Oregon Fishing Forecast - May 31, 2018
Portland/Metro - Portland area action is fading, with the Willamette remaining high and the Columbia experiencing extreme snowmelt as well. Options opened up last Friday however, with the re-opening of the Columbia River salmon season and steelhead available too.
Trollers working Davis Bar on the Columbia, as well as other known hot spots aren't faring well for the amount of effort being put in. High and somewhat off-color water is quelling success rates, but anchor anglers are catching a few throughout the river. The most productive reach is around Puget Island, near Cathlamet on the Washington side of the river. Action will most likely remain good well into June, for both spring Chinook and summer steelhead in full migration.
Shad are also starting in on the Columbia and Willamette Rivers. Successful shad anglers need flow and sunny weather to score. Flow is a hard thing to find on the Willamette, but you can troll for shad too, with a high degree of success. Anchor anglers fishing near Bonneville are sure to score high numbers of this fun catching fish, perfect for crab bait or the garden, not so much for table fare, they are an invasive species after all.
Tributary fisheries are improving, with the Sandy the more likely option for spring Chinook. The Clackamas has some spring Chinook available, but the better target is summer steelhead. Both the Clackamas and Sandy Rivers are dropping and clearing, which will concentrate fish more, but make them more reluctant to bite as well.
The Tillamook Report - Spring Chinook fishing remains challenging in Tillamook Bay, but for the last few years June was by far the better month. That will likely be the case this year but weekend tides dictate an upper bay effort where action should be fair. Spinners and plugs will offer up the best opportunities on outgoing tide, trolled herring at high tide.
The Trask, Wilson and Nestucca should all have spring Chinook available, but the Trask will remain the best bet since it gets the most hatchery plants. The Hatchery Hole will be a bank angler's favorite, but it will be crowded. Eggs and sand shrimp fished under bobbers will remain the best baits. Summer steelhead are in the Wilson and Nestucca systems.
Trout fishing in north coast streams opened on May 22. There are some nice cutthroat trout available.
Bottomfishing remains excellent, but lingcod are somewhat challenging. The next halibut opener is June 7 - 9 although Pacific City and Garibaldi haven't been producing limits recently. The nearshore halibut opener is June 1, where fish often cruise in the early season, but still remain challenging to find on a consistent basis. The mouth of Nehalem Bay is a fan favorite. Anglers must fish inside of the 40-fathom line for nearshore halibut.
Astoria area - Sturgeon fishing remains challenging on the lower Columbia, with plenty of keepers remaining in the quota. The best action is taking place above Tongue Point using sand shrimp as bait.
Bottomfishing along the south jetty out of Astoria is oddly slow. Although on the backside of the most productive tides, razor clam digging should be good along Clatsop Beaches into the weekend.
For a more detailed report, go to www.TheGuidesForecast.com
Bob Rees is a sixth generation Oregonian and a 20-year veteran fishing guide of Oregon's Northwest region. Bob Rees' column, The Guide's Forecast, has been a trusted fishing resource for over 16 years and will appear in the Thursday edition of the Portland Tribune. He welcomes the opportunity to partner with the Portland Tribune to bring the sport fishing community timely and accurate fishing information so you can catch more fish!