On Saturday there will be a free fishing event at Tugman Park on Eel Lake. On Sunday, there will be a free fishing event on Lake Marie. These events are wonderful places to introduce youngsters to fishing. The youngsters get a free hotdog and pop for simply registering and can get the same for picking up some litter. In the meantime, there are hourly prize drawings, fishing tackle to use and fishing instruction as needed. It is a great way to get your kids a good start in their fishing careers.
John Reiss (“Ringo”) of Lakeside Marina emailed me a photo of a 15+-inch yellow perch that was caught a little over a week ago. The jumbo perch weighed 1.9 pounds and would almost certainly bested the Oregon state record of two pounds two ounces caught from a Columbia River slough way back in 1971 – if it was caught several weeks earlier while in a pre-spawn condition.
The next two weeks feature all-depth halibut openers (Thursday through Saturday) on May 30th – June 1st and June 6th – 8th. The quota is 120,947 and 34,712 pounds (29 %) were reported caught on the first three day opener. Although the caught rate for the second three day opener was not available when I wrote this, it is reasonable to expect that approximately half the quota remains and if fishing success rates stay consistent for the upcoming two openers, the quota should be very close to being met. The nearshore halibut catch through May 12th was 775 pounds and the quota is 22,263 – so 97 percent of the near shore halibut quota remained after May 12th.
As usual, the all-depth spring halibut season is incredibly unfair to anglers who work regular jobs (Monday through Friday) as they, without taking time off or quitting their jobs, can only fish one of the three days (Saturday) – if ocean conditions allow them to do so. The summer all-depth fishery is a little more fair to working anglers as they have half the chance that nonworking anglers have since the fishing days on the openers are Friday and Saturday.
Adding to the unfairness is the upcoming nonselective coho fishery starting this September which will also be Thursday through Saturday.
As for ocean chinook salmon angling, Charleston has reported goof fishing with an average of a half-fish per angler. But the very few anglers that have fished out of Winchester Bay have enjoyed very good salmon fishing success. The problem is getting ocean and bar conditions that allow anglers to actually get into the ocean and have enough time to find the fish.
Two weeks after the first good pinkfin catch on the Umpqua River above Winchester Bay, some more good catches have been made. The best catch reported last Sunday was 27 pinkfins for a single boat. The fishing has been very erratic and disappointing in general, but it looks like the Umpqua River pinkfin run is finally underway. Sand shrimp and Berkley Gulp are the most popular baits. Of course, fishing for the pinkfins in the surf at area beaches is still going strong.