Fishing report for July 20, 2018
COASTWIDE: A gale warning is in effect through today, with 25-knot winds and 9-foot swells, easing Friday night to 15-knot winds and swells holding at 9 feet. Saturday sees winds backing down to 20 knots and wind waves hitting 7 feet. Sunday’s forecast calls for 15-knot winds and wind waves up to 6 feet.
The marine aggregate rockfish daily limit for bottomfishers has dropped from five fish to four for the remainder of 2018 or until further actions are taken. The cabezon limit is one per day, and that counts against the four-fish aggregate limit. Rockfish angling is now open only inside the 30-fathom line. A descending device to help release rockfish caught in deeper water is mandatory on all boats.
Lingcod fishing is very good when anglers can get out, particularly out of Brookings. Look for some good morning action through the weekend.
The ocean chinook salmon season is open, and catches along the Oregon Coast have been best out of Brookings. Brookings anglers through July 8 have logged 1,790 angler-trips to catch 273 chinook and release another 49 chinook for a catch rate of .15 per angler, just about at the statewide level. Work the water near the California border, trolling slowly 150 to 180 feet down with anchovies or sardines. The Southern Oregon coastal chinook season runs through Aug. 26.
Look for good surfperch fishing along the Southern Oregon Coast through the weekend, particularly near the mouths of rivers such as the Elk. Fish with Berkley Gulp sand worms or sandshrimp, as well as lug worms.
Commercial and recreational crabbing is open coastwide, but ocean and dock crabbing in the Charleston area have slowed.
Another set of decent minus morning tides begin early Wednesday and ramp up into the weekend. That bodes well for weekend clammers, but only a small area around Coos Bay is open in Southern Oregon for razor clams because of domoic acid levels. Bay clamming and the recreational harvest of mussels is open along the entire coast, but that can change quickly, so check the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474 before digging.
AGATE: Perch, bass and some crappie are dominating a light catch. Most of the action is on perch and bass near the submerged and partially flooded willows. Wind-drift worms with light weight or just a swivel, or cast small spinners or flies. The lake is dropping quickly and was listed Thursday at 59 percent full. No gas motors are allowed. Electric trolling motors are OK. The park closes at dusk.
APPLEGATE: The lake is down to almost 23 feet from full, down 4 feet from last week amid outflows of 275 cubic feet per second, so conditions are changing regularly at the upper end of the reservoir. The rainbow trout are well dispersed in the lake, but most of the action has been where Carberry Creek drops into the reservoir and deeper water near the dam and ouflow tower. Bass fishing is good for those casting crankbaits toward rocky points. Slow trolling of Flatfish or Wedding Ring lures could be good for trout, and still-fishing in the French Gulch cove with PowerBait should be good. The surface temperature was at 78 degrees earlier this week thanks to triple-digit temperatures.
DIAMOND: Trout fishing has slowed amid high water temperatures and a spreading algae bloom. Surface temperatures were at 75 degrees Thursday. Most of the action remains in the south end with worms under bobbers in about 15 feet of water. Find the leader depth to get the worm a little off the top of the weedline. Trollers should start with Wedding Ring lures spiked with a small piece of worm about 4 feet behind a small flasher. Still-fishers and fly-fishers working the south side, the shrimp beds and the old cheese hole have done OK this past week but certainly not as well as last month. Flyfishers can use chironomid flies stripped slowly in the bottom half of the water column. All tiger trout must be released unharmed, and they are showing up pretty strongly in the catch, particularly at the south end.
EMIGRANT: The lake is down to 47 percent full, dropping 5 percent in the past week. The lake was stocked last month with 1,000 rainbow trout at the county boat ramp. Expect to continue seeing light action around there. Bait fishers using PowerBait or worms under bobbers will do the most damage. Trollers should use Flatfish or Wedding Ring lures with worms, with or without dodgers. Bass fishing has been good with plastic worms or grubs fished slowly near submerged willows, and with crankbaits deep. Fish early morning or late evenings in this weekend’s heat. The county boat ramp is open during daylight hours.
EXPO: The pond action remains slow amid high water temperatures and no new trout since late May. Action is best with worms, PowerBait and small spinners. There is a $4 day-use parking fee off Gate 5.
FISH: The lake received another 2,500 legal-sized trout last week at the Forest Service ramp near the resort, and they likely will stick around in the cove through the weekend. Look for good fishing in the marina area and the cove near the Forest Service boat ramp. A 26-inch tiger trout was caught and released recently on a chub-looking lure. The lake dropped to 56 percent full this week, a 6-percent drop in the past week. Use streamer flies and small Rapala plugs that look like tui chubs. Also start focusing on the springs out in the lake.
