Pete Heley Outdoors – 3/19/2014

The ocean chinook season opened as usual on March 15th, but with very little press or participation. In most years, almost all of the Umpqua’s spring chinook are caught above the bridge at Scottsburg, however last year the Umpqua was muddy when most of the springers moved upriver resulting in a poor catch and reduced fishing pressure.

That may be why enough people tried for springers in the ocean and lowermost river to actually catch some. I would not recommend fishing these spots as a “Plan A”, but these spots definitely qualify as a viable “Plan B” – especially if the Umpqua River muddies up as an angler can find reduced turbidity around high tide.

According to the folks at the Wells Creek Inn, who sponser a contest each year for the heaviest Umpqua River spring chinook, as of Sunday nobody had turned in a springer for this year’s contest – even though about 30 people had signed up for the contest.

Signing up for the contest is relatively easy and simply consists of purchasing one of the T-shirts or hooded sweatshirts produced for this year’s contest.

This is the time of the year when some of the heaviest largemouth are landed and over the next month they will be gradually moving into ever more shallow water – as they approach the time that they actually spawn. The Umpqua River’s smallmouth bass should also be approaching the spawn and the quickest places to warm up will be those coves or bank indentions that have little or no current in them.

The yellow perch that have actually spawned usually move to somewhat deeper water than they were in just before or while spawning.

Lots of lakes are scheduled to be stocked this week – including Lake Marie and Loon Lake each of which is slated to receive 2,000 legal rainbows. Most of the Florence-area lakes are also scheduled to be planted this week including Alder (850 legals, 100 12-inchers and 36 16-inchers), Buck (850 legals and 36 16-inchers), Carter (2,500 legals), Cleawox (3,000 legals and 186 16-inchers), Dune (850 legals. 100 12-inchers and 36 16-inchers), Elbow (200 12-inchers), Erhart (200 legals), Georgia and North Georgia (150 legals each), Lost (400 12 inchers), Mercer (1,500 12-inchers), Munsel (2,250 12-inchers and 150 16-inchers), Perkins (250 legals),  Siltcoos Lagoon (850 legals, 450 12-inchers, 106 16-inchers), Siltcoos Lake (1,000 12-inchers) and Woahink (1,000 12-inchers)

Roseburg-area lakes slated to be stocked this week include Ben Irving and Plat I reservoirs (1,000 legals each) and Cooper Creek and Galesville  reservoirs (2,000 legals each). A number of lakes in the Waldport/Newport area are also scheduled to receive rainbow trout plants.

About Pete Heley

Writes and self-publishes Oregon and Washington fishing books.
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