Central & South Coast Reports – Offshore conditions are forecast to be favorable through the weekend and into the coming week for those looking to launch for ocean bottom fishing or crabbing.
While boats out of Depoe Bay and Newport are regularly scoring limits of ling cod, catches of rockfish have slowed somewhat.
Surf perch fishing has been worthwhile at various south coast beaches including those around Coos Bay, Bandon and Gold Beach.
Herring are being taken at Yaquina Bay but be aware that the coming weekend is the Seafood and Wine Festival in Newport so there will be thousands of folks that are in the area for that event.
The Reedsport Fly-fishing Expo, sponsored by the Lower Umpqua Flycasters will be on Saturday, February 28th from 9 AM to 3 PM at the Reedsport Charter School. A dozen tyers will give demonstrations, a film will be shown and door prizes are available. A pretty good deal since admission is free.
Crabbing has been poor at Winchester Bay as it is still suffering from turbidity from rain last week. The best option is to crab just outside the bar where catches have been fair to good. There have been a few winter steelhead landed on the Umpqua mainstem bait fishers at Elkton. The South Umpqua is expected to be in good shape and fishing well for hatchery steelhead over the coming weekend.
Coos Bay crabbers are starting to score once again now that the waters are recovering from last week’s storms although some off-color water is still evident. Best results may be expected near the jetties and bay entrance on the incoming tide. Rockfishing has resumed at the jetties.
After cresting six feet over flood stage last week, the lower Rogue has now dropped and cleared with steelhead a-plenty available. Currently flowing just over 5,800 cfs, small corkies and side-drifting is taking fish. While there have been no reports of spring Chinook, anglers have started to fish for them. The trap below the dam on the Applegate River has seen the earliest return of winter steelhead in 10 years. The middle Rogue has been fishing well this week for a mix of fresh and wild steelhead. The upper Rogue has been producing decent catches thanks to the recent freshet and an early run of winters this season. Fresh steelhead are entering the Cole Rivers Hatchery every day now.
Steelheading has slowed on the Chetco River with waters dropping low and turning clear. Plug-pullers are still getting a few and spinners have been effective recently. Expect to see some spawned-put fish in catches at this time of year.
The Elk and Sixes rivers are slow due to low, clear water.