Fishing Report: Nov. 1, 2013
COASTWIDE - Forecasts call for winds up to 15 knots and seas of 4 feet or less today, but swells of 11 feet on Saturday and 8 feet are predicted for Sunday. That should keep bottomfishers inside most larger estuaries.
The offshore salmon season off Brookings is closed until next year.
For clammers, a nighttime negative tide series begins on Nov. 2. 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 halibut season on the South Coast ended Thursday evening.
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.
Bay crabbing success will depend largely on whether rains forecast for Saturday and Sunday add heavy freshwater levels to estuaries such as Coos and Winchester bays. If not, look for excellent crabbing throughout the bays. As the freshwater levels rise, the Dungeness will be pushed lower in the bays and out to sea.
BROOKINGS - Ocean salmon fishing is closed. Jigging for black and blue rockfish as well as lingcod has been good when anglers have been able to sneak outside of the estuary. This weekend doesn't look like one of them.
GOLD BEACH - The bay fishery is down to a dozen boats or fewer each day, with those focusing on Indian Creek-bound chinook that are starting to turn a bit dark. They continue to stage off the creek mouth, and catches have been decent this week by boat and bank anglers there. All wild coho must be released unharmed.
AGATE - The lake was stocked last week with legal-sized and larger rainbow trout, boosting what had been a languishing fishery. Worms or PowerBait are best. Trolling for the fresh planters is slow. 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 12 percent full. No gas motors are allowed. Small electric motors are legal.
APPLEGATE - The lake's boat ramps are open, and angler interest has been lagging. Banks are muddy and steep, so most action is by trollers working points and coves.
DIAMOND - Late-season fishing has picked up a bit thanks to cooling water and lighter insect hatches that have the trout more interested in alternative food. Fishing has been best at the south and west ends of the lake. Most of the rainbows are 12 to 16 inches long, and last year's fingerlings are longer than 10 inches. 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, and afternoons have been decent for bass and perch. Trout fishing is slow. Try small spinners, worms and streamer flies. The lake is 24 percent full, which is the normal low pool. Trout are holding off the mouth of Emigrant Creek and can be caught there on worms and woolly bugger flies.
A standing public-health advisory continues about eating all but trout from the lake because of elevated mercury levels.
EXPO - Fishing for stocked trout has improved with the recent influx of legal-sized trout. Fish them with worms, small spinners or streamer flies. Crappie and bluegill can be caught on 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. The lake is 30 percent full. The resort is closed. 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 lake closed Thursday evening for the season.
HYATT - The lake closed Thursday evening for the season.
LEMOLO - Lemolo is open through Dec. 31 with a daily limit of five trout. From Nov. 1 through Dec. 31, all brown trout must be released. People are catching 13- to 15-inch kokanee, with some up to 20 inches, by trolling deeper water with a small spoon and single hook. The boat ramps are open at East Lemolo and Poole Creek Campgrounds.
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 up to about 3 feet above its normal fall low-water elevation of 1,812 feet above sea level, and the surface temperature is 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 - The summer steelhead fishing rules shift dramatically beginning today on the upper Rogue, and that will bring bait anglers back in force upstream of Shady Cove. The middle Rogue remains steady but not too impressive for summer steelhead, with fish staging off creek mouths and behind chinook salmon redds. The Agness area has dropped off for steelhead and salmon, while the lower Rogue Bay is producing a few chinook daily for the handful of anglers still after them there.
That keeps the best bet on the upper Rogue, but along different stretches based on your taste for tactics.
Upstream of the Shady Cove boat ramp is more or less a free-for-all beginning today as anglers can put away the fly rods and cast pretty much anything for summer steelhead. Small egg clusters, molded plastic eggs and yarn balls will be the most common baits in that stretch, but plugs and worms also will get some interest.
Downstream of the Shady Cove ramp, anglers are relegated to artificial flies and lures only, with plugs, egg flies and most plastic eggs popular now. Anglers can side-drift egg flies, and that will dominate the action down to Fishers Ferry. Downstream of Fishers Ferry, bait is legal for summer steelhead.
Only 12 new summer steelhead reached Cole Rivers Hatchery this past week, and look for that to change finally if this weekend's rains materialize as forecast.
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.
All wild steelhead must be released unharmed riverwide.
In the middle Rogue, steelheaders are using a mix of flies, bait, Panther Martin lures and crayfish plugs to catch summer steelhead, but many are switching to egg flies now. That will help fly-fishing for summer steelhead at tailouts and the heads of pools, primarily at dusk. Lots of side-drifting of egg flies by spin anglers in driftboats as well.
The lower Rogue bay still has its holdouts targeting the Indian Creek-bound chinook salmon, which are starting to get a bit dark. They're all biting anchovies for trollers and Blue Fox spinners for bank anglers.
In the Agness area, fishing for halfpounders and adult steelhead has tapered off, and the coho schools have moved through and are in the Lower Rogue Canyon. Catch halfpounders and adults on everything from streamer flies to fake egg clusters, crayfish plugs and Panther Martin lures.
CHETCO - The water above tidewater opens to fishing Saturday, but anglers are allowed to keep only one wild chinook a day as a conservation measure as part of the two-chinook daily limit. Water flows are very low, but this weekend's rains could swell the river and get chinook moving into freshwater.
WINCHUCK - The river opens for chinook fishing Saturday with the same restrictions as the Chetco.
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.