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Mail Tribune Fishing Report, Sept. 25, 2020

OCEAN OUTLOOK

COASTWIDE: A small-craft advisory is in effect through Friday evening. Winds are expected to rise to 15 knots by Friday afternoon, with swells up to 14 feet. Saturday’s forecast calls for conditions to calm somewhat, with winds dropping to 5 knots but swells still rolling in as high as 9 feet. Look for more change Sunday, with winds up to 25 knots by the afternoon and swells up to 7 feet.

Highway 199 is now open for trips to and from the South Coast from the Rogue Valley.

Rockfish catches have been good when anglers can get out. 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 cabezon through the remainder of the year, but bank anglers can keep cabezon under a separate shore-based quota.

Surfperch fishing has been decent but is starting to tail off at 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.

Tuna are reported to be 40-plus miles off Southern Oregon.

Recreational crabbing is open coastwide.

All nonresident angling in Oregon is allowed, but out-of-staters will be allowed to catch crabs and clams Oct. 7 when the current emergency closure for COVID-19 expires. Razor clamming off Clatsop County beaches reopens Thursday and collecting should be excellent. Until then, razor clamming for residents is open north of Cape Arago but is closed south to the California border.

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

LAKE OUTLOOK

AGATE: The lake is holding at 14% full. Fishing activity is nearly nonexistent. 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. 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 75.5 feet from full Thursday.

DIAMOND: The lake and resort area are no longer closed because of fire activity in the area, but no report of open resources at the resort was available Thursday. The area remains under a Level 2 evacuation.

EMIGRANT: The lake is 3% full and of no real use to boaters and anglers. The county boat ramps are not viable options now. No trout stocking is planned until spring.

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 9% full and still dropping.

HOWARD PRAIRIE: Access to the area is closed due to wildfires.

HYATT: Access to the lake is closed due to wildfires.

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. Highway 140 has remained open despite wildfire closures. 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 16 feet below the normal bottom pool and still dropping. Outflows have stabilized to 1,100 cfs, with inflows down below 900 cfs.

WILLOW: Access to the lake has been closed due to wildfires.

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.

RIVER OUTLOOK

ROGUE: The lower Rogue bay has seen a decent mix of fall chinook and coho before Wednesday’s rains slowed the bite, while the middle Rogue continues to see some very good fall chinook fishing heading into the season shutdown Wednesday night. The upper Rogue is slow for summer steelhead during the current flies-only show.

That keeps the best bet on the middle Rogue, which last week turned on to some of the better fall chinook fishing seen in years. Most of the action is in Taylor Creek Canyon, but there are fish consistently from the mouth of the Applegate River on down. MagLip lures are best, with back-bouncing roe and sandshrimp also very good. Many of the fish are surprisingly bright and several have been in the 30-pound class. The season closes Wednesday evening upstream of the Hog Creek boat ramp. Downstream of there, look for fish to start darkening.

In the estuary, anglers trolling anchovies are reportedly catching 70 to 100 fresh chinook a day, with several in the 30-pound class. The fish are moving through the bay daily, and anglers side-drifting roe are catching chinook from Agness on down to above tidewater.

Flows out of Lost Creek Lake were holding steady at 1,100 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. Water releases are cooling daily, so nymphing will outproduce streamers for the rest of the season.

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 yet.

John Linson lands a rainbow trout at Diamond Lake. Mail Tribune File Photo