Willamette Valley/Metro – With the hit-or-miss action on the Willamette, anglers can go from hero to zero overnight in just about any stretch of the river now that it’s peak season. The last few years have shown the season’s best catches happen around mid-May, and that will likely be the case this year as well. With not even 10% of the run over Willamette Falls, tens of thousands of spring Chinook are still due back to the system. That should make for a pretty good fishery for the rest of the month. The river is fast approaching 60 degrees, which is the trigger for mass migration across Willamette Falls. Look for fish to move into the system with vigor, and almost equally receptive to hardware in the warming waters.
All reaches of the Willamette are producing. From St. Helens (Multnomah Channel) to Oregon City, despite sporadic action, fish are present in good number and seem selective on which day they decide to bite best. Sand shrimp remains a key bait in the upper reaches, and 360 rotating flashers with spinners should continue to produce in the warming temperatures.
The Willamette Salmon Quest is this weekend, and the Association of Northwest Steelheaders is sponsoring the event with guided and self-guided options still available. A banquet and presentation on the Quest for 100K initiative will follow at Camp Withycombe on Saturday, May 12th. Visit www.nwsteelheaders.org
for more info.
With the warming Willamette, shad should start making a good showing this week. It’s the perfect fishery for youngsters although the non-native species doesn’t make for good table fare. Great sport and unbeatable crab bait should be reason enough however.
From Jeff Stoeger – The weather is going to get hot over the weekend and the temp will range from the low 80’s to upper 80’s. There will some quick snow melt and the river could jump in river level. There was a good number of summer steelhead caught and a few springers.
The Sandy and Clackamas Rivers will start to see growing numbers of summer steelhead and spring Chinook in the coming weeks. The Sandy will likely be the better option for the next few weeks, as the Clackamas has become more productive in June and July.
The famous Drano Lake fishery is off and running. With Bonneville counts jumping significantly, the Drano Lake bite has been good. It’s combat fishing however, so be prepared.
Northwest Oregon – Spring Chinook catches in Tillamook remain sparse, but fish are present upstream to the Trask hatchery. May 10th often marks the more consistent fishing for spring Chinook, but even this fishery has become more statistically unreliable in recent years. Stronger tides next week should put the focus on the upper bay, where springers are sure to stage before entering the Trask River.
Bank anglers should be able to find some spring Chinook in the Trask, a rare springer in the Wilson and Nestucca systems, and an occasional summer steelhead in the Nestucca and Wilson Rivers.
Bottomfishers reported surprisingly sporadic results despite a perfect ocean. Crabbing reports varied as well. Halibut south of Cape Falcon opens today through Saturday, it’s anybody’s guess how successful anglers will be. Newport has been the most productive port in recent years.
Astoria area – Bottomfishing was very slow despite perfect conditions late last week. The season’s first retention period takes place on May 14th and 16th of next week from Buoy 10 to the Wauna Powerlines. Check regulations before going.
Southwest – From ODF&W
Weather last week cooperated and allowed some anglers to get out and target bottomfish. There were several reports of rockfish “boiling on the surface,” however they were hard to catch.
The longleader gear fishery outside of the 40 fathom regulatory line has been authorized to continue in April through September.
Recreational Pacific halibut fisheries began opening on May 1. Reminder that similar to the bottomfish fishery listed above, descending devices are mandatory when fishing for or retaining Pacific halibut. Early reports from the first Columbia River all-depth opening are that there was success with most fish ranging from 30-40 inches in length. This weekend (May 10-12) is the first opening for the Central Oregon Coast all-depth halibut. Make sure to check the weather forecast before departing.
Columbia River Subarea (Leadbetter Point, WA to Cape Falcon, OR)
The all-depth Pacific halibut fishery will be closing at 11:59 pm on Friday, May 11, due to projected attainment of the quota. News release.
Nearshore season: opens May 7, every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday inside the 40 fathom regulatory line, until Sept. 30 or quota attainment, whichever is earlier. Quota = 500 lbs.
Central Oregon Coast Subarea (Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain)
Spring all-depth season: Fixed open dates are: May 10-12, May 24-26, Jun 7-9, and June 21-23. If enough quota remains after the fixed dates, available back-up dates are: Jul 5-7 and July 19-21. Quota = 135,742 lbs.
Summer all-depth season: opens Aug. 3-4, every other Friday and Saturday, until Oct. 31 or quota attainment, whichever is earlier. Quota = 53,866 lbs.
Nearshore season: Opens June 1, seven days per week inside of the 40 fathom regulatory line, until Oct. 31 or quota attainment, whichever is earlier. Quota = 25,856 lbs.
Southern Oregon Subarea: opened May 1, seven days per week until Oct. 31 or quota attainment, whichever is earlier. Quota = 8,982 lbs.
Sport salmon fishing for Chinook in ocean waters from Cape Falcon (just North of Nehalem Bay) to Humbug Mt. (just South of Port Orford) is open for two salmon per day (all salmon except coho). Minimum sizes are 24-inches for Chinook and 20-inches for steelhead.
Anglers are also reminded that within the 15 fathom depth contour off Tillamook Bay (Twin Rocks to Pyramid Rock) that all Chinook Salmon must have a healed fin clip. Salmon fishing has been very slow to date.
Surfperch fishing has been good when the ocean swells have been small.
Fishing have been incredible at Diamond Recently. Most anglers were taking home limits of fishing averaging 15-inches.
Shad are starting to arrive in the mainstem Umpqua and fishing should be good.
With the onset of warmer temperatures, look for bass, perch and other warmwater fishing to pick up.
The Smith River is one of the few places in Oregon to find striped bass. Patient and persistent anglers can look for the bite to pick up as spring progresses.
Check the 2018 stocking schedule.
From Pete Heley
The very popular run of female surfperch that spawn in the three miles of Umpqua River above Winchester Bay has not started in earnest as of last weekend. It should happen any day.
The South Jetty at Winchester Bay is still producing good lingcod fishing, as well as decent fishing for greenling, rockfish and striped surfperch.
Some nice smallmouth bass bailed out a fishing trip on a cool, windy day last week on Woahink Lake.
Most of the waters in central Oregon are now open and fishable, but kokanee fishing in Wickiup Reservoir has been very slow – to the point where nobody is complaining about the daily five kokanee limit.
Central and Eastern Oregon Fishing Reports – From our friend Tim Moran:
Wickiup Reservoir – Wickiup is still slow. The average is only 2 to 6 fish per day… my thinking is that for whatever reason this lake just doesn’t have the numbers it used to. But there’s plenty of food so the koke’s that are there are growing large.
Lake Billy Chinook – reports from there are the kokanee fishing has picked up there and some people are getting limits.
Deschutes River – This is the big news! the salmon fly hatch is in full bloom! And with the warm weather this weekend it should be good fishing but probably very crowded.
Prineville Reservoir – Trout and warm water fishing is really heating up at Prineville. Crappie are staging in pre-spawn and are taking small rubber jigs tipped with a little piece of worm.
It’s going to be warm this weekend and a great weekend to get out on the water so take mom fishing!
SW Washington – From WDF&W
Many of the district’s systems remain sub-par for this time of year. The Cowlitz and Lewis should be going full steam ahead right now, but are under-performing given the recent year’s history. It should be peak catches, and if that’s the case, it’s clear that the prediction is coming to fruition, less than impressive.
Trollers working Drano Lake have a different story however. Catches for the popular fishery have predictably blossomed since counts at Bonneville have taken off. The Wind River fishery is taking off as well. and should remain productive for the next several weeks.