Fishing Report: Nov. 4, 2011
Coastwide - Ocean anglers can expect stiff winds and rough seas through the weekend, with small-craft advisories in effect through tonight. Winds are forecast to be up to 25 knots Saturday afternoon, kicking up 8-foot swells that could rise to as much as 14 feet Sunday.
Anglers may venture past the 20-fathom line for the remainder of the season, but few have bothered to make deep-water runs recently. Also, near-shore halibut anglers may fish for and keep bottomfish during near-shore halibut trips until the near-shore halibut season ends Monday evening.
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. The lingcod limit is two a day with a 22-inch minimum, and that is separate from the marine aggregate.
The ocean is closed to recreational crabbing through Nov. 30.
For clamming, the entire Oregon Coast is open, but no good tides are forecast for a few weeks.
Chinook fishing opens Tuesday off the mouths of the Elk and Sixes rivers, where some anglers troll for chinook. A few are taken off the beach near the mouth of the Elk, as well.
No tuna catches were reported statewide this past week.
BROOKINGS - The ocean salmon season is closed, but a few chinook are being caught daily by trollers working the lower 2.2 miles of the Chetco — not lots of fish, but a few 50 pounders have been in the mix. Most are being caught with straight, large sardines trolled slowly. The wild coho fishery is closed.
COOS BAY - Chinook fishing in the bay has waned, with some action still in the Millicoma and South Coos rivers. Crabbing has been excellent off the public piers and in the lower estuary and it will hold on until rains push the crabs out to sea. The Dungeness still don't have much meat in them yet. Red crabs have a lot more meat.
Good catches of rockfish have come when anglers have been able to get across the bar.
BANDON - A few bright chinook are being caught every now and then by trollers working the Rock Point area, but that's still a bit slow. Most of the chinook are between Coquille and Myrtle Point. Cut-plug herring behind a flasher is the bait of choice in the Coquille.
WINCHESTER BAY - Sturgeon fishing is slow. Chinook catches are waning and coho fishing has slowed down. Wild coho fishing is closed. Crabbing in the bay has been excellent.
AGATE - A new batch of legal-sized and larger trout was stocked two weeks ago for the winter trout fishery. Look for very good fishing for them around the lower section of the lake, which is at 30 percent full. Worms or PowerBait will be best. No gas motors are allowed. Small electric motors are legal.
APPLEGATE - The facilities at Hart-Tish Park are closed and the low-water ramp at French Gulch is open and usable, as is the Copper ramp. The lake received some more legal-sized and lunker trout three weeks ago and fishing for them remains decent for the few trying for them. Catch them trolling Triple Teasers or Wedding Ring lures with worms. Bass fishing is slowing as the water drops and cools.
EMIGRANT - The lake's stocked rainbow trout are biting fairly well near the county boat ramp, near the dam and up the Emigrant Arm, where the cooler water attracts the trout. The lake was listed Thursday at 40 percent full. The warmwater bite continues to hang on around submerged willows and points. Lots of yellow perch in the catches, but still enough crappie to keep things interesting.
A standing public-health advisory continues about eating all but trout from the lake because of elevated mercury levels.
HOWARD PRAIRIE - The lake is closed for the season.
HYATT - The lake is closed for the season.
DIAMOND - The lake is closed for the season.
LEMOLO - The lake is closed for the season.
EXPO - Fishing remains fair for stocked rainbow trout with Panther Martin lures, PowerBait and worms under bobbers.
LOST CREEK - Fishing effort has dropped substantially since a voluntary advisory against water contact was posted at the lake following a bloom of blue-green algae. The boat ramp at Stewart State Park is all but unusable, but the Takelma ramp near the dam is operable at all water levels. The lake is down three feet below its normal winter level.
FISH - The lake was stocked recently with big rainbow trout averaging more than a pound apiece, and trollers have been going after them with Triple Teasers, Tasmanian Devils and Wedding Rings with worms. The catch and effort, however, have been light. The Forest Service ramp near the resort remains open.
WILLOW - Fishing is fair for legal-sized and larger rainbow trout stocked there earlier this year. Troll deep and slow, or fish PowerBait off the bottom.
