Fishing Report: Friday, Nov. 20
COASTWIDE: South Coast ocean anglers will see marginal winds and surf conditions through the weekend, with 15-knot winds and swells running at 7 feet today but lying down a bit to 4 feet Sunday.
The ocean is closed to crabbing after high domoic acid levels in Dungeness led to a complete crabbing closure from Heceta Head near Florence to the California border, including bays.
Near-shore jigging for black rockfish and lingcod has been good when anglers can get out, but that has been a rare occasion in November.
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.
The ocean off the mouth of the Elk River is open to chinook fishing through November, but there is very little sport effort, and some commercial trollers are active in the fishery.
Razor clamming is closed statewide and it will remain closed at least through November, but bay clams and butter clams are available coastwide. Mussels are open north of Yahats but closed on the South Coast. Some evening minus tides start Wednesday. Before digging, check the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474 for updates.
COOS BAY: Rockfish catches have been fair inside the jetties but rockfish schools taper off during and after freshwater flow events. Crabbing is closed. Trolling for wild coho remains open but catches and effort have been light. The limit is one wild coho per day.
BROOKINGS: The ocean salmon season is over, and estuary fishing for chinook has been light as more anglers are focused on the upstream regions of the Chetco.
GOLD BEACH: Trolling for fresh chinook bound for Indian Creek is all but over, with a few fresh fish moving in during the day. Crabbing is closed.
AGATE: The lake is up to 3 percent full, and fishing pressure has been nonexistent. Slowly fishing purple and other dark, plastic worms should get anglers into bass off the rock dam, but cold water has them very lethargic. The boat ramp is no longer usable. No trout stockings are planned. The lake closes at dusk.
APPLEGATE: The lake is fishing poorly for smallmouth bass thanks to cold water. Trout fishing has slowed and effort remains extremely light despite being one of the only accessible water-bodies around. 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 another three feet to 1,872.6 feet above sea level. The Forest Service has improved conditions at the French Gulch ramp, adding gravel to make the ramp usable for small boats. The Copper ramp also is usable. 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 fishing has been very slow, and what effort exists is 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. The fingerling stocked in spring are starting to reach legal size, but anglers should release them so they can hit the 14-inch range by next spring.
EMIGRANT: The lake is still very low and murky, which has pushed most angling effort away. Bass and perch fishing will be best around any submerged vegetation, rock outcroppings or ridges in the lake bottom. The lake dropped a hair this past week and it is now listed at 10 percent full.
FISH: The lake was up this past week to 22 percent full and is ice-free, but boats are still not able to launch at any of the ramps. Kayaks or float-tubes can gain access off the shoreline to catch trout, but the effort remains very light. Focus near the springs. Chinook are legally considered trout here and can be kept as part of the five-trout daily limit. Tiger trout must be released unharmed, but recent reports have tigers over 14 inches long.
HOWARD PRAIRIE: The lake is closed until Jan. 1, when it opens to year-round fishing under new rules for 2016.
HYATT: The lake is closed until Jan. 1, when it opens to year-round fishing under new rules for 2016.
LOST CREEK: Wind-drifting worms and slowly trolling green Wedding Ring lures spiked with worms is working fairly well upstream of Peyton Bridge in the no-wake zone and down around the dam near the Takelma ramp, which is the lake's only boat access. The lake was rising Thursday as inflows eclipse the 840 cubic feet per second outflows. The Stewart State Park ramps remain closed.
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. The boat ramp remains usable and the lake is open year-round.
ROGUE: The upper Rogue has remained surprisingly good for summer steelhead, and effort is starting to spread out of the bait section. The middle Rogue is fair for summer steelhead with a mix of bait and spoons, and the lower Rogue is fair for steelhead in the Agness area but slow downstream of there.
That makes the upper Rogue the best bet, with more opportunities now that the flurry of bait fishing has ebbed upstream of Shady Cove.
That doesn't mean the bait water isn't productive. Waters upstream of the Shady Cove ramp are wide open for summer steelhead, with roe or roe-soaked egg flies the top offering for those side-drifting from boats or casting from the bank. Downstream of the Shady Cove ramp is far less crowded for those casting fake eggs or using plugs for summer steelhead. Big leeches will still work for those swinging flies, but plugs are working great, as are side-drifted scented egg flies and even small pink plastic worms. The fish are in surprisingly good shape considering it's late November, so most fin-clipped hatchery steelhead are still worth keeping. Flows at Dodge Bridge were up a hair but remain pretty thin at 1,001 cubic feet per second, which was actually up a bit from recent weeks despite outflows at Lost Creek Dam hovering at 840 cfs.
The waters downstream of TouVelle State Park are fishing well for summer steelhead, but effort there remains quite light. Flows at the old Gold Ray Dam site were up Thursday to 1,339 cfs and forecast to rise to around 1,500 cfs today.
In the middle Rogue, flows at Grants Pass were up a bit to 1,304 cfs as outflows from the reservoir remain light and tributary flow has picked up a hair. Steelhead fishing remains good, but there is less effort downstream of spawning beds now that the spawn is gone. Single-egg flies and fake eggs are also good.
The Agness area is fair for halfpounders, with a mix of slightly increasing water flows and not many fresh fish. These fish will hit anything from streamer flies and Panther Martin lures to worms and eggs. Most of the halfpounders are wild and must be released unharmed, but anglers can keep up to five fin-clipped halfpounders a day as part of their trout limit without impacting the steelhead catch. Riffles and the heads of pools are best.
Fly-fishing is still a good option in the lower Rogue, with flows up slightly but still very low at 1,941 cfs at Agness. Fly-fishing typically is best when flows are below 2,000 cfs, so that's a good thing. Fishing is still best around Lobster Creek.
In the bay, a few fresh chinook bound for Indian Creek are milling around the creek mouth, where trollers are catching them with anchovies and bank anglers are finding them with a mix of anchovies under bobbers or pink or green spinners. Troll large anchovies with the Rogue blade set-up at varying speeds. Chinook are heading up the creek now, as well.
CHETCO: Fall chinook salmon fishing is good for a mix of roe and plugs river-wide, with the fish scattered. Plenty of nice fall chinook are in the mix. Flows were forecast to peak late Thursday at about 3,300 cfs then drop today, making for a few good fishing days in the immediate future.
COQUILLE: Trolling cut-plug herring with flashers remains doable for a few fall chinook and even some wild coho in tidewater around the Rocky Point ramp.