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Fishing Report: July 20, 2012

COASTWIDE - Anglers can no longer keep cabezon after today because good summer fishing has filled the state-imposed cabezon quota for 2012. They must all be released unharmed.

Favorable ocean conditions will start to deteriorate today as the winds and swells pick up. Windy and rough conditions are forecast through the weekend, with 30-knot winds and a hazardous seas warning in effect through Saturday. That will bode poorly for salmon trollers and bottomfish jiggers and dampen efforts to find schools of albacore tuna. Tuna reports out of the central coast had put albacore 17 to 25 miles offshore.

Chinook salmon fishing has been very good out of Southern Oregon ports, and coho catches are good out of central and northern ports. Crabbers working bays are catching plenty of Dungeness, but many have recently molted and their meat quantity has been somewhat poor even though the quality is excellent. Another set of morning minus tides run today through Sunday. Clamming is open everywhere on the coast except Clatsop County.

Halibut anglers must stay within the 40-fathom curve until August, when the summer all-depth quota opens.

BROOKINGS - The chinook salmon bite has been excellent for those trolling 21/2 to 4 miles offshore, but look for rougher conditions this weekend with increased winds and surf. Bottomfishing has been very good close to shore. Halibut fishing had been good in 270 feet of water. Surfperch fishing remains very good in the Winchuck Beach area between heavy-surf days. Clam necks and Berkley Gulp sand worms have been the most effective baits, but mussels and squid work very well, too.

COOS BAY - Very good chinook catches have been reported this week, but winds should kick up and might blow anglers off the water. Tuna catches have been good 17 to 25 miles offshore.

GOLD BEACH - Ocean anglers are doing well for bottomfish when they can get out. Trolling the bay has been slow even though good numbers of early fall chinook are present. Surfperch fishing has been very good at the sand spit at the Rogue mouth.

AGATE - Fishing for bass, crappie and perch has picked up with better weather and water conditions. Wind-drifting nightcrawlers or fishing plastic grubs has been best for bass near the dam and around submerged willows. The far upper end of the reservoir is fishing best for crappie with small jigs or black flies. Trout fishing is slow. No fresh trout will be released for the rest of the summer because of warm water. The lake is starting to drop and was listed Thursday at 86 percent full. No gas motors are allowed. Small electric motors are legal.

APPLEGATE - The lake has dropped about four feet in the past week and was listed at 14 feet from full Thursday, taking Seattle Bar out of the picture. For trout, slowly troll Triple Teaser lures spiked with worms or fish PowerBait from the bank near the boat ramps. Bass fishing is very good off points and along the dam face. Hart-Tish Park is open and the boat ramp is usable, as is Copper and French Gulch, but French Gulch sports little parking.

EMIGRANT - The lake received no new trout in the past month and is not scheduled for any more this summer. Fishing for legal-sized trout stocked earlier this season remains fair to good for bank and boat anglers along the lower section of the reservoir, particularly around the county park. Water clarity is good. Bank anglers using chartreuse or rainbow PowerBait have fared well for trout, while trollers using Little Cleo's or Triple Teasers have also caught fish. The lake was listed Thursday as 81 percent full. Smallmouth bass fishing has improved off rocky banks, and a few largemouth have been taken in the willows.

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

HOWARD PRAIRIE - Bass action has picked up. Trout fishing has been good for trollers using Triple Teasers or Wedding Rings with small pieces of worm, with some throwback anglers doing very well using Ford Fenders. Trout up to 23 inches have been caught in recent weeks. Chartreuse and rainbow PowerBait are working best, along with worms seven feet or so under bobbers. Wind-drifting nightcrawlers also is good, with early mornings and dusk best. The limit is five trout per day, with one over 20 inches.

HYATT - The trout bite remains fair, with plenty of larger fish in the mix for trollers and still-fishers near the dam. One of the BLM boat ramps at the campground is closed while it is getting rebuilt. Most of the effort has been still-fishing in shallow water with PowerBait. Bass fishing is starting to get very good for those casting red lures and streamer flies. The limit is five trout a day with an 8-inch minimum, and only one can be 20 inches or over.

