COASTWIDE: A small-craft advisory is in effect through Saturday afternoon, and things generally don’t look promising through the weekend. Friday’s forecast calls for winds up to 15 knots and swells up to 16 feet and rain. Saturday’s forecast is only a tad better, with winds down to 5 knots and swells down to 13 feet. Sunday’s forecast is for winds up to 10 knots and swells up to 12 feet.
Rockfish anglers don’t have to stay within the 30-fathom line for the remainder of the year, and that means halibut anglers can keep limits of bottomfish during the same trip, though that’s not likely to matter this weekend.
The marine aggregate rockfish daily limit for bottomfishers is five fish. Cabezon has closed for boat-based anglers, and boat anglers have to release copper, quillback and China rockfish. Shore anglers can still keep cabezon because they have a separate poundage quota. A descending device to help release rockfish caught in deeper water is mandatory on all boats.
Surfperch fishing would be tough going through the heavy surf this weekend. When conditions settle down, try casting Berkley Gulp sandshrimp, sand worms or prawns.
Recreational crabbing is open coastwide, including the ocean. Dungeness catches have been good in Coos Bay and the Umpqua River estuary at Winchester Bay.
Evening minus tides continue through Tuesday, but they are too late to take advantage of for clammers, who should not be working the beaches at night during winter. Razor clamming and bay clamming are open along the south coast. Mussel harvest is closed from the Coquille River to the California border because marine biotoxin levels are high. Before digging, call the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474.
AGATE: The lake is stuck at 11 percent full and is getting little interest from anglers. The water is cold for crappie, bass and perch fishing. The ramp is open. No gas motors are allowed. Electric trolling motors are OK. The park closes at dusk.
APPLEGATE: The lake was down to more than 121 feet below full Wednesday and is finally rising from recent rains, but not by much. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has kept the reservoir’s outflow to 115 cubic feet per second. Muddy banks continue to discourage anglers. Bank anglers should try off points. Few are trolling the lake of late, but those wanting to try should launch at the low-water French Gulch ramp. No fresh fish have been stocked since mid-summer. Troll Wedding Ring lures spiced with a piece of worm or a worm behind a flasher. Bass fishing is very slow. The surface temperature is dropping. Hart-Tish Park is closed.
DIAMOND: The lake was ice-free Thursday but snow was accumulating. The north ramp was open and accessible Thursday. Most of the action has been in 20 feet of water. Trolling should be decent for those using Wedding Ring lures spiced with a piece of worm and flashers. Still-fishing is best with worms or PowerBait in chartreuse, rainbow and even corn-flavored dough. That’s mostly on the south end when the wind cooperates. Fly-fishers are using woolly buggers and chironomids fished with intermediate or sinking lines and stripped short but fast. All brown trout and tiger trout must be released unharmed, and some of them are now eclipsing 20 inches.
EMIGRANT: The lake is up a hair to 27 percent full, with barely enough water to launch at the low-water ramp at the county park. Largemouth bass fishing is decent on sunny days for those working the points with plastic worms. Smallmouth bass are on the gravel flats. Perch fishing is fair. Rainbow trout fishing is nonexistent.
EXPO: The pond last received trout in June. Some bass and panfish are getting caught, but effort is light. Parking fees are required.
FISH: Rainbow trout are congregating around springs in the lake bed, and water surface temperatures are dropping. Fishing has been good midday as the water warms a bit from the sun. The lake received another 900 trophy trout two weeks ago. The lake was up to 34 percent full this week, inching up from spring water and a little runoff. Launch inflatables and other small boats around the resort, but not at the Forest Service ramp because of mud. Still-fishing with worms or PowerBait is best near springs. All tiger trout must be released.
HOWARD PRAIRIE: The marina and boat ramp at the resort are closed for the season due to low water, and the restaurant is closed. The lake is down a hair to 31 percent full. No ramps are usable, so bank fishing or launching smaller boats like kayaks or pontoon boats off the bank are the only options.
