Pete Heley Outdoors 01/21/ 2015

Although fishing success is largely dependent on water clarity, winter steelhead fishing was very good on the Umpqua River last week. Retired Lakeside postmaster James Thurber fished with Bryan Gill of the Umpqua Angler and landed several steelhead including one finclipped fish. They were fishing above Elkton using plugs.
Bank anglers have been having fair success for steelhead on Tenmile Creek. Most of the fishing pressure has been at, or just below, Spin Reel Park with fair numbers of finclipped keepable fish.

There has been a few surprisingly good catches of largemouth bass taken recently at Tenmile Lakes. The key is to fish slowly near the bottom and some fish have been caught on spinnerbaits, crankbaits, jigs or plastic worms and to not get discouraged since bassfishing in the winter can be very slow. Dwayne Schultz, who spends a fair amount of time in our area despite living near Portland reported catching yellow perch to 11-inches off the fishing dock at the county park on South Tenmile Lake in Lakeside. He may have been more impressed with his own catch if an angler fishing near him hadn’t caught a 15-inch perch while he was fishing. The lucky angler measured the jumbo perch, but didn’t weigh it. Dwayne stated that the perch, which was obviously in pre-spawn condition, was extremely fat.

Oregon’s state record yellow perch weighed two pounds and two ounces and was caught way back in 1971 from a Columbia River slough near Astoria and it appears that this particular perch, had it been actually weighed, would have seriously threatened that record.

Ana Reservoir, a small springfed reservoir in eastern Oregon, with less than 60 surface acres, is about the size of Saunders Lake. Last month, the reservoir gave up the latest of several state records for striped bass-white bass hybrids. This fish, caught on December 10th, but only recently certified by the Oregon Bass and Panfish Club, which keeps track of Oregon’s warmwater fish records.

While most of Ana’s jumbo hybrids are taken on baits such as sand shrimp, this fish struck a rapala and measured 31.5-inches with a girth of 24-inches. At a weight of 18 pounds and 12 ounces, it topped the previous record by a mere two and a half ounces.

The most surprising thing about Ana’s jumbo hybrid stripers is not that they grow fast since the reservoir has a tremendous forage base of tui chubs, but that the hybrid stripers can remain uncaught long enough to reach state record size since virtually any spot in the reservoir can be reached by a long cast from shore.

Many fishing tackle and ODFW retailers now display an ODFW flyer detailing the changes in bottomfish limits that went into effect on January 15th. If you haven’t seen it, the regulations state that China, copper and quillback rockfish are illegal to keep and only three blue rockfish may be kept as part of the seven bottomfish daily limit).

About Pete Heley

Writes and self-publishes Oregon and Washington fishing books.
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