Southern Oregon fishing report: Friday, Aug. 30
COASTWIDE: Friday’s forecast calls for 5-knot winds and wind waves of 2 feet or less, making for good conditions for longer runs for those fishing the Labor Day Weekend. Saturday’s forecast is even calmer, with 5-knot winds and wind waves and a swell down to 1 foot.
The marine aggregate rockfish daily limit for bottomfishers is five fish. Cabezon has closed for boat-based anglers, and boat anglers 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 two a day in the Central and South Coast sub areas because the poundage quotas remain strong enough to allow for doubling of the daily limit.
The tuna bite should be good again out of Brookings and Charleston Friday and Saturday, depending on how far off the coast the albacore moved from recent windy weather. They had been as close as 16 miles.
The coho and chinook bite has been fair for ocean anglers, with lots of wild and undersized coho salmon the norm out of Brookings. Look for a flurry of effort this weekend, with the season ending Monday evening. A large pod of bait had been hanging offshore south of Cape Sebastian, and that’s where the chinook have been 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, and this weekend’s forecast looks promising for shore fishing. 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.
The current run of morning minus tides ends Sunday. 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.
AGATE: The lake was down Tuesday to 32 percent full and dropping. Water conditions are decent for crappie and perch fishing, but there is very little structure along the shoreline now. 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 Tuesday to more than 48 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 has continued to rise amid the recent heat wave.
DIAMOND: Trout fishing has been slow during the hot days and best in the early morning. Trollers are doing fair 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 was down Tuesday to 40 percent full and dropping, but there was still plenty of water for boats to launch at the county ramp at the far end of the county park. Largemouth bass fishing has been good off rocky points with plastic worms, and the bass are on the gravely flats. The lake is low enough that there is no vegetation structure available to hold fish now. 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 nonexistent now.
EXPO: The pond last received 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 is dropping quickly, and the rainbow trout are congregating around springs out of the lake bed. Fishing has been good early and late in the day. The lake was 26 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. All tiger trout must be released.
HOWARD PRAIRIE: Fishing is decent for trout, but 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 well. The lake was holding steady at 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 37 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 43 feet from full. Outflows climbed to 2,100 cubic feet per second last week, 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. Hot weather is hurting 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.
ROGUE: The last weekend of all-out summer steelhead fishing will garner much interest from bait and lure anglers getting in their last upper Rogue River trip before Sunday’s switch to the flies-only season. The middle Rogue remains quite slow for summer steelhead, and the lower Rogue is OK for fall chinook in the bay, but anglers are still waiting for bay fishing to take off.
That keeps the upper Rogue as the best bet at least through Saturday for a mix of spring chinook and summer steelhead. Stick to water downstream to Dodge Bridge for those trying to double-dip.
Summer steelhead fishing is pretty solid for bait and lure anglers who are still battling algae problems clogging up hooks. 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 last week 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 Saturday, then it’s strictly flies-only. 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. When it switches to flies, egg flies under Ugly Bug droppers will be good, as will larger streamers.
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 Tuesday were at 2,158 cfs, and 2,167 cfs at the old Gold Ray Dam site.
The middle Rogue has been slow for summer steelhead, with anglers armed with Panther Martins occasionally intercepting one headed to the upper Rogue. Steelhead headed for middle Rogue tributaries won’t be showing up in any numbers until October. Flows at Grants Pass were up to 2,338 cfs Thursday.
In the lower Rogue, trolling in the bay is just OK as a fair number of smaller jack salmon moved into the bay earlier this week. After the occasional good day of fishing, it slows again. A cooler push of water last week brought fresh chinook in, indicating that the chinook likely are staged offshore. Troll anchovies with chartreuse blades or Brad’s cut plugs. A few summer steelhead and halfpounders 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.