Jan. 11, 2019 Fishing Report


    A winter steelhead is released on the Rogue River near Shady Cove in April. Mail Tribune / Jamie Lusch

    OCEAN OUTLOOK

    COASTWIDE: Hazardous-seas warnings are in effect through Friday morning, and a small-craft advisory for hazardous seas is in effect through Saturday evening. Swells Friday will build to 8 feet and continue Saturday, but with a chance of rain. Sunday’s forecast calls for 10-knot east winds with swells down to 7 feet.

    The marine aggregate rockfish daily limit for bottomfishers is five fish. Cabezon must be released unharmed. Rockfish angling is open beyond the 30-fathom line. A descending device to help release rockfish caught in deeper water is mandatory on all boats.

    Lingcod are hanging around close to shore and staging in shallower water in preparation for spawning. They are aggressive and will take most jigs or frozen sardines. Fishing is very good when anglers can get out, particularly around rock piles and kelp beds.

    Surfperch fishing has been hit and miss, with Nesika and Winchuck beaches the most consistent for anglers casting Berkly Gulp sandshrimp or prawns, with fishing better on calmer days.

    All recreational crabbing remains closed south of Cape Blanco, even in bays and estuaries, because of domoic acid levels. North of Cape Blanco, bay crabbing is good to very good in Charleston and Bandon, with a mix of Dungeness and red rock crab being taken.

    Razor clamming is closed from the mouth of the Umpqua River to the California border due to domoic acid levels. Bay clamming is open along the coast, but the recreational harvest of mussels is closed from the Coquille River south jetty to the California border. Before digging, call the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474.

    LAKE OUTLOOK

    AGATE: The lake is up to 12 percent full, and there is little angling action occurring. Fishing from the dam near the spillway has yielded a few bass, but not much more. The boat ramp remains unusable. For anyone launching, no gas motors are allowed. Electric trolling motors are OK. The park closes at dusk.

    APPLEGATE: The lake rose sharply in the past week and is 91 feet from full, with a surface temperature of 43 degrees. The low-water ramp at French Gulch is open, and that’s not getting much action. Those who manage to launch will see good trolling for trout using Wedding Ring lures spiced with a piece of worm or a whole worm behind a flasher. Bass fishing is very slow.

    DIAMOND: Ice fishing has begun, and most of the action is right off the pizza parlor on the south end and 50 yards straight out from the resort. Worms and small jigs have worked well, as has chartreuse-garlic PowerBait. Vary depths until you get into the rainbows.

    EMIGRANT: The lake is up a hair to 22 percent full. Very few anglers are venturing to the lake edge near the county park. All boat ramps are closed, and there is no driving below the high-water line.

    EXPO: Trout fishing is poor, but fishing for largemouth bass can be decent with crankbaits fished slowly.

    FISH: Ice fishing has begun near the Forest Service ramp as well as right off the resort. Try spots near underwater springs, because that is where most of the trout are. Worms, jigs and rainbow PowerBait are popular. The lake is up to 41 percent full.

    HOWARD PRAIRIE: The lake is starting to ice over, but no reports of ice fishing have come in. The lake lost some water in the past two weeks and is down to 30 percent full.

    HYATT: Access is very poor, and the lake is icing over, but no reports of ice fishing have been made. The lake is holding steady at 7 percent full.

    LAKE OF THE WOODS: Ice fishing has begun right outside of the resort with worms. Lots of perch in the mix.

    LOST CREEK: The Takelma ramp is the only usable ramp, but the marina ramps could be usable for boats within a few weeks. The water level is up a hair to slightly 2 feet under the low-pool level as the official filling schedule at the reservoir has begun. Boat anglers are focusing around the dam and the intake tower. Trolling Wedding Ring lures spiced with a worm has been very good, especially when the wind dies down. Outflows were dropped Thursday from 1,150 cfs to 1,050 cfs.

    WILLOW: Trout fishing is poor as snow and ice begin to cloak the lake.

    SELMAC: Bass fishing is poor.

    RIVER OUTLOOK

    ROGUE: Late-run summer steelhead are still bending rods on the upper Rogue but they are dark, while a few early winter steelhead have joined halfpounders in the middle Rogue. The lower Rogue has seen a steady increase in winter steelhead catches from plunkers and boat anglers, and fish will be moving as soon as the next rains come.

    That keeps the best bet on the far upper Rogue or middle Rogue, depending upon your tastes. The upper Rogue definitely has more steelhead in it than the middle Rogue, but the chance of catching a nice early winter might trump that for some.

    In the upper Rogue, steelhead are starting to slow down. This week just 44 new summer steelhead and 39 recaptured steelhead were caught in the Cole Rivers Hatchery collection pond. That’s a pretty steep drop-off from the past two weeks, and look for that to slow down even more.

    Flows out of Lost Creek Lake were cut down Thursday from 1,150 cfs to 1,050 cfs. For steelhead, side-drifting roe or egg-soaked yarn balls are the main offerings now throughout the entire upper Rogue, where bait is now allowed. Lots of cutthroat are in the river, and they all must be released unharmed. For fly-fishers, a mix of swinging large streamers or fishing nymphs below indicators have worked.

    Flows at Dodge Bridge were up a bit this week to 1,610 cfs, but they will hold pretty steady until late next week, when more rain will create the first significant upper Rogue flows this year. Flows at the old Gold Ray Dam site were at 1,900 cfs Thursday.

    In the middle Rogue, a few winter steelhead were caught this week just downstream from Grants Pass and in the Galice area, but they are well scattered. Side-drifting roe with corkies or plugs should work well.

    Anglers can now keep one wild winter steelhead at least 24 inches long per day, and just three per year, in the Rogue downstream of the Hog Creek boat ramp. Halfpounders are scattered around riffles downstream of Grants Pass. They are aggressive fish and will take plugs, worms, roe and flies.

    In the lower Rogue, plunkers using Cop Car Spin-Glo’s have caught some winter steelhead between Huntley Park and Agness, with most gravel bars kicking out fish but no gravel bar is particularly hot. Flows were a sturdy 7,916 cfs, which is excellent for plunkers.

    APPLEGATE: The river opens to steelhead fishing Tuesday, and a few winter steelhead could be near the mouth or in the lower river. Catch them on roe, spoons, Blue Fox spinners and yarn flies. All cutthroat must be released. Rainbow trout longer than 16 inches are considered steelhead.

    CHETCO: The Chetco was at 8,120 cfs and dropping Thursday and pulling into good fishing shape through the weekend and early next week before another system moves in. Winter steelhead fishing has been a bit sporadic with a mix of roe and plugs.

    ELK AND SIXES: River conditions were high and dropping Thursday and should be good for winter steelhead through the weekend.

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