ROGUE - In the upper Rogue, anglers are using a mix of methods for catching summer steelhead, and all are working fairly well. The lower Rogue has been slow for late-run fall chinook, while the middle Rogue has been a decent place to catch summer steelhead on flies and lures, but the catches are largely wild fish that must be released unharmed.
That leaves the best bet on the upper Rogue, where a hodgepodge of techniques and catches are now in play.
First, there's the water conditions to consider. Flows out of Lost Creek Lake will remain at 1,100 cubic feet per second of 43-degree water, and that doesn't help the summer steelhead bite. Flows at Dodge Bridge were down to 1,440 cfs, with 1,774 cfs at the old Gold Ray Dam site and 1,642 cfs at Grants Pass. The Agness gauge on Thursday was a slim 2,376 cfs.
It is now artificial flies and lures only from the Shady Cove Park ramp down to the old Gold Ray Dam site. That means plugs are in play, as are hard-plastic, single-egg flies that usually work extremely well behind spawning chinook. Fishing was fair to good on this stretch this week, but the steelhead are not thick in their usually predictable haunts downstream of spawning chinook feasting on loose eggs. Plugs such as K-11 Kwikfish have conjured up some nice chinook this week downstream of TouVelle State Park. Single, hard-plastic eggs are working fairly well side-drifted with spinning rods or under strike indicators for fly-fishers. No bait is allowed in that zone until Jan. 1.
Bait fishing is allowed upstream of the Shady Cove ramp, and driftboaters this week have done fairly well side-drifting tiny clusters of roe behind salmon redds. Cold water and stagnant weather have kept the bite down a bit, but fish were biting all day during overcast conditions. Small pieces of roe work best.
In the middle Rogue, steelhead fishing has been good near creek mouths and behind spawning fall chinook with egg flies and small egg clusters. Streamer flies on sink-tip lines and plugs also are working well for summer steelhead. The vast majority of them are wild there and must be released unharmed.
Another batch of retread steelhead was released two weeks ago at Rogue River and they remain primarily downstream of Dodge Bridge.
In the lower Rogue, chinook are hanging around the mouth of Indian Creek and a few fresh fish are moving in with the tides, but the effort and catch remain light. Bank anglers near the mouth of Indian Creek have fared well on Kastmasters, Little Cleos and other spoons with some green on them. Others are doing pretty well on roe and sandshrimp fished under bobbers in slower water.
The Agness area remains hit-and-miss for adult summer steelhead and halfpounders in riffles. Fish mornings and evenings with streamer flies, worms, eggs or plugs.
All wild steelhead must be released unharmed riverwide.
APPLEGATE - The river is open to trout fishing. All wild trout, including cutthroat, must be released unharmed. It is illegal to target summer steelhead in the lower Applegate.
UMPQUA - The coho fishery is winding down, and all wild coho must be released unharmed. Some decent fall chinook fishing is going on from Roseburg down to Elkton, but the fish are spread out.
The North Umpqua is slow for summer steelhead amid cold and low flows, but a few more fish have moved into the Swiftwater area of late. Only unweighted flies may be used in the fly water now.
CHETCO - The entire river opens to fall chinook salmon fishing Saturday after anglers have been relegated to trolling the lower 2.2 miles of the estuary so far this season. Bay catches have been light, but the fish are big. Water levels were at less than 1,000 cubic feet per second, which has kept most chinook from moving upstream. Flows should shoot up this week, enticing chinook to migrate.
ELK/SIXES - Water levels remain low, which has slowed the upstream migration of fall chinook in both river systems. Fishing in the estuaries has been good at times during incoming tides that help push fish over the bars. Anchovies cast and slowly retrieved with little or no weight have worked well, with spinners a distant second. Fly-fishers are doing fair for chinook in the estuary.
The rains this weekend should get chinook moving through both systems. When they do, back-bouncing roe and fishing Kwikfish will be best for driftboaters as the water drops.
COOS - Jigging and trolling for chinook has slowed for anglers still working the Coos and Millicoma rivers. Cut-plug herring have been effective.