by David Johnson
For the last few weeks I've been hearing of a few "winter chinook" being caught around the north Oregon coast.
This week we were fortunate to catch our own. Aaron's bobber sucked under and then he had his hands full trying to keep his 8# leader intact as this beast tore up the hole. A chrome bright hen fresh in from the ocean, sea lice included.
On the coast it's not open to keeping Chinook between December 31 and April 1 so back she went. That's ok though, truly a trophy to catch one and fun when you are not expecting it. If you are lucky enough to catch one of these fish be gentle, there isn't a lot of them.
Historically Chinook have entered a lot of the coastal rivers every month of the year, with spring, summer, fall and winter runs overlapping but with modern development many of these runs have been lost but there are still a few around.
The latest we've caught winter Chinook was February 28 and friend of mine caught a bronzed buck that actually had sea lice during one low water March 15.