OK, Halibut fishing starts and stops with regulations allowing deep water today bit not tomorrow. It’s over. We’ll keep track of it all again next season but as of November 1st, that’s it until it opens again next year.
Some of the south coast charter operations closed earlier in October while some are closing at the 1st of November, only to re-open for wintertime bottom-fishing and crabbing on December 1st.
Razor clamming and mussel harvesting are closed along the entire coast due to domoic acid levels. Bay clams and butter clams are OK to dig. Check the Shellfish Hotline to be sure: 1-800-448-2474.
Ocean crabbing is closed but remains open in all Oregon coastal bays and estuaries year-around. When crabbing resumes offshore December 1st, softshells will be unavailable.
The most recent report we have for the Alsea is from Sunday, October 31st at which time tow boats took over 50 crab at Alsea Bay in Waldport. Pressure was light (and this was on a weekend, albeit in the rain) but even those crabbing from the docks were getting some keepers. If you try here or anywhere, be sure to use sinking rope (not polypropylene, which is the same substance from which high-test, floating braided lines are manufactured) or weight the rope so it can’t catch a boat prop. Please. As of November 1st, the entire lower Alsea will be open for fishing with the North Fork opening December 1st.
Author, publisher and blogger Pete Heley (peteheley.com) reports to us weekly from his home base in Reedsport. This week, he says, “As I am writing this column, there are salmon scattered throughout every coastal river system and the secret to fishing success is choosing the ones that are in the best fishing condition. The Elk and Sixes rivers are holding plenty of Chinooks, but were unfishable as of last week. The Floras Creek/New River breached the sand dunes much closer to Floras Lake than where New River normally enters the ocean. Besides affecting salmon, steelhead and searun cutthroat migration, the new breech may result in an adjustment in angling regulations.
“A friend of mine has been doing well using a buzz bait for largemouth bass on Siltcoos Lake, but when he tried to fish it last week, the parking lot was completely full and when he went to “plan B”, which was Tahkenitch Lake, he couldn’t find a place to park there either and I am willing to bet that not one of those vehicle/trailer combos were there targeting bass.
“Both Siltcoos and Tahkenitch lakes are producing some, mostly bright coho salmon, it’s not going to be a good year and the amount of fishing pressure currently directed at the lakes is somewhat surprising.
“Bill Taylor, of Winchester Bay, fished Tahkenitch last week for coho salmon and yellow perch and reported breaking off the largest coho he hooked, but landed a nice coho jack and some nice-sized perch to 11-inches. When he cleaned the perch, he discovered they had primarily been feeding on small bluegills. Area panfish anglers are well aware of how scarce bluegills have been in Oregon’s coastal lakes. Hopefully, Bill’s catch is a sign of upcoming improvement regarding coastal bluegill fishing – in the meantime there is always Loon Lake.
“Although there haven’t been any fishing reports regarding striped bass, someone used the fish-cleaning station in Winchester Bay’s East Basin to clean a striper weighing at least 20 pounds. Most likely it was caught in Smith River.
“The nice-sized trout planted in several Coos County lakes have been pretty much been fished down. Butterfield’s plant was largely ignored for more than a week, but due to their aggressiveness and affinity for jumping or splashing on the surface, ignoring them for a longer period of time was pretty much impossible. A sizable portion of the 600 trout planted during the second week of October were pulled from the lake this week.
“Saunders, which received 1,300 14-inch trout during the second week of October, was fished down rather quickly because the trout pretty much stayed in the small area of the lake between the railroad trestle and Highway 101.
“The 4,000 trout that were planted in Empire Lakes during October quickly developed into two fisheries. The trout that ventured near shore were quickly caught by bank anglers who tend to keep them while the trout that tended to stay out in the middle of the lake were mostly targeted by fly anglers using float tubes and pontoon boats who tend to practice catch and release – allowing this fishery to last several weeks.
“Oregon’s trout plants are pretty much over for the year, but die-hard trout anglers can get an early start on next year’s trout fishing by visiting Junction City Pond. This smallish pond, located on the west side of Highway 99 just south of Junction City almost always receives a robust plant of rainbow trout of several sizes during the second or third week of January. If you go, expect company.
“Anglers willing to travel for some good trout fishing have a number of options. Miller Lake is located north of Diamond Lake and is connected by a rough 13-mile road running west from Highway 97. The area is prone to serious fall snowfall, but Miller Lake is absolutely full of good-sized brown trout as well as some rainbow trout, brook trout and kokanee and is open for all species 24 hours per day. Also open 24 hours per day is Lake of the Woods and some big brown trout have been caught after dark by bank anglers near the resort.
