Ocean Outlook

Coastwide - Another front is moving onto the coast, and the all-too-familiar hazardous seas warning remains in effect at least through tonight. Swells up to 11 feet are expected to develop along most of the coast during afternoons this weekend, likely forcing ocean anglers to stay home.

When the seas subside, ocean anglers must remain within the 20-fathom curve to reduce the bycatch on canary and yelloweye rockfish. That means staying in waters less than 120 feet deep. When getting out, anglers are still catching near-limits of bottomfish each trip, but only one in 10 anglers has been catching a lingcod.

The marine aggregate limit remains seven rockfish a day and two lingcod a day with a 22-inch minimum.

All shellfish fishing is open coast-wide, including the popular Clatsop County beaches. Mussel harvest also is open coast-wide. For more information and updated closures, call the shellfish hotline at 800-448-2474.

Dungeness crabbing in bays off public docks in Winchester Bay and Charleston has been very good, and most of the crabs are in their hard shells. Lots of barely undersized crabs are in the mix. Ocean crabbing opens Wednesday, Dec. 1.

PORT ORFORD - Ocean trolling for chinook off the mouths of the Elk and Sixes rivers is open through November, and fishing was poor this past week due to typically nasty November weather. Some decent catches were reported earlier in the season, but the rough seas have kept anglers in port.

BROOKINGS - Anglers sneaking out of the port in early mornings when the surf dies down have been getting near-limits of bottomfish by staying close to shore and jigging near kelp beds.

WINCHESTER BAY - Chinook and coho fishing has tapered way off in the estuary as the fish have moved upstream. Surfperch fishing remains good off the south jetty when weather permits.

AGATE - Fishing for recently stocked legal and trophy-sized rainbows is very good for those trolling Wedding Ring lures or fishing chartreuse PowerBait off the dam. The lake remains less than 20 percent full. No gas motors allowed.

APPLEGATE - Trollers using Flatfish or Triple Teasers are still doing very well for the large and trophy trout stocked there last month. Also, trolling woolly bugger flies has worked well. The lake is very low but the French Gulch boat ramp remains usable, while Hart-Tish Park is closed. Bank fishing is tough because the lake is so low. Focus off points and look for schools of land-locked chinook that have been stocked there.

EMIGRANT - The lake is down to less than one-quarter full, hurting angling effort. Trolling for trout has been fair to good thanks to cool water, and most of the action remains on the lower third of the reservoir near the dam. Troll red Tazmanian Devils or Wedding Ring lures spiked with a piece of worm.

A standing public-health advisory continues about eating all but trout from the lake because of elevated mercury levels.

HOWARD PRAIRIE - The lake is closed to all angling until the fourth Saturday in April.

HYATT - The lake is closed to all angling until the fourth Saturday in April.

DIAMOND - The lake is closed to all angling until the fourth Saturday in April.

EXPO - The pond is open year-round and fishing remains good for large and trophy rainbow trout stocked there in late October. Chartreuse PowerBait or worms under bobbers remain popular choices.

LAKE of the WOODS - Fishing for brown and rainbow trout has remained good amid cooler water conditions. Still-fishing with PowerBait off the bank has been good near the resort. A few brown trout are getting caught on Kastmasters or worms from shore or docks.

LOST CREEK - Trolling for trout 15 to 17 inches remains very good near the dam, which is where most of the action is. Troll Wedding Ring lures with worms or Triple Teasers. The lake is being drawn down for flood-control purposes, and the Stewart State Park boat ramp might not be usable by early next week. The Takelma Ramp will remain open throughout the winter.

The lake remains under a public-health advisory against water contact because of a blue-green algae bloom.

FISH - Fishing for large rainbow trout remains very good near the resort and the Forest Service boat ramp. Bank anglers and those anchored in boats are catching plenty of large trout on chartreuse or orange PowerBait floated off the bottom. Some small spring chinook have been stocked in the lake, and they are nearing legal size.

WILLOW LAKE - The lake remains under its second public-health advisory against water contact because of a blue-green algae bloom. The boat ramp and campground access are closed, but anglers can park outside the gate for walk-in, day-use access.

