The “Best of the Creek” steelhead contest was held this last weekend on Tenmile and Eel creeks, Information on the contest, obtained via Gould Buford, had Noah Myfiewiez winning the two day contest with four steelhead weighing a total of 34.10 pounds. Noah also had the second largest steelhead weighed in at 12.70 pounds. Doug Jones had the largest steelhead weighed at 14.91 pounds and had three steelhead weighing a total of 25.87 pounds for second place overall. Most of the steelhead weighed in during the contest were caught in Eel Creek.
The winner for the best smoked salmon/steelhead was Chuck Myers who donated the Bradley Smoker he won back to the STEP chapter. Myers and his close friend, “RC”, who won this contest last year seem to have a lock on this contest. Congrats to Mr. Myers for helping set up the prize structure for next year’s smoked fish competition.
Low, clear water has slowed steelhead success along the entire Oregon coast, but a few serious anglers are taking advantage of the limited holding options such water offers steelhead. Some coastal streams that allow the retention of one unclipped steelhead per day (five per season), such as the Elk, Sixes, Pistol, Rogue and Winchuck rivers, are being very heavily fished
Crabbing pressure picked up markedly over last weekend at Winchester Bay and some fair catches were made. However, the best crabbing in the area is still at Charleston and will remain so until the Umpqua River drops some more. Last week, there were a few instances where boats could venture out into the ocean to crab. A good sign for dock crabbers is that one crabber made a good catch of Dock A Sunday morning and Dock A is quite a ways upstream from the ocean indicating that perhaps the river has fallen enough to become slightly more salty.
The Southj Jetty seems to still be producing decent botttomfishing and the lingcod fishing is excellent when anglers can cross the Umpqua River Bar. Many of the lingcod caught recently have already spawned.
Diamond Lake, as of January 1st, immediately became Oregon’s most popular ice-fishing destination and once the ice was thick enough for safe fishing, has given up some very good catches of rainbow trout. The ODFW would like anglers at Diamond Lake to fill out catch reports and has made the forms available at the resort marina and at the north boat ramp cleaning station. If very many anglers do not fill out the forms, the end result could be lower stocking rates at the lake – and with the lake now subject to year-round fishing pressure, fishimg success could definitely be harmed in the long term.
Some other good waters for ice fishing would be Lake of the Woods where anglers are catching mostly yellow perch, but also have a chance to catch rainbow trout, brown trout, kokanee, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, black crappie and brown bullheads. Dog Lake, in southeastern Oregon, has been producing some good-sized yellow perch with a chance at largemouth bass, crappies, brown bullheads and bluegills. At Dog Lake, any cutthroat trout have to be released. The places in eastern Oregon where anglers can currently ice-fish for trout are numerous and include almost every fishing spot that is open the entire year. Crescent Lake has been providing some decent fishing for mackinaw and recently gave up a 26 pounder (but iced up shortly after the fish was caught). Anglers that fish the year-round sections of the Deschutes near Bend need to be aware that the stream flows are high with the end of the irrigation season.
Yellow perch fishing in our area has slowed down somewhat, but should improve by mid-February when the perch start getting close to actually spawning. Tenmile seems to have the best trout fishing, but Siltcoos and Tahkenitch are worthy alternatives. Slightly warmer water should improve the overall fishing picture.