Monthly Archives: July 2015

Pete Heley Outdoors 07 / 08 /2015

Strong winds and rough ocean conditions have made it difficult for anglers Chinook salmon and finclipped cohos in the ocean. Thankfully, there are some Chinooks in the river between the Umpqua River Bar and Reedsport. In past years, the Umpqua River near Reedsport has acted as a summer through early fall thermal barrier to early-arriving fall Chinooks and this year won’t be any different.

Jason Campbell, while parked at Ork Rock Point at 11:30 am last Friday observed a pod of four orcas swimming out of Winchester Bay’s East Boat Basin and into the Umpqua River where they headed downstream and presumably out into the Pacific Ocean. Jason said there were three sub-adults following an adult orca of about 25 feet in length and they were swimming in surprisingly shallow water.

The run of redtailed surfperch between Winchester Bay and Gardiner is still going strong, but seems to be increasing in its inconsistent results. Meanwhile area beaches are producing fair fishing for the male pinkfins that remain in the ocean. The sean Strickland party from Drain caught 43 perch for three rods last Sunday morning while fishing sand shrimp in only seven feet of water.

Fishing for striped surfperch and greenling along Winchester Bay’s South Jetty was off this week, but cabazon, finally legal again since July 1st with a limit of one fish 16-inches or more in length, bit well.

Spring all-depth halibut fishing is over. After the latest three day opener, there was 1,486 pounds left from the spring quota. It will be added to the summer all-depth quota making it 45,394 pounds.  The summer all-depth season begins August 7th and 8th and will be every other Friday and Saturday until the quota is met. The near shore halibut season opened July 1st with a quota of 21,076 pounds. It will remain open seven days a week until October 31st or until the quota is met.

I got a couple of fishing trips in this past week with longtime friend Curtis Reed. We hit Tenmile Lakes for a half day and despite a heavy algae bloom that limited visibility to about 15-inches, we used plastic worms and soft plastic jerkbaits to catch several postspawn largemouths to nearly four pounds. We also fished the Coquille River near the Arago Boat Ramp for smallmouth bass. Curt used his Umpqua River smallmouth tackle to catch several 14 to 16-inch smallmouths. I tried lures that I felt would give me a chance at a largemouth or striped bass in addition to the smallmouths, but while I contributed to the total smallmouth catch of at least 20 fish I didn’t catch any other fish species nor nearly as many larger smallmouths as Curtis caught.

Anglers need to be aware that unless a stream is specifically exempted, it is illegal to use bait above tidewater. Of the streams in our area, the Umpqua River is the one that allows the use of bait above tidewater.

Trout plants along the Oregon coast have stopped and will not resume until fall.

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Umpqua River Angler Ocean Coho Opener Photo

Bryan Gill sent this photo in of their catch made the the opening day of this year’s ocean finclipped salmon fishery. He was fishing in less than 200 feet of water out of Winchester Bay and crabbing in 30 to 80 feet of water.

Happy anglers all - The Umpqua Angler - 541-852-9889.

Happy anglers all – The Umpqua Angler – 541-852-9889.

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Southwest Oregon Bass Photos

Despite the heat, there are still plenty of warmwater fishing opportunities around with early morning fishinf being the best way todeal with warm water and air temperatures and strong winds that often start by midmorning.

Pete Heley holds up part of a catch of Tenmile Lakes largemouth bass. The postspawn largemouth ranged in weight yo three pounds eight ounces and were caught on plastic worms and soft plastic jerkbaits. A heavy algae bloom limited visibility to about 25-inches.

Pete Heley holds up part of a catch of Tenmile Lakes largemouth bass. The postspawn largemouth ranged in weight yo three pounds eight ounces and were caught on plastic worms and soft plastic jerkbaits. A heavy algae bloom limited visibility to about 25-inches.

Curtis Reed holds up the largest of more than 20 smallmouth bass taken on the Cpquille River near Myrtle Point. No largemouth or striped bass were caught incidentally. Other area waters with increasing smallmouth populations include Woahink and Eel lakes.

Curtis Reed holds up the largest of more than 20 smallmouth bass taken on the Cpquille River near Myrtle Point. No largemouth or striped bass were caught incidentally. Other area waters with increasing smallmouth populations include Woahink and Eel lakes.

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Potholes Reservoir / Mardon Resort Fishing Report

The weather forecast for Potholes Reservoir is ideal to celebrate the 4th of July Holiday. God Bless Military men and women for providing our freedom we enjoy. This being the Meseberg Family’s 43rd 4th of July Holiday here it brings back many wonderful memories. Our early July heat makes for a perfect outing on the lake. Beach parties, cooking hot dogs and enjoying your favorite water activity.

