From Pete Heley at PeteHeley.com
A proposal to not require 17 and 18 year olds to have licenses to sportfsh in California did not pass out of the Assembly Appropriations Committee and is effectively dead. The bill (AB 478) which would have raised the cutoff age for license-free fishing from 16 years to 18 years was written by the California Sportfishing League and widely supported as a way to turn thousands of youngsters into sportfishing enthusiasts.
Opponents of the bill argued that the state could not afford to lose the 1.55 million dollars it receives each year from the sale of more than 22,000 fishing licenses and related tags to 16 and 17 year olds. The basic fishing license for a resident California adult is $47.01 – the highest in the nation. – and since it is adjusted every year for inflation, likely to stay that way.
The current issue of Bassmaster Magazine features the top 100 bass lakes in America – and then features bass fisheries in Mexico and Africa that serve to make the “top 100 list” less meaningful. The list is broken down into four sections or regions of 25 bass fisheries each. They are: Central; Northeastern; Southeastern and Central.
The top-rated lake overall was Mille Lacs in Minnesota and the top-rated lake in the western region was Clear Lake in northern California. Other bass fisheries in the Pacific Northwest that were included among the top 25 bass fisheries in the western region are: #6 – Lake Coeur d’Alene in western Idaho; #11 – Dworshak Reservoir in southwest Idaho; #12 – The Columbia River in Washington (the lower 300+ miles shared with Oregon – and the only bass fishery on the entire list without any size or quantity limits on its bass – in other words a very impressive bass fishery despite no positive management from the WDFW or ODFW.
#13 – Siltcoos Lake in southwest Oregon; #15 – Potholes Reservoir in southeast Washington; #17 – Tenmile Lakes in southwest Oregon – althouth the surface acreage quoted was only for South Tenmile Lake and doesn’t include the approximately 1,100 surface acres in North Tenmile Lake.
#18 – Moses Lake in southeast Washington; #19 – C.J. Strike Reservoir in Idaho; #21 – Brownlee Reservoir, shared by Oregon and Idaho; #25 – Noxon Rapids Reservoir in southwest Montana.
The central Oregon coast spring all-depth halibut quota has been reached and the summer all-depth fishery will start on August 4th and 5th and be on Fridays and Saturdays until the summer quota is reached.
Although the season is winding down, good catches of shad are still being made throughout the Umpqua River. A few anglers are targeting flounder on the lower Umpqua River with fair, but inconsistent success. Crabs are starting to be a nuisance while flounder fishing and some anglers have switched from using sand shrimp to Berkley Gulp or other soft plastics to decrease crab “bites”.
Fishing for redtailed surfperch or “pinkfin” was good last week upriver of Winchester Bay, but not as good as it was the preceding week. The perch seem to bite best during strong tidal movement with many anglers preferring the incoming tide. When there is a lot of fishing pressure, the earliest-arriving anglers seem to make the best catches and may be spooking the fish for everyone else. The Umpqua’s perch run should last for at least another month and female pinkfins are still entering the Umpqua during series of high tides and gradually get fished down until a fresh batch arrives, During the entire duration of the Umpqua’s perch run, the male redtailed surfperch bite very well along our local beaches.
As for yellow perch, Tenmile Lake has been providing fair fishing for perch to nine inches. The largest yellow perch caught recently have come from Siltcoos Lake – but there doesn’t seem to be many of them. Dwayne Schwartz caught a chunky 13-incher last week that weighed one pound three ounces.
Loon Lake is offering excellent fishing for bluegill, good fishing for largemouth bass, fair fishing for crappies and uncaught planted rainbow trout. The upper end of the lake is offering good fishing for brown bullhead catfish.
Fishing has been surprisingly good for ocean coho, but, as expected, wild coho are dominating the catch. A few chinooks have also been caught by ocean salmon seekers. Most of the ocean salmon catches have come from water 200 to 300 feet deep with most anglers running their baits 30 to 75 feet beneath the surface. Fall chinooks are entering the Umpqua River in increasing numbers and are now a viable “Plan B” when the ocean is too rough or the Umpqua River Bar un-crossable.
Through July 2nd, Winchester Bay has been the Oregon’s busiest salmon fishing port and has produced approximately three times as many retained coho as any other Oregon port south of the Columbia River. Garibaldi was the second busiest port and has dominated the chinook salmon catch
Pete Heley works weekends at the Stockade Market & Tackle, across from ‘A’ Dock, in Winchester Bay where he is more than happy to swap fishing info with anyone.