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Contact Pete Heley
PO Box 264
Reedsport, OR 97467
Monthly Archives: September 2013
While bank anglers are enjoying very good action on spinners cast from several Winchester Bay locations, a few anglers(mostly fishing guides) are enjoying excellent salmon fishing on their bait of choice(Jerry’s green label herring) while trolling just below Gardiner.
Shorter days and cooler nights are upon us in Central Eastern Washington. With noticeable cooler water temperatures the walleye bite is back in full swing on the reservoir. Many fishers are anchoring off the face of the sand dunes in 4 to 20 feet of water and catching limits of perch (25 each) from 8 inches to 12 inches in length. Many perch fishers are also catching keeper walleye on perch tactics, just off the face of the dunes. The Goose Island area on the north-eastern side has been also been producing some nice walleye action.
Bass anglers continue to report good catch and release bass action. Many reports of smallmouth bass 4 pound’s and larger are coming from the rock piles near Goose Island.
The MarDon Fishing Dock continues to provide good perch, crappie, bluegill, bass, and trout action. Plus we are seeing a few bull-head, channel catfish and fewer walleye off the dock. In mid-November we expect the walleye to improve off the dock.
Duck and Goose Hunting Season is almost here. For a non-guided duck hunt or a guided duck or goose hunt with Meseberg Adventures call (509) 346-2651 or visit ducktaxi.com for more information.
The Royal Hunt Club offers fee access hunting to 25,000 acres of private land to hunt pheasants, ducks, and geese (no guiding allowed on this land). For information please call (509) 346-2651.
The Sand Hill Cranes have returned to Potholes Recreation Area and the Royal Slope. These migratory birds may be seen in the Columbia National Wildlife Area roosting and in many fields on the Royal Slope.
Report submitted by Mike Meseberg (mardonresort.com)
As someone who has worked in a tackleshop for the last 15 years, I have always strived to be as helpful with customers as I can possibly be. As in most tackleshops, Most of the help I offer involves answering questions. I recently overheard a lady tell a customer not to cover crabs with water when transporting them. As I waited for her to explain why, I quickly realized that she wasn’t going to tell the customer why it was a bad idea to cover live crabs with water when transporting or storing them.
The reason is simple, when the crabs use up the available oxygen in the cooler or storage container, they may not be able to reach the surface of the water in their container and will suffocate, By omitting this one sentence, the clerk made it much more likely that the lady she was waiting on would forget or not use the advice, since the reason was not included in the advice.
Another much-given bit of advice is that crabbing is best in the months with an “R” in them. Although frequently given, the rationale behind the advice is almost never offered without knowing the reason behind the advice, the advice can often be bad advice.
The plain truth is that crabbing is much better in the fall when coastal rivers are at their saltiest. Adult crabs prefer a salty environment over a freshwater one – so late summer through late fall usually offers the best crabbing – and it has absolutely nothing to do with whether, or not, a month has an “R” in it.
Explaining the reasoning behind your advice will do more than help someone remember a particular piece of advice – it may get them started on the path to becoming a more logical – and therefore more effective angler.
Rough ocean and bar conditions limited the number of anglers attempting to take advantage of of the current liberal regulations regarding coho salmon in the ocean and fishing has been disappointing for most ocean salmon anglers. Salmon fishing in the Umpqua River near Reedsport has also been disappointing, but it seems that on most days there is at least one short section of the river with fair numbers of cooperative salmon.
Salmon anglers fishing the lower Umpqua from shore have been catching a surprising number of salmon – including more than two dozen last Saturday. Coho salmon have been making up an increasing portion of the catch, although fair numbers of Chinooks are also present. Lots of salmon are holding in the legal-to-fish area of the East boat Basin (below the bridge spanning Winchester Creek). The salmon are in a state of constant agitation due to the number of anglers fishing the area and the presense of seals and sea lions, but there are so many salmon that several are caught each day.
Until this last Friday, virtually all the salmon caught at this spot (known locally as the “Mud Hole” were caught on spinners and spoons, but on Friday several salmon were caught by anglers using bobber and bait rigs. The most popular baits are sand shrimp and salmon roe or a combination of both baits. Most anglers using this technique only fish their bait a few feet beneath their bobbers. Almost all the salmon taken by this method will either be Chinook salmon or coho jacks, while the cohos will be caught on lures.
While crabbing in the Lower Umpqua River remains slow, it seems that a few good catches are made each day. Crabbing in the ocean has been much better. Most ocean crabbers head a short distance north, or south to get out of the river water and usually make their best catches in water less than 35 feet deep.
The first of the crabs tagged and released for Winchester Bay’s Crab Bounty Hunt are finally being turned into the Sportsman Cannery. If a lot more tagged crabs are not turned in over the next ten days, the odds of those that do turn in tagged crabs winning a cash prize is going to be really,really good.
Many salmon anglers over the last few weeks have fished Coos Bay and the fishing has been very good. As the Coos slows down, the Siuslaw and Coquille should pick up some of the slack.
Even later, some of the smaller Curry County streams will peak. Last year, a giant Chinook was pulled from tiny Hunter Creek over Thanksgiving weekend. It weighed 58 pounds and ended up at the taxidermist.
From Buoy 22 all the way to the Umpqua River Bar, ar the silver salmon are stacked up in big numbers, anything pink if you want to try a spinner. As for myself I, still like the plug cut bait(herring) – don’t be afraid to troll it a little faster then normal.
Several Oregon waters that have recently developed populations of smallmouth bass have experienced a sharp reduction in the numbers of some of their other fish species.
A good example of such a fishery is Lake of the Woods west of Klamath Falls in Jackson County.
