Fishing Report: Aug. 19, 2011

OCEAN OUTLOOK

COASTWIDE - Stiff winds have kicked up the ocean, and a small-craft advisory will remain in effect today, but winds are forecast to die down over the weekend. That should allow some good bottomfishing, as well as salmon and tuna fishing, depending upon the port. The all-depth halibut season is over for the year, but near-shore halibut fishing is open.

Bottomfish anglers must stay within the 20-fathom line to steer clear of yelloweye rockfish, which must be released unharmed. Halibut anglers cannot fish for bottomfish while halibut fishing. The marine aggregate limit in Oregon is seven rockfish a day. Cabezon can no longer be kept by boat anglers because the quota has been met. The lingcod limit is two a day with a 22-inch minimum, and that is separate from the marine aggregate.

Ocean salmon fishing has picked up a bit but remains slow. Coho fishing north of Humbug Mountain is improving.

Another good set of minus tides is here through Monday, so look for some good clamming days this weekend.

Beaches from the mouth of the Columbia River down to Cape Meares are closed to mussel harvest, but the rest of the coast is open.

BROOKINGS - Bottomfishing picked up after a couple of stagnant days earlier this week. Halibut fishing was pretty good this past week, but the California halibut have yet to show up. Tuna fishing has stalled, with the fish about 40 miles out. Chinook salmon fishing has started to pick up after a poor showing so far this season.

CHARLESTON - Anglers taking charter trips for tuna are landing on average close to 10 fish a trip. Coho fishing has picked up, with anglers averaging one fish per trip. Only fin-clipped coho can be kept.

GOLD BEACH - Salmon fishing remains a little sporadic in the bay, with good flurries of catches. Anglers found tuna about 20 miles offshore earlier this week and averaged 10 tuna per angler. Surfperch fishing remains good outside of the Rogue River jetties and along Nesika Beach when the winds die down during the top of the incoming tide and the first hour of the outgoing tide.

ELK - Fishing for surfperch is waning near the mouth of the Elk River. Catches are best before the winds pick up.

WINCHESTER BAY - Sturgeon fishing is slow. Crabbing has been steady but the overall Dungeness catch has been low in the estuary.


LAKE OUTLOOK

AGATE - Wind-drifting worms from boats is the best option at the lake, where water temperatures are high and the warmwater bite is good. The lake is 90 percent full. No gas motors are allowed. Small electric motors are legal.

APPLEGATE - Trollers and fly-fishers working the points near the higher end of the lake, which is now about 20 feet from full. Trollers are using Wedding Ring lures and Triple Teasers or woolly buggers with sinking fly lines. Smallmouth bass are biting plastic worms and small crankbaits near the dam and off points. The French Gulch and Copper boat ramps are usable. Hart-Tish Park is open. For updates on facilities, call 541-899-9220.

EMIGRANT - Trout fishing is best near the dam and off the county boat ramp for those trolling or wind-drifting worms. Also, the cool in-flows from Emigrant Creek are drawing trout to the creek mouth. Catch them by casting a worm on a hook with no weights. Good water conditions have helped the bass and perch bites lakewide, with perch fishing best in the willows and bass off rocky points and around Songer Wayside.

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

HOWARD PRAIRIE - The lake continues to fish fairly well for smallmouth bass, and the water temperature remains quite cool. There are still plenty of 15- to 17-inch trout for anglers fishing deep and in the early mornings and late evenings. Trollers continue to out-produce bank anglers. Success along the jetty near the resort has been spotty, as is fishing near Grizzly Campground.

HYATT - Fishing near the dam and around the Orchard has been good with chartreuse or rainbow PowerBait for trout. Largemouth bass fishing is excellent for those wind-drifting worms or casting and retrieving any red spinner or spoon.

DIAMOND - The lake's algae advisory has been lifted and anglers have been flocking back to the lake. Rainbows are moving all over, with catches coming best in the south end in waters 9 to 20 feet deep. Look for spots with lower weed levels. Trolling F-4 Flatfish or Triple Teasers is very good for trout, while fly-fishers using black or olive leeches are having some very good days in the south end, with mornings and evenings best. Fish mostly in water 18 to 20 feet now. For PowerBaiters, float your bait about 4 feet above the bottom for rainbows feeding on insects and freshwater shellfish on the weeds.

