Pete Heley Outdoors 6 / 05 / 2019

The run of female redtail surfperch into the lower Umpqua River above Winchester Bay is still going on.
. Although it is still early in the run, there have been a number of boat limitswere caught last weekend. and the run should last through July. Fishing success has been spotty. Most surfperch anglers limit their fishing success by avoiding all logic when it comes to their fishing strategies. I’m convinced the most consistent strategy is to start early. Many surfperch anglers plan their start around certain mid-tides and that is wonderful if that certain midtide is the one with the best bite. The “hot bite” may vary “tide-wise. The perch may be in different locations in the three miles above Winchester Bay and may iternsect with anglers at varying spots and tidal stages. Early morning arrivals also do not have to worry about other boaters making the perch less aggressive. They also are less affected the strong winds that usually start by mid-morning. This year’s, early arrivals are less affected by the weekend traffic congestion in Reedsport.

This avoidance of logic is not restricted to boaters targeting the pinkfin spawning run into the lower Umpqua River.

Anglers fishing the beach for surfperch would be well-advised to trade in their monofilament line for s super braid. The advantages are numerous. . The no-stretch feature of the braid helps detect light bites and in hook-setting. At less than one-third the diameter a superbraid allows longer more effortless casting – and the thinner diameter is less effected by tidal currents to the point of allowing the use of lighter weights.

If you enjoyed the “Free Fishing Weekend” on June 1st and 2nd – The state of Washington has their version of “Free Fishing Weekend this coming weekend of June 7th and 8th.

The hottest local fishery continues to be Umpqua River shad fishing. The Yellow Creek area is still producing well, but most of the fishing pressure has shifted to Sawyers Rapids. Most of the shad are just below the chute on the opposite side of the river from Sawyers Rapids RV Park.

Bank anglers can catch some shad on the Highway 38 side of the river by fishing the chute entering the large shallow pool about 500 feet below the rapids.

Because of rough ocean conditionsit appears that the spring all-depth halibut season willnot meet its quota of 171,103 pounds . June 6-8 is the last fixed opener for the spring season and back-up dates will every other Thursday through Saturday until the spring quota is met or approached.

The summer all-depth halibut season is set to start on Friday August 2nd with back-up dates every other Friday and Saturday until the summer quota is met or approached..

Ocean salmon fishing at least for cohos should be much better this season. The selective or finclipped ocean coho season will run from June 22nd through August 25th or until the 90,000 finclipped coho quota is met.

Chinook salmon fishing in the ocean is ongoing and slated to run through October. Recently, there have been a few decent chinook catches in the ocean out of Winchester Bay.

Cleawox Lake received nearly 4,000 trophy rainbows in the last few weeks.

It seems that there is growing amount of fishing pressure directed at walleyes in Lookout Point Reservoir including some guides. Almost all the fishing pressure occurs after dark and it seems that most of the walleyes are being caught on the north side of the reservoir.

One can reasonably expect ODFW trout plants into coastal waters to be slowing down as many waters become less suitable for receiving trout plants.

Loon Lake is western Oregon’s best bluegill fishery – and it’s not even close.

Loon Lake is also our area’s best spot to catch a footlong crappie.

If I were targeting big crappies, I would fish the docks on the summer home side of the lake and I wouldn’t use normal-sized crappie lures..

Last year, I discovered that Loon’s largest crappie were not interested in anything smaller than a 3-inch swimbait.

Pete Heley works parttime at the Stockade Market & Tackle, across from A’ Dock, in Winchester Bay where he is more than happy to swap fishing info with anyone.

About Pete Heley

Writes and self-publishes Oregon and Washington fishing books.

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