Fishing Report: Oct. 21, 2011

Coastwide - Ocean anglers can expect some nice-looking seas Saturday before the winds likely shift Saturday night and kick up to 20 knots or so. That could make for a brief ocean-fishing weekend.

Anglers may venture past the 20-fathom line for the remainder of the season now that bottomfish restrictions to curb the bycatch of yelloweye rockfish have been suspended. Also, near-shore halibut anglers may fish for and keep bottomfish during near-shore halibut trips until the near-shore halibut season ends Oct. 31.

The marine aggregate limit in Oregon is seven rockfish a day. Cabezon can no longer be kept by boat anglers because the quota has been met. The lingcod limit is two a day with a 22-inch minimum, and that is separate from the marine aggregate.

The ocean is closed to recreational crabbing now through November 30.

For clamming, a good set of minus tides begins Tuesday and runs through Halloween.

Beaches from the mouth of the Columbia River down to Cape Meares are closed to mussel harvest, but the rest of the coast is open.

BROOKINGS - The ocean salmon season is closed, but a few chinook are getting caught by trollers working the lower 2.2 miles of the Chetco River. That's the only open water until November.

Rockfish catches have been low because of a lack of effort. Halibut anglers can fish through Halloween, but effort has been sparse.

COOS BAY - Crab catches have been excellent off the public docks, but the Dungeness don't have much meat in them yet. Red crabs have a lot more meat. Good clamming will occur after Tuesday during the next set of minus tides. Places such as Clam Island will be best, but crowded.

Good catches of rockfish have come when anglers have been able to get across the bar.

Trolling the bay for chinook has been good, with chinook starting to stack up near the Indian Creek mouth. Trolling cut-plug herring with a gold spinner has worked. The wild coho season is open and recent fishing has been good. About 62 percent of the quota was caught as of Saturday.

Tuna fishing is all but over.

BANDON - Trolling for chinook remains good to very good with cut-plug herring all the way up to Rocky Point. The wild coho season is now closed because the quota has been met.

WINCHESTER BAY - Sturgeon fishing is slow. Chinook catches remain very good for trollers. Wild coho fishing is now closed, and anglers are catching and releasing a few dozen wild coho for every hatchery coho they catch. Crabbing has improved for Dungeness.

AGATE - A new batch of legal-sized and larger trout was stocked this week in the lake. Look for very good fishing for them around the lower section of the lake, which is about 30 percent full. Worms or PowerBait will be best. No gas motors are allowed. Small electric motors are legal.

APPLEGATE - The facilities at Hart-Tish Park are closed, and the low-water ramp at French Gulch is open and usable, as is the Copper ramp. The lake received some more legal-sized, and lunker trout two weeks ago and fishing for them remains good for the few trying for them. Catch them trolling Triple Teasers or Wedding Ring lures with worms. Bass fishing is slowing as the water drops and cools.

EMIGRANT - The lake's stocked rainbow trout are biting fairly well near the county boat ramp, near the dam and up the Emigrant Arm, where the rainbows are attracted to the cooler water. The lake was listed Thursday at 41 percent full. The warmwater bite continues to hang on around submerged willows and points. Lots of yellow perch in the catches, but still enough crappie to keep things interesting.

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

HOWARD PRAIRIE - Catches have been good amid cooler water conditions, with a mix of legal-sized fish as well as the 6-inch fingerling stocked there earlier this month. Anglers should be careful to release the fingerlings as daintily as possible because they will make up the lion's share of next spring's opening weekend catch. The lake was stocked with legal-sized and larger trout two weeks ago. Trollers fishing deep and in the early mornings and late evenings along the channel have seen the best success, with bankers' hours fine on cloudy days. Success along the jetty near the resort has been spotty, as is fishing near Grizzly Campground. The lake is holding at about 82 percent full.

HYATT - The lake was stocked recently with legal-sized and larger trout, making for a good late-season opportunity for those not hunting. Fishing near the dam and around the Orchard has been fair for trout with chartreuse or rainbow PowerBait. Late evening has been best. Largemouth bass fishing is excellent for those wind-drifting worms or casting and retrieving any red spinner or spoon. The lake is down a bit but the 81-percent level for early October is excellent.

