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  • Outdoor Report 2/14

    It’s trophy steelhead time, and outsized fish like this brute recently caught and released by our Oregon City Store Manager, Robert Campbell, are currently available on both inland and coastal streams. Fish on! It’s trophy steelhead time, and outsized fish like this brute recently caught and released by our Oregon City Store Manager, Robert Campbell, are currently available on both inland and coastal streams. Fish on!

    Free Fishing Weekend February 16th & 17th! No license or tags required for residents and non-residents alike! All other fishing regulations still apply.

    This is the time of year when you start to have a higher likelihood of hooking a trophy Winter Steelhead. These fish are in all the local and coastal rivers and will be around through the beginning of April. These large Steelhead are caught on all types of baits from small yarnies to large profile rags. However, a lot of fishermen will tend to use large profile lures such as pink worms, plugs, spinners and spoons. These larger, brighter and flashier offerings can be the key to enticing these big Steelhead. We will also start to see a few Summer Steelhead show up as we get closer to March. You will know when you hook one of these black and white Chromers as they typically spend more time out of the water than in it. Strong, blistering runs are what these fish are known for and they have no problem staying true to their name.

    Both the Columbia and the Willamette are currently high and going to get higher as this snow starts to melt. But, as soon as the rivers start to drop back into shape, there will surely be Springers around. Not many, but the early fish are typically quite aggressive and will search out herring, spinners or prawn spinners and attack them with a vengeance.

    This weekend there will be a Razor Clam dig in Long Beach, Washington. This dig will be an evening dig so make sure to bring some head lamps, warm clothing, waders and an empty clam bag. It’s been quite awhile since we had a Clam dig in Long Beach, so the clamming should be quite good.

    Crabbing has been good in both Tillamook and Nehalem Bay. This time of year the weather can be the biggest problem for crabbers. However, if you plan your trip accordingly, the crabbing can be lights out.

    Bottom fishing, when the weather and ocean has allowed, has been good all up and down the coast. Plenty of nice quality Rock Bass and Lingcod have been caught by those getting out after them. Shrimp flies, Rock Cod Jigs and vertical jigs have all been working well.

    With some rivers being blown out and others almost ready to fall back into shape, trout fishing in lakes or ponds can be a great way to still get out and go fishing. Starting at the beginning of the year and running all the way though the fall, ODFW stocks legal size trout in a variety of lakes and ponds throughout the state. The Willamette Valley lakes/ponds are some of the first to receive their plantings and will continue to get plantings well into the spring time. For instance, Walter Wirth Pond near Salem is scheduled to be stocked this week with 900 trophy trout. Henry Hagg Lake near Forest Grove is supposed to be stocked with 18,000 legal-size trout the week of February 25th! Another thing to think about is, when hatchery programs start to spawn their returned winter steelhead, a lot of the time they will have a surplus of hatchery fish and will end up releasing them into specific lakes for trout anglers to target them. For instance, Town Lake, Vernonia Pond, and Coffenbury Lake have thus far received plants of surplus hatchery steelhead.

    Always be sure to check local regulations at ODFW and WDFW before heading out. Find reports and information on the Fisherman's Community page.

    Feb 14, 2019 | by FMO STAFF
  • Outdoor Report 2/7

    First confirmed Spring Chinook of the year caught from the lower Willamette River on 2-4-19! Customer Dave Frey of Lake Oswego caught this gorgeous Springer on Monday while trolling a prawn. Congratulations on an awesome fish, Dave! The rest of us can only imagine how delicious the first Springer of the year must taste! First confirmed Spring Chinook of the year caught from the lower Willamette River on 2-4-19! Customer Dave Frey of Lake Oswego caught this gorgeous Springer on Monday while trolling a prawn. Congratulations on an awesome fish, Dave! The rest of us can only imagine how delicious the first Springer of the year must taste!

