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Fishing Report: Aug. 12, 2011

Coastwide - Good-looking seas are forecast for the weekend, which should increase effort for everything from bottomfish and chinook salmon to near-shore halibut off Brookings and tuna out of Charleston and Newport. The all-depth halibut fishery won't kick back in until next week, but near-shore fishing is open south of Humbug Mountain.

Bottomfish anglers must stay within the 20-fathom line to steer clear of yelloweye rockfish, which must all be released unharmed.

The marine aggregate limit in Oregon is seven rockfish a day. No cabezon can be kept from boats because the quota has been met. The lingcod limit is two a day with a 22-inch minimum, and that is separate from the marine aggregate.

Ocean salmon fishing has picked up a bit but it remains slow. Coho fishing north of Humbug Mountain is improving.

Another good set of minus tides is here through Monday, so look for some good clamming days this weekend. 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.

BROOKINGS - Good tuna water can be found about 30 miles west of the port, but it's been a tough run because of the wind and waves. Chinook fishing has been poor even when winds have allowed anglers to get out. Surfperch fishing has been excellent on calm days, with the females spawning near the Winchuck River mouth. Fish with sandshrimp, prawns, mussels and plastic, scented baits and streamer flies.

CHARLESTON - Anglers taking charter trips for tuna are landing on average close to 10 fish a trip. Coho fishing has picked up, with anglers averaging one fish per trip. Only fin-clipped coho can be kept.

GOLD BEACH - Surfperch fishing is 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. Trolling anchovies in the bay remains very good for fall chinook salmon. Look for the bay to be packed with anglers this weekend.

ELK - Fishing for surfperch is very good in and near the mouth of the Elk River, with catches best before the winds pick up.

WINCHESTER BAY - Sturgeon fishing is still slow. Crabbing held steady this week but the overall Dungeness catch continues to be low in the estuary.

AGATE - Wind-drifting worms from boats remains the best option at the lake, where water temperatures are high and the warmwater bite is good. The lake is 90 percent full. No gas motors are allowed. Small electric motors are legal.

APPLEGATE - Trollers and fly-fishers working the Seattle Bar area are doing well with Wedding Ring lures and Triple Teasers or woolly buggers with sinking fly lines. Smallmouth bass are biting plastic worms and small crankbaits near the dam 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 - Trout fishing is best near the dam and off the county boat ramp for those trolling or wind-drifting worms. Also, the cool in-flows from Emigrant Creek are drawing trout to the creek mouth. Catch them by casting a worm on a hook with no weights. Good water conditions have helped the bass and perch bites lakewide, with perch fishing best in the willows and bass off rocky points and around Songer Wayside.

A standing public-health advisory continues about eating all but trout from the lake because of elevated mercury levels.

HOWARD PRAIRIE - The lake continues to fish fairly well for smallmouth bass even though the lake's water remains quite cool. There are still plenty of 15- to 17-inch trout for anglers fishing deep in the early mornings and late evenings. Trollers continue to out-produce bank anglers. Success along the jetty near the resort has been decent, as is fishing near Grizzly Campground.

HYATT - Fishing near the dam and around the Orchard has been good with chartreuse or rainbow PowerBait for trout. Largemouth bass fishing is excellent for those wind-drifting worms or casting and retrieving any red spinner or spoon.

DIAMOND - The lake's water-quality advisory has been lifted, and anglers are flocking back to the lake. Rainbows are moving all over, with catches coming in water more than 20 feet deep as well as flats as shallow as 5 feet. Trolling F-4 Flatfish or Triple Teasers for trout is very good, while fly-fishers using black or olive leeches are having some very good days in the south end, with mornings and evenings best. For PowerBaiters, the high weeds are problematic. Float your bait about 4 feet above the bottom for rainbows feeding on insects and freshwater shellfish on the weeds.

The temporary eight-fish limit is now a permanent eight-fish limit following action by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission.

One smaller rainbow is swimming around the lake with an orange tag in its dorsal fin. The fish is worth $500 to whomever catches it. Check it in at the resort if you land it.

