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Fishing Report: Oct. 18, 2013

COASTWIDE - Forecasts call for winds up to 10 knots and seas of 4 feet or less today and Saturday, but 20-knot winds and 7-foot seas Sunday as anglers look for a last shot at bottomfishing before the seasonal rough seas settle in.

The restriction on bottomfishing inside the 30-fathom line for everything but tuna is over for the rest of the year, but there is not too much deep-water fall fishing to matter much.

The offshore salmon season off Brookings is closed until next year. Tuna fishers have stopped running out far now that cooler water conditions have settled in.

Chinook fishing is open through October from Cape Falcon south to Humbug Mountain near Port Orford, and catches have been light. The best catches so far have been off Tillamook Bay, where the catch rate this past week was close to 0.4 chinook per angler.

Shellfishers will not get any morning minus tides they can take advantage of this week. However, there are some decent evening minus tides around dusk today and Saturday.

Mussel harvest is closed from the California border north to the Yachats River in Lincoln City, while razor clam digging is open along the entire coast.

The only halibut fishing across the vast majority of Oregon is south of Humbug Mountain, where activity has been somewhat light. That season, which has no mid-season quota, is set to close Oct. 31.

The marine aggregate limit in Oregon is seven rockfish a day. The cabezon season has been extended because close to half of the quota went unfilled in the regular season, which was supposed to close Sept. 30. The limit remains one per day at least 15 inches long, and it counts against the seven-fish marine aggregate limit. The lingcod limit is two a day with a 22-inch minimum, and that is separate from the marine aggregate.

It is likely to be another very good weekend for bay crabbing thanks to lighter winds and low freshwater content in the bays. That should spread the Dungeness out, particularly in Coos and Winchester bays.

BROOKINGS - Ocean salmon fishing is closed. Jigging for black and blue rockfish as well as lingcod has been very good when anglers have been able to sneak outside of the estuary. Anglers should release large female lingcod to help recruitment.

Surfperch fishing has been on-again, off-again at Winchuck Beach depending on the winds. When the winds die down, catch them on bright streamer flies, clam necks, mussels or plastic, imitation crayfish.

GOLD BEACH - A good mix of chinook and coho salmon are in the bay and creating a very nice late-season fishery for those trolling anchovies with spinner blades. A good slug of Indian Creek-bound chinook are staging off the creek mouth, and catches have been decent this week. Chinook catches are slightly outnumbering coho catches in the bay, and about three-fourths of the coho catch are wild fish that must be released unharmed. Surfperch fishing has fallen off from the sand spit off the bay's south jetty. Bottomfishing for black rockfish and lingcod remains very good outside of Gold Beach when anglers can get out, which might be possible this weekend.

AGATE - Fishing for largemouth bass and crappie has been slow. Pink or white crappie jigs have worked OK for crappie, as have small black flies cast and stripped near submerged willows. A few bass are biting plastic worms and grubs. The lake is 13 percent full. No gas motors are allowed. Small electric motors are legal.

APPLEGATE - The lake's boat ramps are open, and anglers will be back on the lake this weekend in search of trout and bass.

DIAMOND - Late-season fishing has picked up a bit, with the trout pretty well distributed. Fishing has been best at the south and west ends of the lake. Fly-fishing has been good on chironomids and woolly buggers. Most of the rainbows are 12 to 16 inches long, and last year's fingerlings are 10 inches or more. The limit is eight trout per day over 8 inches, but only one can be more than 20 inches.

EMIGRANT - Bass fishing has been fair amid colder weather conditions. Trout fishing is slow. Try small spinners, worms and streamer flies. The lake is hovering at 24 percent full. Trout are holding off the mouth of Emigrant Creek and can be caught there on worms and woolly bugger flies.

EXPO - Fishing for stocked trout is poor. A few crappie and bluegill are getting caught by anglers using worms under bobbers. A few large bass have been caught recently.

FISH - Fishing for rainbow trout is good despite little fishing pressure. The Forest Service boat ramp is open and usable for smaller boats to launch now that the lake has risen slightly to 27 percent full. Trolling Wedding Ring lures spiced with a piece of worm behind a Ford Fender has worked well, as have Little Cleo's. Some of last year's tiger trout are as long as 12 inches now, but they must be released unharmed.

HOWARD PRAIRIE - The resort boat ramp is open, as are the ramps at county campgrounds. Anchoring in deep water and fishing PowerBait has been best, while trollers have worked the middle of the lake with some success. Bass fishing has slowed as cooler weather has sunk in. The lake is at 56 percent of full with two weeks of fishing to go.

HYATT - The BLM boat ramps are open now that the federal shutdown is over. The lake was stocked last week with legal-sized trout. The lake jumped up slightly to 57 percent of full.

LOST CREEK - The lake remains under a voluntary advisory against water contact because of blue-green algae. Smallmouth bass were hitting plastic worms and crankbaits off rocky points this week, primarily in the mornings and evenings off points. The lake is back up to about 3 feet above its normal fall low-water elevation of 1,812 feet above sea level, and the surface temperature has fallen to 56 degrees. Look for that to continue dropping.

WILLOW - Trolling for trout has been very good after last week's stocking of legal-sized and larger rainbow trout from the boat ramp. Still-fishing is good with worms or PowerBait.

ROGUE - Summer steelhead fishing has picked up in the middle Rogue and is consistently good on the upper Rogue as steelhead are really keying in on the eggs of spawning chinook salmon. The Agness area is awash with coho and adult steelhead, while the lower Rogue bay has remained better than average for chinook and coho despite it being somewhat late in the season.

That keeps the best bet on the upper Rogue, but only because it's closer than the bay.

Flows out of Lost Creek Lake have hovered around 1,150 cubic feet per second this week, and they are scheduled to remain at that level into next week. The releases are now at 45 degrees, which means anglers need to divest themselves of streamers in favor of egg patterns fished behind spawning chinook. Remember not to wade into the redds; just carefully move around them.

Only 14 new summer steelhead reached Cole Rivers Hatchery this past week, and look for that to run pretty steady for the next few weeks. That has fewer anglers targeting the Hatchery Hole.

The steelhead now are mostly congregated in tailouts behind spawning salmon, sometimes in very shallow water. Catches are best on overcast days or late in the evening.

The flies-only rules stay in effect through October in the upper Rogue, which is defined as water upstream of the Fishers Ferry boat ramp.

All wild steelhead must be released unharmed riverwide.

In the middle Rogue, steelheaders are using a mix of flies, bait and crayfish plugs to catch summer steelhead, but many are switching to egg flies now that the fall chinook are really starting to get on their spawning grounds. That will help fly-fishing for summer steelhead at tailouts and the heads of pools, primarily at dusk.

The lower Rogue bay has continued to see good catches of chinook and coho, with chinook slightly outnumbering coho in the catch. They're all biting anchovies, with the overall bite holding very well for mid-October. About 75 percent of the coho are wild and should be released unharmed.

The Indian Creek fish have started to show up in force, with catches good from the bank and boats around the creek mouth. Cast Blue Fox spinners or Rooster Tails there. In the Agness area, fishing for halfpounders and adult steelhead has been good in the mornings and evenings. Catch the halfpounders and adults on everything from streamer flies to fake egg clusters, crayfish plugs and Panther Martin lures. A few large pods of coho have been moving through the Agness area, with catches best on red spinners from Foster Bar down to Quosatana Creek.

APPLEGATE - The river is open for trout fishing. All wild rainbow and cutthroat trout must be released unharmed. It is illegal to target steelhead when they reach the river during trout season.