    The first confirmed Springer of the year was caught this week out of the lower Willamette River. Like clockwork, around the first week of February we typically start hearing rumors of a Springer or two that get caught in the Portland Harbor or Multnomah Channel. These die-hard Spring Chinook fishermen will start putting in their time trolling herring, prawns or spinners. Typically, fishermen will troll one of those baits behind a triangle or 360 Flasher to really up their odds in trying to entice one of those tasty Springers. From now on, we will start to see more Springers get caught until the main run shows up in late March.

    Winter Steelhead fishing has slowed slightly due to the cold, clear and low water. That doesn’t mean it’s game over, it just means that you need to adjust your tactics. Switching up to lighter leader, softer color jigs, darker color jigs or even incorporating bait into your offering can be just what the doctor ordered for clear water Steelhead fishing.

    Catch and release sturgeon fishing is a great option this time of year. The sturgeon still bite even in this cold weather, and while you fish for them on anchor you can crank up the heater and enjoy the constant action that these prehistoric fish can offer. Squid, sandshrimp and herring are all great baits this time of year.

    Kokanee fishing is another great way to be able to utilize your power boat this time of year. Lakes like Mervin and Yale provide great opportunities to fish for kokanee and trout. Trolling high in the water column is a great place to start when targeting these cold water Kokanee. Work your way down the water column until you find where the biters are and then set all your rods to that depth. Changing up scents will also help you get these finicky fish to bite.

    Bottom fishing has been great when the weather and surf has permitted. Lingcod fishing has been good with lots of nice size fish in the mix. Large curly tail grubs and vertical jigs have been great options as well as PLine Rock Cod Rigs.

    Crabbing has also been great along the coast. Tillamook Bay and Nehalem Bay both have been putting out nice keeper size crab. Anglers and crabbers who are fishing from the bank can focus their efforts on the jetties where rock bass and even Lingcod can be caught. Also, fishermen can use crab snares or Crab Hawk Folding Traps to catch crab from the jetties while they are fishing for rock bass.

    Always be sure to check local regulations at ODFW and WDFW before heading out. Find reports and information on the Fisherman's Community page.

    Feb 07, 2019 | by FMO STAFF, Weekly FMO report
  • Outdoor Report 1/31

    Win this boat and support sport fishing opportunity in the Pacific Northwest at the same time! $5.00 raffle tickets on sale now at all three Fisherman’s locations. Only 4,000  tickets will be sold! All proceeds benefit the Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association (NSIA) as they continue the fight for more fish, both wild AND hatchery; better predator management; fish-friendly dam operations and a host of other issues that benefit Northwest fish and fishermen. Drawing to be held on April 20th at the 27th annual Fisherman’s Marine and Outdoor Spring Fishing Classic Derby. (Need not be present to win.) Good luck! Win this boat and support sport fishing opportunity in the Pacific Northwest at the same time! $5.00 raffle tickets on sale now at all three Fisherman’s locations. Only 4,000 tickets will be sold! All proceeds benefit the Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association (NSIA) as they continue the fight for more fish, both wild AND hatchery; better predator management; fish-friendly dam operations and a host of other issues that benefit Northwest fish and fishermen.
    Drawing to be held on April 20th at the 27th annual Fisherman’s Marine and Outdoor Spring Fishing Classic Derby. (Need not be present to win.)
    Good luck!

    Winter steelhead fishing continues to be a great option for anglers all up and down the coast range, as well as the fishermen in the Portland Metro area. A number of rivers are now implementing hatchery broodstock programs that will result in hatchery winter steelhead continuing to enter rivers into the month of April. As a result, the rivers that have these broodstock programs are starting to see some really big fish. We heard reports of multiple hatchery steelhead nearing the 20lb mark! The Wilson and Nestucca have both had good amounts of fish in them as well as the Sandy and Clackamas. Bobber Doggin, backtrolling plugs and side drifting have been the favored techniques this week for the boat fishermen. The bank fishermen have been successful float fishing, drift fishing and casting hardware. It looks like rivers are going to start to rise again this week. So, get your gear ready for some high green water and fresh steelhead.

