Central & South Coast Fishing Reports for July 1st

The offshore coho fishery opened June 25th which season will last through August 7th or until a landed catch of 26,000 marked coho is reached, whichever comes first. The September non-selective season that will open on September 3 and continue through the earlier of September 30 or the quota 7,500 coho.

Recreational seasons on the central Oregon Coast from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt. opened for Chinook on March 15 and will continue through October 31 without interruption.

Tuna fishing has been sporadic out of Coos Bay according to the ODFW, where some good days have been followed by duds. Look for water 58 degrees and warmer. Anglers report anywhere from 12 to 15 ponders with a few in the 20’s and catches fro9m 30 tuna to over 50 in a day. Not a dud day.

Some charters have been doing well out of Depoe Bay this week while others, well, have not. Catch reports varied from boat to boat with some scoring decent numbers of rockfish, some took only a few. Similar reports were received for ocean crab with reports of lots here, only a few there. The consistent detail was that all had to sort out soft shells.

The all-depth spring halibut fishery is now closed, having filled the quota (give or take a ton) with the next opportunity occurring on the opener of summer all-depth halibut August 5th and 6th, then every other Friday and Saturday until that quota fills. Nearshore halibut will remain open seven days a week with over three-quarter of the quota remaining,

Regular weekly reporter, author, publisher and blogger Pete Heley (peteheley.com reports this week from Reedsport, “Now that the coastal streams are open to fishing, some anglers may want to do a float trip to catch bass or trout. In past columns, I have hyped floating the Siltcoos River and Tenmile Creek. While Siltcoos River remains an easy, little-fished float, Tenmile Creek no longer is.

“Log jams have been reported on Tenmile Creek for the last few seasons, but have proven relatively easy to deal with. However, the one I encountered last Thursday was different. There was no way around it and the adjacent shorelines were brushy. My fishing partner, Dwayne Schwartz, decided to paddle upstream back to where we began the float beneath the bridge over Tenmile Creek on Hilltop Drive – a distance of about one and a half miles.

“Meanwhile, I managed to get on top of one of the logs, lift my polyethylene float over the log and then walk on the log until I was able to jump towards shore without going over my chest waders. However, in doing so I did manage to get some water into my waders and break one of my swim fins. Fortunately, the fin was still usable and I was able to continue my float downstream as the additional log jams I encountered were in water shallow enough to step over.

“Guilt concerning Dwayne having to paddle all the way back upstream kept me from fishing as I hurried downstream. The distance from the difficult log jam down to the takeout at the bridge on Old Highway 101 was about three miles with lots of relatively shallow, faster-moving water that seemed to attract both trout and bass. Although I wasn’t fishing, I did see fair numbers of decent-sized bass and trout and the water downstream of the problematic log jam was easily the “fishiest-looking water of the entire float.

“The heaviest largemouth we landed above the log jam weighed about three pounds, but I observed several bass that big or larger as I hurried through the bottom portion of my float. The trout seemed to run from 11 to 14-inches and the yellow perch seemed to top out at about eight to nine inches. We caught no bluegills, crappies or brown bullheads. But the water looked so “fishy” that I know that I will be back – log jam or no log jam.

“Still on an exploring kick, I explored a small, quite shallow body of water adjacent to the Trans-Pacific Highway just north of North Bend near the North Coast Overlook. The reason that I decided to fish this particular water was that I had actually seen a largemouth bass in it – a ten incher. However, before I actually fished it, a quick peek over the bank where the walkway meets the parking lot revealed several good-sized bluegills and a solitary bass. I walked to the bottom of the walkway and launched my “River Rat” amid heavy weeds only to discover a small beaver dam separated me from the spot where I had spotted the fish

“The only option was to get out in the same spot I launched and go to the top of the walkway and slide myself and the “River Rat” down a steep bank into the pond near the fish and hope I didn’t spook
them.

“Hookups on my first two casts with a crappie lure convinced me that I hadn’t yet spooked the fish. The first cast resulted in a hookup with a bluegill that appeared to be about eight inches long. It got off, but my next cast got another bluegill strike which I managed to land. At slightly more than 9.5-inches in length, it was the largest bluegill I have landed in the last five years.

“The much fishier-looking water farther above the dam resulted in several more strikes from bluegills and smallish largemouth bass. While catching the jumbo bluegill was enough, by itself, for me to consider the short outing a success, it also made me wonder about the fishing potential of several, more substantial bodies of water that are on the right side of the Trans-Pacific Highway as I drive towards the pond adjacent to the overlook.

