SW Oregon Fishing Report for June 29th, 2018

From ODF&W

Bottom fishing the last couple of weeks anglers reported having trouble finding fish at their usual spots, although some days seemed to have picked up some. Boats/anglers that put in the time have been able to come home with limits. Lingcod catches have been hit and miss.

The Central Coast nearshore halibut fishery opened on Friday, June 1. During the last couple of weeks, anglers were bringing in 2-3 Petrale sole per angler along with some halibut. There will be an announcement by noon on Friday, June 29 if enough quota remains for any back-up dates in the Central Oregon Coast Subarea spring all-depth fishery. Available back-up dates are: July 5-7 and July 19-21.

Sport salmon fishing for Chinook is open in ocean waters from Cape Falcon (just North of Nehalem Bay) to the Oregon/California border for two salmon per day (all salmon except coho). Minimum sizes are 24-inches for Chinook and 20-inches for steelhead.

On the middle Rogue River fishing has been fair for spring Chinook salmon, and early summer steelhead. Back-bouncing bait and back-trolling plugs have been effective for boat anglers. Bank anglers can do well by drifting bait. Anglers are now able to retain both hatchery and wild Chinook salmon in the river downstream of Dodge Bridge. Wild steelhead must be released.

On the upper Rogue fishing has been good for spring Chinook, and fair for early summer steelhead. On the lower, spring chinook fishing has begun to slow, but anglers are still catching both from boats and from the shore. Early morning or late evenings have been the best. Water levels are dropping and anglers should expect some low and clear conditions for a while. Some anglers have already begun testing their luck with trolling the bay for Chinook. Early Fall Chinook are around the corner.

Legal-size rainbow trout were stocked in Tenmile Lakes in early June. Trout anglers trolling spinners and wedding rings in the main part of the lake are catching lots of trout, some over 20-inches. As water temperatures warm, trout fishing will be best in the early mornings. Trout fishing is open all year in Tenmile Lakes.

Fishing for largemouth bass has been good. Water temperatures are in the upper 60s and bass will be found in the shallow water near weed lines and submerged logs in the mornings and evenings.

Yellow perch fishing is good in water depths of 10-15 feet and along weedlines. Anglers are using small jigs or a worm on a hook fished near the bottom.

Smallmouth bass fishing should be good throughout the Umpqua main. Bass fishing should be good throughout the South Umpqua.

Fishing continues to be good at Diamond Lake. Most anglers are taking home fish averaging 15-inches. Trolling seems to be the most effective technique, but using bait or flies has also been showing positive results.

Pete Heley shares the following from PeteHeley.com

Beginning July 1, 2018, the general marine fish bag limit will decrease to 4 fish per angler per day. The general marine fish bag limit includes all species of rockfish (yelloweye rockfish prohibited at all times), greenlings, skates, and all other marine species not listed on pages 81-82 of the 2018 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations.

I checked in with the ODFW office in Charleston and found that the rumor is true – the ODFW does intend to remove limits regarding numbers and minimum sizes on striped bass. Mike Graybill assured me that there was no ODFW war on stripers, but simply an attempt by the ODFW to simplify angling regulations.

After some additional exploring some of the ponds and small lakes in the sand dunes north of North Bend – I am now convinced that there are warmwater fish populations in most of them. Largemouth bass and bluegills seem to be the most common fish species in most of the smaller ponds, but a few have black crappie and yellow perch. While I doubt if any of the ponds have a strong forage base, the lack of fishing pressure has allowed a few bluegills to reach at least nine inches in length. While some of the ponds can be fished from the bank, a float tube or a kayak will definitely increase an angler’s options.

As for the central Oregon coast, spring all-depth halibut season – less than half the season’s quota of 135,742 pounds had been caught entering last week’s three-day opener and an additional opener on July 5 – 7 seems certain with a July 19-21 opener very likely.

Recent catches of tuna out of both Newport and Charleston hopefully are indicators of a good season ahead.

Crabbing continues to be mediocre at Charleston and Winchester Bay with some soft crabs are being reported.