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Welcome to our Tips Section. One the lower portion of this page, you'll find our current fishing trip that we're offering to make you life a little easier, or maybe to help you catch a few more fish, and in some cases: how to help care for the resource.

Once we get the expansion really going on this portion of the site, we'll be adding a reader's tip section as well. So start racking your brains and get ready to help some others!

Getting ready for a day on the river.

Our Current Tip

Spinner Fishing in Coastal Tidewater

A guest Article from Chris Salter of Big Moby Tackle ... Many thanks from us here at PP!!

Fishing the tidewaters of the Oregon Coast is a great opportunity to maximize your fall Chinook season. This type of fishery lends itself to the small boat user and/or bank angler.
Fall Chinook are notorious for stacking up in the tidewater waiting for the first substantial rain to arrive. This created a prime opportunity to catch these fish. The water is small and the fish are often stacked up like cord wood.

There are several methods that are successful in tidewater. The following are some popular methods: bait wrapped plugs, bobber fishing, and spinner fishing. The method that has produced the best results for me is trolling or casting spinners. In this article I will discuss the best times to intercept these fish. I will also discuss the best practices for both trolling and casting spinners from the bank. And, of course, gear.

Tips Archive

Timing the Runs and the Best Time of Day

The runs vary greatly depending on which system you target. In general, the first systems to receive fall fish are the Nehalem, Siletz and Nestucca Rivers. The runs begin in late August with the bulk of the run in October and November. This can vary greatly from year to year. Systems like the Tillamook, Alsea or Yaquina see their run a few weeks later with the bulk in November. The number one variable for any of these systems is rain, period.
A tide book is the key to success for day to day fishing. Learn to read the tide book and correct for the system you will fish. Often times there can be a 2-4 hour delay between the mouth and upper tidewater. Your best time to target these Kings is 2 hours either side of the low tide (the lower the better). However, do not stay at home if the tides are not cooperating with your fishing schedule. I have landed many fish in the middle of a tide swing. Some people also swear by high slack. The most important thing is to make adjustments to your gear, which I will explain later.

Trolling in Tight Quarters

As I stated previously the tidewater is ideal for a small boat. About anywhere from 12’ to 18’ is ideal for this fishing, although a 20’ to 22’ boat would work out as well. A 28’ Striper is probably not the best option. Water depth can range from 1 foot to 20 feet, sometimes in only a few yards.
A standard trolling setup goes as follows: slider with dropper line, beads, chain swivel, 6’-8’ leader, spinner. The key is to adjust your dropper length according to the tide. On the low tide I usually have a 10-15 inch dropper depending on water depth. As the tide comes in I lengthen my dropper anywhere from 24”-36”. With more water the fish tend to stay at the bottom. The key is to check your rigging often; every five minutes if needed.
If at all possible I prefer to troll with the tide. One of the most important things is to try to get your blade rotating between 115-130 revolutions per minute. You can gauge this by the bumps of the rod (with a size 6 or 7 blade it shouldn’t be a problem to feel the bumps).


By far the most popular spinner is with the Cascade style blade. Do not overlook the Indiana or Colorado blades, though! The most popular sizes are 6, 7, and 8’s. I prefer a size 6 or 7 in Cascade and a 7 or 8 with the Colorado and Indiana. As far as color combinations, everyone has their favorite. It is smart to have a few white or pearl backed spinners for early mornings or cloudy days. In contrast, brass, nickel or copper backs and tops are great for the clear days. Never leave home without a few clown/rainbow blades in your arsenal.
Leave the steelhead rod at home. You will need a rod and reel that can handle 20 lbs. minimum; I use 30-40 lb. test. To some this seems absurd but tidewater can be loaded with logs and various other things that a fish can wrap around. Keep in mind these fish range from 20-50 lbs. with an average of 25-30 lbs.

Casting from the Bank

Before I owned a boat I spent many low tides along the bank of the Nestucca River in search for rolling fish. This method is very popular on the Nestucca. Although under utilized in other estuaries.
The standard setup is as follows: swivel with duo-lock attached to 3’-5’ of leader and a spinner. I prefer to downsize my spinners for this method (size 4-6). The reason is that you usually have to keep the spinner and weight off the bottom with a faster retrieve. The smaller blade will help you achieve the ideal rotation speed. I typically cruise the banks in search of rolling salmon. If you are convinced that fish are present stick with the area and mix up your presentation.

Standard Gear, Tackle and Miscellaneous Tips

A sturdy bait casting setup rated between 20-50 lb. test will work well.




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