Monthly Archives: August 2013

$20 Parking Fee Dropped by Port of Astoria.

In a great example of the power of adverse publicity, the Port of Astoria quickly dropped the $20 parking fee it recently started, elating hundreds, if not thousands of Buoy 10 anglers.

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Mardon Fishing Dock Still Fishing Well, Goose Island Producing Yellow Perch. Smallmouth Bass.

Julie Krysiak of Bonney Lake caught these Perch and Smallmouth Bass fishing around Goose Island over the weekend.

Julie Krysiak of Bonney Lake caught these Perch and Smallmouth Bass fishing around Goose Island over the weekend.

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Mardon Resort Reports Best Bullhead and Channel Catfishing in Decades

As we approach mid-August fishing on Potholes Reservoir continues to amaze our guests.  Rainbow fishing has been exciting both for bank fishing and trolling.  Many rainbow trout over 20 inches are being reported from Medicare Beach and at the mouth of Frenchman’s Wasteway where it enters the reservoir at Potholes State Park.  Perch fishing is the best we have seen in two decades and our crappie population has shown a positive increase.  Fishers are reporting many more yellow bullhead, brown bullhead, and channel catfish than over family has seen in our 40 years at MarDon Resort.  Goose Island has been the best action for walleye again this week.  Call the MarDon Tackle Shop for a current fishing report (509) 346-2651

Alainagh Hendrix has been fishing Potholes Reservoir her entire life.  She has worked at MarDon Resort for a few years during the summer while earning her college degree from Central Washington University.  Here she is enjoying a relaxing evening fishing off the MarDon Dock and catching  a few Perch.

Alainagh Hendrix has been fishing Potholes Reservoir her entire life. She has worked at MarDon Resort for a few years during the summer while earning her college degree from Central Washington University. Here she is enjoying a relaxing evening fishing off the MarDon Dock and catching a few Perch.

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Chinook Bite Still Hot at Winchester Bay

It seems like Bryan Gill, of the Umpqua Angler, is posting pictures of impressive catches of chinook salmon almost daily. Gary Jacobs traveled all the way from Boston, Massachusetts to catch the nice-sized chinook Bryan is holding up in this photo. Bryan has recently added crabbing to all his ocean salmon trips (weather and ocean conditions permitting).

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Mystery Fish of the Siltcoos River

Over the Last several years there has been several posts asking for help identifying fish caught in the Siltcoos River. The dam on the river is located about three miles below Siltcoos Lake at the head of tidewater. There is a population of northern pikeminnows just above the dam that are almost never caught in Siltcoos Lake and can be difficult for some anglers to identify.

However, there are many species of fish in the river below the dam – including several species of surfperch.

I have observed adult striped surfperch below the dam as well as hybrid striped bass during the period when they were being planted in Tenmile Lakes.

The mouth of the Siltcoos River is one of the best spots along the Oregon coast to catch redtail surfperch – more commonly called pinkfins.

In recent years, shiner perch, a surfperch that maxes out at about seven inches and once a popular bait for striped bass have made a significant population rebound. Pictured below are shiner perch (pogies)opgie

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For Anglers, Fishing Gets More Expensive

According to an article in Astoria’s Daily Columbian, the Port of Astoria recently began charging 20 dollars per day for some of the parking spots used by anglers fishing Buoy 10.

Astoria port commissioners voted Tuesday to implement $20 daily parking fees at parts of the west and east mooring basins to capitalize on the August influx of Buoy 10 sports fishermen in the Columbia River.

The Daily Astorian reported that port staff will decide how many spots will be charged and find ways to identify local tenants who do not have to pay.

“I don’t know why we didn’t get this parking plan done, but we could use the money,” said Bill Hunsinger, port commissioner, according to the Astorian newspaper.

The paper reported that Steve Fick, owner of Fishhawk Fisheries, estimated on Friday that the port was losing $80,000 in projected revenue by not charging for parking.

Brad Smith, owner of the Astoria Riverwalk Inn, lamented the public was only allowed to comment after a decision had been made, as the first of two comment periods on the agenda was eliminated.

The port has charged $5 a day for parking and trailer storage at the East End Mooring Basin or $60 for one month. There has been no charge for launching, unlike many ports.

Buoy 10 is the name of the popular August sports salmon season between Buoy No. 10 at the river mouth and a boundary 16 miles upstream stretching between Tongue Point in Oregon and Rocky Point in Washington.

Hundreds of boats a day launch from Astoria, Ilwaco, Chinook, Hammond, Warrenton, John Day and Deep River to access the 16 miles of Columbia.

Buoy 10 provides some of the best salmon catches of the year in water normally calm enough to be safe in mid-size boats.

Fishing at Buoy 10 is scheduled to be open daily for chinook and hatchery coho through Sept. 1.

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Trinity Lake Produces Jumbo Landlocked Chinook

A landlocked  chinook weighing an ounce less than 21 pounda was pulled from Trinity Lake at the end of July. It was only a couple of years ago that Trinity was producing California state record landlocked chinooks that weighed less than eight pounds.

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Fishing Report For Mardon Resort/Potholes Reservoir

It’s hard to believe but the already great fishing on Potholes Reservoir will just be getting better.  The perch fishing at the State Park and off the MarDon Dock has been great.  Don’t forget you can go in the Dunes and fish beaver huts and weed piles for Perch, Bluebill, and bass all at the same time.  Beetle Spins, Senkos and Crankbaits will catch all these species with the occasional catfish or walleye.

