Ocean Outlook

Ocean Outlook

COASTWIDE - Winds but not-so-rough seas are forecast for the weekend, but that could make for some iffy bottomfishing opportunities. A few late-evening minus tides are in the works for next week, and that could have clammers busy, but most will wait it out for the next morning's minus tide series. No halibut fishing is allowed north of Humbug Mountain for the rest of the year. However, fishing is open south of Humbug Mountain through October, and catches have been good off Brookings in water 250 to 280 feet deep.

Chinook salmon fishing off Southern Oregon ports is closed until the annual "Bubble" fishery outside the mouth of the Chetco River opens Oct. 1. Crabbers working bays are catching plenty of Dungeness, and the crabs are filling out after the molt. Ocean crabbing is open, and some bottomfishers are dropping pots on their way to jigging reefs, and they have done fairly well on days that the ocean is slow.

Tuna fishing is relatively slow.

The marine aggregate limit in Oregon is seven rockfish a day, and no cabezon may be kept for the rest of 2012. The lingcod limit is two a day with a 22-inch minimum, and that is separate from the marine aggregate.

BROOKINGS - The chinook season is over until the Oct. 1 "Bubble" season just off the mouth of the Chetco. That fishery should be excellent, but it is very weather-dependent. The coho season is over for the year. Windy days are forecast for the weekend, but some decent bottomfishing opportunities still exist. Redfin perch fishing has slowed.

COOS BAY - Chinook salmon fishing in the bay around McCullough Bridge has been very good for those trolling cut-plug herring with flashers. The wild coho fishery opens Saturday.

GOLD BEACH - Ocean anglers have been pushed off the bottomfish thanks to rough weather. The redfin perch bite is starting to wane in the bay as well as places such as Nesika Beach. Trolling for chinook in the bay has been relatively slow, with a few dozen fish caught daily. Coho salmon are starting to move into the estuary, with anglers limited to keeping only fin-clipped hatchery coho. Troll anchovies in the top half of the water column for cohos.

Lake Outlook

AGATE - Fishing for bass, crappie and perch is very good in the evenings, while trout fishing is very slow. Wind-drifting nightcrawlers or fishing plastic grubs has been best for bass near the dam and around submerged willows or weed lines. The far upper end of the reservoir is fishing best for crappie with small jigs or black flies. No fresh trout will be released for the rest of the summer because of warm water. The lake is dropping and is now listed at 41 percent full.

No gas motors are allowed. Small electric motors are legal.

APPLEGATE - Access to the lake's southern extremes remains restricted because of the continued effort at fighting a wildfire over the ridge in California's Klamath National Forest. Largemouth bass fishing is good around structures, particularly the sunken Christmas tree lines. The lake has dropped about three feet in the past week and was listed Thursday at 53 feet from full. For trout, slowly troll Triple Teaser lures spiked with worms or fish PowerBait from the bank near the boat ramps. Hart-Tish Park is open, and the boat ramp is usable, as is Copper and French Gulch, but French Gulch sports little parking.

EMIGRANT - Fishing for legal-sized trout stocked earlier this season has slowed amid warm water conditions. Fishing worms or slow trolling near creek mouths is best. Water clarity is fair. Bank anglers using chartreuse or rainbow PowerBait have fared well for trout, while trollers using Little Cleo's or Triple Teasers also have caught fish. The lake was listed this week as half full and dropping fast. Smallmouth bass fishing has improved off rocky banks, as fish are getting more concentrated and a few largemouth have been taken in the willows.

A standing public-health advisory continues about eating all but trout from the lake because of elevated mercury levels. The lake is 41 percent full.

HOWARD PRAIRIE - Trout fishing has picked up for those trolling Wedding Rings with small pieces of worm, while some throwback anglers are doing well using Ford Fenders. Chartreuse and rainbow PowerBait are working OK, along with worms seven feet or so under bobbers. Wind-drifting night crawlers also is good, with early mornings and dusk best. The limit is five trout per day, with one over 20 inches. The lake was listed at 74 percent full and dropping slowly this past week.

