Monthly Archives: August 2014

2014 Crab Bounty Hunt Starts Sept. 1st At Winchester Bay

Crab-Bounty-Contest

2014 Annual Crab Bounty Hunt Rules

1. The 2014 Crab Bounty Hunt begins at 1:00pm on September 1, 2014 and ends promptly at 2:00 pm on September 30, 2014.

2. To be eligible for the prize or a consolation prize (or any other prize) a tag shall have been registered prior to 2:00pm on September 30, 2014. Only those with a valid shellfish license (or verification that a shellfish license is not required of the participant) shall be eligible . Each tag will be registered on the date it is taken to the Sportsmen’s Cannery in Winchester Bay. All tagged crabs must be presented to Sportsmen’s Cannery for tag verification and registration.

3. The Crab Bounty Hunt is open only to individuals who use recreational crabbing gear. Commercial crabbers and all divers are excluded from participation in the Crab Bounty Hunt. The method of taking a crab and all Crab Bounty Hunt tags are subject to verification. Members of the Winchester Bay Merchants Association and their immediate family members, and their employees are not eligible to win the prize. You do not need to be present to win.

4. The number representing the winning bounty tag has been selected in a blind drawing and is called the Selected Tag Number and has been placed in a secure location. Shortly after the close of the Crab Bounty Hunt, the sealed envelope containing the Selected Tag Number will be opened. If the Selected Tag Number matches a registered crab tag, a $1,000 prize will be awarded.  The planned opening is scheduled at 3:00pm on September 30, 2014 at the Sportsmen’s Cannery.  The location is subject to change.

5. If no registered tag has matched the Selected Tag Number, there will be drawings from the registered tags to award a guaranteed $1,000 in prizes. To the holder of the first tag drawn a prize of $500 in cash will be awarded, the the second tag drawn a prize of $300 and to the third tag drawn there will be a prize of $200.

6. By accepting any prize or reward, a bounty hunter agrees to allow the use of their name and picture in advertising and press releases by the Winchester Bay Merchants Association, Inc.

7. The Salmon Harbor Marina rules prohibit crabbing from most docks in the Harbor.  The exceptions are the end of Dock 3 in the West Boat Basin and the end of Dock A in the East Boat Basin; these docks are closed between 10:00pm and 6:00am. Dock 9 in the East Boat Basin is available 24 hours. Please respect these rules.

8. There is a limit on the number of crabs each person may catch each day. There is also a size limit – and only male crabs may be kept. The laws concerning crabbing are available at the businesses which sell or rent crabbing supplies. The state also requires a Shell Fish License for taking crabs in Oregon. Following these game laws will ensure our habitat of a renewable resource for years to come.

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Bank Angler Lands Jumbo Channel Catfish At Potholes Reservoir

Santo Garza of Othello used a chatterbait to land his giant Channel Catfish.  He caught this monster bank fishing on the east end of O'Sullivan Dam.

Santo Garza of Othello used a chatterbait to land his giant Channel Catfish.
He caught this monster bank fishing on the east end of O’Sullivan Dam.

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Register Guard Overlooks Akili Smith

While most of my blog content relates to fishing, as an avid sports fan, I simply have to comment how they rated Akili Smith in their Oregon Football ’14 insert in the Saturday, August 28th edition of the Eugene Register Guard.

Smith threw for 45 touchdowns against 15 interceptions while playing for the Oregon Ducks which compares favorably with any Duck quarterback not named Marcus Mariota. But in 1999, Smith did something even Mariota has yet to accomplish – and that is go an entire season averaging more than ten yards per pass attempt – and he did it with virtually no running attack since Reuben Droughns had a broken foot.

The NFL thought highly enough of Smith to make him the second quarterback drafted that year.

He couldn’t lift a terrible Cincinatti Bengals team with terrible receivers and had a short forgettable NFL career.

However, in his senior season he led Oregon to a victory over a tough Colorado team in a bowl game – and definitely deserves to be on the short list when it comes to the University of Oregon’s greatest quarterbacks.

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Win $650 With One Salmon At The Gardiner-Reedsport-Winchester Bay STEP Salmon Derby Over Labor Day Weekend

The very popular G.R.WB STEP chapter is holding it’s annual Labor Day Weekend Salmon Derby. The initials in the STEP chapter name stand for Gardiner, Reedsport and Winchester Bay. The derby goes from daybreak until 6 pm on Saturday; from daybreak until 6 pm on Sunday and from daybreak until noon on Monday (Labor Day).

The way to win $650 is to catch the heaviest salmon in the two and a half day tournament. That fish is worth $150 for being the heaviest salmon weighed in that day and an additional $500 for being the heaviest salmon taken in the entire tournament.

Of course none of this can take place without first buying a derby ticket which costs $10 for an individual ticket and $25 for a boat ticket (which can be three or more people).

