It has been a good week for anglers in Oregon, where bottomfish have moved in close to Brookings Harbor once again, in addition to a strong steelhead bite on both the Chetco and Rogue rivers.

The Smith River has also been fishing fairly well this week, with several steelhead bites per boat each day.

River fishing

It has been a good week for steelhead fishermen up in Oregon. The Chetco River has been particularly productive, both for plunkers and drift boats. Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing estimated that boats were hauling in about four to six steelhead every day on the Chetco River. Many of those fish are still bright, meaning fresh fish are still coming into the river.

The Rogue River has also been producing a lot of steelhead throughout the week, and plunkers from shore have caught a couple of the first spring salmon reported on the river so far this year throughout the week.

The Smith River has also been fishing pretty well. Mike Coopman said his boats have been getting about three to five bites per day on the lower river.

“What we do with those (bites) is kind of how the day works out,” Coopman said. “There are a lot of smaller fish in the first — the five to seven pound fish. But the water is definitely perfect, and fishing has been good.”

Coopman said he has heard of a few downer — steelhead returning to the ocean after spawning, caught on the Smith River above the forks, but all the fish that he has seen on the lower river are still moving upstream.

All three rivers on the Wild Rivers Coast should remain in strong shape for anglers through the weekend.

On the ocean

Although bottomfishing in California is closed until May 1, the ocean remains open year round up in Oregon where bottomfish seem to be moving closer to shore this week.

Andy Martin of Wild Rivers fishing said he was able to limit out on bottomfish, while also nabbing a few lingcod while fishing close to the harbor this week. Martin said last week he had to travel roughly two miles up the coast before having similar luck.

“A week ago we tried fishing in close and we weren’t catching anything,” Martin said. “I had to keep running up the coast until we got to Mack Arch before we had a good day. On Friday we were able to get rockfish a lot closer to the harbor.”

Martin said anglers are also catching surf perch just south of the harbor in front of Beachfront Inn.

Fishing contacts: Mike Coopman’s Guide Service at 707-218-4501; Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing at 206-388-8988; Englund Marine Supply Company at 464-32306.

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