|Oregon Coast Notes|
|North Oregon Coast Abounds With Family Fishing and Clamming Fun|
By David Johnson
Starting in May and really ramping up for Memorial Day and lasting into early July the N Oregon coast is absolutely loaded with family fishing opportunities.
Our bays and estuaries are loaded with shellfish. Clamming is an excellent way to break young ones into outdoor sports. What little kid wouldn't have fun digging in sand and mud?
These months have some of the lowest tides of the year, exposing acres of shellfish beds. Netarts and Tillamook Bays are the best for clams. Go along Whiskey Cr. Rd on Netarts or to Piers End located at the end of 12th St in Garibaldi. Steamers and cockles can be found here by digging with rakes and shovels, gapers with shovels.
Clatsop County beaches are the go-to for razor clams. Clam shovels or clam guns are the weapons of choice. I like to use a clam gun. If they are not showing on their own I will stomp the wet sand above the water line and then walk back over my tracks and look for the tell-tale holes or dimples the show a razor clam has retracted.
Local lakes have rainbow trout stocked in them. Use power bait with a slip sinker set-up or a worm and/or salmon egg under a float. Either of these techniques will keep your bait out of the moss and weeds were the trout can find it. Coffinberry, Cape Mears and Spring Lake are just a few that are stocked.
Some of the lakes also have warm water fish like bass and perch. Coffinberry, Sunset, and Cullaby are top warm water fisheries. Plastic grubs, small plugs and rooster tails in dark colors will catch these fish. And of course night crawlers are loved by these fish.
This is also the time of year a few sturgeon move into the Tillamook River. You will want to use sand or mud shrimp fished on the bottom with a slip sinker in deep holes during an outgoing tide. It's not fast action but there's a chance of catching a big fish. There is a public fishing pier built on the deepest holes in the Tillamook. It's located on Netarts Highway just after crossing the Tillamook R Bridge. There are also several pull outs along Frasier Rd that have some good sturgeon holes.
In May, sea perch move into the bays. They love sand shrimp fished off the bottom with a three way swivel rig. A few good places to try for them are at the view point at the Ghost Hole in Tillamook Bay. This is the pull out on 101 between Bay City and Garibaldi. The 12th St Bridge in Seaside is also worth a shot as is along the N Jetty of Tillamook Bay at Barview. Sea perch can also be taken in the surf along most beaches, especially at high tide on beaches that have had razor clamming activity during the low.
Speaking of the N Jetty of Tillamook Bay, it can be good fishing for sea bass, greenling and lingcod. Sand shrimp will catch the greenling and some bass, plastic jigs will catch more sea bass and lings.
And if you are looking for salmon, June is the peak of the spring Chinook run for coastal rivers. The mouth of Three Rivers on the Nestucca and Loren's Drift on the Trask are the best bets to catch one of these incredible fish. If you are adventurous there are other places farther up these rivers to search out. Eggs, shrimp or jigs fished under a bobber are the most effective on these fish.
Along with spring Chinook on these rivers summer steelhead are also showing up in these rivers as well as in the Wilson and Siletz. Bait, spinners and bobber an jigs are your best bet. I would lean towards bobber and jigs.
Check out ODFW's web site for stocking and angling opportunities: www.dfw.state.or.us/RR/northwest/
As with all fishing, refer to the regulations before heading out. You can pick these up anywhere you buy licenses.
For other fishing info stop by the Barview Store or Tillamook Sporting Goods. They can help you out on getting rigged up for any of these fisheries.
David Johnson is a local fishing guide booking trips for spring Chinook on the coastal bays and rivers.
He can be reached @ 503-201-4292 or www.davidjohnsonfishing.com