Central & South Coast Reports – There has been frost on the docks some mornings this week at Depoe Bay, but mostly clear weather has provided comfortable offshore experiences for boats launching this week. The ocean has been producing reliable ling cod limits and decent numbers of rockfish. Ocean crabbing has been slow. The limit for rockfish is seven per day, only three of which may be blue rockfish. Cabezon are off-limits until July 1st. The ODFW assures us that sometime in March a rockfish bag limit will be allowed to contain one canary rockfish. The holdup is that the Feds must pass the ruling as well.
Gold Beach and Brookings area beaches have been producing pinkfin surf perch this week. While most catches are short of 15-fish limits, many of these have been three pounds or better. A local favorite is the two-inch Berkley Gulp! Sandworms in Camo or Blood Red.
For those looking to book a charter or accommodations, the 2015 spring all-depth halibut dates will be May 14-16, May 28-30, June 11-13 and June 25-27. The nearshore halibut fishery starts July 1st, seven days a week inside the 40-fathom line through the earlier of the quota filling or Oct. 31st.
A meeting held by the Ocean Salmon Industry Group is taking place in Newport today, February 26, at the Hallmark Resort. In the course of this gathering, the 2015 ocean salmon abundance forecast will be revealed and with it, information for south coast salmon anglers as to what they might expect from this years’ offshore runs. While the announcement will affect all ocean salmon trollers, this is of particular interest to salmon fishers on the Brookings area who often fish for salmonids destined for the Klamath and Sacramento rivers. This information will appear following the meeting at http://www.pcouncil.org, the PFMC website.
The Siletz River is low and clear. As a matter of fact, at less the four feet at Siletz as it is now, it’s considered too low to drift safely in many places.
The new cleaning station at the Port Launch in Florence has been completed. Crabbing in Siuslaw tidewater has been slow with lots of undersized Dungeness.
According to Robert Campbell at Fisherman’s Marine in Oregon City (503-557-5600), Tenmile Lake is heating up for largemouth bass with warmer weather this week. “One fella caught six one day and eight the next; nice ones, too!”
Winchester Bay crabbers have enjoyed an improvement in results with the bay clearing and the salinity level returning to normal but it is still only fair. South jetty fishers have been picking up some rockfish. Umpqua mainstem steelhead had it good last week, not so good recently as the water dropped and cleared. Steelheaders on the South Umpqua were getting a few hatchery keepers according to a report on Monday this week but the river is getting pretty low to fish well.
Crabbing has improved at Coos Bay although most traps and nets are bringing in a lot of red rock crab. Slack tide has been most productive for rockfish and ling cod fishing along the jetties. As is the case for most southwest rivers, the Coos system is low, clear and slow for winter steelhead.
With the lower Rogue flowing at a mere 3,800 cfs at Agness, catches of winter steelhead have slowed. There are still no reports of any spring Chinook hooked here. A similar situation exists on the middle river which as of today is flowing at a paltry 1,900 cfs. Those willing to fish first light are catching winters occasionally on small baits or lures. Waters of the upper Rogue are at bare minimum winter levels which makes steelheading in this stretch a long shot at best.
Offshore anglers launching from Brookings Harbor have been taking mostly limits of rockfish and ling cod. Head either north or south once across the bear. It’s been good either way. The Chetco is low and clear now but stealthy, early morning steelheaders have continued to catch winters. Sand shrimp, a popular bait here, drifted under a bobber has accounted for a number of hookups.
The light sprinkling of rain in the area of the Elk and Sixes has done nothing to alleviate low, clear water conditions but more precipitation is forecast for later today and on Friday.
While Diamond Lake is clear of ice, the water remains cold. This has made for a light bite with smaller dabs of Power Bait most effective.