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MailTribune.com
  • Fishing Report: Oct. 11, 2013

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  • COASTWIDE - Forecasts call for winds of 15 knots and swells of up to 8 feet today before dropping into the 4- to 5-foot level through the weekend.
    The restriction on bottomfish fishing inside the 30-fathom line for everything but tuna is over for the rest of the year, but there is not much deep-water fall fishing to matter much. Tuna fishers have stopped running out far now that cooler water conditions have settled in.
    The only halibut fishing across the vast majority of Oregon is south of Humbug Mountain, where activity has been somewhat light except for some halibut fishing out of Brookings. That season, which has no mid-season quota, is set to close Oct. 31.
    The marine aggregate limit in Oregon is seven rockfish a day. The cabezon season has been extended for now because enough of the quota remains after last Monday's initial deadline. The limit remains one per day at least 15 inches long and they count against the seven-fish marine aggregate limit. The lingcod limit is two a day with a 22-inch minimum, and that is separate from the marine aggregate.
    It is likely to be a very good weekend for bay crabbing thanks to lighter winds and low freshwater content in the bays.
    BROOKINGS - Ocean salmon fishing has been very good when the weather cooperates. The season runs through Sunday, with decent weather forecast. Look for catches to be best early in the morning around the Whistle Buoy for those trolling anchovies with hoochies or Rogue blades. Chetco-bound chinook tend to hold near the bottom, so slowly trolling anchovies near the bottom or skipping them along the ocean floor while trolling with banana sinkers are good bets for this fishery.
    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 depending on the winds, so it's likely to be an iffy weekend for surfperch. When the winds die down, catch them on bright streamer flies, clam necks, mussels or plastic, imitation crayfish.
    GOLD BEACH - A good mix of chinook and coho salmon are in the bay, and catches have been increasing almost daily for the past week. The catches are about half coho and half chinook, with all wild chinook getting released. Wild coho are still comprising more than three-fourths of the bay coho catch. Troll anchovies with a Rogue blade in the front — a mix of copper and chartreuse for chinook and pink or red blades for coho. Indian Creek-bound chinook have just started to show up, and some of them are getting caught by bank and boat anglers off the creek's mouth. 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, which might be possible this weekend.
    AGATE - Fishing for largemouth bass and crappie has been slow. Pink or white crappie jigs have worked OK for crappie, as have small black flies cast and stripped near submerged willows. A few bass are biting plastic worms and grubs. The lake has inched up a hair and is now 13 percent full. No gas motors are allowed. Small electric motors are legal.
    APPLEGATE - The lake has been largely ignored by trout anglers, with the ongoing federal government shutdown meaning the boat ramps to the lake are closed.
    DIAMOND - The federal shutdown means that the north and south ramps are technically closed, but they are not gated, so anglers are launching there. Late-season fishing has picked up a bit, with the trout pretty well scattered. Fishing has been best at the south and west ends of the lake. Fly-fishing has been good on chironomids and woolly buggers. Most of the rainbows are 12 to 16 inches long, and last year's fingerlings are 10 inches or more 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 fair amid cooler weather. Trout fishing is slow. Try small spinners, worms and streamer flies. The lake is hovering around 24 percent full. Some trout are holding off the mouth of Emigrant Creek and can be caught there on worms and woolly bugger flies.
    EXPO - Trout fishing is poor. A few crappie, bluegill and bass have been caught by anglers using worms under bobbers.
    FISH - Fishing for rainbow trout is good despite little fishing pressure. The Forest Service boat ramp is closed and not very usable anyway thanks to low water levels. The resort's ramp is open, and the resort is open during weekends. Trolling Wedding Ring lures spiced with a piece of worm behind a Ford Fender has worked well. Some of last year's tiger trout are as long as 12 inches now, but they must be released unharmed.
    HOWARD PRAIRIE - Early-morning and evening fishing is the best bet for the lake. The resort boat ramp is open, as are the ramps at county campgrounds. 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 slowed as cooler weather has sunk in. Largemouth are hitting a variety of crankbaits and plastic worms during warmer days. The lake is at 57 percent full heading into the final month of fishing.
    HYATT - The BLM boat ramps are closed during the federal government shutdown, and those are the only public ramps on the lake. The lake was stocked this week with legal-sized trout that will be available once the ramps are opened. The lake jumped up slightly to 57 percent of full.
    LOST CREEK - The lake is under a voluntary advisory against water contact following a bloom of blue-green algae. Only the Stewart State Park ramp is open during the federal government shutdown. Smallmouth bass were hitting plastic worms and crankbaits off rocky points, primarily in the mornings and evenings off points. The lake is up to about 3 feet above its normal fall low-water elevation of 1,812 feet above sea level, and the surface temperature has fallen to 56 degrees. Look for that to continue dropping.
    WILLOW - Trolling for trout has been fair to good during early mornings and evenings. Crappie and other panfish are being caught with worms under bobbers or jigs.
    ROGUE - Summer steelhead fishing has picked up in the middle Rogue and been consistently good on the upper Rogue as steelhead start to key in on the eggs of spawning chinook salmon. The Agness area is awash with coho and adult steelhead, while the lower Rogue Bay has been better than average for chinook and coho this past week.
    That keeps the best bet on the upper Rogue, but it's really more about good fishing close to home, regardless of where along the river you live.
    Flows out of Lost Creek Lake have climbed slightly to 1,150 cubic feet per second this week, and flows are scheduled to remain at that level into next Thursday. The unfortunate thing is that the releases from Lost Creek Lake are now at 45 degrees instead of the more steelhead-friendly 56 degrees of September. That means anglers need to start divesting themselves of streamers in favor of egg patterns fished behind spawning chinook. Remember not to wade into the redds; just carefully move around them.
    Sixty-seven new summer steelhead and 27 recaptured steelhead reached Cole Rivers Hatchery pens this past week. That has fewer anglers targeting the Hatchery Hole.
    Steelhead are mostly congregated in tailouts behind spawning salmon, sometimes in very shallow water. Catches are best on overcast days or late in the evening.
    The flies-only rules stay in effect through October in the upper Rogue, which is defined as water upstream of the Fishers Ferry boat ramp.
    All wild steelhead must be released unharmed riverwide.
    In the middle Rogue, steelheaders are using a mix of flies, bait and crayfish plugs to catch summer steelhead, but many are switching to egg flies now that the fall chinook are really starting to get on their spawning grounds. Water levels are very low, with just 1,556 cfs of water recorded in Grants Pass. That will help fly-fishing for summer steelhead at tailouts and the heads of pools, primarily at dusk.
    The lower Rogue bay had a nice flurry of chinook and coho biting anchovies, with the overall bite improving almost daily. About 75 percent of the coho are wild and should be released unharmed.
    The Indian Creek fish have just started to show up, with catches good from the bank and boats around the creek mouth. Cast Blue Fox spinners or Rooster Tails there. In the Agness area, fishing for halfpounders and adult steelhead has been good in the mornings and evenings. Catch the halfpounders and adults on everything from streamer flies to fake egg clusters, crayfish plugs and Panther Martin lures. A few large pods of coho also are moving through the Agness area, with catches best on red spinners from Quosatana Creek on down.
    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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