HOWARD PRAIRIE: Fishing is decent for rainbow trout for still-fishers in deeper water near the dam with PowerBait, but warming water has the trout less active. Trollers are working the lake’s far-side channel with Wedding Ring or Tasmanian Devil lures spiced with small pieces of worm. The lake was stocked earlier this month with 7,500 legal-sized rainbows. The lake was listed Thursday at 50 percent full, down 2 percent from last week.
HYATT: The lake received another 7,450 legal-sized trout last month. BLM’s campground and Mountain View boat ramp are open. The lake is at 28 percent full, and boat access is limited to kayaks, canoes, driftboats launched off the shore or cartoppers that can be carried to the water. Trolling and still-fishing for trout have been very good near the dam, in the Orchard area and along the creek channel. Trollers should work the shorelines and the old creek channel.
LAKE OF THE WOODS: The lake is fishing decently for rainbows and perch with worms and PowerBait, while trolling Tasmanian Devils has been fair to good for trout. Brown trout and kokanee fishing have been slow.
LOST CREEK: Another 10,000 legal-sized rainbow trout and 1,500 larger trout were stocked a month ago, and that has helped keep fishing decent near the dam and well above Peyton Bridge, where the no-wake rules are being enforced. Most of the action, however, remains in the lower 20 percent of the lake. Fishing is best near the Takelma ramp, around the island and trolling the far portion of the dam’s face. The lake is down to more than 27 feet from full. Bank anglers using PowerBait at either side of the dam are faring well.
WILLOW: The lake was stocked earlier this month with 5,000 legal-sized rainbow trout and 1,500 larger trout. Evening trout fishing has been best, while bass fishing is good early in the day.
ROGUE: Chinook salmon fishing has slowed on the upper Rogue amid lower and warmer water, while catches have been near to nothing for steelhead and chinook in the middle Rogue, while the lower Rogue is heating up for fall chinook for trollers in the bay.
That keeps the best bet on the lower Rogue, where anglers are consistently running into fresh fall chinook and the fish are starting to get bigger, as well. That ought to continue this weekend as hot weather and warming water will mean fish won’t be moving out of the bay any time soon. Troll anchovies with Rogue bait rigs; a variety of colors have been working, with green-on-green and chartreuse-and-green some of the better bets.
In the upper Rogue, water releases of 1,600 cfs out of Lost Creek dam have not helped to get chinook on the move.
Cole Rivers Hatchery technicians collected another 95 new spring chinook and 43 recycled chinook this week at the hatchery collection pond, the worst week since June. That inches the count up to 3,474 so far this year — the best in three years but still below the 10-year running average of 5,179 springers. The run is usually about two-thirds over to Cole Rivers Hatchery by this time in the run. No new steelhead or chinook were recycled this past week.
Bank anglers are doing fair on spring chinook early in the morning at the Hatchery Hole, while driftboaters are doing best upstream of Shady Cove, but more people are focusing on runs above and below TouVelle State Recreation Site. Fish by back-bouncing roe and sandshrimp combinations or use MagLip 3.5 or 3.0 plugs scented, but don’t abandon the smaller Kwikfish wrapped with sardines.
Another 108 summer steelhead showed up at the hatchery this week. The 645 fish counted so far is well ahead of the 10-year running average of 488. Summer steelhead will hit most everything, and they range from under 20 inches to 12 pounds. Late-run or spawned-out winter steelhead should be released. All wild steelhead must be released unharmed river-wide for the remainder of the year.
Flows at Dodge Bridge Thursday were at 1,647 cfs. Flows at the old Gold Ray Dam site were at 1,673 cfs Thursday.
In the middle Rogue, bank anglers are pounding either Hayes Falls or Rainie Falls or heading upriver. A few summer steelhead have been caught by worm fishermen and fly-fishermen. The flow Thursday at Grants Pass was a very skinny 1,441 cfs and dropping.
In the far upper Rogue, trout are stocked weekly at places such as Union Creek Campground, and fishing for them is consistently good with worms and single salmon eggs.
APPLEGATE: The river is open to rainbow trout fishing, and only hatchery trout can be kept. Don’t expect to find them, however, because only fin-clipped winter steelhead are released there, and they are small and should be avoided. All cutthroat must be released. Any rainbow trout over 16 inches is considered a steelhead, and the river is closed to steelhead fishing until Jan. 1.
CHETCO: The river is open to trout angling, and sea-run cutthroat trout should be present in the lower river and estuary.