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Fishing Report, Aug. 23, 2019

OCEAN OUTLOOK

COASTWIDE: A gale warning is in effect through Friday evening, with Friday’s forecast calling for 25-knot winds and wind waves up to 8 feet. Saturday sees the winds back down to 15 knots and wind waves down to 5 feet. Sunday’s forecast calls for winds to pick up again and hit 30 knots with wind waves building to 9 feet.

The marine aggregate rockfish daily limit for bottomfishers is five fish. Cabezon has closed for boat-based anglers, and beginning today boat anglers will have to release copper, quillback and China rockfish. The cabezon closure does not apply to shore-based anglers. A descending device to help release rockfish caught in deeper water is mandatory on all boats. All rockfish anglers must stay within the 30-fathom line.

The halibut limit is now two a day in both the Central and South Coast sub areas because the poundage quotas remain strong enough to allow for doubling the daily limit.

The tuna bite has been excellent out of Brookings and Charleston when winds and swells allow, but this weekend doesn’t sound like one of those. Fish have been as close as 16 miles off shore.

The coho and chinook bite has been fair to good for ocean anglers, with lots of wild and undersized coho salmon the norm out of Brookings. A large pod of bait is hanging offshore south of Cape Sebastian, and that’s where the chinook are holding out. Fishing around 100 feet deep in 200-plus-foot waters has been good for chinook, but not a lot of big fish so far. Hatchery coho are allowed as part of the two-fish daily bag limit, but lots of wild coho are getting caught for every hatchery coho. Troll higher in the water column for coho, deeper and slower for chinook.

Surfperch fishing has been good to very good, but this weekend’s windy forecasts aren’t positive for shore fishing. When the weather improves, focus on South Coast beaches, especially those close to river mouths. Try casting Berkley Gulp sandshrimp, sand worms or prawns.

Recreational crabbing is open coastwide. Watch for soft-shelled molting crabs, which don’t have much meat and should be released.

Another set of early morning minus tides begins Tuesday and will be good next weekend. Razor clamming is closed from Cape Blanco to the California border due to domoic acid levels. Clatsop beaches are closed as part of the yearly conservation closure. Bay clamming and mussel harvesting are open along the coast. Before digging, call the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474.

LAKE OUTLOOK

AGATE: The lake is down to 35 percent full and dropping. Water conditions are decent for crappie and perch fishing, especially around what’s left of submerged willows. Bass fishing has been slow. 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 43 feet below full and is dropping almost 6 feet per week. Bank anglers should try off points. Trollers are working off the Copper ramp and near the dam. No fresh fish have been stocked since early last month. Troll Wedding Ring lures spiced with a piece of worm or a worm behind a flasher. Bass fishing is fair to good. The surface temperature is hovering around 75 degrees.

DIAMOND: Trout fishing has been fair during the day and best early in the morning. Trollers are doing well with small lures and worms, and still-fishing is best with PowerBait or worms deep under sliding bobbers. Fly-fishers are using woolly buggers and chironomids, fished with intermediate or sinking lines and stripped short but fast. The south end ramp is open. All tiger trout must be released unharmed, and some of them are pushing 20 inches.

EMIGRANT: The lake is down to 44 percent full and dropping, but there is plenty of water for boats to launch at the ramp. Bass and perch fishing is fair to good. Focus on rock outcroppings and submerged willows up the lake’s Emigrant Arm. Rainbow trout were stocked three times early this year, and fishing for them is fair for those trolling worms and small spinners.

EXPO: The pond received 10,500 legal-sized trout in June, and that’s the last stocking of the season. Some bass and panfish are getting caught. Parking fees are required.

FISH: The lake received 2,500 legal-sized trout in mid-July. Fish around the springs near the resort and the Forest Service boat ramp. Fishing has been good early and late in the day. The lake is 29 percent full and dropping, but the resort and Forest Service ramps are usable. Troll Wedding Rings with worms or small Rapalas that look like tui chub for rainbows and tiger trout. The Forest Service ramp and resort ramp are operable. All tiger trout must be released.

HOWARD PRAIRIE: Fishing is decent for trout, some added as recently as last month. An ongoing algae bloom has been making conditions tough. Still-fishing and trolling have been best at dawn and around dusk. Trollers are using Tasmanian Devils or other lures, even long worms. Still-fishing for trout is good with PowerBait or worms, with chartreuse and garlic-flavored baits working best. The lake is down to 39 percent full, which is starting to limit some boat launchings and trailerings at the resort ramp. The other ramps are unusable for powerboats.

