Oregon fishing report 8/23/12

Willamette Valley/Metro – Pro guide Chris Vertopoulos (503-349-1377) reports, “With the Buoy Ten estuary fishery at its peak right now, effort upstream has been light. Expect that to change by next week, when the bulk of the run has already passed above Tongue point. Chinook counts over Bonneville dam have started to ramp up while steelhead counts are falling off. Its apparent this year’s summer steelhead return wasn’t as good as predicted.

“Bass fishing has been disappointing this season on the lower Willamette. Some anglers speculate that cooler spring run-offs have been detrimental to the bass successfully spawning. However, now should be the peak of the best walleye fishing the Multnomah channel has to offer.”

Steelheading and trout fishing has been summertime tough on the McKenzie with the best shot at a hookup coming at first light and again late in the afternoon,

On the North Santiam, summer steelhead are holding in four to six feet of water near ledges. Salmon will start spawning soon with activity increasing in September,

Water temperatures have warmed on the Clackamas and any summer steelhead that MIGHT be around will be difficult to catch.

You might find a few summer steelhead on the Sandy in the stretch from the mouth of the Salmon river down to Cedar creek. Go early to avoid spooked steelhead as August is the peak of the inner tube hatch.

Northwest – With the Buoy 10 fishery in full swing, anglers in the NW corner of the state are all eyes on the mainstem Columbia River. The Astoria region remains the prime target but with numbers at Bonneville on the rise, the mouth of the Cowlitz will quickly become popular this week. Anchor anglers will fish wobblers at depths between 35 and 50 feet with the best success coming on the outgoing tide.

Tides in the Astoria area continue to favor afternoon anglers but that will change by the weekend. Chinook action will peak this week in Astoria and coho should begin to show in better numbers as they have been sparse thus far. Spinners started to work with more regularity in recent days, particularly at high tide on either the Washington or Oregon side, above the Astoria/Megler Bridge. Tides begin to soften today, which should make the lower river most productive for the remainder of the week.

Crabbing the lower Columbia as well as Nehalem, Netarts or Nehalem estuaries should be productive this weekend but you’ll have lots of competition too.

The Nehalem estuary continues to put out fair numbers of summer chinook with the fall run right on their heels. The fishery here could easily last through all of September.

Anglers looking for Tillamook chinook should start to see some activity in the coming days. Although still weeks away from any peak activity, they do start to make a showing by late August.

With little exception, friendly seas are forecast into the weekend, giving albacore chasers fine opportunity to pursue them 20 to 30 miles offshore. Action can vary by day but most boats are capable of posting double digit catches this time of year.

Fishery managers are still crunching numbers to determine if additional opportunity exists for another all-depth halibut opener off of the central coast.

Southwest- Tuna fishing has been improving as warm water moves ever closer to the coastline, allowing for shorter trips to find willing albacore.

Charters out of central Oregon ports have had spotty results for tuna but catches are generally improving when the ocean lays dawn. Bottom fishing has been good, yielding limits of rockfish and some large ling cod.

Crabbing is good in Winchester Bay. Smallmouth bass fishing is excellent in the upper mainstem and South Umpqua.

Late last week, with the ocean laying down and wind moderating, boats out of Coos bay took good numbers of albacore fewer than 20 mile offshore.

Chinook fishing has been good out of the ports of Charleston and Bandon.

In the Rogue estuary, where Chinook have been kegging up but difficult to hook, the bite finally turned on over the past week and catches have been decent. Half-pounders are being taken in good number at Huntly Park. Chinook catches are fair but improving on the middle Rogue while springers are being caught in the upper river below Dodge Park where it’s still legal to fish for them. Upper river steelheading remains good with the water flow stable.

Chinook catches picked up for boaters launching out of the Port of Brookings over the last weekend with many returning to the cleaning station with limits or near limits. Anchovies behind a flasher trolled at 50 to 100-foot depths have accounted for most catches.

Trout fishing is slow to fair at Diamond Lake where fishing will be allowed year-around starting in 2013.

Eastern – Steelheading on the lower Deschutes has been slow to fair over the past week with numbers low.
Fish early in the day, take insect repellant and watch out for rattlesnakes. Redsides have been moderately responsive until mid-morning.

The Crooked River is fishing well early in the day and again in afternoons in shady areas.

Kokanee limits are being taken regularly from Paulina on jigs.

SW Washington- The Cowlitz remains the best option for summer steelhead but salmon will start to show in most district tributaries in the coming weeks. Most anglers will focus their efforts in the lower reaches and new regulations are coming into effect on September 1st so anglers should check their favorite streams before heading out.

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