    It’s the end of January and that means we will more than likely start hearing reports of the first few springers of the year being caught. These fish are typically caught in the Portland Harbor, Multnomah Channel or Sellwood area. Within these parts of the river, a large percentage of fishermen are trolling with herring or prawns with either 360o or triangle flashers. Who will get the first one? Will it be you?

    Kokanee fishing has been a great option for those that are wanting a nice relaxing day trolling and catching fish. Merwin and Yale Lake have both been productive, with anglers reporting success while trolling high in the water column. The fish seem to be in the top 20’ of the water column right now, so trolling a dodger and Wedding Ring or Wiggle Hoochie should get you right in the strike zone. If you haven’t had a bite within 45 minutes or so, add a small amount of weight above your gear to drop you down a few feet. Sometimes that is all it takes to get the bite really going. Don’t be afraid to try different scents as well. These fish can be finicky at times.

    Trout fishing remains a constant option for fishermen wanting to spend some time on a pond or lake.  There are quite a few options for lakes that are open year-round. Henry Hagg Lake, St. Louis Ponds, Faraday Lake, East Salish Ponds and Benson Lake to name a few. Most of these options are relatively close to the Portland Metro area and provide a great opportunity for all anglers. Starting now and running through early summer is when a good portion of the local lakes will receive their trout plantings. Early spring can be an awesome time to go trout fishing as you will have the newly planted trout as well as the hold over trout from the year before. This combo can result in a fun trip to the lake.

    Winter time walleye fishing is one that doesn’t get talked about much. These fish are delicious and are willing biters when you find where they are hiding. This time of year, most people will be trolling variations of bottom walkers and worm harnesses. Covering water can sometimes be your best option when it comes to locating these toothy critters.

    Surf perch fishing is an option for those wanting to visit the beach and fish for just a few hours or the whole day. The incoming tide is typically the best, so you can plan your trip around that. Another great option is to fish for perch on the incoming tide and than to jump over to the nearest jetty and target sea bass, Greenling and Lingcod. This time of year, large curly tail grubs or swimbaits are good choices for casting off the jetty. Fishing sand shrimp is also a great option as virtually all the species of fish in and around the jetty will eat sand shrimp.

    Always be sure to check local regulations at ODFW and WDFW before heading out. Find reports and information on the Fisherman's Community page.

    Feb 01, 2019 | by FMO STAFF, Weekly FMO report
  • Outdoor Report 1/24

    Fisherman's Marine and Outdoor Pro Guide, Chris Vertopoulos, took a day off from guiding clients and joined our Oregon City Store Manager, Robert Campbell, for some bank fishing on a North Coast stream. They landed four steelhead on the day, including this nice broodstock keeper that Chris caught on a spoon. In general, winter steelhead fishing continues to slowly improve, but the bulk of the run has yet to show up. Fish on! (Northwest Angling Experience and Chris V: 503-349-1377.) Fisherman's Marine and Outdoor Pro Guide, Chris Vertopoulos, took a day off from guiding clients and joined our Oregon City Store Manager, Robert Campbell, for some bank fishing on a North Coast stream. They landed four steelhead on the day, including this nice broodstock keeper that Chris caught on a spoon. In general, winter steelhead fishing continues to slowly improve, but the bulk of the run has yet to show up. Fish on! (Northwest Angling Experience and Chris V: 503-349-1377.)

    Winter steelhead fishing this last week seemed to pick up a little bit with good reports coming from up and down the coast, as well as the Sandy and Clackamas Rivers. We have been getting reports of some very large steelhead caught lately, some hatchery and some wild. This is a great reason to constantly check your terminal gear to make sure your leaders are fresh, hooks are sharp, and knots are tight. You never know when you may hook that steelhead of your dreams. In southwest Washington, the Kalama, North Fork Lewis and Washougal all have had fish in them, with anglers reporting fair success throughout each system. Again, with a good number of large fish being hooked. Bobber Doggin’ has been the most popular technique for the boat anglers, as it allows you to effectively cover lots of water. For the bank fishermen, float fishing worms, beads or jigs have all worked well, with hardware and drift-gear accounting for the rest of the fish.

