COASTWIDE - Gale-force winds and hazardous seas are forecast for the south coast into Sunday, and that's too bad for holiday anglers looking to get after hordes of chinook salmon swimming off Brookings and now Gold Beach. Winds are supposed to die down to 25 knots and the seas are forecast to drop to 7-foot swells Sunday, but that's still pretty rough for most inlanders' sea legs.
Bottomfish anglers are relegated to within the 30-fathom line. Lingcod and bottomfish catches had been excellent before the winds kicked up Tuesday morning and stayed strong.
The all-depth halibut fishery off the Central Oregon coast is closed until August after anglers gobbled up the last of the spring quota during the last three extra days of fishing. It's back inside of the 40-fathom line for halibut anglers, who still should be getting them pretty well out of Newport this weekend.
The marine aggregate limit in Oregon is seven rockfish a day. Cabezon may now be kept, with a limit of one per day as part of that seven-fish aggregate limit. The lingcod limit is two a day with a 22-inch minimum, and that is separate from the marine aggregate.
It should be another decent weekend for bay crabbing, although lots of smaller crabs have been in the catch. South coast crabs started molting earlier than normal this year, so meat densities are light.
Some good morning minus tides start this weekend and run into next week, which will be good for clammers. All shellfish harvesting, including mussels, is open along the Oregon Coast.
BROOKINGS - The ocean salmon season that has been red hot out of Brookings the past two weeks will go on hold for now thanks to gale-force winds and hazardous seas that are forecast through Saturday. Chinook catches had been extremely high out of Brookings, even better than last year, when it was the top chinook port in the state. Troll anchovies with hoochi skirts, in varying depths.
Jigging for black and blue rockfish as well as lingcod has been good, but anglers have lost interest in bottomfish now that the chinook have reached Southern Oregon.
Surfperch fishing has sputtered at Winchuck Beach thanks to heavy winds.
GOLD BEACH - Surfperch fishing has stumbled thanks to heavy winds. Chinook salmon were getting caught outside of the river mouth, but anglers there had been working on bottomfish and lingcod more than salmon. The ocean has been rough since Tuesday morning, and it looks like it will remain poor into Sunday.
AGATE - Fishing for bass and crappie should be fine through the weekend in very warm water that favors bass over trout fishing. Wind-drifting worms or casting grubs will be best. Figure that trout fishing will be a bust until next spring. No gas motors are allowed. Small electric motors are legal.
APPLEGATE - The lake got no fresh fish this past week, but anglers are still doing well for stocked trout higher in the lake and near the Copper ramp. Catch them by trolling Wedding Rings with worms or using PowerBait off the bank. Evenings are best. Trout fishing in the Seattle Bar area has died off now that the lake is down to 9 feet from full. Bass fishing should be good through the weekend, with high temperatures forecast into midweek.
DIAMOND - Trout are on the bite in deep water despite high water temperatures. Most of the action remains on PowerBait in water 35 to 40 feet deep. Trolling has slowed during the heat wave. Trollers could try pulling Triple Teasers, No. 4 Flatfish and other lures slowly just above the weed lines, then switch to PowerBait when that doesn't work. Fly-fishing has been fair on chironomids and woolly buggers. Most of the rainbows are 12 to 16 inches long, and last year's fingerlings are 9-10 inches. The limit is eight trout per day over 8 inches, but only one can be more than 20 inches.
EMIGRANT - Bass fishing has been off and on. Focus on rockpiles and submerged willows along the lower stretches where the water is warmer. Trout fishing is slow. Try small spinners, worms and streamer flies. The lake is down to 77 percent full, but that's still pretty high for early July.
WILLOW - Trolling for trout has been very good during early mornings and evenings. Crappie and other panfish are getting caught consistently with worms under bobbers or jigs.
FISH - The lake got a dose of 3,000 legal-sized trout last month, and fishing for them has been very good around the resort and the Forest Service boat ramp. Still-fishing with PowerBait is best in deeper water. Some of last year's tiger trout could be in the 10-inch range this year, but they still must be released unharmed.
