Southwest Oregon Fishing Reports
From Pete Heley at PeteHeley.com
Data regarding the current ocean selective (finclipped) coho season has been updated through July 28th and 35.3 percent of the quota has been caught and kept with fishing success running at .83 retained salmon per angler/trip. The most successful port so far continues to be Depoe Bay with 1.10 kept salmon per angler trip. with
Newport continues to be the busiest port along the central Oregon coast. It’s 14,235 angler trips is more than twice as many as any other port. Garibaldi is second with 6,820 angler trips and Winchester Bay is third with 6,715 angler trips.
The updated(through July 28th) resuls for all ten ports in our zone are: Garibaldi(6,820 anglertrips – .55 retained salmon per angler); Pacific City(3,859 angler/trips -.97 retained salmon per angler); Depoe Bay(4,776, angler trips – 1.21 retained salmon per angler); Newpor(142,35 angler trips – 1.01 retained salmon per angler); Florence(0 angler/trips); Brookings(2,589 angler/trips – .32 retained salmon per angler); Gold Beach(105 angler/trips – .00 retained salmon per angler); Bandon(165 angler/trips – .45 retained salmon per angler): Charleston(1,888 angler/trips – .57 retained salmon per angler);Winchester Bay (6,715 angler trips – .76 retained salmn per angler.
As for chinook salmon catches, Newport leads with 1,136 followed by Depoe Bay with 653 and Winchester Bay with 613.
In the last few weeks, there have been persistent, but so far, unverified rumors of California halibut caught in the lower Umpqua River. In the last few years, there have been several California halibut weighing more than 40 pounds – to more than 50 pounds caught near Charleston.
The state of Washington recently made the retention of soft crabs illegal – something Oregon has yet to do.
A friend of mine had an incredible hour on the lower Coquille River last week when he landed four stripers with an average weight of 11 pounds.
According to the Columbia Basin Bulletin, the Columbia’s predicted coho run this fall is 162 percent of normal.
Although more consistency would be desirable, tuna have recently been caught within 20 miles of some Oregon ports – including Charleston.
The Umpqua River is now under emergency fishing restrictions from the Scottsburg Bridge on Highway 38 upriver to the boat ramp at River Forks Park.
The emergency restriction is intended to help protect summer steelhead and early-returning fall chinook.
To help even more:
Fish during the cooler early mornings.
– Land your fish quickly to help increase survival rates.
– Keep your fish in at least six inches of water while releasing it.
– Revive the fish before release. Keep the fish upright facing into the current; if the current is slow, move the fish back and forth slowly to help oxygenate the gills.
Ocean salmon fishing for Chinook salmon from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt is open. The ocean fin-clipped coho salmon is open until Aug. 25 or until we reach the quota of 90,000 fin-clipped coho. Chinook must be a minimum of 24-inches long and coho must be at least 16-inches. Fishing for salmon has been okay with Winchester being the most productive port on the coast. Anglers have been averaging one fish per person. As of July 28, ocean salmon anglers have caught 35.2 percent of the fin-clipped coho quota.
The Nearshore Halibut season is open seven days a week in the Central Coast Subarea. As of July 28, there is 75 percent of the Nearshore quota remaining. The summer All-Depth season for the Central Coast Subarea is open every Friday and Saturday through October 26 or attaining the quota of 67,898 lbs.
Warmer water and lower flows have slowed trout fishing in the mainstem of the Chetco, but anglers willing to do a little walking can find some great cutthroat trout fishing in some of the tributaries to the Chetco.
In the last two years, Cooper has been stocked with coho and Chinook salmon juveniles. These are often mistaken for kokanee. Anglers may retain up to 5 salmon juveniles in the reservoir as part of their daily trout bag limit. Please remember to release salmon and trout less than 8-inches. The lake will next be stocked at the end of the month.
Warmwater has been good with multiple reports of bass and bluegill. Try fishing for bass around aquatic vegetation in the mid-morning and late afternoon hours.
Temporary fall Chinook salmon regulations start on Aug. 1. Salmon anglers in Coos Bay will only be able to harvest 1 wild Chinook per day and 5 wild Chinook for the season in aggregate from all waters from Coos Basin, Coquille Basin, Sixes River, and Elk River. The South Fork Coos River will be closed to salmon fishing upstream of Myrtle Tree Boat Ramp, and the Millicoma River will be closed to salmon fishing upstream of Rooke Higgins Boat Ramp.
