Table of Contents
May 30, 2023
If there’s not a photo, it didn’t happen
Submit your fishing photo to ODFW and we might use it here or elsewhere on MyODFW.com.
For the latest regulations, including in-season changes
See the Regulation updates section above.
Saltwater News Bulletins
Be among the first to know about in-season changes! You can subscribe to receive emails and text message alerts for marine topics that interest you. It’s easy to unsubscribe at any time. Your contact information will remain confidential. Three different lists of interest to ocean enthusiasts are available: bottomfish, halibut and ocean salmon.
Retention of quillback rockfish and yelloweye rockfish remains prohibited, and cabezon are prohibited until July 1. Click ‘Regulation Updates’ above to see what’s new for 2023 and for a link to the sport groundfish seasons page.
In Garibaldi, the beginning and the end of the week were slow due to high wind gusts and ocean conditions, but during the middle portion of the week the ocean calmed down for boats to get out. Anglers were able get their general marine bag limits (5 fish), but lingcod has slowed down with the average being one per angler (limit 2 fish).
Last week in Depoe Bay, anglers were able to catch their general marine bag limits. The primary species caught was black rockfish, with a mix of canary, yellowtail, China and copper rockfishes. Lingcod fishing continues to be slow for most anglers.
Out of Newport, there was a lot of fishing effort on Wednesday and Thursday last week. Anglers were able to get their general marine species bag limits, but the lingcod bite was slow. Lot of anglers took advantage of the opportunity to keep halibut and bottomfish on the same trip.
In Charleston, most of the effort was Monday through Friday. Anglers were able to catch their general marine bag and lingcod limit. In addition to black rockfish, there were quite a few canary and yellowtail rockfishes.
In Brookings last week, rockfish catches continued to be good with some nice-sized black rockfish and a variety of gopher, grass, copper and canary rockfishes. Many anglers were able to get their general marine bag limit, when the weather allowed. Lingcod fishing was tougher, and not many limits were caught.
The offshore longleader fishery gives anglers an opportunity to catch more fish and to distribute effort away from nearshore species. On March 1, the daily bag limit increased to 15 fish per angler. Learn more about the gear and the fishery.
Bottomfish fishing resources:
What can I keep and how many? Keep up with in-season regulation changes.
Know what you’ve caught with some helpful rockfish identification tips (including online quizzes and video).
Waypoints for fathom lines and other restricted areas.
Halibut seasons are now open along the Oregon coast. On the north coast, halibut fishing has not been very good, only a few landed for the week, but there were a lot of sablefish brought in.
In the Central and Southern Subareas, the majority of anglers were able to get their limit of halibut (1 fish) with the average size being 32-52 inches long.
Anglers up and down the coast have been taking advantage of the opportunity to retain bottomfish and all-depth halibut on the same trip this year. Find season details here (dates, places and other regulations).
Off the coast of Oregon, there are a variety of flatfish species that can be found. Pacific halibut are NOT included in this category and have their own regulations and bag limits (see Pacific halibut above). Skates and rays are also not part of this group and fall into the general marine species bag limit. It does, however, include all other flatfish species such as flounders, soles, sanddabs, California halibut and turbots. With a daily bag limit of 25 fish, there is opportunity to explore. Don’t hesitate to catch and then carefully release flatfish to help safeguard future populations and only take the fish you need.
We want to share your flatfish photos! Submit your flatfish catch photos and you may see it added to the recreation report or on social media as we feature flatfish species over the next several months.
Features: The Pacific sanddab has both eyes on the left side of the body. The eyed-side is a dull light brown, mottled with brown or black, and sometimes yellow or orange. The blind-side is off-white to tan. They have an oval shaped body, with large scales, and a rounded caudal fin. They can grow to be 16-inches long and up to 2 pounds, though most weigh less than 1/3 pound. Here is a link with more identification specifics.
Habitat: As you probably guessed, sanddabs like to hang out on sandy bottoms. They are most abundant at depths of 20-50 fathoms and are common in shallow coastal waters from British Columbia to California.
Technique: Sanddabs are notorious for going after just about anything that crosses their paths. Make sure your bait is smelly since they hunt by scent. Dead bait fish or plastic grubs near the bottom work great when sanddab fishing. These fish are caught in the same area as Pacific halibut and are commonly used for bait. Anglers will often prefer to use a herring jig setup when targeting sanddabs. This gear type allows anglers to use more hooks on a single line, though the hook size must not exceed a 3/8-inch hook gap.
The entire coast is closed to fishing for salmon in ocean waters. The recreational ocean salmon fishery scheduled to open on March 15 and continue through May 15 in ocean waters between Cape Falcon and Humbug Mt. off Oregon is canceled for 2023. See the Action Notice for more information.
Seasons for the remainder of 2023 through May 15, 2024 have been adopted by the Pacific Fishery Management Council and the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission. Seasons are not official until approved by the Department of Commerce. See the season details here (dates, places and other regulations).
Shore and estuary fishing
Daily bag limits, seasons and licensing requirements for shore-based anglers are the same as for boat-based anglers.
There are plenty of rocky or sandy fishing sites up and down the coast where shore anglers can drop a line for saltwater fish. Read about how and where
Lingcod and many other bottomfish species are available year-round to shore anglers fishing in rocky areas. A common setup for lingcod is a jig head with a rubber swim bait – it’s simple but effective. Also pack a measuring device for lingcod: the minimum legal size is 22 inches.
Surfperch are available in the surf year-round along sandy beaches and rocky shores, with the best fishing (and safest fishing) occurring when swells are small. Learn about ocean surfperch fishing.
Want more opportunities that don’t include a boat? Check out the crabbing and clamming recreation report for updates on crabs, clams, mussels and more!
When fishing from shore or inside estuaries and bays, it is important to check the tide. Many fish that swim into estuaries and bays, including salmon, surfperch, and Pacific herring, tend to come in with the tide. Catch of these species is more likely to occur closer to slack tide. Additionally, the accessibility of some areas can be completely dependent on the tide. Do not allow the incoming tide to become a safety issue.
Looking for the latest crabbing and clamming updates?
Regulation updates as of March 14, 2023
These are in-season regulation changes adopted on a temporary or emergency basis or adopted after the regulation book was printed. Please see e-regulations for permanent regulations.
The recreational ocean salmon fishery scheduled to open on March 15 and continue through May 15 in ocean waters between Cape Falcon and Humbug Mt. off Oregon is canceled for 2023. See the Action Notice for more information.
Information can be found on the sport bottomfish seasons page
- Yelloweye and quillback rockfish are prohibited at all times and in all waters.
- Every vessel fishing for or possessing bottomfish, Pacific halibut, or flatfish in the ocean must have a functional descending device on board, regardless of depth. The device must be used to release any rockfish outside of 30 fathoms.
For more information contact your local ODFW office:
- Marine Resources Program Main Office (541) 867-4741
- Additional Marine Resources Program Contacts