Fishing Report: Nov. 20, 2011
COASTWIDE - Ocean anglers will see more stiff winds, rain and some pretty rough seas through the weekend, just like last weekend.
Anglers who get out may venture past the 20-fathom line for the remainder of the season, but few have bothered lately to make deep-water runs.
Pacific halibut fishing is closed for the year. Fishery managers plan to meet in the coming weeks to structure next year's fishery.
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 Dec. 15, at the earliest, after recent tests on dungeness shows low meat quantity. The commercial season also will not open on the ocean until Dec. 15.
For clamming, the entire Oregon Coast is open for mussels, bay clams and razor clams. The next minus tide series is Nov. 22 to 29, starting in the afternoon. Call the shellfish safety hotline for updates at 1-800-448-2474.
The only ocean chinook salmon fishing season now open is off the mouths of the Elk and Sixes rivers, where some anglers troll for chinook. However, rough seas have kept most anglers off the ocean and in the estuaries. 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 chinook are being caught by trollers working the Chetco, which is now open to salmon fishing. Not lots of fish have been caught, but some 50 pounders have been reported. Most are being caught with straight, large sardines trolled slowly. The wild coho fishery has closed.
COOS BAY - Chinook salmon fishing in the bay has slowed way down, with a little action still in the Millicoma and South Coos rivers. Most of the fish are quite dark. Crabbing has been excellent off the public piers and in the lower estuary and it should continue to be good except for when rains reduce the salinity of the bay enough to push the crabs out to sea. The dungeness still don't have much meat in them, but red crabs have a lot more meat.
Good catches of rockfish have come when anglers have been able to get across the bar.
WINCHESTER BAY - Sturgeon fishing is slow. Chinook and coho catches are way down but crabbing has been very good to excellent.
AGATE - A new batch of legal-sized and larger trout was stocked recently for the winter trout fishery. Look for very good fishing for them around the lower section of the lake, which is still 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 last month, 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. The lake was listed Thursday at 40 percent full. The warmwater bite is waning with the colder weather, but a few bass can still be taken with slowly retrieved crankbaits 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 - The lake remains under a voluntary advisory against water contact due to a bloom of blue-green algae. Fishing effort has dropped substantially. 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 four 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. Water temperatures are cold.
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 - A mix of methods for catching summer steelhead are in play in the upper Rogue, but fishing is only fair right now, while the lower Rogue has been slow for late-run fall chinook and the middle Rogue has been a decent place to catch summer steelhead on flies and lures, though the catches are largely wild fish that must be released unharmed. Chinook fishing is closed from the Hog Creek boat ramp up to the hatchery.
That keeps the best bet on the upper Rogue, where a variety of techniques and catches are being employed.
Flows out of Lost Creek Lake will remain at 1,100 cubic feet per second of 43-degree water, and that's slowing the summer steelhead bite. Flows are low throughout the river, which has slowed migration. More and decent amounts of rain are needed to get things going.
Coho, however, are on the move, and more than 300 showed up for the second week in a row in the Cole Rivers Hatchery collection pond. Few coho are caught in the upper Rogue.
It is now artificial flies and lures only from the Shady Cove Park ramp down to the old Gold Ray Dam site. That means good opportunities for those fishing plugs or hard, plastic single-egg flies that usually work well behind spawning chinook. Fishing has been decent but not spectacular on this stretch this week, largely because steelhead are sparse. Plugs like K-11 Kwikfish have scared up some nice steelhead recently 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. Still no bait in that zone allowed until Jan. 1.
Bait fishing is allowed upstream of the Shady Cove ramp, and driftboaters this week have done OK side-drifting tiny clusters of roe behind salmon redds. Cold water and very cold mornings have kept the bite down a bit, but fish are reported to be biting later in the day during overcast conditions. Small pieces of roe are 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.
In the lower Rogue, a few 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 quite 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 slow 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 now present in the lower Applegate.
UMPQUA - The coho and chinook fisheries are slow in the mainstem, and a few remnant fall chinook are hanging out in the Roseburg area.
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 is open to fall chinook salmon fishing, and catches had been quite good until earlier this week when the river dropped significantly and cleared. Forecasts call for rain, and it looks like the river will peak and drop Sunday, which should make for some excellent fall chinook fishing. These chinook will be on the move, so use Kwikfish in migration lanes.
ELK/SIXES - Water levels are low and that has slowed the upstream migration of fall chinook in both river systems. But rain is forecast for the weekend and that should trigger a good bite in the lower sections of each river. 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 has been good, with spinners a distant second. Fly-fishers are doing fair for chinook in the estuary.
COOS - Jigging and trolling for chinook has slowed significantly for anglers still working the Coos and Millicoma rivers. Cut-plug herring remains the main bait in the Coos system.