2013 Oregon Fishing Season
My 2005, 25 foot Alumaweld is outfitted with a 225 hp Mercury 4-stroke outboard and 9.9hp trolling motor. This boat comfortably fishes 6 people and with more rods in the water, more fish will end up in the fish box! This "fish-n-ator" has several proven seasons on it already and is ready to fish for the new season.
Listed below are the seasons and pre-season predictions for the year. Although the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife doesn't always get their predictions correct every year, most "predictors" point to outstanding opportunity for the 2011 angler. Thank you to all you that have fished with me over my 14-year Oregon career and thanks to those that are inquiring about my services for the future. I couldn't continue to do this job if I didn't love it and the great personalities that I get to fish with every year. I hope you have a great 2011!
Wild Winter Steelhead - this has been one of Oregon's most stable fisheries. Drifting down a scenic north coast stream in pursuit of wild steelhead can be one of the most exciting experiences I offer. I only book 2 to 3 people per guide boat and we'll fish either the Necanicum, Nehalem, Kilchis, or Trask Rivers for wild fish. The Wilson and Nestucca has a mix of wild and hatchery fish available. We use a variety of techniques depending on water conditions and 2 to 8 fish days are common! Most of the fishing is catch and release except for a chance on the Wilson or Nestucca Rivers for an occasional brute hatchery fish! The weather is usually nicer, the fish more aggressive and the crowds are fishing somewhere else this time of year. Late February through the month of March is prime time and early indications point to an excellent season!
Spring Chinook - How about another banner year for Oregon's tastiest fish? These early returning salmon don't spawn until the fall so they pack their flesh with healthy Omega-3 fat which makes the flavor very unique. The Willamette will be an option as over 100,000 of these fish are forecasted back to the river making for some excellent opportunity for multiple fish days. The Columbia River is also a strong option as I will likely be fishing around the Portland area for the forecasted RETURN of about 200,000 spring chinook due back to the Columbia and over 80% of them are scheduled to be fin-clipped making them "take-home" fish! Either way, you will want to be there from the last week in March through the month of April for peak fishing times! I may be offering 1/2 day trips for this fishery so if you're interested in this, ask about my ½ day option!
Tillamook Bay - follows on the heals of this fishery where the fish are of even better quality but average bigger. This fishery is more challenging to put numbers in the fish box but the scenery more than makes up for the effort. I will only fish in Tillamook for about 3 weeks this season, from May 15th - June 7th so book early for Tillamook. Hogs tipping the scales towards 40 pounds are taken nearly every season. We'll use spinners or herring like we do in the fall making for an extra challenge on light gear! Although a hard number prediction is never available, sub-adult counts on this system last year point to one of the best returns in recent history here!
Columbia River Sturgeon - Seasons will be more restrictive this year so you had better book early to get in on this bonanza! We are expecting another great season where 15 to 25 fish days are possible but last year we had days where we landed over 30 fish! These excellent eating fish are a nice bonus to all the action you are likely to witness on a typical day of sturgeon fishing. June 8th - June 25th offer the best opportunities for catch and keep fishing. Catch and release fishing for sturgeon is also an option after the 4th of July. Although you won't get to take one home, the river will be almost devoid of competition making for better fishing! I also have discounted rates for these days.
Garibaldi Ocean Bonanza - Garibaldi ocean salmon season will be good again this year. Last year, the ocean fishery gave up some quality coho just a few miles offshore. If the crabbing is any good, we'll put out the pots for the grand slam action! The fishery will be taking place during the month of July and the first part of August. This is peak tourist season so book these seats really soon!
Ocean and Columbia River Salmon - It's all shaping up nicely for the highest action of the year! The forecast for Columbia River coho is not out yet but likely to be over 400,000 fish along with a whopping 760,000+ chinook return at Astoria. How can you miss with these numbers? Action should be great throughout the month of August and the first half of September for salmon. This is my quickest booking season so be sure to get your seats early for this hot fishery!
Tillamook Bay Fall Chinook - It's not too soon to look at Tillamook Bay for the biggest salmon that swim Oregon. Fishing was considerably better in 2010 with mid-September to mid-October the best. Biologists are predicting an improvement in the 2011 numbers so there should be increased opportunity over the previous couple of years. Ocean conditions that effected many of the juveniles when they migrated to the ocean in 2004 and 2005 have now shifted and we should see a dramatic improvement in the coming years for this fishery. To top things off, one of our fellow anglers got the ocean sport crabbing season extended to mid-October and if the ocean is calm and we can get outside, you'll likely see crabbing like you've never seen before! Those September dates are most likely to allow for this ocean crabbing extravaganza! Mid September - November is peak time on Tillamook Bay!