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Contact Pete Heley
PO Box 264
Reedsport, OR 97467
Monthly Archives: July 2014
After a week or so break, tuna are once again being caught by sport anglers launching out of Winchester Bay. Of course other ports along the Oregon coast are also producing tuna, but tuna fishing by sport anglers launching out of Winchester Bay has been virtually nonexistent over the last three years – so this year’s opportunity is much appreciated.
Somewhat surprisingly, redtailed surfperch were still being caught in good numbers through last weekend with the best action occuring above Marker 12.
Winchester Bay Crabbing continues to improve rapidly and boat crabbers are doing well in Half Moon Bay. Perhaps of more interest – the first crab limits were reported last weekend by people crabbing from the Old Coast Guard Pier.
Most of the coho salmon during last week were several miles offshore and difficult for sport anglers to reach in windy conditions, but they moved closer inshore on Sunday and many anglers enjoyed good fishing in water from 150 to 200 feet deep. unclipped cohos are starting to outnumber finclipped cohos and the cohos seemed to be scattered throughout the water column, but seem to be moving closer to the surface – with one boar seeing cohos feeding on the surface on Sunday.
What would really improve salmon fishing success would be a several degree increase in in the temperature of the inshore ocean water. Right now, it appears that the cold water is impacting the number of Chinook salmon entering the Umpqua River and reducing the chances of catching the ones that do. Last week shorebound spimmer flingers at Half Moon Bay observed some Chinook salmon swimming near the bank on their upriver migration that showed no interest in the spinners they were casting. A week ago, an angler casting a spinner at Half Moon Bay hooked and landed a 29-inch finclipped steelhead.
As those salmon move upriver towards Reedsport, into warmer water, they seem to become more active and more likely to bite and some boats have made decent catches of Chinook salmon amid generally slow fishing.
Over the last few weeks, the smallmouth bass fishing on the Umpqua River above Scottsburg, while generally very good, has varied greatly on a day to day basis. Some stretches of the river are receiving a surprising amount of fishing pressure directed at smallmouth bass.
The famed Umpqua River run of redtailed surfperch, while winding down, is still producing boat limits of perch for some of the few anglers still fishing for them above Winchester Bay – and some of them are whoppers. On Friday, July 11th, Billy and Bob Eaton, along with a couple of friends caught 60 perch – includind some weighing close to three pounds.
I, reasonably came to the conclusion that their catch was the “last
hurrah” of this year’s run.
However, Curly Dodge along with a few friends and relatives landed boat limits of perch near Marker 12 on consecutive days over last weekend – although the perch were initially hard to find on Sunday.
Curly did mention that the baby unborn perch were still quite small and thought there would still be perch in the Umpqua River above Winchester Bay into August.
Anglers are advised that all roads are currently closed to Lake Wenatchee, where a popular sockeye salmon fishery is set to open Saturday (July 19).
With several wildfires burning in the area, state officials have closed U.S. Highway 2 east of Stevens Pass as well as Old State Route 209 (“Chumstick Road”) between Leavenworth and the lake.
Washington State Parks has also closed entry to Lake Wenatchee State Park, the site of the primary boat launch on the lake.
“The sockeye fishery will open as scheduled, but anglers may have to wait for a few days to get to it,” said Jeff Korth, regional fish manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. “We strongly advise they check reports on fire and road conditions before they head out.”
Sources of that information include:
Fire Status: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3937/
Road Closures: http://www.wsdot.com/traffic/trafficalerts/default.aspx
Lake Wenatchee State Park: www.parks.wa.gov/AlertCenter.aspx?AID=167
Information on the upcoming sockeye fishery is available on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/
After the warmest day (so far) of 2014 warm water fisheries are producing improved action for anglers. Most fishers have been targeting early morning and late evening fishing activities with Central Eastern Washington day time high’s well above 100 degrees. Reports of Sand Dunes bass on Potholes Reservoir have been very good from day light until 10am using a wide variety of surface baits. Buzz Baits, Floating Rapala, Zaro Spocks (walking the dog) and especially floating frog imitations. Evening anglers are enjoying an improved walleye bite using Rapala-Shad Raps both trolled and cast, plus Strike King square bill plugs (KVD, Kevin Van Dam copies) and casting spinner baits. The reports are very similar. That is, find a sand dune with dirt showing with 2” to 3” water on the beach with weeds that is on the edge of deep water.
