Central & South Coast Reports – Successful fishing Oregon’s ocean is a matter of following cycles. Over the past couple of days, rockfish have been snapping out of Depoe Bay while lingcod were tough to entice. Dropping pots on the way out has been well worth the efforts with crabbing on the upswing. Chinook fishing has been slow but there’s plenty of time for improvement in that cycle.
While the wind is predicted to pick up a little in the afternoons, forecasts for the weekend looks pretty good for offshore launches.
Beautiful and touching but also an event which will be sure to snarl traffic, the Annual Fleet of Flowers ceremony will take place at Depoe Bay on Memorial Day.
The next opportunity for all-depth halibut will occur Thursday, Friday and Saturday, May 28-30 with follow-up dates set on June 11-13 and June 25-27. Summer all-depth halibut opens Aug 7-8 then every other Friday and Saturday until the quota is met.
South coast surfperch fishing is still going strong with plenty of striped and pinkfin surfperch being taken. The best bait is still small pieces of raw shrimp but many are hoking up by using Berkley Camo Sand Worms
Boats launching out of Reedsport have been trolling herring to catch Chinook just outside the jaws. The annual run of pinkfin (also known as redtail) surf perch is underway on Winchester Bay and the lower Umpqua River. These fish pass through in the thousands with anglers depleting local bait stores of sand shrimp. Other baits to try include squid, nightcrawlers and Berkley Gulp sandworms.
Lower Umpqua anglers are taking some beautiful, thick-bodied springers for which this river is so well known although a few of the local guides have been taking a day or two off to chase pinkfins. Pink and chartreuse grubs on small jig heads are taking shad from the Umpqua around Sawyers Rapids and near Yellow Creek. Sunny days will generally yield the best catches. A few Chinook have been hooked by shad anglers on tackle not intended for large salmon.
Boats launching out of Charleston have been having their way with good-sized lingcod with mostly limits reported. Inside Coos Bay, rockfishing is holding up well between the jetties although crabbing has remained slow.
Offshore fishing has been hit-or-miss out of Gold Beach due to unpredictable ocean conditions. For the most part, bottom fishing has yielded quick limits of quality rockfish and lingcod when conditions have been mild. As a bonus, ocean crabbing has likewise been rewarding when ocean conditions cooperated. During the last halibut opening, results were spotty but persistence paid off. Anglers targeting spring Chinook are getting a few with the spoils being rewarded to those who know their stuff and pro guides, either or both of whom have been hitting fish daily out of the low, clear water. Not so on the middle river where results have been flat-out poor. With a springer return to Cole Rivers Hatchery the best in over 10 years, Chinook catches remain good even as the run starts to wind down.
Offshore conditions out of Brookings which combined a moderation of wind as ocean conditions calmed has resulted in water temperatures closer to the magic 52 degree mark to move nearer the beach and Chinook catches to improve. Commercial boats have been taking Chinook recently in less than 30 foot fepths over 150 to 200 feet of water and one angler trying for bottomfish hooked up with a Chinook.