“The spawning run of redtailed surfperch aka “pinkfins” is still going on in the Umpqua River near Winchester Bay. Every day, a few boats get their boat limits, while most anglers struggle to get a few fish. But the fishery is a popular one with numerous boats trying for them each day. The run should last through July with the fishing becoming increasingly inconsistent as the run winds down.

“The spring all-depth halibut fishery for the central Oregon coast is over and the summer all-depth season will be Fridays and Saturdays starting August 5th. The near shore halibut season for waters inside 240 feet deep has been open seven days a week since June 1st. Virtually all of the halibut anglers that fished the final spring all-depth opener caught tuna while trolling back to port. Tuna were caught within 20 miles of Winchester Bay with most of the fish about 30 miles out. Tuna were even closer for anglers fishing out of Charleston.

“The ocean season for finclipped coho salmon opened last Saturday with a whimper. According to a fish checker at Winchester Bay, one boat that landed a couple of finclipped cohos on Saturday, did not realize they were legal and threw them back. Chinook salmon are still too deep to be targeted effectively by sport anglers.

“Crabbing out of Winchester Bay has been fair at Half Moon Bay and in the ocean but the crabbing in the Umpqua River suffers a major drop off above Half Moon Bay.

“There should be fishable numbers of shad in the Umpqua for a couple more weeks, but the fishery is definitely waning. Smallmouth bass fishing is very good above tidewater on the Umpqua and should continue to improve through Labor Day.

“Since there haven’t been any recent trout plants, the better trout fishing spots are the larger lakes or streams that have native or carryover fish.”

Limits of ling cod are becoming a little harder to come by, but catches of lings and black rockfish are still solid out of Coos Bay. Jigging just off kelp beds and on rock humps is good along the South Coast.

Lower Roger River Chinook fishers have been the butt of the old joke for the most part over the past week: “That’s why they call it fishing, not catching.” Yeah, well it’s especially not funny when it’s happening to you. Lots of effort, plenty of tackle, long hours with very few fish to show for it. It gets worse upriver on the middle Rogue. Returns at Cole Rivers Hatchery tell the story with spring Chinook numbers off more than 65% from the 10-year average. Summer steelhead are up – way up – to greater than the 10-year average and more fish than they’ve seen here in three years. But before you sell the homestead to by Rogue riverfront property, keep in mind how early in the Rogue summer steelhead season it is. Those steelhead percentages are based on fewer than 200 fish this early in the run. Nonetheless, steelheaders are an excitable lot, many of which can be found on the upper river, throwing flies or baiting them with or dragging plugs around in anticipation of chrome reward – and getting it. Likewise, those targeting springers on the upper Rogue with plugs are hooking up with the help of frequent cleaning of algae (locally called moss) off terminal tackle. Another technique which is working well is back-bouncing bait – often a combination of sand shrimp and cured eggs. The water is dropping, albeit gradually, but this is a process which has occurred over the past week and will continue for at least the week ahead. Currently at 2,800 cfs, the outflow from Lost Creek Reservoir at the top of the upper river, will be reduced to 2,400 cfs early in the morning on Tuesday, July 5th. Prepare to fish the upper Rogue summer-level-stealth style by the middle of next week.

Good news for Brookings area hatchery coho hopefuls going into the fishery were reports of all the coho when had been hooked by Chinook anglers prior to the last week’s opener. A Brookings charter boat caught 10 coho on Thursday last week – before the start of the season. Talk about year good news, bad new scenario …. It’s all good from here on out and just the shot-in-the-arm Brookings anglers needed with less-than-stellar prospects for Chinook so far this season. Now that the ocean season is open, catching them is not too complicated – finding the fish is the most critical element. They’ll commonly occupy found in the top 50 feet of the water co9lumn over deeper water – 250 to 300 feet isn’t uncommon – and are susceptible to a Faster troll than are Chinook. Nothing is worse than running out of bait and karma will inevitably place that deficit right at the middle of a hot bite. Be sure to have a couple of or even three dozen five- to six-inch anchovy on board for each angler. There are Chinook out there as well, but slow your troll, target them in 120 feet or deeper over 30 to 300 feet of water.

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Diamond lake is fishing well for rainbows, with Power Bait and worm anglers still doing better than trollers. out-fishing trolling. Most anglers are taking limits of trout in the 10 to 12-inch range but every so often, one of those rainbows that keep people talking about this place, will show up in a catch Below, Jaime Sepulveda shows off just such a fish, posted on the Diamond Lake Face4book page.