Central & South Oregon Coast Fishing Reports for Sept 2nd

With 68% or 33,461 pounds remaining in the quota, Summer All-Depth Halibut will continue on Friday and Saturday, September 2nd & 3rd.

Southern Coast will continue to fish for halibut out of Brookings is open south of Humbug Mountain without depth or daily restrictions. Fishing in this area has been slow, leaving nearly 5,800 pounds or 67& of the quota. This fishery historically outlives the allowable weather in which boats can get out to try for them.

Bottom fishing out of Depoe Bay has been variable; good one day, challenging the next. While it was tough on Tuesday this week, fishing improved on Wednesday. Crabbing is still holding up well, or as one sport boater put it, “Ocean crabbing is just stupid good!”

Rockfish anglers are required to stay inside the 20-fathom line while fishing for rockfish through September and possibly for the remainder of the season. While this rule has no effect on salmon, tuna or halibut fishing, anglers aren’t allowed to cross the 20-fathom line with any rockfish on board.

Tuna is looking more promising in the coming week as southerly winds will move warm water closer to shore again. On Wednesday this week, a sport boat launched from Newport to run out 27 miles where water over 60 degrees rewarded these offshore anglers with 22 albacore.

There is little to report on Chinook fishing off the central Oregon coast and some days, charters aren’t even trying for them. This will change when the non-selective season opens on September 3rd and continue through the earlier of September 30 or the quota 7,500 Coho.

A few fall salmon have begun nosing into the Siuslaw, occasionally coming to grips with anglers on their way, but this interaction is still fairly rare. putting four or five hours without a sniff can be frustrating, an experience only exacerbated when fish can be seen rolling or when another boat takes one. Or when you see the Siuslaw River Bar is being grudged just at the beginning of fall Chinook fishing. Yeah, that’s happening.

Siletz anglers report taking a few springers pulling plugs or throwing spinners but overall it has been slow. It has been especially frustrating as a good number of fish are showing on depth finders. Be aware the Weyerhaeuser has closed access to the Gorge due to high danger of fire.

A report this week indicated Chinook are available in Winchester Bay out of Reedsport. While it has been a fairly crowded fishery, this fellow landed one 17 pounds and another 28 pounds. That sounds like a pretty good day!

From Reedsport, author of many books on fishing in the Northwest, Pete Heley (peteheley.com) reports, “The halibut update through August 21st is as follows: Columbia River Subarea — All-Depth and Nearshore—are both closed for the remainder of 2016 as the he entire subarea quota has been caught.

“As for Central Oregon Coast Subarea – The next summer all-depth opener will be Friday (Sept. 3rd) and Saturday (Sept. 4th).

“Summer All-Depth Season—opened August 19-20. The weather was a factor during the last opener with restrictions on some ocean bars for part or all of the day. For those that did venture out halibut fishing success rates varied between 50% out of Newport to over 90% out of Pacific City and Depoe Bay. The overall success rate was approximately 60%. The average weight of landed fish was approximately 24 pounds, round weight, up a bit from the first summer opening. The total catch was 6,602 pounds, which leaves 33,461 pounds (68%) of the summer all-depth quota remaining. This fishery is open every other Friday and Saturday until the quota is caught.

“The Nearshore Season, which has been open daily since June 1st has 2,494 pounds remaining in its quota. 1937 pounds were landed last week. The average weight of fish landed last week was approximately 29 pounds, round weight. The average weight of landed fish for the entire season has been approximately 27 pounds, round weight.

“South of Humbug Mountain subarea—there has been a total of 2,808 pounds landed. This leaves 5,797 pounds (67 %) of the quota remaining. The average size of landed fish so far this season has been approximately 27 pounds round weight.

“Coho salmon will become legal angling fare in the ocean beginning this Saturday (Sept. 3rd). Both clipped and unclipped coho salmon at least 16-inches in length will be legal to keep and all retained salmon must be listed on an angler’s combined angling tag. The daily limit will be two salmon, which may also include clipped and unclipped Chinook salmon at least 24-inches in length.

“The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has temporarily suspended the sale of fishing and hunting licenses while it works with the state Office of Cyber Security (OCS) to investigate a vulnerability in an outside vendor’s license sale system that was recently exploited in several states, including Washington.

