Steelhead fishing continued its decline as the annual run has largely flipped from fresh fish coming in from the ocean, to down runners heading back out to sea. Today is the last day for fishing on the Chetco River, where anglers have still be able to catch a few steelhead throughout the week. Fishermen will still be able to target steelhead on the Smith River through the end of April.

While the rivers have slowed, the ocean out of Oregon has been producing lots of fish, despite high winds through the middle of the week.

Oregon ocean

Sportfishermen in Oregon weren’t able to get too far outside of Brookings Harbor throughout the middle of the week, but that didn’t make much difference as anglers were able to haul in limits of both rockfish and lingcod.

“Even though it was very windy, the fishing was good,” said Cpt. Andy Martin of Brookings Fishing Charters. “There are a lot of lingcod and rockfish. On Thursday we couldn’t get past Chetco Point, but we still got our limits of lingcod and rockfish right inside of Chetco Point.”

Weather over the weekend and into early next week looks more favorable if anglers want to go out a little bit further for bottomfish, but with so many fish near shore they may not have to.

In addition to a strong week of bottom fishing, anglers on shore are also having lots of luck hauling in surf perch from the beach.

Local rivers

Fishing was fairly slow on local rivers this week, with the steelhead runs starting to wind down for the season.

The Chetco River seems to have been producing a few more fish than the Smith recently, but the Chetco will close at the end of the day today.

“The Chetco is still producing a few fish,” Martin said. “There are a few bright figh on the lower river, and downers on the upper river. That is going to be over though (after today).”

The Smith River has been a little bit slower for steelhead fishermen, but anglers will be able to continue to fish the river through the end of April.

“The Smith was slow. The conditions look really nice,” Martin said. “The water color is perfect, the flows are prefect, there just doesn’t seem to be any fish around.”

Chetco will reopen for cutthroat trout in late May.

The Rogue River has also been fishing better and better in recent weeks, where the salmon run is just getting started.

Fishing contacts: Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing at 206-388-8988; Chetco Outdoor Store at 541-469-9151.

Reach Michael Zogg at mzogg@triplicate.com .

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