EXPO - Fishing remains good for stocked rainbow trout with Panther Martin lures, PowerBait and worms under bobbers.

LOST CREEK - The lake's water quality is very good, and trolling for trout is good near the dam and directly across from the marina. Smallmouth bass fishing is very good in the mornings and evenings for jiggers and those casting rubber worms in the weeds.

FISH - Fishing is good with PowerBait or worms for rainbow trout near the center of the lake. The lake was stocked recently with another 3,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. Fishing has been best with PowerBait, worms and streamer flies. Trollers also are picking up stocked chinook salmon that are treated legally as trout. They run up to about 11 inches.

LEMOLO - Trolling for big brown trout remains good, and fly-fishers using woolly buggers or leeches are finding a mix of rainbows and browns. Fish are more active in the mornings and evenings.

WILLOW - Fishing is good for legal-sized and larger rainbow trout stocked there earlier this year. Troll deep and slow, or fish PowerBait off the bottom.

ROGUE - The upper Rogue's spring chinook salmon season has slowed, with some action downstream of Dodge Bridge, and summer steelhead fishing is kicking into gear throughout most of the upper Rogue. The middle Rogue is turning on for fall chinook from Gold Hill all the way to Grave Creek, and the lower Rogue is very good for fall chinook, which are early and plentiful.

That keeps the best bet the upper Rogue, strictly because it has a mixture of chinook and steelhead to stalk, but each stretch of the Rogue now has its own action.

Waters upstream of Dodge Bridge are closed to spring chinook fishing, but water downstream of Dodge Bridge remains open for wild and hatchery chinook for the next month. Late-run springers are starting to get a little dark, but a few fresh fish are in the mix, primarily downstream of TouVelle State Park. Kwikfish wrapped with sardine fillets and divers with roe are tops, but the persistent weeds continue to clog lures. Back-bouncing roe remains a distant second for success.

More than 800 summer steelhead have reached Cole Rivers Hatchery so far, indicating there should be plenty of fish scattered among the riffles and pocket water of the upper Rogue. Another 264 retread steelhead were recycled Thursday from the hatchery down to the Gold Hill boat ramp and released, adding fresh fish to the mix.

Boat anglers will fare better than bankies because water flows are high but down a hair this week to 2,900 cubic feet per second of water out of Lost Creek Lake.

K-11 Kwikfish plugs, streamer flies and stonefly nymphs with Prince nymph point flies are all great choices for boat anglers, while side-drifting worms or roe are both good secondary choices. Pink rubber worms rock it, too. Fish riffles, tail-outs and inside corners around boulders. As the water warms, they will move toward more aerated water. All wild steelhead must be released unharmed.

In the lower Rogue, anglers are packing the bay, and catches should be good all weekend. The best success is by powerboaters running upstream of tidewater and fishing the inside turns with anchovies or cut-plug herring just as if they were fishing for spring chinook. The smart boaters are then heading to the bay for trolling during the afternoon. Anglers report being agog at how many chinook they are marking on their fish finders. Anchovies with spinner blades are working best.

Very few of the big early-run summer steelhead have showed themselves in the lower Rogue and halfpounder catches remain very light so far, largely because of the very high flows.

In the middle Rogue, fall chinook are showing up in canyons and pools from Gold Hill on down, but these fish are on the move so no single float has stood out as best just yet. Parking at places such as Griffin Creek and waiting to intercept migrating chinook is working for Kwikfish anglers. Bank anglers are doing OK at places such as Finley Bend.

APPLEGATE - The river is open to trout fishing. All wild trout, including cutthroat, must be released unharmed. It is illegal to target spawning winter steelhead in the Applegate.

UMPQUA - Summer steelhead catches are very good in the lower North Umpqua, where all wild steelhead must be released unharmed. Shad are in, but they are tough to catch amid high-water conditions. The South Umpqua is excellent for smallmouth bass in the Elkton area, with catches coming on rubber worms and crayfish flies.