    In the last few weeks, ODFW has planted the last of the brooder trout in St. Louis Ponds and Henry Hagg Lake. These fish weigh on average between 5 and 15 pounds, so there is a real possibility of hooking a monster or two. That, coupled with the fact that both these lakes are close to town, make for great options when looking for places to take your kids or new anglers.

    Crabbing has been good for those that are wanting a chance at fresh seafood in January. We have had reports of quick limits in Tillamook Bay recently, especially if you can find a break in the weather. It Is recommended to check your pots often and move to a new location if you’re not having any luck.

    Surf perch fishing is a great option for anglers wanting to get down to the coast and catch some delicious salt water fish. These aggressive fish inhabit the surf and jetties all along the Oregon and Washington coastline. We have had recent reports that there are surf perch being caught in Seaside as well as Lincoln City. Fishing sand shrimp, clam necks and Berkley Gulp Sandworms are some of the most popular baits to use when targeting surf perch.

    Catch and release sturgeon fishing remains a viable option this time of year. It’s an especially attractive option when we have back-to-back rain storms that may keep some of the steelhead rivers blown out for consecutive days. Finding deep, slow water holes in the Portland Harbor and Milwaukie areas are a great place to start. Just be aware of what’s coming down river when you are anchored up. The high water can dislodge trees and logs along the shoreline, which could find their way into your anchor rope.

    Always be sure to check local regulations at ODFW and WDFW before heading out. Find reports and information on the Fisherman's Community page.

     

     

    Jan 25, 2019 | by FMO STAFF, Weekly FMO report
  • Outdoor Report 1/17

    Customer Jeremy Miller caught this monster broodstock steelhead while fishing with guide Grant Rilette last week. The fish was so large that some people mistook it for a salmon! Jeremy entered his 17.4 lb. fish in the Maxima/Fisherman’s Steelhead Derby and was the weekly prize winner. The Steelhead Derby runs through March 31st, so be sure to enter your own hatchery steelhead at any one of our stores. Fish on! Customer Jeremy Miller caught this monster broodstock steelhead while fishing with guide Grant Rilette last week. The fish was so large that some people mistook it for a salmon! Jeremy entered his 17.4 lb. fish in the Maxima/Fisherman’s Steelhead Derby and was the weekly prize winner. The Steelhead Derby runs through March 31st, so be sure to enter your own hatchery steelhead at any one of our stores. Fish on!

    Winter steelhead fishing remains a steady option for those that are needing to scratch the outdoor itch. Both coastal and valley rivers are producing fish. The number of fish may not be as high as years past, however, they are making up for it in size! We have received reports on nearly every river saying fish are above average in size.  Making sure your leaders and mainline are in tip- top shape is paramount as you never know when you may hook the steelhead of a lifetime. Keeping your hooks sharp and leaders strong will give you the best chance possible. For float fishermen, pink worms, jigs, beads, and bait have all taken fish this week. With cold, clear conditions on a good portion of the rivers, stealthy presentations and darker colored jigs have been working well. With rain in the forecast rivers should be coming back up to that beautiful steelhead green that we all dream about.

    Sturgeon fishing has been another great option with lots of nice fish being caught in the Portland Harbor. Finding slow, deep holes that have an upstream drop off can be great places to target these prehistoric fish. Herring, sand shrimp and squid have all been productive baits this last week.

    Crabbing has been good for those braving the conditions. Typically, everyone thinks crabbing only applies to those that own boats. However, in many of the coastal bays you can access the north or south jetties where you can easily crab with a heavy-duty rod and reel. Crab Hawk folding crab traps, or crab snares, work extremely well and are a great alternative for those that are already headed down to bottom fish off the jetties. You can also fish more than one crab rod at a time. Therefore, between reeling in, changing bait, and loading crab into your bucket, you will stay busy and engaged all day long. Jetty fishing can be dangerous, especially in rough weather, so pick your days and be cautious.

