The Umpqua River’s redtailed surfperch run continues to dominate our area’s fishing opportunities. The fishing is gradually improving, and while some days are better than others, the fishing is definitely getting better. Last Friday was the best fishing day yet for the upriver perch and a number of boat limits were reported taken by 8 am. Sand shrimp continues to be the most popular bait, but other popular baits include Berkeley Gulp sandworms, clam necks, squid and nightcrawlers.
Meanwhile, anglers fishing for the “pinkfins” in the surf are also catching fish (mostly male perch now), but last week the fishing was erratic on the beach for the perch. The South Jetty/Triangle area continues to provide consistent bottomfishing, usually for greenling and striped surfperch while using sand shrimp for bait. A few rockfish and lingcod are also being taken, but many anglers are eagerly awaiting July 1st when the many nice-sized cabezon now being caught will not have to be released.
Some large spring chinook were caught in the last two weeks in the Scottsburg area and above. Removing moss from your line and lures can be quite irritating, but catching a spring chinook makes it all worthwhile. The Wells Creek Inn’s spring chinook tournament runs through June 30th. Last week, sport anglers fishing out of Winchester Bay were reporting boat limits of 10 to 12 pound chinooks. But since then, mostly because of wind, bar and ocean conditions, but also partly because of the upriver pinkfin fishery, almost no sport boats have tried to catch chinook salmon in the ocean.
An announcement will be made by noon on Friday, June 14th as to whether there enough remaining quota on the central coast all-depth halibut fishery to allow an additonal opener – which most likely would be June 20th through June 22nd (Thursday – Saturday). Through June 1st, 61 percent of the quota had been caught. As for the near shore halibut quota, it has hardly been touched with 95 percent of the quota uncaught through June 2nd.
The ODFW, at a Salem meeting on June 6th, set fall coho salmon seasons. One change is that on some streams, they are going to set conservative bag limits and seasons without setting an actual quota. On most streams, there will be season quotas. A complete description of the 2013 coastal salmon seasons <http://www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/fishing/coastal_salmon_seasons.asp> , including open areas and wild coho quotas (as applicable), can be found on the ODFW website.
I found Bill Monroe’s article in the June 2nd Sunday Oregonian to be especially interesting. He had some very interesting quotes in the article from both Buzz Ramsey, who works for Yakima Tackle and Bob Rees who is a a fishing guide/conservationist living in Bay City. What I found most interesting among Rees’ quotes was where he stated that when they collected a few cormorants to test their stomach contents, the rest of the cormorants in the area left. My take on this, is that the cormorants went to some other fishing spot, but if each community would harrass them, in sequence, the cormorants would spend so much time flying that they would not have the energy to breed – or they would eat a lot more fish because of all the energy they burned.
The most interesting revelation, to me, that Buzz Ramsay made in Monroe’s article was his blaming the increased gun sales in the first quarter of 2013 as the major reason for decreased tackle sales. I found the entire article quite interesting and the paper should still be available in virtually all of Oregon’s libraries.
As the planted trout populations in our local fishing spots gradually shrimk, I am surprised that many freshwater anglers continue to use Powerbait, and only Powerbait, to fish for them. A more logical approach would be to continue to use Powerbait on a small treble hook (make sure your drag is set very light) and use a second hook baited with an redworm or a piece of nightcrawler. This second hook should be a thin wire hook in a size no larger than a #8 and this second hook should add bass, yellow perch, brown bullheads, bluegills and even an occasional crappie to the anglers trout catch. Make sure that this second hook is clearly separate from the small treble to maximize your total catch.