Goose Island is also a great place to mulit-species fish.  I fished 10 to 22 feet of water Monday and got 6 nice walleye and a bunch of small mouth bass and perch.  Slow Death Rig’s, and Silver Smile Blades do the trick too.  This is also a good place for a # 5 and # 7 shad-raps trolling at 2 miles per hour.

If you want the big trout (2 to 6 lbs) the State Park area seems to be doing better than Medicare Beach.  Also the outflow at the east end of the dam has been putting out trout.  Troll deep 20 to 30 feet as the sun gets higher and keep your drag light.  As the summer heat continues the fishing will only improve. (fishing report submitted by Rob Hardin -storekeeper at Mardon Resort)

15 year olds Jordan and Key from Everett limited on Perch fishing at the mouth of Frenchman's Wasteway.

15 year olds Jordan and Key from Everett limited on Perch fishing at the mouth of Frenchman’s Wasteway.

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Earning Your Fish

Every year I listen to people who spend much of their fishing time chasing hatchery plants and while I am sure they enjoy their fishing trips, there are so many aspects of fishing they will never experience – or appreciate. A number of my fishing partners have refused to fish a spot a second time after suffering through a poor catch on an initial visit. On the other hand, I have most enjoyed the most challenging of my fishing trips.

I first started experimenting with flyfishing during my senior year at North Bend High School. I was fishing Eel Creek,  a very small stream that connected Eel Lake with Tenmile Creek. I enjoyed enough early success, but I soon encountered a seven inch long native cutthroat that ignored my best presentations.

Attempting to match wits with this worthy adversary quickly became a part of every Eel Creek fishing trip

The trout was always in the same spot –  a narrow run, less than ten feet wide, bordered on the far side by a row of thickets that somewhat complicated my attempts at making a proper presentation. I soon became adept at casting to the bank above the thickets and knowing when and how far to retrieve the fly so that the depth and path were what  I wanted.

Still, the trout remained unfooled.

I tried to add a refinement to my technique on each trip.

I tried lighter and lighter tippets and ever more careful approaches,

The only encouragement I received while the trout remained uncaught was that it would infrequently move an inch toward the fly as it drifted past.

I knew I was a better fly angler than I was when I first started being ignored by this wary, yet diminutive trout, but it never ocurred to me to try for easier trout.

And then, several months after the one-sided battle of wits had started, the trout swam the required two inches as the fly drifted by it – and grabbed it.

In an instant the trout was in my hand and the lengthy contest was over. As I viewed the trout, now nearly eight inches long, it hardly seemed  a fitting reward for what I had gone through to catch it.

I found it easy to release the trout and was only mildly disappointed that it moved from its one-time home and I was unable to recapture it.

I will always appreciate the trout for forcing me to become a much better angler than I was when we first met.

And now, 46 years later, I find myself not regretting a single minute of the many, many hours I spent trying to catch this special trout.

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Pete Heley Outdoors 8/08/2013

Although still lagging the crabbing success of last year, last week’s success showed definite improvement. One person, crabbing off the Old Coast Guard Pier last Wednesday ended up with eight legal crabs  – including an eight and a half incher. The fishing guides that are combining crabbing with ocean salmon fishing are making fair crab catches. It almost seems irrelevant that the ocean finclipped coho salmon season has ended, since about 97 percent of the keepable salmon taken out of Winchester Bay through mid-July were chinooks. That said, a few finclipped cohos have started entering the catch on the lower Umpqua River between Winchester Bay and Reedsport. Calm ocean conditions allowed salmon anglers to take advantage of a hot ocean bite last week – with many of the salmon caught between the Umpqua River Bar and the “Red Can”.  One of the most varied catches ever made by a fishing guide trolling for salmon at Winchester Bay was turned in by Scott Howard of Strikezone Charters last Saturday who got his clients into a halibut of about 30 pounds, a cabezon of about five pounds and several nice-sized chinook salmon.

Anglers opting to fish the river, rather than the ocean, are also making some good catches. The number of salmon holding below Reedsport is increasing and on the days they decide to bite – usually in the early morning – the fishing can be quite good.

Salmon anglers opting to cast spinners from the bank at Half Moon Bay and Osprey Point have been catching salmon for at least two weeks. The focus on salmon salmon has limited the number of anglers fishing the South Jetty/Triangle Area for bottomfish – even though cabezon longer than 16-inches are, once again legal angling fare. halibut Anglers fishing last weeks halibut opener enjoyed spotty success with the best results coming from north of Florence.

Anglers fishing the Umpqua River have reported catching  more smallmouth bass measuring more than 16-inches than they usually do. Steve Fleming, who operates Mah-Hah Outfitters on the John Day River reports that the last time the water was this warm in the John Day River the smallmouth fishing was absolutely sensational. Anglers should expect improved fishing for channel catfish as well. While the “Narrows Area” receives a tremendous amount of fishing pressure, the upriver areas of the John Day are relatively underfished for channel catfish. Many waters, especially in eastern Oregon are going to suffer salmon and trout losses due to warm water. Other waters, such as Crane Prairie Reservoir are going to have their trout and kokanee heavily concentrated near the mouths of springfed tributaries and extremely vulnerable to anglers. Diamond Lake anglers are finding rainbows holding off the mouth of Silent Creek with the exact location dependent upon water temperature and clarity

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