Ocean Coho Fishing
A huge rush of Silver Salmon – also known as Coho Salmon – is swimming along the Oregon coast this summer. Oregon fishery managers peg the “run” of coastal Coho at more than a million fish this year.
Licensed anglers – with rods and reels in hand – are trying their luck on the ocean waters as the best fishing of the summer season gets underway. There is an old fishing adage that goes, “You should have been here yesterday!” The assumption being – the fish are always more eager to bite – the day before you decide to go fishing.
So when I stepped aboard John Krauthoefer’s (Firefighter’s Guide Service) boat at Garibaldi Marina for a day’s adventure on the big blue Pacific Ocean and heard: “The fish are here – no doubt about it,” noted the longtime Oregon fishing guide. “Every place we went yesterday we had a bite…there were three guys in the boat and we dumped the fish in and were done 35, 40 minutes later…it was great fishing!” His report sounded fantastic and yet my heart sank a bit!
That’s because it has been my history that whenever I hear such a solid report of angling success that occurred the day before – it is usually followed by nearly the opposite when I step aboard the next day.
While Krauthoefer fishes the ocean each summer, he insisted that he hadn’t seen ocean Coho salmon fishing like the past month in a long time. As we sped across Tillamook Bay toward the ocean he was convinced that our fishing adventure would be every bit as successful as the day before.
As it turned out, our combination of tactics and techniques added up to one of my most amazing ocean Coho salmon trips ever. He added that the summer forecast for Oregon’s Coho population is pegged at more than a million fish.
Anglers are allowed to keep three hatchery Coho per day.
Fish splashed and nets flew from boats all around us as we trolled within sight of Twin Rocks, just north of the entrance to Tillamook Bay.
You can tell the Coho are hatchery fish by the missing adipose fin; that’s a half-moon shaped fin located immediately behind the dorsal fin. (The adipose fin is clipped off at the hatchery when the fish are babies.)
Not only is there a greater abundance of Coho, but the fish are bigger than usual – on average two pounds larger – for this time of year.
There were plenty of keepers to go around and we ended up with Coho limits all around.
About the Author: Grant McOmie
Grant McOmie is a Pacific Northwest broadcast journalist, teacher and author who writes and produces stories and special programs about the people, places, outdoor activities and environmental issues of the Pacific Northwest. A fifth generation Oregon native, Grant’s roots run deepest in the central Oregon region near Prineville and Redmond where his family continues to live.
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