Ocean Outlook: Dec. 24, 2009

COASTWIDE - Ocean conditions look worse than gnarly for most coastal ports this weekend, especially off Southern Oregon. Swells of up to 17 feet are forecast for the weekend, largely because of heavy winds south of Cape Blanco.

Dungeness crabbing in the ocean is open, and it has been extremely good when weather and swells permit. Commercial crabbers are having their best early season in five years, and recreational crabbers are following suit.

The entire ocean remains open to bottomfish fishing, and Oregon will make it through the remainder of the year without a bottomfish closure other than the current closure for cabezon in the boat fishery.

The aggregate rockfish limit remains seven fish a day.

Recreational and commercial clam harvesting is closed on the entire Oregon Coast, from the mouth of the Columbia River to the California border. Mussel harvesting remains closed from Bastendorf Beach near Charleston south to the California border because of elevated levels of paralytic shellfish toxins. For more information and updated closures, telephone the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474.

BROOKINGS - The ocean looks nasty through the weekend for bottomfishers and crabbers. Surf perch fishing will be poor from Winchuck Beach for at least one day after the heavy swells of this weekend dissipate.

When the surf settles down, look for bottomfishing again to be very good for combinations of black rockfish and lingcod in shallow waters near the kelp beds north of the marina. Glow-in-the-dark and black jigs have been the plastic of choice.

COOS BAY - Crabbing will start improving off public docks this weekend in Charleston after last week's rains pushed crabs lower in the bay. Fishing for black and blue rockfish remains good around low tide off the inside of the north jetty. Watch carefully for sneaker waves.

WINCHESTER BAY - Sturgeon fishing remains slow. Crabbing within the triangle area has been good but might suffer a little now that more freshwater has reached the estuary.

Share This Story