Coastwide - The ocean is forecast to settle down pretty nicely by Saturday evening after a thermal trough that brought heavy sea warnings finally dissipates. That could make for some very good bottomfishing. The ocean coho season north of Humbug Mountain has been extended through Saturday, Sept. 10, to give anglers another shot at catching wild or hatchery coho at sea.
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.
Tuna have come within 15 miles of some ports. Overall, the past week has been slow for tuna anglers except those running out of Port Orford, where anglers averaged nine tuna per trip.
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 - The ocean salmon season has closed. Bottomfishing should be good when the seas settle down again. Halibut fishing remains pretty good, but the California halibut have yet to show up. Tuna fishing has stalled but it could improve with calmer seas.
CHARLESTON - Coho fishing has closed for the season in the ocean and it opens in the river Wednesday for wild and hatchery coho. Trolling for chinook has been very good with cut-plug herring and flashers.
GOLD BEACH - 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.
BANDON - Trolling for chinook has been good with cut-plug herring all the way up to Rocky Point
WINCHESTER BAY - Sturgeon fishing is slow. Chinook catches have been very good for trollers. Crabbing has been steady but the overall Dungeness catch has been low in the estuary.
AGATE - Water levels have dropped quickly recently, with the lake now half full. Warm water has meant for good bass and crappie fishing, with fish scattered around the lake. No gas motors are allowed. Small electric motors are legal.
APPLEGATE - The lake is dropping much faster now that inflows have waned, and the surface level is now 44 feet from full. Trout anglers are still getting fish by trolling worms with flashers or Triple Teasers off points. 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 - The lake has warmed and dropped signicifantly recently, and the lake is now 60 percent full. Trout fishing is slow, but it is best in the cooler waters in the Emigrant Arm. 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 for eating all but trout from the lake because of elevated mercury levels.
HOWARD PRAIRIE - The lake continues to be a smallmouth bass show, 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 along the channel. Success along the jetty near the resort has been spotty, as is fishing near Grizzly Campground. The lake is holding at 84 percent full.
HYATT - Fishing near the dam and around the Orchard has been fair for trout with chartreuse or rainbow PowerBait. Late evening has been best. Largemouth bass fishing is excellent for those wind-drifting worms or casting and retrieving any red spinner or spoon. The lake remains 86 percent full.
DIAMOND - The lake continues to show good water quality and clarity. Trollers and anchored anglers are doing very well for trout up to 25 inches on F-4 Flatfish or Triple Teasers Fly-fishers are using black or olive leeches in the south end, with mornings and evenings best. Fish mostly in water 20 to 25 feet now until cool weather returns. 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 fair for stocked rainbow trout with Panther Martin lures, PowerBait and worms under bobbers.
LOST CREEK - The lake’s water quality remains 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. The lake is down a foot below its normal December level.
FISH - The lake’s water quality is good again and fishing is fair to 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 - A voluntary advisory against water contact is in place at Lemolo after a blue-green algae bloom there this past week. Trolling for big brown trout has been good, and fly-fishers using woolly buggers or leeches were finding a mix of rainbows and browns.
WILLOW - Fishing is fair for legal-sized and larger rainbow trout stocked there earlier this year. Troll deep and slow, or fish PowerBait off the bottom.
ROGUE - The upper Rogue is now turning up for fly-fishing for summer steelhead as water levels drop, while the middle Rogue remains hot for big fall chinook, and the lower Rogue bay continues to pump out big fish such as a 53-pound chinook buck caught Thursday by a woman trolling in the bay.
That keeps the best bet a three-way split, with each zone offering its own cornucopia.
In the upper Rogue, it’s flies-only now through October from the Hatchery Hole down to the old Gold Ray Dam site. Anglers can use up to three flies and a bubble regardless of what kind of rod or reel is used. However, there are no added weights or attachments. No swivels or lead are allowed now.
Also, flows are dropping quickly, with 100 cubic feet per second shaved off each day this week from releases at Lost Creek Lake. The outflow will be down to 1,200 cfs by Tuesday, so that will continue to improve steelhead fishing conditions in the upper Rogue. Also, water releases are averaging 56 degrees, leaving the steelhead more active.
Now is the time to swing streamers with sink-tip lines in riffles and tail-outs. Bank anglers also can use spinning rods, ugly bugs and prince nymphs. Egg patterns will start working well below spawning salmon, but there hasn’t been a lot of spawning activity yet downstream of Shady Cove. All wild steelhead must be released unharmed.
In the middle Rogue, very good fall chinook salmon fishing is happening downstream from Grants Pass, with Kwikfish wrapped with sardine filets out-working roe. The float from Lathrop’s Landing to Robertson Bridge has been very popular, largely because anglers there can target fish headed up the Applegate River. Lots of 30-plus pounders in the mix, but some of the fish are looking pretty dark.
In the lower Rogue, anglers are packing the bay, and catches have come in one or two-hour flurries, usually at the top end of high tide. Afternoon bites have been good in the bay as well. In the bay, anchovies with spinner blades are working best, as are cut-plug herring. Vary your depths and trolling speeds because the fish are at different depths daily.
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 - Good catches of chinook and coho are reported in the lower end of the main-stem river. Summer steelhead catches are slow in the lower North Umpqua, where all wild steelhead must be released unharmed. 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.