Monthly Archives: February 2012

Kobe Bryant needs to stop blaming management for Lakers’ problems.

When it comes to helping make the Los Angeles Lakers competitive, Kobe Bryant needs to look inward and stop blaming management or his teammates. This year, Kobe is making more than 25 million dollars. When combined with the more than 18 million that Pau Gasol is making and the 14.9 million that Andrew Bynam is making does not leave much to pay quality teammates to surround them. On the other hand, Dwayne Wade took far less than what he could have demanded and managed to convince Lebron James and Chris Bosh to take less than their maximum salaries. Wade is making 15.5 million this season and James and Bosh are making just over 16 million. If the Miami Heat trio had each demanded and gotten their maximum contracts, they may have had to play three on five, or force their team to go way over the salary cap and pay a very heavy penalty.

Despite a vast amount of unwarranted hate, the Miami trio put team above personal gain and that is something that Bynam, Gasol and especially Bryant has yet to do. Kobe’s hefty contract is only slightly more expensive, on a per minute basis, than are the contracts of Andrew Bynam and Pau Gasol.

Kobe also seems to insist on getting plenty of shots, even when they are not falling, and when the team seems to be more successful when he shoots less. Kobe has never made as much as 47 percent of his field goal attempts in the regular season and this year he is making less than 44 percent of his shots. As this is being written, Bryant’s PER (player efficiency rating) is 23.52 and his salary this season is $25,244,493. Lebron’s PER is 32.42 (nearly 38 percent higher than Kobe’s and his salary of $16,022,500 is less than 64 percent of Kobe’s salary. Dwayne Wade’s PER of 28.14 is nearly 20 percent higher than Kobe’s, yet Wade’s salary of $15,691,000 is less than 61 percent of Kobe’s.

The point I am attempting to make is that NBA players should look inward before blaming coaching or management on a team’s woes. The most successful teams are the ones that get the most bang for their bucks, but the players can do a lot to help make that happen.

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Pete Heley Outdoors

The ocean chinook salmon fishery decision for this year should be coming out within the next couple of weeks and if the season starts on March 15th, like it usually does, that means that there will be the possibility of bottomfish/chinook salmon combo trips for the last half of March. Actually, the possibility for such trips will continue for other ports where there are shallow water bottomfish possibilities.

There may be a few spring chinook in the Umpqua River by the time you read this, but someone has to go out and actually catch one before the numerous other spring chinook anglers will begin fishign for them. Usually, the first such fish is caught from the Umpqua River during the first week in March and the first few springers are caught between the Scottsburg Bridge and Sawyers Rapids.

Crabbing success at Winchester Bay has been pretty much limited to boat crabbers who are crabbing at Half Moon Bay. Dock crabbing has been very slow and these shorebound crabbers have to make the decision of crabbing as low in the river and as close to the ocean as they can (the old Coast Guard Pier) or try slightly less muddy water (Dock A). Dock 9 would be a compromise choice. Miserable weather and rough ocean conditions reduced fishing pressure on the South Jetty to almost nothing. The South Jetty has been offering consistent fishing to those who fish it when conditions permit.

As usual, lots of would-be surfperch anglers are starting to ask questions about when the Umpqua River’s famed surfperch run is going to start. If this year’s run is like every other run in recent memory, the perch will enter the Umpqua River in good numbers within a couple of weeks of the third week in May. In recent years, the run has lasted longer, as much as three months. But there have been periods, some as long as a full week, where the perch don’t seem to bite – or they bite so early in the morning that most anglers miss out. While many anglers are impatiently waiting for these perch to enter the river, a few other anglers are making good catches of these perch in the surf. Rough surf conditions can limit surf fishing opportunities, but at least these anglers will have the chance to actually catch some redtailed surfperch over the next 10 weeks while other perch anglers are sitting on their thumbs waiting for the female perch to enter the river.

Two thousand trout are slated to be planted in Loon Lake next week and also, the third week in March, when Lake Marie is also scheduled to receive 2,000 trout. This week, 6,000 trout were scheduled to be dumped into Empire Lakes and 3,000 in Saunders Lake. Central Oregon has some interesting trout possibilities going on right now. These include: (1) flyfishing the Crooked River for mostly rainbow trout below Prineville Reservoir’s Bowman Dam; (2) fishing from shore with nightcrawlers on Crescent Lake for brown trout to more than ten pounds; and (3) fishing for bull trout on Lake Billy Chinook with the best fishing being with large trolled plugs or small baitfish such as anchovies or herring on the reservoir’s Metolius Arm which opens to fishing on March 1st.

