Mail Tribune Fishing Report, Aug. 7, 2020
COASTWIDE: A gale warning is in effect from Friday afternoon through Monday evening, and that will put a damper on most offshore angling this weekend. Friday’s ocean forecast calls for 20-knot winds near Brookings, with 2-foot wind waves and a 3-foot swells with showers. That is followed Saturday by winds again around 20 knots but wind waves growing to 5 feet. Sunday’s forecast is for winds rising to 30 knots and wind waves increasing to 8 feet.
Rockfish catches have been good, and the general marine bag limit was increased from five fish in aggregate a day to seven fish for the rest of the year. Catches of black, blue and deacon rockfish are projected to fall short of this year’s quotas, which led to the relaxed limit, according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. However, anglers must release all copper, quillback and China rockfish when fishing from a boat.
The ocean chinook season out of Brookings and Gold Beach has been good when the weather cooperates. Anglers are now favoring anchovies over herring as bait. A lot of fish are being caught higher up in the water column, so some trollers have ditched downriggers in favor of divers to stay in the top 50 feet of water. Landings out of Brookings have been excellent; only spotty effort has occurred out of Gold Beach due largely to weather conditions.
Surfperch fishing has been very good off most beaches from Brookings to north of Gold Beach. Try casting Berkley Gulp sandshrimp, sand worms or prawns.
The recreational halibut season is open, and fishing has been good out of Brookings. Fish in water 200 to 250 feet deep, using big halibut jigs or dragging large herring.
Recreational crabbing is open coastwide.
All nonresident angling in Oregon is allowed, but out-of-staters are not allowed to clam other than the extreme north end of the state. Razor clamming off Clatsop County beaches is closed through Sept. 30. Razor clamming is open north of Cape Arago but is closed south to the California border. No minus tides will be around for clammers this next week.
Bay clamming is open on the south coast. Before digging, call the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474.
AGATE: The lake is down to 64% full, and the boat ramp is open. Look for some good early catches of bass and crappie on worms and small jigs off the face of the dam and in the willows. No gas motors are allowed. Electric trolling motors are OK. The park closes at dusk.
APPLEGATE: The lake received 15,000 legal-sized rainbow trout and 500 lunker trout last month. The ramps are open, with French Gulch and Copper the most popular right now. Fish for rainbows with PowerBait or worms from the bank or slowly troll Tasmanian Devil lures spiced with a piece of worm. The reservoir was 52 feet from full Thursday. Bass fishing on nice days has been fairly good with plastic worms and grubs fished slowly off the bottom along rocky points and flats.
DIAMOND: The boat ramps on the north and south ends are open. The lake has been fishing well, and water quality remains surprisingly good for mid-summer. Try worms under bobbers or corn-flavored PowerBait, and small leeches or woolly buggers for fly-fishermen. The midge hatch has ended, and mosquito levels are quite bearable. All brown trout and tiger trout must be released unharmed. Some tiger trout are eclipsing 20 inches.
EMIGRANT: The lake is down significantly this week to 32% full and dropping quickly. The boat ramps at the county park are open. Anglers have reported a very good bass bite, and 1,000 larger rainbows were stocked at the county ramp a month ago. No other trout stocking is planned this summer. Perch are biting in the willows up the Emigrant Arm.
EXPO: The pond was stocked in June with 1,000 legal-sized rainbows. Some of them were stocked in the amphitheater pond. Catch them on worms under bobbers and small spinners such as Panther Martins. Some bass and panfish are getting caught as well. Parking fees are required.
FISH: The lake received another complement of legal-sized rainbows early last month. Fish over underwater springs or troll along the banks. The resort ramp is open for launching with a fee. Still-fishers and bank anglers are doing well with worms or garlic-flavored PowerBait. All tiger trout must be released. The lake was listed Thursday at 42% full and dropping.
HOWARD PRAIRIE: The size restrictions and bag limits have been lifted for rainbow trout and bass in the lake, which is threatening to drain to the lowest level in its 62-year history. The marina, boat ramp and restaurant at the resort are closed. The campground is open. Some anglers are finding a few big rainbows working the edges with worms or PowerBait. Fishing is best in the morning and troublesome when the afternoon winds rise. The lake was down Thursday to 14% of capacity.
