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Buoy 10 Remains Rewarding;
Fall Chinook Heats Up

by Michael Teague
News-Register, September 13, 2007

The Buoy 10 coho fishery has been rewarding for most recreational and guide boats with some reports indicating one of the better runs in recent memory. When conditions allow, coho fishing has been quite good at the Columbia River buoy and further offshore.

Upriver, the incoming tide on the Washington side near the Astoria-Megler Bridge has been a hotspot. On the outgoing, try just above the Bridge on the Oregon side. Plain spinners in pink and white have been effective.

Don't forget crab pots when launching on the lower Columbia. Spinners, wobblers and plug-cut herring have all been effective at times. Crabbing is fair to good at buoys 20 to 22 and will only improve into the fall and winter months.

Ocean halibut off of the Columbia opens for one day, Saturday. The fishing on the last opener was challenging. Tuna may be another option but plan on traveling nearly 50 miles offshore to get into consistent schools. The ocean forecast for the weekend looks favorable.

While salmon fishing has been poor below Bonneville Dam, sturgeon fishing is improving and pressure is very light. Sardines have been the best producer.

At 277,000, the steelhead counts at Bonneville Dam have exceed the 10-year average. Anglers on the east side are anticipating good numbers of fish entering Columbia tributaries upstream although most of the steelhead are holding between Bonnie and The Dalles Dam, a situation which will change when water temperatures and flows improve.

Sporadic passage numbers at The Dalles Dam has trollers at the mouth of the Deschutes excited. They saw an improvement in action over the past weekend. Spinner casters have been doing well upriver.

Most folks are gearing up for the fall fishery at Nehalem and Tillamook, which are just starting up and will continue through October. Nehalem Bay fishing remains poor recently, however, and crabbing has also dropped off.

The coastal winter steelhead season is just on the horizon. Oregon is a great place to live.

Last Friday, Sept. 7, was rewarding for trollers in Tillamook Bay, with over a dozen chinook taken. And it's only just begun. The next series of minus tides should produce some poundage. A few are being taken daily inside and outside the bay. Crabbing has been fair.

According to the SST (Sea Surface Temperature), warm water which should hold albacore was within reach of recreational boaters was offshore out of Garibaldi earlier this week. This is subject to rapid change, often overnight so is worth a last-minute check along with bar conditions. Tuna were taken just outside the 125 line on Tuesday, Sept. 11.

Nestucca anglers have picked up a few fall chinook, but it's been slow. Trolling at the jaws has been the demise of a few as has bobber fishing at Woods. Summer steelhead continue to cooperate with stealthy anglers using jigs and spinners in the low water early and late in the day.

Chinook fishing has been very slow over the past week in Siletz tidewater.

Tuna were scattered about 20 miles offshore out of Depoe Bay on Tuesday this week with ocean conditions deteriorating during the day. Recreational boats running out of Newport found water in the mid-60s and decent albacore action. With halibut grounds 22 to 23 miles west of Depoe, a combo trip should be possible this weekend if the ocean lays down. Crabbing in Yaquina Bay is slow although herring jigging has been fair to good.

Herring trollers scored good numbers of chinook at the Alsea Bay entrance on Tuesday. The season is just getting underway. Crabbing has improved dramatically over the past week.

Offshore coho angling will remain open from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain through September 16, or fulfillment of the quota allowing for the possibility of some halibut/salmon combo trips. The ocean coho quota stands at about 85 percent this week so it is likely to continue through the weekend.

Where warm water is keeping salmon offshore on the northwest coast, anglers launching out of south coast ports are trying to find warmer water. Traveling 14 to 15 miles to fish in deep water has yielded marginal results.

Chinook fishing is heating up as pressure increases on the lower Umpqua. Salmon have been landed this week to 35 pounds. Wind hampered fishing efforts in Winchester Bay over the past weekend. A few coho and fewer chinook were landed and released. Crabbing was fair. North Umpqua steelheaders have experienced an improvement in action with the water temperature hovering in the mid-50s and exhibiting a little color. Smallmouth bass are still on the bite on the south and mainstem Umpqua.

Chinook fishing is fair and improving in the Coos River. The Eighth Annual Coos Basin Amateur Salmon Derby will be held this weekend, September 15-16. Entry is only $20 per angler for two days with tickets available at local merchants.

Green spinner/anchovy combos are the most effective lures but then are used almost to the exclusion of all others in Rogue Bay. Bright-colored blades - red or pink - are most effective for coho. Salmon trollers are picking up large surf perch with surprising regularity. The chinook bite was ิon' again Tuesday this week.

Ocean salmon fishing has closed south of Humbug Mountain for both chinook and coho although bottom fishing is a rewarding option. The Chetco River Terminal Area fall chinook salmon fishery opens for two weeks starting October 1 when large fall fish are traditionally taken in the upper 30 feet of the water column.

Faraday Lake, North Fork Reservoir and Small Fry Lake are scheduled to be stocked with trout in the Willamette Valley. In the last scheduled planting for 2007 in the Northwest Zone, Cape Mears Lake, Coffenbury Lake, Lost Lake in Clatsop County, Sunset Lake and Town Lake will receive hatchery trout.

Michael Teague
Buoy 10 Remains Rewarding; Fall Chinook Heats Up
News-Register, September 13, 2007

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