COASTWIDE - When the ocean has been calm, fishing for rockfish, greenling and lingcod has been good, and fishing from shore has been decent. Concentrate efforts near rocky outcroppings and drop-offs. The daily bag limit for rockfish, greenling and cabezon is seven fish per day. Fishing for surfperch is good. Concentrate efforts on steeper beaches near areas with a drop-off, ledge or rip tides. Sand shrimp, sand worms and clam necks have all been working well.
On the Central Coast, from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain, the all-depth Pacific halibut fishery will be open today through Saturday. Anglers targeting Pacific halibut off the Central Coast have done well when weather has allowed boats to get out. Garibaldi, Newport and Depoe Bay charter boats scored a perfect one halibut for each angler of the boats sampled. Fishers from Garibaldi to Charleston were not far behind with more than eight out of 10 taking a halibut home.
All salmon fishing in the ocean is closed, but will open Saturday south of Cape Falcon. The 2009 coho salmon season looks exceptionally good, with the highest quota in more than a decade. For salmon sport-season details, visit the ODFW Web site at www.dfw.state.or.us/MRP/salmon/Regulations/OceanSport2009.asp.
Crabbing has been slow all spring, but has picked up recently. In most Oregon ports last week, crabbers averaged between three and four crab each. Crabbers out of Charleston averaged five apiece, mostly red rock crabs. Crabbers are encouraged to return soft crabs with little meat back to the water. Public crabbing docks can be found in Winchester Bay, Bandon, Charleston and Empire.
A series of minus tides are forecast for the next five days, and the entire Oregon Coast is open for the recreational harvest of mussels, as levels of paralytic shellfish poisoning toxins, also known as PSP, continue to be measured at safe levels. Only the adductor muscle of scallops are safe to eat; consumption of whole scallops from the recreational fishery is not recommended. Check for health advisories before clamming by calling the Oregon Department of Agriculture's Shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474 for updates.
BROOKINGS - Lingcod and black rockfish catches should remain excellent this weekend, particularly for those fishing in the morning. Jigging off rock piles close to shore is working well. Surfperch fishing should be excellent along Winchuck Beach and other open beaches north of town. Fish the hour or so below and after high tide. Fish prawns, shrimp flies or mussels.
COOS BAY - Crabbing remains slow. Fishing for pile perch under the Highway 101 bridge is good with mussels or sandshrimp fished right next to pilings. Fishing off the North Jetty for black and blue rockfish remains very good, but the lingcod catches have dropped off.
GOLD BEACH - Surfperch fishing remains strong on the sand spit at the jetty this week. Weather conditions are good enough that anglers are venturing over the bar. Catches are a bit slow, likely because the lingcod and black rockfish are gorging on small crabs.
WINCHESTER BAY - Fishing for sturgeon remains fair. Mud shrimp and ghost shrimp are working best on the flats near holes in tidewater.