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MailTribune.com
  • Fishing Report: Aug. 2, 2013

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  • COASTWIDE - Windy days but good-looking seas are forecast later this weekend, and that should bode well for salmon anglers chugging out of Brookings or lingcod anglers itching to get out of Gold Beach.
    Seven-foot seas and 15-knot winds forecast for Saturday will give way to 4-foot seas Sunday, and that should be excellent for the ocean fleet. It's also the first weekend in a while without a small-craft advisory in place for the south coast, where anglers in droves are fleeing smoke from inland fires.
    Tuna fishing was so-so out of Newport, where anglers ran 30 to 40 miles and averaged three fish apiece. That's a long run for three albacore.
    Other than Clatsop County, beaches statewide are open to clamming.
    Salmon fishing has been very good out of south coast ports when anglers have been able to get out, as have lingcod and bottomfish catches coastwide. Anglers must stay within the 30-fathom line.
    The all-depth halibut fishery off the central Oregon coast opened today and remains open Saturday. The next fishable dates are Aug. 16-17.
    The marine aggregate limit in Oregon is seven rockfish a day. Cabezon may be kept, with a limit of one per day at least 15 inches long, as part of that seven-fish aggregate. The lingcod limit is two a day with a 22-inch minimum, and that is separate from the marine aggregate.
    It should be a decent weekend for bay crabbing, and more keeper-sized Dungeness are showing up in the catch.
    BROOKINGS - Good ocean conditions will help Brookings chinook anglers, who are having the best season of any port in Oregon. Last week, anglers there averaged 1.4 chinook per trip, while the next best port in Oregon was Winchester Bay, where the average per trip was 0.4 fish. Catches have been best for anglers trolling anchovies with hoochies about 30 feet to 40 feet down in 150 feet or so of water within a few miles of the whistle buoy. Most of the chinook are in the 15- to 17-pound range, but there have been plenty of 30-plus pound salmon in the mix.
    Jigging for black and blue rockfish as well as lingcod has been very good. Anglers should release large female lingcod to help recruitment.
    Surfperch fishing has been on-again, off-again at Winchuck Beach. Catch them on bright streamer flies, clam necks, mussels or plastic, imitation crayfish.
    GOLD BEACH - Surfperch fishing has been excellent from the sand spit off the bay's south jetty. Catch them on mussels, bright flies, sand shrimp or fake scented sandshrimp. Chinook salmon fishing was not viable outside of the bay Thursday but catches have been very good at times in the bay. When anglers can sneak out of the estuary, they are knocking both lingcod and black rockfish at high rates fishing off near-shore humps and outside of kelp lines.
    AGATE - Fishing for bass and crappie has been fair. Pink or white crappie jigs have worked well, as have small black flies cast and stripped near submerged willows. Bass are biting plastic worms and grubs. The lake is down to 49 percent full and dropping rapidly. No gas motors are allowed. Small electric motors are legal.
    APPLEGATE - The lake got no new fresh fish last month, 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 is a no-go now that the lake is down to 25 feet from full and dropping. Bass fishing has been very good off points and in coves, and look for it to be good through the weekend.
    DIAMOND - Trout are on the bite in deeper holes and along the southwestern shore. Most of the action is on PowerBait in water 35 to 40 feet deep. Trolling has been slow. 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 to 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 very good in the evenings off rocky points and near submerged willows. Trout fishing is slow. Try small spinners, worms and streamer flies. The lake is at 55 percent full.
    EXPO - Fishing for stocked trout is poor and will remain poor through the summer.
    WILLOW - Trolling for trout has been good during early mornings and evenings. Crappie and other panfish are being caught consistently with worms under bobbers or jigs.
    FISH - Fishing for rainbow trout is fair to good, with mornings and evenings best in the deeper recesses of the lake. Some of last year's tiger trout are as long as 12 inches now, but they still must be released unharmed.
    HOWARD PRAIRIE - Early-morning trout fishing has been very good but the action dies off dramatically during the day and kicks back in around dusk. No new trout have been stocked recently. Anchoring in deep water and fishing PowerBait has been best, while trollers have worked the middle of the lake with some success. Bass fishing has been very good regardless of what bassers throw at them, but white plastic worms and topwater baits have been good choices. Largemouth are hitting a variety of crankbaits and plastic worms.
    HYATT - The BLM boat ramps are open, and trout fishing is fair 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.
    LEMOLO - Fishing has been good. Brown trout are averaging 16 inches, rainbows are 12 to 16-plus inches, and kokanee are in the 13- to 15-inch range. The limit is five trout per day. A combination of brown trout, rainbows and kokanee can be harvested to make up the limit, and only one trout can be longer than 20 inches.
    LOST CREEK - The lake's water-quality issues are gone for now, and that has trout and bass anglers returning to the lake. There have been no recent trout stockings. Largemouth bass are hitting plastic worms and top-water baits in the mornings and evenings off points. The lake is down to 32 feet from full, and the surface temperature has dropped to 72 degrees.
    ROGUE - Regulation changes in the upper Rogue have started to move anglers around depending upon what they plan to target. A few middle Rogue anglers are stalking steelhead, but the majority are staying inside and prepping for fall chinook to show up in droves. Lower Rogue anglers are knocking fall chinook pretty well while trolling in the bay, but there have been a few slow days this past week as cooler river temperatures are enticing fall chinook to get moving upstream.
    That — and the chance to get out of the smoke — make the lower Rogue bay the best bet. It has good schools of fall chinook biting anchovies with spinner blades, and it doesn't have the smoke that has socked in the upper Rogue at times to dangerous levels. Trollers had some very good days and a few slow ones this week, with water temperatures playing a key role. The river dropped about 8 degrees this week, triggering many of the chinook in the bay to head upstream. They were quickly replaced by more schools of fresh fish, and the prospects for this weekend look excellent for smoke-avoiders.
    Change is afoot in the upper Rogue, where chinook angling is open only from Dodge Bridge on down. Most anglers targeting chinook are doing fairly well by back-bouncing roe. Some of the fish are getting pretty dark, but anglers can target and keep wild chinook there. Upstream of Dodge Bridge is a summer steelhead show, but August brings with it the opportunity to throw anything you want at them. Worms, roe, plastic worms, streamer flies, nymphs and plugs all will work for steelhead now. Early mornings and late evenings are best, but the smoky air will keep the sun off the water enough that a mid-day bite is not out of the question. Plenty of cutthroat trout, as well.
    Lost Creek Lake outflows are holding steady at 1,500 cubic feet per second. Flows Thursday were 1,590 cfs at Dodge Bridge, 1,629 cfs at the old Gold Ray Dam sites and 1,500 cfs at Grants Pass.
    All wild steelhead and cutthroat must be released unharmed riverwide.
    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.
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