DEPOE BAY — Anglers in every sort of floating contraption were returning with limits of hatchery-fattened coho and Chinook salmon, a red-hot strike that is expected to peak through the last days of July before the traditional summer ebb.
Typical of the action was a Saturday, June 28 run by Lured Tours (971-218-1741) that landed five coho and four Chinook plus a limit of rockfish after the salmon bite died down around 10 a.m. Returns like that challenge predictions of a scanty Chinook run. Kings started hitting the baits soon after the March 15 opener.
The average coho weighed four to five pounds, but one hit the scales at 10. Chinook ranged from 12 to 14 lbs. Guide Randy Bales, driving a 23-foot Alumaweld Columbia sled, hit pay dirt at 7 a.m. in a current of bait-rich ocean 100 to 140-feet-deep, a half-mile offshore.
“There was action right off the bat,” Bales asserted,” displaying a dazzling flasher-and-herring rig bejeweled with flashy bait beads his company produces. “You can really stuff ‘em when you’ve got this kind of color on your tackle.”
The bite was over by 8:15 a.m., a common refrain from anglers who say the last bite is usually around 10 in the morning, though results in fishing are changeable as a baby’s diaper.
Channel 17 charter chatter on Sunday broadcast accounts such as “three Nookies and two coho” and even the astonishing figure of “nine Chinook and one coho, but we’re having to work for it!”
Along the Central Coast, Chinook season runs through Oct. 31. Fin-clipped coho season runs until Aug. 25, or until 90,000 fish are decked. A two-day wild coho season runs Aug. 31-Sept. 1.