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MailTribune.com
  • Fishing Report: Jan. 20, 2012

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  • COASTWIDE - Heavy winds and stiff rains have left South Coast ports either closed or unusable. A hazardous season warning will be in effect through Saturday, with winds at 40 knots forecast for the weekend. That could put nearshore bottomfishing out of whack for a week or more, depending on the severity of the newer, weaker fronts forecast to move in.
    Ocean crabbing conditions are extremely poor and hazardous because of the storm. Dungeness not only will be moving out of estuaries, they also will be skirting away from river mouths until estuary salinity levels improve after the flood surges abate. Crab condition is excellent now, and the entire Oregon Coast is open for crabbing.
    The marine aggregate limit is seven rockfish a day. Cabezon harvest is banned until April.
    Lingcod fishing had been excellent until the recent storms. Look for lingcod to be around kelp beds and near jetties when the ocean subsides enough for jigging. The lingcod limit is two a day with a 22-inch minimum, and that is separate from the marine aggregate.
    BROOKINGS - Lingcod fishing has been good when anglers can get out. Black rockfish catches were fair but the port is closed until water flows at the Chetco River gauge at Ice Box reads flows of less than 30,000 cubic feet per second. That level is not forecast to be reached until this afternoon.
    COOS BAY - Crabbing had been excellent before this week's high water. Flooding in the Coos and Millicoma rivers have flushed most of the Dungeness out of the estuary. Crabbing off the public docks could be poor for a week or more as Dungeness wait for salinity levels to drop in the bay before moving back in. Coos Bay typically is the first to rebound for crabbers in the region because it is a deep-water port.
    Lingcod jigging near Cape Arago had been very good before the weather turned. Black rockfish catches had been good along the inside of the north jetty, but look for poor fishing conditions well into next week.
    Clamming will be a bust around Charleston during the current storm surges, which could make clamming hazardous.
    WINCHESTER BAY - Sturgeon fishing had improved below the Highway 101 bridge, but sturgeon fishing conditions will be poor well into next week. Crabbing had improved in the triangle area but look for poor Dungeness catches into next week thanks to high water in the estuary.
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