Fishing Report: Friday, Sept. 4
COASTWIDE: South Coast ocean anglers will see 20-knot winds and 5-foot wind waves today, with 10- to 20-knot winds and 4-foot swells through the weekend.
Near-shore jigging for black rockfish and lingcod remains very good close to shore. Anglers must stay within the 30-fathom line for bottomfishing through September. Cooler ocean currents have brought chinook and coho closer to shore, with catches better the farther north anglers go.
The marine aggregate limit in Oregon is seven rockfish a day, but only three can be blue rockfish, and all china, quillback and copper rockfish must be released. Anglers are allowed to keep one canary rockfish a day under the seven-fish marine aggregate limit, as well as one cabezon. The lingcod limit is two a day with a 22-inch minimum, and that is separate from the marine aggregate.
Halibut fishing has picked up a bit out of Brookings, largely because there is more effort to get after the big flatfish. Tuna anglers are struggling amid reports that currents have pushed the albacore 50 miles offshore. Look for 58-degree and warmer water currents.
Razor clamming is closed statewide, but bay clams and butter clams are fine coastwide. Mussel harvest also is open coastwide. No new minus tides are coming in the next week. Before digging, check the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474 for updates.
Dungeness crab catches have been very good in South Coast estuaries and in the ocean, with good sizes and meat fill.
COOS BAY: Good catches of chinook have been reported this past week between the Highway 101 bridge and the airport for those trolling cut-plug herring. Crabbing is best near the jetties. 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 offshore chinook season remains slow and effort is waning, but a few nice chinook have come off the Chetco mouth. A very good black rockfish bite continues, as well as good lingcod catches. Halibut fishing has picked up with large halibut jigs or large herring on the bottom in 180 to 220 feet of water. The ocean is open for chinook and fin-clipped coho, as well. Only fin-clipped coho can be kept as part of the two-fish daily limit.
GOLD BEACH: Trolling for fall chinook salmon has been slow this past week, but more favorable water conditions should bring fresh fish into the bay. A few coho are starting to show as well as a few fin-clipped chinook headed for Indian Creek. For chinook, troll large anchovies with a Rogue Blade set-up, with gold or gold-chartreuse blades. Not much action offshore thanks to typical summer winds. Surfperch fishing is consistently very good along most open beaches. Try Berkley Gulp sandshrimp or sandworms. Crabbing is excellent near the river mouth and in the ocean.
AGATE: The lake is down to 14 percent full and dropping, and fishing pressure has been nonexistent. Slowly fishing purple and other dark, plastic worms should get anglers into bass off points. The boat ramp is usable. No trout stockings are planned. Lake access closes at dusk.
APPLEGATE: The lake is fishing best for smallmouth bass off points and rocky outcroppings. Trout fishing has slowed. Troll for trout up to 16 inches with Wedding Ring lures spiced with a piece of worm and small flashers. The surface level is down 5 feet to 1,905 feet above sea level. Applegate Lake has a standing advisory against eating too many portions of warmwater fish because of elevated mercury levels found in the bass and crappie.
DIAMOND: Trout catches remain best at the lake's south end and near the resort, with PowerBait and pheasant-tail flies working best. Worms five feet under a bobber also are a good choice. Most of the trout are 12 to 17 inches long, with an occasional larger fish. About 300,000 fingerling were stocked in late May, and they should be large enough to contribute to the fishery at the end of this month.
EMIGRANT: The lake is still somewhat murky and warm, which has slowed trout fishing. Bass and perch fishing is good around submerged willows. The lake is at 24 percent full and dropping quickly. One of the county boat ramps remains usable, but it's not getting much attention.
FISH: The lake is down under the water gauge, and boat launches are a no-go at all the ramps, though kayakers and float-tubers are doing well on the lake. Those getting on the water are doing well with PowerBait despite murky conditions. Focus on fishing near the springs, which are more apparent now. Chinook are legally considered trout here and can be kept as part of the five-trout daily limit. Tiger trout must be released unharmed.
