Mardon Resort / Potholes Reservoir Fishing Report

The current water level on the Potholes Reservoir is 1044.13-feet – down 1.27 feet from last week. The water temps in the sand dunes are in the mid to upper 70’s. The water temps on the main Reservoir are in the low to mid 70’s.

The sand dunes continue to produce good catches of both Largemouth and Smallmouth bass. Fish the sand dunes with ½ oz jigs and craw trailers, Swim Jigs, Chatter Baits, Punch Rigs, Senkos and frogs or Zara Spooks. The top-water bite has been good this week and should continue. There are Smallmouth back in the sand dunes and around the rocks around Goose Island. Fish Booyah finesse jigs, Wacky Rigged Senkos, Crankbaits, Tubes and Swimbaits for the Smallmouth. Anglers have been doing well on Smallmouth on the face of the dam using crankbaits as well.

The walleye remain in the sand dunes and channels throughout the dunes. Fisher the West Arm, Crab Creek and the Lind Coulee in 6-20 feet of water Troll the channels and weed lines with Smile Blades/Slow Death Hooks/2 oz bottom walker and ½ a crawler in 8-15 feet. Troll from .8-1.2 miles per hour. The crankbait bite is producing as well. Troll a #5 Flicker Shad or Rapala Shad Rap.

Trolling for trout has been productive this week – trolling #7 Flicker Shads between 2-3 miles per hour. Fish in front of Medicare Beach and in front of the State Park both from shore and by boat. Bank fisherman are using Power Bait, Mice Tails, worms and marshmallows, a 12-18” leader, and a 1/8-1/4 oz. egg sinker above the swivel. Boat anglers are trolling Wicked Lures Trout Killers, Needlefish spoons, #7 Flicker Shads and Shad Raps.
Nice crappie and Bluegill are being caught back in and on the face of the sand dunes and up Crab Creek. Fish Gulp alive minnows, Trout Magnets and #5 Flicker shads around the willows for panfish.

A proud Cam Cox – age 4 – from North Plains, OR caught the biggest Walleye on the boat using his 4 foot kids rod – awesome job Cam!


Pic2: Isabelle Barajas caught her very first fish ever – a 15.13 oz Yellow Perch on the Potholes Reservoir while fishing with her Grandmother – Katie Lang of MarDon Resort!


Call the MarDon Tackle Store for the latest fishing info at 509-346-2651.

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Pete Heley Outdoors 06 / 12 / 2019

As for hot local fisheries, the redtail surfperch spawning in the Umpqua River above Winchester Bay went on a torrid bite. last week. Last weekend was Washington’s Free Fishing Weekend. Oregon’s next Free Fishing Weekend is on August 17th and 18th. An additional Free Fishing Weekend will occur on November 29th and 30th.

The last two times I drove into Tugman Park , there were at least six anglers fishing off the fishing dock. The only time I’ve seen that many people fishing off that dock is when the lake’s warmwater fish were active. So I naturally assumed that the panfishing was heating up. a fishing buddy fished the lake two consecutive days and found the black crappies to be very cooperative, the small largemouths less so and the bluegills not quite active enough to actually bite. Unfortunately the crappies averaged small and appeared quite thin as did the smaller largemouths The crappies were just finishing the spawn and were quite dark Despite their small average size, a few 10-11-inch fish were present. the larger bass in Eel Lake seemed to have totally disappeared. – at least as far as anglers are concerned.

Western Oregon trout plants are pretty much over until fall. Lakes still holding fair numbers of planted trout include Cleawox., Saunders and Eel.

Striped bass were observed chasing baitfish near the Gardiner boat ramp last week. If you really want to catch a striper during daylight hours. try the Coquille River near Riverton about ten miles east of Bandon.

The run of female redtail surfperch into the lower Umpqua River above Winchester Bay is still going on. and the bite has become much more consistent. and there has been temporary shortages of sand shrimp – usually followed rather quickly by shortages of Berkley Gulp sandworms.

Although it is still early in the run, there have been a number of boat limits were 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 internsect with anglers at varying spots and tidal stages. Early morning arrivals also do not have to worry about boat traffic 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.

The hottest local fishery continues to be Umpqua River shad fishing. The Yellow Creek area is still producing well as of last weekend., 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 it appears that the spring all-depth halibut season wil lnot 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. fishing days will be

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.

