Pete Heley Outdoors 7/23/2014

After a week or so break, tuna are once again being caught by sport anglers launching out of Winchester Bay. Of course other ports along the Oregon coast are also producing tuna, but tuna fishing by sport anglers launching out of Winchester Bay has been virtually nonexistent over the last three years – so this year’s opportunity is much appreciated.

Somewhat surprisingly, redtailed surfperch were still being caught in good numbers through last weekend with the best action occuring above Marker 12.

Winchester Bay Crabbing continues to improve rapidly and boat crabbers are doing well in Half Moon Bay. Perhaps of more interest – the first crab limits were reported last weekend by people crabbing from the Old Coast Guard Pier.

Most of the coho salmon during last week were several miles offshore and difficult for sport anglers to reach in windy conditions, but they moved closer inshore on Sunday and many anglers enjoyed good fishing in water from 150 to 200 feet deep. unclipped cohos are starting to outnumber finclipped cohos and the cohos seemed to be scattered throughout the water column, but seem to be moving closer to the surface – with one boar seeing cohos feeding on the surface on Sunday.

What would really improve salmon fishing success would be a several degree increase in in the temperature of the inshore ocean water. Right now, it appears that the cold water is impacting the number of Chinook salmon entering the Umpqua River and reducing the chances of catching the ones that do. Last week shorebound spimmer flingers at Half Moon Bay observed some Chinook salmon swimming near the bank on their upriver migration that showed no interest in the spinners they were casting. A week ago, an angler casting a spinner at Half Moon Bay hooked and landed a 29-inch finclipped steelhead.

As those salmon move upriver towards Reedsport, into warmer water, they seem to become more active and more likely to bite and some boats have made decent catches of Chinook salmon amid generally slow fishing.

Over the last few weeks, the smallmouth bass fishing on the Umpqua River above Scottsburg, while generally very good, has varied greatly on a day to day basis. Some stretches of the river are receiving a surprising amount of fishing pressure directed at smallmouth bass.

About Pete Heley

Writes and self-publishes Oregon and Washington fishing books.
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