Fishing Report: Sept. 16, 2011

OCEAN OUTLOOK

Coastwide - The ocean is forecast to settle down quite well for the weekend, and that should giver anglers plenty of opportunities to run after bottomfish and tuna this weekend.

The ocean coho season is over coastwide, but anglers are now fishing in some bays such as the Coos, Coquille and Rogue for them.

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.

Clatsop beaches remain closed to clamming through September.

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 thanks to a light season. A few California halibut were caught this week by anglers jigging off Sporthaven Beach. A few anglers are starting to troll the Chetco estuary for fall chinook, but only a few smallish fish have been caught so far.

CHARLESTON - Coho fishing has closed for the season in the ocean, and the bay opened for wild and hatchery coho Wednesday. Fishing for coho and chinook has been excellent this week, with great catches near the jetties, off the public dock in Coos Bay and at the mouth of Daniel's Creek. Trolling cut-plug herring behind flashers works best.

GOLD BEACH - Surfperch fishing is good outside of the Rogue River jetties and along Nesika Beach. Good ocean conditions should allow some anglers to run out and fish for bottomfish. Trolling anchovies with spinner blades was fabulous for fall chinook Monday, but tapered off in recent days. A few coho are starting to show up in the bay, while the first few Indian Creek-bound chinook were caught this week. Water conditions are improving.

BANDON - Trolling for chinook remains good to very 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. Wild coho fishing opened Wednesday, and early catches have been good but it will get even better. Crabbing has been steady, but the overall Dungeness catch has been low in the estuary.


LAKE OUTLOOK

AGATE - Water levels have dropped quickly recently, with the lake now at 44 percent full. Cooling temperatures have not helped restart the trout fishery, but good catches of bass and crappie continue on nightcrawlers and plastic worms. No gas motors are allowed. Small electric motors are legal.

APPLEGATE - Trout anglers are still getting fish by trolling worms with flashers or Triple Teasers off points. Look for improved trout catches with the cooler water. 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 significantly recently and is now almost half full. Trout fishing is slow, but it is better 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 is 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 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 and 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 and fishing is fair to good with PowerBait or worms for rainbow trout near the center of the lake. 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.


RIVER OUTLOOK

ROGUE - The upper Rogue has the best conditions for fly-fishing so far this season, while the middle Rogue is kicking out fall chinook, and the lower Rogue is looking good for fall chinook in the bay, as well as for halfpounders in the Agness area now that the flows have finally dropped.

That shifts the best bet to the lower Rogue, where anglers trolling anchovies with spinners are both fall chinook and coho. The hour before and after the top of tide is best.

Water flows are down and that has helped fly-fishers find halfpounder steelhead by swinging flies or pitching spinners from Kimball Creek up to Agness. A few nice adult steelhead are in the mix, as well.

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, no added weights or attachments are allowed, including swivels.

Flows out of Lost Creek Reservoir are a fly-fisher-friendly 1,200 cubic feet per second now. Look to fish egg patterns below spawning beds.

Now is also the time to swing streamers with sink-tip lines in riffles and tail-outs before water temperatures drop and the steelhead get less active. Bank anglers also can use spinning rods, ugly bugs and prince nymphs. All wild steelhead must be released unharmed.

In the middle Rogue, very good fall chinook fishing continues downstream from Grants Pass, with Kwikfish wrapped with sardine filets outworking roe. The float from Lathrop's Landing to Robertson Bridge remains the most popular, largely because anglers there can target fish headed up the Applegate River. Lots of 30-plus pounders are in the mix, but some of the fish are pretty dark.

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 mainstem river. Summer steelhead catches remain slow in the lower North Umpqua, where all wild steelhead must be released unharmed. The South Umpqua remains 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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