FOURMILE - Fishing for rainbows is good for trollers fishing deep with Kastmasters or other spoons.

SELMAC - The lake has cooled off, and that has helped the trout bite. Another complement of large and trophy rainbow trout were stocked recently, and fishing for them continues to be very good with worms, Panther Martin lures, single salmon eggs floated off the bottom or PowerBait.

LEMOLO - The lake is closed to all angling until the fourth Saturday in April.

MEDCO - Fishing for rainbow trout is good off the bank with PowerBait thanks to cool water. Effort has remained light.

ROGUE - The upper Rogue remains very good for summer steelhead fishing regardless of your method of choice, while the middle Rogue is improving for summer steelhead now that river flows have finally come up around 2,000 cubic feet per second there. The Agness area has slowed to a crawl for steelhead and halfpounders, with the Gold Beach crowd still waiting for the first winter steelhead to show up.

That keeps the best on the upper Rogue, which is now inviting a cornucopia of angling tactics heading into the Thanksgiving week.

Those fishing from the Hatchery Hole to the Shady Cove boat ramp have their full arsenal open to them. The annual flies-only season ended Halloween, so anglers can drift-fish with worms or roe for summer steelhead. Most driftboaters are side-drifting roe or egg flies soaked in roe juice in the heads of riffles immediately downstream of chinook salmon redds. Most of the chinook have spawned and died, so the steelhead are not as intensely focused in on roe, which makes plug fishing a very good option now.

From the Shady Cove ramp downstream to the former Gold Ray Dam site, anglers are relegated to artificial flies and lures but no bait. Most are either fly-fishing or side-drifting single salmon egg patterns in riffles immediately downstream of chinook redds. The change in rules, however, means molded plastic egg patterns are now legal, and they remain a good choice. Fly-fishers casting streamers are picking up a few fish in riffles, and K-11 Kwikfish plugs have worked very well for larger steelhead.

Some big fish have been in the mix of late, with a regular complement of 10-pounders showing up almost daily.

All wild steelhead must be released unharmed.

More hatchery "retread" steelhead are expected to be recycled downstream from Cole Rivers Hatchery to the Gold Hill area early next week in time for Thanksgiving holiday anglers.

Flows are expected to rise through the weekend thanks to storm fronts, with the flows near what used to be Gold Ray Dam up to about 2,700 cfs Saturday.

In the middle Rogue, fishing for summer steelhead and cutthroat trout has been fair and a bit sporadic, but look for improvements now that flows are up. Anglers side-drifting roe are doing well in the run downstream of Valley of the Rogue State Park, while plug anglers are finding fish around Ennis Riffle and Carpenter's Island. Plug fishermen also are catching coho in Brushy Chutes and at Robertson Bridge.

UMPQUA - The mainstem Umpqua continues to fish fair for coho salmon up near the forks, but fluctuations in water conditions make the bite almost day-to-day. Water conditions have been low, but they were rising Thursday. Coho also are moving into the North Umpqua. Only fin-clipped coho may be kept, and wild coho continue to dominate the catch. The South Umpqua is open.

COQUILLE - The wild coho salmon season in the river is over. The lower river is tapering off for fall chinook fishing, with the first winter steelhead expected soon.

COOS - Fall chinook salmon fishing has fallen off in the South Fork of the Coos River. Trolling cut-plug herring or sardines continues to produce some fish, with gold-bladed spinners a decent backup choice. Sand shrimp drifted under bobbers has been producing chinook in the upper South Fork of Coos River in pools where chinook are hiding out in low water. Many of the fish are dark.

ELK/SIXES - Most fall chinook fishing recently has occurred from Highway 101 down to the mouths. Flows had been very low but the rivers were rising Thursday. The mouth of the Elk has seen some good schools enter this week, and fishing pressure there is heavy. Upstream the fish are holding in pools, so the best results have come to those fishing roe and sand shrimp under bobbers.

CHETCO - The river was rising and dirty Thursday and it is forecast to crest Sunday afternoon. When it does, look for excellent fishing for fresh fall chinook on plugs, back-bouncing sand shrimp or roe. Fish the migration lanes, especially inside curves of gravel bends.