“The vendor’s vulnerability allowed access to some personal information provided by customers who purchased fishing and hunting licenses. WDFW and OCS are working with the vendor and collaborating with law enforcement, federal agencies, and officials in other states to determine how much information was accessed.

“WDFW resumed the sale of licenses and tags this last Tuesday. The ODFW while well aware of the “breach” problem, determined that no information was compromised. But there is a message on the ODFW website stating that sales of licenses and tags via the internet have been suspended until further notice. The regular ODFW licensing system comprised of license vendors with ODFW terminals remains unchanged.

“The “trophy” rainbows planted last week in Lake Marie have been staying in deep water and haven’t been biting well. Cooler water should help. The lake was stocked with an additional 500 barely legal rainbows this week. After this week, there won’t be any trout plants in our area until the second week of October when a number of Coos County lakes will be stocked with foot long and larger rainbows.

“At least some of the yellow perch that seemed so plentiful last fall at the County Park on South Tenmile Lake, and then seemingly disappeared, seem to have migrated down into Tenmile Creek. Some of the deeper water between South Tenmile Lake and Eel Creek seems to hold fair numbers of perch to at least ten inches in length.

“Most of the yellow perch lakes along the Oregon coast will offer improving fishing over the next several weeks, but three lakes that are very much overlooked perch spots are Saunders Lake, Beale Lake and Clear Lake. All these lakes are in Hauser. Saunders and Clear are adjacent to the west side of Highway 101 and Beale Lake is adjacent to the west side of the railroad tracks about a half mile south of Riley’s Ranch and Butterfield Lake.

“Usually ultralight soft plastic lures work well for perch, but at times they can be finicky to the point of refusing everything except baits such as nightcrawlers and redworms. Many serious perch anglers use bait to get their first few perch and then use strips of perch meat to catch more and larger perch.

Boats launching out of Charleston caught tuna over the past weekend although conditions were rough in high winds and catches were light. It was a different story – sorta – on Wednesday this week. It was still a run of 40 to 50 miles but the wind was tolerable and boats returned with catches of 230 or 30 or more big albacore. Unlike the weekend when tuna seemed line shy and took only trolled baits, this week they seemed bold and were willing to hit almost everything. Salmon fishing has been spotty but a few Chinook are being caught out of Coos Bay every day and a precious few coho inside the bay.

You know that feeling … the one you get when you find something that’s so cool you can’t wait to share it (unless it’s a hotspot, of course). That’s the one this writer enjoyed in stumbling across A Guide to the Rogue River Water Trail which is available unabridged for download. Links to relative information is generally at the end of a report but this one’s good enough it landed in the front. Grab it from Random Links. We think you’re gonna like it!

Ocean conditions improved marginally this past week and fishing was really, really good when we could go. One of the overall best overall catches of Ling Cod and color of the summer was on Friday. Crab is still one pot and done. The bay was up and down. Wednesday Jeff had six for all day. Thursday it was two. Non-feeding fish can be fussy as we all know. Saturday the 10th Annual Sea Lion Patrol Derby was put on by Amy Gaddis and Jots Resort. Over 175 fishers had a perfect day on the bay and caught fish from start to finish. The day wound up with a BBQ, auction raffle, etc. for a great evening for all. Much needed dollars to fund the program was raised thanks to Amy and Jots. Cool weather and fog drizzle will move fish up river this week to start that kind of fishing for September as usual. That’s always fun!
The lower Rogue bay has been producing excellent fishing for of excellent quality. Both bank and boat anglers are scoring Chinook averaging 20 pounds with a 38-pounder taken over the past week. With the river running hot, fish are being taken only in the lo0wer bay to the mouth. Spinner flingers continue to target Indian Creek Chinook with regular success. Anglers on the middle Rogue are picking up some summer steelhead and the first of the Chinook to make it upriver the Grants Pass stretch. Wild springers can be kept downstream of Dodge Bridge as part of the two-fish daily limit although many are turning dark. Pulling smaller Kwikfish or other plugs has been effective for fooling both Chinook and steelhead. On the upper Rogue, only flies may be used from Fishery Ferry, about 13.5 miles above Dodge Bridge and just a tenth of a mile or so below MP 125, up to the deadline at the Hatchery Hole as of September 1st. About 1,500 summer steelhead have been collected at Cole Rivers Hatchery which is good as it’s roughly a third more than the 10-year average.

Devils Lake has slowed for trout but word from the Lodge is that the bigger fish are starting to show up!