Oregon Fishing Forecast - July 18, 2019
Portland/Metro - With metro area fisheries entering summer doldrums, anglers are looking west to coastal fisheries to satisfy their itch. Moderate temperatures however have kept trout fisheries on the table, and the Columbia River summer steelhead run is peaking for metro area anglers.
The summer steelhead run is down from even last year's dismal returns however, and less than half the 10-year average. Peak season still affords some opportunity, but study the regulations carefully to ensure you're within guidelines. Sauvie Island is a popular bank angling destination.
The Clackamas and Sandy Rivers continue to challenge summer steelheaders and most anglers have written off the poor spring Chinook return. Fish early with small baits or spinners to stand a chance at one of these fish.
Warm water fisheries for metro area anglers are plentiful. ODF&W has great resources to better understand those opportunities at: myodfw.com/articles/warmwater-fishing-north-willamette-area
The Tillamook Report - Although anglers had a tougher time finding coho out of Garibaldi when ocean water temperatures spiked, it remains the best opportunity for those seeking good options for success. Trollers working 160-220 foot of water northwest out of Garibaldi should experience good catches in the coming weeks. Large schools of Columbia River bound coho migrate up the coast, right past Garibaldi well into September.
Bottomfishing remains productive near Three Arch Rocks although most of the charter fleet heads north to fish off of Arch Cape and Cannon Beach this time of year. Lingcod fishing is hit or miss, but sea bass action remains excellent.
Halibut fishing has been stifled, mostly due to rough seas in the early season. That has equated to additional opportunity with a July 18-20 three-day opener slated for this week. Wouldn't you know it, after an unprecedented string of calm ocean days, the seas are expected to pick up for this opener. Nearly half of the all-depth quota remains intact and 83% of the nearshore quota.
The Astoria Report - Although anglers have been having to work for coho limits, persistent anglers are getting those kind of opportunities. Last week's storm blew out the Chinook from the Long Beach Peninsula, but the coho are of a nice grade with an occasional fish reaching 10 pounds already. Some boats have been targeting coho in 400 to 500 foot of water, but there are schools scattered throughout, from 65 foot westward. The fishing will only improve by the week, making Astoria the most likely destination for serious salmon anglers. The Buoy 10 season opens on the lower Columbia on August 1.
Catch and release sturgeon fishing remains excellent for those that find the fish. Double-digit opportunities for fish ranging from 3 to 7 feet are common.
Crabbing is fair in the ocean and river out of Astoria, the ocean crab will soon enter the molting stage however.
Razor clam digging closed on July 15, but will re-open again in late September.
No sign of offshore albacore, but commercial boats are getting them way offshore. Usually, the albacore are within reach of the sportfleet by this time of year.
For a more detailed report, go to www.theguidesforecast.com
Bob Rees is a sixth generation Oregonian and a 20-year veteran fishing guide of Oregon's Northwest region. Bob Rees' column, The Guide's Forecast, has been a trusted fishing resource for over 16 years and will appear in the Thursday edition of the Portland Tribune. He welcomes the opportunity to partner with the Portland Tribune to bring the sport fishing community timely and accurate fishing information so you can catch more fish!
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.