Monthly Archives: August 2012

Website Changes to peteheley.com

If you have been visiting this website (peteheley.com) for some time, you will undoubtedly have noticed the recent site makeover. The site now opens to the bookstore and a major change to the store is that the shipping and handling fee per order has dropped from $3.00 down to $2.00 – no matter how many books are ordered. PayPal remains the only way to order the books via the internet, but checks and money orders can be accepted via snail mail via the address posted on the site.

The fishing map section will, in the near future, be added to the bookstore and the and a list of the fishing maps and their cost will be included on the bookstore and the $2.00 fee for shipping and handling will include both books and maps.

Other recent changes to the website is visitors have to click on Pete’s Blog to visit the site’s articles, puzzles and quizes. The blog page has also been remodeled to allow for longer article titles and should be easier to navigate – especially for people with older eyes.

The About Pete Heley page also includes information about how to add content to the website. It is not automatic, but the information for doing so is included in the final paragraph on the page and any usable information or content will be gratefully accepted and appreciated. I am hoping that guides, tackleshops, anglers and resort owners will take advantage of possible free promotion.

I hope the new changes are appreciated and that visitors undergo the additional minor step required to access the site’s articles. I will be working to make the more than 50 Oregon fishing maps easy to purchase  from the bookstore section of the website.

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Did An Injury Save MLB’s Double Record?

The major league single-season record for doubles has stood since Earl Webb hit 67  way back in 1931 for the Boston Red Sox. The record has stood more more than 70 years and has very seldom been threatened. The second place single-season doubles record stands at 64 and no major league hitter has even hit as much as 60 doubles since 1936.

An average hitter, Webb only played seven major league seasons and had a career batting average of .290. The only time he hit more than 30 doubles was during his record-setting season when he hit those 67 doubles in only 589 official plate appearances – or an average of only 8.79 official plate appearances per double.

However, this season Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds was on a record-threatening doubles pace before being felled by an injury. Despite playing much of the 2012 season with a bum knee that eventually resulted in surgery, Votto hit 36 doubles in his teams first 86 games. Without the bum leg, his doubles total would almost certainly have been higher, but in a 162 season, he was on a pace to hit 68 doubles this season and was averaging a double for every 8.28 plate appearances.

Of course, when he comes back completely healthy, his doubles total may shrink as he hits more homeruns. But when it comes to doubles, Votto, unlike Earl Webb, is no one season wonder as he has hit more than 30 doubles every season he has played in the big leagues except for his first season when he only had 84 official plate appearances. In the meantime, it is absolutely amazing what Votto has accomplished this season while playing on a bad knee as he was hitting .342, had a slugging average of .604 with an on-base percentage of .465 when he underwent surgery.

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Pete Heley Outdoors 8/08/12

Well the ocean finclipped coho salmon season for the southern Oregon coast was officially over the evening of July 31st and as I write this column, the latest data I have available for the catch rates is through Sunday, July 29th. At that point, 2,478 finclipped cohos had been kept or 30.9 percent of the 8,000 fish quota. It is reasonable to believe that no major changes occurred over the last two days of the season. However, chinooks measuring at least 24-inches in length continue to be legal angling fare for ocean anglers through October 31st and chinooks, so far, have been a major portion of the ocean catch. Here is how the 11 ports in our zone have stacked up through July 29th – going from north to south.

Garibaldi had 3,170 angler trips with 320 kept cohos and 255 kept chinooks; Pacific City had 610 angler trips with 112 kept cohos and 58 kept chinooks; Depoe Bay had 1,125 angler trips with 260 kept cohos and 75 kept chinooks; Newport had 3,600 angler trips with 799 kept cohos and 377 kept chinooks;  Florence had 207 angler trips with 23 kept cohos and seven kept chinooks; Winchester Bay had 4,736 angler trips with 683 kept cohos and 867 kept chinooks; Charleston with 2,017 angler trips with 77 kept cohos and 532 kept chinooks; Bandon had 238 angler trips with 43 kept cohos and 33 kept chinooks; Port Orford had eight angler trips with zero kept cohos and three kept chinooks; Gold Beach had 44 angler trips with five kept cohos and seven kept chinooks and Brookings with 7,095 angler trips with 156 kept cohos and 3,554 kept chinooks.

