Fishing Report: Friday, Sept. 29
COASTWIDE: Forecasts call for calm winds and light seas today and Saturday, but the winds will start picking up Sunday. Today calls for winds at 5 knots and swells up to 4 feet, followed Saturday by more 5-knot winds and swells rising to 5 feet. Sunday the winds will kick up to 10 knots, causing 2-foot wind waves.
The ocean bottomfishing season has ended for 2017 because the black rockfish quota has been met. No lingcod, cabezon or other bottomfish can be targeted, even from jetties. However, flatfish such as in-season halibut and sanddab are legal, as are surfperch.
Halibut fishing off the Central Oregon coast is closed.
Surfperch fishing is very good to excellent along the south coast, including the sand spit at the Rogue River mouth, Winchuck Beach and Nesika Beach. Berkley Gulp sandshrimp or sand worms work well and stay on hooks. Prawns also work well.
Bay crabbing has been very good to excellent in Coos Bay and Winchester Bay. Most of the crabs have recovered from molting, and the meat quality is very good.
The recreational harvest of razor clams is closed from Cascade Head to the California border for elevated levels of domoic acid. This includes all beaches and all bays. The recreational harvesting of mussels is open along the entire Oregon Coast from the Columbia River to the California border. Before digging, check the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474.
AGATE: The lake is down to 25 percent full and dropping. Look for improved crappie, yellow perch and bass fishing as the water cools. No gas motors are allowed. Electric trolling motors are OK. The park closes at dusk.
APPLEGATE: Access to the lake remained open Thursday despite area wildfires, which are throwing off less smoke than earlier this month. Lands south and west of Applegate Lake are closed. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has dropped releases to 250 cfs. The lake was listed Thursday at 61 feet from full, the same as last week.
DIAMOND: The route from the Rogue Valley to the lake is open and not as smoky thanks to rain and snow, but look for that to kick up as temperatures warm. Smoke levels at the lake have fluctuated day-to-day. Fishing has been very good for rainbows throughout the lake. Anglers continue to catch plenty of fish between 12 and 17 inches. PowerBait floated off the bottom is out-fishing worms under bobbers, with corn yellow and salmon-egg peach popular, but don't forget the glitter chartreuse. Trollers are getting action on Needlefish and Flat Fish. All tiger trout must be released unharmed.
EMIGRANT: The lake was listed Thursday at 31 percent full, down 3 percent in the past week. Bass fishing is good early and late in the day for those casting a mix of plastic worms, grubs and crankbaits in the early mornings and evenings. Smallmouth are off rocky points, largemouth are largely in the submerged willows. Trolling for trout has slowed in the warm water, with the upper section of the lake near Emigrant Creek best.
EXPO: Fishing is slow. No fresh trout have been stocked. Warmwater fish are the best bet. Access the pond through Gate 5 off Peninger Road. Parking fees are required.
FISH: The lake was listed Thursday at 50 percent full, down 2 percent from last week. Another 900 trophy trout were stocked last week at the Forest Service ramp, and that has garnered quite a bit of interest in the cove near the ramp. Use worms or PowerBait, or strip leeches or woolly buggers. Air quality has been very good. Tiger trout must be released unharmed. Some tigers up to 18 inches have been caught and released so far this year.
HOWARD PRAIRIE: Trout fishing is still good, but interest has been light amid rough weather. Fishing is best along the channel straight across from the resort, with trollers using worms and flashers finding decent fish about 30 feet down. Still-fishing with various colors of PowerBait is good in the mornings and evenings, also in deeper water. The lake was listed Thursday at 78 percent full, down a sliver from last week. The surface temperature has dropped below 70 degrees as cooler temperatures hit the mountains.
HYATT: The lake received 5,100 legal-sized rainbows at the BLM ramp last month, and anglers are catching them with PowerBait or worms under bobbers. Trout fishing should start picking up as water temperatures drop. The fishery is dominated by small largemouth bass that are being caught trolling or casting worms and small spinners, especially red lures. The lake continues to hold steady at 40 percent full.
