Fishing Report: July 12, 2013

COASTWIDE - Northwest winds are forecast to climb to 25 knots today along the south Oregon Coast, but then should settle down in the Brookings area for the weekend, and that might get chinook salmon back on the bite after a slow week.

Lingcod and bottomfish catches have been very good coastwide when anglers have been able to get out.

The all-depth halibut fishery off the Central Oregon coast is closed until August. It's back inside of the 40-fathom line for halibut anglers, who may finish off the central coast near-shore quota this weekend if the weather cooperates.

The marine aggregate limit in Oregon is seven rockfish a day. Cabezon may now be kept, with a limit of one per day at least 15 inches long, as part of that seven-fish aggregate. The lingcod limit is two a day with a 22-inch minimum, and that is separate from the marine aggregate.

Clatsop County beaches close to clamming Sunday evening for the annual conservation closure to give young clams a chance to get a foothold in the sand. The rest of the state will remain open to clamming.

It should be another decent weekend for bay crabbing, although lots of smaller crabs have been in the catch of late.

BROOKINGS - The ocean salmon season that had been red-hot out of Brookings has fallen into a lull that could be reversed as early as this weekend. Catches have been best for anglers trolling anchovies with hoochies about 30 to 40 feet down in 150 feet or so of water within a few miles of the whistle buoy.

Jigging for black and blue rockfish, as well as lingcod, has been good, but most anglers have lost interest in bottomfish now that the chinook have reached Southern Oregon.

Surfperch fishing has sputtered at Winchuck Beach because of heavy winds. Catch them on bright streamer flies, clam necks, mussels or plastic, imitation crayfish.

GOLD BEACH - Surfperch fishing has picked up at the Rogue River mouth between spurts of wind. Chinook salmon were getting caught outside of the river mouth when anglers could get out, which has not been recently. Commercial fishermen have marked many salmon off the river mouth, and expect these fall chinook to hang around for the next few months.

AGATE - Fishing for bass and crappie has been good. Pink or white crappie jigs have worked well, as have small black flies cast and stripped near submerged willows. Bass are biting plastic worms and grubs. The lake is down to 67 percent full and dropping rapidly. No gas motors are allowed. Small electric motors are legal.

APPLEGATE - The lake got no fresh fish this past week, but anglers still are doing well for stocked trout higher in the lake and near the Copper ramp. Catch them by trolling Wedding Rings with worms or by using PowerBait off the bank. Evenings are best. Trout fishing in the Seattle Bar area has died off now that the lake is down to 15 feet from full and dropping quickly. Bass fishing has been very good off points and in coves, and look for it to be good through the weekend.

DIAMOND - Trout are on the bite in deep water as air temperatures finally cooled a bit in the High Cascades. Most of the action remains on PowerBait in water 35 to 40 feet deep. Trollers could try pulling Triple Teasers, No. 4 Flatfish and other lures slowly just above the weed lines, then switch to PowerBait when that doesn't work. Fly-fishing has been fair on chironomids and woolly buggers. Most of the rainbows are 12 to 16 inches long, and last year's fingerlings are 9 to 10 inches. The limit is eight trout per day over 8 inches, but only one can be more than 20 inches.

EMIGRANT - Bass fishing has been off and on. Focus on rockpiles and submerged willows along the lower stretches where the water is warmer. Trout fishing is slow. Try small spinners, worms and streamer flies. The lake is down to 72 percent full and dropping fairly quickly.

EXPO - Fishing for stocked trout is poor and will remain poor. No new stocking is scheduled for the rest of the summer.

WILLOW - Trolling for trout has been very good during early mornings and evenings. Crappie and other panfish are getting caught consistently with worms under bobbers or jigs.

FISH - The lake got a dose of 3,000 legal-sized trout last month, and fishing for them has been very good around the resort and the Forest Service boat ramp. Still-fishing with PowerBait is best in deeper water. Some of last year's tiger trout could be in the 10-inch range this year, but they must be released unharmed.

