FISH REPORT

September 20, 2008 12:00 am

Fish report for September 12-18

Smith River heating up

Chinook started rearing their silvery mugs in the mouth of the Smith last week, with several anglers limiting out with some pretty hefty kings.

Well, once you land your first Chinook, it's not hard getting your limit, since technically speaking you're not allowed to harvest a second king.The limit on the Smith is one fish, or as the saying goes, "One, and yur done."

And that's one Chinook regardless of size.So if you retain a jack, sorry – no Jills for the rest of the day.

Because the Chetco's salmon season doesn't open until November 1 this year, the Smith will be seeing a lot more Brookings area residents.

It only takes 15 minutes to get to the Smith from Brookings and there is plenty of access for bank fishermen. The turnoff is right off of Highway 101, from a road marked, oddly enough, "Mouth of the Smith River Road."

The best time to fish the Smith's kisser is about an hour before low tide through one hour after the tide comes in.

At one time, there used to be a ganglion of Brookings guys and dolls regularly spanking the 'nooks every September.One of the most effective techniques is casting and retrieving a rig using an inline sinker followed by a 2 1?2-foot mooching leader with an anchovy on the end.

You would fling your 'chovy out, let it sink to the bottom, and then reel your bait in very, very slowly.

Back in the day, everyone took pride in their casting abilities.I remember one time I really heaved this set-up out there, so far that I almost hit a guy in a driftboat. My thumb stopped the sinker about 1 foot away from the boat.

Now I don't advocate bank fishermen chucking iron at boats, beasts or bodies of any kind.This was a total accident.And I can't blame the guy for getting ticked off by my lame casting.After all, I would be totally peeved if I saw a chunk of heavy metal flying directly at me ready to give me a buzz-cut.

But what really set this guy off was that, as soon as my bait hit the water, it got righteously hammered by a 30-pound chrome-bright king.

Lures are also extremely effective when used from the bank.You can't go wrong tossing a 3?4-ounce gold Kastmaster or a 1-ounce silver-blue Krocodile.

You want to fish these lures on-the-sink so they get munched when they are fluttering to the bottom, but the fish will hit them on-the-retrieve as well.Just make sure you reel them in ASAP (as slowly as possible).

The boaters are anchoring up on the outgo and putting out spinners, just like you would if you were springer fishing.You can also troll Rogue Bait Rigs using an anchovy on the end.Make sure the bait has a nice, tight spin.

A California fishing license is required when fishing the Smith.

Marine groundfish limit is now 6 fish plus 2 lingcod

A lot of folks still have not heard that the marine groundfish limit has been increased from five fish back to six fish.This includes the already existing two-lingcod limit, putting the total bag again at eight fish just like the season started out.

"When we looked at the August effort, instead of being higher than last year, it had dropped off 20-percent lower than last year," said Don Bodenmiller, Marine Recreational Non-salmonid Fisheries biologist for ODFW.

"Since August is basically the biggest month of the year, with July just behind it, that offered enough savings that we figured we could go back to the pre-season regulations for the remainder of the year."

Anglers may also go back to fishing as deep as 40 fathoms for lings and rockfish. On October 1 the 40-fathom restriction will also be lifted as per normal fishing regulations.

Retention of canary and yellow-eye rockfish is still prohibited, and cabezon may not be retained by boat-based anglers and boat-based divers.Shore-based anglers and shore-based divers may still continue harvesting cabezon as part of their six marine groundfish limit.

Rockfish go on-the-bite

Fishing for rockfish continued improving last week, with limits or near-limits prevailing.

"(Wednesday) they went out and just slapped them silly," said Taylor Freeland, captain of The Angler.

Live bait have temporarily left the harbor, but Freeland maintains a good stock in his live wells for clients eager to collar-hook a pinhead and enjoy some exciting live bait fishing.

"They really have a lot of fun with the live bait," notes Freeland.

Lingasaur hunters may be experiencing less limits, but the fishing is improving each day and the grade is excellent.

Both rockfish and lingcod are slamming twin-tail plastics, swimbaits, shrimp flies, leadfish, live bait and bait used on mooching leaders.

Sporthaven's Seventh Annual Ocean Salmon Hawg Derby

Despite a short Chetco ocean terminal fishery this year, Mike Ramsay, owner of Sporthaven Marina, will still be hosting the Seventh Annual Salmon Derby from October 1-4.

One hundred percent of the entry fees ($35.00 person) are awarded to first-, second- and third-place finishers. The one-time entry fee also entitles entrants and their spouses to a banquet on the last day of the derby.If ODFW extends the season, the banquet will take place on the last legal day of fishing.

Brookings-Harbor residents and out-of-towners are all welcome to participate, but the derby is only limited to 200 entrants.The list is already one-quarter filled, so if you don't want to get left out of a tournament that's now a part of the area's local lore, get in touch with Sporthaven Marina at 541-469-3301.

Rogue experiences a mini-bite

The Rogue estuary experienced a few good days last week, but you had to be in the water when the runs were going through in order to cash in on the booty.For instance on Tuesday, there were about 15 hookups on at once.

Jot's Resort continued giving out buttons like they were Tic Tacs.

Some noteworthy catches included a 38-pounder on the 12th caught by Mary Jo Bunting from Redding, a 43-pound hawg on the 15th caught by Tom Hyde from Carmichael; and a 44-pounder on the 16th landed by Jerry Gavin from Los Osos.

Fivehot coho tips from a Rogue River sharpie

This is the time of the year when the coho run usually starts kicking in gear.It may not be going gangbusters at the moment, but there was already a 17-pound fatty weighed in.

So if you want to increase your chances at hooking up with a silver with some serious shoulders, take the advice from Jim Carey, owner of the Rogue Outdoor Store, a seasoned veteran versed in the nuances of nabbing coho in the Rogue bay. All of these techniques should be be used with a spreader bar.

1. If you want to specifically target silvers, then stay with relatively bright pink or orange blades.

2. Keep your presentation a little closer to the surface, because silvers aren't the "deep" fish like Chinooks are. Work a zone 4 to 6 feet off the bottom instead of the Chinook zone which is between 18 to 24 inches from the bottom.

3. You can also play with plugs.Something that's fun to do is to use something like a size 50 HotShot in fluorescent orange or a fluorescent pink.

4. Use a size 4 Blue Fox spinner with a pink body and a silver blade.The rainbow blade is also a good one for silvers.

5. Use smaller anchovies. Carey recommends using a 5 1?2-inch anchovy.

Tight lines!