Fishing Report: Friday, June 23

OCEAN OUTLOOK

COASTWIDE: Forecasts are calling for ocean weather conditions to improve daily through the weekend. Expect winds of up to 20 knots and wind waves of up to 10 feet, conditions that can easily separate a person from their lunch. Things look better for Saturday, when winds are forecast to top out at 15 knots and wind waves will drop to around 5 feet. Sunday looks best, with winds of up to 10 knots and 5-foot swells.

Very good to excellent lingcod and black rockfish catches have occurred recently out of Brookings when the weather has allowed. Blue rockfish catches have been good to very good. The South Coast halibut season is open, but just a handful of fish have been caught. It remains open through Oct. 31.

Rockfish anglers must stay inside the 30-fathom line. When that restriction is lifted Sept. 1, anglers must carry at least one descending device on board each boat and use it when releasing any rockfish caught in 30 fathoms of water or deeper.

Crabbing is open along the entire Oregon Coast, but it's been slow, and a lot of males have recently molted. The best ocean crabbing has been in more than 100 feet of water.

Razor clamming is closed along the entire coast because of domoic acid. Bay clams and butter clams are available coastwide, and mussels are closed south of Cape Arago near Charleston. Before digging, check the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474.

LAKE OUTLOOK

AGATE: The lake is down to 89 percent full and is dropped at about 3 percent a week. That should be fine, except hot weather is warming the reservoir a bit too much. Start looking for crappie, yellow perch and occasional bass in deeper water and anywhere there's shade. No gas motors are allowed. Electric trolling motors are OK. The park closes at dusk.

APPLEGATE: The heavy trout stocking of late May has paid off as the rainbows are spread out throughout the lake and biting well for bait anglers and trollers. A worm 5 feet or so under a bobber has worked well at the upper end of the reservoir. Trollers using Wedding Ring lures have also done well. Bass fishing off points and around structures in the upper part of the reservoir has been fair to good. Still lots of floating debris throughout the reservoir. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has reduced releases to 600 cfs, and inflows are running around 485 cfs. The lake was listed Thursday as 3.5 feet from full.

DIAMOND: The lake is fishing very well for rainbows in the shallows at the south end and near the shrimp beds, two hot spots for the Rainbow $5,000 fishing derby set here Saturday. PowerBait floated off the bottom is out-fishing worms under bobbers, with corn yellow and salmon-egg peach continuing to be the most popular flavors. But don't forget the glitter chartreuse. Trollers are getting action on Needlefish and Flat Fish. With warming water, the trout are likely to get a little deeper this weekend. The south ramp is now open and so are the campgrounds.

EMIGRANT: The lake was listed at 92 percent full, the same as last week. Steady, for a change. As summer moves in, bass fishing is picking up for those casting plastic worms or slowly worked crankbaits off points and structures lake-wide. Look for bass catches to improve in the Emigrant Arm amid this weekend's hot weather. Trolling for trout will be best in the lower section of the lake, but look for trout to work their way up toward cool creek mouths.

EXPO: The pond got another complement of 1,000 legal-sized trout earlier this month and they continue to keep anglers busy. Fishing is best with worms and bobbers or Panther Martin lures. Access the pond through Gate 5 off Peninger Road. Parking fees are required.

FISH: The lake got another 3,000 legal-sized rainbows last week. Fishing is very good, mainly in the cove off the Forest Service ramp as well as the nearby points and out deep in the middle of the lake. Catches have been best with PowerBait, as well as leeches and woolly bugger flies. The lake was up a bit this week to 86 percent full, keeping its 2-percent-a-week fill rate. Tiger trout must be released unharmed. 

HOWARD PRAIRIE: The lake received 5,100 legal-sized trout near the resort earlier this month, and fishing is holding on well throughout the lake. Fishing has been very good from Grizzly Campground up into the flats at the lake's northwest side, with trolling and still-fishing equally effective. Lots of bug activity in that area means fishing streamer flies such as leeches and thin woolly buggers should be good. The lake was listed Thursday as 98 percent full. Klum Landing will be closed Monday through midday Wednesday for parking-lot improvements.

