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May is Surfperch Month

On Oregon Waters, Larry Ellis, myoutdoorbuddy.com
ay is the month when the big female striped surfperch and redtail surfperch start putting on the feedbag and begin putting on some serious poundage. It is also the month when you will likely be catching the larger of the surfperch.

Redtail surfperch are one of the largest species of surfperches and can attain sizes up to 4 pounds, so the following statement will knock your socks off:

The standing IGFA world record redtail surfperch weighs 1-pound 4-ounces and was caught by Steven M. Wozniak on 8-3-2013 on a beach near Orick, California.

Ladies and gentlemen, I know for a fact that I've seen larger redtail surfperch caught in Oregon on numerous occasions. The aforementioned fish is a world record that is just begging to be broken.

So why hasn't this particular world record been topped?

The fact is that most people who have caught redtails over 2 pounds just don't feel like going through the lengthy process of getting their catch certified. Not everyone was born to be a world record hunter. But if you feel like getting your name in IGFA's World Record Game Fish Publication as a world record holder for redtail surfperch, this is what you will need to do:

  • First of all, you will need to have visual documentation of your catch. A good camera is a necessity to document your catch for IGFA. Digital cameras are encouraged. Make sure that the whole fish is displayed, with all the fins showing, and take several different photographs from different angles and at different exposures so that the true colors of the fish will be seen. It also helps if an ODFW representative is present for the identification process.
  • Second, get the fish weighed-in on a certified scale as soon as possible. The best scales are the ones you will find at fish markets and supermarkets, which are used for trade and are certified at least once a year. These types of scales are often accurate to within one-hundredth of an ounce. It is a good idea to have at least two impartial witnesses other than the weigh-master to also document the weight of the fish. (That being said, it is perfectly permissible to have a hand-held scale certified after the fish has been weighed, as stated in the IGFA rules and regulations. However most of the time these scales will have to be sent in to IGFA in order to be certified.)
  • Third, fill out an IGFA Record Application form. To download this form, simply type in "IGFA World Record Application" in your computer's browser.
There is also an application processing fee involved. If you are an IGFA member, the fee to process the application is $50.00. If you are not an IGFA member, the cost is $80.00, which includes both an annual membership and the application fee. It's a small price to pay to become a world record holder, but I know that thousands of redtail surfperch are just waiting to be weighed in as new world records.

For any questions concerning the IGFA World Record Application, contact World Records Coordinator Jack Vitek at 954-924-4246 or jvitek@igfa.org.

Don't forget that there are only three weeks left until May 28, which is the opening day of the all-salmon-except-coho ocean salmon season in the Oregon KMZ, which is from Humbug Mountain south to the Oregon/California border. This season will last through August 7.
2 men holding up stringer of fish, photo by Larry Ellis
Roy Liles and Jason Cottingham, both from Brookings, Oregon were surf fishing a Brookings-area beach last week when they caught some very large redtail surfperch on small pieces of raw shrimp....photo by Larry Ellis

In addition to the aforementioned salmon season, anglers fishing the expanse of ocean from Cape Falcon to the Oregon/California border will also get a shot at catching hatchery coho salmon during the all-salmon mark-selective coho fishery from June 25 through the earlier of August 7, or until the 26,000 hatchery coho quota has been attained.

Fishing for springers in the lower Rogue River also picked up slightly last week in the Elephant Rock area. Boaters are anchoring up between 4 and 9 feet of water and are either setting out spinners like CV-7's or they are spinning an anchovy very close to the bottom.

"Boats have been getting between 2 to 3 bites a day," says John Anderson from Memory Makers Rogue River Guide Service in Gold Beach.

This is a finesse fishery at its finest, and the hatchery-to-wild ratio has been averaging approximately 50:50. You can only keep hatchery fish in this particular fishery.

So if you are serious at going one-on-one with a feisty springer that can spool you in less than a minute, think about hiring a guide like Anderson or stop in the Rogue Outdoor Store for other guide recommendations.

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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