It has been two weeks since two anglers made a good catch of pinkfins (redtailed surfperch) from the Umpqua River above Winchester Bay and surfperch fishing has been very slow since then. Usually the length of time from the first good catch until everybody is catching them is far shorter than two weeks.
But I believe that part of the gap this year was caused by a number of anglers willing to put in the time to try to catch the first good batch of redtailed surfperch. That first good catch was most likely made immediately after those fish arrived – while during most years, almost all the perch anglers wait until someone else catches the first good batch and sometimes the earliest pinkfins are in the river for a week, or more, before someone actually tries catching them.
Quite a few boats caught a few pinkfins over Memorial Day Weekend, but the catch that caught my attention was the boat that caught 27 perch on Sunday afternoon. They caught one perch in the morning and then 26 more in a short period of time several hours later. While this catch will not guarantee that other anglers are going to make good pinkfin catches – it does indicate that there are enough perch in the river to at least give perch anglers a chance at making a good catch.
Hopefully, this catch will not be the second false alarm and is instead an indicator of much improved surfperch angling on the Umpqua River above Winchester Bay.
In the meantime, anglers fishing the surf at such beaches as the third parking lot (southermost) at Winchester Bay, at the end of Sparrow Park Road (Gardiner) and near the mouth of the Siltcoos River (Siltcoos Beach Access Road) are still enjoying very good surf fishing for the pinkfins.