Fishing Report: Friday, Oct. 20

OCEAN OUTLOOK

COASTWIDE: Today's forecast calls for 15-knot winds and swells up to 16 feet, followed Saturday by 25-knot winds and 13-foot swells. Sunday calls for 25-knot winds and 12-foot swells with 6-foot wind waves.

 

The Chetco Bubble fishery off the mouth of the Chetco River is over, but anglers are still catching fish trolling the last 150 yards or so of the river up to the mouth. Use herring with spinner blades, mostly brass and chartreuse.

Ocean bottomfishing is open outside the 40-fathom line after being closed last month. Thirty-foot leaders and floats are required to keep baits off the bottom and focused on midwater rockfish species such as quillbacks. No lingcod, cabezon or other bottomfish can be targeted, even from jetties. However, flatfish such as in-season halibut and sanddab are legal, as are surfperch. However, harsh surf and seas make these options troublesome this weekend.

Near-shore halibut fishing off the Central Oregon coast is open, but only 5 percent of the quota remains. Halibut fishing remains open off the South Coast through Oct. 31.

Surfperch fishing has been good along the south coast, including the sand spit at the Rogue River mouth, Winchuck Beach and Nesika Beach. Wait a few days after the surf subsides so the perch can make their way back toward shore.

Bay crabbing has been very good to excellent in Coos Bay and Winchester Bay. Most of the crabs have recovered from molting, and the meat quality is very good. Ocean crabbing is closed until Nov. 30.

The recreational harvest of razor clams is closed from Cascade Head to the California border for elevated levels of domoic acid. This includes all beaches and bays. Open, however, are Clatsop County beaches, where diggers are finding fewer, but bigger, razors than most years. The recreational harvesting of mussels is open along the entire coast. Before digging, check the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474.

LAKE OUTLOOK

AGATE: The lake is holding steady at 22 percent full. Look for isolated catches of yellow perch and bass around structure and near the dam face. No gas motors are allowed. Electric trolling motors are OK. The park closes at dusk.

APPLEGATE: Fishing pressure is very light, with some catches of rainbow trout for those trolling near the mouth of Carberry Creek or fishing worms or PowerBait from the far bank. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has held releases steady at 250 cfs. The lake was listed Thursday at slightly more than 72 feet from full thanks largely to a paltry inflow of 78 cfs.

DIAMOND: Catches are averaging 15 inches, with anglers averaging 3½ trout per trip and about one trout an hour. PowerBait floated off the bottom is out-fishing worms under bobbers, with corn yellow and salmon-egg peach popular, but don't forget the glitter chartreuse. Trollers are getting action on Needlefish and Flat Fish. Fly-fishers are doing very well off the south end with leeches or woolly buggers fished with an intermediate sink line. All tiger trout must be released unharmed.

EMIGRANT: The lake was listed Thursday at 26 percent full. Fishing pressure is light. Bass fishing is decent but slowing. Slowly fish plastic worms, grubs and crankbaits near structure. Smallmouth are off rocky points, largemouth are largely in the submerged willows.

EXPO: Fishing is very good for the 500 legal-sized trout and 100 trout each about 12 inches stocked earlier this week. Catch them on PowerBait, worms and bobbers or small spinners like Panther Martins.

FISH: The lake was listed Thursday at 54 percent full, up 2 percent from last week. Anglers are still running into what's left of 900 trophy trout stocked late last month at the Forest Service ramp. Use worms or PowerBait, or strip leeches or woolly buggers. Troll plugs that look like chubs. Tiger trout must be released unharmed.

HOWARD PRAIRIE: Trout fishing is good, but interest has been light in the cold weather. Fishing is best along the channel straight across from the resort, with trollers using worms and flashers finding decent fish about 30 feet down. Still-fishing with various colors of PowerBait is good in the mornings and evenings. The lake was listed Thursday at 75 percent full.

HYATT: BLM has closed the boat ramps at its recreation area. The lake remains at 40 percent full. Any fishing now is with PowerBait off the bank.

