Rough ocean and bar conditions limited the number of anglers attempting to take advantage of of the current liberal regulations regarding coho salmon in the ocean and fishing has been disappointing for most ocean salmon anglers. Salmon fishing in the Umpqua River near Reedsport has also been disappointing, but it seems that on most days there is at least one short section of the river with fair numbers of cooperative salmon.
Salmon anglers fishing the lower Umpqua from shore have been catching a surprising number of salmon – including more than two dozen last Saturday. Coho salmon have been making up an increasing portion of the catch, although fair numbers of Chinooks are also present. Lots of salmon are holding in the legal-to-fish area of the East boat Basin (below the bridge spanning Winchester Creek). The salmon are in a state of constant agitation due to the number of anglers fishing the area and the presense of seals and sea lions, but there are so many salmon that several are caught each day.
Until this last Friday, virtually all the salmon caught at this spot (known locally as the “Mud Hole” were caught on spinners and spoons, but on Friday several salmon were caught by anglers using bobber and bait rigs. The most popular baits are sand shrimp and salmon roe or a combination of both baits. Most anglers using this technique only fish their bait a few feet beneath their bobbers. Almost all the salmon taken by this method will either be Chinook salmon or coho jacks, while the cohos will be caught on lures.
While crabbing in the Lower Umpqua River remains slow, it seems that a few good catches are made each day. Crabbing in the ocean has been much better. Most ocean crabbers head a short distance north, or south to get out of the river water and usually make their best catches in water less than 35 feet deep.
The first of the crabs tagged and released for Winchester Bay’s Crab Bounty Hunt are finally being turned into the Sportsman Cannery. If a lot more tagged crabs are not turned in over the next ten days, the odds of those that do turn in tagged crabs winning a cash prize is going to be really,really good.
Many salmon anglers over the last few weeks have fished Coos Bay and the fishing has been very good. As the Coos slows down, the Siuslaw and Coquille should pick up some of the slack.
Even later, some of the smaller Curry County streams will peak. Last year, a giant Chinook was pulled from tiny Hunter Creek over Thanksgiving weekend. It weighed 58 pounds and ended up at the taxidermist.