• Fishing Report: March 23, 2012

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  • COASTWIDE - The weather is starting to improve, and ocean fishing conditions could be decent for morning runs Monday. That would mean plenty of fishing for bottomfish, lingcod and surfperch along the coast. Late March is a great time to hit the ocean, when conditions present themselves, because a lot of good species congregate near shore for spawning.
    For clammers, no minus tides are forecast for the next two weeks, but there are some good morning low tides that should work well on most clam beds. Bay clamming will be best and safest because of the wave surges from the churning seas.
    Ocean crabbing is a bust for the foreseeable future because of dangerous conditions. Bay crabbing was poor this week due to heavy rain and massive inflows from coastal streams.
    The marine aggregate limit in Oregon is seven rockfish a day. New for 2012 is a rule that bans cabezon harvest until April to provide a chance to stretch out the cabezon quota.
    Lingcod fishing has been very good when anglers can get out. Look for lingcod to be around kelp beds and near jetties when the ocean subsides enough for jigging. Black, white and red jigs are good March producers. The lingcod limit is two a day with a 22-inch minimum, and that is separate from the marine aggregate.
    BROOKINGS - Bar conditions are extremely poor, but look for conditions to improve as early as Monday, when surf levels should be decent. The ocean started to lay down a little Thursday after a week of heavy surf. Flows from the Chetco River into the estuary are extremely high, which is pushing crabs far past the river mouth.
    Surfperch fishing has been good around Winchuck Beach when the surf is down. Normally the second day after a lower surf provides better catches. Clam necks or prawns are working well.
    COOS BAY - Chinook salmon fishing opened last week with no action thanks to rough surf conditions. Expect to see some recreational boaters go looking for schools of chinook next week, when forecasts call for better bar conditions. When the ocean settles down, anglers can prospect for chinook in waters about 150 feet deep, varying depths with slowly trolled herring or anchovies with hoochies. Rockfish catches have been fair and lingcod catches have been good when anglers have been able to get out.
    Crabbing will be slow off the public docks in the bay due to the heavy surge of freshwater from all of the storms. The low salinity levels will force crabs deeper into the bay and then back to the ocean.
    WINCHESTER BAY - Sturgeon fishing has been slow below the Highway 101 bridge. Crabbing will remain poor for a while because of heavy inflows.
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