    Also along the coast is the opportunity to fish for surf perch. These delicious fish inhabit the surf on nearly every beach you can think of. When you really dial their location in, the action can be fast paced. Small Berkley Gulp Sandworms, live sand shrimp, clam necks, and even nightcrawlers work. Make sure you are fishing a few baits at a time and it will help you dial-in exactly what they are wanting to eat.

    Locally lakes and ponds continue to get stocked with delicious trout throughout the winter and can offer excellent opportunity for fishermen of all ages and skill levels. Fishing bait under a bobber or on the bottom are popular choices, especially right after the lake has been planted. Trolling small Mag Lips, Wedding Rings, and Flatfish are also great options when fishing from a boat.

    Always be sure to check local regulations at ODFW and WDFW before heading out. Find reports and information on the Fisherman's Community page.

    Jan 18, 2019 | by FMO STAFF
  • Outdoor Report 1/10

    Oregon City Store Manager, Robert Campbell, with a nice broodstock winter steelhead caught recently from a coastal stream. The fish slammed a Mad River Steelhead worm rigged on an 1/8 oz. jig head fished under a Thill Turbomaster-3 float. Oregon City Store Manager, Robert Campbell, with a nice broodstock winter steelhead caught recently from a coastal stream. The fish slammed a Mad River Steelhead worm rigged on an 1/8 oz. jig head fished under a Thill Turbomaster-3 float.

    Winter steelhead fishing continues to improve. Fishing at the coast seems to be getting better as we continue getting rain. There has been a decent amount of nice, quality fish being caught all up and down the coast line as well as the valley rivers. For the drift boat guys, a lot of fishermen have been bobberdoggin  beads and yarnies or side drifting eggs and cheaters. There have been a select few that have gotten back to their roots and started backtrolling plugs again. They have been doing well on Tadpollys, 3.5 Mag Lips, and K11’s. Running them down slow moving inside seams and long flat runs have been some of the best locations for backtrolling plugs.

    Catch and release sturgeon fishing has still been productive in the Portland Harbor area with quantity nor quality being an issue. Squid, herring and sand shrimp are continuing to be the most popular choices of bait.

    Trout fishing remains a constant option this time of year as ODFW will continually stock local lakes with trout. Some of them trophy size! The good old stand by Powerbait, nightcrawlers or salmon eggs will always be a good bet. However, early in the morning or late evening can be a great time to cast small spinners or plugs parallel to the shorelines. Once these fish get acclimated to the lake they will start to cruise the shorelines for food and fishing weed beds can be a great place to start as they become good ambush points for these fish. Remember to always check your local ODFW stocking schedule for what lakes have been stocked most recently.

    Walleye fishing in the Columbia River Gorge is also an option this time of year. The weather can make it challenging at times, but if you are regularly checking the weather forecast, you can find windows in the weather and be rewarded with a pile of delicious walleye. Lots of fishermen like to jig for them this time of the year. However, trolling a bottom walker paired with worm harnesses seems to catch them all year long. If you are running into a tough bite while jigging, try switching it up to trolling. Being versatile can increase your odds on the water.

    Bottom fishing has the potential to be very productive when weather conditions allow. Lingcod and sea bass are typically aggressive this time of year and not only make for great sport but are amazing table fair as well. Shrimp flies, vertical jigs and curly tail grubs are among the many options when it comes to choosing artificial bait for these saltwater fish.

    Surf perch fishing can also be great this time of year. Chasing these fish may require a bit of planning based off of tides and weather forecasts. However, not only are they fun to fish for but they are among the most delicious fish to catch. Fried with a little bit of cracker crumb for breading and you have a dish that everyone can enjoy. Berkley Gulp Sandworms, live sand shrimp, and clam necks are three of the most popular options when it comes to surf perch fishing. Alternating between these three options will really help you dial in what the fish want that day.

