Late June Report
Fishing has been pretty good the month of June, with several opportunities of good weather to get on the big pond for halibut and rockfish, salmon & sturgeon retention opening back up on the Columbia River, and tuna water is forming off the coast - there's lots of reasons to get excited about June fishing in the PNW!
My efforts have mainly been focused on bottom fishing the central coast of Oregon. With every trip in June producing a full limit of ling cod (2) and black rockfish (6). The tactics here have been the same technique that has produced year after year, 6 inch swim bait on a 6oz jig head, with a single red shrimp fly tied 2 feet above the jig. Head for the rocky area's, and start scanning the bottom with the fish finder looking for pinnacles and suspended fish. Orient your starting position so the drift will take you over the school, and have your gear in the water column about 10 feet above the school before you drift over them. Drop your gear in 5 foot increments through the school giving a few vertical jigs at each stop. This will quickly land you your 6 rock fish.
More times than not, there is usually a ling cod or two hiding under that school looking for an easy meal that swims too close to the rocks. To get through the school of rockfish, start the drift higher up, and have the gear on the bottom before you get to the school, or if you already have your limit of rocks, remove the shrimp fly, and tie on a bigger swim bait with assist hook. The larger bait will likely still get tagged by the rockfish, but with much lower frequency of getting a hook set.
With July just around the corner, don't forget about your cabazon! Here, i like to target area's right next to the rocks edge where it transitions into sand. Best if you can find a spot with a drop off into a sand bottom. These spots can be hard to find, so mark them when you do!