SW Oregon Fishing Report for July 6th, 2018

From ODF&W

Lingcod fishing off the central coast was excellent during the past week and saw most anglers taking home a limit (2 lingcod). In contrast, rockfish action was slow; fish were seen on fish finders but were reluctant to bite, especially black rockfish. 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.) will be 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 nearshore halibut fishery opened on Friday, June 1. During the last couple of weeks, anglers were bringing in 2-3 Petrale sole per angler along with some halibut.

There are just over 26,000 pounds remaining on the spring all-depth quota, therefore back-up dates of Friday, July 6 and Saturday, July 7 will be open. Once catches from those open dates are tallied, there will be an announcement by noon on Friday, July 13 if enough quota remains for any additional back-up dates in the Central Oregon Coast Subarea spring all-depth fishery. Remaining available back-up dates are: July 19-21.

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 catching crappie and bluegills from the fishing dock on Eel Lake. Fishing is typically the best in the mornings before the wind starts blowing in the afternoons.

Eel Lake was stocked in May with legal-size trout. Boat anglers are catching trout while trolling spinners tipped with a worm on the main part of the lake.

Anglers were catching tuna about 30 miles from Coos Bay last week. The wind has anglers off the ocean until things calm down.

Anglers are still catching trout while trolling with wedding ring spinners tipped with a worm. Fishing is best in the mornings and in deeper water. Trout fishing is open all year in Tenmile Lakes.

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.

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.

On the lower Rogue River anglers have begun trolling the bay up to Indian Creek for Chinook and the catch has been pretty good. Water levels are dropping and anglers should expect some low and clear conditions for a while.

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

On the middle Rogue fishing has been slow for spring Chinook salmon, and early summer steelhead. Back-bouncing bait and back-trolling plugs have been effective for boat anglers. Bank anglers can do well by drifting bait. Anglers are now able to retain both hatchery and wild Chinook salmon in the river downstream of Dodge Bridge. Wild steelhead must be released.

The Rogue River is open for trout fishing. Only hatchery rainbow trout may be retained. All wild rainbow and cutthroat trout must be released.

As of Tuesday, the flow in Grants Pass was 1,500 cfs, the water temperature averaged 65F, and the clarity was 2 NTUs. For those interested in checking conditions before getting on the river, the City of Grants Pass Water Division’s website offers information on river conditions at Grants Pass as well as a link to a river camera.

On the upper Rogue, over 700 hatchery Spring Chinook excess to brood needs have been recycled back into the fishery upstream of Gold Hill. Anglers are now able to retain both hatchery and wild Chinook salmon in the river downstream of Dodge Bridge. Above Dodge Bridge, only hatchery Chinook may be retained. Anglers are reminded that wild steelhead and trout must be immediately released.

Updated fish counts at Cole Rivers Hatchery can be viewed here

The river discharge from Lost Creek Reservoir on Tuesday was 1,600 cfs and 53F. For the most current releases of water out of Lost Creek Reservoir, call 1-800-472-2434.

And above Lost Creek Reservoir, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is stocking legal-size rainbow trout each week at most of the campgrounds and popular access sites along Highways 62 and 230. In addition to the stocked trout, the river and its tributaries also support naturally produced rainbow, cutthroat, brook, and brown trout. During the summer, this section of the Rogue River offers some of the best trout fishing in the Rogue Basin.

On the Umpqua River, Smallmouth bass fishing should be good throughout the main as well as on the south river.

There are still plenty of trout at Millicoma Pond for kids to catch. The pond is stocked for kids fishing and anglers are welcome to bring their own fishing gear but gear is available on site if you don’t have any.

Pete Heley shares the following from PeteHeley.com

Beginning July 1, 2018, the general marine fish bag limit will decrease from five(5) to four(4) fish per angler per day. The general marine fish bag limit includes all species of rockfish (yelloweye rockfish prohibited at all times), greenlings, skates, and all other marine species not listed on pages 81-82 of the 2018 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations.

Angler effort through May is higher than has been seen in recent years, even the record high years of 2015 and 2017. Therefore, this reduction is necessary to try to keep total annual catches within quotas for several species, and reduce the risk of an early closure such as occurred in September 2017.

The daily bag limits for lingcod (2), flatfish other than Pacific halibut (25), and longleader trips/species (10) remain unchanged. The 1 fish sub-bag limit for cabezon will also remain, when cabezon is open (July 1st through December).

Anglers this year made 40,619 bottomfish trips through May (17,750 in May alone), compared to 24,080 for January-May last year, which until 2018 was the highest effort year on record. Angler effort is only expected to increase as summer fishing peaks.

Tuna have been showing up for the last couple of weeks in Newport and Charleston and the fish have been reachable – even for boats launching out of Winchester Bay. One recent report had the tuna 13 miles west of the “Bandon High Spot”. Most of the recent tuna reports had the tuna no more than about 50 miles out – but that can quickly change.

The Umpqua River pinkfin run is still going on and it appears that it may last several more weeks – if the reports of relatively undeveloped baby perch in the adult female perch being cleaned are accurate. Recent perch fishing reports indicate tough fishing, but it seems that at least a few boats each day are getting close to their legal boat limits.

Shad fishing success on the Umpqua River has dropped off except at Sawyer’s Rapids where some anglers are catching more than 50 shad per day. Smallmouth bass fishing has generally been very good, but there was a temporary lull last week that was most noticeable on the South Umpqua. Suspended weeds and algae are causing an increasing amount of grief to both shad and bass anglers.

Crappie anglers willing to travel might consider Owyhee Reservoir in eastern Oregon and Prineville Reservoir in central Oregon where 100 fish days are possible – but few fish measure ten inches or more. Brownlee Reservoir on the Snake River is not fishing great for crappie numbers, but many of the crappies are 12-inchers.

Pete Heley works part-time at the Stockade Market & Tackle, across from A’ Dock, in Winchester Bay where he is more than happy to swap fishing info with anyone.