COASTWIDE: Ocean conditions are forecast to be quite angler-friendly today and Saturday, with 10 to 15 knot winds and 4-foot seas. Sunday will see winds up to 20 knots, but the swells won't be too troublesome.
Bottomfishers must stay within the 30-fathom line to protect yelloweye rockfish. 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 keep one cabezon as part of that limit.
The ocean is open for chinook but closed now for coho salmon. Southern Oregon ports have picked up for chinook thanks in part to better fishing weather.
Clammers have no morning minus tides this week. Clatsop County beaches are closed, but the Coos County sands around Charleston and Empire are good. The entire Oregon Coast is now open to recreational mussel harvest, and all other recreational shellfish harvesting is open, except for the Clatsop closure.
The all-depth halibut fishery off the Central and Northern Oregon Coast reopens today and Saturday. Expect good fishing out of Bandon and Charleston. The near-shore fishery south of Humbug Mountain inside 40 fathoms remains open with about one-fourth of the quota remaining.
COOS BAY: Tuna fishing was sporadic this past week, with anglers having trouble with weather and then finding the fish. Look for water 58 degrees or warmer, likely more than 30 miles offshore. Bottomfish catches have been excellent when anglers have gotten out, and chinook catches have slowed. Coho fishing is closed. 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.
BROOKINGS: Chinook catches have picked up, and nice weather should make for good weekend fishing. Rockfishing has been excellent when anglers can get out. About one-fourth of the Southern Oregon halibut quota remains, with recent catches picking up as anglers take their last crack at halibut.
GOLD BEACH: The Rogue bay virtually emptied of fall chinook Wednesday after the water temperature dropped 6 degrees, but a few dropped back down and new chinook are staging at the river mouth ready to move in. Surfperch fishing has been very good, and rockfish catches have been excellent when anglers have been able to cross the bar.
AGATE: The lake is down to 21 percent full and still dropping quickly and warming rapidly. 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, small spinners or crankbaits. 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 trollers finding fish with Wedding Ring lures spiced with worms between 40 and 60 feet deep. Most of the action, and effort, has been directly across from the Copper boat ramp. Bass fishing is good with crankbaits and grubs. All of the boat ramps are open. The lake was down to 42 feet from full Thursday but not dropping as inflows from this week's rains continue to outpace the outflows.
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 in 12 to 15 feet of water. Vary your depths. Trolling is slow. 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 29 percent full, having dropped 5 percent 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, but the lake is dropping quickly and the Forest Service ramp no longer reaches the water. The resort ramp, however, is open. Most of the fishing is with bait near 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 23 percent of full Thursday and dropping very quickly.
HOWARD PRAIRIE: Still-fishing is OK early in the morning and late in the evening for rainbow trout, and it is very good for bass during the day. Most of the trout are 10 to 14 inches, with another group at 18-plus inches. The lake is listed at 36 percent full and holding steady, with recent rains helping. 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 16 percent full, rendering the BLM boat ramp unusable. Driftboats, smaller boats and car-toppers are launching along dry bank areas, but be very careful about mud. The lake is virtually unused. The limit is five trout a day, but only one can be longer than 20 inches.
LOST CREEK: Trolling or wind-drifting for trout is best upstream of Peyton Bridge, where the river flows into the reservoir. The trout are stacking up there because of cooler water. Some decent trout are getting caught by anglers wind-drifting worms off the bottom there. Bass fishing is very good with a mix of crankbaits and plastics. The lake is 40 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 77 percent full Thursday, the highest level of any lake in Southern Oregon.
ROGUE: The upper Rogue has slowed for early-run summer steelhead because fresh fish have not been powering upstream as often as they were in June and July, while the first few fall chinook have reached the middle Rogue canyons. The lower Rogue bay has fallen off for fall chinook trolling thanks to a 6-degree drop in water, but the lower Rogue has been excellent for adult and halfpounder summer steelhead thanks to good numbers of fish and relatively low conditions that make fly-fishing excellent.
That makes the lower Rogue this week’s best bet. Fall chinook are moving through the lower Rogue, and fishing for them should be good at heads of pools downstream from Quosatana. But the mix of halfpounders and adult steelhead are getting most of the attention. Catches have been very good but best in the mornings. Warm water conditions are stressing the steelhead, but cooler temps from recent rains will certainly help. Flows in Agness are still a thin 1,761 cubic feet per second, which is perfect for swinging streamer flies or casting Panther Martin lures for steelhead.
Fall chinook are moving through the lower Rogue Canyon, with a few showing up in the middle Rogue canyons like Hellgate and Taylor Creek. Bay anglers trolling anchovies the past two days have caught 50 to 75 chinook a day between them, which is very good for early August. The river’s 76-degree temperatures are keeping most chinook from moving out of tidewater, so the game should remain strong through the weekend. Fly-fishing streamers for halfpounders and adults has been very good, largely because flows at Agness are a skinny 1,650 cfs.
In the upper Rogue, water flows out of Lost Creek Lake were holding steady at 1,500 cfs Thursday, with the flows at Dodge Bridge a paltry 1,651 cfs. That's up a tad from this week's rains, but not much. The river from Dodge Bridge on up is closed to chinook salmon fishing, 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. The early-run steelhead have slowed, with fewer entering Cole Rivers Hatchery now
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.