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MailTribune.com
  • Fishing Report: Apr. 1, 2011

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  • Coastwide - A small-craft advisory is in effect through Saturday as more rain, stiff winds and 10-foot surf again keeps this broken-record of a forecast prominent.
    Chinook salmon fishing opened March 15 and will remain open through April north of Humbug Mountain, with Coos Bay and Winchester Bay occasionally serving as hot ports during the later part of the season. Fishing has been poor or nonexistent since the season started because of routinely bad weather.
    Bottomfishing has been tough recently because of bad weather also, but look for excellent catches to occur once the seas subside early next week. Near-shore catches of lingcod and black rockfish should be excellent, especially in the mornings before the winds kick up.
    The marine aggregate limit in Oregon remains seven rockfish a day and two lingcod a day with a 22-inch minimum. Cabezon are now out of the aggregate limit and the catch is limited to one cabezon a day.
    Sport crabbers are allowed on the ocean, but few are fishing for Dungeness these days because of treacherous seas. Bay crabbing has been just fair at best thanks to high runoff from local streams all week. Look for bay crabbing to be poor into next week.
    All shellfish fishing is open coastwide, including the popular Clatsop County beaches, but clammers should be mindful of sneaker waves. Mussel harvest also is open coastwide. For more information and updated closure information, call the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474.
    BROOKINGS - The port is largely cleaned up after the March 11 tsunami, but little fishing has occurred because of rough seas. Surfperch fishing had been good around the Winchuck River mouth on calmer surf days, and look for more perch fishing sometime next week. Clam necks and prawns are good baits.
    GOLD BEACH - Surfperch fishing has been good at Nesika Beach with shrimp and prawns, but be careful of rough surf. No bay fishing is going on for spring chinook.
    WINCHESTER BAY - Sturgeon fishing remains slow. Crabbing has been only fair, largely because of high freshwater levels in the bay. Chinook fishing is open but effort is very light due to rough seas.
    CHARLESTON - Chinook salmon season is open, but little effort so far because of rough seas. The lower area of Charleston continues to be fair for crabbing. Watch for sneaker waves while jetty fishing.
    AGATE - The lake is full, and fishing for legal- and trophy-sized rainbows has picked up when water conditions improve with nicer days and clearing water. Trolling has been slow, so try still-fishing or wind-drifting with bait. Heavy wind days have not produced catches. No gas motors are allowed. Small electric motors are legal.
    APPLEGATE - The lake is inching up toward two-thirds full, and trollers continue to find decent catches of the trophy trout stocked there in late February. They have spread out, but most are around the French Gulch arm. Troll Flatfish or Triple Teasers. Fly-fishing for trout is good on calm days. The French Gulch boat ramp is usable. Hart-Tish Park is closed.
    EMIGRANT - The lake got 3,500 legal-sized rainbow trout two weeks ago, but the latest storms have slowed the trout bite and kept the water murky. Recent warm days should improve fishing conditions and get the bass on the bite. Bank anglers fishing near the dam are faring well with worms or PowerBait. Bass fishing will improve with warmer weather.
    A standing public-health advisory continues about eating all but trout from the lake because of elevated mercury levels.
    HOWARD PRAIRIE - The lake is closed to angling until April 23.
    HYATT - The lake is closed to angling until April 23.
    DIAMOND - The lake is closed to angling until April 23.
    EXPO - The pond is open year-round, and fishing has improved greatly after the recent release of 1,400 legal-sized rainbows. Find them with Panther Martin lures, worms and single salmon eggs.
    LAKE of the WOODS - The lake is frozen, and ice fishing has been good, but be careful of thinning ice. Worms or small jigs have worked best.
    LOST CREEK - Trolling for trout improved after the stocking of 25,000 legal-sized rainbow trout for spring break. Focus on catching them near the Lost Creek Lake Marina and the Takelma boat ramp. Bank fishing has been best with worms, single salmon eggs or PowerBait. Trolling will improve once the fish get acclimated to the lake. The Stewart State Park boat ramp and the Takelma ramp are open.
