Rough offshore conditions along the coast this week have combined with high winds keeping even charter boats from making any ocean runs, whenever there’s a break, however, bottom fishing at this time of year is stellar.
Eventually, offshore wind and wave will once again allow boats to access the ocean, so use this information as a reference for when that occurs. The most successful ocean crabbing has been outside if Coos Bay, where boaters have relocated pots until they find a decent concentration of legal Dungeness.
2016 PRE-SEASON PLANNING: OCEAN SALMON MEETING NOTICE: The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s 2016 Ocean Salmon Industry Group meeting (OSIG) is scheduled for Thursday, February 25, 2016. This pre-season planning meeting will provide an early look at the 2016 salmon forecasts, and develop Oregon preferred recreational and commercial ocean salmon fishing concepts to take forward through the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) regulation setting process. The OSIG meeting will be held in the downstairs meeting room at the Hallmark Resort, 744 SW Elizabeth Street in Newport and is open to all ocean sport fishing anglers and charter operators, commercial salmon troll fishers, and any others interested in participating in the development of ocean salmon fishery regulations for the 2016 ocean salmon seasons.
Mark your calendars for February 27th and 28th for the 2016 Saltwater Sportsmen’s Show at the Oregon State Fairgrounds. The Reel Wizard Alan Tani will be one of many notable speakers.
Precipitation has not had a negative effect on all coastal streams. The Siuslaw rose from a depth of just under five feet to about eight and a half with the current pushing 4,500 cfs. The color is good so there’s no reason not to plunk a sunrise or pink pearl Spin ‘n’ Glo here. River forecasts indicate little change in the river at Mapleton over the next several days.
Heavy rain hit the coast on Tuesday this week and by Wednesday the Rogue had transformed from a low, clear 5,000 cfs stream at Agness that fly anglers found appealing to a behemoth, raging at over 20,000 cfs. Waters of the middle and upper Rogue were similarly affected. If NOAA river forecasts remain accurate, the lower river won’t be suitable even for plunking for a solid week. Grants Pass steelheaders, who enjoyed fair or better results prior to this freshet, will be sidelined for a similar period of time. The upper Rogue may fish a few days earlier but unless the current high water even brings significant numbers of winters into this stretch, a preponderance of catches here will be summer steelhead which are well past their prime.
Water flows on the Chetco River skyrocketed to 14,000 cfs near Brookings mid-day on Wednesday this week. While Level and flow have been dropping today, it may not be in condition to plunk until the middle of the coming well. “Steelhead fishing was good on the Chetco to begin the week before blowing out yesterday,” according to a report on January 13th from Wild Rivers Fishing (541-813-1082). “The Chetco is approaching 10,000 cfs this morning and likely will be too high to fish for a few days. The Smith also is high. Before the latest rain, we were finding fish throughout the Chetco side-drifting roe and pulling plugs, especially the 3.5 MagLips. Look for good numbers of fresh fish to arrive on the Chetco and Smith with the new rain as both rivers begin to drop.” Another option for steelheaders in the Brookings area is the Smith River which is just a 20-minute trip to the south. It is in California, however, so anglers must purchase the proper license and tag, but sometimes the fishing can be worth it.
Snow was falling on Diamond Lake as this report was being compiled on the morning of January 14th. That’s of little concern to ice fishers as long as they have access. This week they have been huddled in ice huts scattered sparsely across the lakes frozen surface.
Rain continues to fall in the southwest corner of Oregon, raising water levels at the Elk and Sixes rivers. These small, volatile ocean tributaries should fish on Friday this week but another front is due with more rainfall expected over the coming weekend.