It’s feast or famine when it comes to fishing Winchester Bay.
Salmon anglers are enjoying good fishing in the ocean for chinook salmon, but success rates are varying greatly. Some anglers have got boat limits of chinook, while other anglers have to fish hard for a meager catch. On Saturday, Scott Howard of Strike Zone Charters got six chinookds for his three passengers (a boat limit). A few sport anglers did likewise, but the overall success was spotty. The fish count worked out to nearly two salmon per boat.
A few salmon, almost certainly late run spring chinook, have been caught in the lower river and they have weighed as much as 22 pounds. Herring is the bait of choice.
Likewise, the redtail surfperch run has been a feast or famine situation. Every day there are boat limits of perch taken, but the usual catch is usually much modest. What is unusual this year is that fishing success does not seem very dependent upon fishing skill. It seems like the catch rate depends a lot more on luck than it does any particular strategy. The Umpqua River surfperch run is made up predominately of female redtailed surfperch and current reports indicate that the baby perch, which are born live, are no very far advanced and the run should last several more weeks.
Fishing the jetty for bottomfish and the surf for “pinkfins” (almost all males) has been less productive than normal and that may have to do with fairly strong afternoon winds. But there are good catches amidst the angling misery at these places as well.