Fishing Report: Friday, Oct. 27

OCEAN OUTLOOK

COASTWIDE: Today's forecast calls for 5- to 10-knot winds and swells up to 4 feet, followed Saturday by 5-knot winds and 11-foot swells. Sunday calls for 10-knot winds and 7- to 8-foot swells, so today is the best day of the weekend to hit the ocean.

Halibut fishing is open through Halloween off the South Coast, and more than half of this year's poundage quota remains. The most consistent halibut fishing is in water about 200 feet deep due west of the Thomas Creek Bridge north of Brookings.

Ocean bottomfishing is open outside the 40-fathom line. Thirty-foot leaders and floats are required to keep baits off the bottom and focused on midwater rockfish species. No lingcod, cabezon or other bottomfish can be targeted, even from jetties. However, flatfish such as in-season halibut and sanddab are legal, as are surfperch.

Surfperch fishing should be OK today off open beaches and decent through the weekend off the sand spit off the Rogue River's south jetty.

Near-shore halibut fishing off the Central Oregon coast is open, but only 5 percent of the quota remains.

Crabbing is closed in the ocean, off beaches and in bays south of Bandon because of high levels of domoic acid found in Dungeness tested this past weekend. The closure will remain in effect at least another 10 days, because testing protocol requires two weeks of safe domoic acid levels in Dungeness before the season can reopen. Regardless, the ocean is closed to crabbing until Dec. 1.

The recreational harvest of razor clams is closed from Cascade Head to the California border for elevated levels of domoic acid, which includes all beaches and bays. Clatsop County beaches are open, and diggers there are finding fewer, but bigger, razors than in most years. The recreational harvesting of mussels is open along the entire coast. Before digging, check the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474.

LAKE OUTLOOK

AGATE: The lake is up a hair to 23 percent full and fishing pressure is very light. Look for isolated catches of yellow perch and bass around structure and near the dam face. No gas motors are allowed. Electric trolling motors are OK. The park closes at dusk.

APPLEGATE: Fishing pressure remains very light, with some catches of rainbow trout for those trolling near the mouth of Carberry Creek or fishing worms or PowerBait from the far bank. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has held releases steady at 240 cfs. The lake was listed Thursday at slightly more than 88 feet from full.

DIAMOND: Trout are averaging 15 inches, with anglers averaging 3½ trout per trip and about one trout an hour. PowerBait floated off the bottom is out-fishing worms under bobbers, with corn yellow and salmon-egg peach popular, but don't forget the glitter chartreuse. Trollers are getting action on Needlefish and Flat Fish. Fly-fishers are doing very well off the south end with leeches or woolly buggers fished with an intermediate sink line. All tiger trout must be released unharmed.

EMIGRANT: The lake was listed Thursday at 26 percent full and holding steady. Fishing pressure is light. Bass fishing is decent but slowing. Slowly fish plastic worms, grubs and crankbaits near structure. Smallmouth are off rocky points, largemouth are largely in the submerged willows.

EXPO: Fishing is very good for the 500 legal-sized trout and 100 12-inch trout stocked last week. Catch them on PowerBait, worms and bobbers or small spinners like Panther Martins.

FISH: The lake was listed Thursday at 57 percent full, up 3 percent from last week. Anglers are still running into what's left of 900 trophy trout stocked late last month at the Forest Service ramp. Use worms or PowerBait, or strip leeches or woolly buggers. Troll plugs that look like chubs or Wedding Ring lures with a small chunk of worm on the hook. Tiger trout must be released unharmed.

HOWARD PRAIRIE: Trout fishing is good, but interest has been light in the cold weather. That's too bad because conditions are very good and so are the trout. Fishing is best near the dam. Trollers should use worms and flashers, starting deep and working their way up the water column until they find where the trout are suspended. The lake was listed Thursday at 75 percent full, very high for this time of year.

HYATT: BLM has closed the boat ramps at its recreation area. The lake is 40 percent full. Any fishing now is off the bank.

