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MailTribune.com
  • Fishing Report: Sept. 6, 2013

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  • COASTWIDE - Forecasts call for 20-knot winds along the south coast through the weekend, bringing some choppy seas for bottomfishers out looking for lingcod and black rockfish.
    Shellfishers will not get any morning minus tides this next week, but most morning lows are hovering around the zero mark, so they are as close to minus tides as you can get. Mussel harvest from the California border north to Cape Arago near Coos Bay is closed.
    This is the last weekend for chinook salmon angling from Humbug Mountain near Port Orford south to the California border. Bottomfishers must stay within the 30-fathom line through September.
    The only halibut fishing across the vast majority of Oregon is south of Humbug Mountain, and activity has been somewhat light except for some halibut fishing out of Brookings.
    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 another decent weekend for bay crabbing, and the meat quality has vastly improved since earlier this summer.
    BROOKINGS - Ocean salmon fishing remains fair to good, but anglers will see their very long and productive season close Sunday evening. Forecasts for 20-knot winds mean anglers should focus on early-morning trips. Most of the chinook are in the 15- to 17-pound range, but there have been plenty of 30-plus pounders 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 and off at Winchuck Beach depending on the winds. Catch them on bright streamer flies, clam necks, mussels or plastic, imitation crayfish.
    GOLD BEACH - Surfperch fishing has fallen off from the sand spit off the bay's south jetty. Bottomfishing for black rockfish and lingcod remains very good outside of Gold Beach when anglers can get out. Bay fishing is slow for chinook.
    AGATE - Fishing for largemouth bass and crappie has been about the only show in town at Agate. 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 24 percent full. No gas motors are allowed. Small electric motors are legal.
    APPLEGATE - The lake has been largely ignored by trout anglers, but a few are trolling higher up in the lake and faring well for rainbows on Wedding Rings with worms or using PowerBait off the bank near the Copper Ramp. Evenings are best. Trout fishing in the Seattle Bar area is a no-go with the lake down to 448 feet from full and dropping. Bass fishing has been very good off points and in coves as well as near the dam.
    DIAMOND - The lake has picked up for rainbow trout amid cooler water. Most of the action has been still-fishing with PowerBait in the deepest areas of the lake — a 12.1-pound rainbow was recently caught that way. Some algae growth remains along the lake's southern end, but recent tests showed it's not toxic. Trolling has slowed with the lack of heat. 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 10 inches or longer. The limit is eight trout per day over 8 inches, but only one can be longer than 20 inches.
    EMIGRANT - Bass fishing has been 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 down to 33 percent full and dropping rather rapidly. Trout are holding off the mouth of Emigrant Creek and can be caught there on worms and woolly bugger flies.
    FISH - Fishing for rainbow trout is very good despite very low water. The lake was less than one-quarter full Thursday. Trolling Wedding Ring lures spiced with a piece of worm behind a Ford Fender has worked well. Boat access is a problem at the Forest Service ramp for even small boats, but the resort ramp is functional for $5 a day. For trout, mornings and evenings are best in the deeper recesses of the lake. Some of last year's tiger trout are as long as 12 inches now, but they must be released unharmed.
    HOWARD PRAIRIE - Early-morning fishing is the best bet for the lake, with the action dying off dramatically during the day and kicking 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 better choices.
    HYATT - 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 high.
    LEMOLO - The lake received a nice stocking of legal-sized and larger rainbow trout last week and that has jump-started rainbow fishing. Brown trout are averaging 16 inches and kokanee are in the 8- to 13-inch range. The limit is five trout per day. A combination of brown trout, rainbows and kokanee can be kept to make up the limit, and only one trout can be longer than 20 inches. Trolling lures and flies has been popular.
    LOST CREEK - Trout fishing has been very good to excellent above Peyton Bridge, where the water temperatures are cooler. Wind-drifting night crawlers or trolling Wedding Rings with worms and flashers is best. The area upstream of the bridge is a no-wake zone. Smallmouth bass are hitting plastic worms and crankbaits off rocky points, primarily in the mornings and evenings off points. Some nice largemouth have been taken of late around submerged trees and logs, but they are far outnumbered by smallmouth. The lake is down to 40 feet from full, and the surface temperature is back up to 75 degrees, but look for that to fall.
    WILLOW - Trolling for trout has been fair to good during early mornings and evenings. Crappie and other panfish are being caught consistently with worms under bobbers or jigs.
    ROGUE - Fall chinook salmon fishing has been very good in the Grants Pass area, and it's the only inland place along the Rogue to catch chinook now that the flies-only season is in full swing upstream of Fishers Ferry boat ramp. The lower Rogue is seeing plenty of chinook moving in and out with the tide, but catches remain in single digits most days.
    That makes the best bet the middle Rogue for driftboaters and powerboaters, or the upper Rogue for bank anglers.
    Flows out of Lost Creek Lake remain flat at 1,750 cubic feet per second, and that's helped the steelhead bite in the upper Rogue, which shifted Sunday to flies only through October. The released water is at 56 degrees, and that means nymphing and traditional swinging of streamer flies will work for summer steelhead.
    Another 140 summer steelhead reached Cole Rivers Hatchery this week, inching the count there to 1,054 fish so far — pretty good, but still well off last year's pace. Still, traditional casters are swinging streamers through riffles and tail-outs or fishing nymphs at the heads of riffles and the inside turns of gravel bars. Spin-casters are allowed with floats and flies but no added weights or attachments such as weights or swivels are allowed.
    The steelhead are mostly congregated in riffles 4 to 8 feet deep and deeper, so focus on good, churning water. Also, the chinook are heating up on the spawning beds, so look for steelhead at tail-outs sucking down loose eggs. Stay out of the redds and avoid harassing the spawners.
    All wild steelhead must be released unharmed riverwide.
    In the middle Rogue, the chinook bite has been strong in most canyon holes and deeper glides this week from Grants Pass down to Galice, with boat anglers dominating the catches. Chinook have been biting chartreuse and silver Kwikfish with a sardine wrap, but some anglers are back-bouncing roe and sandshrimp, and even tuna balls are getting fish consistently.
    The lower Rogue bay remains a disappointment, with fewer than 10 chinook hooked by trollers a day. A couple of fin-clipped coho have been kept, but fishing really hasn't turned on yet. A few Indian Creek-bound fall chinook were caught this week, and look for them to start showing themselves in decent numbers as the month progresses.
    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. Friday is the last scheduled stocking for the season.
    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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