While fishing guides are not eligible to purchase boat tickets, their individual customers certainly are.

In addition to the heaviest salmon taken each day, there will be three $100 prizes given to anglers who weigh in salmon during the derby. Each salmon an angler weighs in gives him/her one more chance to win. There will also be $100 award given to the contest entrant who’s ticket stub is drawn.

For the first time, the derby awards ceremony will be held in Winchester Bay at the Marina Activity Center (MAC) and the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) will cohost the event.

The BBQ starts at 12:00 Noon and the STEP Derby Award Ceremony will be at 1:00 PM. Bedrocks will provide hamburgers, sausage, and salads for $10.00 per plate. Beer and wine can be purchased, separately. STEP will have number of raffle prizes and CCA, Oregon will run a silent auction for a number of items. The BBQ is optional and we would like all of the local community to come to this event to support the South Coast Chapter of CCA, Oregon and the Gardiner, Reedsport, Winchester Bay STEP. If you have any questions, call Steve Godin at: 541-255-3383.

The South Coast Chapter of CCA, Oregon is focused on providing more fishing opportunity to sport fishermen from Florence to Port Orford.

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Fishing For Chinook Salmon Very Good At Winchester Bay As Nonselective Ocean Coho Season Approaches.

Of course fishing will get a lot easier once the nonselective ocean coho salmon season begins on August 30th. That is when any Chinook salmon 24-inches long or longer and any coho salmon 16-inches long or longer is legal to keep – subject to the two salmon daily limit.

A boat limit of salmon from Bryan Gill and vThe Umpqua Angler(541-852-9889).

A boat limit of salmon from Bryan Gill and vThe Umpqua Angler(541-852-9889).

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Pete Heley Outdoors 8/27/2014

The nonselective season for ocean coho salmon starts on Saturday, August 30th. That means that any ocean coho salmon at least 16-inches in length is legal to keep – subject to the two salmon daily limit. The season will run through September 30th or until the 20,000 coho quota is met. Since both finclipped and wild coho count towards the quota, the nonselective ocean coho season may be a short one.

For those of you interested in the catch statistics on the finclipped ocean coho season that ended on August 10th and did not find it on the ODFW web site, The final catch statistics were 48,671 finclipped coho caught and kept – or 60.8 % of the 80,000 fish quote

The catch varied greatly by coastal location. The northern Oregon coast (Florence to Garibaldi) accounted for 87.8 % of the finclipped cohos that were caught and kept. The southern Oregon coast (Winchester Bay to Brookings) accounted for 81.4 % of the retained Chinook salmon.

Crabbing is fair to good off the docks at Winchester Bay, very good for boat crabbers in the lower Umpqua River and excellent in the ocean. Ocean crabbing is legal through October 15th for noncommercial sport crabbers.

On an extremely irritating note, a man spent considerable time last Friday at Winchester Bay’s East Boat Basin telling anyone who would listen that it was illegal to keep coho salmon. According to the report I heard, he even managed to convince one angler to throw his two perfectly legal cohos, taken along the South Jetty, into the dumpster to avoid getting a ticket.

While this bozo may have meant well, his information was completely bogus. Finclipped coho salmon in the Umpqua River are legal to keep the entire year – subject to the two salmon daily limit.

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 number of 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) or other nice prizes 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.

This is the week that Lake Marie gets its annual plant of trophy rainbows. This year, 800 of the 16-inch fish are slated to be stocked and fishing should be good. This annual plant usually attracts fly anglers from a wide area.

Labor Day Weekend also means it’s time for our local STEP program’s Salmon Derby. Derby tickets cover all two and a half days of the contest and cost $10.00 for an individual and $25.00 for a boat (which can have three or more people). Tickets can be purchased at The Stockade Market in Winchester Bay, Ace Hardware and Turman Tackle in Reedsport and from STEP members at the boat ramp in Reedsport and the East Basin Boat Ramp in Winchester Bay.

As usual, the heaviest salmon weighed in on Saturday, Sunday and Monday will be worth $150. The entrant that weighs in the heaviest salmon for the entire derby will win an additional $500. Each legal salmon weighed in during the derby gives an angler an additional chance to win one of the three $100 prizes and there is also a $100 lucky ticket stub prize.

The awarda ceremony will be somewhat different this year as it will be part of a barbeque at the Marina Activity Center (MAC) in Winchester Bay hosted by the  south coast chapter of the Coastal Conaervation Association. The BBQ starts at noon and the Awards Ceremony, which includes a number of raffles and drawings, starts at 1:00 pm. Bedrocks will provide hamburgers, sausage, and salads for $10.00 per plate. Beer and wine can be purchased, separately.

The South Coast Chapter of CCA, Oregon is focused on providing more fishing opportunity to sport fishermen from Florence to Port Orford.

