Best Oregon fisheries of 2017
The Best Oregon Fisheries this year (2017) for me were kokanee, and bottom fishing for Ling Cod and Sea bass. The last couple years of poor salmon runs especially Spring salmon and the almost non existent Summer Steelhead on the Santiam River have made for difficult Springs for lots of guides. The Columbia River however I’m hopping will have better returns in the future with gill nets finally being removed this year. Now we need to work on the removing sea lions from the Columbia and Willamette Rivers. Researchers this year reported that sea lions on the Willamette river will probably cause the extinction of the Santiam Rivers wild steelhead run in less than 10 years.
If you read one of my the last reports I mentioned kokanee fishing at Green Peter Reservoir. Green Peter is about 8 miles east of Sweet home Oregon. Known for its abundances of kokanee and trout it suffered from an over population issue the last 3 years. This made for stunted fish of only 5-6 inches. That has changed this year. The Kokanee are a very nice 11″ to 14″ and I have been limiting out the boat for the last 3 weeks. At 25 per person that’s a lot of fish and sense they are a salmon they are delicious. Having a very mild salmon flavor they are wonderful table fare or smoked as a snack. Parents or grandparents that just want to watch kids catch lots of fish this is a trip for you. I troll up to 8 rods using Mack tackle dodgers wiggle hoochies Simon dodgers Silver Horde micro hoochies or my own spinners.
I started providing bottom fishing trips 2 years ago when the kokanee fishing and spring salmon fishing was poor. Bottom fishing out of Depoe Bay Oregon is one of my favorite of the best summer fisheries. The ocean is frequently calm in the summer, not such much in the winter but can still can be fished some days. These fish are always hungry so limits are the norm, and they delicious. The limits are 2 Ling Cod and 7 other bottom fish. Using bait I often catch salmon while bottom fishing which is legal and is a nice bonus for clients. Twice this year we landed Halibut. Unlike the bigger charter boats I target Ling Cod first and then sea bass. I also put out crab traps with each trip.
The Fall Salmon season was overall pretty bad. Actually the worst I’ve seen in 30 years of fishing. I started at buoy 10 (Astoria, Or) in the second week of August. Then moved the the Alsea Bay and Siletz Bay. There were good days where I got or were close to limiting. But many days were a struggle. It was a tough year most guides. I felt luckier than most with Kokanee and bottom fishing which always produces and were my best Oregon fisheries of 2017.
Winter Steelhead season is here and I will start fishing them hot and heavy January 1. I have a few trips planned in December but for the most part I plan on my season starting after Christmas. The runs of hatchery steelhead should be better this year making it better for clients who want to take fish home. running those trips regularly after January 1. I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.