Central & South Oregon Coast Fishing Reports for Oct 7th

Offshore conditions are due to settle down this coning Sunday and Monday according to forecasts which will allow anglers to take advantage of the stellar bottom fishing and excellent ocean crabbing available now. And you can bet that every tuna skipper will be checking long-range temperature and chlorophyll charts while they plan their next albacore run. OK, checked myself. It appears that either Florence or Coos Bay would be good possibilities. Readers?

Earlier this week when boats were able to launch, Depoe Bay was producing limits of large ling cod to limit boats in short order. One boat picked up two post dropped in 50 feet of water as they were heading out, contained 25 hard keepers to accompany these ocean fishers on the ride back to port. Over the past weekend, another fellow pulled posts out of Newport to take three limits – and throw three limits back, as well!

Crabbers use a lot of different organic items to lure those ocean Dungeness to their last dinner. We’re heard of all manner of fish leftovers as well as cast-offs from mink farms. Some say shad work best, too late this year, consider targeting them in 2015 to try it; easy to catch and plentiful with the bonus feature that seals and seas lions find shad distasteful, much as this writer does. What about bad bait? A story told just today by an avid offshore crabbing enthusiast indicated that Mako shark flesh, even when moved from one trap to another, resulted in absolute zero crab and the only empty pots he’d experienced all year.

Waters of the Siuslaw rose this week with brief, heavy rainfall which caused the flow to increase from last weekend’s reading of 2,800 cfs to 4,300 cfs on Wednesday when it crested, dropping once that time. Perhaps of greatest internet to anglers is the NOAA forecast which predicts the Siuslaw to be on the drop through the 12th or so, after which it seems a storm from is due. During the time it is dropping and prior to the next freshet, fishing will be as good as it’s going to get for a while. Then the river will blow out, then it will fish again and so on ‘cause that’s fall salmon fishing. Word on Wednesday was that a large pod of coho were kegged up in tidewater (where many are being C&R’d) awaiting an opportunity such as this and hat Chinook are out of tidewater up to Mapleton with the recent rise in water levels.

The level at Siltcoos Lake is about average for this time of year. While the dam is not yet open, with the river clear and more rain in the forecast, the elements should combine to make it happen. This will allow larger, adult coho to enter as only a couple of small ones have been reported thus far into the season. Regulations regarding the wild coho fishery in lakes has been temporarily altered, and were omitted from the published regulations. Check the latest in Random Links.

Theories abound, but there has been no solid explanation for the dismal salmon run (local’s words) on the Coquille and, to a lesser degree, on the Coos system. Despite guesses, the Coquille definitely got the short end on this deal although there seems to be no shortage of coho at either location although the legal-to-keep savers borne of state hatcheries are a rare fish, indeed.

It’s worth mentioning that it was the halibut fishers, using descenders, who were credited with saving sufficient numbers of endangered bottom fish (particularly Yelloweye Rockfish) which allowed the halibut seasons to run fill course. Want a FREE descender? Our own contributor, Pete Heley, wrote in his blog this week, “Steve Godin stopped by the Stockade Market in Winchester Bay to drop off some free bottomfish descenders. The number of free descenders is limited, but the price is right [FREE, Ed.] and they are available at a number of fishing tackle retailers in Winchester Bay, Coos Bay and Charleston. Additional information in Steve’s own words to follow.

“The Oregon Coast Anglers has provided rigged Descenders to local tackle shops that cater to ocean all depth anglers. The descenders will be available free of charge in Winchester Bay and Coos Bay. OCA is providing them to encourage anglers to release Yelloweye Rockfish and Canary Rockfish at depths exceeding one hundred feet. Releasing these fish at depth gives them the best chance for survival. Additionally, ODF&W encourages the use of descenders and has provided additional descenders, instructions on how to use them and charts for identifying bottom fish. This year the bottom fishing boundary was moved inside twenty fathoms to protect Yelloweye Rockfish. In the ODF&W announcement, that move was attributed to Sports Anglers NOT using descenders, while fishing All Depth Halibut. So, by using descenders we improve the odds of survival of a stressed fish and our own ability to fish all depth bottom fish. If there any questions regarding the use of descenders, please call Steve Godin at 541 255 3383. Attached is a photo of a rigged descender. Regards, Steve Godin, Oregon Coast Anglers, President””

descender_rigging

There have been several reports from fly casters regarding the North Umpqua and steelheading and, frankly, all reports have been good. While this river is an enigma to some anglers, cracking the code is worth the effort.

Author, publisher, blogger and appearing here weekly for our mutual edification, Pete Heley (peteheley.com) expounds on fishing from his home base of Reedsport, “The Oregon Department of Agriculture and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife announced the closure of razor clamming and mussel harvesting along the entire Oregon coast, from the Columbia River to the California border. Recent shellfish samples taken indicate levels of the marine bio-toxin Domoic acid have risen above alert levels.

“Coastal scallops are not affected by this closure when only the adductor muscle is eaten. The consumption of whole recreationally harvested scallops is not recommended. Crab, bay clams, and oysters are also not affected by the closure and are safe to eat. Commercial shellfish products remain safe for consumers.

