NW Oregon Fishing Update for Oct 6th

Salmon fishing remains challenging on most north coast estuaries. Tillamook Bay continues to put out a few Chinook to trollers working the Ghost Hole and Bay City, but other areas of the estuary and tidewater reaches are producing fair-at-best results. The south channel has an occasional Chinook, but the bubble fishery in the ocean waters adjacent to Tillamook Bay is producing poorly. The jaws of Tillamook Bay have also been yielding some salmon, mostly wild coho however, but an occasional Chinook too.

Wild coho are present in most estuaries and some are so large, they are easily mistaken for Chinook salmon. Anglers should be 100% sure of the species they retain, several wild coho have been confiscated at the dock, with hefty fines doled out as a consequence. Only hatchery coho may be retained in bays and rivers, but few seem available to anglers this year. As of Monday, the North Fork Nehalem has yet to receive any coho back to the hatchery.

Bottomfishing remains a good option out of Garibaldi. October 1st marked the opening of the deep reef fishery, where large lingcod and ample numbers of large rockfish make for easy limits on most days. Calm seas early in the week yielded good catches, this is an opportunity that’s not likely to last long as ocean conditions will certainly deteriorate before long. Nearshore bottomfishing remains good too, but an increase in the bag limit to 5 rockfish (and 2 lingcod) per person. The long-leader fishery still allows for 10 fish bag limits and has been wildly popular and productive.

Ocean crabbing is still productive, but will close to recreational opportunity after October 15th. Bay crabbing should be more challenging this weekend as stronger tides keep crabs dug in.

Astoria area – Crabbing in the lower Columbia was good last weekend, but stronger tides this weekend won’t produce easy limits.

Tuna chasers did good late last week and it should remain a viable fishery for another 2 weeks if the ocean cooperates.


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