The ocean coho salmon season opened last Saturday with a whimper due to rough ocean conditions and a severely restricted Umpqua River Bar. There are good numbers of Chinook salmon and finclipped coho salmon a short distance out of Winchester Bay and they should still be around when fishing conditions improve.
Many “would-be salmon anglers” were forced to go to a “Plan B” which was fishing for spawning redtailed surfperch in the Umpqua River above Winchester Bay – and although the fishing was erratic, a number of boat limits were caught. It won’t be long – possibly two or three weeks, when the “Plan B” for rough ocean conditions will be fishing the lower Umpqua River for early run fall Chinook salmon.
Halibut fishing during the last three day opener was very good and most area halibut anglers will be surprised if any additional fishing days are offered during the spring halibut season. The summer season will start August 1st and the open dates will be every other Friday and Saturday after August 1st and 2nd until the quota of 46,405 pounds is reached.
The nearshore halibut season for the southern Oregon coast(Humbug Mountain – California border) has, since May 1st, been open seven days per week inside the 40 fathom line. Additionally, starting on July 1st, the nearshore halibut season (inside 40 fathoms) for the central Oregon coast will start July 1st and remain open seven days per week until the quota of 22,274 pounds is reached.
Trout plants in our area lakes will nor resume until September, but some of the larger lakes, especially those with oceanbound outlets, have been providing fair to good trout fishing. While shad fishing is definitely winding down on the Umpqua River, the smallmouth bass fishing is very, very good – and improving. While smallmouth can be caught as far downstream as seven miles above Reedsport, the best fishing is in the many miles of the mainstem Umpqua between Wells Creek and Roseburg.
Loon Lake continues to produce well for largemouth bass and bluegill with some crappie, brown bullheads and rainbow trout also entering the catch.Tenmile Lakes has been fishing well for large and medium-sized bass and yellow perch. The yellow perch have caused problems for some bass anglers when they start hitting their bass-intended lures with enthusiasm.