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Fishing Report

OCEAN OUTLOOK

COASTWIDE: Weekend forecasts call for 15-knot winds and seas ranging from 4 to 8 feet, so those glassy ocean conditions that led to great fishing for chinook off Brookings all week are disappearing. A few nighttime minus tides await clammers next week, but that will mean digging in darkness, and that's never recommended for beach activity. Still, daytime clammers will be working Clatsop County beaches as well as the sands around Charleston in Coos Bay.

Anglers can now venture past the 30-fathom line for bottomfishing, but few will bother, as near-shore fishing is good for black rockfish and the occasional lingcod, which have moved farther offshore. 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 chinook bubble season is open off Brookings through Sunday, and fishing has been very good in the estuary and close to the mouth with big anchovies.

Crabbers have been doing very well for legal-sized males in most Oregon estuaries, with boat crabbers landing close to limits. Razor clamming is closed from the California border to Heceta Head near Florence because of elevated bacteria levels.

The near-shore halibut fishery south of Humbug Mountain inside 40 fathoms remains open, even though the South Coast quota has been reached. Open fishing is allowed because of carryover from other quotas in Oregon from seasons closed before their quotas were reached.

COOS BAY: Trolling for chinook salmon is slowing down for anglers trolling cut-plug herring in the bay from the Highway 101 bridge upstream to the mouth of the Millicoma River. Bottomfishing is very good to excellent, and the near-shore halibut fishery remains open. Bottomfish catches have been very good. 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: The bubble fishery off the mouth of the Chetco has yielded some excellent chinook catches, with most anglers focusing on waters near the mouth and off Sporthaven Beach. Fish with the biggest anchovies you can find with a Rogue bait rig blade. Weather conditions are forecast to deteriorate this weekend, with 15-knot winds and seas 4-8 feet. Figure on fishing early and getting off the water quickly when the chop starts.

GOLD BEACH: The Rogue bay turned hot for coho and is still holding well for chinook. The best action is for those trolling larger anchovies with Rogue rigs. Surfperch fishing has held on, and rockfish catches have been excellent when anglers have been able to cross the bar.

LAKE OUTLOOK

AGATE: The lake has bottomed out at 3 percent full, and the boat ramp is no longer usable. What's left of the warmwater fish are corralled in about 130 acre-feet of water near the dam and the spillway. Crappie, bass and bluegill are very active early in the morning and in the evening. Fish worms, small spinners or crankbaits. No gas motors are allowed. Small electric motors are legal. The gate to the day-use park closes at 8 p.m.

APPLEGATE: The lake is fishing fairly well for holdover rainbow trout 10 to 14 inches long. Trollers are finding fish with Wedding Ring lures spiced with worms between 40 and 60 feet deep. Hart-Tish Park and its boat ramp are closed, and the ramp at Copper is no longer usable. That leaves only the French Gulch ramp for launching. Bass fishing is good with crankbaits and grubs. The lake was down to 77 feet from full, dropping about 4 feet a week.

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 has improved as the water has cooled and the trout start to fan out into deeper water. Most of the action is still-fishing PowerBait or with worms under bobbers. 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: The county park boat ramps are unusable even though the lake has held steady at 10 percent full. There is some bank fishing where Emigrant Creek hits what's left of the lake and near the rowing boathouse, but not much action is going on. Driving on the lake bed is illegal.

FISH: The lake has jumped up to 15 percent full after being below the water-gauge level most of last month. No boat ramps are usable. A few people fishing on float tubes are faring very well for a mix of trout and chinook salmon. Most of the fishing is with bait near the center of the lake or from the bank near the resort. 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.

HOWARD PRAIRIE: The impromptu launch at Willow Point Campground is unusable. Fishing effort is very light. The lake is listed at 27 percent full. Bank fishing is slow but float-tube fishing for fly-fishers using streamers and sinking lines is good.

HYATT: The lake is down to 6 percent full, rendering the BLM boat ramp unusable. Some bank anglers and those fishing out of float tubes have done well of late for both rainbow trout and bass.

LOST CREEK: Fishing for trout is best upstream of Peyton Bridge, though 63-degree surface temperatures should start getting the trout spread out more. Some 15-inch trout have been taken there recently. Bass fishing is very good with a mix of crankbaits and plastics. At 1,809 feet above sea level, the water level is past the bottom of the marina boat ramp, but the Taklema Ramp is usable.

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. Water levels are excellent.

LEMOLO: Another load of legal-sized trout were stocked two weeks ago, adding to the holdover lunker trout from earlier fall stocking. Trolling deep gets a mix of trout and kokanee, while still-fishing near the resort with PowerBait 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. Trollers could try Tasmanian Devils or Triple Teasers, or wind-drift worms in the afternoon. The lake was 44 percent full Thursday.

RIVER OUTLOOK

ROGUE: The upper Rogue is slowing down for those swinging flies now that water flows out of Lost Creek Lake are a chilly 45 degrees, while the middle Rogue is fishing fair to good for summer steelhead behind spawning salmon or near spawning-creek mouths. The lower Rogue is still good to very good for a mix of coho and fall chinook in the bay and summer steelhead in the low-water riffles around Agness.

That makes the Agness area this week’s best bet, based largely on the varied opportunity.

Trollers in the bay have had a decent week for chinook and increased numbers of coho, largely because the fish don't seem to be moving out of the bay this week. Troll the biggest anchovies you can get with a Rogue bait rig. Lots of small coho are in the mix.

Summer steelhead fishing remains steady and is best in the Agness area, where the flows were listed Thursday at a scant 1,426 cubic feet per second. Swinging streamer flies with sink-tip lines has been very good for fly-fishers; spinning-rod anglers are doing best with small Panther Martin lures.

In the middle Rogue, fall chinook fishing is closed upstream of Hog Creek, which has anglers switching to summer steelhead. Most of the catch has been wild fish that must be released unharmed. Flows at Grants Pass were down Thursday to 1,247 cfs, and that's pretty darn low for fall steelheading.

In the upper Rogue, it's flies-only for summer steelhead and closed for chinook upstream of the Fisher's Ferry ramp. Fly-fishing with streamers is slowing down with the cold water releases from Lost Creek Lake. Nymphing will improve. The flows at Dodge Bridge were down to 1,247 cfs, with the flows at the old Gold Ray Dam gauge at 1,254 cfs, the lowest they've been this season.

Illustration by Paul Bunch