“Suttle Lake is open all year, but only from an hour before sunrise until an hour after sunset. During October, November and December good-sized brown trout hang out in the lake near where Link Creek enters the lake. Some of these trout will actually enter Link Creek, which is completely closed to angling, but most will stay out in the lake where they are legally available to anglers. While common sense would indicate minnow-imitating lures that resemble the lake’s smallish kokanee would be the ticket, I have done best on pale yellow plugs that imitate small whitefish.
“Anglers really willing to travel to seek out great fishing would do well to consider western Nevada’s Pyramid Lake. This large highly alkaline lake offers the best fishing for giant cutthroat trout in the world during the cooler months with 20-pound trout taken almost daily.
“Virtually all the streams along the Oregon coast closed to trout fishing an hour after sundown last Monday (Oct. 31st). Anglers need to check their regulations booklet for exceptions to the closure.”
So, are you enjoying Pete Heley’s contributions? So are we. For those who live in the Reedsport area or are fortunate enough to vacation here, stop by the Stockade Market to chat with him in person!
Waters of the lower Rogue River are high but dropping and should provide opportunities, particularly late in the weekend. While flows are at 5.700 cfs at this writing near mid-day on November 2nd, the forecast is for continued moderation through Sunday (that’s right – dropping through the weekend!) to around 4,800 cfs at which time, if the prediction remains accurate, the river will rise. What time? Come on, we’d be guessing, but it’ll be Sunday afternoon or evening. It’s been slow for summer steelhead and slower for aging Chinook and isn’t expected to change much for a while. Spawning Chinook on the Grants Pass stretch hold the key for steelheaders here. Fishing with cured roe or egg imitations isn’t just a good idea – it’s the best idea while Chinook are spawning on the middle Rogue Summers lie in wait for eggs to drift downstream from active redds. Those eggs might as well be attached to the end of your line. If the color of the water is decent, there will be hookups. Outflow at Lost Creek is 1,800 cfs which becomes 2,000 cfs by the time the river reaches the gauge at Dodge Bridge. With the Flies-Only restriction lifted as of the 1st of November, anglers have additional latitude in choosing ammunition to achieving the goal and that includes bait above Shady Cove. Hard-bodied lures are allowed but not soft plastics nor bait downstream of that landmark. For that reason alone, there is more pressure above Shady Cove where there are fewer restrictions. Be aware that the Army Corps of Engineers is facing the challenge of balancing the flows of the Rogue against the mounting need of flood control provided by Lost Lake so changes in water flow are to be expected.
With trout fishing improving slightly at Diamond Lake between rain storms, trollers are catching some on small spoons although bait fishers continue to do best of all.
The Inbox – Reader Email
This week, we got mail!
This comes with a short guide as the first Email is from Subscriber Jim. As it’s been a while since we introduced our own cast of characters, Doug, the first to respond, is the illustrious Webmaster of The GuidesForecast.com and is responsible for sorting out copy sent to him by the less-than-lustrous Bob Rees, second responder, former professional fishing guide and current exec for Northwest Steelheaders which organization could not have made a better choice for whatever it is he does. That leaves Michael Teague, a sports fisher and co-editor as well as the last to respond in the Email chain below.
Guys- What’s going on with not reporting on the Siletz and Alsea for multiple weeks?
The lack of reply is my fault, I sent on your question to Bob and Michael but failed to include your email address so replies did not get back to you. Michael / Bob would you please reply to Jim?
Sorry for the oversight. Sometimes these systems get overlooked as reports are inconsistent from those areas. We’ll try and improve in the coming weeks. I apologize for the oversight. Thanks for your patience.
Bob Rees, co-editor
The Guide’s Forecast
‘Way to take one for the team, Guys!
Hi. Jim –
Please serve me a double helping of responsibility for the lack of response. I write the southwest section but frequently encroach on the Northwest, elbowing in with reports on the Siletz south rather than whatever is actually at the south end of the northwest section. I’m glad I could take a moment to clarify the situation.
Still, the lack of reports going into the newsletter are in direct correlation to the number coming in, which, in your area of interest has been zero lately. We don’t hold anything back (other than that Honey Hole of yours, a diminutive waterway or any specific area; we don’t ‘hotspot’ … it’s in our By-Laws that Bob posted on the wall of TGF World Headquarters.
But seriously, we need a sports angler who fishes this area to send us his or her experiences. Maybe publishing this will shake something loose!
In the interim, please enjoy the report on Waldport and the Alsea River in this week’s newsletter.
Michael Teague, co-editor
The Guide’s Forecast