LOST CREEK: The lake got another 10,000 legal rainbows and 1,500 pound-sized trout a month ago, split between the Takelma and marina boat ramps. The trout have spread out fairly well, with some of the best fishing directly across the lake from the marina and near the dam. The lake was listed Thursday at 59 feet from full, which is up more than a foot after last week's rains. Trolling has been decent near the dam with red or green Wedding Ring lures with a worm. However, anglers need to get deep because the warm surface temperatures are pushing the trout down in the water column. Experiment with varying depths.
LAKE OF THE WOODS: Fishing is good for rainbows in the shallows and farther out in the lake with bait or lures. Some kokanee have been caught in the deeper recesses of the lake.
MEDCO POND: The pond got 1,600 legal-sized rainbows in June and 4,000 legals in May. Fish with PowerBait or worms under bobbers.
WILLOW: The lake got 3,000 legal-sized trout and 1,500 pound-sized trout in early June. Catch them on PowerBait or worms.
ROGUE: The upper Rogue's flies-only summer steelhead season has been in a lull this past week as steelhead start to key in on eggs from spawning spring chinook, while the middle Rogue has seen a tough bite for fall chinook that are all over the place and good most evenings for summer steelhead. The lower Rogue Bay has been decent and steady for fall chinook and some coho salmon when the wind is not blowing.
That keeps the lower Rogue as the best bet with its mix of salmon in the bay as well as steelhead and halfpounders in the lower river collectively providing the best fishing options available.
In the lower Rogue bay, chinook catches have picked up the past two days for those trolling anchovies with Rogue bait rigs. Gold and chartreuse blades are best. More coho are starting to show up in the daily catch, as well. Fishing is best on the morning incoming tides.
Adult summer steelhead and halfpounders continue to show up in very good numbers in the lower seven miles of freshwater, but the slight rise in water from recent rains doesn't help the bite. Cast Panther Martin spinners, worms and corkies or swing streamer flies. Flows at Agness were up 2,051 cubic feet per second, which is still good for fly-fishing for steelhead by swinging streamers such as red ants and buck-tail Coachmans.
In the upper Rogue, it's back to flies only for summer steelhead through October, and fishing and outflows continue to be at 1,150 cfs out of Lost Creek Lake. However, the water releases are cold and have slowed steelhead down, so streamer flies are starting to work not quite as well as earlier in the season. Most anglers now are fishing egg flies on their point to go with an ugly bug as a dropper. Focus on the heads of riffles just downstream of salmon spawning flats and avoid wading in the redds.
Spincasters can use flies and a bobber, but no added weights or attachments. That includes bobber stoppers and swivels.
Flows at Dodge Bridge were down Thursday to 1,255 cfs. That has left some spots very skinny for driftboaters. Flows at the old Gold Ray Dam site were down to 1,517 cfs Thursday.
Anglers fishing downstream of Fishers Ferry boat ramp can keep wild chinook as part of their two-chinook limit, with fishing best in the Grants Pass area. However, that ends Saturday night, leaving only waters downstream of the Hog Creek boat ramp open to chinook fishing. Chinook fishing already is closed upstream of Fishers Ferry.
In the middle Rogue, fall chinook are starting to show up regularly in Taylor Creek Canyon and around the mouth of the Applegate River, but bankies and boat anglers found a tough bite this past week. Fish with big spoons such as Clancy's or Wobblers from driftboats. Some boat anglers are sticking with the roe-and-sandshrimp combos.
Anglers are targeting summer steelhead in the evenings, with Panther Martin lures or worms and corkies the top offerings. The float from Valley of the Rogue to Chinook Park has been productive for steelheaders.
APPLEGATE: The river is open to trout fishing, but all wild trout must be released unharmed. Most of the trout are steelhead pre-smolts.
CHETCO: A few more wash-in fall chinook are getting caught in the estuary, but not at the pace of earlier this month. Lots of anchovies are in the bay.