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Ocean Outlook: Sept. 9, 2010

Coastwide - A weak high-pressure system is forecast to start building late tonight, and that bodes well for ocean anglers, who will see 10-knot winds and manageable swells, especially during the morning.

Ocean fishing for coho and chinook salmon are both closed now and will remain closed except for short fall "bubble" fisheries off the mouths of the Chetco, Elk and Sixes rivers. The Chetco chinook fishery opens Oct. 1.

Bottomfishing was slow again last week along the Oregon Coast as upwelling caused a 10-degree drop in ocean temperatures. While conditions have rebounded, the bottomfish still seem to be adjusting to it.

Use glow-in-the-dark jigs, then try black, red and white jigs. Stick around kelp beds. That should improve your chance to hook a lingcod in shallow water.

Bottomfish anglers must remain within the 20-fathom curve to reduce the bycatch on canary and yelloweye rockfish. That means staying in waters less than 120 feet deep. Anglers are still catching limits or near-limits of bottomfish each trip, but only one in 10 anglers now is catching a lingcod.

The marine aggregate limit is seven rockfish a day and two lingcod a day with a 22-inch minimum.

Razor clam digging is still closed from Bandon north to Cascade Head due to elevated levels of domoic acid. For more information and updated closures, call the shellfish hotline at 800-448-2474.

Mussel harvest is open coast-wide.

Dungeness crabbing off public docks in Winchester Bay and Charleston has improved, and more of the crabs are sporting harder shells and more meat than earlier this summer. Months that end in "R" sport the best crabbing.

Tuna are still hovering about 25 miles out of Newport and Coos Bay, with anglers averaging about five fish each per trip.