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MailTribune.com
  • Fishing Report: Sept. 20, 2013

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  • COASTWIDE - A cold front will move onshore along the Southern Oregon Coast today, bringing rain and steep swells. Seas will become moderate again Saturday night as high pressure briefly builds over the area, then another cold front is expected to move through with more rain and wind on Sunday. After that, things are predicted to calm down, with calm winds and decent weather from Monday to Thursday.
    Ocean anglers must stay inside the 30-fathom line for everything but tuna through September. Tuna anglers 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, but all other shellfishing is open along the entire coast.
    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 wild coho season started on Sept. 15 in the Coos and Coquille basins. Anglers are allowed one wild coho per day and two for the season.
    The marine aggregate limit in Oregon is seven rockfish a day. Cabezon may be kept through Sept. 30, 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.
    BROOKINGS - Ocean salmon fishing is over until October, but rockfish fishing 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 up and down at Winchuck Beach depending on the winds, so this weekend looks like a bust. Catch them on bright streamer flies, clam necks, mussels or plastic, imitation crayfish.
    GOLD BEACH - Plenty of chinook are rolling in the bay, but catches in the estuary have been light. Surfperch fishing has fallen off from the sand spit off the bay's south jetty. Bottomfishing for black rockfish and lingcod has been very good outside of Gold Beach when anglers can get out.
    AGATE - Fishing for largemouth bass and crappie has been about the only show in town at Agate, which is just 16-percent full. 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. 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 39-percent full. 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. The lake received an additional 16,000 trout in late August, mostly legal-sized. Fly-fishing has been fair on chironomids and woolly buggers. Most of the rainbows are 12 to 16 inches long, but some fatties are being caught too. 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 27-percent full. Some trout are holding off the mouth of Emigrant Creek and can be caught there on worms and woolly bugger flies.
    FISH - Fish Lake was stocked with 450 trophy-size trout last week, and fishing has been good both for trollers and bank anglers. 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 - Trout fishing has picked up with cooler weather, with early mornings and evenings best. 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. The lake is at 60-percent full.
    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. 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 stocking of 8,000 legal-sized and larger rainbow trout two weeks ago. Brown trout are averaging 16 inches, rainbows are 12 to 16-plus 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 - A blue-green algae advisory was issued for Lost Creek Lake Sept. 13. The lake remains open for fishing, and the Department of Human Services provides recommendations on how the public can protect themselves and their pets at http://tinyurl.com/ksee6pd. Trout fishing has been very good to excellent above Peyton Bridge, where the water is 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. Smallmouth bass are hitting plastic worms and crankbaits off rocky points, primarily in the mornings and evenings. Some nice largemouth have been taken of late around submerged trees and logs, but they are far outnumbered by smallmouth. The lake is at 45 percent of capacity.
    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 good in the Grants Pass area, chinook are spread throughout the lower Rogue, while in the upper Rogue the flies-only season is in full swing upstream of the Fishers Ferry boat ramp.
    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 dropped all week until flows hit 1,150 cubic feet per second on Thursday. The drop was meant to corral salmon in the mainstem for spawning in the middle Rogue. That's good for fly-fishers in the upper Rogue, which shifted to flies only through October. 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 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 some anglers are back-bouncing roe, sandshrimp and even tuna balls and hitting fish consistently, as well.
    Anglers may keep both hatchery and wild chinook from the Hog Creek boat landing up to the Fishers Ferry boat ramp through Sept. 30, when the chinook season closes in that stretch.
    The lower Rogue bay was slow this week, but chinook were being caught throughout the lower river. Coho numbers have been low so far, but look for that to change in the coming weeks.
    In the Agness area, fishing for halfpounders and adult steelhead has been good. 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 is over for the year.
    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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