Southwestern Oregon is renowned for its sport fishing.
“One of the greatest things about sport fishing in the Bandon area is that there’s something going on all year long,” says fisherman, columnist and local bait shop owner Tony Roszkowski.
“When one season concludes, another begins. You can come here and fish any time of the year.”
Start planning your fishing trip with Tony’s seasonal Bandon fishing guide.
Visit Bradely or Empire Lakes for rainbow trout, stocked annually by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Catch surfperch from the beach, mid March through May.
A run of spring Chinook salmon is available late-March through mid-June on the Rogue and Umpqua rivers. Native cutthroat trout fishing also begins in May in area rivers.
Offshore fishing for Pacific halibut kicks off at the beginning of May. Recreational boaters enjoy this fishery, or book a charter trip.
Jetty fishing for perch and rockfish is popular at Bandon, Coos Bay, and Port Orford. The harvest could include sea perch, greenling, black snapper or even lingcod. Bay crabbing and clamming also are very popular. The minus tides of summer are a great opportunity to harvest razor clams.
Nearshore ocean bottom fishing, ocean Chinook and Coho salmon fishing are available within a few miles of the shore. Take your own vessel or book a charter. Rock cod angling is fantastic on the South Coast, with the fishing grounds only minutes from the docks in Bandon.
Albacore tuna travel north along the Pacific coast, 20 to 50 miles offshore. Most recreational albacore fishing is done via charter from mid-July through September.
Fall is the best time of year to harvest Dungeness crab in the bay at Bandon and in the Empire-Charleston area of Coos Bay. As winter approaches, good numbers of high-quality crab are available for the taking.
Area lakes are stocked with rainbow trout at this time, too, and some bass also are available to freshwater lake fishers. Bottom fishing opportunities decrease as winter nears, but some rockfish remain available into late fall.
Winter is a great time for shellfish in nearby Charleston, with plenty of crab and clams available.
Winter steelhead fishing is best on the north and south forks of the Coquille and on the east and west forks of the Millicoma River on the Coos system. There are many popular spots for boat and bank fishers, and winter is a great time to hire a local guide if you want to try drift-fishing for steelhead. The Elk and Sixes also have good steelhead runs and both are driftable with some bank access.
Contributed by Steve McCasland with Tony Roszkowski.
Photo courtesy of Randy Miller.