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PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2020 10:53 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:48 am
Posts: 294
Location: Portland, OR
I have been trying to avoid fishing on weekends as much as possible this summer. However, work has been so busy lately I just did not feel like I could take a day off so I decided on a weekend trip.

In looking at the weather it looked like Saturday was going to be the worst day from a pleasure boat view point (best day from a kayak fishing viewpoint). I decided I would fish on Saturday, but where to go.

After thinking on it for a bit I decided to launch out of Newberg. I know the ramp can get busy but the number of folks just hanging out around the ramp is often much smaller than other places that have a lot of shoreline facilities near their ramps.

I got there around daybreak and I was surprised that there were multiple other folks launching as well (I have become spoiled by my weekday trips). A couple of the boats headed in the direction I wanted to fish so I just resigned myself to fishing behind folks all day long.

I think that made the fishing a little tougher but I was still able to scratch out 30 smallmouth and 2 decent sized crappie.

I started the day fishing this point that is the bane of my existence there. It is a perfect looking structure - a rock monolith rising out of 20-30' of water and topping off around 4-6'. If you were to create a smallmouth structure this is what you would make.

I never have much luck there but on Saturday that changed. I had no luck at all. Not even a sniff. That stupid point keeps me up a lot at night as I try to figure out what the heck I am doing wrong.

After that I continued downstream to an abutment that sticks up out of the water a little ways above the bridges. I dropped a dropshot down to the bottom and felt a bite. Swing and a miss. I dropped back down, felt another bite and this time I connected.

I was really surprised to really up a decent little crappie. I think I was getting lots of bites from them throughout the day. In lots of spots I would get those same bites that did not stick. I did manage to land a second one later in the day on a Ned rig. I don't catch many crappie on the Willamette so it is always kind of exciting when I do!

After that I spent a good bit of time fishing between the bridge and that abutment. I mostly alternate betwee a dropshot and a Ned rig and picked up the occasional fish.

I could not believe that I could not get bit on a topwater. It just seemed perfect. I threw a whopper plopper for a bit, then a Sammy for a bit and neither one got any interest.

I finally dug deep into my tackle box and grabbed a Heddon Tiny Torpedo and tied it on. That used to be my go to topwater before I started buying all these expensive topwaters. On the third cast I caught a small bass. Then a couple of casts later I missed a good sized bass.

I was getting really stoked but then the sun broke out and I just could not get another bite on that lure. I will be ready next time though!

For the rest of the day I mostly alternated between fishing a dropshot and Ned rig. I would occasionally throw a crankbait or jerkbait. I did not catch anything on the crankbait but caught a few on the jerkbait.

I think this was my first trip this year where I did not catch anything on my trusty 3" white swimbait - although I never do as well at Newberg with that lure as I do in other spots along the Willie.

The bite wassteady all day long. When I got on a good piece of structure I would fish it very carefully with the soft plastic and was able to catch fish at a reasonable pace. I spent a lot of time fishing sunken brush - which usually produces in that area - but those spots seemed to be mostly dead.

Some of my normally productive spots just seemed completely dead but I did stumble on a couple of new places.

I went further on this trip than I normally do and made it all the way down to the 219 bridge. I caught a couple of smallies of the mid-river trestle in 40' of water which was kind of fun.

I did as much scouting and mapping of that area as fishing and it looks really nice. I am excited to fish it in the future. I did manage about 1/2 dozen fish from the rocky structure under the bridge where it drops from ~10' into about 20' of water.

The thing that felt different about this trip (and the last trip) is that the fish do not seem to be schooled as tightly as they were earlier in the summer. I can catch multiple fish from an area but I am not getting the kind of back to back to back action I am used to seeing.

It kind of feels that rather than traveling in wolf packs that the fish are in similar areas but more spread out. I have no idea why.

No big fish on the day, best fish was probably around a pound a half (never got out the scale) but a decent number between 1 and 1.5lbs. Overall it was a pleasant day on the water. The boating crowds were never too bad. When I pulled out around 4pm the parking lot was only 1/2 full if that and no one was on the ramp.

Here are the crappie I caught:



Here are some of the bass:





Here is some video from the day:

Fish tremble when they hear my name :)

A ship in harbor is safe -- but that is not what ships are built for.
--John A. Shedd, Salt from My Attic, 1928

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