SW Oregon Fishing Report for October 5th, 2018

From ODF&W

Diamond and Willow lakes are good bets for some fall trout fishing.

The boat ramp is Willow Lake has closed, but a temporary ramp has been set up along the shore in the campground. Fishing for bass and other warmwater species should be good.

Fishing continues to be good at Diamond Lake. Most anglers are taking home fish averaging 15-inches and we are starting to see more 17-inch or larger fish in creel surveys. Trolling is an effective technique, but using bait or flies has also been showing positive results.

Diamond Lake has been stocked with tiger and brown trout. These fish are intended to assist in controlling illegally introduced tui chub. These trout are catch-and-release only and need to be released immediately and unharmed if caught.

As part of the 2016 regulation simplification process, Diamond Lake is now back to the Southwest Zone regulation of 5 rainbow trout per day.

The wild coho fishery opened on Tenmile Lakes on Oct. 1, though it will take a few good rains to chase the fish into the lake.

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.

The wild coho fishery opened in Tenmile Lakes on Oct. 1 and will run through December 31. Salmon anglers may harvest 1 wild coho per day with up to 5 wild coho for the year in aggregate with Siltcoos and Tahkenitch lakes. The water level in Tenmile Lakes is very low so it will take a few good rains to bring the coho into the lake.

Fishing for largemouth bass has been good. Bass are hitting plastics and jigs fished in deeper water.

The Chetco bubble fishery opens for the first of two weekends on Oct. 6-7.

Anglers interested in pursuing Chinook Salmon in the ocean may want to get to get their gear ready for the fall Chinook State Waters Terminal Area or “bubble” season. It opens Oct. 6-7 and Oct. 13-14. From the mouth (outside of the jetties) of the Chetco River out three nautical miles between Twin Rocks and the Oregon/California border, anglers are allowed to retain Chinook salmon per day. The minimum size limit is 28-inches. Terminal tackle is limited to no more than two single point barbless hooks.

Trout fishing is open through Oct. 31. Artificial flies, lures, and bait may be used. The daily limit is 2 fish with an 8-inch minimum length. Rainbow trout over 16-inches are considered steelhead.

Fishing for Chinook is now closed upstream of the Hog Creek boat ramp on the Rogue (middle and upper Rogue River). Fishing for summer steelhead should be good for the next month or two due to a strong run this year. Only hatchery Summer Steelhead may be harvested.

Lost Creek will be the primary draw for trout anglers in the Rogue watershed now through early spring. Large rainbow will be stocked this week to complement fish remaining as holdovers from earlier releases. In addition, Lost Creek is the only place where trailered boats of any size can be launched. Both the Takelma and Marina boat ramps are usable at this time.

Lake surface temperatures continue to cool and have dropped to 62F. Trout fishing should be very good, and bass anglers should continue to have good success through fall. Trolling a wedding ring spiked with a piece of worm or Gulp worm behind an oval egg sinker can produce very well at Lost Creek.

Water levels are low and with cooler than average water temperatures, Chinook have begun to move up the lower Rogue River. People trolling bait are still reporting catches in the bay, but anglers might also think about side drifting with eggs farther up river.

Coho salmon have started pushing through as well. Anglers have reported catches in the bay and lower sections of the Rogue. Only hatchery coho may be kept as part of an angler’s adult and jack salmon daily bag limit.

Both adult and half-pounder steelhead have been moving up river in decent numbers. Lower flows are ideal fishing conditions for anglers swinging flies or tossing lures. Anglers interested in traveling up river are advised to contact the Forest Service for updates on road closures during fire season.

On the middle river remains open for hatchery summer steelhead, and the 2018 runs appear to be very strong. Anglers are catching summer steelhead on plugs fished from a drift boat, or side planner and plug from shore, or drifting nightcrawlers/roe or roe/yarn imitations. Wild steelhead must be released unharmed.

The Rogue River is also open for trout fishing. Only hatchery rainbow trout may be retained. All wild rainbow and cutthroat trout must be released. There are half-pound steelhead present from near Hog Creek downstream throughout the Rogue Canyon. There are many BLM public access points to fish for these from Hog Creek to Graves Creek.

The artificial fly season is underway between Fishers Ferry boat ramp and Cole Rivers Hatchery. Between Sept. 1 and Oct. 31, anglers may only fish artificial flies on any type rod and reel: no added weights or attachments except a bubble. This reach of the Rogue is open to fishing for hatchery summer steelhead and trout. Fishing for Chinook is now closed.

Fly anglers fishing from drift boats have been doing quite well in the Dodge Bridge to Fishers Ferry Reach of the Rogue. Reports of anglers catching a 50/50 ratio of wild to hatchery steelhead have been reported.