Speaking of water activities this is a great time of year for an early morning top water bass fishing outing. Or you can troll for walleye in the sand dunes and catch some delicious perch at the same time by also hitting the mouth of Frenchman’s Waste-way. Perch have been reported over 14” just this week. If you want to get a kiddo hooked on fishing now is an ideal time with many different fishing and catching opportunities on Potholes Reservoir. If you are looking to fish one of the seep lakes you can try Soda Lake, Long Lake or Crescent Lake on the Potholes Canal System. The key to catching on the Canal System is to fish on the edge of a current.

The MarDon Dock has been showing crappie up to 14” for the past 5 weeks now! Mother nature or the fishing gods has smiled on Potholes Reservoir for several years. We have an improved fishery due to many positive factors. I believe the number 1 factor is our Central Washington Fish Advisory Committee (cwfac.org) restoration habitat project. Specifically at low water these habitat boxes give smaller fish a place to hide from the larger predator fish.

MarDon Resort will have its annual firework show over the lake on Saturday July, 4th at Dusk. To enjoy the show you can park across the street from the store and walk in with your chairs and sit on the dock, or on the pier or on the grassy area above the marina. And during the day on the 4th we will have our All Resorts Golf Cart Parade starting at noon. We leave MarDon Resort at noon and tour O’Sullivan Sportsman’s Resort and the Legacy Golf Resort then head back and drive thought MarDon Resort. If you have any questions please call (509) 346-2651.

Kayden Wilder of Cle Elum caught this perch of the MarDon Dock using a mini-jig.

Kayden Wilder of Cle Elum caught this perch of the MarDon Dock using a mini-jig.

Joe Polzer of Everett caught these beauties trolling with nightcrawlers.

Joe Polzer of Everett caught these beauties trolling with nightcrawlers.

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Pete Heley Outdoors 7 / 01 / 2015

One of the problems with writing a weekly column is the amount of time between when a column is submitted and when it actually appears in print. Last week, I wrote a column while I was upset that a promised change in the timing of determining whether an Umpqua River Chinook salmon was a fall or spring fish had not yet been officially changed. I waited and waited and then one day before my last week’s column appeared in print, they actually made the correction where Umpqua River Chinook salmon caught in July will be considered fall, not spring fish. In other words, the Reedsport/Winchester Bay area will not suffer a major economic impact this July because anglers refuse to fish for fall Chinooks that have to go against their seasonal quota for spring Chinooks. Currently, the feeder Chinooks that are in the lower Umpqua chasing bait will be considered spring Chinooks through the end of June. Steve Perry, an avid angler and lure manufactuer living in Reedsport stated “as a spinner manufacturer, my business will be decrease greatly if anglers on the Lower Umpqua River are not allowed to fish for fall Chinooks until August  and the local economy will suffer as well. I also believe that the temporary regulations adopted to protect Umpqua River salmon and steelhead above Scottsburg are very important to the long term health of those runs.”

Umpqua River salmonids will definitely benefit from the emergency regulation that prohibits angling within 200 feet of where any any Umpqua River tributaries enter the river between between the Scottsburg Bridge and River Forks Park where the North Umpqua and South Umpqua meet.

The mainstem Umpqua, as in most summers, currently has very low water flows and very warm water temperatures. But this summer, the water temperatures seem even warmer than normal. Salmonds can find some relief in faster more aerated flows, but there aren’t many such spots during periods of greatly reduced river levels.

The ocean fishery for finclipped salmon opened with little fanfare last week, but the bulk of the cohos caught were finclipped except for Rick Mason who stated that the first seven cohos landed on his new boat were unclipped and unkeepable. He did finish the day on Saturday with four clipped cohos.

On Sunday, the ocean salmon fishing out of Winchester Bay was even better with some boat limits taken a short ways north of the Umpqua River Bar in less than 200 feet of water.

A Reedsport resident fished the Coquille River near Myrtle Point last week for smallmouth bass and while he was landing 20 smallmouths to 13-inches, he also hooked three small striped bass, landing the two smaller ones of about 16-inches.

Fishing for redtailed surfperch above Winchester Bay continues to be productive, but inconsistent. Crabbing from a boat at Winchester Bay’s Half Moon Bay has been very good.

Cabezon become legal to keep beginning July 1st. The daily limit is one cabazon of at least 16-inches in length.

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