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Final Leg of Ocean Salmon Season

On Oregon Waters, Larry Ellis,
tart counting backwards! Anglers only have one more week to wait until they get to fish the final leg of the general ocean salmon season which takes place in the Oregon Klamath Management Zone (KMZ) from September 3 through September 5.

The second part of the salmon season will start exactly one week from today, on Saturday, September 3 and will last throughout the Labor Day weekend and through Labor Day which this year falls on Monday, September 5.

This second leg of the general ocean salmon season also coincides with the Port of Brookings Harbor's 2016 Slam'n Salmon Ocean Derby which will be taking place on September 3 and September 4. Note that this year's derby is a 2-day event and it will not continue through September 5. Also note that you CANNOT fish for salmon this coming Friday on September 2, which is stated clearly on the Slam'n Salmon web page at

That being said, the big question folks are asking is, will there be salmon available in the ocean during the derby. I only have three phrases in which to answer that question: 'Most definitely', 'you better believe it', and 'you betcha'! Last year's general ocean salmon season was the worst I had ever seen, yet there were still fish caught during last year's Slam'n Salmon Derby. Why should this year be any different?

Although this year was not a spectacular salmon year by any stretch of the imagination, it was still far better than last year's season. At least there were salmon caught this year, and some people even managed to clock a few limits. So yes, there will be salmon available in the ocean this year. You just have to bring your "A" game to the table.

Bottomfishing Rated Fair to Excellent
Anglers fishing for rockfish, cabezon and lingcod out of the Port of Brookings Harbor last week reported a variety of fishing situations. Some anglers limited out on rockfish and struggled for lingcod, while others limited out on lingcod and struggled for rockfish. But the vast majority of anglers came to the fish-cleaning facility in Brookings with near-limits of both rockfish and lings.

A group of anglers with lingcod, dungeness crack and rock fish, photo by Larry Ellis
Captain Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing took a group of five anglers fishing out of the Port of Brookings Harbor on Thursday and filled their gunny sacks with lingcod, rockfish and Dungeness crab, photo by Larry Ellis

Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing has been making the trek up to House Rock with regularity and has brought back limits of both rockfish and lingcod for his passengers. On some occasions as was the case on Thursday, he ran a combo trip, where Martin first laid out crab traps while his clients then fished for the bottom grabbers. On his way back to port, anglers were treated to some very large Dungeness crab.

Rogue Bay Still Kicking Out Kings
Fishermen trolling the Rogue Bay with spinnerbait/anchovy rigs are still occasionally being rewarded with Chinook salmon ranging from 18 to 34 pounds.

"The fishing has been excellent," said Sam Waller, owner of Jot's Resort in Gold Beach on Thursday. "Bruce Craviotto just came in with 5. Most people are going up toward Indian Creek and he went down toward the jetties and banged 3 out of 4 in about an hour-and-a-half. And Greg Eide had 4 nice fish yesterday. He's been tough to keep up with lately; he's been very consistent."

Ernie Weston and Waller have been grinding it out and getting their fair share of Chinook as well, with most of them being typical fat fall Chinook.

"We're not seeing a lot of fish over 40, although we have had some over 40 (pounds). I wouldn't call this a real big-fish year, but there's a lot of high 20's," remarked Waller. "And there's a lot of jacks (jack Chinook), which is going to be good for next year and the year after that. Like the other day we had three adults and 2 jacks for a total of five fish.

"But there's been some nice big fish too. For instance the other day Ernie and I had 3 big fish and they were all in the mid-twenties. Just beautiful fish."

Jot's sells plenty of tackle and fresh bait for your spinnerbait rigs, which Waller also sells in copious quantities.

"The incoming (tide) bite has been the best bite all year here," notes Waller.

As far as the best spinner blades are to put on your rigs, you can't go wrong with green-on-green.

"The double-green blades on the spinnerbaits are what you see on 80-percent of the guides' rods," emphasizes Waller.

Tight lines!

Larry Ellis is the author of the recently published "Buoy 10 - The World's Largest Salmon Run!", a 14-mile long salmon fishery on the Columbia River. It is the first book ever written about the Buoy 10 fishery. He is also the author of "Plug Fishing for Salmon. Both books can be found at, and Larry currently writes monthly for Salmon Trout Steelheader magazine and is also the weekly fishing columnist 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.

Fishing Reports

A Hot Summer’s Day on Chico Creek
A Hot Summer's Day on Chico Creek, Steven T. Callan
On Patrol by Steven T. Callan
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Brownie’s Choice
Art work by Isabella Langaman
By Don Webster
Disregard the story’s title. I don’t really have a “first” name. If I did, it would probably be something like Leviathan or Behemoth or maybe Lunker. Officially, I’m a trout. A brown trout. A giant, brown trout. Possibly the biggest, fattest...Full Story
Keddie Ridge
Scouting Deerheart Lake, photo by Phil Akers
Article and photos by Phil “Flip” Akers
11/14/15 -- Adjacent to both Lake Almanor and Mountain Meadows, between the towns of Westwood and Greenville, is a seemingly forgotten piece of backcountry; Keddie Ridge – aka Ridge World – where ancient rocks... Full Story
Let’s check out the Upper Sac
Lake Siskiyou with Mt. Shasta standing sentinel. photo by Phil Akers
Article and photos by Phil "Flip" Akers
09/06/15 -- The Upper Sacramento River – The Upper Sac – begins at Lake Siskiyou’s Box Canyon Dam and continues ~37 miles downstream to Lake Shasta. It is a classic freestone river born from the Mt. Shasta and Mt. Eddy... Full Story
How to make Tuscan Tuna Salad with Fennel By Frank Galusha
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German brown trout afternoon in Modoc
german brown trout in Modoc creek.
By Lea Huetteman
09/04/14 -- Catching a German Brown Trout from the creeks in Modoc County is a fine way to spend an afternoon. There are many creeks in this part of California that drain the Warner Mountains. Stream trout fishing in this region opens...Full Story
Throw the kitchen sink at them
Indian Paintbrush is a favorite wildflower that carpets wilderness landscapes. Phil Flip Akers,
Article and photos by Phil Akers
08/20/14 -- Our wilderness areas are special, where Mother Nature is landlord and natural forces operate freely. Within the wilderness you will find no roads, shelters, picnic tables, toilets, or other conveniences. You enter at...Full Story
Humboldt Bay: Busy port, excellent fishery
Woodley Island Marina, Humboldt Bay, Eureka, California
03/06/04 -- Humboldt Bay, a busy commercial harbor and home port to many charter and private offshore fishing boats, is also popular with shore-based anglers and small boaters seeking bottomfish, sharks, crabs and clams...Full Story
Pulled into the pipes: Green Sturgeon
green sturgeon
By Erin Loury, FISHBIO
03/04/14 -- [Posted with permission of FISHBIO] Living in the Sacramento River can be a risky business for juvenile green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris). The young fish must swim through a gauntlet of water... Full Story
Not Just Any Fish
California Golden Trout, California Heritage Trout Challenge, Not Just Any Fish, Phil
By Phil "Flip" Akers
02/14/13 -- Trout have inhabited California waters from the Sierra Nevada and Warner Mountains to the Pacific Ocean since prehistoric times. However, most of the trout caught by anglers are either hatchery raised fish...Full Story


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