    FISH - Ice fishing has been good in the cove near the Forest Service boat ramp, but be wary of thinning ice. Worms and jigs are working best for rainbow trout. The resort is open Fridays through Sundays, and ice augers can be rented there.
    WILLOW LAKE - The lake was stocked with almost 5,000 legal-sized rainbow trout recently, and they are garnering some interest from anglers. No county facilities are open at the lake now.
    SELMAC - The lake was stocked recently with legal-sized trout, and fishing has been good for them with most baits. Single salmon eggs and cheese have worked well.
    LEMOLO - The lake is closed to angling until April 23.
    MEDCO - Fishing for rainbow trout has been good off the bank with PowerBait
    ROGUE - Repeated storms followed by warm weather has triggered some serious runoff on the Rogue. The lower Rogue has been high but fishing very well for spring chinook and late-run winter steelhead, while upper Rogue anglers are hitting their stride for winter steelhead on days when the water drops, but not when it rises. The middle Rogue, on the other hand, has been too high and dirty for winter steelhead, which makes the upper Rogue the best bet for winter steelhead.
    No one has caught a spring chinook salmon yet in the upper Rogue, and no springers had reached Cole Rivers Hatchery by early Thursday. But no one's trying, with the emphasis on winter steelhead. Flows at Gold Ray Dam were a robust 6,650 cubic feet per second Thursday and dropping, but the color was bad there thanks to a very muddy Bear Creek. Anglers fishing around Shady Cove have done best, hitting winter steelhead as water levels drop. That should work today and Saturday, but look for another upturn in flows Sunday that could slow winter steelhead fishing.
    Best fishing in the upper Rogue has been on yarn balls side-drifted from driftboats. Plug fishing has been good but not as good, with K-11 Kwikfish and red-and-gold WeeWarts working best. Fish the slower, near-bank waters for winter steelhead. If it's tough to row in, chances are a steelhead's not hanging out there. Bank fishing has been slow thanks largely to high flows, but anglers are doing well at the Hatchery Hole as water releases from Lost Creek dam hover around 2,100 cfs.
    The middle Rogue was a bust for winter steelhead Thursday, though it could pull into shape by Saturday before getting dirty again. If it looks good, winter steelhead catches should be good from Grants Pass to Galice for boat anglers, not so good for bankies because of high water conditions. Fishing bright plugs or yarn flies had been decent for winter steelhead in lower water.
    When the turbidity improves on the middle Rogue, look for fresh winter steelhead from the mouth of the Applegate River down to the Galice area. Fresh waves of late-run winter steelhead should be moving through as the water drops, but start expecting to see some spawned-out kelts in the catch. These should be released unharmed regardless of size because their meat condition is poor. Focus on inside migration lanes. Side-drift roe, yarn balls scented with egg juice and even pink rubber worm. For pluggers, K-11 Kwikfish swim best in high water, and rattling plugs work better in darker water conditions.
    In the lower Rogue, spring chinook fishing has been consistently strong for boaters and bank anglers fishing slightly farther up in the system. Flows Thursday at Agness were a blistering 17,000 cfs, but boat anglers using cut-plug herring and spinner blades have caught fish consistently where the river bottlenecks. Places like the Willows are poor because the water has fanned out so much, and anglers are working from the Ferry Hole on upstream toward Agness.
    Bank anglers using anchovies with spinner blades and larger Spin-Glo's are finding springers at favorite haunts like Huntley Park and Dunkelberger Bar. Fish up to 32 pounds have been seen, and the catch so far has been about 80 percent hatchery fish — much higher than in recent years. That's good because all wild spring chinook must be released unharmed. However, anglers may keep one wild steelhead per day as long as it is at least 24 inches long through April. The annual limit is five.
    ILLINOIS - The river closed to winter steelhead fishing Thursday night.
    APPLEGATE - The river closed to all fishing Thursday night.
    UMPQUA - The South Umpqua and North Umpqua were high but fishing fairly well for winter steelhead last week. The South remains one of the better winter steelhead streams to float outside of the Rogue River basin.
    ELK/SIXES - Both rivers closed to fishing Thursday night.
    CHETCO - The river closed to fishing Thursday night.
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