HOWARD PRAIRIE: The lake is warming and dropping, but catches remain very good for boat anglers fishing early in the day and around dusk in the old creek channel between Fawn Island and the lake's eastern shore. Fish in the 15- to 17-inch range are still prevalent. Trollers working deep with Triple Teasers and Tasmanian Devils are doing well, while still-fishers with PowerBait are doing best near the channel along the lake's far side. Bass fishing has been very good with crankbaits and plastic worms near rock outcroppings and stumps. The gravel ramp off Doe Point is open, and that's where 1,250 legal-sized trout were stocked recently. The lake is down to 18 percent full and dropping slower than in recent weeks. The marina remains dry, so no boat rentals are available.
HYATT: Rainbow trout fishing has been good with PowerBait near the dam for those who manage to hike down to the water line. The lake is down to 10 percent full. Access is poor. Bass fishing in the Orchard is very good for those tossing any lure or fly that's red.
LOST CREEK: Wind-drifting worms and slowly trolling Wedding Ring lures spiked with worms is working well upstream of Peyton Bridge, but remember it's a no-wake zone. The lake's elevation was at 1,792 feet above sea level Thursday and falling about five feet a week. The ramp at Stewart State Park is closed to trailered boats but the Takelma ramp is usable and will be open throughout the season.
LAKE OF THE WOODS: A mix of rainbows, kokanee and perch are being caught on PowerBait or small spinners near the resort. The lake recently received a mix of legal-sized and larger rainbow trout, some of which sport a tag on their backs. If you catch a tagged fish, check the kiosk for information about how to call in your results.
WILLOW: Trout fishing is very slow with little effort.
ROGUE: In the upper Rogue, the flies-only season is off to a so-so start in the waters between the Fishers Ferry boat ramp and Cole Rivers Hatchery, while the lackluster chinook salmon bite is starting to improve a bit in the middle Rogue. The lower Rogue bay has been slow for fall chinook trollers but that should improve with cooler weather, and fishing for adult steelhead and halfpounders has been good recently in the waters downstream of Agness.
That makes the middle Rogue the best bet for now, at least until the summer steelhead bite improves in the upper Rogue, which could happen early next week when water releases from Lost Creek Lake drop to 1,200 cubic feet per second Tuesday.
In the middle Rogue, fall chinook bound for the Applegate River are hitting plugs by driftboaters, but the catch has been a bit sporadic. Summer steelhead are spotty, but look for some evening action at the heads of riffles and tailouts. Use streamers, Panther Martin lures and everything else that works for the upper Rogue.
The Gold Hill area has been good for driftboaters back-bouncing roe for fall chinook, with fish biting throughout the day. Also, good catches of chinook have come for those floating through the old Savage Rapids Dam area for those back-bouncing roe.
In the upper Rogue, water releases from Lost Creek Lake have held steady at 1,750 cubic feet per second and that changes Saturday, with flows at 1,600 cfs out of the lake Saturday evening and 1,400 cfs Monday night before bottoming out at 1,200 cfs at 11 p.m. Tuesday. Once the level settles look for good catches for those swinging streamers through riffles. All chinook fishing is now closed upstream of Fishers Ferry.
In the bay, trolling large anchovies with Rogue Blades has been inconsistent but decent because few fall chinook have been moving out of the bay. Rain is forecast for today and Saturday, which could mix things up and likely get chinook moving upstream. Vary trolling speeds but stay close to the bottom with anchovies and brass blades.
APPLEGATE: The river is open for trout fishing but not for adult steelhead, and the 2 p.m. fishing closure has been lifted statewide. Catch and effort are light. There is no angling for fall chinook.
CHETCO: The river is open to trout fishing, and look for sea-run cutthroat trout in tidewater. The fall gear restrictions are in place.
COOS: Fall chinook fishing has been very good in tidewater for those trolling cut-plug herring.
COQUILLE: Trolling cut-plug herring with flashers has worked well for fall chinook from tidewater to the Rocky Point ramp.