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Make 'fish-ade' while the getting is good

On Oregon Waters by Larry Ellis, author badge,

rabbing for Dungeness crab in the ocean is now closed to recreational anglers until December 1, but there is still some crabbing to be had inside the Chetco bay, because bays, estuaries, beaches, tide pools, piers and jetties still remain open to the retention of the Dungies during the closed season, that is unless it is noted otherwise under "special regulations".

For some unknown reason, there has been more red rock crab showing up in anglers' butterfly crap traps recently off the Port of Brookings Harbor's crab pier and south jetty than in years past, and a few fishermen have taken advantage of the opportunity to carpe crabum.

The limit for red rock crab is 24 crabs; any sex; any size, and there have been a few nice big ones being hauled in. The action is far from red hot, but it's enough to keep a few of the locals chowing down on their favorite crab recipes.

Dee Shurtleff holding up crab he caught, photo by Larry Ellis
Dee Shurtleff of Brookings caught a few large red rock crabs last week while tossing a folding crab trap off the crab pier at the Port of Brookings Harbor.

Anglers are continuing to troll for Chinook salmon in the area between the jaws and the boat basin. The action has been slow, but if you're a salmon fanatic, that doesn't matter. Just being outdoors with good old Mother Nature and the prospect of hooking up with a Chinook with some serious shoulders has been all that it takes to get a fisherman to troll a spinnerbait/anchovy rig or a cut-plug herring.

There have also been a few coho, also known as silvers being hooked as well. If you hook a hatchery coho that is missing an adipose fin, you can keep it. Otherwise you must release all wild coho.

There are now quite a few salmon in the lower tidewater holes, several hundred at times, with most salmon bypassing the traditional Morris Hole and Tide Rock areas and heading straight for Social Security Bar.

At any given time especially during the early morning and late evening daylight hours, you can observe copious quantities of Chinook splashing, rolling and jumping, which is enough activity to keep most anglers throwing roe, prawns or live sand shrimp underneath a bobber.

I know of at least one person who has been hooking up with several salmon a day but he has been getting to his spot at first legal light and has been using live sand shrimp to get all of his hookups.

After the sun comes up, the bite is over. So take advantage of this very narrow window of opportunity by fishing at first legal light (one hour before sunrise) and for about 1 1/2 hours afterward.

As of Thursday, the Southern Oregon Subarea from Humbug Mountain south to the Oregon/California border still had 65-percent of their Pacific halibut quota left, or 4,737 pounds still remaining to be caught.

Anglers are hoping for a few good-weather ocean days to catch some of what is left of the quota until the season closes October 31.

Fred Buckalew and Chuck Henley, holding a couple of fish sticks full of black rockfish and blue rockfish, photo by Larry Ellis
Fred Buckalew and Chuck Henley, both from Brookings caught a couple of fish sticks full of black rockfish and blue rockfish on Thursday while fishing out of the Port of Brookings Harbor.

Fishing for rockfish and lingcod took a dive earlier in the week, even with this awesome flat-calm ocean we've been having. But bottomfishing activity started picking up toward the end of the week.

Take advantage of what good days there might be left this season because sooner or later the fall rains are going to hit the local area.

Anglers trolling spinnerbait/anchovy combos in the lower Rogue estuary have been smacking the daylights out of coho salmon with an occasional large Chinook being thrown in for good measure.

On Wednesday, Shaun Carpenter, guide from End of the Rogue Guide Service had three keeper coho out of 5. Only hatchery coho may be kept. All wild silvers must be released.

Sam Waller, guide and owner of Jot's Resort also had a 28 1/2 pound Chinookzilla on the boat on the same day as well.

This is the time of the month when a significant portion of Chinook will be of Indian Creek origin, so most anglers are trolling upriver from the Patterson Bridge up to Indian Creek and back.

So take advantage of all good weather opportunities. When the fall rains do finally hit the area, all the Chinook and coho in the lower Rogue will be long gone.

California and Oregon fishing guides have lost another one of their brethren. With a heavy heart it brings me much sadness to announce that well-known and revered river guide Gary Farley died in a boating accident on the Klamath River exactly one week ago today.

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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