Fishing Report: Sept. 21, 2012

Ocean Outlook

COASTWIDE - The near-shore Pacific halibut fishery reopens Monday north of Humbug Mountain so anglers can fill the final 4,700 pounds of the quota. Fishing will remain open until Oct. 31 or when the quota is reached.

Fairly calm seas are forecast through the weekend, and that should bode well for bottomfishers going after black rockfish and lingcod.

The marine aggregate limit in Oregon is seven rockfish a day, and no cabezon may be kept for the rest of 2012. The lingcod limit is two a day with a 22-inch minimum, and that is separate from the marine aggregate.

BROOKINGS - The chinook season is over until the Oct. 1 "Bubble" season just off the mouth of the Chetco. That fishery should be excellent but is very weather-dependent.

Lake Outlook

AGATE - Fishing for bass, crappie and perch is good in the evenings while trout fishing is very slow. No gas motors are allowed. Small, electric motors are legal.

APPLEGATE - Access to the lake's southern extremes remains restricted because of continued efforts fighting a wildfire over the ridge in California's Klamath National Forest. Largemouth bass fishing is good around structures, particularly the sunken Christmas tree lines.

EMIGRANT - Smallmouth bass fishing is best off rocky banks, as fish are getting more concentrated and a few largemouth have been taken in the willows.

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

HOWARD PRAIRIE - Trout fishing has picked up for those trolling Wedding Rings with small pieces of worm while some throwback anglers are doing well using Ford Fenders. Chartreuse and rainbow PowerBait are working OK, along with worms 7 feet or so under bobbers.

HYATT - Bass fishing is in high gear, with anglers casting a variety of red lures doing well all day. One of the BLM boat ramps at the campground is closed while it is getting rebuilt.

DIAMOND - The lake's trout bite has improved as cooler air and water temperatures are more trout-friendly. Fishing remains best at the lake's south end in waters 10 to 20 feet deep. The limit is eight trout over 8 inches long, with only one allowed over 20 inches.

EXPO - Fishing is slow for what remains of the 2,000 rainbow trout stocked there in the summer. Use worms, PowerBait and small Panther Martin lures.

LOST CREEK - Holdover trout from earlier stockings are getting caught regularly by trollers near the dam or wind-drifters with worms above Peyton Bridge in the no-wake zone. Still-fishing is good with PowerBait at the Medco access and near Takelma. Bass fishing has picked up in the coves, near the dam and off points. The salmon fly hatch is over. The lake is less than 2 feet from its normal minimum pool.

River Outlook

ROGUE - The middle Rogue is holding on for fall chinook salmon fishing while the upper Rogue is a bit slow for summer steelhead as water conditions drop thanks to lowered outflows from Lost Creek Lake. The lower Rogue dropped into a two-day lull after some of the best bay fishing for chinook so far this year, and the Agness area is awash with halfpounders amid a strong showing this year.

That puts the best bet at Agness, where September halfpounder fishing can be excellent on mornings and evenings with everything from Panther Martin lures, worms, roe and streamer flies like red ants and green-butt skunks. Most riffles have halfpounders in them now. Any steelhead under 16 inches long is considered a halfpounder and can be kept as part of a trout limit.

In the upper Rogue, flows are down to 1,250 cubic feet per second out of the reservoir, slowing migration of summers. The flies-only season is in full swing upstream of what used to be Gold Ray Dam.

In the middle Rogue, fall chinook are getting caught primarily by boat anglers fishing from Chinook Park on down. Bank anglers have done well at Finley Bend and Chinook Park.

Anglers can continue to fish for fall chinook downstream from the old Gold Ray Dam site, but all chinook angling upstream of there is closed.

Both wild and hatchery chinook may be kept downstream of the former Gold Ray Dam site, but all wild steelhead must be released unharmed riverwide.

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