Ocean anglers in Brookings saw their commute to target salmon get much shorter early this week. After traveling out between 10 and 13 miles since the season opened in May, Oregon sportfishermen started finding salmon much closer to shore as the fish start to move towards the Chetco Estuary.

After a couple days of decent fishing, however, anglers were blown back to shore as winds picked up Wednesday and continued through the rest of the week.

Local anglers have still been able to nab a few salmon later in the week, though they have had to go to the river to do so. Both the Rouge and Klamath rivers are reportedly producing a few salmon this week, though neither river is particularly productive at the moment.

On the ocean

Anglers have been anticipating the salmon moving closer to shore for several weeks, and the migration seems to have started early this week in Brookings. Oregon sportfishermen only had a brief window to target the salmon, however, due to high winds which kicked up on Wednesday. Those winds won’t last forever, though, and once they start to die down the salmon will still likely be in close.

The Pacific halibut season is also still open out of Oregon, though most anglers seemed to have been targeting salmon this week.

In California, Friday was the last day of the Pacific halibut season with the first of three 15-day closures starting today on the California Coast.

According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s in-season tracking, the CDFW has projected that 6,592 pounds of Pacific halibut have been caught in California through June 10, including a total of 4,891 pounds in the month of May.

The total quota for the season in California is 30,940 pounds. The CDFW’s projection is just a gauge for how the season has been going. The California Recreational Fisheries Survey’s estimates, which haven’t been released, are what determine when the quota has been met.

Bottomfishing has remained productive on both sides of the California-Oregon Border throughout the spring and anglers were still catching them early in the week. Like the salmon fishermen, however, bottomfishing anglers have also been forced to take a short break to wait out the wind.

River fishing

Although salmon fishing on local rivers has been slow, there are still a few springers being hooked in both the Rogue and Klamath rivers this week, though both rivers have been a little unreliable.

The Klamath River has had a fairly slow spring so far, but Mike Coopman, of Mike Coopman’s Guide Service said he has heard that there was an uptick in catches this week, as anglers have been starting to see a few more salmon, especially above Klamath Glenn.

Coopman said most guides seem to be having luck anchoring and running spinners on the Klamath.

“They are mostly smaller fish — in the 8-10 pound range for the salmon (on the Klamath),” Coopman said. “Overall it has been pretty slow but it sounds like it picked up here a little in the last few days. It sounds like it hasn’t been great, but there are fish to be caught.

Fishing contacts: Mike Coopman’s Guide Service at 707-218-4501; Englund Marine Supply Company at 464-32306; Chetco Outdoor Store at 541-469-9151.

Reach Michael Zogg at mzogg@triplicate.com .

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