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Fishing Report: Aug. 26, 2011

COASTWIDE - Wind and ocean conditions kept most tuna fishers in port, and those who made it out averaged only one or two fish per angler along most of the coast last week. The exception was Brookings where anglers averaged nine tuna apiece.

It was much the same story for bottomfish anglers last week. Wind and ocean conditions kept many private boats and charters in port, and those who went out averaged two or three rockfish — except along the south coast, where catches were about twice that.

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

The all-depth halibut season is over for the year, but near-shore halibut fishing is open. Halibut anglers cannot fish for bottomfish while halibut fishing.

The marine aggregate limit in Oregon is seven rockfish a day. Cabezon can no longer be kept by boat anglers because the quota has been met. Lingcod fishing was slow last week. 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 remains slow. Coho fishing north of Humbug Mountain is improving. The ocean from Humbug Mountain to the Oregon-California border is closed for coho, but is open for chinook through Sept. 5. The limit is two salmon per day.

A minus-tide series started early this morning and continues through Sept. 3, offering options for clammers. Mussel and bay clamming is open along the entire coast. Razor clamming is open from Tillamook Head to the California border. The consumption of whole, recreationally harvested scallops is not recommended. However, coastal scallops are not affected by toxin closures when only the adductor muscle is eaten.

For updated closure information, call the shellfish hotline before harvesting at 1-800-448-2474.

BROOKINGS - Bottomfishing picked up after a couple of stagnant days earlier this week. Halibut fishing was pretty good this past week, but the California halibut have yet to show up. Chinook salmon fishing has started to pick up. Crabbers on the public dock at Brookings-Habor have had some decent days recently, with some large male Dungeness in the catch.

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. Clamming has been better for red crabs than dungeness, but look for that to improve.

GOLD BEACH - Salmon fishing has been on and off in the bay, with good flurries of catches. Anglers found tuna about 20 miles offshore earlier this week and averaged nine tuna per angler. Surfperch fishing remains good outside of the Rogue River jetties and along Nesika Beach when the winds die down during the top of the incoming tide and the first hour of the outgoing tide.

WINCHESTER BAY - Sturgeon fishing is slow. The south jetty has been good for bottomfishing. Surfperch have been biting along some of the beach areas. Crabbing has been good lately. Ocean chinook fishing is still open. The limit is two salmon per day. All coho caught inside of the jetties must have a healed adipose fin-clip.

AGATE - Wind-drifting worms from boats is the best option at the lake, where water temperatures are high and the warmwater bite is good. The lake is 61 percent full. No gas motors are allowed. Small electric motors are legal.

APPLEGATE - The lake is down to 64 percent of capacity. Trollers and fly-fishers are working the points near the higher end of the lake. Trollers are using 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. Some of the trout have external parasites called copepods, which are not a threat to humans and can be scraped off trout before cooking. 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, 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 is still at 89 percent of capacity, and the water has remained quite cool this summer. Smallmouth bass fishing has been good, and there are still plenty of 15- to 17-inch trout for anglers fishing deep and in the early mornings and late evenings. Trout up to 3 pounds have been caught recently. Trollers are out-producing bank anglers.

HYATT - Trout fishing has slowed, but largemouth bass fishing is excellent for those wind-drifting worms or casting and retrieving any red spinner or spoon. The bass are small, 5 to 7 inches long, but plentiful. The lake is 87 percent full.

DIAMOND - The lake is sporting 22 feet of visibility and 66-degree water, and anglers are still mopping up on stringers of big trout, as they have all year. Rainbows are moving all over, with catches coming best in the south end. Fish the edges of weed beds, where trout are gorging themselves on insects and snails. Trolling F-4 Flatfish or Triple Teasers is very good for trout, while fly-fishers using black or olive leeches are having some very good days in the south end, with mornings and evenings best. Fish mostly in water 18-20 feet now.