HYATT: The lake is seeing little interest from anglers. Some canoes, kayaks and cartoppers are launching off the bank to find decent rainbow trout fishing in the canal and near the dam. Lots of small bass are in the mix. The lake was listed Thursday at 36 percent full.
LAKE OF THE WOODS: Fishing is fair for a mix of brown trout, rainbow trout and perch. Worms and PowerBait are working best. The lake was last stocked in June.
LOST CREEK: Fishing effort has been light, with no new fish set to be stocked for the remainder of the year. Boat anglers are trolling Wedding Ring lures spiced with a worm, and some are using small flashers. Fishing single eggs or small chunks of worm is good where the Rogue flows into the reservoir. The area upstream of Peyton Bridge is a no-wake zone. Outflows this week were holding steady at 1,150 cfs. The lake is holding at 8 feet below the normal fall low pool during the current flood-control season.
WILLOW: No new fish are due to be stocked this calendar year. Fish them with worms and PowerBait or streamer flies. Fishing for them has been good.
SELMAC: Fishing for bass is fair. The lake has been hampered by an algae bloom.
MEDCO: Trout fishing is slow.
ROGUE: Bait and plug fishing has improved slightly in the upper Rogue as rain put a little color and warmth to the river, while the rest of the upper Rogue remains decent for summer steelhead amid very low water conditions. The Agness area is slow for steelhead and halfpounders, and the middle Rogue has been fair for summer steelhead, but most have been wild fish that must be released unharmed.
That keeps the upper Rogue upstream of the Shady Cove boat ramp as the best bet, because bait and artificial lures are allowed there.
Most of the action will be from the Cole Rivers Hatchery boat ramp down to Shady Cove, and the best action will be for those side-drifting eggs, scented soft eggs or scented yarn balls. Plugs should also do well on longer runs. The water is extremely cold, so it’s bankers hours on the water.
Below the Shady Cove ramp remains closed to bait but is open for artificial lures such as molded plastic eggs. Mag Lip 3.0s and 3.5s should be the go-to plugs. For those still fly-fishing, Ugly Bug droppers and single-egg flies or single rubber eggs are good bets. And don’t sleep on the prince nymph. It’s always a great point fly.
Steelhead are pretty well spread out and moving a little more now that the river is warming ever so slightly. Another 63 summer steelhead and 40 coho salmon moved into the Cole Rivers Hatchery collection pond as of Tuesday, and at least another 50 fish have entered since then. Not bad, considering the cold weather and late-season timing.
Flows out of Lost Creek Lake have held steady at 1,150 cfs, and river flows have held pretty steady, as well. Flows Wednesday at Dodge Bridge were up significantly to 1,449 cfs, and 1,717 cfs at the old Gold Ray Dam site. Both are forecast to bump up a bit this weekend. The water released from Lost Creek Lake will be as cold as possible through March to help incubating wild spring chinook salmon eggs laid in the mainstem Rogue.
Chinook fishing is closed upstream of the Hog Creek boat ramp.
Summer steelhead fishing has been fair to good from Grants Pass upriver to Gold Hill, and from Robertson Bridge downriver to Grave Creek. Fish with worms or Panther Martin lures or streamer flies. Fly-fishing has been slow. Flows at Grants Pass were a skinny 1,641 cfs Thursday.
APPLEGATE: The river is closed to all angling until Jan. 1.
CHETCO: The low-water closure of all angling upstream of river mile 2.2 is over, as is the fall chinook season. Flows were at 4,910 cfs and rising slightly today, leveling off Saturday but not dropping much. Most anglers quickly switched from fall chinook to winter steelhead earlier this week. Side-drift roe until the river drops and clears enough for good plug fishing.
ILLINOIS: The angling closure between Pomeroy Dam and the Eight Dollar Bridge (also known as the Green Bridge) has ended now that fall chinook salmon have spawned.