Fishing Report: July 8, 2011
COASTWIDE - A hazardous-seas advisory will be in effect through today, and the weekend will throw 20-knot winds and wind waves of 5-7 feet. That's generally enough to separate a common man from his breakfast, so most anglers will remain inland this weekend. Those who don't must stay inside the 40-fathom line for bottomfish, but they can venture into deeper environs to fish for chinook salmon.
The marine aggregate limit in Oregon is seven rockfish a day, with only one being a cabezon. The lingcod limit is two a day with a 22-inch minimum, and that is separate from the marine aggregate.
Ocean salmon fishing has been very slow.
The next good series of minus tides begins Monday and runs through the week, so clammers should have a good reason to hit the coast. Diggers must get a shellfish license.
Beaches from the mouth of the Columbia River down to Cape Meares are closed to mussel harvest, but the rest of the coast is open. The entire Oregon Coast is open to clamming, but watch for sneaker waves.
BROOKINGS - Chinook fishing has been poor even when winds allow anglers to get out. Bottomfishing has been very good, with jiggers getting limits of black and blue rockfish when they can get out. Surfperch fishing has tapered down at Winchuck Beach because of windy days, but you can still find perch with shrimp, prawns, mussels, plastic, scented sandshrimp and streamer flies. Cast past the breakers for them.
GOLD BEACH - Surfperch fishing has been good outside of the Rogue River jetties and Nesika Beach, when the winds die down, during the top of the incoming tide and the first hour of the out-going tide. The first few fall chinook have started to show in the bay and two were hooked by trollers, but action remains quite slow in the bay. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dredge continues to work the river mouth.
WINCHESTER BAY - Sturgeon fishing is still slow. Crabbing has picked up this week, but the overall Dungeness catch is low.
AGATE - Crappie and bass are biting well now that the surface temperature has eclipsed 74 degrees. Crappie are hitting drifted nightcrawlers and small purple or pink jigs, while bass are hitting purple worms fished around structure. Look for crappie far up in the lake. No gas motors are allowed. Small electric motors are legal.
APPLEGATE - The lake is a hair under full, and no new trout were stocked this past week. Still, trollers are doing best for trout near Seattle Bar or near the dam. Fly-fishers using float tubes, sinking lines and woolly buggers have done well near Seattle Bar. Smallmouth bass are biting plastic worms and small crankbaits near the dam. Bass fishermen have done well on plastic worms and crankbaits around structure and off points. The French Gulch and Copper boat ramps are usable. Hart-Tish Park is open. For updates on facilities, call 541-899-9220.
EMIGRANT - Good water conditions have helped the bass and perch bites lake-wide, with perch fishing best in the willows and bass off rocky points and around Songer Wayside. Crappie catches are light.
A standing public-health advisory continues about eating all but trout from the lake because of elevated mercury levels.
HOWARD PRAIRIE - The lake is in very good shape for trout anglers using techniques ranging from PowerBait off the jetty to wind-drifted worms or trolled Triple Teasers. The trout bite should start to ebb when warm weather warms the water, triggering more of a bass bite. Trout up to 17 inches have been caught rather regularly. Trollers continue to out-produce bank anglers. Success along the jetty near the resort has been improving, as is fishing near Grizzly Campground. Shore anglers have done best with rainbow or chartreuse PowerBait or worms floated off the bottom off the jetty or near Klum Landing.
HYATT - The lake remains hit-or-miss for trout fishing lately, but lots of trout 15 to 20 inches long are still showing up on stringers. Fishing near the dam and around the Orchard has been good with chartreuse or rainbow PowerBait. Trolling success has picked up largely because there's been more effort this past week. Try Triple Teasers or Wedding Rings with worms. The largemouth bass bite has really picked up during the day, and catches should be very good during this weekend's hot weather.
DIAMOND - The lake's surface temperature has hit 65 degrees, and the trout are gorging themselves on insect hatches, which has reduced catch rates. But anglers are still getting dizzyingly nice stringers of five to seven rainbows fishing chartreuse or rainbow PowerBait. Trollers using F-4 Flatfish are doing very well, while fly-fishers using leeches or nymph patterns are knocking the trout hard on the south end. PowerBait anglers should float their balls 2 feet or more above the lake bed to take advantage of rainbows eating emerging insects.
The temporary eight-fish limit is in effect, but only one can be longer than 20 inches. A rainbow with an orange tag in its dorsal fin is worth $500 to whomever catches it. Check it in at the resort if you catch it.
EXPO - Fishing remains good for stocked rainbow trout with Panther Martin lures, PowerBait and worms under bobbers.