DIAMOND - The trout bite has been slow for Diamond, with anglers getting four or five trout per day as the rainbows remain gorged on hatching insects. Still-fishing is best with chartreuse or rainbow PowerBait or worms under bobbers. The south end near the pizza parlor and the west shores near the summer homes have been the hot spots. Anybody who catches one of the remaining tagged fish worth $100 each can turn the tag in at the Diamond Lake Resort to claim their prize. The limit is eight trout over 8 inches long, with only one allowed over 20 inches.

EXPO - Fishing is good for what remains of the 2,000 rainbow trout stocked there last month. The pond is accessible at Gate 5 for the Jackson County Expo Park off Peninger Road.

LOST CREEK - The lake received no new rainbow trout this week and is not scheduled for any more this summer. Holdovers from earlier stockings are getting caught regularly by anglers trolling near the dam or upstream of the Takelma ramp. Still-fishing is good with PowerBait. Bass fishing has picked up in the coves and near the dam, where anglers tossing salmonfly imitations are catching smallmouth bass. Others are catching smallmouth with crankbaits fished off points. The lake was down to almost 25 feet from full Thursday.

LAKE of the WOODS - Fishing is good for rainbows and brown trout along shorelines, especially at dusk.

FISH - The lake received another 3,000 legal-sized rainbows this week, and fishing for them is good near the Forest Service boat ramp and the marina. Fishing for stocked chinook salmon is good near the resort and the cove near the Forest Service boat ramp. Water conditions have improved, and the lake's clarity has returned. Trolling near the bank has been good with Triple Teasers and worms, and others working the deep channel have done well. The reservoir was listed Thursday at 81 percent of full, meaning it's starting to drop rather quickly.

WILLOW - Trolling Triple Teasers or Tasmanian Devils has been good for trout, especially in the morning and around dusk. Some 2-pounders stocked there recently have been caught off the bank with PowerBait.

ROGUE - The upper Rogue is producing a mix of good fall chinook salmon and early summer steelhead fishing, which has received a boost by the recycling of more than 700 excess steelhead from Cole Rivers Hatchery over the past week. The middle Rogue has been slow for springers and steelhead, while the lower Rogue has seen early trolling for fall chinook in the bay but not a whole lot of catching.

That keeps the best bet on the upper Rogue, where the game seems to change weekly. Water releases finally are dropping out of Lost Creek Lake, albeit small. Flows dropped 100 cubic-feet-per-second Thursday and are schedule to drop another 100 cfs today, topping off at 2,400 cfs. That should trigger an improved summer steelhead bite.

A total of 734 summer steelhead have been recycled down to Gold Hill, and these fish have been biting everywhere from below Gold Hill all the way up to TouVelle State Park. Look for the steelhead to migrate even more with the dropping water. Fishing for them has been best with plugs and spinners, largely because of flow conditions. Worms, plastic worms, eggs and other baits will become better choices when flows get under 2,000 cfs. But don't forget the spring chinook. Some very bright fish have been caught this past week by anglers back-bouncing roe or pulling Kwikfish plugs out of driftboats and jetboats.

Bank fishing remains steadily good Casey State Park, the Hatchery Hole and the Slide Hole for those casting beads and yarn. Multiple hook-up days are quite common. Boat anglers are doing best for hatchery chinook upstream of Shady Cove, with catches coming on plugs, back-bouncing roe and roe fished with divers from driftboats.

Those fishing below the old Gold Ray Dam site are finding a mix of hatchery and wild chinook. Wild chinook may now be kept downstream of Dodge Bridge, which has generated more interest in fishing the waters downstream of TouVelle State Park by driftboaters and powerboaters.

Fish primarily in migration lanes and on the inside of curves to improve your opportunities for hooking hatchery salmon instead of wild fish. Wild chinook can be kept only downstream of Dodge Bridge, while all wild steelhead must be released unharmed riverwide.

In the lower Rogue, a handful of anglers trolling the bay are catching 10 fish or fewer a day, but they are reporting some nice schools of fall chinook moving through. Summer steelhead and early halfpounder fishing is good around Lobster Creek and Quosatana Creek.

APPLEGATE - The river is open to trout fishing, but anglers cannot target steelhead. Resident trout and cutthroat trout are available but effort so far has been light.