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Outdoor Report 2/13

Cal Honl has plenty to smile about after weighing-in the first hatchery Spring Chinook of the season at our Oregon City Store on Thursday, winning our $100.00 Springer Bounty in the process! Congratulations on a beautiful Springer, Cal! Cal Honl has plenty to smile about after weighing-in the first hatchery Spring Chinook of the season at our Oregon City Store on Thursday, winning our $100.00 Springer Bounty in the process! Congratulations on a beautiful Springer, Cal!

At least three Spring Chinook have been caught from the lower Willamette River this week, giving anglers hope for the upcoming season! Long-time Fisherman’s customer, Cal Honl, claimed our $100 Springer Bounty by weighing-in the first confirmed hatchery keeper at our Oregon City store on Thursday. Another long-time customer, Brent Lackey, then caught another gorgeous keeper today (Friday) while fishing with the “Sultan of Sellwood,” John Shmilenko. Both fish were caught on plug-cut herring. Make no mistake, February Spring Chinook are hard to come by, and it’s a dedicated lot who pursue them when there aren’t that many around. But the run is just starting, and certainly there will be some good fishing ahead as numbers continue to build over the lengthy season. Spring Chinook are a decidedly Pacific Northwest delicacy worthy of celebration, if for no other reason than they signify the end to our long, dreary Northwest winter, with the promise of Spring ahead and all of the outdoor possibilities it delivers to Northwest anglers!

Winter steelhead fishing has been good for those that have been able to make it out after the last episode of high water.  Folks have been finding success all along the coast and we have reports of some really big fish being caught.  The water is dropping and is a killer “steelhead green” color on a lot of rivers.  Fishermen have found fish in all parts of the rivers from down low in tidewater all the way up to the small water that only bank fishermen can get to.  Bright colored worms, beads, yarn balls, eggs, shrimp and plugs have all been catching fish lately.  Boat fishermen are finding success Bobberdoggin’, side-drifting and backtrolling plugs.  It’s that magical time where you can pick your favorite technique and run with it all day and usually find success.

Kokanee fishing has still been good up at Merwin Lake.  These Kokanee are getting fatter by the week and have stayed aggressive with lots of anglers reporting great success.  Fish are still pretty high in the water column, so a lot of anglers are finding success just flat-lining or with very minimal weight. Small Spin-N-Glos, spinner blades and small pink hoochies have all been working well.  Make sure you tip your lure with some Shoepeg corn and you are in business.

Trout fishing is still a great option and as spring approaches, the water and weather will start to get warmer and the trout will get even more active.  Right now, still fishing bait is going to be one of your best options as trout will be slowly cruising the bottom or near the shorelines looking for an easy meal.  Nightcrawlers, Powerbait, salmon eggs or Berkley Gulp are all good bait options when fished either under a bobber or off of the bottom.

Crabbing will be getting better as the bays along the coast have started to empty out all the excess freshwater from the recent torrents of rain.  During the Winter months, crabbing can be a fun, interactive and productive way to get the family onto the water.  Baiting and pulling pots is a great way to get the younger generation involved.

Catch and release sturgeon fishing has still been good.  The high water hasn’t deterred these great biting fish and the action has been good.  The Portland Harbor still remains one of the best places to target these prehistoric creatures.  Smelt, squid, herring and sand shrimp have all been go-to baits.

Razor Clamming was good this past week at Long Beach.  With reports of quick limits and good size clams for most of the clammers. WDFW has set preliminary dates for more digs throughout the rest of the winter.  So be ready for more dates to be released and more clams to be caught.

 

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

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