Ocean Outlook

COASTWIDE - The Dungeness crab season for sport and commercial crabbers remains open in the ocean, while crabbing remains slow in most bays. Crabbers are averaging two males of proper size, making for dull days. Crabbing will slowly get slower over the next six weeks. Boat crabbers are far out-catching dock crabbers this past month. The public docks at Coos Bay, however, have been an exception.

The bottomfish season is open and anglers can keep cabezon under the 2009 quotas, which have yet to be adopted. The aggregate rockfish limit remains six fish a day. Coastwide, bottomfish anglers have had another great week on black rockfish and lingcod. Rockfish anglers no longer must remain within the 20-fathom curve, opening bottomfishing opportunities in deep water.

The entire Oregon Coast is still open for the recreational harvest of mussels now that levels of paralytic shellfish poisoning toxins, also known as PSP, have eased to safe levels. Now open for harvest are mussels on the beaches, rocks, jetties and at the entrances to bays, and scallops.

BROOKINGS - Low morning surf has made for excellent early jigging conditions for black and blue rockfish and the occasional vermilion. Lingcod fishing will improve weekly between now and April's spawn. A front is forecast to move in with wind and rain Sunday, so Friday and Saturday look best.

Surfperch fishing clicked back on this week as last week's heavy surf subsided. Winchuck Beach is best. Prawns and mussels are working best, but they'll even bite bright streamer flies.

GOLD BEACH - Ocean conditions were just rough enough to keep anglers at bay this week. Some fishing off rock structures, points and coves has been good. Watch for sneaker waves.

COOS BAY - The best area to crab from a boat is from the North Jetty inside the bay to Clam Island. Crabbing from the Charleston docks is producing mainly red rock crabs with an occasional Dungeness crab. The best crabbing docks have been the B/C and D/E docks in Charleston. Turkey and chicken legs are working best because they stay in the rings or traps longer. Sturgeon fishing is slow.

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