LOST CREEK: The lake got another 1,000 trout 14- to 16-inches long last week, complementing 5,000 legal-sized trout, 10,000 fingerling and 2,300 trophy trout about 15 inches apiece stocked there earlier this month. That's far more larger trout released here this fall than in past years. They were dispersed between the Takelma boat ramp and the marina. The trout have yet to spread out much, so fishing at the Takelma area with worms or PowerBait should be good this weekend. Trollers using Wedding Rings spiced with a piece of worm should do well in those areas. The lake was listed Thursday at 66 feet from full.

LAKE OF THE WOODS: Fishing is good for rainbows in the shallows and farther out in the lake with bait or lures. Some kokanee have been caught in the deeper parts of the lake.

MEDCO POND: The pond got 1,600 legal-sized rainbows in June and 4,000 legals in May. Fish with PowerBait or worms under bobbers.

WILLOW: The lake got 3,000 legal-sized trout and 1,500 pound-sized trout in early June. Catch them on PowerBait or worms. Weed mats are clogging the boat ramp most days thanks to wind patterns.

RIVER OUTLOOK

ROGUE: The upper Rogue flies-only summer steelhead season ends Tuesday night, followed by a mix of bait and artificial lure angling. The middle Rogue remains OK for summer steelhead, and a few coho are getting caught as well, while the lower Rogue has remained good for summer steelhead, a few chinook and lots of halfpounders, but water conditions are turning less favorable for steelheaders.

That shifts the best bet to the upper Rogue, especially beginning Wednesday, when the river stretch gets its Nov. 1 partitioning. Upstream of the Shady Cove ramp, anglers are back to their full summer steelheading arsenal. Most will be fishing small clusters of roe or egg-soaked yarn for steelhead at heads of pools and tailouts. Downstream of the Shady Cove ramp will reopen to the use of artificial lures and hard-plastic egg imitations but no bait.

Until then, fly-fishing with egg patterns and big streamers is holding on farther downstream in the Denman Wildlife Area, where water temperatures are warmer, and allowing the steelhead to be more active. That's why fishing is better in the afternoons and evenings than in the mornings.

Flows at Dodge Bridge were up Thursday to 1,785 cfs and forecast to flat-line into next week. Flows at the old Gold Ray Dam site were up to 1,984 cfs Thursday.

In the lower Rogue, adult summer steelhead and halfpounders are showing up in very good numbers in the lower 30 miles of freshwater. Cast Panther Martin spinners, worms and corkies or swing streamer flies. Flows at Agness were up over 2,700 cubic feet per second. That will get the steelhead active, and expect the bite to turn on. For fly-fishers, swing traditional steelhead flies like red ants, green-butt skunks and buck-tail Coachmans. Side-drifting worms and corkies from boats or the bank is also a great bet. Try Quosatana Creek, Lobster Creek and Cole Riffle.

In the lower Rogue bay, troll anchovies with Rogue bait rigs. Gold and chartreuse blades are best. All wild coho must be released unharmed. Very few chinook are present, and few anglers are showing interest.

All chinook fishing is now closed upstream of the Hog Creek boat ramp near Galice.

In the middle Rogue, anglers are reporting good catches of summer steelhead with worms and corkies off the bank or side-drifting from driftboats. Some surprisingly bright late-run fall chinook were caught this week downstream of Hog Creek. A few coho are getting caught in the slow water around Galice by dragging pink jigs off the bottom.

APPLEGATE: The river is open to trout fishing, but all wild trout must be released unharmed. Most of the trout are steelhead pre-smolts.

CHETCO: Last week's rains pushed fall chinook salmon throughout the river, but Forest Service lands in the upper river remain closed to boat launches and bank angling because of the Chetco Bar fire. Fishing with plugs has been very good in the river, but it will improve with every dash of rain through November.

ELK: Rains last week brought some fish into the estuary, and look for more fall chinook to enter the system with the next rain.

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