Fishing report: Friday, Dec. 10
COASTWIDE: A small craft advisory is in effect through Friday evening, with Friday’s forecast calling for winds up to 20 knots and combined seas of up to 10 feet. Saturday calls for gale-force winds of up to 45 knots, with occasional gusts up to 55 knots. Oh, and there’s also rain. Sunday calls for winds to back down to 5 knots, but swells will continue to be up to 16 feet.
The general marine bag limit is five fish in aggregate, with copper, quillback or China rockfish no longer part of the daily limit for boat anglers. Bank anglers are under a different quota for those species and can still keep them. That includes those fishing off jetties.
Boat anglers can still keep one cabezon. The lingcod limit is two fish over 22 inches.
Surfperch fishing is likely to be a bust again this weekend due to heavy surf that will push perch offshore. Sandshrimp and mussels are the best baits, with plastic sand worms and shrimp as secondary choices.
Razor clam digging remains closed from Cape Blanco to the California border because of elevated levels of domoic acid in clams. Before digging, call the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474.
Recreational crabbing is open in the ocean, and catches have been excellent so far in the ocean and bays such as lower Coos Bay at Charleston.
AGATE: The lake received 2,500 legal-sized rainbow trout in early June. Troll worms or fish worms or PowerBait under bobbers near the county boat ramp. Bank anglers need to stay off the ramp. The lake is still just 10% full. Electric trolling motors are OK. The park closes at dusk.
APPLEGATE: The Hart Tish Park boat ramp and dock are closed due to low water. The French Gulch and Copper ramps are usable. Fish for rainbows with PowerBait or worms from the bank or slowly troll Tasmanian Devil lures spiced with a piece of worm. Bass fishing has been fair to good with plastic worms and grubs fished slowly off the bottom along rocky points and flats.
DIAMOND: Trout fishing has been best on the south end near the Silent Creek channel for rainbows and tiger trout. Fishing is best with worms under bobbers. All tiger and brown trout must be released unharmed. The lake is not yet starting to ice over.
EMIGRANT: The lake is still mired at 2% full, and that has all but shut off angling activity. Some bank fishing for catfish with chicken livers has been good.
EXPO: State wildlife biologists stocked 120 trophy trout in late November. Catch them with Panther Martin lures, single salmon eggs or worms under bobbers. Parking fees are required.
FISH: Fishing is good in the open water near the marina for rainbow trout. Boat access is all manual, with bank fishing best around springs near the resort. Use worms or PowerBait. All tiger trout must be released.
HOWARD PRAIRIE: The lake is open, but access is very poor. Those able to drag a boat to the water have done well trolling worms and flashers for rainbows. The lake was stocked with 50,000 fingerling rainbows Oct. 8. The lake is 4% full and it appears to have bottomed out. Fishing access is best near the dam. Anglers can keep five trout a day, with just one longer than 20 inches.
HYATT: The lake was up a hair to 3% full Tuesday. The limit is five trout a day, with just one over 20 inches. No fingerling trout have been stocked so far this year.
LAKE OF THE WOODS: Trolling for rainbow trout is fair to good with worms behind flashers in the shallows. Go slow. Perch fishing is good near the resort. Ice has yet to form.
LOST CREEK: The lake received 7,300 more trout in October, including 2,300 trophy trout. Bank fish with PowerBait near the ramp. Wind-drifting worms above Peyton Bridge has been good. The lake Tuesday was rising slowly and was 34 feet below the normal late-season target for flood control as outflows have steadied at 900 cfs.
MEDCO: The lake was last stocked with 1,100 legal-sized trout in June. Fishing is slow.
SELMAC: The lake was last stocked with 1,000 legal-sized trout in mid-May and that’s it until February. Fish for them with worms or PowerBait. Bass are active.
WILLOW: The lake received another 4,000 legal-sized rainbow trout in mid-May and that’s it until next March. Fish them with worms or PowerBait near the county boat ramp and deeper water across the lake.
ROGUE: A decent number of late-run summer steelhead and plenty of hatchery coho salmon are showing up in the upper Rogue, while the middle Rogue has been fair to occasionally good for a mix of halfpounders and wild steelhead. Two more winter steelhead made it all the way to Cole Rivers Hatchery, so it’s game on.
That makes the far upper Rogue the best bet for late-season summer steelhead fishing. But how is still limited by where.
Upstream of the Shady Cove boat ramp is open to bait and artificial lures. That’s where the bulk of the recent action has been with small egg clusters and yarn balls soaked in egg juice.
Downstream of the Shady Cove ramp is open to only artificial flies and lures. Plugs such as MagLips have been hot throughout most of stretch this past week. For fly-fishers, this allows the use of molded plastic beads that are illegal during the flies-only season.
Water flows are back down, with just 1,139 cfs at Dodge Bridge and forecast to drop steadily into next week. The flows out of Lost Creek Lake are holding at 900 cfs.
Some hatchery coho are getting caught in the far upper Rogue on roe, spinners and some plugs. All wild coho must be released unharmed. Tuesday’s collection at Cole Rivers saw another 129 coho and 50 summer steelhead. The steelhead numbers are just 300 short of the 10-year running average and the coho numbers are way off the charts good.
In the lower Rogue, some early winter steelhead are getting caught on the lower 12 miles of the Rogue, all on plugs and by anglers targeting winter steelhead. That bodes well because early winter steelhead often mean a decent run. Flows at Agness are down to under 1,700 cfs, and that’s an astoundingly low number but very good for halfpounder steelhead catches on worms, Panther Martin lures and streamer flies. Small plugs like crayfish patterns also rock in low November water.
The Hatchery Hole is open for summer steelhead and coho anglers, and a few fish have been caught by fly-fishers nymphing with Ugly Bugs and single salmon egg point flies. The Hatchery Hole is permanently closed to all chinook fishing and will remain open only for steelhead. Bait such as worms and roe are legal now, and that has worked for some coho prepping to move into the hatchery
Anglers can no long keep any wild steelhead Rogue-wide until 2022.
APPLEGATE: The river is closed to angling until Jan. 1.
CHETCO: The river was low and clear and not forecast to improve in the next week. Flows Thursday were down to 545 cfs, and that is ridiculously low. When conditions improve, look for chinook to be river-wide, with plugs working best and side-drifting roe a second choice. The limit is two chinook a day, but only one can be wild.
ELK/SIXES: Flows were low and clear Tuesday with poor conditions for fall chinook salmon fishing.
NORTH UMPQUA: The river is open for winter steelhead fishing after a lengthy closure to protect low runs of summer steelhead. No fresh winter steelhead have been reported caught yet.