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Ocean Outlook: Nov. 5, 2010

Coastwide - A weak front will approach the area today and dissipate, followed by a stronger cold front Saturday that could bring some rain, wind and nasty chop. Swells up to 11 feet are expected to develop along most of the coast during afternoons this weekend, forcing what's left of the recreational bottom-fishing fleet to stay in port.

When the seas subside, ocean 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. When getting out, anglers are still catching near-limits of bottomfish each trip, but only one in 10 anglers now is catching a lingcod.

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

All shellfish fishing is open coast-wide, including the popular Clatsop County beaches. Mussel harvest also is open coast-wide. For more information and updated closure information, call the shellfish hotline at 800-448-2474.

Dungeness crabbing in bays off public docks in Winchester Bay and Charleston has improved, and most of the crabs are in their hard shells. Lots of barely undersized crabs are in the mix. Ocean crabbing opens Dec. 1.

PORT ORFORD - Ocean trolling for chinook off the mouth of the Elk and Sixes rivers is open through November, and fishing has been fairly good close-in when weather allows. Some decent catches were reported about two weeks ago, but rough seas have kept most anglers on shore.

BROOKINGS - Anglers sneaking out of the port in early mornings when the surf dies down were getting near-limits of bottomfish by staying close to shore and jigging near kelp beds.

WINCHESTER BAY - Chinook and coho fishing has tapered way off in the estuary as the fish have moved upstream. Surfperch fishing is good off the south jetty.