Winter steelhead on the Umpqua perhaps

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Central & South Coast Reports – As good as offshore bottom fishing can be at this time of year, ocean conditions keep opportunities few and far between. Predictions for the coming week don’t look optimistic. Few charters have been getting out and some have closed shop except for sight-seeing tours.

There are chances when the waves are moderate to cast for redtailed surf perch. Catches have been holding up for these tasty critters.

When boaters do catch a break in offshore conditions, this is the time of year when lingcod start moving into the shallows, preparing for the upcoming spawn in January and February.

Mussel harvesting is closed from Heceta Head near Florence south the California border. It’s advised to call the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474 for the latest info before heading out to take mussels anywhere on the coast.

Siuslaw Chinook anglers are taking large Chinook occasionally as is often the case in November and report plenty of coho in the system. It’s getting late for Chinook here, though.

Siltcoos Lake is eons old, dating back to an earlier ice age. It has been productive recently for coho although some sorting may be required this late in the season. Tenmile and Tahkenitch are also producing coho. This fishery is scheduled to remain open through December.

Winter steelhead are being caught on the mainstem Umpqua River. This is a catch-and-release fishery, however, as steelhead must be of hatchery origin to keep here and these are not. A few steelhead are being caught on the North Umpqua but it has been fairly slow.

Steelheading will start up around the middle of December on the Coos and Coquille. Wild coho can be kept through the end of November.

Chinook fishing has really dropped off at Coos Bay following recent rains. Precipitation hasn’t hurt the crabbing, though, as boats have continued to take limits or near-limits. Rock fishing has been good from the jetties as well.

Rogue Bay is predictably done for Chinook with the exception of a few lingering around the mouth of Indian Creek. Boats are taking Chinook and, occasionally, winter steelhead around Agness. Steelheading for summers is fair but steady on the middle Rogue. Plugs have been most effective. Steelheading has been quite productive on the upper Rogue as fish just keep on coming with the strong run this year. Summers are expected to provide action well into December.

The water level is on the rise at the Chetco River but won’t hit a terribly high mark. It’s forecast to top 6,600 cfs by this coming Sunday and drop in to the coming week. This isn’t so outrageously high that plunkers won’t be able to find a fish or two as long as the water isn’t muddy. Cured salmon eggs are optional as Spin ‘n’ Glos will take fish with or without ’em.

Elk and Sixes rivers, with the late run experience here, have been productive at times but results have been irregular. A report the came in late on Wednesday this week told of crowded conditions with typical parking headaches but good fishing on the Sixes River.