Extremely heavy fishing pressure canceled the second half of the proposed two two-day sturgeon fishing seasons for late February. The season was for the Willamette River below Willamette Falls and included the Multnomah Channel and Gilbert River. The quota allowed the retention of 1,768 sturgeon and 1,535 sturgeon were reported kept during the first two day period of Feb. 17 and 18. With more than 86 percent of the quota taken during the first two days, the ODFW was forced to cancel the second two day season (Feb. 24 and 25) since it appeared that more than 700 sturgeon would be caught on the next day of legal retention – greatly exceeding the total quota.

A good example of the trout plants being heaviest where the human population is largest might be Henry Hagg Lake. Henry Hagg is located in Washington County near Hillsboro and is one of relatively few Oregon lakes not open the year around. This year, the lake opens for fishing on Saturday, March 3rd (despite being listed as opening March 4th in the 2012 angling synopsis) and will have 18,000 trout planted for the opener in addition to 600 jumbo trout weighing up to 15 pounds that were planted earlier.

For the first time in more than 50 years, steelhead, chinook salmon and sockeye salmon ascending the Deschutes River will be able to potentially spawn in the Deschutes, Metolius and Crooked rivers above Lake Billy Chinook. This year, about half the returning adults that are trapped will be released into Lake Billy Chinook in the hopes that they will ascend the lake’s three major tributaries to successfully spawn and the other half will be used to for brook stock at the Round Butte Hatchery to raise smolts for release into Lake Billy Chinook in 2013. While it is exciting that many more miles of spawning areas will be available to these anadromous fish, the young salmonoids will be an additional forage source for these streams’ large trout, especially the brown and bull trout that inhabit these streams.

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Winchester Bay Word Scamble

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It’s Striper Tiime!

Although several larger stripers were reported taken last year, the largest striper actually weighed in at the Stockade Market in Winchester Bay was this 50-inch, 45 pound brute taken by Ted Armstrong.

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Word Jumble – Oregon Fish

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Pete Heley Outdoors

This coming Saturday the Lower Umpqua Flycasters will host their annual Fly Fishing Expo at the Reedsport High School. The event will be held at the Reedsport High School and run from 9 am until 4 pm. As free events go, this is as good as it gets with fly tying and casting clinics and informational and equipment displays. There are also raffle drawings and making this event even more unique is that despite the free admission, there are free door prizes given out.

The Emerald Bass Club’s Front Bite Open, held last Saturday on Tenmile Lakes, featured some very good catches with the team of Dodd/Wicks winning the event with 20.41 pounds for their five keeper bass. Their winning weight was barely one ounce more than second place and only 18 ounces more than the third place team. Some of the event’s entrants traveled several hundred miles to compete in what is almost certainly the most popular bass fishing event held on any lake in the northwest. Hopefully, would-be bass anglers will take a look at the tournament’s results and decide that they do not have to wait until late spring to start catching bass.

Judging from a recent ODFW online post, there is a serious problem on the Umpqua River. It seems that a number of anglers on the river are finclipped the adipose fin of the steelhead they catch prior to releasing them. It seems that these anglers are hoping that these minor wounds on these fish will heal quickly enough so that either the anglers or perhaps some of their friends can claim that they are catching hatchery fish when these fish are recaught. Besides stressing the fish more than a simple quick release would, such on-stream fish mutilation is strickly illegal and the ODFW is hoping that people witnessing such behavior contact the Oregon State Police. Anglers catching steelhead with freshly clipped adipose fins should call the Oregon State Police at 541-440-3334 with the location the fish was caught. The unauthorized clipping of the adipose fins of wild steelhead may not result in the intended angler benefit. Although the Umpqua is pretty much a catch and release fishery, there are a small number of hatchery fish that enter the river and if the Umpqua is closed to the retention of all steelhead, even finclipped ones, there is no reason for anyone to clip wild fish in the hopes that they, or their friends, might recatch it later and keep it.

Forty nine lucky Oregon hunters won a 2013 sports pac and one California hunter won a non-resident hunting license because they applied early for their 2012 fall big game controlled hunts. The Sports Pacs were valued at $ 164.75 and the Non-Resident Hunting License at $ 140.40 and they were awarded to the lucky 50 hunters who applied for their big game controlled hunts by January 31st. Since only 13,887 people applied early, the odds of winning are pretty good as lotteries go – and the non-winning early entrants are eligible for future drawings giving out 30 such prizes for those applying my March 15th and 20 more for those applying by April 15th. So the earlier you apply for such hunts, the better your chance of winning a sports pac for next year or a nonresident hunting license if you live outside of Oregon.