Large numbers of salmon, almost all chinooks, are holding off Brookings and the northern California coast. Many of those fish will undoubtedly ascend northern California streams, but the early reports on the salmon catch out of the streams on which fishing is allowed have been less than hoped for – and that may mean that good numbers of those chinooks may move northward – and easily justify continued salmon fishing efforts off the southern Oregon coast. Last weekend, the best salmon fishing in our area occurred in the ocean, Umpqua River Bar and the South Jetty. On Saturday and Sunday, the bar and South Jetty were closed to all reasonably-sized fishing craft and the salmon catch suffered. Anglers that did fish those areas later in the day did report fair salmon catches.

High inland temperatures should benefit the salmon angling on the lower Umpqua River. When the freshwater flows of the Umpqua heat up, salmon ascending the river often hold, sometimes for weeks, below Reedsport before continuing the upstream migration. The much cooler ocean water tends to cool the lower river enough for the salmon to stay there and avoid the much higher water temperatures farther upriver. Of course, this can be a rather “iffy” situation – millions of fish, especially in the midwest, have recently died due to a lethal combination of high temperatures and drought-caused low water conditions. There is a chance that something similar will happen later this summer in some eastern Oregon waters, but the northwest has pretty much escaped the drought that plagues most of our nationn.

An angler fishing off the jetty at Newport last week hooked and managed to land a 14 pound tuna. He was using a green label (medium) herring beneath a bobber, however cooler inshore waters has recently made tuna fishing somewhat more difficult. Up through the end of July, virtually every boat fishing for tuna found them in fair to good numbers.

At least one large redtailed surfperch was reported caught by an angler using sand shrimp near Half Moon Bay – a very rare catch for that area. Shelley Ledfors, of Coos Bay, while fishing with her husband John for salmon beneath the McCullough Bridge last Saturday hooked and landed a California halibut weighing about 15 pounds.

As genetic testing continues to develop, many possible record fish catches may be disqualified for lack of genetic purity. A recently caught possible state record spotted bass from North Carolina was found to lack such genetic purity. The fish, which would have easily bested the current state record of six pounds and five ounces was determined to be a hybrid with a largemouth bass mother and a spotted bass father. Since the maximum size of largemouth bass is about twice that of spotted bass, such hybrids, which may closely resemble spotted bass, are capable of reaching much larger sizes. Of course the state record application was rejected.

Although it happened several months ago, I simply have to report on the Arkansas angler who landed a 16 pound five ounce largemouth bass, which barely bested the nearly 40 year old state record largemouth of 16 pounds four ounces. However, his record was disqualified when authorities discovered that he purchased his fishing license shortly after catching the jumbo bass.

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Fishing Oregon’s Coastal Lakes

With fall weather on the horizon, many of the shallow coastal lakes are shrinking to the point where it is easy to find the spots that will hold fish. These lakes are never easier to fish than they are in the fall and the more shallow the lake, the more this holds true.

Trout plants are not made on the Oregon coast in the summer months, so the fish one can catch are largemouth bass, yellow perch, brown bullheads, black crappie and bluegills. Not only do these fish species bite well in the early fall, almost all the the lakes along the southern Oregon coast are underfished because everyone wants to fish Tenmile Lakes.

Many of these lakes lack fatty forage like crayfish and small planted trout, so the bass tend to be a little less fat than those in some of the larger lakes, but they fight much better for their size. Although the lakes are not rich, the fact that the panfish and smaller bass do not have to compete with planted trout for a limited amount of food is a good thing.

The book, Oregon Coast Fishing Maps, available in the book section of the home page of this website is a good reference when it comes to figuring out which coastal lakes might fish the best in the fall.

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American League Baseball Trivia

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Pete Heley Outdoors 8/1/12

Except for the pinkfin run ending a month earlier than it did the last couple of seasons, fishing and crabbing opportunities at Winchester Bay could not be much better. Salmon fishing has been relatively hot,  virtually every boat over the last ten days that has pursued tuna has caught them and the crabbing is much improved over a couple of weeks ago.

While some of the sportsmen and a few of the river guides have fished the Umpqua River between the ocean and Reedsport for some chinooks and a very few finclipped cohos, most of the sport anglers have been fishing fairly close to the Umpqua River Bar. Those anglers, along with some of the guides certified to fish the ocean have been catching a few chinook and a lot of mostlyl wild coho. Scott Howard of Strikezone Charters, while fishing last Friday and Saturday caught some nice chinooks in the ocean, but only six of the 50 coho salmon they landed were keepable finclipped fish. Despite having to release lots of fish, it is reasonable to assume that Scott did not have any bored anglers on board.