    Always be sure to check local regulations at ODFW and WDFW before heading out. Find reports and information on the Fisherman's Community page.

    Jan 10, 2019 | by FMO STAFF, Weekly FMO report
  • Outdoor Report 1/3

     

    Trevor LaValley from our Oregon City store recently caught this nice broodstock winter steelhead while fishing with Fisherman’s Pro Staff Guide, Chris Vertopoulos, on a coastal river. Winter steelhead fishing has improved significantly over the past week on both coastal and inland streams, so if you are fortunate to land a nice hatchery steelhead, be sure to bring it in to one of our stores to enter it into the Maxima/Fisherman’s Winter Steelhead Derby. All fish must be gutted prior to weigh-in. (North Coast Angling Experience and Chris Vertopoulos: 503-349-1377.) Trevor LaValley from our Oregon City store recently caught this nice broodstock winter steelhead while fishing with Fisherman’s Pro Staff Guide, Chris Vertopoulos, on a coastal river. Winter steelhead fishing has improved significantly over the past week on both coastal and inland streams, so if you are fortunate to land a nice hatchery steelhead, be sure to bring it in to one of our stores to enter it into the Maxima/Fisherman’s Winter Steelhead Derby. All fish must be gutted prior to weigh-in. (North Coast Angling Experience and Chris Vertopoulos: 503-349-1377.)

    The catch-and-keep sturgeon fishery on the Columbia River from Bonneville Dam to McNary Dam started on January first. Those that braved the cold were rewarded with a number of nice keepers. Herring, squid, sand shrimp and anchovies were good baits with sand shrimp and squid being two of the best choices. A lot of fishermen found success in the deep-water holes as the river is cold, these fish like to hunker down a bit and wait for the water to warm up a degree or two. Therefore, targeting some of the slower and deeper water can pay off. This is a quota fishery that will close once numbers have been reached. So be sure to check regulations before heading out on the water.

    Winter steelhead fishing picked up along the coast this week. This last high-water event brought some fish in and provided some much-needed water color. Bobberdoggin is far and away the most popular technique for any stretch of the rivers that have boat access. However, those that want to go “old school” and anchor up while drift fishing or backtrolling plugs have been having pretty good success. When the rivers get high and off color, those that are willing to sit on a productive spot can have the opportunity to catch fish all day long. Larger profile baits such as pink worms, rags, large Corkies, cheaters, egg clusters or sand shrimp tails are all great choices for the high-water steelhead fishermen. The guys that are still going to be probing their favorite stretch of river with floats will do well with pink worms, BnR Steelhead Scampi, large soft beads or large profile  jigs.

    Winter can be one of the best times to catch giant surf perch along the Oregon and Washington coasts. These delicious critters are still just as plentiful and hungry this time of year as they are in the spring and summertime. The biggest contributing factor can be the weather and surf.  But when the weather is nice the surf fishing can be great. Sand shrimp and clam necks are the two most popular real bait, but with the variety of artificial bait available from Berkley Gulp it’s hard not to at least give a few of them a try. The most popular option is the Gulp Sandworm, surf perch can’t leave them alone!

    Bottom fishing can also be great this time of year. Again, weather is typically the biggest determining factor along the coast. Winter sea bass can be large, and fat while the Lingcod can be aggressive and hungry. Large curly tail jigs and swimbaits are go-to options for targeting Lingcod as well as bass.  Vertical jigs are also a great way to target these delicious fish.

    Locally, lakes are continuing to get stocked and some of them with large “trophy” trout. These are great fish to take young anglers or new anglers to go catch. Typically, these fish are eager biters and can provide great entertainment when fishing bait under a bobber. Worms, single eggs and Powerbait all will work well.

    The freezing weather over the New Years Eve/New Years Day got some birds moving and the hunters on Sauvie Island capitalized. The bird to hunter average jumped a whole bird from previous days. The average for New Year’s Day was 2.8 birds per hunter. Look for more birds to come into the area from now until the end of the season. Mostly mild temperatures in Alaska and Canada slowed the migration this year but as the weather north turns more seasonal, hunting should improve.

