SW Oregon Fishing Report for July 27th, 2018

From ODF&W

The first part of last week had some good bottom fishing; however, the winds kicked up later in the week, bringing with them some colder water which have slowed fishing for bottomfish in general. Lingcod catches, while a bit better than normal for this time of year, and have slowed down. There are still some good-size lingcod being landed, it just may take some more time and effort than it did a few weeks ago. Reminder that as of April 1, the bottomfish fishery is restricted to inside of the 30 fathom regulatory line.

As of July 1, the general marine bag limit (rockfish, greenlings, etc.) is 4 fish. This reduction to the bag limit is necessary to keep total catches within annual quotas, and reduce the chance of an early closure of the recreational bottomfish fishery.

The longleader gear fishery outside of the 40 fathom regulatory line has been authorized to continue in April through September. Recent catches from the offshore longleader trips often consist of a nice grade of yellowtail, widow and canary rockfishes. Reminder that the Stonewall Bank Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation Area is closed to all bottomfish trips, including longleader trips.

The Central Coast Subarea spring all-depth fishery is closed. The summer all-depth fishery opens August 3-4, every other Friday and Saturday until Oct. 31, or the quota is caught.

Sport salmon fishing for Chinook is open in ocean waters from Cape Falcon (just North of Nehalem Bay) to the Oregon/California border for two salmon per day (all salmon except coho). Minimum sizes are 24-inches for Chinook and 20-inches for steelhead. Anglers are also reminded that within the 15 fathom depth contour off Tillamook Bay (Twin Rocks to Pyramid Rock) that all Chinook salmon must have a healed fin clip.

The hot spell continues in Southwest Oregon, and water temperatures are heating up, especially in lakes and reservoirs. To reduce stress on fish, fish early in the day when water temperatures are cooler. Avoid handling large numbers of fish. When releasing fish, handle the lure or hook and not the fish. Minimize the use of baited treble hooks if you plan to release trout.

With hot, dry conditions, it might be a good time to target half-pounders in the lower Rogue. Look for them hanging out near the tributary mouths where cooler water is still feeding into the mainstem. Else on the lower Rogue, the bay Chinook troll fishery has been picking up. People are reporting catch from the bay up to Indian Creek.

A few anglers are hooking up with summer steelhead. Lower flows are ideal fishing conditions for anglers swinging flies or tossing spinners.

The Huntley seining project started Monday, July 16. The Gold Beach District office keeps a file of catch for public reference.

The Rogue River above Lost Creek Reservoir is a hot spot for summer trout fishing, offering a great place to escape the heat of the valley, enjoy some beautiful scenery, and catch some nice trout. See more here.

On the middle, spring Chinook and summer steelhead are available. Anglers may retain both hatchery and wild Chinook salmon in the river downstream of Dodge Bridge. Wild steelhead must be released.

On the upper river, fishing for spring Chinook and summer steelhead continues to be consistent, with the fish and fishing success fairly spread out. Fishing for spring Chinook upstream of Dodge Bridge closes Aug. 1. Below Dodge Bridge anglers may continue to fish for Chinook through Aug. 31.

During the hot summer days, trout anglers should target the Cascade lakes like Diamond and Lemolo, and other higher elevation locations like the Umpqua high lakes.
Recent reports suggest brown trout fishing has been good in Lemolo Reservoir.

Fishing continues to be good at Diamond Lake. Most anglers are taking home fish averaging 15-inches. Trolling seems to be the most effective technique, but using bait or flies has also been showing positive results.

Lemolo can be a good option for fishing during hot weather and recent reports indicate brown trout fishing has been good. Kokanee in Lemolo are considered trout and therefore fall under the daily limit for trout of five per day with only one of those measuring over 20-inches. Contact Lemolo Lake Resort at 541-957-8354 for weather/road conditions and additional information.

Red Top Pond, which offers excellent bank fishing opportunities, has been stocked recently. In addition, there should be plenty of holdover legal-size trout from previous stockings in these waterbodies. Anglers fishing the high lakes in the Umpqua District are encouraged to e-mail fishing reports.

Striper fishing is picking up in the Smith River, it has been decent with a recent increase in catch rates.

Smallmouth bass fishing continues to be very good on the mainstem Coquille River, South Fork Coquille and Middle Fork Coquille rivers. Smallmouth are hitting on crankbaits, jigs and bait. There is no size limit or daily bag limit on the number of smallmouth bass you can keep in the Coquille River Basin.

Trout fishing on Tenmile Lakes has slowed down with the best fishing is in the early mornings. Anglers should focus on fishing in deeper water.

Fishing for largemouth bass has been good with the best fishing in the early mornings or late evenings. Bass are hitting topwater lures in the low light conditions and anglers are switching to plastics and deeper water once the sun hits the water.

Yellow perch fishing is very good fishing on the deep water side of the weed lines in water depths of 7-15 feet. Anglers are using small jigs or a worm on a hook fished near the bottom.

On the Umpqua, fall Chinook fishing is starting picking up in the lower estuary and should get better and move into late summer.

Trout fishing in the mainstem Umpqua opened May 22 and is catch-and-release only. Retention of trout is allowed in the tributaries, which also opened May 22.

Bass fishing is good throughout the South Umpqua River.

During the hot weather the best trout fishing will be early in mornings at higher lakes like Diamond, Hemlock, Lake in the Woods, and the high Umpqua lakes.

Crabbing is picking up in Coos Bay, though many of the crab are still soft after molting.

From Pete Heley at PeteHeley.com

Anglers are, once again, able to float the lower Deschutes River after a severe fire burned virtually everything down to the riverbank. Anglers fishing from shore have to deal considerable ash and may be at risk if they already have respiratory problems. However, anglers fishing the lower Deschutes have reported normal fishing.

Although ocean salmon fishing success is improving from Charleston northward, no ports have success rates above .30 salmon per angler trip, except for Winchester Bay which has .46 salmon per angler trip.

Although no ocean-caught salmon have yet been reported, southern Oregon’s hottest salmon fishing has been the first four miles of the Rogue River above Gold Beach.

Some striped bass are still being caught in the Smith and Coquille rivers with almost all the catches occurring at night on bait.

The spawning run of female redtail surfperch in the lower Umpqua River above Winchester Bay has rebounded strongly with good catches the rule all last week.

Tenmile Lakes trout fishing has dropped off, but fishing for largemouth bass and yellow perch has been fair to good. Eel Lake continues to offer the best mixed-bag freshwater fishing with largemouth and smallmouth bass, rainbow and cutthroat trout, black crappie, bluegills and brown bullheads taken last week.