Fishing off the dock in the early morning and late evening has been producing some nice fish.
Lots of sport tuna anglers fishing out of Winchester Bay were successful this last week. Catches ranged to more than 50 tuna per boat, although the average was probably less than half that. Some of the tuna were caught within 20 miles of Winchester Bay. However, at the end of last weekend, the proper water temperatures and the tuna seemed to be moving around.
For most of last week salmon anglers were able to cross the Umpqua River Bar and fish the Ocean. Very cold water near shore limited the salmon bite for many anglers, but anglers venturing farther out enjoyed a somewhat better bite. Grant Sheeley got his five clients into ten salmon last Sunday, while the Lewis’s – a father and son team that often fish with Richard Babcock got six salmon for three anglers in two hours of fishing on Sunday morning with five of the salmon being Chinooks. and in the short period of time they were salmon fishing they also got a boat limit of ocean crabs.
The best news for Winchester Bay’s sport crabbers is that Half Moon Bay is starting to produce limits of crabs and, judging by how good the ocean crabbing is right now – the crabbing in the lower Umpqua River should continue to improve. Dock crabbing, although improving, is still pretty tough.
Shore anglers have not yet started catching salmon on their pink and chartreuse spinners, but their first catches, most likely at Half Moon Bay, should be imminent as a number of salmon have been caught by boat anglers farther upriver near Reedsport.
Few anglers have been fishing the South Jetty/Triangle for bottomfish, but cabezon are now legal to keep with a daily limit of one cabezon 16 or inches or more in length.
Even though the run of spawning redtailed surfperch in the Umpqua River above Winchester Bay is pretty much over, there were boat limits of perch taken as recently as last Friday. Billy and Bob Eaton were the anglers who caught that limit and several of their “pinkfins” weighed more than two pounds.
Some recent, but very impressive catches from outside our local area include a 95-inch long, 482 pound Pacific halibut that was caught on July 3rd in Alaskan waters by a 77 year old angler. Other catches include a seven pound spotted bass from Whiskytown Reservoir in northernmost California and a 25.5-inch post spawn largemouth fom Hagg Lake near Forest Grove – a reservoir that has produced the last several state record smallmouth bass for Oregon.
Kids 13 and younger can fish for free this Saturday, July 19 at the July Jubilee Free Fishing Event held at Pony Village Mall, North Bend. The jubilee celebrates the anniversary of North Bend.
Join Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. for spinner making and fish identification games. Kids can catch a trout inside the mall, and no fishing poles, bait or licenses are needed. The pond will be set up at the east entrance to the mall near Jo-Ann Fabrics.
The mission of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is to protect and enhance Oregon’s fish and wildlife and their habitats for use and enjoyment by present and future generations. The agency consists of the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission, a commission-appointed director and a statewide staff of about 950 permanent employees. Headquartered in Salem, ODFW has regional offices in Clackamas and Roseburg with ten district offices located throughout the state. Visit www.odfw.com.
As we move into Mid-July summer daytime high temperatures are flirting with the century mark. These are the summer days when great life time memories are created. Whether you are enjoying swimming and boating on Potholes Reservoir in waters approaching 80 degree surface temp or bass fishing with floating stick baits, poppers, buzz baits or any of your favorite bass fishing lures. Several bass fishers this past week have reported 30 to 50 fish catch and release days.
Trolling for Jumbo Rainbow on the face of O’Sullivan Dam with Needlefish, Rapala Shad Raps, or Baby Hot Lips and D-C 13’s has been producing rainbow to 26” (7lbs). Our best walleye action has been reported on the north-east side of Goose Island in 20 to 35 feet of water.
The MarDon Fishing Dock has been producing Crappie to 12 inches this past week. Some bluegill over 6 inches long, Yellow Perch up to 10 inches and lots of smallmouth bass, mostly under 12 inches.
Take a kid fishing for smallmouth bass early in the morning or just before dark using a Rebel or Strike King Popper and you will make him or her a bass fisherman for life. With irrigation search at its peak the water level on Potholes Reservoir is lowering daily. As we lose more water the fish are easier to locate and boat or bank fish for, especially Crappie, Bluegill and Bass.