HYATT: The lake received 5,100 legal-sized rainbow trout at the Bureau of Land Management ramp earlier this month, and anglers are catching them with PowerBait or worms under bobbers. Trolling will be good along the lake's old creek channel with Needlefish or Flat Fish lures. Bass are starting to get active, as well. The lake has held at 60 percent full and it will stay about that level for the foreseeable future in preparation for some improvements to Hyatt Dam this summer. Construction has not yet begun. The bass are getting very active, and while numerous, they tend to be small.

LOST CREEK: The lake got another 10,000 legal rainbows and 1,500 pound-sized trout this past week, split between the Taklema and marina boat ramps. Fishing is good around both facilities, with bank anglers doing well in the Taklema area on PowerBait or worms. The lake level is starting to drop and was listed Thursday at 6 feet from full. Trolling has been decent with red or green Wedding Ring lures with a worm near the dam. Wind-drifting worms right where the river flows into the upper part of the lake is very good, but the water above Peyton Bridge is a no-wake zone, so it takes a while to get there.

LAKE OF THE WOODS: Fishing is picking up for rainbows in the shallows with bait or lures. The resort is open.

MEDCO POND: The pond received another 1,600 legal-sized rainbows earlier this month to go with 4,000 legals stocked in May. Fishing is good for them with PowerBait or worms under bobbers.

WILLOW: The lake got 3,000 legal-sized trout and 1,500 pound-sized trout in early June and they are keeping anglers busy, especially on cloudy days. Catch them early on PowerBait or worms near the ramp before they disperse.

RIVER OUTLOOK

ROGUE: Spring chinook salmon catches are picking up for boat anglers in the upper Rogue as the water drops, while warm water in the lower Rogue means chinook could start stacking up in the bay as early as this weekend for trollers. For middle Rogue anglers, continue driving upstream or downstream, because there's nothing of substance as far as salmon and steelhead go in your home area now.

That makes the best bet the upper Rogue, as it should for the last week in June.

In the upper Rogue, the Corps of Engineers dropped Lost Creek Lake outflows to 3,000 cfs Thursday, and that should get fish moving. A good bite occurred from Dodge Bridge on up Thursday with a good mix of chinook hitting plugs and bait. For driftboaters, back-bouncing roe and sandshrimp or the same baits on divers have worked best, while Kwikfish and Mag Lip lures are starting to get more attention. That usually means the fish are on the move.

The 185 springers caught in the Cole Rivers Hatchery trap this week was the most yet for what has been an extremely late run. It's common to see a very late return in high-water springs, and the 434 springers so far at the hatchery are showing that trend. The 10-year average for this week is about 3,000 fish, so do the math. Another 15 summer steelhead at the hatchery bounced that count to 41 so far, which is inching closer to the 10-year average for this week of 68 fish.

Anglers are starting to report more summer steelhead getting caught, mostly by anglers fishing for spring chinook. The early-run fish tend either to be those 20-inch, first-time spawners or those 8-plus pounders that are either wild fish on their second or third spawning run or hatchery females stripped of their eggs and released to the Rogue. These early fish will bite anything from spinners to plugs to worms and even pink plastic worms fished under bobbers.

The Hatchery Hole is closed for the season because state fish biologists are concerned that Cole Rivers Hatchery might not meet spring chinook production goals for the second straight year. Fishing is allowed from the old deadline on down, which is the area where boat fishing begins.

Flows at Dodge Bridge were down to an attractive 3,312 cfs Thursday, 3,634 cfs at the old Gold Ray Dam site, 3,392 cfs at Grants Pass (where no one is fishing now), and 5,705 at Agness. All represent the lowest flow levels of the season to date.

Bank fishing is best at Hayes Falls.

The lower Rogue has very few anglers working the area, and the 69-degree water in the lower river is why. A few anglers fishing out of boats have hit a few fish daily at Cannery Riffle or Elephant Rock, but expect trolling in the bay to start picking up as that warm water creates a thermal barrier chinook won't want to cross. Troll anchovies with Rogue bait rig blades or Brad's cut-plug herring.

Surfperch fishing off the Rogue sand spit has been excellent when the surf and winds cooperate.

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