LOST CREEK - The lake remains under a voluntary public-health advisory against water contact because of a blue-green algae bloom, primarily in Catfish Cove. That has kept most of the anglers away. Trolling for trout was good for rainbows near the dam's face and upstream of Peyton Bridge. The water above the bridge is a no-wake zone, so slow down.
FISH - The lake remains under a volunteer public-health advisory against water contact because of a blue-green algae bloom, primarily near the resort. Water tests elsewhere in the lake last week did not reveal unhealthy levels of potentially toxic algae. The lake was last stocked three weeks ago with 3,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. Fishing had been best around the resort and the cove near the Forest Service boat ramp with PowerBait, worms and streamer flies.
WILLOW LAKE - The lake was stocked recently with another 3,000 legals and 500 larger rainbow trout, all put in at the Jackson County boat ramp. All of the county facilities are open. Trolling Wedding Ring or Triple Teaser lures should be best for stocked rainbows. Water quality is good.
SELMAC - The lake was stocked three weeks ago with 2,000 legal-sized trout, and plenty of fish are left a month after Free Fishing Weekend. Single salmon eggs and cheese have worked well.
MEDCO - Fishing for rainbow trout has been good off the bank with PowerBait.
LAKE of the WOODS - Bank and boat fishing for stocked rainbow trout has been good with PowerBait and worms. Brown trout fishing should start picking up near shorelines in the evening and at night.
ROGUE - The upper Rogue remains high and is fishing consistently well for spring chinook salmon for boat and bank anglers, while the lower Rogue is just starting to show its first fall chinook of the season in the bay at Gold Beach and the middle Rogue is fair to poor for springers and not hopping yet with steelhead.
That keeps the best bet on the upper Rogue, because it's almost mid-July and the upper Rogue will provide the best action on the river until the fall chinook fishery gets going in the lower Rogue bay.
Bank anglers at Casey State Park, the Slide Hole and the Hatchery Hole are still finding fair to good numbers of fish moving through off and on all day. About 200 hatchery springers were recycled last week each at Dodge Bridge and the Gold Hill boat ramps, and those fish are already showing up in the catches from Hayes Falls upstream to Shady Cove.
Grass clumps in the upper Rogue are getting frustrating for plug anglers because they are grassing up quickly.
Bank anglers are doing best from the Slide Hole on up, while most good boat fishing is from Shady Cove on down.
Releases from Lost Creek Lake were a hair under 3,000 cubic feet per second of water in the low 50s in temperature. Most bank anglers are fishing an odd variety of beads, corkies and a little yarn. Remember, only fish hooked on the inside of the mouth can be kept legally.
Boat anglers back-bouncing roe or using divers or Kwikfish are getting decent catches of springers throughout the upper Rogue. However, the ratio of wild chinook to hatchery chinook has climbed in the past two weeks.
Summer steelhead are starting to show in the upper Rogue. July fishing is best with K-11 Kwikfish or side-drifting worms or small clusters of roe. These fish are very aggressive and relatively easy to catch, but higher-than-normal flows make bank fishing for them more difficult.
In the middle Rogue, anglers have largely abandoned spring chinook fishing and moved into the upper Rogue. No schools of summer steelhead have been reported.
In the lower Rogue, a few guides are still catching spring chinook salmon in the Lobster Creek area, but effort there is light. The first couple of fall chinook were hooked in the bay by trollers using anchovies, but fewer than a dozen anglers are out there a day. Look for that action to heat up in a couple weeks.
Very few of the big, early-run summer steelhead have showed themselves in the lower Rogue, and halfpounder catches remain very light so far.
APPLEGATE - The river is open to trout fishing. All wild trout, including cutthroat, must be released unharmed. It is illegal to target any spawning winter steelhead in the Applegate.
UMPQUA - Spring chinook are still being caught in the mainstem below Elkton, but they are also being caught at Cleveland Rapids, River Forks and Amacher on the lower part of the North Umpqua. Shad are in, but they are tough to catch amid high-water conditions. A few striped bass were caught this week in the lower part of the mainstem near Dean Creek. Use big plugs that resemble steelhead smolts.
The lower end of the North Umpqua is fishing very well for summer steelhead. All wild steelhead must be released unharmed.
The South Umpqua is starting to heat up for smallmouth bass in the Elkton area. South Umpqua flows have been dropping consistently, and that has helped for bass catches on rubber worms and crayfish flies.
CHETCO - Side-drifting worms or tiny roe clusters is working well for cutthroat trout from Ice Box on down, or prawns free-drifted in tidewater near high tide.