Central & South Oregon Coast Fishing Reports for Oct 28th

Ocean crabbing is closed as of October 15th and will remain so until December 1st. Dungeness are large and hard offshore in the winter but an opportunity when wind and wave allow boats to launch is rare. Cherish it if you get one – and enjoy the bounty!

It was possible to get out of Depoe Bay early this week and fishing was pretty darned good with anglers taking consistent limits of rockfish and averaging better than one fish per rod for ling cod.

All-Depth Halibut will fish two final days, October 28th and 29th, with 4,153 pounds, representing a full 10% of the season’s quota. There were no fish taken during the last opening October 14-15 due to wicked offshore conditions.

Nearshore halibut remains open off the central Oregon coast through Monday, October 31st, at which time all halibut fishing in Oregon closes for the year. During the last available data, 23 pounds of halibut were landed (out of Charleston, if it matters) October 10th through 16th. This left 2% or 636 pounds available in the quota. Go get ‘em but put the gear away on November 1st.

With 45% or over 3,400 pounds of the quota remaining for Southern Coast Halibut, it, too will fish through Monday unless a last-minute extension is proposed.

Dockside Charters out of Depoe Bay displayed their Photoshop prowess this week with this photo, titled, “Here’s Looking at You Kid,”

dockside

Author, publisher, blogger and journalist Pete Heley (peteheley.com) reports again this week from Reedsport, “There are a number of fishing opportunities that will end on October 31st. The ocean Chinook salmon fishery for fish at least 24-inches long will end. Also ending will be the summer halibut seasons. There will be a final summer season all-depth halibut opener on October 28th and 29th because there were no reported halibut landings during the last all-depth opener on October 14th and 15th.

“Almost all the coastal streams close at the end of October, but until then, they are legal to fish for trout and bass. Where it can get awkward is on coastal lakes that have coho seasons. Siltcoos River, the outlet to Siltcoos Lake, is open for salmon down to the Highway 101 Bridge, but is open for trout and bass throughout its entire length – through October 31st (excepting the 200 feet of river above and below the dam).

“Salmon fishing is not allowed on Tahkenitch Creek, but trout and bass fishing is legal through October 31st. Where one can get into trouble, is when an enforcement officer believes an angler is targeting salmon – even if they are not keeping them. The best example of this is on Tenmile Lakes, which does not have a coho salmon fishery this year (but will next year). Every fall a number of anglers fish the channel connecting North and South Tenmile, which is an area closed to coho salmon fishing. – even though because of how shallow it is, it is a poor choice for bass or yellow perch. But every year by using bass lures that also appeal to salmon they catch a number of cohos that are already weakened from ascending Tenmile Creek. Even if they are released, the salmon’s chances of successfully spawning are considerably reduced.

“As I am writing this, there are coho salmon in Siltcoos, Tahkenitch and Tenmile lakes. Since Tenmile Lake doesn’t have a coho fishery this year, parking isn’t a problem, but it most definitely is at Siltcoos and can be at Tahkenitch.

“As for the County Park on South Tenmile Lake, after an absence of 11 months, yellow perch are once again being caught in decent numbers. The larger perch are measuring ten to 11-inches and they are usually caught on strips cut from the bellies of smaller perch. It seems like most of the smaller and even some medium-sized perch are simply thrown on the fishing dock rather than back in the water and anglers wanting to fish off the dock are going to have to share it with a number of fish-eating birds.

“Ocean crabbing is closed through November, but the lower tidewater areas of Oregon’s coastal rivers are open the entire year and there were a number of decent catches made by dock crabbers at Winchester Bay last week. If the rains continue to the point where crabbing is no longer feasible, there should always be the option of Charleston which is much saltier during the winter months than any of the coastal rivers.

“Bradley Lake, south of Bandon, is scheduled to be stocked with 800 14-inch trout this week, but some of the Coos County lakes, including Bradley, that were stocked with 14-inch trout the second week of October have been fishing well. The 600 trout planted in Butterfield Lake seemed to have largely been ignored by anglers, but the 4,000 trout dumped into Empire Lakes have provided good fishing and the 1,300 stocked into Saunders Lake seemed to have turned on this week and fishing has been very good. No more trout plants are slated until next spring along the Oregon coast.

“Despite recent rains and winds, temperatures have been surprisingly warm which should keep those planted trout biting well and should extend the fall bass bite for several more weeks. Smallmouth bass anglers on the Umpqua and Coquille rivers are somewat at the mercy of water clarity – as are bottomfish anglers fishing the South Jetty. If the water in the lower Umpqua River gets muddy to the point where it has a negative impact on fishing success, anglers should fish the south side, or ocean side of the Triangle where the water should be much clearer. Offshore bottomfish anglers shouldn’t have a problem with water clarity.”

