Nearshore Halibut fishing hasn’t been great out of central Oregon ports but bottom fishing has made up for it. At this time of year, bottom fishing is limited to depths no greater than 30 fathoms (180 feet. Ignorance won’t fly as an excuse so check your waypoints.
There’s a new rockfish in town according to the ODFW – the Deacon rockfish. Deacon rockfish is a newly identified species that was formerly referred to as the solid version of blue rockfish. What does that mean for you? Nothing in 2016. Every rule that refers to blue rockfish (like the daily bag limit of 3) now applies to blue rockfish and deacon rockfish combined. ID.
Below is Brent Steinberg’s picture of an unusually large redtail surfperch that he caught last weekend in Clatsop County. While the ODFW doesn’t keep state records on marine fish, this fish weighed in at 4.75 pounds and was 18-inches long. Reports of good surfperch fishing up and down the coast has been coming in all spring, especially when anglers can watch the low tides to look for structural areas where surfperch might hold at high tide. If you’re new to surfperch fishing or just want to brush up on your knowledge, check out our surfperch fishing brochure to learn more about this great opportunity.
To chase your own surf perch, good places to try include Ona Beach, Gleneden Beach as well as on the beach near the mouths of Siletz and Yaquina.
High surf can hamper efforts for surf perch as can high winds. As all anglers know, wind blows. Despite the fact the high air temperatures in the valley often results in high winds at the coast, that won’t be the case over the coming weekend according to NOAA forecasts. Swells and surf are predicted to be two to four feet at long intervals with afternoon breezes rising to 10 or 12 MPH. ‘Looks do-able.
Herring come and go so don’t get suckered into chasing a report. That said, jig fishers have neem catching them at Yaquina Bay as recently as Tuesday this week.
Author, Self-Publisher and Blogger Pete Heley (peteheley.com) reports from Reedsport, “This coming Saturday and Sunday (June 4th and 5th) is Oregon’s “Free Fishing Weekend”. During these two days, a fishing license or even the normally required tag for salmon, steelhead, halibut or sturgeon is not necessary. Also not required is the shellfish license to catch crabs or dig clams. Of course, you still have to follow the non-license related rules and regulations for crabbing, clamming or fishing.
“Free fishing days are good times to sample the fishing in other states – especially ones bordering Oregon. Washington’s “Free Fishing Weekend” is June 10th and 11th. Idaho has a single Free Fishing Day and that is June 11th. California splits their two “Free Fishing Days” and they are July 2nd and September 3rd.
“Saturday, May 28th marked the trout fishing opener of many Oregon streams – especially in western Oregon. Some of the streams that reopened last Saturday, such as Tenmile Creek, Tahkenitch Creek and Siltcoos River also contain healthy populations of largemouth bass. Waters that received trout plants this week include: North Tenmile Lake, South Tenmile Lake, Upper Empire Lake, Lower Empire Lake with 3,000 legal rainbows each. Both Empire Lakes also received 150 trophy rainbows each. Cleawox Lake received 2,250 12-inch rainbows.
“The Coquille River near Myrtle Point provided some interesting fishing last week. We were trying to use lures that would catch both smallmouth bass and stripers and Dwayne Schwartz quickly hooked a pair of two pound plus smallmouths – losing the slightly smaller one at the boat, but landing the other participant in the double-hookup – which weighed two pounds six ounces.
“Dwayne hooked and lost a smallmouth that he estimated to weigh more than three pounds when it jumped near the boat.
“The smallies quit biting about 5 pm and shortly thereafter, the striped bass started biting. We had about a half-dozen strikes from what seemed like small stripers and ending up landing a lone striper well short of the 24-inch length required to be a legal catch.
“While the Coquille’s striped bass catch seems dominated by sublegal fish, there are reports of much larger fish taken in the Riverton area, a small community located about halfway between Coquille and Bandon.
“The Umpqua River’s pinkfin run slowed slightly from last weekend. While nearly all the boats enjoyed some action, limits and near-limit have been rare. At least the crabbing at Winchester Bay has shown much improvement.
