Fishing Report: Nov. 26, 2010

Coastwide - A hazardous seas warning remains in effect through today, and more of those nasty, 11-foot swell weekends are on the Oregon horizon for ocean anglers. In other words, it's another stay-in-port weekend for bottomfishers.

When the seas subside, ocean anglers must remain within the 20-fathom curve to reduce the bycatch on canary and yelloweye rockfish. That means staying in waters less than 120 feet deep. When getting out, anglers still are catching near-limits of bottomfish each trip, but only one in 10 anglers now is catching a lingcod.

The marine aggregate limit remains seven rockfish a day and two lingcod a day with a 22-inch minimum.

All shellfish fishing is open coast-wide, including the popular Clatsop County beaches. Mussel harvest also is open coastwide. For more information and updated closures, telephone the shellfish hotline at 800-448-2474.

Dungeness crabbing in bays off public docks in Winchester Bay and Charleston has been good, and most of the crabs are in their hard shells, but red rock crabs are dominating the catch off the docks around Coos Bay. Ocean crabbing opens Dec. 1.

PORT ORFORD - Ocean trolling for chinook off the mouth of the Elk and Sixes rivers is open through November. Fishing was poor again this week due to typically nasty November weather. Some decent catches were reported earlier in the season, but the rough seas have kept anglers in port.

BROOKINGS - Anglers sneaking out of the port in early mornings when the surf has died down were getting near-limits of bottomfish by staying close to shore and jigging near kelp beds.

WINCHESTER BAY - Sturgeon fishing remains slow, but good catches of bottomfish have been reported off the south jetty. Crabbing remains very good to excellent in the bay.

AGATE - Fishing for stocked legal and trophy-sized rainbows is very good for those trolling Wedding Ring lures or fishing chartreuse PowerBait off the dam. The lake is still less than 20 percent full. No gas motors allowed.

APPLEGATE - Trollers using Flatfish or Triple Teasers are still doing very well for the large and trophy trout stocked there last month. Trolling woolly bugger flies has worked well also. The lake is very low, but the French Gulch boat ramp remains usable. Hart-Tish Park is closed. Bank fishing is tough because the lake is so low. Focus off points and look for schools of land-locked chinook stocked there.

EMIGRANT - The lake is less than one-quarter full, hurting angling effort there. Trolling for trout has been fair to good, and most of the action remains on the lower third of the reservoir near the dam. Troll red Tazmanian Devils or Wedding Ring lures spiked with a piece of worm.

A standing public-health advisory continues about eating all but trout from the lake because of elevated mercury levels.

HOWARD PRAIRIE - The lake is closed to angling until the fourth Saturday in April.

HYATT - The lake is closed to angling until the fourth Saturday in April.

DIAMOND - The lake is closed to angling until the fourth Saturday in April.

EXPO - The pond is open year-round, and fishing remains good for large and trophy rainbow trout stocked there in late October. Chartreuse PowerBait or worms under bobbers remain popular choices.

LAKE of the WOODS - Fishing for brown and rainbow trout has remained good amid cooler weather. Still-fishing with PowerBait off the bank has been good near the resort. A few brown trout are getting caught on Kastmasters or worms from shore or docks.

LOST CREEK - Trolling for trout 15 to 17 inches remains very good near the dam, where most of the action is. The lake is getting drawn down for flood-control purposes, and the Stewart State Park boat ramp might not be usable by early next week. The Takelma Ramp will remain open throughout the winter.

The lake remains under a public-health advisory against water contact because of a second blue-gree algae bloom there.

FISH - Fishing for large rainbow trout remains very good near the resort and the Forest Service boat ramp. Bank anglers and those anchored in boats are catching plenty of large trout on chartreuse or orange PowerBait floated off the bottom. Some small spring chinook have been stocked in the lake, and they are nearing legal size.

WILLOW LAKE - The lake remains under a public-health advisory against water contact because of a blue-green algae bloom. The boat ramp and campground access are closed, but anglers can park outside the gate for walk-in, day-use access.

