Fisheries council finalizes ocean salmon season
Written by Larry Ellis, fishing columnist   
April 06, 2012 09:39 pm

 

Use this basic double-plunking setup and let the springers or winter steelhead tell you what they want. The Pilot/Larry Ellis
 

Fishing report for 

March 30-April 5

Last week the Pacific Fisheries Management Council adopted the final ocean salmon season for California, Oregon and Washington. According to a press release issued by the PFMC last Thursday, “The Klamath River fall Chinook forecast for 2012 is about four times greater than average and the highest forecast on record since 1985.” That’s cause for celebration for Curry County anglers. Here’s how the seasons read.

 

 Recreational fishermen from Humbug Mountain south to the California/Oregon border can look forward to a lengthy Chinook season from May 1 through September 9. In addition, anglers from Cape Falcon to the Oregon/California border can also expect a selective coho fishery from July 1 - 31, or until the quota of 8,000 fish is reached. Selective coho fishery means that a person could only keep a hatchery coho with a missing adipose fin with a healed scar.

Frankly, I didn’t expect that the Brookings would receive this coho fishery. Even though an 8,000-coho quota may not be considered to be a lot of fish compared to other years, this amount of fish can be caught in several weeks if the weather is cooperative.

But in years past, there have been times when only the Brookings recreational sport fleet had a field day with the silvers while other northern Oregon ports were being pummeled by inclement weather. The year 1988 immediately springs to mind.

In June of 1988, the coho were averaging between 8 and 12 pounds. Since silvers put on weight rapidly, July’s coho could be approaching the 15-pound category.

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This week’s photo was inspired by a talk with Jim Carey from the Rogue Outdoor Store, who described a very workable double rig for plunkers on the Rogue River. Double and triple outfits are a commonality for plunkers on the Rogue. But since triple outfits often get their fair share of tangles, Carey’s double outfit can enable anglers to have a chance at presenting two different lures to springers and winter steelhead, with the least amount of tangles.

Start out by using 25-pound monofilament for your main line. Thread an 8 mm bead through the end of the line, and then tie it to a size 3 crane swivel. A lot of folks will say they can get away with a smaller swivel, but we’re talking about hard-fighting springers, so use the larger swivel for insurance.

On the end of the swivel, tie a 20-inch piece of 25-pound monofilament and thread it through a slider. At the end of this piece of line, tie on another size 3 crane swivel.

Now take a 20-inch piece of 20-pound monofilament (15-pound will suffice), and tie a Gamakatsu number 2 super strong (4X) treble hook. Thread two 5 mm beads down this leader so they rest on the treble hook, and then thread down your favorite color Spin-N-Glo. No. 2 Spin-N-Glos work well with No. 2 trebles, and No. 4 Spin-N-Glos work well with No. 4 trebles. Now tie your leader to the terminal crane swivel.

There is a snap attached to the slider that will accept sinkers ranging from 6 to 16 ounces. While a 16-ounce sinker might sound like a lot of weight, it’s almost a sure thing for keeping your rig where it has been cast.

At this point, make your initial cast to your favorite area and put your rod in a rod holder. You are now fishing with one Spin-N-Glo, and you could fish with this setup just fine. But this is a double outfit. Here’s the next step.

Using a No. 3 coastline snap, tie a 20-inch piece of 20-pound monofilament to the eye of the coastline snap, and tie an 11X Kwikfish to the opposite end. You could also use the new 3.5-inch MagLip, a HotShot or a Wee Wiggler if you so desire.

Open the coastline snap, put it around the main line. After closing the snap, let this second rig go down on its own accord. Sometimes you might have to jiggle the rod to get this second rig to reach the water. As soon as the lure has found current, the lip of the lure will cause the lure to dive near the bottom. The coastline snap is stopped by the 8 mm bead.

Immediately you should start to see your rod tip start to wiggle. If it stops wiggling, that is often a sign that debris is on the end of your lure, so at that point you will need to reel the rig in and take off the leaves or whatever has caused the lure to stop wiggling.

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I spent a good part of one day last week taking a look at the Rogue, and the last episode of high water has shifted a lot of sand around and has caused banks to slough into the river, as well as silt and sand to fill in some tried-and-true channels.

While talking with guide Steve Beyerlin (fishoregon. com), he wanted to make everyone aware of a hazard that folks are likely to encounter while motoring up from the bay.

“Woodruff Riffle has changed a lot,” warns Beyerlin. “It’s definitely an area of caution now. You can stand there at Riverview (The Landing) and hear the audible roar of a riffle where there has never been one.

“An audible roar of a riffle means shallow water. So both sides of that island, the channel on the north and the channel on the south are looking to be very shallow (try less than 2 feet!). So people better look at that before going through it because I know people are going to have a problem.”

Next week a warm front is expected to raise the water temperature, and with the warming trend will come more spring Chinook biters. Even with the cold water, a few folks have managed to bring a few springers to the net last week. Larry Cody from the Rogue Outdoor Store weighed in a 28-pound springer on Thursday, and, according to Jim Carey, there’s bound to be more on the way.

Tight lines!