Central & South Oregon Coast Fishing Reports for September 25th

Razor clamming along the entire Oregon coast has been closed since May 14 due to elevated levels of domoic acid in the clams. These levels have been slow to fall so an opening for razors is unlikely for some time.

While salmon fishing out of Newport and Depoe Bay remains slow, the few Chinook and coho which have been brought back to port have been nice ones.

The non-selective ocean coho fishery or as it is known colloquially, “It bites, it dies” season will continue through September 30th, after which, no ocean coho may be kept.

Offshore bottom fishing out of central Oregon ports remains excellent with the ling cod bite nearly as good as that for rockfish. Ocean crabbing is good despite the necessity of sorting out some softshells.

With the re-opening of deep water ling cod on October 1st, the 30-fathom restriction will no longer be in place for these fishes and offshore fishers are likely to take bigger lings for their efforts.

The ODFW announced this week that the Central Oregon Coast Subarea Summer all-depth halibut quota had 3,936 pounds landed last week which leaves 8,043 pounds remaining on the all-depth quota. This fishery will be open October 1st and 2nd.

In the nearshore halibut fishery, there were 1,056 pounds landed last week, which brings the season total to 900 pounds over the allocation (but read on).

IPHC, NMFS, and ODFW discussed the progress of these fisheries, the amount of quota remaining, and anticipated effort and harvest between now and the October 31 regulatory closure. Based on that, 3,000 pounds (the amount left over from the spring all-depth plus ~1,500 pounds from the summer all-depth) will be transferred to the nearshore fishery. That leaves 5,043 pounds for the summer all-depth and 2,100 pounds for the nearshore. This quota shift should allow both fisheries to continue for a couple more weeks, and provide the best opportunity for the Central Coast allocation to be harvested. Therefore, the nearshore fishery remains open and the all-depth season will be open October 2-3. The following all-depth dates are October 16-17.

In the Southern Oregon Subarea halibut fishery (out of the Brookings area), there are 4,900 pounds remaining in the quota. It will likely continue until the regulatory closure of October 31.

The tuna fishery which has been so rewarding this season, is winding sown. It’s a day-to-day struggle to determine whether it’s worth it of even possible to get out to find warm water and albacore. Even then, the bite has been off lately. A sport boat out of Newport took three yesterday (Thursday) on a rough, windy ocean. A boat out of Charleston caught just one albacore on a trip Wednesday this week.

Alsea Bay has been good for Chinook and coho this week. Trollers using plug-cut herring or spinners have been landing fish.

With the water cooling now, more fish are being caught on the Siuslaw. Many Boats can be seen fishing and some are getting limits near the Highway 101 Bridge There are options for bank anglers here as well. It was fairly hot fishing following the last rainfall overnight on the 16th. That cycle should repeat today and tomorrow (Friday and Saturday this week). The wild coho fishery runs from the ocean upriver to, but not including Lake Creek but the season ends on October 15th. For those looking to clean their fresh caught coho or Chinook in the Florence area, there are two cleaning stations at the Harbor Street launch. On is smaller, locate right by the launch and the newer one just across the parking lot is larger, covered and lighted.

The wild coho salmon season for Siltcoos, Tahkenitch and Tenmile lakes will start on October 1st. There are not likely to be any salmon in these lakes at that time with the possible exception of Siltcoos. Only one rod may be used even by those with a two-rod permit. ends on December 31st.

Winchester bay and the lower Umpqua is a good place for bank anglers to cast spinners for Chinook and coho. This is the time of year when bank-bound salmon anglers have the best chance of success at Half Moon Bay, Osprey Point and Gardiner which are all producing salmon. Chinook and a few coho are also starting to stack up below the bridge at the lower end of Winchester Creek. Many are waiting for the bite to switch to bobber and bait, an event which should come to pass in the coming week. Others are fishing the nonselective coho season on the Umpqua which runs from the ocean upriver to the Scottsburg Bridge but does not include Smith River. The wild season ends on October 15th on the Umpqua. Good catches of Chinook have been reported out of Coos Bay this week, primarily during high-slack tides between the Highway 101 bridge and the airport for those trolling cut-plug herring. Crabbing is best near the jetties. On the Coos River, the nonselective coho fishery runs from the ocean up to Dellwood and the Millicoma confluence but this season will end on November 30th on the Coos and Coquille rivers.

Near-shore jigging for black rockfish and lingcod remains very good out of Gold Beach. Anglers must stay within the 30-fathom line for bottom fishing through September. Tuna anglers are struggling amid relatively poor ocean weather and schools constantly on the move. Water holding tuna will be 58-degrees with warmer water currents. Rogue Bay fishing well although not many coho have showed up as yet. Steelhead adults and half-pounders as well as jacks are being caught in good number below Agness. Bait, lures and fly fishing is all equally effective for these fish. Reports are of good results have been coming in despite water levels the lowest in over 40 years and still no relief in sight … or in NOAA river level forecasts. Low water in Lost Creek has dropped level and flow downstream and slowed results for Chinook and summer steelhead on the middle Rogue. Upper river fly fishers have been enjoying fair to good results in the flies-only stretch by swinging streamers and nymphing in riffles three feet or greater in depth. September 15th has historically been the date that Chinooks show up in Chetco tidewater and sure enough, several were landed including jacks and a couple of near-30-pounders were landed right on time. In actuality, a couple were landed on the 14th as well. The ocean outside the jetties opens October 1st for what has always been decent Chinook fishing and is sometimes gangbusters for seriously large salmon. The ocean fishery on the Chetco Bubble will continue for eleven days. In addition, every year at this time, Sporthaven Marina sponsors a derby limited to 200 participants who pay $40 a head. Those who do so will be qualified to receive in return 75% of the entry fees which are paid out to the anglers catching the three largest Chinook. If the derby fills as is usually the case, top money is $6000 and free mounting of the winning fish by talented local taxidermist Paul DeAngelo. Yeah, this is a pretty big deal.