river. The forecast is for rain on Friday into Saturday and they are predicting up to a half inch of rain that should get the fish at the mouth to move up river. The hope is that the river will go up a couple of inches and cause the fish to move into the main sections of the river.” The Clackamas has coho spread throughout reports manager Robert Campbell from Fishermen’s Marine and Outdoor in Oregon City. Robert stated spinner casters working Clackamette Park (at the mouth) are taking fish daily both in the morning and late evenings. Boats flatlining plugs in the Willamette around the mouth of the river are also taking some coho.
You can see more of Jeff’s report and an upcoming forecast for the Sandy, Clackamas and entire north coast by becoming a paid subscriber HERE. Paid subscribers get about FIVE TIMES the amount of information for fifty cents a week!
Historically, anglers had ample opportunity for salmon, steelhead and sturgeon in the fall. This year, anglers are sidelined on the mainstem Columbia, while the Willamette continues to put out fair catches of sturgeon for catch and release, but no salmon to speak of. Fall trout opportunities are plentiful however, and trout in the high lakes go on a feeding rampage before the cold winter months about to hit. Check the ODF&W web site for the most recent stocking schedule, but also prepare for inclement weather as it’s sure to strike with little notice this time of year.
Northwest Oregon – Salmon fishing remains challenging on most north coast estuaries. Tillamook Bay continues to put out a few Chinook to trollers working the Ghost Hole and Bay City, but other areas of the estuary and tidewater reaches are producing fair-at-best results. The south channel has an occasional Chinook, but the bubble fishery in the ocean waters adjacent to Tillamook Bay is producing poorly. The jaws of Tillamook Bay have also been yielding some salmon, mostly wild coho however, but an occasional Chinook too.
Wild coho are present in most estuaries and some are so large, they are easily mistaken for Chinook salmon. Anglers should be 100% sure of the species they retain, several wild coho have been confiscated at the dock, with hefty fines doled out as a consequence. Only hatchery coho may be retained in bays and rivers, but few seem available to anglers this year. As of Monday, the North Fork Nehalem has yet to receive any coho back to the hatchery.
Bottomfishing remains a good option out of Garibaldi. October 1st marked the opening of the deep reef fishery, where large lingcod and ample numbers of large rockfish make for easy limits on most days. Calm seas early in the week yielded good catches, this is an opportunity that’s not likely to last long as ocean conditions will certainly deteriorate before long. Nearshore bottomfishing remains good too, but an increase in the bag limit to 5 rockfish (and 2 lingcod) per person. The long-leader fishery still allows for 10 fish bag limits and has been wildly popular and productive.
Ocean crabbing is still productive, but will close to recreational opportunity after October 15th. Bay crabbing should be more challenging this weekend as stronger tides keep crabs dug in.
Astoria area – Crabbing in the lower Columbia was good last weekend, but stronger tides this weekend won’t produce easy limits.
Tuna chasers did good late last week and it should remain a viable fishery for another 2 weeks if the ocean cooperates.
Central and Eastern Oregon – From our Friend Tim Moran: Updates will be posted as we receive them.
Southwest – From ODF&W
Diamond and Willow lakes are good bets for some fall trout fishing.
The wild coho fishery opened on Tenmile Lakes on Oct. 1, though it will take a few good rains to chase the fish into lake.
The Chetco bubble fishery opens for the first of two weekends on Oct. 6-7.
Fishing for Chinook is now closed upstream of the Hog Creek boat ramp on the Rogue (middle and upper Rogue River). Fishing for summer steelhead should be good for the next month or two due to a strong run this year. Only hatchery Summer Steelhead may be harvested.
Both boat ramps at Lost Creek Reservoir are usable at this time, and large trout are being stocked there this week. Trout fishing should be very good at Lost Creek through the winter and early spring.
Reminder that even though the fishery is now open to all-depth, the Stonewall Bank Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation area, approximately 15 miles west of Newport, is closed to bottomfish (groundfish) and halibut fishing year round.
From Pete Heley at PeteHeley.com
As of October 1st, anglers can once again fish waters deeper than 180 feet using conventional bottomfishing techniques and be able to keep lingcod, greenling and black and blue rockfish. The retention of cabezon is still not allowed due to a still-existing emergency closure.
Long leader bottomfishing in marine waters at least 240 feet deep is still legal, but lingcod, greenling and black and blue rockfish are not legal to keep – but the daily limit for the mid-depth bottomfish species legal to keep is ten fish.
Last week bank anglers had a couple of awesome days casting spinners at Half Moon Bay and Osprey Point and boat anglers did well trolling herring last week at Winchester Bay, but the “bite” was short lived and comprised overwhelmingly of unkeepable wild cohos and anglers were quickly reminded that it hasnt been a good salmon year for the entire Oregon coast – or the Washington coast too – for that matter.
The recreational ocean crabbing season is coming to a close. The last day will be October 15th and on December 1st the ocean crabbing season will reopen unless there is elevated levels of toxins.
Low river levels have led to increased salinity levels which has allowed legal-sized crabs to move upriver at least two miles on the Umpqua, Siuslaw and Coquille rivers and crabbing has been good. Crabbing in Oregon’s rivers and bays is legal all year and should remain productive until heavy rains move the crabs seaward.
Fishing for surfperch along the beaches in our area has been slow, but could pickup at any time.
Fishing for striped bass has been slow on Smith River and it seems that nobody has been fishing the Umpqua River for stripers. The Coquille River has recently been producing the best striper fishing, but success has been inconsistent with the best fishing occurring above the Highway 101 Bridge near Bandon.
Slightly cooler water temperatures have allowed for some improvement in bass and panfish angling. Unlike central and eastern Oregon, where bass and panfish angling is already in afternoon and early evening mode, the Oregon coast and western Oregon are still capable of producing decent fishing all day.
As water temperatures drop on the Umpqua, smallmouth bass catches decrease numbers-wise, but the chances of catching larger fish increase. Smallmouth bass fishing has recently improved on the Smith River and the fishery is not yet dominated by small bass as is the Umpqua.
Yellow perch usually bite well during cool weather and if you should catch a 14 or 15-inch perch, remind yourself that it could have been an Oregon state record – if you had caught it in February or March.
For those anglers that usually fish Wickiup Reservoir for trophy brown trout in the fall and are now looking for a “plan B”, both Paulina and East Lake contain trophy browns. Although Paulina holds the unofficial Oregon record (35 and 1/2 pounds) as well as the official state record (28 pounds and five ounces), East Lake currently offers much better brown trout angling.
Although the Owyhee River below Owyhee Reservoir is a very highly rated brown trout stream, the browns seem to top out at about eight or nine pounds.
Out of Depoe Bay, deep water Ling Cod fishing opened Monday. Reports that inshore fihsing had been very good over the weekend with limits on Rockfish regularly obtained. The Ling Cod catch has been spoty. Crabbing closes ont eh 16th.
SW Washington – From WDF&W:
Nothing new from the WDF&W web site, but HERE is the report from the 23rd.