FOURMILE - Fishing for rainbows is good for trollers fishing deep with Kastmasters or other spoons. The lake is slightly less than one-third full.

SELMAC - The lake has cooled off, and that should help the trout bite. Another complement of large and trophy rainbow trout were stocked last month, and fishing for them continues to be very good with worms, Panther Martin lures, single salmon eggs floated off the bottom or PowerBait.

LEMOLO - The lake is closed to angling until the fourth Saturday in April.

MEDCO - Fishing for rainbow trout is good off the bank with PowerBait. Effort has been light.

ROGUE - Action on the upper Rogue has slowed down for late-run summer steelhead thanks largely to higher flows, while steelhead and coho were getting caught with regularity in the middle Rogue this week, though water clarity just before Thanksgiving was pretty poor in the Grants Pass and Rogue River areas.

That keeps the best on the upper Rogue, which saw its fish numbers boosted by 200 thanks to some recycling of retread steelhead down to the Gold Hill ramp late Monday.

Anglers fishing from the Hatchery Hole to the Shady Cove boat ramp are fishing with worms or roe side-drifted from boats. Egg flies work great, as well, and don't forget to bring a bag of pink rubber worms to fish in faster water. Plugs have worked very well, too. The chinook are all spawned and dead, so the steelhead are not focusing so intently on just eggs now.

From the Shady Cove ramp downstream to the former Gold Ray Dam site, anglers are relegated to artificial flies and lures. So most are either fly-fishing or side-drifting single salmon egg patterns in riffles immediately downstream of spawning chinook. The change in rules means molded plastic eggs are now legal, and they remain a good choice. Fly-fishers casting streamers are picking up a few fish in riffles, and K-11 Kwikfish plugs have worked very well for larger steelhead.

Some big fish have been in the mix, with a regular complement of 10-pounders showing up almost daily.

The new Pucker Rapid just downstream of the old Gold Ray Dam site continues to morph daily, with new wood reported in the rapid this week. Driftboaters have been picking down the river's left side there and avoiding the Pucker this past week because of higher flows.

All wild steelhead must be released unharmed riverwide.

In the middle Rogue, fishing for summer steelhead and cutthroat trout was good downstream of Lathrop's Landing before the water temperature and clarity dropped thanks to this week's storms. When the weather settles, look for good catches of late-run wild steelhead staging off creek mouths. Casting pink spinners with houichis for coho has been good between Lathrop and Robertson Bridge, with successful anglers focusing more on slower water and pools than riffles. All wild coho must be released unharmed.

The first winter steelhead have been caught side-drifting roe in the lower Rogue. Look for fresh fish to start moving up once water temperatures improve.

UMPQUA - The upper mainstem Umpqua was up and dirty this week after the recent rains and snowmelt. The lower Umpqua remains slow for sturgeon. The South Umpqua should have some fresh winter steelhead when angling opens Dec. 1.

COQUILLE - The wild coho salmon season in the river is over. The lower river is tapering off fall chinook fishing, with the first winter steelhead expected soon.

COOS - Fall chinook salmon fishing has fallen off to slow in the South Fork of the Coos River. Trolling cut-plug herring or sardines continues to produce fish, with gold-bladed spinners a decent backup choice. Sand shrimp drifted under a bobber is producing chinook in the upper South Fork of Coos River in pools where chinook are hiding out in low water. Many of the fish are dark.

ELK/SIXES - Both rivers were pulling into fishing shape Wednesday, but very cold weather and water conditions have hampered the fall chinook bite. The Elk has been very crowded with driftboats, causing some spill-over into the Sixes, as well. Fishing with eggs and bobbers has been good, followed by Kwikfish fished in migration lanes.

CHETCO - The river was high but had good color this week, though the fall chinook bite has fallen off. A few coho and early winter steelhead were caught this week in the Redwoods area, triggering suspicion that the Chetco was transitioning out of the fall chinook run early this year.

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