DEPOE BAY â Following 20 days of sloppy weather, deep-sea anglers tapped into the mother lode of crab and rockfish at well-rested gloryholes last week.
âAfter the Blood Moon, the skies were clear and the seas were mostly calm â just a little jittery,â stated Capt. Loren Goddard of Dockside Charters (541-765-2545). âThe fish were hungry and everyone aboard limited on lings and rockfish. Crabbing was well worthwhile with a take of a half dozen each of rock hard, full-meated crab.â
The hottest ticket in town right now is a bottom fishing-crabbing combination trip. For a nominal extra charge, anglers toss pre-baited crab pots on the way to the fishing grounds, haul in the bottom dwellers until their arms are sore, then pull the pots on the way back to the docks. The limit for Dungies is 12.
TROUT & STEELHEAD
Meanwhile, freshwater fanatics should head to Newportâs upper Big Creek Reservoir No. 2, where Oregon Dept. of Fish & Wildlife reports thousands of legal trout and hundreds of trophy-sized âbows have defied lures and bait so far. Restocking begins in March, when the number of trophy trout will grow to an estimated 6,500 fish.
Winter steelhead fishing has been fair on the Alsea, according to angler reports. Fish are being caught every day around the hatchery but the trap numbers are still low, reported ODFW. Recent rains should have the fish on the move but the dry conditions forecast will create low and clear conditions for the weekend and into next week. Smaller presentations and lighter line will be the best for the lower water conditions.
While returns peak in December and January, later-returning stocks bend rods in February and March. Expect more fish to show up with each rise in the river level from now through April. Bobber fishing with jigs/bait, drift fishing, and casting lures are all effective ways to catch these hard fighting fish.
Trout fishing in streams will reopen May 22.
NEW DIGITAL LICENSES AVAILABLE
ODFW has launched a new license program, allowing hunters and anglers to buy packages online as well as at agents and ODFW offices. Outdoorsman can now carry their licenses and tags electronically on smartphones or tablets and tag fish and wildlife with the MyODFW mobile app that will even work offline.