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Fishing report, Aug. 31, 2018

OCEAN OUTLOOK

COASTWIDE: A small-craft advisory is in effect through Saturday afternoon. Friday’s forecast calls for winds up to 15 knots near Brookings, with wind waves increasing to 4 feet. Saturday’s forecast calls fir winds up to 25 knots, with wind waves up to 8 feet. Sunday looks the worst, with 30-knot winds and 10-foot wind waves.

The marine aggregate rockfish daily limit for bottomfishers has dropped from five fish to four for the remainder of 2018. The cabezon quota has been reached, so cabezon are off the table through the rest of the year and must be released unharmed.

Rockfish angling is open only inside the 30-fathom line through the rest of the month. A descending device to help release rockfish caught in deeper water is mandatory on all boats.

Lingcod fishing is very good when anglers can get out, particularly out of Brookings. Focus on kelp beds and position your boat behind rocks to shield from the wind when it kicks up.

The ocean chinook salmon season is closed on the South Coast.

Look for good surfperch fishing once the waves subside. Lots of surfperch are in the Rogue River mouth, but the open beaches have been better when winds cooperate. That’s not likely this weekend. Fish with Berkley Gulp sand worms or sandshrimp, as well as lug worms.

Recreational crabbing is open coastwide, and ocean and dock crabbing in the Charleston area is improving.

A series of morning minus tides begins at the end of next week. Razor clamming is open in a small area around Coos Bay. Bay clamming and the recreational harvest of mussels is open along the entire coast, but that can change quickly, so check the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474 before digging.

LAKE OUTLOOK

AGATE: Some perch and bass fishing is occurring on cooler days. Pressure is light. Most of the action is on perch and bass near the submerged and partially flooded willows. Wind-drift worms with light weight or just a swivel, or cast small spinners or flies. The lake is dropping and was listed Thursday at 22 percent full. No gas motors are allowed. Electric trolling motors are OK. The park closes at dusk.

APPLEGATE: The lake is down to almost 51 feet from full and dropping quickly. Not much angling activity at the lake, with most around the Hart-Tish and French Gulch boat ramps. Smallmouth bass fishing is good for those casting crankbaits toward rocky points. Slow trolling could be good for trout, and still-fishing in the French Gulch cove with PowerBait should be good. The surface temperature was at 75 degrees earlier this week. Hart-Tish Park and French Gulch ramp also are open.

DIAMOND: Trout fishing is decent and should start picking up with cooler evenings. Most of the action is in the south end with worms under bobbers in about 15 feet of water. Find the leader depth to get the worm a little off the top of the weedline. Trollers should start with Wedding Ring lures spiked with a small piece of worm about 4 feet behind a small flasher. Still-fishers and fly-fishers working the south side, the shrimp beds and the old cheese hole have done OK this week but not as well as last month. Fly-fishers can use chironomid flies stripped slowly in the bottom half of the water column. All tiger trout must be released unharmed.

EMIGRANT: The lake is down to 20 percent full. Some early morning and evening bass fishing can be good with plastic worms and crankbaits. Trout action is slow. Bait fishers using PowerBait or worms under bobbers will do the most damage. Trollers should use Flatfish or Wedding Ring lures with worms, with or without dodgers. Bass fishing has been good with plastic worms or grubs fished slowly near submerged willows, and with crankbaits deep. The county boat ramp is open during daylight hours.

EXPO: Trout fishing is slow amid hot water conditions.

FISH: Water quality has improved but some algae remains, particularly around shorelines. Look for decent fishing in the marina area and the cove near the ramp, mainly early in the mornings and evenings. The lake dropped to 20 percent full this week. Use streamer flies and small Rapala plugs that look like tui chubs. Also focus on the springs out in the lake. Boat ramps are workable, but getting pretty low.

HOWARD PRAIRIE: Fishing is good for rainbow trout for still-fishers in deeper water near the dam with PowerBait, but warm water has the trout less active. Trollers are working the far-side channel with Wedding Ring or Tasmanian Devil lures spiced with small pieces of worm. The lake was stocked earlier this month with 7,500 legal-sized rainbows. The lake was listed Thursday at 41 percent full.

HYATT: Access is very poor with no workable ramps because the lake is down to 11 percent full, and boat access is limited to kayaks, canoes, driftboats launched off the shore or cartoppers that can be carried to the water. The few people trying are doing well trolling and still-fishing for trout near the dam and along the creek channel.

