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MailTribune.com
  • Fishing Report: Aug. 1, 2014

  • Ocean Outlook
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  • OCEAN OUTLOOK
    COASTWIDE - A small-craft advisory is in effect through Sunday evening, which likely will put a severe damper on most South Coast fishing efforts.
    Bottomfishers must stay within the 30-fathom line to protect yelloweye rockfish, and near-shore jigging should be very good for lingcod and black rockfish once anglers can get back out to sea. Black, white or red jigs are always good bets.
    The marine aggregate limit in Oregon is seven rockfish a day. The lingcod limit is two a day with a 22-inch minimum, and that is separate from the marine aggregate. Anglers can now start keeping one cabezon as part of that limit.
    The ocean is open for both chinook and fin-clipped coho salmon fishing, but Southern Oregon was pretty slow for both species this past week.
    Clammers won't get any morning minus tides for digging this week. Clatsop County beaches are closed, but the Coos County sands around Charleston and Empire are good. The entire Oregon Coast is now closed to recreational mussel harvest due to elevated levels of paralytic shellfish poisoning. All other recreational shellfish harvesting is open.
    The all-depth halibut fishery off the Central and Northern Oregon Coast opens today and Saturday, then returns Aug. 15-16. The near-shore fishery south of Humbug Mountain inside 40 fathoms remains open.
    COOS BAY - Tuna fishing was pretty good when anglers could get out, with creel checkers noting 5 to 6 albacore per angler. Look for water 58 degrees or warmer, likely about 25 miles offshore. Bottomfish catches have been excellent when anglers have been able to get out, but chinook catches have slowed. More coho are getting into the mix. All wild coho must be released unharmed. Many red rock crabs in the Charleston area have been tagged as part of a study. Anyone who catches one is urged to call state fish biologists at 541-888-5515.
    Clamming is excellent during low tides near Charleston, off Cape Arago Highway and Clam Island. No minus tides are in the offing this week.
    BROOKINGS - Chinook catches fell off this past week, with creel checkers reporting a 16-percent success rate. That's not good at all. Rough seas will keep most anglers ashore through the weekend. Rockfishing has been excellent when anglers have been able to get out. About half of the Southern Oregon halibut quota remains, with recent catches somewhat light.
    GOLD BEACH - Surfperch fishing has been very good, and rockfish catches have been excellent when anglers have been able to cross the bar. Smelt have entered the lower bay.
    LAKE OUTLOOK
    AGATE - The lake is down significantly to 34 percent full and dropping quickly. The warmwater fishery is dominating the catch. Crappie, bass and bluegill are very active around submerged willows and along the dam, mostly early in the morning and in the evening. Fish worms or small spinners or crankbaits slowly. Most of the bass are in the shallows along the lake's edges, with higher up better. Wind-drifting worms has worked well for a mixture of species, primarily yellow perch. No gas motors are allowed. Small electric motors are legal. The gate to the day-use park closes at 9 p.m.
    APPLEGATE - The lake is fishing fair to decent for holdover rainbow trout 10 to 14 inches long, with no fresh fish scheduled for the rest of the year. Trolling has been good off points and in the lower section of the reservoir. All the boat ramps are open. The lake was down to 33 feet from full Thursday and dropping about three feet a week because of light water releases to the Applegate River.
    Applegate Lake now has a standing advisory against eating too many portions of warmwater fish caught in the lake due to elevated mercury levels found in the bass and crappie.
    DIAMOND - Fishing for trout is best early in the morning and then it tapers off quite a bit during the day. Catches have been light. Most of the action is still-fishing with worms under bobbers, PowerBait or the old standby, Velveeta cheese. Action has improved at the northwest end of the lake, but most effort remains in the south end around 12 to 15 feet of water. Vary your depths. The limit is eight trout per day longer than 8 inches, but only one can be longer than 20 inches.
    EMIGRANT - Plastic worms and grubs are working best around structure early and late in the day for bass, with pink and purple crappie jigs finding crappie in the Songer Wayside area. Trout fishing is very slow, but it's best at creek mouths where cooler water can be found. The lake was listed Thursday at 37 percent full, having dropped significantly in the past week.
