COASTWIDE: Forecasts call for 10-knot winds and 5-foot wind waves outside of Brookings today, followed Saturday by winds up to 15 knots and 8-foot wind waves. Sunday looks pretty hairy with 25-knot winds and 8-foot wind waves.
The marine aggregate rockfish daily limit for bottomfishers drops Sunday from five fish to four fish, and cabezon are back in the mix beginning Sunday. However, the cabezon limit is one per day and that counts against the four-fish aggregate limit. Rockfish is now open only inside the 30-fathom line. 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. Look for some morning action on lingcod Friday, but nothing else into next week, as rough seas will keep small crafts in port.
The ocean chinook salmon season is open, and catches have been pretty good for late June. Trollers out of Brookings are working near the California border, trolling slowly 150 to 180 feet down with anchovies or sardines. The Southern Oregon coastal chinook season runs uninterrupted through Aug. 26.
Surfperch fishing should be troublesome through the weekend because of heavy surf from the gale warning that officially was listed Thurday night. When it settles down, look for good surfperch fishing at places such as Nesika and Winchuck Beach, as well as Cape Blanco, particularly near the mouth of the Elk River. Fish with Berkley Gulp sand worms or sandshrimp, as well as lug worms.
Commercial and recreational crabbing is open coast-wide, but ocean and dock crabbing in Charleston have slowed.
The last of this current stretch of morning minus tides runs through Monday, and that bodes well for weekend clammers, but only a small area locally around Coos Bay is open in Southern Oregon for razor clams due to domoic acid levels. 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.
AGATE: Perch, bass and some crappie are dominating the catch, and just a few holdover trout are showing up in the mix. 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, cast small spinners or flies. The lake is dropping quickly and was listed Thursday at 74 percent full. No gas motors are allowed. Electric trolling motors are OK. The park closes at dusk.
APPLEGATE: The lake is down to about 12 feet from full, and inflows are more than 200 cubic feet per second less than outflows, so conditions are changing rapidly along shorelines and near the top of the reservoir. The rainbow trout are well dispersed in the lake, but most of the action has been in the Seattle Bar area and around the mouth of Carberry Creek and points in the upper reservoir. Bass fishing is good for those casting crankbaits toward rocky points. Slow trolling of Flatfish or Wedding Ring lures could be good for trout, and still-fishing in the French Gulch cove with PowerBait should be good. The surface temperature was at 69 degrees earlier this week.
DIAMOND: Trout fishing has been very good at the south end, but steady winds have harmed catcches and blown anglers off the water earlier than normal.. Trollers should start with Wedding Ring lures spiked with a small piece of worm about 4 feet behind a small flasher. Some algae is starting to congregate on the south side. Still-fishers and fly-fishers working the south side, the shrimp beds and the old cheese hole have done very well. Fish worms about 2 or 3 feet off the bottom by using bobbers and float PowerBait 4 feet or so off the bottom. Flyfishers ca use chironomid flies stripped slowly in the bottom half of the water column. All tiger trout must be released unharmed, and they are showing up pretty strongly in the catch, particularly at the south end.
EMIGRANT: The lake is down to 62 percent full. The lake was stocked last month with 1,000 rainbow trout at the county boat ramp. Expect to continue seeing some action around there. 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: The pond was stocked with 1,000 legal-sized rainbow trout in late May month and some remain. Action is best with worms, PowerBait and small spinners. There is a $4 day-use parking fee off Gate 5.
FISH: The lake got 2,500 legal-sized trout two weeks ago at the Forest Service ramp near the resort. Look for good fishing in the marina area and the cove near the Forest Service boat ramp. The lake dropped to 74 percent full this week, the largest single week drop since spring. Streamer flies and small Rapala plugs that look like tui chubs will start working for bigger rainbows and brown trout now that the water is warming. Also start focusing on the springs out in the lake.
HOWARD PRAIRIE: Fishing is fair to good for rainbow trout for still-fishers in deeper water near the dam with PowerBait. Trollers are working the lake’s far-side channel with Wedding Ring or Tasmanian Devil lures spiced with small pieces of worm. All of the resort facilities are open. The lake was stocked earlier this month with 7,500 legal-sized rainbows. The lake was listed Thursday at 55 percent full, down a hair from last week.