For 45 years, a major source of fishing gear and especially upper Rogue River fishing information will no longer be available. Pat’st Hand-Tied Flies is in the process of selling their inventory prior to closing down. While most of their business was from salmon and steelhead anglers fishing the upper Rogue, I always stopped in for current information when I was fishing the Rogue system above and including Lost Creek Reservoir and the Holy Water. In the future, anglers, anglers are going to have to get their information from spots much further downstream and it will almost certainly be less relevant. It would be nice if the resort on Lost Creek Reservoir would pick up the slack regarding the area’s fishing info, but that is unlikely.

Years ago, when I was much younger, I used to try combining serious fishing with late night bar visits. Fortunately, I did this almost exclusively on long trips where I was pretty much anonymous and I only did it because I was convinced that my vast powers of recovery would not limit my fishing ability in any way.

Well, with years of hindsight, I can safely say that I was living in a false reality and I can now admit that my fishing stamina, casting ability and even my starting times were not always what they should have been – all because I refused to fall asleep too early. But there may be hope in the near future for those that want to emulate my early fishing behavior. In the most recent issue of Science News, in an article by Laura Sanders, test rats were dosed with a compound from an ancient herbal remedy and found to be nearly impervious to the effects of drinking alcohol. The compound is from the seeds of an ancient tree, Hovenia, first described as a hangover remedy in the year 659. The compound, referred to as DHM, not only reduces the effects of alcohol intake, but greatly shortens those same effects. If humans respond to the compound as these test rats did, there may be a much easier price to pay for anglers, and other people, wanting to stay up late and still get up early.

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Pete’s Trivia-Homer Hitters

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Oregon Peaks Trivia

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Pete Heley Outdoors

Crabbing from the docks at Winchester Bay was slow over the weekend and while those crabbing from boats did somewhat better, any legal crabs caught were well-earned. After a slow few days late last week, anglers fishing the Umpqua’s South Jetty did better over the weekend. As usual, most of the catch was greenling and surfperch and the most popular bait was sand shrimp.

It seems that sturgeon fishing pressure has picked up and some fish have been caught. Anglers have been fishing from around Reedsport all the way upriver to above tidewater and a few miles above the community of Wells Creek. Even though nuisance bites suffered by sturgeon anglers in the winter go way down, the most popular bait remains sand shrimp. At least one striped bass was reported taken last week from the Smith River.
Most of the area’s steelhead streams have good populations in them, so the best way to pick which one to fish is to go strictly by stream flows and levels – and perhaps which ones hold the most hatchery or finclipped fish.

Skilled, or perhaps determined is a better word, bass anglers should start catching some of their largest bass of the year. Stable weather conditions seem to provide better fishing and the number of bites will almost certainly be low, but it is possible to catch bass in the late winter and early spring that are virtually uncatchable the rest of the year. If using plastics from a boat or float tube, it is important to keep the craft stable enough to be able to recognize what will almost certainly be a light bite. Anglers fishing crankbaits need to fish them slow and near the bottom. On sunny days, it seems that the afternoon fishing is best – possibly because such mornings are usually quite cold. Early season morning bass anglers should look forward to misty or overcast morning as they are usually somewhat warmer although bass in deeper water most likely do not react to any but the largest temperatuare changes.

According to the newsletter put out by Eugene’s Emerald Bass Club, the annual Frostbite Tournament that takes place on Tenmile Lakes each winter is scheduled for Saturday, February 18th this year. The newsletter states that this year’s contest will run from 4 am through 4 pm and some of the past tournaments have produced some very impressive bass catches including one tournament in the last few years where it took more than 20 pounds to place in the top ten. However, early season weather conditions can vary greatly and possibly cause catch rates to do the same. But chances are, the tourney weighs are usually pretty interesting.

Yellow perch should be spawning within the next several weeks and should be at their fattest and with the exception of Woahink and Munsel lakes should be catchable in no more than about ten feet of water. Anglers wishing to partake of the rather poor crappie possibities in our area, fishing at dusk will improve their chances.