HYATT - Bass fishing is in high gear, with anglers casting a variety of red lures doing well all day. One of the BLM boat ramps at the campground is closed while it is getting rebuilt. Most of the effort has been still-fishing water with PowerBait. The lake was down to 71 percent full this past week — still very high for late August. The limit is five trout a day with an 8-inch minimum, and only one can be 20 inches or longer.

DIAMOND - The lake's trout bite has picked up slightly from late August amid more seasonable air temperatures and a pesky algae bloom in the lake. The trout bite has been scattered as fish scramble to find pockets of cool water, so they tend to be suspended in the water column now and not really on the bottom. Fishing with worms under sliding bobbers in the south end has been best, while others have done well trolling F-4 Flatfish or wind-drifting crawlers on the western side of the lake. Focus on water 10 to 20 feet deep, and stay mobile. Fly-fishing is best over the weeds in the south end. Damsel, leeches and woolly buggers have been best. The limit is eight trout over 8 inches long, with only one allowed over 20 inches.

LOST CREEK - The water conditions are fair for trout and bass anglers working different areas of the reservoir. Holdover trout from earlier stockings are getting caught regularly by trollers near the dam or wind-drifters with worms above Peyton Bridge in the no-wake zone. Still-fishing is good with PowerBait at the Medco access and near Takelma. Bass fishing has picked up in the coves, near the dam and off points. The salmon fly hatch is over. The lake was down less than 3 feet from the normal low pool elevation of 1,812 feet above sea level.

River Outlook

ROGUE - Fall chinook have moved into the middle Rogue in good numbers, and anglers are getting after them with a mix of Kwikfish wrapped with sardine fillets as well as roe — but the pikeminnows are biting faster than the salmon. The upper Rogue is in full flies-only swing with swinging steelhead streamers now about the best you'll see for the season as water flows drop but remain relatively warm. The Agness area is pretty hot for halfpounders now, and chinook fishing there is holding its own, and the lower Rogue bay is slow for chinook but primed to get good for cohos.

That keeps the best bet to the middle Rogue, where the fall chinook are in good shape and the very early halfpounders are making a splash. Fall chinook fishing is best from boats using K-15 Kwikfish, with chartreuse or orange tiger working best. The float from White Horse Park to Robertson Bridge has collected the most attention, but they're also around Taylor Creek Canyon and their other usual haunts. Water from the old Savage Rapids Dam site on down also has been good for boaters. Most of the fish are in good shape, but some are turning dark.

Halfpounders are biting everything from worms to streamer flies to Panther Martin lures at most of the access points along middle Rogue riffles.

For fly-fishermen, the upper Rogue is the best bet because now is the time to take advantage of spawning chinook and relatively warm water conditions. Streamer flies work well now swung through riffles, and nymphing is good at heads of pools. For those working single salmon eggs behind spawning chinook, focus on tail-outs and steer clear of the redds.

Water releases have dropped to 1,350 cubic feet per second of 54-degree water out of Lost Creek Lake this week.

Anglers can continue to fish for fall chinook downstream from the old Gold Ray Dam site, and fishing there should be good with Kwikfish and roe for big fish. Upstream of the dam is closed to chinook angling, even catch-and-release.

As of Thursday, 10,485 spring chinook and 2,548 summer steelhead had returned to Cole Rivers Hatchery. Both counts represent only slight gains over the past week.

Both wild and hatchery chinook may be kept downstream of the former Gold Ray Dam site, but all wild steelhead must be released unharmed riverwide.

APPLEGATE - The river is open to trout fishing, but anglers cannot target steelhead. Resident trout and cutthroat trout are available, but effort so far has been light.

UMPQUA - The lower main-stem Umpqua opens to wild coho salmon fishing Saturday. The South Umpqua closes to fishing Sunday. The North Umpqua is good for summer steelhead in the bait and fly water.