HOWARD PRAIRIE - About 2,000 pounder rainbow trout were released last week, and they are joining an already good fishery that includes lots of nice rainbows despite hot weather. Still fishing is far outdoing trolling. Anglers anchored in 30 feet of water have done best with PowerBait, while trollers have worked the middle of the lake with some success. Bass fishing has been very good regardless of what bassers are throwing at them, but white plastic worms and topwater baits have been the better choices this week. Largemouth are hitting a variety of crankbaits and plastic worms.
HYATT - The BLM boat ramps are open, and fishing is fair to good with PowerBait near the dam, around the Orchard and in the upper stretches of the lake. Trolling the old creek channel near the lake's western edge can be good, especially in the evenings. Catches have been light, but the percentage of trout 16 to 20 inches long is very high.
LOST CREEK - The lake is under a voluntary public-health advisory against water contact since late last week thanks to a bloom of blue-green algae that could be toxic. Trout fishing, bass fishing and overall boating effort is very low at this time. The lake is down to 26 feet from full and the lake's surface temperature has skyrocketed to 76 degrees.
ROGUE - A few chinook were caught by trollers in the Rogue River bay, but no one's sure whether they're late-run springers or the first of what is expected to be a strong showing of fall chinook this year. Middle Rogue anglers have run into a few steelhead and the occasional spring chinook but not much else. The upper Rogue has been hit-and-miss for springer fishing thanks to yoyoing weather conditions and slowed movement of fish.
That makes the upper Rogue by far the best bet for a combination spring chinook and summer steelhead.
Fewer than 400 fresh spring chinook entered Cole Rivers Hatchery last week, indicating a slowing of salmon movement. When salmon aren't moving, it's harder to catch hatchery fish because wild fish dominate the traditional holding holes from Shady Cove on upstream. Lost Creek Lake outflows are back to about 1,500 cubic feet per second and are set to remain unchanged deep into next week. For boat anglers, back-bouncing roe has out-produced plugs, with many of the bites light of late.
Bank anglers are doing best at the Hatchery Hole and Casey State Park. Anglers have been complaining about bankies illegally keeping chinook that are hooked other than inside the mouth at these and several other upper Rogue holes upstream of Rogue Elk Park.
Wild spring chinook caught downstream from the Fishers Ferry boat ramp near Gold Hill can be kept as part of the daily two-fish limit. The old deadline was the Gold Ray Dam site, which allowed anglers at the old Deadline Hole and other places to keep wild fish in June. Those holes now are closed to the keeping of wild fish until August.
Another three dozen summer steelhead showed up this week at Cole Rivers Hatchery, bringing the steelhead count there to 111 adults so far. Anglers are already starting to target and catch summer steelhead in upper Rogue floats, with driftboaters far out-fishing bank anglers for steelhead. Early steelhead are either first-time spawners 18 to 19 inches long or fatties 8 pounds or up. Few early-run fish are between those sizes. All wild steelhead must be released unharmed. Catch early summers on K-11 Kwikfish lures, streamer flies, nymphs and even worms. The flies-only season on the upper Rogue does not start until Sept. 1.
Rainie Falls and Hayes Falls were productive for spring chinook this week for bank anglers. Anglers working Hayes Falls have been finding some of the recycled chinook returned to the Rogue weekly at Gold Hill.
The lower Rogue has been very poor for springers, but trollers landed two fish Wednesday. They were a bit smallish, indicating they're probably late springers and not early fall chinook. Summer steelhead fishing is slow.
In the far upper Rogue upstream of Lost Creek Lake, the regular stocking schedule for the summer is in place and anglers are catching legal-sized trout daily.
APPLEGATE - The river is open for trout fishing. All wild rainbow and cutthroat trout must be released unharmed. It is illegal to target steelhead when they reach the river during trout season.