Some informational tidbita from the latest issue of the Columbia Basin Bulletin include After 6-Year Ban, Barbed Hooks Return For Columbia River Salmon, Steelhead Fishing, Harvest Managers Say Catch/Release Mortality Rates Unchanged With Barbless; Dismal Returns Make Summer Chinook Season Unlikely

* The Pike Danger: Will Economic Impact Report Light A Fire On Suppression Efforts?

Some Eugene-area TV stations recently ran some videos regarding the severe drawdown of Fall Creek Reservoir.

While the initial headline extolling the extermination of invasive species in the reservoir had me thinking they were talking about zebra and quagga mussels I was shocked when they were talking about black crappies and largemouth bass.

It seems that salmon and steelhead smolts had a difficult time passing through the dam on their downstream migration. Fall Creek Reservoir . The reservoir has undergone severe annual drawdowns for more than a decade and the crappie and largemouth bass fisheries suffered major declines. But more than a decade ago, Fall Creek Reservoir had a highly regarded largemouth fishery and it also had an overlooked black crappie fishery for fish up to and even exceeding three pounds.

So it was difficult to listen these TV news announcers both of whom appeared to be in their 30’s gleefully announcing the extinction of the crappies and largemouth bass in Fall Creek Reservoir

The newscasters were obviously unaware that both black crappies and largemouth bass had been swimming around Lane County waters for more than 40 years before they were born.

a biologist from the ODFW office in Springfield assured me that the extermination of the crappies and bass was a byproduct of trying to help the reservoir’s outmigrating smolt find passage through the dam and the shape and bottom contours of the reservoir did not offer any havens for the reservoir’s warmwater fish. at much lower water levels.

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.

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Fall Creek Reservoir – TV News – The Other Side of the Story

Some Eugene-area TV stations recently ran some videos regarding the severe drawdown of Fall Creek Reservoir.

While the initial headline extolling the extermination of invasive species in the reservoir had me thinking they were talking about zebra and quagga mussels I was shocked when they were talking about black crappies and largemouth bass.

It seems that salmon and steelhead smolts had a difficult time passing through the dam on their downstream migration. Fall Creek Reservoir . The reservoir has undergone severe annual drawdowns for more than a decade and the crappie and largemouth bass fisheries suffered major declines. But more than a decade ago, Fall Creek Reservoir had a highly regarded largemouth fishery and it also had an overlooked black crappie fishery for fish up to and even exceeding three pounds.

So it was difficult to listen these TV news announcers both of whom appeared to be in their 30’s gleefully announcing the extinction of the crappies and largemouth bass in Fall Creek Reservoir

The newscasters were obviously unaware that both black crappies and largemouth bass had been swimming around Lane County waters for more than 40 years before they were born.

a biologist from the ODFW office in Springfield assured me that the extermination of the crappies and bass was a byproduct of trying to help the reservoir’s outmigrating smolt find passage through the dam and the shape and bottom contours of the reservoir did not offer any havens for the reservoir’s warmwater fish. at much lower water levels.

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Umpqua River Pinkfin Shows Big Improvement – With Larger Perch Showing Up.

Jumbo Pinkfin Photo Courtesy of Norma Evans and “A BENT ROD BEATS WORKIN’ Guide Service”.

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Mardon Resort / Fishing Report

MarDon Fresh News – June 7, 2019
The current water level on the Potholes Reservoir is 1045.40-feet – down about 4.0 inches from last week. The water temps in the sand dunes are in the low-70’s. The water temps on the main Reservoir are in the upper-60’s.
The sand dunes are producing impressive catches of both Largemouth and Smallmouth bass. Fish the sand dunes with ½ oz jigs and craw trailers, Swim Jigs, Chatter Baits, Punch Rigs, Senkos and frogs or Zara Spooks. The top-water bite has been good this week and should continue. There are Smallmouth back in the sand dunes and around the rocks around Goose Island. Fish Booyah finesse jigs, Wacky Rigged Senkos, Crankbaits, Tubes and Swimbaits for the Smallmouth. Anglers have been doing well on Smallmouth on the face of the dam using crankbaits as well.
The walleye are still back in the weeds and sand dunes but are moving a little deeper in the channels and to the face of the dunes. Troll the channels and weed lines with Smile Blades/Slow Death Hooks/2 oz bottom walker and ½ a crawler in 8-15 feet. Troll from .8-1.2 miles per hour. The crankbait bite is producing as well. Troll a #5 Flicker Shad or Rapala Shad Rap.
Trout fishing has been outstanding this past week! Fish in front of Medicare Beach and in front of the State Park both from shore and by boat. Bank fisherman are using Power Bait, worms and marshmallows, a 12-18” leader, and a 1/8-1/4 oz. egg sinker above the swivel. Boat anglers are trolling Wicked Lures Trout Killers, Needlefish spoons, #7 Flicker Shads and Shad Raps. Top Lakes continue to be been the Hamptons and the lakes in the Widgeon – Pillar chain. Top Baits have been Worms and marshmallows, Berkley Power Bait, Rooster Tails, and Berkley Mouse Tails.
The Channel Catfish fishing is picking up on the Potholes Reservoir – a 21 pounder was brought in this past week. Fish around the mouth of Frenchman’s Wasteway and up the Lind Coulee. Anglers are using Magic Bait and worms for the Channel Cats.

