What’s Fishin’ In Oregon (7-28-11)

To highlight salty and summery doin’s around Oregon, I’m switching things up in this week’s edition of Let’s-rip-off-ODFW’s-weekly-Recreation-Report-and-post-it-on-our-site-in-a-desperate-bid-to-provide-content-and-draw-eyes.

Usually the “Marine” and Columbia Zones are at the end of the line, but this week, I’m putting them first.

Why? Well, albacore and summer-runs, of course.

“Tuna fishing has been ‘stupid’ easy this year,” reported AndyAlbacore, err, Andy Schneider about this time last week.

Of course, tuna locations change by the day — the Pacific is not exactly your back 40 stocker trout lake — but the latest from ODFW is that the catch has picked up off a pair of South Coast ports.

Then there’s the summer steelhead run up the Lower Columbia. Earlier this week we got word that it’s possible this season’s run could tie 2009’s huge — and we mean HUGE — handling record of 16,000 hatchery and wild fish in July.

Yesterday we got a pic of six of ’em that had been waylaid just below the Rainier-Longview bridge.

SITTING ON ANCHOR IN JUST 6 TO 8 FEET OF WATER, CLIENTS OF BILL SWANN LANDED THESE SUMMERS ON COON SHRIMP TAGGED BEHIND SIZE 6-8 SPIN-N-GLOS AND WORDEN'S U-20 FLATFISH. (SWANNY'S GUIDED FISHING)

Here’s more, and other highlights to consider for your weekend fishing plans:

MARINE ZONE

  • Tuna are as close as 15 to 20 miles offshore in some places on the coast – which is about as close as they come most years. Fishing for them was a little tougher this week with most anglers landing around 2 fish per angler on most of the coast. Charleston and Bandon tuna fishers more than doubled that this week with four and 10 fish per anger. Charter operators in several ports are now offering tuna fishing trips. Tuna usually remain off the Oregon coast into October.
  • Last week private and charter boats from Pacific City, Garibaldi, Bandon, Gold Beach and Brookings returned with limits or near limits of rockfish. The rest of the coast the catches ranged between two to three rockfish per angler. Lingcod were harder to come with catches of two or three fish for every 10 anglers.

    Starting July 21, bottomfish anglers must stay within the 20-fathom line (defined by waypoints). The closure of bottom fishing beyond the 20-fathom line is to reduce the likelihood of anglers catching yelloweye rockfish and the catch-and-release mortality of the rockfish, which is considered overfished by the National Marine Fisheries Service

  • Coho fishing improved last week on the central coast with most anglers landing at least one fish. It remains spotty for the rest of the coast with catches of between one and two fish for every 10 anglers. Fishing for fin-clipped coho opened July 2 off the central coast.
  • The next minus tide series starts early in the morning of July 27 and continues through Aug. 3.

    The annual conservation closure north of Tillamook Head to protect newly set razor clams began July 15 and continues through Sept. 30. Since 1967, ODFW has closed the 18 miles of beaches in Clatsop County to razor clam digging on July 15. The closure is to protect newly-set young clams that are establishing themselves on the beach during this time of the year.

  • Most crabbers had average catches between one and three crab. Crabbing in the ocean this time of year can be very productive, but also dangerous because of wind, sea and bar conditions.

COLUMBIA ZONE

  • Summer steelhead are abundant in the lower Columbia River.
  • Fall chinook season opens Monday August 1 from Buoy 10 upstream to the Oregon/Washington Border above McNary Dam.
  • Sturgeon angling is open from Buoy 10 upstream to Marker 82 near Multnomah Falls through July 31; however, retention above Wauna powerlines is only allowed on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

SOUTHWEST ZONE

  • Warm water fishing continues to be good at several area lakes including Agate and Willow lakes,  Applegate Reservoir and Lake Selmac.
  • For the trout enthusiast, they’re still biting at Eel, Empire and Fish lakes, and at Applegate and Lost Creek reservoirs.
  • Anglers on the upper Rogue River can choose to fish spring chinook, summer steelhead or trout, and fishing should be good.
  • Check out ODFW’s new publication 50 places to fish within 60 minutes of Roseburg. Print versions available at ODFW Roseburg’s office and local visitor information centers.

NORTHWEST ZONE

  • Kilchis River: Fishing for cutthroat trout is fair to good. Tidewater and lower river areas will hold most fish, but some are making their way upstream. Small spinners are a good option for these fish.
  • Salmon River: The main stem river and most streams are open for cutthroat trout. Sea run cutthroat trout are starting to show in tidewater and up into the lower reaches on the main stem river. Fishing is fair to good using traditional methods such as casting small spinners or fly fishing.
  • Yaquina River: Cutthroat trout fishing is fair to good in the Yaquina and Big Elk basins. Fishing the upper tidewater and lower river reaches is starting to produce some sea run cutthroat trout. Using light tackle with small lures or flies can be very effective.

THIS NESTUCCA RIVER SUMMER-RUN "INHALED" A SAND SHRIMP TAIL AND CORKY COMBO LAST WEEKEND, REPORTS ANGLER JASON HARRIS. (WRIGHT & McGILL/EAGLE CLAW PHOTO CONTEST)

WILLAMETTE ZONE

  • Spring chinook fishing is fair on the Clackamas and Sandy rivers.
  • Summer steelhead and spring chinook have entered the Santiam basin and will be the main focus of anglers for the next several weeks.
  • Warmer weather and recent trout stocking should make for some excellent family fishing on lakes, ponds and streams throughout the zone. Read on to find a fishing hole near you.

CENTRAL ZONE

  • Fishing has been good at several popular fly-fishing destinations including the Fall and Metolius rivers and Davis and Hosmer lakes.
  • The season’s first steelhead are arriving at the lower Deschutes River and numbers will continue to increase over the next few months.

SOUTHEAST ZONE

  • Crappie fishing continues to improve on many area reservoirs.
  • Anthony, Grand Ronde and Fish (Halfway) lakes and Eagle Creek are now accessible and have been stocked.
  • Trout fishing continues to be good on many are lakes and reservoirs.

NORTHEAST ZONE

  • Fishing for stocked rainbow trout continues to be good on several area lakes and ponds including Luger Springs Pond, Magone Lake and Noregaard Pond.
  • Water levels are receding to fishable levels on the Grande Ronde, Imnaha and Wallowa rivers and both trout and bass fishing are improving.

BROWNLEE ZONE

  • Crappie fishing is slow and they have a very light bite (10-20 feet deep).  The crappie have been fairly large this year, with many over 12 inches but are hard to get. Currently, the jig colors that are working are red/chartruese, black/chartruese, and chartruese.  Catfish angling is picking up but has gotten a slow start.  Bass fishing is fair. Call Idaho Power Company’s recording at 1-800-422-3143 to get information on access at recreational sites or visit their website http://www.idahopower.com/OurEnvironment/WaterInformation/Reservoir/
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