    Always be sure to check local regulations at ODFW and WDFW before heading out. Find reports and information on the Fisherman's Community page.

    Jan 03, 2019 | by FMO STAFF, Weekly FMO report
  • Outdoor Report 12/27

    outdoor report 1227

     

    Winter Steelhead fishing is just getting started after this last high-water event.  There have been reports of fish caught from virtually all the local and coastal rivers.  High-water steelhead fishing can be a blast, as these fish are usually very aggressive and not leader or line shy.  It always helps to keep your gear as stealthy as possible, but when the water is big and green, these fish can attack your gear with reckless abandon.  Your typical Bobber Doggin’ rig will always be a good option but pulling plugs or fishing hardware can be fun under these high-water conditions.  Watching a plug rod fold over will get just about anyone’s adrenaline pumping!

    The Willamette and Columbia have both risen and are moving at a much faster clip.  For those anglers still wanting to play catch and release with sturgeon, be mindful of debris coming down river as high-water events will break loose logs and trees that have been sitting against the banks of the river all fall.

    Trout fishing has been good in the lakes that have been recently stocked.  These fish will like to congregate around the areas in the lake that they were planted.  So, if you can get your hands on a stocking schedule, timing your trip around the first few days a lake is planted can greatly increase your odds of a full stringer of trout.  Nightcrawlers are always a great option, followed by powerbait, single salmon eggs or even salad shrimp under a bobber.  Once the fish have been in the lake for a week or more, they will start to migrate around the lake, looking for forage food.  This can be a great time to target these fish with spinners, spoons or even shallow diving plugs such as Rapalas.

    It’s never to early to start thinking about Spring Chinook.  Prepping your gear when rivers are blown out during steelhead season, can get you ready to chase early Springers in February and March.  Tying up fresh leaders, inventorying your lead selection or washing up and replenishing your flasher supply can all be a great way to be productive on a Saturday when the rivers are too high to steelhead fish.

    Recent rains did spread the ducks around and there is more rain in the forecast. If the rains raise bodies of water into tree lines, look for those areas to attract a lot of puddlers. This time of year is the time to incorporate smaller spreads and swallow the calls. Especially this year with milder temperatures and birds hanging around longer they have seen every imaginable decoy spread  and heard every bird call there is.  Sauvie Island harvest statistics for the Christmas Eve shoot day showed a harvest rate of 1.2 on the eastside and 1.0 on the westside.

    Always be sure to check local regulations at ODFW and WDFW before heading out. Find reports and information on the Fisherman's Community page.

    Dec 28, 2018 | by FMO STAFF
  • Outdoor Report 12/20

    Here’s a stocking stuffer of a different sort:  ODFW is currently stocking trophy trout in local lakes and ponds, providing great opportunity to get out and catch some monster trout! Here’s a stocking stuffer of a different sort: ODFW is currently stocking trophy trout in local lakes and ponds, providing great opportunity to get out and catch some monster trout!

    Winter Steelhead fishing is sure to pick up as we finally received a much-needed deluge of rain this past week. Most rivers either blew out or got so high that they were unfishable for a few days. While that may sound like a rough situation, for many Northwest Steelhead fishermen it is a blessing in disguise.  Once the rivers start to drop, there will be plenty of water to fish that will have fresh Steelhead arriving daily. These fish will be on a one-way mission upstream, so they will be aggressive and willing biters.  Look for soft water edges, tail outs that are as close to walking speed as possible, current breaks such as trees or large boulders, and current seam lines. These fish will likely be taking the path of least resistance, so targeting these slower water areas will likely get your offering right in front of the steelhead.  Bobbers paired with jigs, pink worms, beads, eggs and prawns are all good choices.  Another technique that is not widely used in the winter time, but can be extremely effective, is to fish a side planer and steelhead size plug. Often, when the flows are up, the slow side of the river may be the opposite one from you.  Implementing a side planer and plug will allow you to walk your offering across the current and let your lure sit perfectly in the soft water slot. Choices of plugs include K11’s, 3.5 Mag Lips, Wiggle Warts and Tadpollys are among the many great steelhead plugs that are available. Drift fishing is also a super effective way to get your bait down and into the slot. This is an exceptionally productive technique if the slot you are targeting is fairly short. Bait, yarn, Corkies or beads are among the many fish killing options available to drift fishermen.

