I hope these last days of summer have been treating you well and that you are getting out and making time to enjoy our great outdoors. Here locally we have been treated to low winds and higher temperatures which for us means high sixties to mid-seventies not the eighties, nineties, and triple digit temperatures a lot of our readers experience in the summer. One of the myriad of reasons living here is so awesome is that if we want to experience higher temperatures all we have to do is drive East, away from the regulating effects of the ocean. Within an hour we too can experience all the heat that summer has to offer. I’ll expand more on this in a minute but first we need to give you a fishing report.
Let’s start with tuna, I really shouldn’t because I’m only enabling all you pelagic addicts out there but yes this week we saw tuna caught out of here. Now before you go and fill up the tank and fire up the engines take note that the most credible source I got my information from tells me that eleven tuna were caught seventy miles out. I say again; seventy miles out. Focus on the seventy and not the eleven fish! The cool thing though is that one of these was a Bluefin tuna and although I wouldn’t necessarily call that a successful trip how many of us have ever caught a Bluefin tuna? Yeah, me neither, good job Scott.
A few customers have caught salmon in the ocean but most of our Chinook are being caught in the bay/river. Although slow overall fish are being marked and caught from the jetty up to the Marshfield Channel with some days being better than others, you know, like fishing usually is. When the ocean allows we are still seeing a stellar grade of Lingcod and rockfish although it seems like you have to specifically target the lings and not just pick them up while rockfishing. Perch on the beach are back on again with reports of a good grade of fish. We had a slow go on Horsfall Beach for a while and a lot of seagrass was only exasperating the problem. Those of you that have pulled off several pounds of greens off your line and rigging know how much of a fun-wrecker this can be. Crabbing remains excellent stellar and outstanding in the ocean and in the bay by most accounts. Remember that if you are coming down to fish or crab swing on by the shop and say hi. We have even implemented a new Rewards Program for our customers!
Now I want to go back to warmer weather just outside our cooler ocean influenced area. Something I have been doing a LOT of lately is hitting up ponds, tributaries off of larger systems such as the Umpqua and Coquille and even the Umpqua and Coquille themselves. The purpose of these trips has been to spend time with my little ones while basking in the sun and playing in the water. Initially, fishing wasn’t part of the equation at all; this was about quality time with my kids. Well, being the apex predator that I am something triggered in my brain when I would jump into the deeper water and saw all the fish that lived down there. Just in case you didn’t know, there’s fish everywhere in Oregon! These little swimming holes were holding dozens of bass and trout and when my kids finally gave the order to “catch one daddy,” it was on.
Initially I forced myself to not bring my fishing gear which is completely counter to any regular rules I abide by and I’m glad I didn’t. Once my little ones and I saw the fish and we all agreed that they must be caught it was game on. I scurried back to my pickup truck and rummaged through the back to come up with an old rusty herring jig, about four feet of fishing line, and a single solitary split shot sinker. It was all we needed. I quickly set about to finding the right tree branch to become our fishing pole and while it wasn’t pretty it was about nine feet long and had a “whippy” tip, in other words it was perfect. We pulled one of the less rusty hooks off the herring rig and tied it to our new fishing pole with our four feet of line, snapped on our split-shot, and were ready to roll. Almost ready to roll that is, we still had the issue of bait.
After kicking over rocks and looking for critters to sacrifice for the greater good of fishing we decided that snails were on the fish menu that day. I don’t know if anyone has ever put together hard fast numbers but two little girls can collect roughly enough snails in twenty minutes to feed a family of six. I didn’t have the heart to tell them we only needed one or two so I left them to their game of “fill the bucket with snails.” As a side note there’s something to be said for catching your own bait, it kind of completes the circle of what we are doing out there and adds immensely to the fun. Once we chose just the right snail from our giant pile and named him we bashed him with a rock (hey, life is tough, kids need to experience these things) and stuck him on the hook. Once “Sammy” or what was left of him was placed on the hook we ever so cautiously snuck up to one of the deeper holes and let hook line and sinker sink into the dark green pool. Nothing, seconds felt like forever. Did Sammy fall off the hook, did we scare away the fish, do these things eat snails, and did we gather enough snails to fill a landfill all for nothing? As we sat there wondering and discussing the possibilities of what was happening at the end of our new fishing pole it shimmied for just a moment.
We weren’t sure if it was the slight current pushing our gear along the bottom or if it was actually a fish nibbling. We jigged the hook up and down ever so slightly and were met with the telltale shaking of a fish on the end and I swear it was a better hookup than a forty pound Chinook or a thirty pound albacore! The girls were squealing and laughing so loud I thought my heart would burst with joy. We had more fun with a stick and some pickup truck garbage than I’ve ever had fishing in my life. The next day we took out an old cane pole from the back of the shop and the girls spent all day down there catching fish, eating snacks and playing in the water. The fish were small but the fun was off the charts and the girls insisted on keeping and eating all the bass they caught so that’s what we had for dinner that night, tiny little fried bass with almost no meat. Best meal I’ve ever had.
Whether you are fishing the big blue water or catching the little ones with your kids during the dog days of summer I hope to see you out there.
Rob Gensorek is the owner of Basin Tackle www.basintackle.com in the Charleston Marina and can be reached by phone at 541-888-FISH, by Facebook at Basin Tackle Charleston, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Robs fishing reports can be heard daily at 6:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. on KRSB Best Country 103 out of Roseburg and his Basin Tackle Outdoor Show can be heard Wednesdays at 3 p.m. and Saturdays at 6 a.m. at kwro.com. In addition to all this he sometimes actually gets out and catches a fish or two.