The trout limit is eight, but only one can be longer than 20 inches. One smaller rainbow with an orange tag in its dorsal fin is worth $500 to whomever catches it. Check it in at the resort if you catch it.

EXPO - Fishing remains good for stocked rainbow trout with Panther Martin lures, PowerBait and worms under bobbers.

LOST CREEK - The lake's water quality is very good, and trolling for trout is good near the dam and directly across from the marina. Smallmouth bass fishing is very good in the mornings and evenings for jiggers and those casting rubber worms in the weeds.

FISH - The lake's public-health advisory has been lifted, and fishing is good with PowerBait or worms for rainbow trout near the center of the lake. The lake was stocked recently with another 3,000 legal-sized rainbows. Fishing had been best for them around the resort and the cove near the Forest Service boat ramp with PowerBait, worms and streamer flies. Trollers are also picking up stocked chinook salmon, which are treated legally as trout. They run up to about 11 inches.

LEMOLO - Trolling for big brown trout has been good, and fly-fishers using woolly buggers or leeches are finding a mix of rainbows and browns. Fish are more active in the mornings and evenings.

WILLOW - Fishing is good for legal-sized and larger rainbow trout stocked there earlier this year. Troll deep and slow, or fish PowerBait off the bottom.


RIVER OUTLOOK

ROGUE - The upper Rogue's spring chinook season has slowed down, with some action downstream of Dodge Bridge, while summer steelhead fishing is kicking into gear — primarily upstream of Dodge Bridge. The middle Rogue is decent but not real hot for fall chinook from Gold Hill all the way to down to the Hog Creek area. And the lower Rogue has been good for fall chinook, especially for trollers in the bay, but the bite has been sporadic.

That keeps the best bet on the upper Rogue, with the emphasis more on steelhead than chinook.

Waters upstream of Dodge Bridge are closed to spring chinook fishing, but water downstream of Dodge Bridge is open for wild and hatchery chinook for the next month. Late-run springers are starting to get a little dark, but a few fresh fish are in the mix, primarily upstream of TouVelle State Park. Kwikfish wrapped with sardine fillets and divers with roe are tops, but the persistent weeds continue to clog lures. Back-bouncing roe remains a distant second for success.

Close to 1,000 summer steelhead have reached Cole Rivers Hatchery so far, indicating there should be plenty of fish scattered among the riffles and pocket water of the upper Rogue. Many 10-pound fish and bigger have been caught in the past two weeks by driftboat anglers using K-11 Kwikfish or crayfish plugs. Another 264 retread steelhead were recycled last week from the hatchery down to the Gold Hill boat ramp and released, adding fresh fish to the mix.

Boat anglers will fare best because water flows are high, though they were down a hair this week to 2,900 cubic feet per second of water out of Lost Creek Lake.

The flies-only season begins Thursday, Sept. 1. Until then, plugs and bait rule. For fly-fishers, work slower water near riffles with streamer flies, stonefly nymphs and Prince nymph point flies.

Bank anglers will struggle with water conditions for summer steelhead, but casting worms and Panther Martin lures will work well in such areas as TouVelle State Park and the water between Casey State Park and the Hatchery Hole. All wild steelhead must be released unharmed.

In the lower Rogue, anglers are packing the bay, and catches have come in one or two-hour flurries. A few guides continue to run upstream to anchor and fish anchovies, but that bite has slowed.

In the bay, anchovies with spinner blades are working best.

Very few of the big, early-run summer steelhead have appeared in the lower Rogue. Halfpounder steelhead are finally making a strong showing in the regular beach-seining surveys at Huntley Park. These things will bite pretty much any fly, bait or small lure.

In the middle Rogue, fall chinook are showing up in canyons and pools from Gold Hill on down, but no single area has been hot and no one seems to be having any great days, just good days. Bank anglers are spread out from Griffin Park and Finley Bend down to Ennis Riffle and doing OK.

APPLEGATE - The river is open to trout fishing. All wild trout, including cutthroat, must be released unharmed. It is illegal to target spawning winter steelhead in the Applegate.

UMPQUA - Summer steelhead catches are very good in the lower North Umpqua, where all wild steelhead must be released unharmed. Shad are in, but they are tough to catch amid high-water conditions. The South Umpqua is excellent for smallmouth bass in the Elkton area. South Umpqua flows have been dropping consistently, and that has helped for bass catches on rubber worms and crayfish flies.


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