Rogue Bay trollers are seeing very few fish since the river rose and periodic rainfall has kept flows at levels which allow free access upstream for Chinook. The exception is the lower bay near Indian Creek which always has a few salmon milling around near the mouth. Trollers drag anchovies just outside the reach of those casting spinners from the bank. Either method is taking a few every day. The increase in flows means that fishing for half-pounders and adult summer steelhead on the Agness stretch is an activity which has to wait for waters to recover from a storm which will continue through Friday this week, impacting the entire Rogue system. Middle Rogue Chinook fishers were doing fairly well, as well as anywhere on the river, but that, too will have to wait as water here will be rising ‘til around the witching hour tonight, starting to drop early Friday, October 28th. Forecast indicate that trend to be short-lived as the flows are due to increase once again starting around mid-day Sunday. Upper Rogue flows out of Lost Creek Reservoir which topped 1,850 cfs. Dropped through Monday this week then started upward once again, to land at 1,350 cfs currently. A recommendation as a result of all these observations would be optimum at this point but there’s really no place on the Rogue worthy of recommending. Once there’s a bit of a break and anytime a degree of clearing accompanies dropping water, we’d recommend hitting it. Until then, go elsewhere.

Curry Pilot newspaper stated on Friday, October 21st, “Additionally, the river is predicted to drop to between 2,000 and 2,500 cfs this weekend — perfect back-bouncing conditions if you are in a boat,
and stellar drift-fishing water if you are fishing from the bank. And the river is supposed to maintain that aforementioned flow throughout the month.” While the prediction for river flows is currently being blindsided by yet another storm front, the point of the article remains valid. Despite what may be optimal, even prime conditions on the Chetco River (periodically, anyway), it will remain limited to bobber fishing above River Mile 2.2 until November 4h with plunking, back-bouncing or drift-fishing considered ‘illegal’ techniques until that date. Those weekly newspaper reports are deftly penned by Brookings journalist Larry Ellis, this one in particular urging a change in the regulations to allow multiple techniques above the deadline when conditions are conducive, Chinook are present and the point of the regulation in the first place, to protect these fish in low flows, is moot. The rules at this time of year should be contingent upon river conditions, not calendar dates and we couldn’t agree more. Of course, there’s always a possibility (as has occurred in seasons past) that the ODFW could override the current regs to open the river to other techniques. But that hasn’t occurred as yet and the date at which it won’t make any difference is rapidly approaching. Halloween, perhaps? We can only hope.

Regular readers are aware of this writer’s affinity for irony, so how’s this? The Chetco is forecast to crest tomorrow, October 28th, at nearly 11 feet and 14,000 cfs as a result of the current
downpour. Thereafter, it will be dropping and clearing, right up until the next storm front is due just about the 4th of November. Backbouncing would be optimum and plug-pulling would undoubtedly catch
fish prior to this next blowout, but anglers will only be allowed to bobber fish.

The Elk River has been fishing well for fall Chinook with fresh salmon making their way clear up to the Hatchery Hole with salmon taking plugs or bait equally well. The Sixes River is fishing well whenever it comes into decent condition. fishing very well with Chinook hitting spinners or taking eggs under a bobber.

Fall is always a great time to fish Rogue Valley lakes, especially now that these lakes received an extra helping of hatchery trout. ODFW’s Cole Rivers Hatchery had more trout than stocking plans called for, giving an unexpected bonus to trout anglers. Additional trout were purchased from Desert Springs Trout Farm. The following waterbodies received rainbow trout in the past week:

• Lake Selmac – 800 one-pounders
• Reinhart Park Pond – 100 one-pounders and 250 legal-sized fish
• Medco Pond – 400 one-pounders
• Willow Lake – 450 one-pounders
• Expo Pond – 100 one-pounders and 250 legal-sized fish

Trout fishing in lakes is open year-round with a limit of five trout per day, two daily limits in possession. Trout stocking resumes next spring.

Diamond Lake bait fishers are still top dogs here although some hard-core trollers endure. This time of year it’s unlikely to see more than a dozen boats on the lake at one time and while Power Bait and worms are taking most of the fish in the south end, trolling spoons in deep water has taken some of the larger trout. The dock at the south end of Diamond Lake is due for seasonal removal at any time.