    Catch and release sturgeon fishing remains consistent, with most anglers staying in the Willamette as the flows start to increase. The Portland Harbor and lower Willamette will be two of your best options for targeting these prehistoric creatures. Roll-mop, herring, sandshrimp and squid have been some of the top producing baits. Please note, be sure to keep a keen eye out for logs and other debris coming down river during these periods of high water.

    Locally there have been many lakes and ponds that continue to be stocked. This is the time of year that ODFW will be stocking the larger trophy Brooder Trout. Some of which are up to 15 lbs!  Hagg Lake, Junction City Pond, Walling Pond, West Salish Pond and Mt. Hood Pond all received Brooder Trout last week ranging from 5-15 lbs.  Winter time trout fishing can, at times, be challenging but very rewarding.  Fishing bait off the bottom or under a bobber will be the most popular tactics, while casting spinners or flies are also a great option.

    Duck hunters have finally gotten a good storm to fill up the ponds and low laying areas.  The birds will finally have a place to land and congregate.  It looks like we will be getting more rain as well as nasty weather, so be ready for some more ducks to come in.

    Always be sure to check local regulations at ODFW and WDFW before heading out. Find reports and information on the Fisherman's Community page.

    Dec 21, 2018 | by FMO STAFF
  • Outdoor Report 12/13

    outdoor report 1213

     

    Steelhead fishing is still in the beginning phases of the season.  Some of the smaller north coast streams have received their first couple batches of fresh fish.  While most of the other streams are still waiting on their first good push of fish.  With that being said, this week’s rain will definitely get a lot of places going.  These early fish are typically aggressive biters and will not hesitate to attack a properly presented bait.  With the flows being on the higher side, a lot of boat fisherman will be Bobberdoggin eggs, yarn, beads or worms.  While all of those will work great, sometimes breaking apart from the pack of Bobberdoggin fisherman can be beneficial.  One alternative to differentiate yourself from the rest of the fishermen is to back Troll some plugs.  Trolling hard baits such as the K11 Kwikfish, Mag Lips, Hot Shots, Wiggle Warts and Tadpollys are all phenomenal plug choices when targeting steelhead this time of the year.  Running these through drop offs, along same depth runs, and through buckets along the bank are all great places to find holding steelhead.  Bank fisherman will do great targeting a lot of these same types of water, however fishing bobber with jigs, worms, beads or bait will be some of your best options.  Drift fishing can also be a great technique that isn’t as widely used as it once was. Fishing Corkies and yarn, straight yarn, eggs, sandshrimp or pink worms are among the many variations of drift rigs that can be used.

    Bottom fishing has continued to be great, when conditions allow. There have been reports of nice Lingcod that have been caught recently along with a variety of bottom fish species. Soft plastics such as curly tailed grubs are still one of the best producers during this time of the year.

    Crabbing has also still been great.  The nasty weather can make the crabbing a bit sporting.  However, the reward is more than worth it with lots of crabbers pulling in full pots of fat Dungeness crab!

    Catch and release sturgeon fishing has been great with people fishing for them in the Columbia and Willamette.  The lower Willamette and Portland harbor area has been the most productive with reports of boats catching anywhere from 20+ in a day. Herring, squid, and sandshrimp have been the top 3 choices with the most success. If you are looking to get a workout and break a sweat during these cold months, you may want to consider targeting these hard fighting fish!

    Always be sure to check local regulations at ODFW and WDFW before heading out. Find reports and information on the Fisherman's Community page.

    Dec 13, 2018 | by FMO STAFF, Weekly FMO report