In past years, the lake gave up a surprising number of big largemouth bass up to about nine pounds, but with a fast-growing population of smallmouth bass, largemouth bass numbers have shrunk greatly and they don’t seem to get as big.
While it is reasonable to hope that the smallmouths would add a viable complement to the lake’s largemouth fishing, so far they haven’t – and it is fairly difficult to catch a smallmouth measuring more than nine inches.
Smallmouth bass do not do a good job of preying on smaller smallmouths and their populations are prone to becoming dominated by smaller bass.
The one Oregon smallmouth fishery that I have fished for nearly four decades is Lake Billy Chinook – and it has underwent major changes in the make up of its fish populations.
Prior to my first visit to Billy Chinook, back around 1975, I read an article about the reservoir that was written by Bruce Holt. While talking with Clay Hood later that year, I learned that the Oregon Hawghunters had visited the reservoir and caught some really fat largemouths – including one that barely topped 20-inches in length that weighed eight pounds.
When I made my initial visit to Billy Chinook in June of 1976, I landed five largemouts to two pounds and 13 smallmouths weighing between one and three pounds – all by 6:30 am. Needless to say, I was very impressed.
A few years later,on my next visit to the reservoir, I caught dozen’s of smallmouths, but could not catch a largemouth – or a smallmouth longer than nine inches – and the average size of the smallmouths seems to be smaller yet on each subsequent visit.
The biggest impact of Billy Chinooks robust smallmouth population has been the greatly reduced largemouth population. The reservoir’s occasional problem’s with it’s kokanee population can be linked to efficient predation by the reservoir’s bull trout.
Billy Chinook’s landlocked Chinook population has dwindled, but will soon be replaced by anadromous Chinooks. As for the trout anglers, the rainbow trout fishery is not a major draw, but there are some sizable brown trout in the Deschutes River above the reservoir.
What action is needed to solve the problems associated with a stunted smallmouth fishery? Removing number and minimum size limits won’t offer much help without a major increase in the fishing pressure directed at the smallmouths.
Here’s the prizewinners for the Labor Day Salmon Derby put on by the Gardiner-Reedsport-Winchester Bay STEP Chapter (courtesy of Dave Teachout).
Saturday big fish winner – Doug Dennett of Springfield 30.4 lbs ($ 150 winner). Sunday big fish winner – Richard Bagg of Shedd 42.5 lbs ($ 650 winner). Monday big fish winner – Mark Kaasa of Springfield 23.9 lbs ($ 150 winner. Winner of the ticket stubb drawing was Travis Adams of Sweet Home ($ 100 winner). First raffle winner – Teresa Farley of Marcola ($ 100 winner). Second raffle winner – Warren Craig of Eugene ($ 100 winner. Third raffle winner – Mike McMenamin (hometown undisclosed) ($ 100 winner).
A total of 440 anglers participated in the derby and weighes in 223 salmon during the two and a half day contest – slightly down from last year.
Once again – congratulations to Richard Bagg for weighing in the 42.5 pound “Derby-winning salmon – and to Darren Rowe, the guide who helped him carch it.
Excellent bassfishing, as well as some jumbo walleyes to at least ten pounds have been the rule, rather than the exception for the last couple of weeks at Potholes Reservoir. The Goose Island Area has produced some of the largest walleyes and smallmouth bass.
As weather cools we have had good reports of nice rainbow trout fishing with spinners and worms, diving plugs in size 5 & 7. The Potholes State Park and the east end of O’Sullivan Dam are good bets for those nice rainbow trout up to 6 pounds.
The perch fishing is so good even die hard bass and walleye fishermen are fishing for them. The best way to catch these fish is to fish in 10 feet of water using a crappie jig tipped with a maggot. The fall bite for perch this year should be the best it has been in years.
Guide Shelby Ross (Ross Outdoor Adventures 509-750-7763) had a trip last week with limits of walleye plus 4 big trout and some nice perch up to 12 inches. That’s a nice day on the water! The walleye are being caught on the rock piles off Goose Island and on the face of the sand dunes in 5 to 20 feet of water. It’s a great time to troll plugs for these fish and you don’t have to fight the perch for your worms.
The bass guys are having the best fishing in years for both largemouth and smallmouth bass. A lot of these fishers are using swim baits and plugs for these nice fish. In the afternoon when surface water temps warm up try a top-water popper or frog for some really fun fishing. Senko’s and 5 inch grubs in dark colors have also been doing really well.
Our duck and goose hunting looks great for this season with liberal limits and the longest season the feds allow. Look at ducktaxi.com for special packages and pricing on a lake hunt for ducks or a field hunt for geese.
The Royal Hunt Club are still offering fee-access pheasant, duck, and goose hunting on 25,000 acres of farm land on the Royal Slope. Call (509) 346-2651 for more information.
MarDon Store Keeper
The annual crab contest at Winchester Bay is currently underway and will run through the month of September.
A unique feature of this particular contest is that there is no entry fee required, yet one lucky crabber can win $1,000.
You don’t even need a boat as most of the tagged crabs taken each season are taken by dockbound crabbers.
The way the contest works. is that a total of 100 tagged crabs are released into the lower Umpqua River at Winchester Bay.
When a lucky crabber catches a tagged crab (it will have a numbered metal spinner blade attached to one of it’s hind legs) they need to take the crab. including the spinner blade tag into the Sportsman Cannery.
Upon turning in the crab. they will immediately win a hat (they’re nice) and also become eligible for for the preselected number for the grand prize.
It is important to realize – that the thousand dollars will be awarded even if nobody catches the crab with the tag representing the grand prize – instead of a lump sum, the thousand dollars will be awarded in three separate cash awards of $500. $300 and $200 – with the numbers drawn at the contest’s close from the tag numbers of the crabs that were caught during the contest.