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.
Ocean salmon fishing is closed.
Halibut fishing is now closed.
On the Chetco River, temporary fishing regulations will be in place Oct. 1 – Dec. 31 this year for wild Chinook salmon. Adult wild Chinook may be harvested, 1 per day and 5 per year, as part of daily or annual salmon/steelhead bag limit. However, of the 5 no more than 2 adult wild Chinook may be harvested for the period of Oct. 1 – Dec. 3.
A low- water closure of all fishing will be in place upstream of river mile 2.2 beginning Oct. 1 and will be lifted after heavy and consistent rains have allowed fish the chance to distribute throughout the river system. Fisheries biologists will monitor fish movement and the river flow forecast to make this determination. This will likely be lifted in November.
Within the Coos River Basin – fishing for rockfish inside the bay has been good near the submerged rock piles. Fishing is typically best near slack tide. Boat anglers are no longer able to harvest copper, quillback, or China rockfish for the remainder of the year because we reached our catch limit on these species. A jig with a twister tail can be a great bait for catching rockfish.
Most salmon anglers have put away the boats for the season. The occasional anglers is still fishing for a few Chinook near SOMAR to the forks of the Millicoma and South Fork Coos rivers.
Anglers have been catching wild coho throughout the estuary. There is no harvest of wild coho this year in Coos Bay.
Temporary wild fall Chinook salmon regulations started on Aug. 1. Salmon anglers in Coos Bay will only be able to harvest 1 wild Chinook per day and 5 wild Chinook for the season in aggregate from all waters from Coos Basin, Coquille Basin, Sixes River, and Elk River, but no more than 2 adult Chinook salmon may be harvested from the Coquille Basin.
The South Fork Coos River will be closed to salmon fishing upstream of Myrtle Tree Boat Ramp, and the Millicoma River will be closed to salmon fishing upstream of Rooke Higgins Boat Ramp.
Trout fishing in streams and rivers is now closed until May 22, 2020.
At Diamond Lake some anglers are reporting fantastic catches, while others are just getting a few. 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.
On the lower Rogue River, as we ease into fall/winter weather, the water temperature will continue to drop, which should encourage some fish to move upriver. 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 inline 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.
Moving to the middle Rogue, half-pounders are still present in the Rogue Canyon, but anglers are reminded only hatchery trout can be retained.
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. Wild steelhead must be released unharmed. The water is low and cold so fish are not moving around until we get rain.
Some coho have been reported around Grants Pass. However, most coho on the Rogue are wild and must be released. Only hatchery coho can be retained. Please be mindful to release wild coho back into the river unharmed with minimal handling. Coho are aggressive and bite on flashy spinners with black, pink or purple colors.
Boaters floating from Hog Creek to Graves Creek should be familiar with the rapids in this section of the river, and know their takeouts. Experienced oarsmen/women are recommended here. There are many BLM public access points to bank fish from Hog Creek to Graves Creek. This is often referred to as the “Galice area.”
Above Hog Creek, Chinook fishing is now closed.
Summer steelhead and trout remain open in the upper Rogue, and summer steelhead fishing has been good. The artificial fly-only season is now over on the upper Rogue, but bait restrictions are still in effect in some areas so be aware of the regulations where you are fishing. From Fishers Ferry to Shady Cove anglers cannot use bait. A simple setup of bouncing bait, or using lures such a spinner, a plug or a bead can be very effective in steelhead fishing.
This has been a great run of summer steelhead with not only many fish available, but larger fish as well. 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.
Thirteen new summer steelhead entered the trap at Cole Rivers last week, for a total of 2,920 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. Cole Rivers is starting to see coho back at the hatchery and 19 swam in last week for a total of 24 so far this season.
Some summer steelhead have red, blue or green 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.
Chinook fishing is winding down in the lower Umpqua River, but there are often some fall Chinook caught in the river in November. Please note there is no retention of unclipped coho salmon in the river, but fin-clipped coho is open in the river as part of your two adult salmon daily limit. The river regulations start at the tips of the jetties.
Bass fishing has still been good in most of the main.
Trout fishing is currently closed on the Main and its tributaries but will reopen next Memorial Day.
The Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving are Free Fishing Days in Oregon – days you don’t need a license or tag to fish, crab or clam anywhere in the state open to fishing/crabbing/clamming. (Remember, all other rules and regulations apply.)
While the passes remain snow-free, Howard Prairie, Fish Lake or Hyatt still remain great fishing opportunities for trout, especially from pontoons or a kayak.