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MailTribune.com
  • Fishing Report: April 20, 2012

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  • COASTWIDE - Hazardous seas warnings are in effect through Saturday, but it looks like a small window might open for fishing Sunday before bigger swells and surf return. That could mean trips Sunday for black rockfish and lingcod along near-shore reefs and off kelp beds. Red, white and black jigs are most popular.
    The marine aggregate limit in Oregon is seven rockfish a day. Anglers are now relegated to inside the 30-fathom line. Cabezon are included in the aggregate daily bottomfish limit of seven. The lingcod limit is two a day with a 22-inch minimum, and that is separate from the marine aggregate.
    For clammers, some very good minus tides are forecast beginning Saturday and running for five days, but they're at night. Surf levels should make it possible for some beach digging this week, but most clam diggers will favor the bays.
    Ocean crabbing is open, but most crabbers will continue to work larger bays such as Coos Bay and Winchester Bay. Freshets have pushed crabs deeper into estuaries and out into the ocean.
    BROOKINGS - Bar conditions look decent Sunday morning, and that could give anglers with bigger boats a chance to get at the lingcod and black rockfish north of the north jetty. Rockfish catches have been slow but should pick up when the swells settle down for a while.
    Surfperch fishing should be good again Sunday and perhaps Monday at Winchuck Beach. Clam necks, mussels, prawns or bright flies all work well for surfperch.
    COOS BAY - Fresh water is pushing the Dungeness into the lower estuary and out into the ocean. Dungeness catches off the public docks in Charleston have been fair. Clamming around Charleston and Clam Island should be good, with some good minus tides in the evening. Saturday evening's low tide should be best.
    Chinook salmon fishing in the ocean is open down to Humbug Mountain, and effort has been light. Trollers should stay relatively close to shore but deep, using anchovies and hoochies.
    WINCHESTER BAY - Sturgeon fishing and crabbing has been slow due largely to turbid water. Look for a good sturgeon bite to occur once flows subside. Rockfish catches have been good off the south jetty.
    AGATE - Plenty of legal-sized rainbow trout are spread throughout the lower third of the reservoir, which is listed as full. No fresh trout will be released this week. Fishing with worms beneath bobbers or PowerBait off the dam has been good for bank anglers, while boaters can wind-drift worms or slowly troll Wedding Ring lures with worms. Crappie, bass and perch are starting to get more active and are showing up in catches now.
    No gas motors are allowed. Small electric motors are legal.
    APPLEGATE - The lake gets 12,000 legal-sized rainbow trout next week, which should jump-start interest in fishing there. There also are plenty of holdover trout from last year's stocking. Bass fishing has been slow, but this week's warming weather should trigger an improved bite in the shallows, coves and along the dam.
    The facilities at Hart-Tish Park are closed and the low-water ramp at French Gulch is open and usable, as is the Copper ramp. For spring trout fishing, troll Triple Teasers or Wedding Ring lures with worms.
    EMIGRANT - The lake last week received its second complement of 3,500 legal-sized rainbow trout, and fishing for them has been good for bank and boat anglers along the lower section of the reservoir, particularly around the county park. Bank anglers using chartreuse or rainbow PowerBait have fared very well, while trollers using Little Cleo's or Triple Teasers have also caught fish. The lake was listed Thursday at 98 percent full. Bass and perch fishing is starting to pick up in the evenings in the Songer Wayside area, particularly for anglers fishing around submerged willows and other woody structure.
    A standing public-health advisory continues about eating all but trout from the lake because of elevated mercury levels.
    EXPO - Fishing has been decent for stocked, legal-sized, rainbow trout as well as for bass. No fresh trout will be stocked until early May. The pond is accessible at Gate 5 for the Jackson County Expo Park off Peninger Road. Fish Panther Martin lures and other small lures. Worms a few feet under a bobber also have worked well.
    LOST CREEK - The lake received its second batch of 25,000 legal-sized rainbow trout last week, split between the boat ramps at Stewart State Park and Takelma. Fishing for them has been best for bank anglers fishing various PowerBait colors off the shore near the Takelma ramp. Most are fishing fairly close to shore. Trollers working the point off the marina also have done fairly well with Little Cleo's or Wedding Rings spiced with a piece of worm. Warming water conditions should improve bass fishing. Fish slowly presented crankbaits or worms or grubs near structure.
    LAKE of the WOODS - Rain and warm weather have softened the ice, making ice fishing a poor choice. The resort is closed through April to prepare for its May 1 reopening.
    FISH - The lake's ice has softened substantially. Ice fishing is not recommended.
    WILLOW - The lake received 4,500 legal-sized rainbows last week. Fishing for them is fairly good and best around the boat ramp. Bank anglers are finding success with PowerBait. Trollers should work slowly back and forth near the ramp trolling small spinners and worms.
    The county boat ramp is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., but the campground remains closed.
    MEDCO POND - The pond will get its first complement of 2,000 legal-sized trout next week.
    ROGUE - The upper Rogue is high but starting to drop today as anglers toggle between late-run winter steelhead and a few early spring chinook, while the middle Rogue has suddenly found itself with some spring chinook in the lower stretches around Rand and Grave Creek. The lower Rogue was red-hot for springers but slow the past few days as rising water levels put springers off the bite. But flows are forecast to drop this weekend, and that should trigger a nice bite.
    The upper Rogue gets the nod as the best bet for a mix of steelhead and salmon amid 80-degree weather, but it won't get going until Saturday or Sunday. Flows have been high, with 3,900 cubic feet per second of water Thursday at Dodge Bridge and 6,200 cfs at the former Gold Ray Dam site. Those flows will increase even more as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers jacks up water releases at Lost Creek dam from 2,800 cfs Thursday to 3,600 cfs by 5 p.m. tonight. That means high-water fishing, which can be good.
    After a little flurry, spring chinook fishing ebbed at the Hatchery Hole, and anglers switched back to winter steelhead, picking up some nice, fresh fish. Driftboaters also are doing well for winter steelhead fishing plugs or yarn balls in slower water along shorelines and the inside turns of gravel bars. As the water drops this weekend, look for more spring chinook to move in.
    In the lower Rogue, guides fishing anchovies with green spinning blades were consistently putting more than two springers in their boats per day, but that fell off with the rising water. With 60-degree air temperatures this weekend, look for the water to warm a tad as it drops, which should trigger a nice salmon bite there. Flows at Agness were at 8,200 cfs and will bump up more today before dropping early Saturday morning. Look for plenty of fresh fish to move in with each tide. Wild fish, which must be released unharmed, still outnumber hatchery fish about 2 to 1. Boat anglers are hugging the shore, while plunkers using No. 2 Spin-Glo's are catching springers in four to six feet of water. Most of the recent action has been upstream of the Willows, but anglers fishing off both ends of Elephant Rock have been catching springers recently, as well.
    In the middle Rogue, anglers have started to report catches of spring chinook salmon while side-planing with Rogue blades and anchovies at places such as Rand and Ennis Riffle. The chatter about fishing success at Rainie Falls has been nonexistent, which usually means it's good.
    APPLEGATE - The river is closed to angling.
    UMPQUA - The mainstem Umpqua was fishing very well for spring chinook in the Elkton area despite high flows and marginal water clarity. The North Umpqua remains very good for late-run winter steelhead in the bait water, but no springers yet.
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