Southwest Oregon Fishing Reports
Bottomfishing is now open to fish at all depths. Fishing for lingcod and rockfish was very good this past weekend. Many anglers caught big lingcod while fishing out past 40 fathoms. The daily bag limit for marine fish is 5 plus 2 lingcod.
The harvest of cabezon along with copper, quillback, and China rockfish are now all closed to boat anglers. Shore anglers will still be able to harvest these rockfish species (but are encouraged to release them) and 1 cabezon a day.
Anglers may also choose to fish the offshore longleader fishery outside of the 40-fathom regulatory line, which is open year round. The longleader fishery has a daily bag limit of 10 fish made of yellowtail, widow, canary, blue, deacon, redstripe, greenstripe, silvergray, and bocaccio rockfish. No other groundfish are allowed and offshore longleader fishing trips cannot be combined with traditional bottomfish, flatfish or halibut trips. Find information about a longleader setup here.
Ocean salmon fishing for Chinook salmon from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt is open 7 days a week through Oct. 31. The non-selective coho season is now closed. Chinook must be a minimum of 24-inches long.
Halibut anglers may now keep two halibut per day. All halibut seasons will end on Oct. 31. The Nearshore Halibut season is open Monday through Thursday each week in the Central Coast Subarea. The summer All-Depth season for the Central Coast Subarea is closed for the year.
The Southern Oregon Subarea is open seven days a week for halibut. There is still 68 percent of the quota remaining for the Southern Oregon Coast halibut season.
Diamond Lake has been decent. Recent reports indicate most successful anglers are using flies with a quick retrieve or trolling. Others are having good success with floating bait off the bottom. If one technique isn’t working switch to something else
Upper Empire Lake was stocked with fall trout the week of Oct. 14. Because of low water levels, Lower Empire Lake will not be stocked. Instead, those fish will be released into Upper Empire and Butterfield lakes. Anglers are catching trout by casting spinners or fishing PowerBait near the bottom.
Lost Creek Reservoir was stocked the week of Oct. 2 with legal-size and larger trout and both Tekelma and the Marina boat ramps are accessible. This is probably the best lake for launching larger trailered boats at this time and the trout fishing will continue to be good throughout the fall.
Trout should be biting well with the cool temperatures, and some bass may still be active near the dam or submerged structures. Trolling a wedding ring and worm combination behind an oval egg sinker is always a good bet.
Lost Creek Reservoir is 41 percent full.
Subscriber Tom S. sent in this update, “Lost Creek Reservoir is fishing great with wedding ring night crawlers and 1oz”. Thanks Tom!
As we ease into fall/winter weather, the water temperature will continue to drop, which should encourage some fish to move up the Rogue River. Bay fishing has slowed some, but anglers are still fishing and catching chinook and steelhead below the Hwy 101 bridge.
Most boating anglers are trolling some type of in line flasher with an anchovy. Keep an eye on the weather forecast. When expecting rain and rising river levels, some people may want to consider switching tactics to anchoring up and back-bouncing eggs.
Steelhead fishing has slowed some in the lower river. Anglers swinging flies or tossing spinners are having the best luck.
Half-pounder fishing has been good in the Rogue Canyon, especially below Blossom Bar. Keep in mind it is now artificial fly and lures only from Foster Creek to Whisky Creek until Oct. 31.
Adult steelhead fishing continues to be good throughout the river, spinners and flies are bringing in some nice large fish and they will continue to move upstream during rainfall events. Wild steelhead must be released unharmed. The water is low and cold so fish are not moving around until we get a rain.
Some good fall chinook fishing has also been reported lower in the river, but keep in mind Chinook is now closed above Hog Creek to protect spawning fish. Some coho have been reported around Grants Pass but most coho on the Rogue are wild, and only hatchery coho can be retained. Please be mindful to release wild coho back into the river unharmed with minimal handling.
Boaters floating from Hog Creek to Graves Creek should be familiar with the rapids in this section of river, and know their takeouts. Experienced oarsmen/woman are recommended here. There are many BLM public access points to bank fish from Hog Creek to Graves Creek. This is often referred to the “Galice area.”
Above Hog Creek, Chinook fishing is now closed, as well as it being artificial fly only above Fishers Ferry until Oct. 31. Summer steelhead and trout remain open in the upper Rogue, and summer steelhead fly-fishing has been good.
This has been a great run of summer steelhead with not only many fish available, but larger fish as well. With the Chinook fishing now closed in this area, it’s a great time to fly-fish while there is less pressure. Cold, low water has been keeping steelhead from moving around much right now, so if you can figure out where they are holding it can still be good fishing.
No new summer steelhead entered the trap at Cole Rivers last week, for a total of 2,899 steelhead to date. Excess hatchery adult summer steelhead from Cole River Hatchery are being recycled back into the fishery and anglers are reporting success in catching these fish.
Some summer steelhead have red tags extending from the top of the fish near the dorsal fin. ODFW encourages anglers that catch these fish to call the upper Rogue office at 541-826-8774.
Plenty of naturally produced trout are always present in the upper Rogue, however water has cooled significantly and these fish will be very slow to bite.
Anglers can cast flies or smaller lures like a Panther Martin or rooster tail. Often tipping the lure with bait helps to produce. In slower holes, fishing straight bait such as nightcrawler, Pautzke eggs or even PowerBait will produce.
Several rivers and streams will close to trout fishing after Oct. 31 – be sure to check the regulations before heading out this weekend.