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Rockfish and lingcod fishing phenomenal

Mary and Bob Ballman from Vancouver, Washington, (left) joined Mark and Cathy Watkins from Eugene for several days last week and caught limits of rockfish (shown) and lingcod plus a few nice Chinook as well.

Salmon anglers, be aware that the ocean coho season south of Humbug Mountain to the Oregon/California border is now closed, so be sure you know the difference between a Chinook and a coho, because some of the coho that are being hooked are now approaching strapping Chinook sizes.

Chinook salmon between 18 and 25 pounds were being caught on a 270-degree heading from the whistle buoy, with anglers dragging their baits close to the bottom in depths ranging from 90 to 120 feet.

Even though the area’s halibut quota has been exceeded, the season remains open due to the abundance of stock available in other areas.

“Right now the plan is to take another look at where things stand on Thursday, September 4,” said OFDW groundfish and halibut project leader Lynn Mattes.

But the main draw to the Port of Brookings Harbor last week was the excellent rockfish and lingcod fishing. Rockfish limits were common, with lots of lingcod between 15 and 35 pounds being filleted as well.

Anglers have been finding the majority of their rockfish and lings downhill from the entrance to the Port of Brookings Harbor, off of the numerous high spots and pinnacles that abound in the area.

So make sure to keep your tackle boxes loaded with a variety of leadfish ranging between 3 and 7 ounces, and fish these things on-the-drop, which is purposefully trying to get bit while the leadfish is sinking to the bottom.

Also keep plenty of 6-inch twin-tail plastics on hand in the colors white, root beer and blue sparkle.

Other plastics have also been getting bit with regularity, such as those made by Zoom, such as “The Fluke,” “The Super Fluke” and, my favorite, “The Magnum Super Fluke.” The hot colors are baby bass and watermelon seed.

Also, Bass Pro Shops makes some spectacular plastics as well, such as the 7-inch Big Shadee Shad, with the hot colors being watermelon gold and watermelon pearl.

Fish all the aforementioned plastic on-the-drop as well on leadhead jigs ranging between 2 and 4 ounces. Using light tackle with line ranging from 12 to 15 pounds will get you bit more often when using plastics.

Jack Hanson of Jack’s Guide Service in Brookings has also been reporting that fly fishing for steelhead on the Klamath River has been absolutely phenomenal, especially near Blue Creek, which is their first staging area above the Roy Rook boat launch.

Tight lines! 

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