Dave Schultz with a 7.80 pound Rainbow Trout caught trolling on the Potholes Reservoir!

ason Couch from Selah, WA with a 21 pound Channel Cat – the biggest one weighed so far this year!

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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.

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Recreational Halibut Update Through May 26

Halibut Update through May 26

Columbia River Subarea

All-Depth—Through the May 24 and May 26 opening, 14,453 pounds were landed, leaving 174 pounds remaining, not enough for additional open days. Therefore, this fishery has closed.

Nearshore—there have been no landings in the Columbia River Subarea nearshore fishery yet. Quota = 500 lbs.

Central Oregon Coast Subarea

Spring All-Depth season— through the 3rd opener, May 23-25, the total landings are 33,280 pounds (1,125 pounds landed during the May 23-25 opening). This leaves 137,823 pounds or 81% of the spring all-depth quota remaining. The remaining “fixed” openings are May 30-June 1 and June 6-8.

The weather for the last two openings was not good resulting in little effort or landings. For those few that did venture out, fishing was reported to be okay, with average success rate of approximately 70%. Coastwide the average size was 20-21 pounds round weight per fish so far this year, with last week’s average being somewhat smaller at 17-18 pounds round weight.

Summer All-Depth Season—opens August 2-3, if quota remaining, can be open every other Friday and Saturday. Quota = 67,898 lbs.

Nearshore Season— opens June 1, seven days per week. Quota = 32,591 lbs. Reminder that on days when the all-depth fishery is also open, such as June 1 and June 4-6, the all-depth fishery regulations apply, regardless of what depth is fished. This means that most bottomfish species may not be retained when halibut are onboard the vessel.

South of Humbug Mountain subarea—there has been a total of 265 pounds landed, 0 pounds landed last week. This leaves 11,057 pounds (99 %) of the quota remaining.

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Mardon Resort / Potholes Reservoir Fishing Report

MarDon Fresh News – May 31, 2019
The current water level on the Potholes Reservoir is 1045.70-feet – up 3.6 inches from last week. The water temps are heating up – temps in the sand dunes are in the low-70’s. The water temps on the main Reservoir are in the upper-60’s.
The bass have about finished up their spawning activity. Fish the sand dunes with ½ oz jigs and craw trailers, Swim Jigs, Chatter Baits, Punch Rigs, Senkos and frogs or Zara Spooks. The top-water bite has been good this week and should continue. There are Smallmouth back in the sand dunes and around the rocks around Goose Island. Fish Booyah finesse jigs, Wacky Rigged Senkos, Crankbaits, Tubes and Swimbaits for the Smallmouth. Anglers have been doing well on Smallmouth on the face of the dam using crankbaits as well.
Walleye fishing was a little spotty this week due to the storm we had come through on Memorial Day. It is improving as the weather warms and stabilizes. The fish are still back in the weeds and sand dunes but are moving a little deeper in the channels and to the face of the dunes. Troll the channels and weed lines with Smile Blades/Slow Death Hooks/2 oz bottom walker and ½ a crawler in 8-15 feet. Troll from .8-1.2 miles per hour. The crankbait bite is producing as well. Troll a #5 Flicker Shad or Rapala Shad Rap.
Trout are being caught off Medicare Beach and in front of the State Park both from shore and by boat. Bank fisherman are using Power Bait, worms and marshmallows, a 12-18” leader, and a 1/8-1/4 oz. egg sinker above the swivel. Boat anglers are trolling Wicked Lures Trout Killers, Needlefish spoons, #7 Flicker Shads and Shad Raps. Trout fishing in the Seep Lake has been very good this past week. Top Lakes continue to be been the Hamptons and Cattail Lake. Top Baits have been Worms and marshmallows, Berkley Power Bait, Rooster Tails, and Berkley Mouse Tails.
Soda and Long Lake are producing decent catches of crappie and bluegill.
The crappie and bluegill are showing up at the MarDon Resort dock. Several good catches of 10-12-inch crappies are coming in. Fish trout Magnets, flies, VMC Wingding jigs and Berkley Gulp Alive Minnows on a 1/32 oz. jig head. Only registered guests of MarDon Resort are permitted to fish off the dock. By boat, head back in the dunes towards the Job Corps dike and fish the willows or up Lind Coulee by M Road for bluegill and crappie using the same baits mentioned above.
The fishing is improving daily – call the MarDon Tackle Store for the latest fishing info at 509-346-2651.
Upcoming Events:
June 1-2 – Limit Out Marine Big Bass Tournament
June 1-2 Hero’s Salute Weekend Special – All Police, Fire and Military stay the first night at regular price and get the second night FREE!