HYATT: The lake is 22% full and dropping, with a few anglers working the water around the dam for a mix of rainbows and bass on worms. All public boat ramps are closed.
LAKE OF THE WOODS: The resort is open, but services are not at full capacity because of COVID-19. Fishing is good for a mix of brown trout, perch and rainbow trout, mostly in the shallows during mornings and evenings. Some anglers are fishing off the bank near the resort.
LOST CREEK: The lake a month ago received 10,000 more legal-sized rainbows and 1,500 larger rainbows, however angling pressure has been light. The boat ramps at the marina and the Takelma day-use area are open. Wind-drifting worms above Peyton Bridge has been good. The lake was listed Thursday at almost 36 feet from full and dropping, even though outflows have held steady at 1,600 cfs.
WILLOW: Another 4,000 legal-sized rainbows and 1,500 lunker rainbows were stocked last month. Fish with worms and PowerBait or streamer flies near the county ramp and on the far side along the edges in the shade.
SELMAC: Fishing for bass is fair, and 1,000 legal-sized trout were stocked last month. Fish them with worms or PowerBait.
MEDCO: The pond is fishing fairly well for stocked rainbow trout on PowerBait or worms. It was stocked with 2,000 legal-sized trout last month. Worms and woolly bugger flies are working well.
ROGUE: The lower Rogue bay has been the hot ticket for the Rogue this week, producing the first consistent week of trolling for fall chinook in a year that has desperately sought some normalcy in the Rogue fishing world. Spring chinook and summer steelhead numbers remain far below average in the upper Rogue and the middle Rogue has been a veritable dead zone for catching anything but pikeminnow.
That keeps the best bet to the lower Rogue, simply because the fall chinook are showing up and they are big, bright beasts destined for the barbecue.
Trolling anchovies behind spinners, and occasionally an added flasher, has been good for early chinook in the bay, and that’s a welcome addition to what has been a slow year for salmon and steelhead on the Rogue. About 85 boats are fishing the bay, and the afternoon bite has been very good largely because of good tides/ Chartreuse or copper spinners are the current favorites. Catches should improve as the season continues.
In the upper Rogue, spring chinook and summer steelhead numbers remain low.
A lack of returning spring chinook to Cole Rivers Hatchery led fish managers to close the popular Hatchery Hole to bank fishing through the remainder of the season, which ends Friday night on the upper Rogue. However, chinook fishing remains open through August downstream of Dodge Bridge, and that’s where the lion’s share of driftboat traffic will be this coming month.
Counts Wednesday at Cole Rivers Hatchery show just 123 new chinook this week, bringing the total to 1,550. That’s terrible, far less than one-fourth of the 10-year running average for this time in the run. Downstream of Dodge Bridge, the river is open to keeping hatchery and wild chinook, but most wild spring chinook are already above Shady Cove at this time of the run.
Flows out of Lost Creek Lake are at 1,600 cfs this week amid slow spring chinook movement and cooler water.
For chinook, focus on migration lanes, with back-bouncing roe and sandshrimp or larger plugs wrapped with sardine fillets or tuna bellies the best bets.
Another 148 summer steelhead were captured this week at Cole Rivers Hatchery, inching the running count to 645 steelhead — the third-lowest count at this point of the run in the past decade.
Fish summer steelhead in the upper Rogue with everything from streamer flies and prince nymphs to MagLip 3.0 lures, worms and even pink plastic worms under bobbers. Focus on riffles where water oxygenation is best. Fly-fishers are doing OK on ugly bug droppers with prince nymph point flies or swinging large streamers at evening.
In Agness, bank angling for springers has been slow, but that’s predictable at these river flows.
APPLEGATE: The Applegate River is open for trout. Anglers can target rainbow trout and cutthroat, but not steelhead. Fishing should be decent, but try to steer clear of the steelhead and wild coho juveniles that now dominate the river. No hatchery rainbow trout are stocked in this system.
CHETCO: The Chetco is open. Look for some sea-run cutthroats in tidewater.