Even though lakes that receive trout plants in Coos and Douglas counties will not be planted until March, the lakes and ponds to the north along Highway 101 have good populations of planted trout. One way to decide which one of them if to take the number of trout planted in them and divide that number by the size of the water that received the trout. I will do the math for you this time and I am including trout planted this week: Alder Lake (1386 trout / 3 acres = 462 trout per acre), , Buck (886 trout / 3 acres = 295.3 trout per acre), Carter Lake (1500 trout / 28 acres = 53.6 trout per acre), Cleawox Lake (5000 trout / 61 trout per acre), Dune Lake (1386 trout / 3 acres = 462 trout per acre), Elbow Lake (600 trout / 13 acres = 46.2 trout per acre), Erhart Lake (450 trout / 6 acres = 75 trout per acre), Georgia Lake (150 trout / 2.5 acres = 60 trout per acre), Lost Lake (150 trout / 6 acres = 25 trout per acre), Munsel Lake (2800 trout / 110 acres = 25.4 trout per acre), North Georgia (150 trout / 1 acre = 150 trout per acre), Perkins Lake (236 trout / 4 acres = 59 trout per acre) and Siltcoos Lagoon (920 trout / 5 acres = 184 trout per acre).

There are other factors to consider regarding picking a lake to fish for planted trout. Although the figures in the paragraph above cover trout planted in the last two weeks, as the trout stocking season progresses, the choice becomes more difficult as fishing pressure, fishing success and trout predation (otters, cormorants, ospreys etc.) all affect the number of trout available for you to catch in each given water. Trout anglers should also be aware that in the early season when water temperatures are cold, the more shallow lakes respond more quickly to warm afternoons (relatively speaking) and their trout may be more active. Later in the season, when water temperatues rise, the deeper lakes may have the most active trout.

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What advantages do the superbraid lines have over monofilament?
The superbraids have a number of features that are advantages in certain situations. They have almost zero stretch which allows better hook-setting and strike detection when one has a lot of line out. They also don’t deteriorate when exposed to sunlight for long periods of time. But perhaps the best feature is that they are very thin and that allows long casts and the use of much less weight when fishing bait on the bottom where there is tidal action or current.

What conditions tend to make a lake a better nightfishing lake when it comes to bass?
Lakes with warm water, lots of boating or fishing activity during daylight hours and very clear water all seem to increase the amount of feeding bass do at night.

How can I compensate for my “sense of loss” when I catch a large female bass after she has just spawned?
One way to minimize such “feelings” is to weight your bass prior to the spawn and to measure their length after the spawn.

How come some seaperch anglers, when fishing two hooks, catch more fish when using one hook baited with a scented plastic bait and one hook baited with sand shrimp, often catch more fish than anglers fishing with sand shrimp on both hooks?
Many of the scented baits, especially Berkley Gulp products, have a very “fish-attracting” scent, but the main reason that they can improve one’s seaperch catch is that they stay on the hook and anglers fishing two hooks baited with sand shrimip often do not have bait on their hooks when they think that they do.

Why have the crappie fisheries in many western Oregon lakes deteriorated recently?
Fish populations can vary for a number of reasons, but in western Oregon, the biggest reason for subpar crappie fishing is that many lakes have recently acquired yellow perch populations and in most western Oregon lakes, the perch seem to outcompete the crappies. Reduced crappie catches in Agate Lake, Tenmile Lakes and Willow Lake can be almost entirely blamed on yellow perch.

Do fish really fight “harder” when hooked on ultralight tackle?
Not really. No matter what a fish does after being hooked, you won’t feel any more pull than the drag setting on your reel. So even when the fish is taking line, the actual pull you feel will be less than it would be on heavier tackle. However, light line can give the fish a better chance of breaking you off, or reaching weeds or snags.

What do you consider the major difference between bass and salmon anglers?
Anglers usually fish for these fish species for different reasons. Most salmon anglers intend to keep their fish and appreciate the salmon’s strong fight and good flavor (food-wise). Most bass anglers, especially the more serious ones, tend to place the most importance on actually fooling or enticing the bass into biting.

How can I ensure that my young children enjoy their initial fishing experiences?
(1) Make sure that they are warm and  comfortable.
(2) Start them off fishing for bluegills and other panfish and do so when they are likely to be biting well. Young children have very short attention spans.
(3) Downsize their gear so that they can actually handle it. A four year old has no idea where the tip of that six foot rod is and such a rod would seem very heavy to them.
(4) Make the fishing trip for them and not about what you and other adults would like to do.

What single fishing rule can most improve my catch?
Tailor your fishing strategies to the most wary fish in your area. You will be very surprised by how many “dumb” fish you will catch while doing so.

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