HYATT: The BLM Loop C boat ramp is open, and trolling has been fair to good in late evenings with Wedding Rings and worms. The lake was stocked in mid-June with 7,450 legal-sized rainbow trout, and fishing for them has been good with PowerBait or worms. Warm water has bass more active. Fish plastic worms and crank baits for bass. Most of the action should be in the lower areas of the lake, which is down to 38 percent full.

LAKE OF THE WOODS: Fishing is good for a mix of brown trout, rainbow trout and perch. Worms and PowerBait are working best. The lake was stocked in late June with 1,000 legal-sized rainbows and 600 trophy trout.

LOST CREEK: The lake received 10,000 legal-sized rainbows and 1,500 trophy trout in mid-June, split between the marina and the Takelma ramp, and that’s it until fall. Most of the action is near the Takelma ramp. Most anglers are trolling Wedding Ring lures spiced with a worm. Some trollers 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. The lake is falling fast and is more than 39 feet from full and will be dropping even faster as outflows climb to 1,900 cubic feet per second Friday, while inflows are down under 1,100 cfs.

WILLOW: The lake is open, and 4,000 rainbow trout and 1,500 trophy trout were stocked in late May at the county ramp. Fish them with worms and PowerBait or streamer flies. Fishing for them has been very good.

SELMAC: Fishing for bass is fair. The lake received 3,000 rainbows in late June, but hot weather is threatening the trout fishery.

MEDCO: The lake received 1,100 legal-sized rainbows in mid-June. Fishing is best trolling worms and flashers or still-fishing with PowerBait.

RIVER OUTLOOK

ROGUE: Summer steelhead fishing is good in the upper Rogue heading into the last full weekend of bait and lure fishing before the Sept. 1 start of the flies-only season, and some decent late-run spring chinook remain in the mix downstream of Dodge Bridge. The lower Rogue has been hit and miss for fall chinook, as the salmon continue to hover off the coast chasing schools of bait fish, and the middle Rogue has been pretty dead except for anglers catching the occasional steelhead headed to the upper Rogue.

That keeps the upper Rogue as the best bet for a mix of spring chinook and summer steelhead, just make sure you stick to water downstream to Dodge Bridge for those trying to double-dip this month.

Another 306 new summer steelhead and 71 recaptured retread steelhead moved into Cole Rivers Hatchery this week, upping the count to 2,092 adult steelhead to date. That’s significantly better than the 10-year running average of 1,193 steelhead and the second-highest in the past 24 years.

No new retreads were cycled this past week to the Denman Wildlife Area and TouVelle State Park.

Flows out of Lost Creek Lake were dialed up to 2,100 cfs Wednesday to improve lower river conditions for migrating fall chinook, but that migration has been slow. The higher flows will spread the summer steelhead out more and create more resting sites.

Plugs and large streamer flies have been best, but roe and worms remain options through August. The fish are very aggressive and are in most riffles and around structure. The best plugs range from crayfish patterns to MagLip 3.0 in pink and purple.

For chinook, boat anglers downstream of Dodge Bridge are fishing primarily with roe and sandshrimp or roe and prawns, with some fishing MagLip 3.5 or 4.5 lures in chartreuse and chrome patterns. Wild chinook can be part of the two-fish daily limit downstream of Dodge Bridge, and that holds through August.

Flows at Dodge Bridge Thursday were at 2,189 cfs, and 2,334 cfs at the old Gold Ray Dam site.

In the middle Rogue.

The middle Rogue has been slow for summer steelhead, with anglers armed with Panther Martins occasionally intercepting one headed to the upper Rogue. The steelhead headed for middle Rogue tributaries won’t be showing up in any numbers until October. Flows at Grants Pass were up to 2,447 cfs Thursday.

In the lower Rogue, trolling in the bay has been a bit underwhelming for chinook that just aren’t coming into the bay in the numbers that were expected so far. Troll anchovies with chartreuse blades or Brad’s cut plugs. A few summer steelhead are getting caught in the lower Rogue on a mixture of streamer flies, Panther Martin lures and worms.

APPLEGATE: The river is open for trout fishing, and all wild rainbow trout and cutthroat trout must be released unharmed. That’s pretty much all of the catch.

CHETCO: The river is open for trout fishing, and only artificial flies and lures are allowed above tidewater.

Fishing guide Charlie Brown helps Carl Treseder land a winter steelhead below TouVelle State Park on the Rogue River on Friday. Mail Tribune / Jamie Lusch