HYATT: The lake received another 7,450 legal-sized trout earlier this month. BLM’s campground and Mountain View boat ramp are open, and the lake is at 34 percent full, and that is too shallow for some trailered boats to launch easily there. Trolling and still-fishing for trout have been very good near the dam, in the Orchard area and along the creek channel. Trollers should work the shorelines and the old creek channel.
LAKE OF THE WOODS: The lake is fishing well for rainbows and perch with worms and PowerBait, while trolling Tasmanian Devils has been good for trout. Brown trout and kokanee fishing have been slow.
LOST CREEK: Another 10,000 legal-sized rainbow trout and 1,500 larger trout were stocked last week, and that has jumped-started an already good fishery near the dam and well above Peyton Bridge, where the no-wake rules are being enforced. Most of the action, however, is in the lower 20 percent of the lake. Fishing is best near the Takelma ramp, around the island and trolling the far portion of the dam’s face. Flows out of Lost Creek were walked down Thursday by 100 cubic feet per second per day until they stop at 1,600 cfs Saturday. The lake is down to more than 21 feet from full. Bank anglers using PowerBait at either side of the dam are faring well.
WILLOW: The lake was stocked recently 5,000 legal-sized rainbow trout and 1,500 larger trout. Bass fishing is picking up. The lake was listed this week at 98 percent full.
SELMAC: The lake received 3,000 legal-sized rainbow trout last month and 1,000 legals three weeks ago, but the water is warming and getting a bit rough on the trout. Catch them on PowerBait, small spinners and woolly bugger flies.
ROGUE: Chinook salmon fishing has improved slightly in the upper Rogue, and a few summer steelhead are getting caught in the evenings or early in the morning. The middle Rogue is more miss than hit for spring chinook, and the lower Rogue bay is starting to consistently kick out some late spring chinook for trollers waiting for what is expected to be a big fall chinook return this year.
Until the fall chinook bite in the bay takes off, it keeps the upper Rogue as the best bet, with more emphasis on spring chinook than summer steelhead for a while longer.
Cole Rivers Hatchery technicians collected another 428 spring chinook this week at the hatchery collection pond. That is almost identical to last week’s haul and ups the count to 2,761 springers — the best in three years yet still below the 10-year running average of 3,726. Cole Rivers Hatchery technicians last Friday recycled 576 excess spring chinook from the hatchery to the Gold Hill boat ramp.
Bank anglers are doing fair to decent on spring chinook early in the morning at the Hatchery Hole, while driftboaters are doing best upstream of Shady Cove, but more people are focusing on runs above and below TouVelle State Recreation Site. Fish by back-bouncing roe and sandshrimp combinations or use MagLip 3.5 or 3.0 plugs scented, but don’t abandon the smaller Kwikfish wrapped with sardines.
Another 110 summer steelhead showed up at the hatchery this week, nearly doubling the count previous to that. The 240 fish so far is nearly double the 10-year running average of 128 steelhead. Also, Cole Rivers Hatchery technicians recycled 109 adult summer steelhead from Cole Rivers Hatchery to the Gold Hill boat ramp. That’s a nice early addition to the mix. They’ll hit everything, and they range from under 20 inches to 12 pounds. Late-run or spawned-out winter steelhead can look bright, but their meat will be poor and should be released. All wild steelhead must be released unharmed river-wide for the remainder of the year.
Flows at Dodge Bridge will dropping Thursday and were at 1,823 cfs. Look for that to drop another 200 cfs by Saturday afternoon. Flows at the old Gold Ray Dam site were at 1,923 cfs Thursday and look for those likewise to drop by 200 cfs by Saturday late afternoon.
About 16 boats trolling the bay averaged about a fish apiece Thursday using anchovies and Rogue bait rigs. These are late-run fall chinook and that bodes well for upstream anglers. The early fall chinook should start to move in as early as next week. Let the games begin.
In the middle Rogue, bank anglers are pounding either Hayes Falls or Rainie Falls or heading upriver. A few springers have come to driftboat anglers between Rogue River and Grants Pass on roe and sandshrimp by back-bouncing. Flows Thursday at Grants Pass were down to a very skinny 1,710 cfs and dropping.
In the far upper Rogue, trout are stocked weekly at places like Union Creek Campground, and fishing for them is consistently good with worms and single salmon eggs.
APPLEGATE: The river opened 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. Any rainbow trout over 16 inches is considered a 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.