DIAMOND - Late-season trout fishing has been excellent for those hitting the lake on warm days like last weekend, when a creel census logged two fish per angler. Anchored anglers are faring best in water from eight to 20 feet deep. The trick is to fish amid the pockets of weeds, finding holes in the weeds and casting either PowerBait or worms under bobbers. Try to put the worms a few feet above the weed line. Trollers are using F-4 Flatfish or Triple Teasers, while fly-fishers are using black or olive leeches in the south end, with mornings and evenings best. If you go 15 minutes without a bite, move.

The trout limit is eight, but only one can be longer than 20 inches. One smaller rainbow with an orange tag in its dorsal fin is worth $500 to whomever catches it. Check it in at the resort if you land it.

EXPO - Fishing remains fair for stocked rainbow trout with Panther Martin lures, PowerBait and worms under bobbers.

LOST CREEK - The lake remains under a voluntary advisory against water contact following a bloom of blue-green algae. Fishing effort has dropped substantially. The boat ramp at Stewart State Park is all but unusable, but the Takelma ramp near the dam is operable at all water levels. The lake is down four feet below its normal level.

FISH - The lake was stocked recently with big rainbow trout averaging more than a pound apiece, and trollers have been going after them with Triple Teasers, Tasmanian Devils and Wedding Rings with worms. Lots of the smaller chinook salmon have been caught, and anglers need to be careful when releasing them so they can survive and grow to legal size.

LEMOLO - A voluntary advisory against water contact has been lifted. Trolling for big brown trout should be good, and fly-fishers using woolly buggers or leeches have been finding a mix of rainbows and browns.

WILLOW - Fishing is fair for legal-sized and larger rainbow trout stocked there earlier this year. Troll deep and slow, or fish PowerBait off the bottom.

ROGUE - The upper Rogue is pretty much an egg-fly fishing show, while middle Rogue anglers are weaning themselves off fall chinook and hitting the summer steelhead, and lower Rogue bay anglers are finding excellent catches of coho and chinook amid summer-like weather.

That shifts the best bet to the lower Rogue, where trollers in the bay are finding plenty of fish to catch but not necessarily to keep. Only about 20 percent of the coho caught recently are hatchery-bred fish that can be kept as part of the two-fish daily limit. The coho are averaging 7 to 9 pounds, with some 15-plus pounders in the mix. Some fall chinook are there as well, including some 40 pounders.

Anglers are primarily trolling straight anchovies for chinook and adding orange and pink blades for coho. Trollers also are picking up the occasional summer steelhead in the bay.

In the upper Rogue, it's flies-only now through October from the Hatchery Hole down to the old Gold Ray Dam site. Anglers can use up to three flies and a bubble regardless of what kind of rod or reel is used. However, no added weights or attachments are allowed.

The vast majority of the catches are fish lying behind spawning salmon. Leave the salmon alone.

Flows out of Lost Creek Lake continue to be a fly-fisher-friendly 1,100 cubic feet per second. Swinging streamer flies is starting to be less effective now that water-release temperatures are so low. Swingers should use large leech patterns in black, olive or purple.

All wild steelhead must be released unharmed river-wide.

Flyfishing for halfpounders and adult steelhead has picked up some in the Agness area, where the flows Thursday were 2,376 cfs — the exact flow registered there a week ago Thursday. Swinging flies or twitching flies from driftboats works great for halfpounders, with the occasional adult in the mix.

In the middle Rogue, anglers are getting good catches of smallish summer steelhead, and mostly all wild ones, by side-drifting roe or worms. Streamer flies are working well for summer steelhead in Grants Pass, as well. Side-drifting roe for steelhead also is good in the Gold Hill to Rogue River run, with almost all of them wild.

APPLEGATE - The river is open to trout fishing. All wild trout, including cutthroat, must be released unharmed. It is illegal to target spawning winter steelhead in the Applegate.

UMPQUA - Excellent catches of coho continue to be reported in the lower end of the mainstem river. Summer steelhead catches remain low in the lower North Umpqua, where all wild steelhead must be released unharmed.

COOS - Jigging and trolling for chinook remains good, as is coho fishing. The bay's wild coho season remains on because the quota has yet to be reached. The most productive spot in the bay has been from the mud flats to the California Street boat ramp.

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