From TGF’s friend Pete Heley (PeteHeley.com)
The catch total for the ocean fin clipped coho season that ended July 30th was 6,140 coho and 728 chinooks. The coho catch was only 34.1 percent of the quota and hopefully there will be some salmon added to the 6,000 coho quota to the ocean nonselective season which begins on September 2nd.
Fishing for chinook salmon near Reedsport slowed last week. I thought that salmon fishing pressure in the ocean would drop off since the only ocean salmon currently legal are chinooks at least 24-inches long. However, there were numerous boats fishing around the Umpqua River Bar that were making sure that they were landing salmon they were not sure were adult chinooks in the river since fin clipped adult and jack coho and jack chinook are legal to keep in the river – but not the ocean.
It seemed like there wasn’t going to be a thermal barrier at Reedsport this year that kept salmon entering the Umpqua River jammed up below Reedsport, but exceptionally high temperatures last week will likely create one.
Last Friday and Saturday marked the first two-day halibut opener of the summer season. Thanks to 6,078 pounds leftover from the spring all depth season, the summer all-depth quota was 66,281 pounds.
There were some recent actions taken regarding the commercial salmon and halibut fisheries. One action was the A rollover of Chinook remaining from the May – June troll salmon fishery from the US/Canada Border to Cape Falcon was made to the July – September troll salmon fishery in the same area. This results in a 2,205 Chinook net increase to the July-September troll fishery quota of 18,000 Chinook resulting in a revised quota of 20,205 Chinook.
The commercial halibut fishery closed at midnight on Thursday, August 3rd because 98 percent of the 39,810-pound quota had been caught.
Crabbing in the ocean at Winchester Bay is very good and good in the lower Umpqua River for those using boats. Dock crabbing is fair and gradually improving. Some red-tailed surfperch were caught last week above Winchester Bay but the spawning run is almost over.
Bill Taylor, of Winchester Bay, reported a surprising outing on Tahkenitch Lake last week where he caught 15 nice-sized bluegill while fishing for yellow perch.
An angler from Lakeside showed me a photo on his iPhone of what appeared to be a huge largemouth bass taken from Tenmile Lake. The obviously big bass was hooked and landed on light tackle while crappie fishing near the yacht club. I was told that it weighed 11 pounds and two ounces when weighed at Ringo’s Lakeside Marina.
When I didn’t receive the promised emailed photo, I became even more suspicious and phoned Ringo’s and was told that while they had heard of a big bass being caught, it definitely was not weighed at Ringo’s. If the claimed weight was true, the bass would have been a lake record by over a pound and if it had been caught before spawning, it would almost certainly have topped the state record of 12 pounds 1.6 ounces taken from a Springfield area pond.
Some impressive fish that were brought into Ringo’s in the last month include a 13-inch crappie and a 16-inch yellow perch. While the crappie, which was caught near Coleman Arm was certainly impressive, the yellow perch, if it had been caught prior to early March when it most likely spawned, would almost certainly been a new state record since the longstanding state record is only two pounds and two ounces.
On an exploratory trip to Ford’s Pond in Sutherlin last week, my fishing partner landed several nice largemouth bass to three pounds on a buzzbait. I was trying for crappies since I had heard the pond contained some big ones, but drew a blank. What I did catch were several feisty smallmouth bass of 11-12-inches and a 7-inch yellow perch. While both species seem to be relatively new arrivals to the pond, they are the fish species most likely to take over the western Oregon waters they manage to get into.
Pete Heley works part time at the Stockade Market & Tackle, across from ‘A’ Dock, in Winchester Bay where he is more than happy to swap fishing info with anyone.