CENTRAL COAST FISHING
Week of October 30th
In the Creel: Things are winding down. The seasons for ocean Chinook and nearshore halibut, and river cutthroat trout, all close at midnight Friday, October 31st. But that still leaves some nice wild Coho and Chinook fishing available in the rivers and bays, with the catch rates of both species improving over the past week. In the bays, fishing is fair to good and crabbing remains decent. Clammers are facing a bum situation; all minus tides occur near sunset or overnight for the remainder of 2014. Next on the horizon will be winter steelhead for sport fishermen and crab season for the commercial fleet. So, keep casting forward.
Salmon River: Fall Chinook fishing is fair with anglers catching kings in upper tidewater and through the mainstem up to the deadline. Many fish are in spawning condition this time of year. Casting lures or floating bait under a bobber can be effective. Cutthroat trout fishing is fair through the mainstem but the season ends at midnight on Friday, October 31st.
Siletz River/Bay: Fall Chinook fishing is fair to good. Anglers are having success from middle to upper tidewater and all through the river below the deadline at Illahee Park. Recent rains have pushed a lot of fish out of tidewater for their migration to the spawning grounds. The wild Coho fishery has slowed down but anglers can still catch bright fish in tidewater up to the deadline. Summer steelhead fishing is slow in the upper river above Moonshine Park. The cutthroat trout fishery has slowed down and the season closes at midnight Friday, October 31st.
Yaquina River/Bay: Fall Chinook fishing is slow to fair with anglers having the best results in the middle to upper areas of tidewater. Recent rains have pushed many fish upriver and into the spawning grounds but new bright fish should be around over the next couple weeks. The wild Coho salmon fishery has slowed down a bit as recent rains have pushed many fish upriver towards the spawning grounds. Bright fish can still be caught from Sawyers Landing up through tidewater. Cutthroat trout fishing is slow to fair with the season scheduled to close at midnight Friday, October 31st.
Alsea River/Bay: The fall Chinook fishery is producing fair to good results with anglers having the best success in the river above tidewater either from a drift boat or bank fishing. Recent rains have moved a lot of fish up river towards the spawning grounds. Fishing above tidewater should be productive through the weekend. The wild Coho salmon fishery is producing fair to good results with the best action in the river above tidewater. The fishery is expected to remain productive through the weekend. Like other rivers, cutthroat trout season is over for the Alsea on Friday at midnight.
Central Coast Lakes: Rainbow trout fishing has picked up since water temperatures have dropped a little. However, Big Creek Reservoirs have not been stocked since June and there are no current restocking dates listed by ODFW, so the number of fish available may be limited.
Saltwater angling and shellfish harvesting…
Ocean Fishing, Bay Crabbing and Clamming:
* BOTTOM FISH Rough conditions kept anglers in port last week, even though the ocean is open to bottom fishing at all depths. The sport cabezon season remains open because there is quota remaining and the season will likely stay open through December 31st.
* SALMON Central Coast ocean waters, from south of Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain, close to Chinook salmon fishing at midnight on Friday, October 31st. Coho closed earlier, so no salmon fishing offshore.
* HALIBUT The Central Coast Subarea (Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain) nearshore Pacific halibut season (inside the 40-fathom line) closes at midnight on Friday, October 31st. Weather and ocean conditions will probably keep most ocean anglers ashore anyway, trading fish stories rather than reeling in that last halibut of 2014.
* RAZOR CLAMS Razor clamming is closed from the Oregon/California border to Heceta Head due to elevated levels of amnesic shellfish toxin (ASP) or domoic acid. All other Central Coast beaches are open for razors. Due to a large number of small razor clams in the sand, diggers should be highly selective about which shows they pursue. Harvesters are reminded they must retain the first 15 clams regardless of size or condition. The next minus tides begin November 4th but occur near sunset and after dark. November Tide Tables.
* BAY CLAMS The best low tides are in the evenings or overnight for the remainder of the year, but even a +1.0’ or +2.0’ low can allow bay clamming opportunities, especially for purple varnish clams that are often found when the tide is as high as +4.0’. Sport clammers should be able to collect daily limits of cockles, gaper clams and butter clams from the popular sites in Siletz, Yaquina and Alsea Bays. For shellfish regs and identification, go here.
* CRAB Recreational crabbing in the ocean is closed through November 30th. Bay crabbing remains open year-round; and, in fact, the best months for bay crabbing on the Central Coast are August through November!
Commercial Fishing: The fleet is mainly gearing up for commercial crab season, which opens in December. Rough conditions have kept most boats off the ocean this past week.
Fore-Cast: River anglers will need Grundéns and Xtratufs during most of the week ahead, with more rain headed this way. Bay fishermen, crabbers and clammers can expect some stiff breezes and choppy water at times when weather fronts pass through. On the ocean, S winds increasing to 15-20 knots gusting 25 on Thursday and a 6 foot swell topped by 4 foot windwaves. Thursday night, look for SE winds 10-15 knots gusting 20 with a westerly swell around 5 feet. The breeze should be down to SW 5-10 knots Friday, but seas build to 9 feet at 14 seconds. Look for NW wind on Saturday, 5-10 knots, and seas about 8 feet. Moderate southerlies 10-20 knots are predicted for Sunday and Monday with seas rising to 10-12 feet. A mix of storms and breaks are predicted throughout the week ahead. Always check the latest Bar Reports before you set a course offshore.
Notices to Mariners…
* The Alsea Bay Bridge downriver southern red light is out.
* The dredge Karen and assist vessel Bar Boy will be working in Depoe Bay Harbor through November 3rd, 6:00am-6:00pm daily. They monitor VHF Channels 8 and 16.
Fishin’ with Chris does not come with a warranty but, fortunately, the worst day fishing is still better than the best day working. Information is supplied by the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife, NOAA, and local fishermen. So… don’t blame me!
– Chris Burns