Tillamook & Nehalem Bay
Wilson, Trask, Kilchis, & Nestucca Rivers
Starting in September I move back home and start fishing my fall salmon season in Tillamook and Nehalem Bay. Through the middle of October I will troll the mouth of the bay or in the ocean, when conditions allow. These coastal fall Chinook are the biggest fish we target for the year. They average 20-30 pounds, but its not uncommon to see a 40+ pound fish caught during the season. These are by far the hardest fighting fish of the year; fresh from the salt water makes them ready for battle. When ocean conditions allow, I will combine crabbing with these trips. As the season gets later into October I start fishing more of Tillamook Bay and the upper bay as these fish are starting to stage waiting to head up the rivers as the fall rains starts. We fish them in very shallow water and this makes for an exciting battle when hooking these giant fish in 3 to 10 feet of water.
As we get into late October through December, rain starts to fall and rivers start rising causing these fish to move from the bay into the small coastal rivers. This is when I put the sled away and start drift boat and tidewater fishing. I fish the Wilson, Trask, Kilchis, and Nestucca Rivers this time of year. This time of year we are fishing a very hands on fishery. We normally are back bouncing eggs or bobber fishing for these giant kings. If you like having the rod in your hand this is the fishery for you. The weather is the main factor on where we fish from day to day. This time of year the conditions are changing by the hour, so we spend lots of time on many different rivers and in tidewater.