Amos Trent of MarDon Resort with a nice batch of Potholes Reservoir Walleye!

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Pete Heley Outdoors 5 / 29 / 2019

The run of female redtail surfperch into the lower Umpqua River above Winchester Bay is going strong. Although it is still early in the run, there have been a number of boat limits caught last weekend. and the run should last through July.

A word of caution though, there has been an incredible amount of fishing pressure directed at these spawning perch over the last several years and their behavior has changed. During the last couple of years the perch have moved back and forth between the ocean and lower Umpqua River during the larger tides than they ever did during previous years. The perch that stayed in the umpqua River once they moved in. or did not become less aggressive during considerable boat traffic have pretty much been removed from the river. The fact that the Umpqua River still hosts a healthy run of female redtail surfperch is a tribute to many of these perch making behavorial adjustments that make them less predictible.

I was invited to use my weekly fishing column to add my “2 cents worth” regarding the recent ODFW meeting at the North Bend public Library. The person making the request described the meeting as “packed full with local anglers angry about the ODFW’s regulation changes regarding salmon rivers. Most attendees felt the regulation changes were too severe. As ODFW regulation changes go, this is one of the most measured, sensible well thought out policy changes ever.- and well designed to keep angler impact to a minimum. No one lost the right to keep a wild chinook and anglers who feel that they need to keep two wild chinook per day are simply greedy to a fault.

The audacity, or perhaps arrogance of anglers thinking they should remain unaffected by a shrinking wild chinook population boggles the mind.

This ODFW policy change is so well thought out that it allows flexibility based on stream flows when setting chinook seasons on several smaller streams located between Bandon and Gold Beach.

These same angry library attendees were silent when the minimum size limit and daily bag limit were completely removed from striped bass at the start of 2019, but still felt they had the right to be angry when the ODFW made a minimal change to deal with a shrinking population of wild and finclipped chinook salmon.

Bringing up hatch boxes, Whitlock-Vibert, or otherrwise, was simply something pulled out of left field to allow for more griping.

I am actually a big fan of hatchboxes but I think their use should be closely coordinated with an involved ODFW to maximize their benefit and minimize potential damage.

Congratulations to Craig and Kellie Johnson who landed two Smith River striped bass in the forty pound class last week. While striper success has dropped off somewhat on the Smith recently, it seems to have picked up on the Coquille River in the Riverton area.

Umpqua River shad fishing, especially at Sawyers Rapids, remains almost too easy.

Somewhat overlooked because of the awesome shad fishing, the Umpqua’s smallmouth bass fishing is excellent and and should get even better numbers-wise through September.Smallmouth bass in Woahink Lake have moved to deeper water and few anglers are fishing deep enough to catch them.

Loon Lake is currently offering the best bluegill fishing in our area and has recently given up some crappie exceeding 11-inches near some of the lake’s summer homes docks.

Alder Lake and Buck Lake, two small lakes west of Highway 101 seven miles north of Florence were stocked this week with 497 and 425 legal trout respectively. Siltcoos Lagoon was planted with 36 trophy rainbows and Cleawox Lake received 1,900 trophy rainbows.

This coming Saturday and Sunday, June 1st and 2nd, is a Free Fishing Weekend where a license is not needed to fish. crab or clam and a tag is not needed to needed to fish for salmon, or steelhead or halibut.

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.

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Columbia River All-Depth Halibut Closed.

The Columbia River Subarea (Leadbetter Point, WA to Cape Falcon, OR) all-depth recreational halibut fishery is now closed. Preliminary estimates of landings through Sunday, May 26 indicate that the quota has been caught. Therefore no additional days will be open.

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