Larry Ellis, fishing columnist

Fishing report for

September 21-27

This coming Monday will mark the beginning of the October ocean salmon season which will run from Oct. 1 through Oct. 14. Last week, a lot of folks came up to me, thinking that the October season was starting today. Today is Saturday, Sept. 29. Again, refer back to the first sentence.

Now, I'm not going to cast the first stone on this one because as the old biblical saying goes, "Let he who is without." Well you know what I mean.

The truth of the matter is, I lose track of time myself andndash; and I lose it a lot! In fact, most of the time I don't even know what day it is. They say that's the first sign of getting old, but bear with me on this one. I think I have a valid reason for not even knowing what month I'm in, even the year.

First of all, I have a weekly fishing column in the Curry Coastal Pilot, for which I am grateful. The column comes out in Saturday's newspaper, but I have to turn in my copy (newspaper lingo for "article") before Friday. So usually I'm writing the column on a Thursday, basically because I tend to procrastinate a little. OK, a lot. But be that as it may, I'm writing for a specific day several days before it occurs. So I can kind of understand why some people might think that the October ocean salmon season might start in a different month.

But my dilemma gets worse; much worse. I also have a monthly column in an outdoors magazine called Northwest Sportsman; a really awesome publication that I helped start when Fishing and Hunting News went out of business. For Northwest Sportsman, I am usually writing for a time frame at least a month ahead, sometimes two. So if it's September, I might have to write an article for November, thinking about November fish stories but actually living the real world in September. Starting to get the picture?

Now you would think that a person's sense of time couldn't possibly get any worse, right?

Think again. I am also fortunate to write monthly for another magazine called Salmon Trout Steelheader; another fantastic publication. I just finished the December article and I'm now beginning to write for the January issue. So I'm actually writing for the New Year and I haven't even been kissed under the mistletoe, which I thought would have happened yesterday when I turned in the December article.

So for all the people who thought that the October ocean salmon season started today, all I can say is, I feel your pain. The way I figure it is, if I can get away with thinking that today is sometime in January 2013, I have no right to make fun of anyone who is off by a paltry two days. Just please don't go salmon fishing in the ocean before Monday or you'll get a citation. Then I'll feel really bad, but not bad enough to pay your fine.

This last ocean salmon season south of Humbug Mountain is going to be awesome. On Thursday, anglers fishing the Chetco Bay caught the largest amount of salmon so far in one day in the bay. I lost track at a dozen.

Most of those fish are probably of Chetco origin, but a few are still ocean salmon from other rivers that smelled all the bait and wandered in for a free meal.

But all in all, this whole scenario is setting itself up for a fantastic October ocean salmon season, which, by the way, begins Monday, Oct. 1.

Now, if you haven't noticed, there is a big-time dredging operation going on presently. Silt from both commercial and sport fishing basins is being pumped over a mile to an EPA dump site between the red can and whistle buoy.

So people need to be aware that in order to fish Sporthaven Beach in front of the Best Western Motel, they might have to go out a mile or so, go around the end of the dredge pipe, and then double back.

Tawndy Davidson from the Port of Brookings Harbor issued a statement to me saying that "The first 1300 feet of the disposal pipe has been submerged and is marked by a flashing red beacon at each end of the submerged section. Boaters may cross the submerged portion at their own risk or continue around the entire 1 mile dredge disposal pipe. The depth of the submerged portion depends on the tides."

Under those circumstances, I would tend to waver and do the double back thing and not risk ruining my prop. I mean, if you hit one of those floating pipes and your prop is toast and you'll be dead in the water. When a thing like that happens you're totally at the mercy of the waves.

But I don't think it will be all that necessary to fish the motel this season because, first of all, there is so much bait out there, I think there will be plenty of good opportunities to fish off of Bird Island and other places. But if Mother Ocean lays down nice and flat, by all means head out a mile and double back to fish in front of Sporthaven Beach or even the Winchuck.

Sporthaven Marina's Hawg Derby is now half filled so, if you want to take place in this awesome tournament, contact them and pay your 35 bucks before the quota of 200 entrants is reached. And remember, there's always one or two people who catch the biggest fish of the season in the ocean who didn't enter the derby.


As today's photo shows, ODFW has put a new kiosk inside the port's fish cleaning station that describes exactly how to remove the snout from a salmon that has had an adipose fin removed.

I didn't even know what a kiosk was until last week, so I feel pretty stupid. But anyway, a really great carpenter named Dan Benson, a member of Oregon South Coast Fishermen, donated his time to build this beautiful stand, which, inside, contains all the plastic bags needed to put your snouts in, tags to fill out and some other interesting things to read as well.

If your fin-clipped fish has a coded-wire tag in its snout, you'll be placed in one of two drawings, both of which are giving away a Lamiglas Rod. I also heard the word "Curado 300" mentioned somewhere.

So get out there and troll; troll like you've never trolled before. There are salmon to be caught, both in the ocean (starting Monday, Oct. 1) and in the bay (you can do that right now).


Also, don't forget that the Port has the best salted ice in the entire state, and at the best rates you'll ever come across. I filled my entire ice chest for 3 bucks on my birthday and I was one happy camper. I need to mention though, that it is not meant to make margaritas with. It has salt in it people! It's not fit for human consumption! It's meant to keep your fish nice and cold.

Tight lines and bent rods!