“The data for the second all-depth spring halibut opener is available on the ODFW website and for the Central Oregon Coast Subarea through the 2nd opener, May 19-21, the total landings were 57,989 pounds; 7,060 pounds landed during the second. This leaves 72,140 pounds or 55.5 % of the spring all-depth quota remaining. The remaining “fixed” opening is June 2-4.
“Spring All-Depth season— through the 2nd opener, May 19-21, the total landings are 57,989 pounds; 7,060 pounds were landed last week. This leaves 72,140 pounds or 55.5 % of the spring all-depth quota remaining. The remaining “fixed” opening is June 2-4.
“Weather for the 2nd set of fixed days (May 19-21) was not favorable for most. Those that did get out reported better success rates (~90%) than during the first set of fixed dates (~50%). Average size of fish last week was approximately 13 pounds. The average size during the first spring opener was 17 pounds.
“Last weekend, May 26-28, was the third set of “fixed dates” however, an “iffy” weather forecast limited angler participation.
“The Summer All-Depth Season opens August 5-6; if quota is remaining after those dates, the season can be open every other Friday and Saturday. The quota is 51,603 pounds.
“The Nearshore Season opens June 1st and is open seven days per week. The quota is 24,769 pounds.
“South of Humbug Mountain Subarea—there has been a total of 369 pounds landed. This leaves 8,236 pounds (96 %) of the quota remaining. ”
Limits of lings and rockfish are still coming in regularly out of Coos Bay and Gold Beach when anglers have been able to get out.
June 28th was the the opening of the all-salmon-except-coho season for the area from Humbug Mountain south to the Oregon/California border. Open salmon seven days a week from May 28th through August 7th and then from September 3rd through September 5th. Early spring Chinook fishing continues to be somewhat slow ‘most everywhere on the Rogue although fish are being caught daily, not enough to approach the reputation of this river at this time of year. Recreational anglers as well as guide boats are taking a few springers on the lower Rogue. It’s been slow on the middle river which, as a consequence, has almost no pressure now. Spring Chinook catches are best on the upper Rogue with catches about 50/50 wild and hatchery.
A decent offshore forecast with seemingly relentless winds finally calming along with swells, offshore trollers hope to take advantage of the ocean salmon season which opened over Memorial Weekend.. Fishing has been good for lingcod and rockfish whenever the weather has cooperated. There’s an abundance of krill and baitfish including herring and anchovies out of Brookings Harbor.
Diamond Lake Resort reports, “Some dandy trout brought in today. The fishing is red hot right now. Worms, power bait and trolling. All are working very well with limits taking about a hour and a half to 2 hours to fill.” According to another source: “The lake is warming, and fishing is improving almost daily, with Power Bait and worms out-fishing trolling. The rainbows are spread out. Mornings are more productive, but fishing has been decent all day during cloudy days.”
Here, Austin Jones shows off a day’s catch.
For the first time ever, tiger trout will soon be swimming in Diamond Lake’s crystal blue waters. Biologists hope these sterile trout prey on any invasive fish once they are large enough next spring. Tiger trout are a hybrid between a female brown trout and a male brook trout. Diamond Lake will get 5,000 tiger trout in the six to seven-inch size range the week of June 6 with another 13,000 fingerlings a few weeks later.
“We all felt tiger trout were the way to go,” according to Greg Huchko, the department’s district fish biologist. “Because these fish are sterile, there isn’t a risk to North Umpqua River native fish. And once they’re about 14 inches, they should begin to prey on golden shiners and tui chub.” See complete story at Random Links, below.
“ODFW will be stocking Libby Pond with some lunker trout for a kids’ event, which will be taking place from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday June 4. This year there will not be a derby, just a non-competitive atmosphere and good, clean fun for the kids and their families. During this time period, there will be free tickets issued to the kids for a raffle which will be offering rods, reels, tackle, pizza and more. So get there before eight and don’t be late!” ~ ‘Gulfstream on Oregon Fishing Forum.