LOST CREEK: The lake got another 1,000 trout 14- to 16-inches long this past week, complementing 5,000 legal-sized trout, 10,000 fingerling and 2,300 trophy trout about 15 inches apiece stocked there two weeks ago. They were dispersed between the Takelma boat ramp and the marina. The trout have yet to spread out much, so fishing at the Takelma area with worms or PowerBait should be good this weekend. Trollers using Wedding Rings spiced with a piece of worm should do well in those areas. The lake was listed Thursday at 58 feet from full.

LAKE OF THE WOODS: Fishing is good for rainbows in the shallows and farther out in the lake with bait or lures. Some kokanee have been caught in the deeper parts of the lake.

MEDCO POND: The pond got 1,600 legal-sized rainbows in June and 4,000 legals in May. Fish with PowerBait or worms under bobbers.

WILLOW: The lake got 3,000 legal-sized trout and 1,500 pound-sized trout in early June. Catch them on PowerBait or worms.

RIVER OUTLOOK

ROGUE: The upper Rogue's flies-only summer steelhead season is slowing down thanks to very cold water that is keeping steelhead from moving much. Middle Rogue anglers are doing well on summer steelhead with worms and corkies. The lower Rogue Bay is still an option for trolling for coho salmon, but most of the interest is in lower Rogue riffles that are full of migrating summer steelhead and halfpounders all the way to Agness.

That keeps the lower Rogue as the best bet, but more for steelhead than salmon.

Adult summer steelhead and halfpounders are showing up in very good numbers in the lower 30 miles of freshwater. Cast Panther Martin spinners, worms and corkies or swing streamer flies. Flows at Agness were up over 2,000 cubic feet per second and forecast to tick up to over 3,000 cfs Friday before dropping again this weekend. That will get the steelhead active, and expect the bite to turn on. For fly-fishers, swing traditional steelhead flies like red ants, green-butt skunks and buck-tail Coachmans. Side-drifting worms and corkies from boats or the bank is also a great bet. Try Quosatana Creek, Lobster Creek and Cole Riffle.

In the lower Rogue bay, troll anchovies with Rogue bait rigs. Gold and chartreuse blades are best. All wild coho must be released unharmed.

In the upper Rogue, it's still flies only for summer steelhead through October, and outflows are at 1,200 cfs out of Lost Creek Lake. However, the water releases are cold and have slowed steelhead dramatically, so streamer flies aren't working as well as earlier in the season. Most anglers are fishing egg flies on their point to go with an ugly bug as a dropper. Focus on the heads of riffles just downstream of salmon-spawning flats, and avoid wading in the redds.

Spincasters can use flies and a bobber, but no added weights or attachments. That includes bobber stoppers and swivels. These rules remain in effect through Oct. 31.

The cold water has really hampered steelhead and coho migration in the upper Rogue. Cole Rivers Hatchery technicians captured just two steelhead, three coho and two chinook this week in the hatchery collection pond. That's typical for this time of year.

Flows at Dodge Bridge were up Thursday to 1,471 cfs and forecast to stay under 2,000 cfs after today's rains. That has left some spots very skinny for driftboaters. Flows at the old Gold Ray Dam site were up to 1,621 cfs Thursday.

All chinook fishing is now closed upstream of the Hog Creek boat ramp near Galice.

In the middle Rogue, anglers are reporting good catches of summer steelhead with worms and corkies off the bank or side-drifting from driftboats. Some surprisingly bright late-run fall chinook were caught this week downstream of Hog Creek.

APPLEGATE: The river is open to trout fishing, but all wild trout must be released unharmed. Most of the trout are steelhead pre-smolts.

CHETCO: A few more wash-in fall chinook are getting caught in the estuary. Fish are all the way up to Social Security Hole already, and look for them to move up if weekend rains materialize as forecast. However, Forest Service ramps and angling access points in the upper Chetco remain off limits as part of the Chetco Bar forest closures.

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