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MailTribune.com
  • Fishing Report: Sept. 13, 2013

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  • COASTWIDE - Forecasts call for light winds and pretty flat seas this weekend, making it perfect for black rockfish catches, as well as taking part in a lingcod bite that has been terrific along the south coast this year.
    The restriction to fishing inside the 30-fathom line for everything but tuna remains in effect through September.
    Tuna fishers running in bigger boats are going 30 to 35 miles offshore to locate the 61-degree water they need to find the tuna. Effort is somewhat light, but it usually is in mid-September.
    Shellfishers will not get any good morning minus tides this week. Mussel harvest from the California border north to Cape Arago near Coos Bay remains closed.
    Chinook fishing off south coast ports is over until the October bubble season and the November season off the Elk River mouth. The only halibut fishing across the vast majority of Oregon remains south of Humbug Mountain, where 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 a very good weekend for bay crabbing thanks to calm winds and crabs that are in good condition.
    Eating whole, recreationally harvested scallops is not recommended unless only the adductor muscle is eaten. If you don't know what an adductor muscle is, don't eat scallops.
    BROOKINGS - Ocean salmon fishing is over until October, but rockfish fishing should be very good this weekend amid some very favorable ocean conditions.
    Jigging for black and blue rockfish as well as lingcod has been very good. Anglers should release large female lingcod to help recruitment. Anglers must stay inside the 30-fathom line through September.
    Surfperch fishing has been on-again, off-again at Winchuck Beach depending on the winds. It should be a good weekend for surfperch. Catch them on bright streamer flies, clam necks, mussels or plastic, imitation crayfish.
    GOLD BEACH - Chinook salmon fishing has improved thanks to some warm weather. Plenty of chinook are rolling in the bay and catches have improved daily this week. Surfperch fishing has fallen off from the sand spit off the bay's south jetty. Catch them on mussels, bright flies, sandshrimp or fake scented sandshrimp. Bottomfishing for black rockfish and lingcod remains very good outside of Gold Beach when anglers can get out. Bay fishing remains 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 now that the lake is 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 again for rainbow trout amid cooler water. Most of the action has been still-fishing with PowerBait in the deepest areas of the lake. Some algae growth remains along the lake's southern end, but recent tests showed it is not toxic. Trolling has slowed with the 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 now. 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 the lake being less than one-quarter full. Trolling Wedding Ring lures spiced with a piece of worm behind a Ford Fender has worked exceedingly 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, 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. Largemouth are hitting a variety of crankbaits and plastic worms.
    HYATT - The BLM boat ramps are open, and fishing is fair with PowerBait near the dam, around the Orchard and in the upper stretches of the lake. Air quality has been very good. 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.
    LOST CREEK - Trout fishing is very good to excellent now above Peyton Bridge, where the water temperatures are cooler. Wind-drifting night crawlers or trolling Wedding Rings with worms and flashers is best. The waters upstream of the bridge are a no-wake zone. Water-quality remains good. 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.
    ROGUE - Fall chinook salmon fishing has been 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 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 will drop from 1,850 cubic feet per second on Thursday morning to 1,450 this afternoon, and flows will continue to drop until they hit 1,150 cfs on Sept. 19. The drop isn't to pull salmon out of the canyon anymore, but to corral them in the mainstem for spawning in the middle Rogue. That's good for fly-fishers in the upper Rogue, which shifted Sunday to flies only through October. More importantly, the released water is at 54 degrees, which means nymphing and traditional swinging of streamer flies will work for summer steelhead.
    Summer steelhead numbers reaching Cole Rivers Hatchery continue to come in around 100 fish a week, and look for that to hold steady through September. Good water temperatures mean 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. Spincasting is allowed with floats and flies but no added weights or attachments such as weights or swivels are allowed.
    The steelhead mostly are 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. The flies-only rules stay in effect through October in the upper Rogue, which is now defined as upstream of the Fishers Ferry boat ramp.
    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 past week from Grants Pass down to Galice, with boat anglers dominating the catches. The majority of chinook have been biting chartreuse and silver Kwikfish with a sardine wrap, but others are back-bouncing roe, sandshrimp and even tuna balls and hitting fish consistently, as well.
    The lower Rogue bay picked up a little this week, as more fish are starting to show. Look for catches to turn on soon as more Indian Creek-bound chinook find the bay. Coho numbers have remained low so far, but look for that to change dramatically in the coming weeks.
    In the Agness area, fishing for halfpounders and adult steelhead has been good in the mornings and evenings despite extremely warm air temperatures. Catch the halfpounders and adults on everything from streamer flies to fake egg clusters, crayfish plugs and Panther Martin lures.
    In the far upper Rogue upstream of Lost Creek Lake, the traditional Friday stocking of trout ended last week. There will be no new trout stocked there until just before Memorial Day.
    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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