Fishing Report: Nov. 22, 2013
COASTWIDE - Forecasts call for winds up to 15 knots and 4-foot wind waves today, then calmer waters through the weekend, which could entice those uninterested in river fishing to hit the near-shore reefs for black rockfish and lingcod.
For clammers, no good minus tides are forecast for this week. Mussel harvest is closed from Cape Arago south to the California border, while razor clam digging is open along the entire coast.
Chinook salmon fishing is allowed in the ocean off the Elk and Sixes river mouths through November, but few take advantage of the season because of tough access out of Port Orford and unpredictable seas.
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 is 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 has slowed a bit in the Coquille and Coos Bay following this week's rains, which pushed the crabs lower in the estuaries.
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 looks promising for hitting near-shore reefs. The halibut season is closed.
GOLD BEACH - The bay fishery is all but gone, with the occasional fall chinook caught near the mouth of Indian Creek. Coho fishing is slow. All wild coho must be released unharmed.
AGATE - The lake was stocked recently with legal-sized and larger rainbow trout, and anglers fishing on nice days are catching them by wind-drifting worms or casting spinners. 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. No gas motors are allowed. Small electric motors are legal.
APPLEGATE - The lake's boat ramps are open, but angler interest has been lagging. Banks are muddy and steep, so most action is by trollers working points and coves. Bass fishing is slow.
DIAMOND - Late-season fishing has been fair between heavy wind days and even occasional snow. Fishing has been best at the south and west ends of the lake, with rainbows more prevalent near creek mouths. 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 longer than 8 inches, but only one can be longer than 20 inches.
EMIGRANT - Bass fishing has been fair on warm afternoons, but there remains very little fishing activity. Trout fishing is slow. Try small spinners, worms and streamer flies. The lake is holding steady at 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.
FISH - Fishing for rainbow trout has been very good on nice days recently. The Forest Service boat ramp is open, and the lake continues to rise. It is now at 36 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, but they must be released unharmed. Some larger chinook salmon are also showing up in the catch. They are part of the legal trout limit.
HOWARD PRAIRIE - The lake is closed.
HYATT - The lake is closed.
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. Most anglers are shying away from the lake, but a few trollers are catching trout near the dam and directly across from the marina. The lake is back down to almost 2 foot below the regular low-water elevation of 1,812 feet above sea level, and the surface temperature has plummeted to 50 degrees. Look for that to continue dropping, but slower.
WILLOW - Trolling for trout has been good after last month's stocking of legal-sized and larger rainbow trout from the boat ramp. Still-fishing is good with worms or PowerBait.
ROGUE - The upper Rogue River had a little flurry of summer steelhead and coho salmon catches this week as rains finally shook the system a bit. The middle Rogue is spotty for steelhead and coho, with few anglers targeting the coho moving through. The lower Rogue is fair for steelhead and halfpounders in the Agness area and slow for chinook from the Lower Rogue Canyon on down.
That keeps the best bet on the upper Rogue, but your choice of tactics will dictate where you should fish.
Upstream of the Shady Cove boat ramp is open to the use of bait, and that has most anglers there steelhead fishing with small clusters of roe or side-drifting scented yarn balls. Fishing is a bit crowded, so it's best if you're in one of the first few driftboats to drift through a steelhead riffle.
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.
Some plug action has worked well in this stretch, too, with crayfish and smaller Kwikfish patterns working best. The trick for driftboaters is to be the first or second boat through the run. Those fishing later in the day are faring poorer than early anglers.
A few coho are getting caught at places such as the mouth of Bear Creek, Casey State Park and the Sand Bottom Hole.
Flows have finally bumped up a hair thanks to the rain. Flows at Dodge Bridge were at 1,504 cubic feet per second Thursday afternoon, the first time it's gone over 1,500 cfs since August. Flows were at 1,970 cfs at the old Gold Ray Dam site. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, however, plans to hold its releases at 1,150 cfs into next week because Lost Creek Lake is nearly 2 feet shy of its normal winter low-water level.
Steelhead migration, however, remains slow. Cole Rivers Hatchery workers pulled one steelhead from the collection pond this week, along with 238 coho.
All wild steelhead and wild coho 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 an occasional summer steelhead, but action is light. Start targeting fish around spawning tributaries, but the vast majority of steelhead caught in the middle Rogue will be wild and must be released.
The Agness area has slowed again after the schools of coho moved through. A hodgepodge of halfpounders and adult summer steelhead are in most riffles and tailouts, where they can be caught side-drifting worms or swinging flies. Crayfish lures are deadly in the Agness area as long as the water levels remain low.
The lower Rogue bay still has a few holdouts casting Blue Fox spinners, and some anglers continue to target the few lingering Indian Creek-bound chinook salmon, even though they're getting pretty dark.
CHETCO - After this week's rains drew in nice schools of chinook, fishing has been solid as the water starts to drop. Flows were dropping steadily Thursday, and the chinook likely could stop migrating this weekend and hunker down in various holes and deeper runs. Some of the chinook already are dark and a few steelhead are getting caught daily. Fish eggs under bobbers in slow holes and eddies and Kwikfish in the deeper runs. Anglers are allowed to keep only one wild chinook a day as a conservation measure as part of the two-chinook daily limit.
ELK - Good high-water conditions earlier this week drew in good schools of fish that are now present throughout the river. Water levels were good and had a nice emerald-green color Thursday, but look for fishing for fall chinook to taper off as bluebird days continue.
SIXES - The river was dropping and clearing into excellent shape for this weekend's fall chinook salmon fishers, who will find fresh chinook in most Sixes holes. Back-bouncing eggs and Kwikfish will both produce fish, as will streamer flies.
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.
COQUILLE - Trolling large spinners for fall chinook was good upstream of the city of Coquille this past week, but more of the fish are becoming dark.