    A standing public-health advisory continues about eating all but trout from the lake because of elevated mercury levels.
    EXPO - With hot weather, anglers are catching bass, perch and the occasional crappie.
    FISH - Fishing is decent for a mix of trout and chinook salmon, mainly around the resort and the Forest Service boat ramp and in the center of the lake. Tiger trout must be released unharmed. Chinook are legally considered trout and can be kept as part of the five-trout daily limit. The chinook are in 12- to 14-inch range. The lake was down to 37 percent of full Thursday and dropping quickly.
    HOWARD PRAIRIE - The lake is still-fishing fairly well early in the morning and late in the evening for rainbow trout and it is very good for bass during the day. Trolling, especially in the morning, is still producing decent catches of rainbows. Triple Teasers or Wedding Rings with worms are always hot bets, with or without flashers. Most of the trout are 10 to 14 inches, with another group at 18-plus inches. The lake is listed at 39 percent full and dropping. Most of the still-fishing is in deeper water now that warmer weather has dominated. Low water is making fishing from the resort's jetty difficult. Bank fishing around Klum Landing and Grizzly is fair to good, but only the resort ramp works. The limit is five trout a day but only one can be longer than 20 inches.
    HYATT - The lake is down to 21 percent full, rendering the BLM boat ramp unusable. Driftboats, smaller boats and cartoppers can launch along dry bank areas, but be very careful about mud. The low water has left the lake virtually unused. The limit is five trout a day but only one can be longer than 20 inches.
    LEMOLO - The lake was stocked last month with rainbow trout. Expect good fishing for rainbows and brown trout while trolling lures in about 15 feet of water but very far behind the boat. Some decent kokanee catches have been reported, as well.
    LOST CREEK - Trolling for trout is fair near the dam and directly across from the marina. Some decent trout are getting caught by anglers wind-drifting worms off the bottom upstream of Peyton Bridge. Focus on where cool river water flows into the reservoir. Bass fishing is very good with a mix of crankbaits and plastics. The lake is 35 feet shy of full.
    LAKE of the WOODS - Trolling with green or black Wedding Rings is working well for rainbow trout, while pink ones are knocking the kokanee well. Still-fishing with PowerBait from the bank has been good for trout, especially early. Bass are thick in the shallows, and night fishing for catfish is good.
    WILLOW - Fishing from the bank with PowerBait or worms has been good around the resort and directly across from the county boat ramp. Very little trolling has occurred, but trollers could try Tasmanian Devils or Triple Teasers, or wind-drift worms in the afternoon. The lake is starting to get drawn down and was 85 percent full Thursday, making it the highest reservoir level in Southern Oregon.
    RIVER OUTLOOK
    ROGUE - The traditional Aug. 1 switcheroo is in place on the upper Rogue as most of the area transforms into a steelhead fishery, while the middle Rogue is pretty dead, and the lower Rogue is a mix of decent early-season trolling for fall chinook and a good showing of fresh summer steelhead in stretches that are prime for fly-fishing.
    That keeps the best bet split between the Rogue's two extremes. Whichever is closer or more appealing is your pick.
    In the upper Rogue, water flows out of Lost Creek Lake were holding steady at 1,500 cubic feet per second Thursday, with the flows at Dodge Bridge a paltry 1,602 cfs. From Dodge Bridge on up is closed to chinook salmon, so everyone fishing there is switching over for summer steelhead. Catches have been steady but not spectacular on a mix of plugs, flies and bait. Bait anglers are catching and releasing lots of chinook salmon smolts now rearing in the upper Rogue.
    From Dodge Bridge on down, anglers can catch and keep hatchery and wild chinook, and this area will see some interest in the next two weeks. Plugs and roe have worked for chinook, but most are getting somewhat dark now.
    A few summer steelhead are getting caught on worms in the middle Rogue, especially at Schroeder Park.
    In the lower Rogue, trollers caught about two dozen chinook Thursday morning trolling anchovies with Rogue blade rigs. Plenty of adult summer steelhead and halfpounders have moved into the lower Rogue this past week, offering excellent fly-fishing with streamer flies thanks to egregiously low flows at Agness. The bottom 17 miles of the river is best for steelhead. Fish riffles and tail-outs early morning and at dusk.
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