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Mail Tribune Fishing Report, Sept. 11, 2020


COASTWIDE: Winds up to 5 knots with swells of 2 feet are expected Friday, followed Saturday by winds of 5 knots and swells at 2 feet or less. Sunday’s forecast calls for more of the same. Expect smoky conditions and check for updated road closures on Highway 199 before heading to the coast.

Rockfish catches have been good when anglers can get out, 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. However, anglers must release all copper, quillback and China rockfish when fishing from a boat.

Boat anglers must release all the cabezon through the remainder of the year, but bank anglers can keep cabezon under a shore-based quota.

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 chunks of herring, squid and salmon as bait. The catches of California halibut has evaporated thanks to cooling water.

Tuna are 40-plus miles off Southern Oregon now.

Recreational crabbing is open coastwide.

All nonresident angling in Oregon is allowed, but out-of-staters are not allowed to clam other than at the extreme north end of the state. Razor clamming off Clatsop County beaches is closed through Sept. 30. Razor clamming for residents is open north of Cape Arago but is closed south to the California border. No minus tides are forecast this week.

Bay clamming is open on the south coast. Before digging, call the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474.


AGATE: The lake is 23% 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 in July, and that’s been it. The Hart Tish Park boat ramp and dock are closed, but French Gulch and Copper are open. Fish for rainbows with PowerBait or worms from the bank or slowly troll Tasmanian Devil lures spiced with a piece of worm. Bass fishing on nice days has been fairly good with plastic worms and grubs fished slowly off the bottom along rocky points and flats. However, poor access has made for little angling interest. The reservoir was 68 feet from full Thursday.

DIAMOND: The boat ramps on the north and south ends are open. The lake has been fishing fairly well, but an algae bloom has hit the south end. Try worms under bobbers or corn-flavored PowerBait, and small leeches or woolly buggers for fly-fishers. All brown trout and tiger trout must be released unharmed. Some tiger trout are eclipsing 20 inches.

EMIGRANT: The lake is 8% full and dropping quickly. The county boat ramps are not viable options now. A few anglers have reported a very good bass bite. No trout stocking is planned for the rest of the summer.

EXPO: The pond hasn’t been stocked with trout since June. Some bass and panfish are getting caught. Parking fees are required.

FISH: The lake received some 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 13% full.

HOWARD PRAIRIE: Size restrictions and bag limits were eliminated for rainbow trout and bass in the lake, which was down to 8% of capacity Thursday. The marina, boat ramp and restaurant at the resort are closed. The campground is open. Some anglers were 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.

HYATT: The lake is 19% full and dropping very quickly, 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. The resort is very crowded on weekends. 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 in July 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 about 1 foot short of normal bottom pool and still dropping. Outflows have dropped to 1,700 cfs, with inflows down below 900 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 was fishing fairly well for stocked rainbow trout on PowerBait or worms.


ROGUE: The lower Rogue bay has slowed for fall chinook but the lower river has picked up for adult summer steelhead and halfpounders, while the middle Rogue finally has improved for fall chinook in the Taylor Creek Canyon area. The upper Rogue has been slow for steelhead in the flies-only season, and chinook in the upper Rogue are over.

That keeps the lower Rogue the best bet, if you can get there. Fires have closed Highway 199 periodically the past two days and chances of that improving quickly appear low.

Some fair catch days amid somewhat crowded conditions occurred this week, and that has thinned out the crowd. Most of the catches have come by trolling anchovies, but a lack of summer dredging in the bay means all the fish and all the anglers are huddling along the lower end of the north jetty. Outgoing tides have been best.

A high percentage of fish are in the 30-plus-pound range. Chartreuse or copper spinners are the current favorites in front of anchovies. Catches should improve as the season continues.

Flows out of Lost Creek Lake were dropped this week to 1,700 cfs. Fish summer steelhead in the upper Rogue with streamers, egg patterns and prince nymphs. No bait or lures allowed. No added weights or attachments other than floats.

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 cutthroat in tidewater. No chinook are showing up in the bay.

Jamie Lusch / Mail Tribune An American shad is netted on the Umpqua River at the The Big K Guest Ranch near Elkton.