Central & South Oregon Coast Fishing Reports for Jan 6th

Excellent quality Dungeness crab is being taken by boats when they have been able to launch out of Depoe Bay. In addition, ling cod limits are occurring regularly and rockfish catches have been really good.

If you’re a boat owner and would like to try a winter bottomfishing trip, check the forecast for Friday, January 6th. Swells are predicted to be 1,7 ft. at 11 to 12 seconds all the daylight hours with wings forecast at 7 to 8 mph. Yeah, it’ll be a little chilly, like 28 degrees for a morning launch but it’s s’posed to get up to 40-ish by noon and you’re tough. What’cha waitin’ for?

Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you can’t go to the beach and catch fish. It must be said that extra caution on the trip is a good idea if the nighttime temps are still freezing. That said, pinkfin perch continue to bite for those casting from ocean beaches in most locations along the coast.

Author, publisher and prolific blogger, Pete Heley (peteheley.com) reports to us from Reedsport, “Now that Christmas is over, don’t pay a “dump fee” to dispose of your used Christmas tree. Oregon Coast Anglers (OCA) will take your tree and use it to create salmon habitat in local area streams. BARE TREES ONLY. No decorations or spray on fake snow. Trees can be dropped off at the back southwest corner of the Reedsport Les Schwab’s store. Look for the signs and the pile of trees. Trees will be collected until the end of January.

“People interested in making a tax deductible donation to help offset the project’s fuel costs can make their checks out Oregon Coast Anglers and mail to: OCA, Box 584, Reedsport, OR 97467 or call Steve Godin at 541-255-3383 for more information.

“It seemed like more crabbers than anglers took advantage of last weekend’s “Free Fishing Weekend”. Crabbing success was poor to fair at Winchester Bay and somewhat better at Charleston where a few crabbers complained that they had to work harder than usual to get their limits.

“All cabezon are now illegal to keep until July 1st when one cabezon at least 16 inches in length will be legal to keep. However, offshore bottomfishing has been productive when weather and ocean conditions allow it. Bottomfishing in waters deeper than 30 fathoms will remain open through March while bottomfishing in waters less than 30 fathoms is open all year.

“Tenmile Creek continues fair for steelhead, but the frosty mornings and limited rainfall during the past week have all the streams in fishable condition. The opening of Eel Creek to steelhead fishing on Jan. 1st should take some of the pressure off Tenmile Creek.

“Hunters should be aware that the deadline for reporting hunt results is January 31st. Every hunter who purchased a 2016 deer, elk, cougar, bear, pronghorn or turkey tag needs to report – complete a survey for tag you purchased — even if they didn’t hunt or weren’t successful. Information from hunters who did not hunt or did not harvest an animal is as important as information from those who did take an animal.

“A $25 penalty will be assessed for any hunter who fails to report 2016 deer and elk tags by the reporting deadline (Jan. 31, 2017 for most tags). The penalty is paid with the purchase of a 2018 hunting license. It is paid once, regardless of the number of 2016 tags unreported. SportsPac buyers do not need to report on tags that were never issued to them.

“There are different ways to report tag results. (1) – Via the Internet by clicking the Report Now button at the top of the appropriate page on the ODFW website. (2) – Call 1-866-947-ODFW (6339) and speak with a customer service representative who will take your information. (3) – Visit an ODFW office with a computer available for reporting:

“Information you need to report includes Hunter/Angler ID number (located on ODFW licenses, tags and applications). If you do not have your tag or license anymore, call 1-866-947-6339 for your Hunter/Angler ID#. This number stays the same year after year so you can also use an old license or tag.

“Hunter/Angler ID number (located on ODFW licenses, tags and applications). If you do not have your tag or license anymore, call 1-866-947-6339 for your Hunter/Angler ID#. This number stays the same year after year so you can also use an old license or tag.

“The two-digit Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) number of the Unit you hunted in most of the time if the hunt area included more than 1 WMU. See map or pages 94-95 of the Oregon Big Game Regulations. The total number of days hunted—including mentoring youth—and the number of days hunted in the WMU hunted most.

“A pdf worksheet is available online at the ODFW website for use in report preparation.

“Every year state police seem to be especially diligent when it comes to checking licenses and tags – and the reason they do this, is that many outdoor recreationists that intend to purchase said items at the last minute – forget to do so. It’s best to play it safe and purchase fishing and shellfish licenses and combined angling tags early. Doing so may help you avoid getting an expensive reminder.

This tragedy should be of major interest to every would-be ice angler wanting to get an early start to their season. A herd of 41 elk died on the morning of Dec. 27th when they fell through the ice cover while trying to cross Brownlee Reservoir near Richland. According to Brian Ratliff, district wildlife biologist at the ODFW’s office in Baker City, the incident happened around 9 a.m. and was called in by a person who lives near the reservoir.

“The elk were trying to cross the reservoir from the north side, about a quarter-mile west of Hewitt Park, when the ice broke in four places, Ratliff said. ODFW officials drove to the area to see if it was possible to save any of the elk or salvage meat, but neither option was possible. The nearest group of elk were 300 yards from shore, and the ice was not stable, Ratliff said.

“It’s too damn cold” So said one steelheader when asked about fishing the lower Rogue River where plunking for winters had been effective until the water got too low. It’s currently just over four feet deep and flowing around 4,000 cfs. This will change, however, when the next storm front due Sunday, January 8th hits. The entire river will blow up then with the lower Rogue forecast predicting water rising to ‘Action Level (12 feet) on Wednesday, January 11th, cresting at 13.5 feet the evening of that same day. The low, clear water on the lower river might inspire a fly angler or spin fisher to give it a try Friday and Saturday before the storm comes through. Some of the better winter steelheading is occurring on the Grants Pass stretch where plug-pullers and back-bouncers are hooking up. According to someone who lives in Grants Pass, 12 inches of snow fell there on Wednesday this week. On a schedule similar to the lower Rogue, it’ll fish for the next couple of days, then start to rapidly rise. There has been less attention on the upper Rogue with fresh winters entering downstream. Action has slowed here, regardless.

January is traditionally a good winter steelheading month although the season started out slowly on the Chetco. It’s definitely worth a trip and should be a decent destination once it recovers from the approaching coastal weather system.

While there’s plenty of snow on the ground (about a foot), there wasn’t mention in the report from the resort about the surface conditions. Reports from ice fishers are that Diamond Lake has firmed up sufficiently to allow ice fishing. Fire up those augers. A foot of snow fell last night (Wednesday this week) for a total of 47 inches.