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Ocean Outlook: Dec. 3, 2009

COASTWIDE - The weak thermal trough that has left most of the coast calm and good for December fishing most of this week will likely break Friday and trigger some swells for ocean anglers to face this weekend. However, morning conditions look good enough to get in some near-shore rockfish jigging. The entire ocean remains open to bottomfish fishing, not just inside the 40-fathom curve. Cabezon angling is closed from boats because the quota has been reached, but it remains open for those fishing off rocks and jetties. The aggregate rockfish limit remains seven fish a day.

Crabbing remains very good to excellent in most bays, with good hauls of large Dungeness reported at most public docks. Recreational crabbers are back on the ocean now and ocean crabbing has been good outside of most ports. Be wary of ocean conditions that can get poor quickly.

Recreational and commercial clam harvesting is open on the entire Oregon Coast, from the mouth of the Columbia River to the California border. This includes clam harvesting on beaches and inside bays. Some decent minus tides remain in effect for the rest of this week. Check the tide table on this page.

Mussel harvesting remains closed south of Bastendorf Beach near Charleston to the California border because of elevated levels of paralytic shellfish toxins. Mussel harvesting north of Bastendorf Beach north to the Columbia River is now open.

For more information and updated closures, telephone the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474.

BROOKINGS - Bottomfishing effort has kicked up a bit, and anglers crossing the bar are finding combinations of black rockfish and lingcod in shallow waters near the kelp beds north of the marina. Glow-in-the-dark and black jigs have been the plastic of choice. Surfperch fishing has improved as the fish have moved closer to shore with the calmer surf. Prawns and mussels have worked best.

COOS BAY - Crabbing remains excellent off public docks, where crabbers continue to average 10 keeper Dungeness per day. Crabbing in the ocean off Bastendorf Beach has been very good for those taking advantage of Tuesday’s opening of the ocean season.