The Saltwater Sportsmen’s Show is scheduled for this coming weekend at the Oregon State Fairgrounds in Salem from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. A $20 admission is good for either or both days. The seminars will include tips for near-shore and all-depth halibut fishing, tuna fishing techniques and catching more Chinook in the ocean. No, this isn’t a coastal fishing report but we thought you’d like to know.
Crabbing is open coast-wide and has been improving in bays following the freshet last week. Ocean crabbing is fair to good when boats can get out.
While there were herring in Yaquina Bay mid-week and they were numerous, there’s no guarantee they’ll be there today or this weekend for that matter. Be advised that these are part of an early spawning run and make great bit for halibut or sturgeon, they’re too soft to troll them for salmon. Those herring come in sometime in April. Check Random Links for herring jigging action from Tuesday this week – and some Yaquina Bay crabbing.
Despite the Siuslaw being in decent condition and a good number of winter steelhead showing in the trap, fishing has been slow here all week. Local steelheaders are struggling to figure it out. Recycling of hatchery steelhead from the hatchery to the river downstream is an ongoing process while wild fish are released above the trap to spawn upriver.
Rockfish and kelp greenling catches have been good along the jetties at Winchester Bay and crabbing has picked up, particularly in the Half Moon Bay area. Winter steelheading has started to wind down although is still worthwhile on the Umpqua system but locals are intently looking forward to the upcoming spring Chinook run.
Predictably, the lower Rogue has been fishing well this week, as it should when on a gradual drop at this time of year. That’s due to change in the coming weekend as a weather front will dump rain and push the flow to nearly double the current flow in the 7.000 cfs range. While water and flow will moderate into the coming week, steelheaders will endure a couple of days when there will be a lot of water rushing on its way back to the sea. In higher water, plunking brightly-colored Spin ‘N’ Glos (Sunrise, Stop ‘n’ Go or pink) with white wings have been effective here. While winter steelhead are scattered river-wide, the middle Rogue traditionally fishes best at this time of year and so it has been on the Grants Pass stretch when water conditions have been conducive, Anglers drifting night crawlers or fishing plugs with a side-planer have been doing well as have boaters who are side drifting to score bright winters with baits of shrimp. This scenario will replay as the river drops and clears in the coming week. There are still a number of aging summers mixed with winters in the upper Rogue, the latter of which are a combination of fresh and spawned-out fish.
The NOAA is forecasting a rise in the Chetco River to begin mid-day tomorrow, February 26th, but just enough to hit a perfect (for the Chetco) 4,000 cfs, then drop a little, rise a little – you get the idea. Winter steelheading has been excellent and is expected to continue through the week to come. Drift fishing and side-drifting have been particularly effective as have jigs dressed with pink plastic worms. Be aware there are an ever-growing number of winters which have spawned o and are heading back to the ocean. These fish may be bright but will also be skinny with soft bellies. They’re not good for the table do let ’em go as they’ll return to spawn again next season. And they’ll be bigger and better!
While many reports from Diamond Lake a couple of weeks ago indicated that ice fishing maybe over for the year, another storm passed through last week, dropping temperatures along with a wintery blanket of snow in the area. For those thinking of a trip when the weather warms, the fingerlings planted last year are in the eight-inch range now and are predicted to be 12-inchers come springtime.