A Tuesday afternoon trip to the Coquille River provided inconsistent smallmouth action. The first highlight was when my fishing partner, Dwayne Schwartz, hooked a sizable smallmouth on his crankbait – only to have another good-sized smallmouth grab the lure near the boat. Both bass lay on the water’s surface next to the boat while Dwayne how to proceed.
Unfortunately, the slightly smaller bass came off as I readied the net. The smallmouth that Dwayne landed weighed two pounds and six ounces while the bass that escaped appeared to weigh slightly over two pounds. Moments later, Dwayne lost an even larger smallmouth when it leaped and threw his crankbait near the boat. Dwayne estimated that the lucky lunker would have weighed between three and four pounds.
The smallmouth action tapered off about 5 pm, but by 7 pm, the striped bass had become more active. Dwayne lost two stripers and I landed an 18 or 19-incher that gave a good account of itself.
All fish were released, including the striper, since it was well under the 24-inch length required to be a legal catch.
We quit fishing before it became too dark to complicate the boat haulout. Perhaps on our next Coquille River trip we’ll fish a section where we can target largemouth bass and crappies. On this trip we fished near Myrtle Point, but a huge striper of more than 60 pounds was reportedly caught recently near Riverton and shown to at least one area business.