The salmon fishing success dropped off slightly last Sunday and the ocean coho season ended on July 31st, but one can reasonably expect the salmon fishing for ocean chinook and the river fishing for chinook and finclipped coho should steadily improve for the next several weeks. If decent numbers of the record number of salmon holding off the northern California coast move northward, the fishing could become incredibly productive.

Whether you are fishing out of Winchester Bay, Charleston or Newport, the tuna fishing has been very, very good. Many tuna anglers started encountering tuna less than 20 miles out and the best catch this scribe heard of was by Oregon Custom Charters, who fished out of Wincheter Bay last Saturday for 76 tuna. They reported that all four anglers were quite tired, but that the main reason they quit fishing at the peak of the bite was because they were running out of ice. They caught most of their fish 30 miles out from the Umpqua River Bar.

There wasn’t very much fishing pressure on the South Jetty last weekend, but one angler came within a whisker of catching a large lingcod while casting a Gibb’s metal jig. Some scuba divers fished the outermost South Jetty near the Umpqua Bar and reported large schools of rockfish at the 25 foot level. They also reported crabs were numerous to the point where they could not put their hands down on either the bottom or submerged jetty rocks. One of the divers also reported seeing a school of what appeared to be pinkfin perch swimming along the South Jetty, but it is rather doubtful that they would be late spawners – but with changing weather and water conditions the last couple of years, who knows.

Proof that the human spirit can accomplish almost anything is the short elderly gentleman who has been averaging at least eight redtailed surfperch per outing while fishing the North Beach Area at the end of Sparrow Park Road. Despite having to carry an oxygen tank with him, he covers multiple troughs until he catches as many perch as he wants to clean. I know, with complete certainty, that I can no longer admit something is too hard to do without feeling guilty – because I am now aware of what he manages to do with what he has to do it with.

Winchester Bay’s senior fish checker, Bill Gates, reported that he got a nice chinook while fishing with Dennis Sherwood of River’s End Guide Service, but the most interesting fish they caught while fishing near the Umpqua River Bar was a finclipped steelhead that weighed about ten pounds after being cleaned.,

Although the ocean coho salmon season was scheduled to close on July 31st, the most interesting data through July 22nd involves chinook salmon. The best fishing in our zone continues to be in Brookings which accounted for 60 percent of the retained chinook salmon for our zone (11 ports). The next three ports north of Brookings (Gold Beach, Port Orford and Bandon) only accounted for 36 retained chinooks – or 1.4 percent of the number of chinooks retained by anglers fishing out of Brookings. Although the chinooks have, so far, resisted moving north of Brookings, subpar results on the opening of the Sacramento River fishery might mean that decent numbers of the record number of salmon hanging off the northern California coast might be fish that will eventually swim northward. Winchester Bay continues to dominate the ocean finclipped coho salmon catch with 470 taken out of the 1,160 retained for the entire zone – or 41 percent. Less than 22 percent of the total coho catch out of Winchester Bay was retained finclipped cohos.

In case you are wondering how many crab-catching devices are allowed per person in the Pacific Coast states, here goes: In Oregon, three crab rings or traps are allowed per person and there is no limit on the rings or pots per boast (except common sense). In Alaska, the limit is five devices per person and there is a boat limit of ten crab-catching devices. In Washington, the limit is two crab-catching devices per person and in California, there is no individual limit on the number of rings, pots or traps a person can use to harvest crabs. Of course each state has a limit on the number of crabs that can be retained each day or held in possession. In Oregon, that limit is 12 male dungeness crabs per day and 24 in possession that are at least 5.75-inches across the back not counting the tiny spiny projections on each side of the shell. Crabbing in the lower river reaches and bays along the Oregon coast has improved greatly – making it more important to be aware of the daily and possession limits.

Once again, Tenmile Lakes has shown that it is the Northwest’s premier bass tournament lake. During the recent Nixon Tenmile Open, several 2-angler teams weighed in two day bass limits weighing more than 30 pounds. Because of its popularity as a tourney site, Tenmile brings in an incredible amount of money to the local economy and also causes every lake and pond and most streams in the area to be underfished.

At a meeting in Salem on August 3rd, the ODFW staff will present a proposal to increase the daily limit on smallmouth bass in the Umpqua River from the current ten bass per day to 15 bass per day. Interested parties can comment on this, or other proposals, at the meeting or they can email su.ro.etatsnull@remsseM.T.enihR.

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