“Domoic acid is produced by algae and usually originate in the ocean. ODA will continue to test for shellfish toxins twice per month, as tides permit. Reopening of an area requires two consecutive tests in the safe range. For more information, call ODA’s shellfish safety information hotline at (800) 448-2474, the Food Safety Program at (503) 986-4720, or visit the ODA shellfish closures Web page.

“Crabbing continues to be very good at Winchester Bay and Charleston and the legal-sized male crabs have been full of meat. While crabbing is open all year in the lower reaches of Oregon’s coastal rivers, ocean crabbing closes at the end of the day on October 15th and will not reopen until December 1st.

“Regulations for the coho seasons on Siltcoos and Tahkenitch lakes were left out of this year’s regulation booklet. The regs for both lakes are as follows: (1) Open for coho salmon from Oct. 1st through Dec. 31st; (2) One adult and one jack coho salmon may be harvested per day: (3) No more than 5 adult wild coho, in aggregate from Siltcoos, Tahkenitch and Tenmile lakes this season and (4) Closed to two rod angling for all species (along with Tenmile Lakes) during coho season.

“The legal coho fishing areas for Siltcoos Lake lie above the Highway 101 Bridge on Siltcoos River and below the railroad trestle on Maple Creek Arm and below the Fivemile Road crossing on Fiddle Creek Arm. On Tahkenitch Lake, the legal coho fishing area is above the Highway 101 Bridge and below the first road crossing on Mallard Arm and the road crossing on Five Mile Arm.

“As for coho fishing on Tenmile Lakes, fishing is not allowed on Tenmile Creek below the bridge on Hilltop Drive or in the channel or canal connecting North Tenmile and South Tenmile lakes.

“Two rod fishing validations are good through December 31st with the following exceptions. (1) During coho seasons on Siltcoos, Tahkenitch and Tenmile lakes (Oct. 1st through Dec. 31st) and (2) from November 1st through Dec. 31st on Oregon coast rivers that started allowing 2-rod validations this year.

“Idaho’s new catch and release fish record system still has nine fish species with no record submissions. The catch and release records are based strictly on fish length and the open records are for: bullhead catfish; Lahotian cutthroat trout; flathead catfish; Gerrard rainbow trout; golden trout; lake whitefish; splake (brook trout/mackinaw hybrid); tiger muskie (muskellunge/northern pike hybrid and tiger trout (brook trout/brown trout hybrid).

“Steve Godin, who recently started a southern Oregon coast fishing club (Oregon Coast Anglers) has been working with the ODFW to ensure that “descenders” are available for free (donations accepted) at many southwest Oregon fishing tackle retailers. The descenders make deep-water releases of bottomfish easier and more efficient and they have already helped lift the restriction ahead of schedule on fishing for bottomfish in waters deeper than 20 fathoms (120 feet). Kudos to the ODFW and to Steve Godin for helping to make these useful devices more available to bottomfish anglers [see related story, above, Ed.].

“Many of the shallow sand dunes lakes between Hauser and North Bend are providing their season’s best bass fishing. Their surface areas have shrunk to the point where their fish are more concentrated, but not so much that there are fish die offs. It’s also nice to hit these waters before the waterfowl hunters arrive in numbers.”

Some ocean charters out of Gold Beach have called it quits for the year while others hold out for windows – launch windows – of opportunity. Bay anglers have seen some good days – occasionally – as it’s been a crap shoot on Rogue Bay with trollers describing it like a dead zone one day and wide-open bites the next. Unfortunately, the on/off switch for fall salmon doesn’t flip every-other-day and it’s sometimes been a week between hot bites but, as with fall Chinook everywhere, you’ve gotta be there when they turn on. Coho have also been in the mix but is winding down. Regardless, it wasn’t a banner year for these fishes once known as silvers. The Rogue River has been providing decent fishing for half-pounders and a few adult steelhead on the Agness stretch and into the lower canyon with low water conditions (while they last) appealing more to fly than gear fishers although both are catching some. Middle Rogue anglers report that summer steelhead fishing remains pretty slow but these anglers should be looking forward to an uptick in the action as those same steelhead and half-pounders currently in the canyon are working their way up to Grants Pass. There has been about a 15% increase in water flow on the Grants pass stretch which is 1,700 cfs and gradually rising. The outflow at Lost Creek Reservoir has been 1,160 cfs all week long, although with this water flow lower in temperature, it has caused a slowing in steelheading catches on the upper Rogue.

Diamond Lake is reported to be fishing better during the day as the weather cools. Power Bait remains popular but the two limits shown here succumbed to nightcrawlers under a bobber.

diamond3

As of Sept. 14, 2016, it will be 10 years since Diamond Lake was drained and illegally-introduced tui chub, thought to have been released by scofflaws using live bait, were poiso9nd to be replaced with hatchery-reared rainbows I hopes of returning it to its former glory. While ‘Glory’ may be arguable, no one can say it’s not a tremendous improvement.