Both boat ramps at Lost Creek Reservoir are usable at this time, and large trout are being stocked there this week. Trout fishing should be very good at Lost Creek through the winter and early spring.

Out of Depoe Bay, deep water Ling Cod fishing opened Monday. Reports that inshore fishing had been very good over the weekend with limits on Rockfish regularly obtained. The Ling Cod catch has been spotty. Crabbing closes on the 16th. Offshore fishing has been tough with the weather. NNearshoreHalibut has not been very productive and long leader fishing has produced well when the weather cooperates. The Deep Water Ling Cod season opens October first. Limits are two Ling Cod and five rockfish.


From Pete Heley at PeteHeley.com

As of October 1st, anglers can once again fish waters deeper than 180 feet using conventional bottomfishing techniques and be able to keep lingcod, greenling , nd black and blue rockfish. The daily limit for lingcod is two fish at least 22-inches in length and ahe separate daily limit for bottomfish such as greenling and black and blue rockfish is five fish. The retention of cabezon is still not allowed due to a still-existing emergency closure.

Long leader bottomfishing in marine waters at least 240 feet deep is still legal, but lingcod, greenling and black and blue rockfish are not legal to keep – but the daily limit for the mid-depth bottomfish species legal to keep is ten fish.

Last week bank anglers had a couple of awesome days casting spinners at Half Moon Bay and Osprey Point and boat anglers did well trolling herring last week at Winchester Bay, but the “bite” was short lived and comprised overwhelmingly of unkeepable wild cohos and anglers were quickly reminded that it hasnt been a good salmon year for the entire Oregon coast – or the Washington coast too – for that matter.

The recreational ocean crabbing season is coming to a close. The last day will be October 15th and on December 1st the ocean crabbing season will reopen unless there is elevated levels of toxins. The commercial crab fishery may voluntarily choose to delay reopening due to low meat content in the crabs they test or unaccepedly low prices offerred them.

Low river levels have led to increased salinity levels which has allowed legal-sized crabs to move upriver at least two miles on the Umpqua, Siuslaw and Coquille rivers and crabbing has been good. Crabbing in Oregon’s rivers and bays is legal all year and should remain productive until heavy rains move the crabs seaward.

Fishing for surfperch along the beaches in our area has been slow, but could pickup at any time.

Fishing for striped bass has been slow on Smith River and it seems that nobody has been fishing the Umpqua River for stripers. The Coquille River has recently been producing the best striper fishing, but success has been inconsistent with the best fishing occurring above the Highway 101 Bridge near Bandon.

Slightly cooler water temperatures have allowed for some improvement in bass and panfish angling. Unlike central and eastern Oregon, where bass and panfish angling is already in the afternoon and early evening mode, the Oregon coast, and western Oregon are still capable of producing decent fishing all day. But as water temperatures drop, afternoons and evenings will become the most productive times.

However, the best time for crappie is almost always in the evening and during periods of low light. As for bluegills, they will have moved off shore, but should still bite well during periods of stable weather.

As water temperatures drop on the Umpqua, smallmouth bass catches decrease numbers-wise, but the chances of catching larger fish increase. Smallmouth bass fishing has recently improved on the Smith River and the fishery is not yet dominated by small bass as is the Umpqua. The smallies in Woahink Lake have moved to somewhat deeper water and drop shot techniques or whole nightcrawlers might be the way to go. Scented plastics on small to medium-sized jigheads should also work. During a late August bass tournament on Woahink, 12 to 14-inch smallies dominated the catch.

Yellow perch usually bite well during cool weather and if you should catch a 14 or 15-inch perch, remind yourself that it could have been an Oregon state record – if you had caught it in February or March.

Cooler water temperatures should improve the trout bite for uncaught, carryover or searun trout. Several Coos County lakes are slated to be stocked later this month, but Garrison Lake, in Port Orford, is scheduled to be planted this week with 867 trophy trout. Garrison Lake seems to have more than its share of large carryover trout.

For those anglers that usually fish Wickiup Reservoir for trophy brown trout in the fall and are now looking for a “plan B”, both Paulina and East Lake contain trophy browns. Although Paulina holds the unofficial Oregon record (35 and 1/2 pounds) as well as the official state record (28 pounds and five ounces), East Lake currently offers much better brown trout angling.

Other options for sizable browns include Miller Lake and Lake of the Woods, both of which allow trout fishing 24 hours per day the entire year. Miller Lake offers the better fishing, but both lakes have produced multiple browns weighing at least 12 pounds.

Other streams that have produced brown trout weighing more than ten pounds include the Rogue River above Lost Creek Reservoir, the Williamson River, the Wood River and the Sprague River.

Although the Owyhee River below Owyhee Reservoir is a very highly rated brown trout stream, the browns seem to top out at about eight or nine pounds.

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