Fishing for rockfish inside the bay has been good near the submerged rock piles. Fishing is typically best near slacktide. A jig with a twister tail can be a great bait for catching rockfish.
We have reports that anglers have caught a couple fall Chinook trolling from the chip pile to the California Street boat ramp. Catch rates will improve as we approach the end of the month.
The smallmouth bass bite is also good at this time in the mainstem and South Fork Coquille rivers. Smallmouth bass will bite on worms, jigs with a twister tail, crankbaits, and small spinners.
A few salmon anglers have been trolling for fall Chinook around Bullards Beach and Rocky Point.
Striped bass fishing is slowing down some but is still good in the Coquille River from Riverton to Bullards, with most anglers using cut bait or nightcrawlers fished with sliding sinkers on the river bottom.
Diamond Lake has been decent. Recent reports indicate most successful anglers are using flies with a quick retrieve or trolling. Others are having good success with floating bait off the bottom. If one technique isn’t working switch to something else
Fishing for crappie, bluegill, and bass has been good at Loon Lake. Slower presentations such as jigging can be a good technique. Loon was stocked with rainbow trout the week of May 20.
The Rogue bay has been slow for Chinook. Most of the fish are being caught downstream of Highway 101. Chinook numbers should continue to climb through July.
Summer steelhead are available along with some Chinook on the middle Rogue River.
Popular floats include: Gold Hill to Rogue River, Baker to Lathrop or Ferry Hole, or Griffin Park to Robertson Bridge.
The big news on the upper Rogue is the annual closure of fishing for Chinook. Between Dodge Bridge and Cole Rivers Hatchery, the river is closed to Chinook fishing beginning Aug. 1. Anglers may continue to fish for summer steelhead and trout. The Rogue between Fishers Ferry Boat Ramp and Dodge Bridge remains open for Chinook until Sept. 1.
As of July 31, 384 new summer steelhead had entered the trap at Cole Rivers, for a season total of 1,304 steelhead to date. This is the third-highest return of summer steelhead to the Cole Rivers Hatchery in the last 25 years. Excess hatchery adult summer steelhead from Cole River Hatchery are being recycled back into the fishery as well. The summer steelhead have red tags (spaghetti like) extending from the top of the fish near the dorsal fin. ODFW encourages anglers that catch these fish to call the upper Rogue office at 541-826-8774.
The Rogue above Lost Creek Reservoir will be stocked this week and this will occur weekly through the summer. This is a great section of the river to fish to avoid the valley heat as water remains cold in this area throughout the summer.
Pikeminnow are not native to the Rogue River and anglers are always encouraged to remove them while fishing on the Rogue. Until Sept. 2, the STEP program is running a pikeminnow harvest contest for the Rogue River. For more information pick up a flier at the Central Point ODFW, local bait, and tackle shops, or call Ryan Battleson at 541-826-8774 x 226.
In addition to stocked rainbow trout in the mainstem, the tributaries also support naturally produced trout. With cold water, you’ll want to swing your lure right in front of fish, so work through a hole a bit more slowly.
Anglers can cast flies or smaller lures like a Panther Martin or rooster tail. Often tipping the lure with bait helps to produce. In slower holes, fishing straight bait such as nightcrawler, Pautzke eggs or even PowerBait will produce.
Bass fishing has been good on Tenmile Lakes. Anglers are catching most of the bass along the deeper weedlines and submerged trees, but are also catching a few on topwater lures in the mornings and evenings. Yellow perch fishing is picking up with anglers catching yellow perch along the edges of weedlines. Most of the fish are under 10 inches long but there are a few 12-inch plus fish being caught.
Trout fishing has slowed down on Tenmile Lakes but a few anglers are still trolling deep with wedding ring spinners.
On the mainstem of the Umpqua River, some fall Chinook have been caught in the bay, and it should continue to improve as we get into August. Please note there is no retention of unclipped coho salmon in the river. The river regulations start at the tips of the jetties.
Bass fishing has been good in most of the main.
There should be a Chinook or two lurking in the lower sections of the Smith River.