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.
Both halibut and ocean salmon fishing are now closed.
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.)
With the recent winter storm, roads may be treacherous and water bodies may be freezing over, especially at higher elevations. Be sure to check on conditions before heading out.
While access permits, Howard Prairie, Fish Lake or Hyatt still remain great fishing opportunities for trout, especially from pontoons or kayaks.
Don’t forget – grout fishing in streams and rivers is now closed until May 22, 2020.
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.
On the Coos Bay 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.
Winter steelhead anglers will start hitting the water in the Coos Basin for the first returning steelhead of the year. Steelhead anglers wanting to fish the South Fork Coos River above Dellwood will need a fishing permit from Weyerhaeuser to access this portion of the river.
Hatchery steelhead returns in the Coos Basin will be down this year due to low smolt releases two years ago. Because of disease issues at the hatchery then, we were only able to release less than 40 percent of our production goal.
Winter steelhead anglers will start fishing along the mainstem Coquille River in areas around Argo and the town of Coquille. Most anglers will plunk in these areas with a Spin-n-Glo tipped with eggs or sand shrimp.
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.
When expecting rain and rising river levels, some people may want to consider switching tactics to anchoring up and back-bouncing eggs. Bank anglers will want to look for fish on inside bends in the river and slots along willow banks.
Winter steelhead fishing should start to pick up after Thanksgiving. Anglers might want to try swinging flies or tossing spinners.
On the middle river – 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. Fish should move around and get more active if we get any reasonable amount of precipitation with the current storm.
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 the “Galice area.”
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.
Smith River opens up to Bridge 10 on the North Fork and Sisters Creek on the mainstem beginning Dec. 1. There might be a few early steelhead lower down. Chinook closes on Dec. 1.
Tenmile Creek is open to steelhead fishing but Eel Creek won’t open to fishing until Jan. 1.
Trout fishing in rivers and streams will reopen May 22, 2020.
Tenmile Lakes – Bass anglers will need to slow down their presentation as the water temperatures continue to drop. Anglers are catching most of the bass along the deeper weedlines and submerged trees.
Yellow perch are cruising on the deepwater mudflats. Most of the fish are under 10-inches long but anglers are catching a few 12 inch-plus fish.
Trout anglers continue to troll for trout. A few trout have been caught on bait by anglers targeting yellow perch.
Umpqua River mainstem – Chinook fishing closes Dec. 1. 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.
Steelhead fishing should be starting up on the main. Make sure to turn in snouts from hatchery fish for a chance to win a gift card.
Trout fishing is currently closed on the Main and its tributaries but will reopen next Memorial Day.
Umpqua North – There have been some reports of anglers catching summer steelhead, but it has been slow. We are entering the shoulder season for steelhead and it should pick up for winter steelhead in January. Make sure to turn in snouts from hatchery winter steelhead for a chance to win a gift card.
The North is closed to all fishing for Chinook.
The mainstem South reopens to steelhead fishing Dec. 1. Make sure to turn in snouts from hatchery fish for a chance to win a gift card.