PowerBaiters are reporting best success using light, 4- to 5-foot leaders, with salmon-egg peach-colored bait topped with a shot of garlic oil. The trout limit is eight, but only one can be longer than 20 inches. A tagged rainbow was caught earlier this week, but it does not appear to have been the fish that's worth $500. That trout has an orange tag in its dorsal fin. If you catch it, check it in at the resort, and they'll direct you to the right person at Lithia Auto Body and Paint, which is paying for the fish. Four other tagged trout were left over from the Rainbow $5,000 Trout Derby in June, and those fish aren't worth anything but the skillet.

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 - The lake's public-health advisory has been lifted, and fishing is good with PowerBait or worms for rainbow trout near the center of the lake. Trollers are picking up some stocked chinook salmon, which are treated legally as trout. They run up to about 11 inches.

LAKE OF THE WOODS - Fishing for stocked rainbow trout has been fair. Brown trout angling has been slow.

LEMOLO - Trolling for big brown trout has been 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 - The water is warm, but fishing is still decent for rainbow trout stocked there earlier this year. Troll deep and slow, or fish PowerBait off the bottom.

ROGUE - Spring chinook fishing above the old Gold Ray dam ends Aug. 31, so this is the last chance for springers in the upper Rogue between Gold Ray and Dodge Bridge. Chinook fishing above Dodge is already over, but summer steelhead fishing is in high gear — especially upstream of Dodge Bridge. The middle Rogue is decent for fall chinook from Gold Hill all the way to down to the Hog Creek area and summer steelhead are being caught there, as well. In the lower Rogue, fall chinook are hot and cold, especially for trollers in the bay, with summer steelhead and halfpounders providing good action for fishers targeting them.

That keeps the best bet on steelhead in the upper Rogue for now.

Waters upstream of Dodge Bridge are closed to spring chinook fishing, but water downstream of Dodge Bridge is open for wild and hatchery chinook through Wednesday. Kwikfish wrapped with sardine fillets and divers with roe are tops, but the persistent weeds can be a problem. Back-bouncing roe remains a distant second for success.

As of Aug. 17, 953 summer steelhead and 5,308 spring chinook had entered Cole Rivers Hatchery. Releases from Lost Creek Dam are beginning to decrease, and were down to 2,700 cubic feet per second on Tuesday.

Plenty of summer steelhead are scattered among the riffles and pocket water of the upper Rogue. Many 10-pound fish and bigger have been caught in the past week by driftboat anglers using K-11 Kwikfish or crayfish plugs.

The flies-only season begins Sept. 1. Until then, plugs and bait rule. For fly-fishers, work slower water near riffles with streamer flies, stonefly nymphs and Prince nymph point flies.

Bank anglers will struggle with water conditions for summer steelhead, but casting worms and Panther Martin lures will work well in such areas as TouVelle State Park and the water between Casey State Park and the Hatchery Hole. All wild steelhead must be released unharmed.

In the lower Rogue, anglers are packing the bay, and catches have come in one or two-hour flurries. A few guides continue to run upstream to anchor and fish anchovies in the mornings, then head to the bay to fish the tides.

In the bay, anchovies with spinner blades are working best.

Halfpounder steelhead are making a strong showing in the regular beach-seining surveys at Huntley Park. These things will bite pretty much any fly, bait or small lure.

In the middle Rogue, fall chinook are showing up in canyons and pools from Gold Hill on down, but no single area has been hot and no one seems to be having any great days, just good days. Bank anglers are spread out from Griffin Park and Finley Bend down to Ennis Riffle and doing OK.

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 - A few fall chinook and fin-clipped coho are being caught in the lower mainstem. Sturgeon fishing has been slow. Some striped bass have been caught recently. Smallmouth bass fishing is good.

The South Umpqua is open for trout and smallmouth bass fishing. The river has been high and cold, so there has not been much pressure for smallmouth, but the river is forecast to drop all week. The South Umpqua and North Umpqua are both closed to chinook fishing.

CHETCO - The mainstem river is closed to all fishing upstream of river mile 2.2 until Nov. 4, but tributaries to the Chetco River are open for trout through Oct. 31.

WINCHUCK - The river, including tidewater, is closed to all angling through Nov. 4.