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Washington Outdoor News – Most of Puget Sound Closes To Crabbing

OLYMPIA – Most areas of Puget Sound will close to recreational crab fishing at sunset on Labor Day (Sept. 1), with summer catch reports due by midnight Oct. 1.

The only two areas of the Sound that will remain open to crab fishing after Labor Day are marine areas 7-North and 7-South near the San Juan Islands. Sport fishers who crab in those two areas after Sept. 1 must record their catch on winter catch record cards.

All sport fishers licensed to fish for Dungeness crab anywhere in Puget Sound have through Oct. 1 to submit summer catch reports to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

“Catch reports play a major role in determining how much crab is still available for harvest during the winter season,” said Rich Childers, WDFW’s shellfish policy lead. “It’s important that we receive reports from everyone licensed to fish for crab in Puget Sound – whether or not they caught crab this year.”

Childers said WDFW will announce winter crab seasons for Puget Sound in early October, after completing its assessment of the summer fishery.

Crabbers can submit catch record cards to WDFW by mail at CRC Unit, 600 Capitol Way N., Olympia, WA 98501-1091. They can also report their catch online at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov/wdfw/puget_sound_crab_catch.html from Sept. 2 through Oct. 1.

Crabbers who fail to file their catch reports on time will face a $10 fine when they purchase a 2015 Puget Sound crab endorsement.

Sport crabbers who fish for Dungeness crab in any area of Puget Sound after Sept. 1 must record their harvest on winter catch record cards, Childers said. Winter cards, which are free to those with crab endorsements, are available at sporting goods stores and other license vendors across the state.

For more information about recreational crabbing in Puget Sound, see WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/crab/

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Lake Marie Receives Annual Fall Plant Of Trophy Rainbows

Lake Marie, a deep six acre lake located on the southwest edge of Winchester Bay, is scheduled to receive a plant of rainbow trout this week.

Although the lake is planted with trout several times each year and also contains largemouth bass and yellow perch, this fall plant of 800 16-inch rainbows is the highlight  of the fishing season.

Lake Marie is also slated to receive 500 eight to nine inch rainbows next week.

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Winchester Bay Salmon Fishing Productive For Some

Salmon fishing was good entering the weekend – but not for everybody. While crabbing was good in the lower Umpqua River, it was excellent in the ocean. It appears that September will be a very productive month for both salmon fishing and crabbing.

Fishing had slowed a bit.  But today it picked back up.  Here's a pic of the  Harrigans from Fallon,Nevada enjoying a salmon-crab combo trip with the Umpqua Angler   - one fish shy of a boat limit and five limits of huge jumbo crabs.

Fishing had slowed a bit. But today it picked back up. Here’s a pic of the Harrigans from Fallon,Nevada enjoying a salmon-crab combo trip with the Umpqua Angler
– one fish shy of a boat limit and five limits of huge jumbo crabs.

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Washington Angler Sets New State Record For Tiger Muskies

OLYMPIA – David Hickman of Richland has set a new state record for the largest tiger muskie caught in state waters, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) confirmed today.

The 37.88 pound fish measured 50.38 inches in length and was caught in Curlew Lake in Ferry County on July 26 using a white spinner bait.

“Sometimes you can tell by the shape and width of the head that a fish is big,” said Hickman. “I wasn’t thinking about whether it was record-sized, I just kept thinking ‘I hope my line doesn’t break.'”

“Sometimes you can tell by the shape and width of the head that a fish is big,” said Hickman. “I wasn’t thinking about whether it was record-sized, I just kept thinking ‘I hope my line doesn’t break.'”

The new record exceeded the previous record tiger muskie’s weight by more than six pounds. That record was held by John Bays of Chehalis on a fish caught in Mayfield Lake, Lewis County in 2001. Tiger muskies are aggressive predators that are bred to be sterile. WDFW manages the hybrid for trophy fisheries with a low daily limit and a high minimum size.

The previous tiger musky record was set before Washington imposed a minimum length limit of 50-inches on tiger muskies. Several years ago, a 52-inch tiger musky was caught and released from Curlew Lake. If that fish had the same physical proportions as the new record fish – it would have weighed about 41 pounds 10 ounces.

Two sculpin records also fell this summer.

On July 1, Shaylynn Bird Sullivan from Sierra Vista, Arizona, caught a 0.45 pound prickly sculpin from the Columbia River in Chelan County. The fish was caught trolling shrimp approximately a quarter to half mile below the Rocky Reach Dam. The previous record was a 0.41 pound fish caught by Jeff Frederick in Priest Rapids Lake, in Grant County in 2008.

Nine-year old Josiah Brenner of Vashon also broke a state record when he caught a 0.76 pound Pacific staghorn sculpin out of Tramp Harbor in King County on Aug. 3.

Brenner caught the staghorn while fishing with herring. His fish was half a pound heavier than the previous record, which had been set by John Moore in 2000 out of Padilla Bay in Skagit County.

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