LAKE OF THE WOODS: The lake is fishing decently for rainbows and perch with worms and PowerBait, while trolling has been fair to good for trout. Brown trout and kokanee fishing have been slow.

LOST CREEK: Stewart State Park and the marina are open, but U.S. Army Corps of Engineers facilities are closed due to wildfires. Bank access around the dam and the Takelma ramp are also closed. Most of the action, however, is fishing out of boats in the lower 20 percent of the lake. The lake is down to more than 49 feet from full. Outflows are at 2,150 cubic feet per second to help migrating fall chinook in the Rogue.

WILLOW: The lake was stocked last month with 5,000 legal-sized rainbow trout and 1,500 larger trout. Evening trout fishing has been best, while bass fishing is good early in the day.

SELMAC: Bass fishing is fair to good amid warm water conditions.

RIVER OUTLOOK

ROGUE: The upper Rogue’s chinook salmon season ends Friday night, and the flies-only season begins Saturday. In the middle Rogue, fall chinook are starting to show in most holes downstream of Grants Pass. In the lower Rogue, the bay has picked up again for fall chinook after a few poor days earlier this week, and halfpounders are starting to show themselves from Agness down to Huntley Park.

The best bet remains the lower Rogue bay, but only if the winds aren’t as brisk this week as they can. A strong mix of 3- and 4-year-old fall chinook have been in the bay regularly. Fish have been biting best early in the fog and on the incoming tides, but some outgoing tides have been solid. Cohos are starting to show up in the catch, including some hatchery fish. Troll anchovies with a variety of blade colors. Green-on-green and chartreuse-and-green are good bets, with some decent catches coming on bladeless anchovies.

Anglers with the two-rod tag can fish two rods in the bay through September.

Good numbers of adult and halfpounder summer steelhead are moving through the lower Rogue, and halfpounder catches are starting to pick up from Agness down. Fall chinook are getting caught by back-bouncing eggs and sandshrimp from Foster Bar down to Quosatana.

In the upper Rogue, the fall chinook season closes Friday night upstream of the Fishers Ferry boat ramp, with the flies-only rules starting Saturday. Fishing should be fair to good, and the summer steelhead bite hasn’t taken off yet as expected.

Water releases are holding at 2,150 cfs out of Lost Creek dam and holding steady, so don’t expect any migration help there. Smoke continues to be an issue at times in the Shady Cove and Eagle Point areas. Check the DEQ smoke report for Shady Cove before going.

Swinging large streamers should be good for a few weeks until the water cools. Black, blue and purple are great colors, particularly in combinations. Nymphing with prince nymphs and single egg flies also will be popular, particularly on overcast days. Molded plastic eggs aren’t flies. Fishing with spinning rods and plastic floats should be good in the deeper runs. No added weights or attachments are allowed.

Another 164 summer steelhead showed up at the hatchery this week. The 1,377 fish counted so far is ahead of the 10-year running average, but not by much. Also, the counts-to-date are now lagging behind the past two years.

Flows at Dodge Bridge Thursday were at 2,139 cfs. Flows at the old Gold Ray Dam site were likewise up to just under 2,180 cfs Thursday.

In the middle Rogue, bank anglers are starting to see fall chinook at the mouth of the Applegate River as well as some of the other old haunts like Matson Park and Finley Bend. Cast roe or beads or a combination of them.

Anglers using plugs are hitting some summer steelhead and occasional fall chinook from Valley of the Rogue State Park through Grants Pass. Cop Car and black-and-silver Weewarts are working, as are MagLip lures. Also lots of smaller steelhead are getting caught on worms or Panther Martin lures. Bear Camp Road is closed again.

In the far upper Rogue, trout are stocked weekly at places such as Union Creek Campground, and fishing for them is consistently good with worms and single salmon eggs.

APPLEGATE: The river is open to rainbow trout fishing, and only hatchery trout can be kept. Don’t expect to find them, however, because only fin-clipped winter steelhead are released there, and they are small and should be avoided. All cutthroat must be released. Rainbow trout longer than 16 inches are considered steelhead, and the river is closed to steelhead fishing until Jan. 1.

CHETCO: The river is open to trout angling, and sea-run cutthroat trout should be present in the lower river and estuary.

NORTH UMPQUA: Steelhead fishing is slow. Angling closes at 2 p.m. daily to protect wild summer steelhead threatened by low and warm conditions.

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