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Any fish you wish for!

On Oregon Waters by Larry Ellis, author badge, myoutdoorbuddy.com

ounting today, anglers have only two days left where they can troll in the ocean in the Chetco Bubble Fishery. The season will officially end one hour after sunset on Sunday, October 11. And although the overall bite might still be considered slow-to-fair at best, for those who stuck it out, there were occasional moments during the day where the fishing perked up and multiple hookups were observed for 20 minutes at a time.

On one particular day last week, I counted somewhere in the neighborhood of 180 boats on the water, which were trolling the area from Chetco Point to the whistle buoy. And there were several out of town fishermen who were among them.

Frank Galusha, who runs the famed myoutdoorbuddy.com website drove up from Shasta Lake just to experience for the very first time what the Brookings area had to offer. Galusha was more than impressed.

Stan Bomar and Buddy Cappello with salmon, rockfish and lingcod, photo by Larry Ellis
Stan Bomar of Brookings and Buddy Cappello from Cape Ferrelo caught salmon, rockfish and lingcod while trolling in the ocean in the Bubble Fishery that took place last week out of the Port of Brookings Harbor.

In addition, I had the opportunity to fish with Bill Monroe Jr., preeminent guide from the Portland area who had grown up fishing Oregon's south coast with his father.

The bite on Tuesday was a little on the tough side, but a few of Bill's colleagues were having an extraordinary amount of hookups by trolling cut-plug sardines -- a not-so-ordinarily-used bait in the local vicinity, but a technique that had an inordinate success rate in 45-feet of water just outside of the north and south jetty.

Guide Bill Monroe Jr. from Portland, Oregon clobbered salmon in the Chetco Ocean bubble fishery last week, like this beautiful 25-pound Chinook by trolling cut-plug herring out of the Port of Brookings Harbor. photo by Larry Ellis
Guide Bill Monroe Jr. from Portland, Oregon clobbered salmon in the Chetco Ocean bubble fishery last week, like this beautiful 25-pound Chinook by trolling cut-plug herring out of the Port of Brookings Harbor.

When Bill rigged up a cut-plug herring, his rod tip met the water with a takedown so savage that the butt of his rod lifted up in the air. The end result was a gorgeous chrome-bright Chinook around 27 pounds that I had the privilege of netting.

So those of you who want to fish in the same manner in which Bill and his fellow fishers were deploying, consider rigging up thusly.

50-pound braid mainline runs from your reel to a spreader bar. Try using a long 28- to 30-inch dropper leading to a cannonball sinker ranging from 12 to 16 ounces, since a good portion of these fish will be suspended.

Attach a Big Al's Fish Flash flasher directly to the leader end of the spreader bar. From there, run a 5-foot double hook (4/0-5/0) slip-tie monofilament mooching leader hooked to either a cut-plug herring or sardine.

Every once in a while, drop your sinker back to the bottom to make sure that it is near the bottom.

This rig will also work quite well in the Chetco estuary when the ocean season finally closes.

If you have the inclination, you might also think about driving up to Bandon to visit Port O' Call Bait and Tackle to pick up some live sand shrimp, because there have been reports of hundreds of Chinook in the lower tidewater holes of Morris Hole and Tide Rock. Call ahead though to make sure that the store has them in stock.

Remember that the Chetco River above river mile 2.2 is a bobber-only fishery (see regulations) until the season finally opens without restrictions on November 4. These lower tidewater holes render extremely well to fishing with live sand shrimp, and Port O' Call is the only place I know where you can buy them.

The Rogue bay still continues to kick out good numbers of Chinook on spinnerbait/anchovy rigs. Also, the river has recently seen an influx of coho. Remember that only adipose fin-clipped coho may be retained.

To purposefully fish for coho, put on a bright red, orange or shocking pink #4 spinner blade and troll faster than 2.5 miles an hour.

The ocean uphill and downhill from Chetco jetty jaws has also been kicking out limits of rockfish and lingcod for those using their favorite rockfish gear, whether they are shrimp flies, plastics or leadfish.

Remember that the ocean will be closed to the retention of Dungeness crab starting Friday October 16; however the bays and estuaries will still remain open for the dungies.

Also as of Thursday, the Southern Oregon Subarea from Humbug Mountain south to the Oregon/California border still has 65-percent of the Pacific halibut quota remaining, around 4,737 pounds.

Tight lines!

Larry Ellis, author, writer, columnist and photographer has had a 50-year passion for fishing in California and Oregon's saltwater and freshwater venues. He is a well-known writer for Oregon, Washington and California Fishing and Hunting News, Northwest Sportsman, California Sportsman and Pacific Coast Sportfishing. He currently writes monthly for Salmon Trout Steelheader Magazine, and is the weekly fishing columnist for "On the Water" for the Curry Coastal Pilot Newspaper. He particularly loves living in his hometown of Brookings, Oregon - The heart of salmon country and gateway to fishing paradise. Posted with permission of the Curry Coastal Pilot of Brookings, Oregon.


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