HOWARD PRAIRIE - About 2,000 "pounder" rainbow trout were released two weeks ago and they are joining an already good fishery that includes lots of nice rainbows despite hot temperatures. Still fishing is far outdoing trolling. Anglers anchored in 30 feet of water have done best with PowerBait, while trollers have worked the middle of the lake with some success. Bass fishing has been very good regardless of what bassers are throwing at them, but white plastic worms and topwater baits have been the better choices this week. Largemouth are hitting a variety of crankbaits and plastic worms. The limit is five trout per day with an 8-inch minimum, and only one can be longer than 20 inches.

HYATT - The BLM boat ramps are open, and fishing is fair to good with PowerBait near the dam, around the Orchard and in the upper stretches of the lake. Trolling the old creek channel near the lake's western edge can be good, especially in the evenings. Catches remain light, but the percentage of trout 16 to 20 inches long is very high.

LEMOLO - Fishing has been good. Brown trout are averaging 16 inches, rainbows are 12 to 16-plus inches, and kokanee are in the 13- to 15-inch range. A combination of brown trout, rainbows and kokanee can be harvested to make up the five-trout limit, and only one can be longer than 20 inches.

LOST CREEK - The lake's public-health advisory against water contact was lifted the morning of July 5, and that has trout and bass anglers returning to the lake. There have been no new trout stockings. Largemouth bass are hitting plastic worms and top-water baits in the mornings and evenings off points. The lake is down to 28 feet from full and the surface temperature has held at 75 to 76 degrees.

ROGUE - The first early-run fall chinook salmon have been bending rods at a good clip the past few days, while the middle Rogue is nearly a dead zone as anglers wait for local steelhead to start showing up. The upper Rogue is a mix of early-run summer steelhead for evening anglers, while morning anglers are focusing on spring chinook salmon from Dodge Bridge on down, because anglers there now may keep wild chinook.

That makes the upper Rogue the best bet for a combination of spring chinook and summer steelhead.

Springers are starting to move a little better than they did early in the heat wave, with 672 new springers entering Cole Rivers Hatchery in the week preceding Tuesday. Also, 103 summer steelhead reached the collection pond in that same period. When salmon aren't moving, it's harder to catch hatchery fish because wild fish dominate the traditional holding holes from Shady Cove on upstream. Lost Creek Lake outflows are back to about 1,500 cubic feet per second and are set to remain unchanged into next week. For boat anglers, back-bouncing roe has out-produced plugs, and many of the bites are light.

Most driftboat action has been from Dodge Bridge on down, with anglers finding good pods of wild fish to catch and keep. Bank anglers are doing best at the Hatchery Hole and Casey State Park. Anglers continue to complain about bankies illegally keeping chinook that are hooked other than inside the mouth at these and several other upper Rogue holes upstream of Rogue Elk Park.

With 214 summer steelhead seen at the hatchery, anglers are starting to target them on late-evening floats from Gold Hill on up to the hatchery. These fish will bite worms, lures, plugs and flies. They're mostly congregated in riffles 4 feet deep and deeper, so focus on good-churning water. Early steelhead are either first-time spawners 18 to 19 inches long or fatties 8 pounds and up. Few early-run fish are between those sizes. All wild steelhead must be released unharmed.

The lower Rogue bay has turned on for large fall chinook, with some as big as 47 pounds and several in the 30-pound class, indicating they are more likely early-run fall chinook than late-run spring chinook. Last week's fish were more likely late-run springers. They are holding in the bay to stay cool, because the freshwater temperatures are around 74 degrees now. That makes trolling good with anchovies with Rogue blades fished a few feet off the bottom. The few hours around high tide and the bottom of low tide have been best. Summer steelhead fishing in the lower Rogue is slow.

In the far upper Rogue upstream of Lost Creek Lake, the regular stocking schedule for the summer is in place, and anglers are catching legal-sized trout daily.

APPLEGATE - The river is open for trout fishing. All wild rainbow and cutthroat trout must be released unharmed. It is illegal to target steelhead when they reach the river during trout season.

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