COASTWIDE - The best morning minus tides of the year begin today and run for a week as the big moon gives clammers a spring fling. Marginal wind and wave conditions are forecast through the weekend after gale-force winds and rain hit the south coast on Thursday.
Some chinook fishing occurred during Tuesday's opener, but they were blown off the water by Thursday. Fishing conditions could be good off and on, chiefly in the mornings, into early next week. Near-shore black and blue rockfish fishing, as well as jigging for lingcod, should be fair to good along near-shore reefs.
The near-shore Pacific halibut season opened Tuesday, and rough seas should keep much of the halibut fleet working the 40-fathom line out of Newport and Garibaldi.
The marine aggregate limit in Oregon is seven rockfish a day, which includes one cabezon. Anglers are relegated to inside the 30-fathom line to protect yelloweye and canary rockfish.
The lingcod limit is two a day with a 22-inch minimum, and that is separate from the marine aggregate.
BROOKINGS - The chinook season opened Tuesday, but not a lot of attention is being paid to Brookings so far because May chinook fishing typically is slow out of this port. Bar conditions look marginal at best through the weekend. The near-shore halibut bite was fairly good during Tuesday's opener, but rough seas and gale-force winds pushed anglers into the harbor Thursday.
For chinook, troll large anchovies with hoochies slowly in 120 feet of water or more near the shore. Chinook prefer near-shore waters.
Surfperch fishing should be tough through the weekend at Winchuck Beach because of rough seas. Clam necks, mussels, prawns or bright flies will all work well when the surf subsides.
COOS BAY - Excellent morning minus tides beginning today will have clammers into good digging conditions for the next week. Halibut fishing inside the 40-fathom line was good for Tuesday's opener.
WINCHESTER BAY - Sturgeon fishing and crabbing has been slow due to turbid water. Look for a good sturgeon bite once flows subside. Rockfish catches have been good on the south jetty.
AGATE - High turbidity levels continue to make for slow fishing despite the warming water and stocking of legal-sized trout. The lake is full. No fresh trout will be released this week. Fishing with worms beneath bobbers or PowerBait at the lower end of the lake is your best bet, followed by PowerBait. Trolling will be poor until the water settles out. No gas motors are allowed. Small electric motors are legal.
APPLEGATE - The lake received 12,000 legal-sized rainbow trout last week, and that should jump-start interest in fishing. There also are plenty of hold-over rainbows from last year's stocking. Angling pressure, however, is light. Smallmouth bass fishing has been slow, but continued warm 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.
EMIGRANT - The lake recently 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. Water clarity is very good for this time of year, but high in-flows of cool water has slowed the warmwater fish bite. Bank anglers using chartreuse or rainbow PowerBait have fared very well for trout, while trollers using Little Cleo's or Triple Teasers have also caught fish. The lake was listed Thursday as full. Bass and perch fishing are starting to pick up in the evenings after warm afternoons in the Songer Wayside area. Fish 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.
HOWARD PRAIRIE - The lake had an excellent opening weekend of trout fishing thanks to plenty of fish and very good weather. Still-fishing off points and around Buck Island has been very good for those anchored and casting various colors of PowerBait. Trolling will pick up as the water warms, but slow trolling along the lake's east side has been good at times. The lake is ice-free and 85-percent full. Most of the action has taken place in water 8 to 14 feet deep. Most of the hold-overs are at least 9 inches long. The limit is five trout per day, with one over 20 inches.
HYATT - The lake is ice-free and fished well during the first week of trout season, though the bass action has been slow. Anchoring near the Orchard, the dam and the west bank in 8 to 12 feet of water has been a good strategy for anglers chasing rainbows. The limit is five trout a day with an 8-inch minimum, and only one can be 20 inches or longer.
DIAMOND - The ice is getting soft and breaking up along the shore, so ice fishing is not recommended this weekend. Plenty of open water exists on the south side near Silent and Short creeks, and fishing there has been very good with PowerBait or worms and bobbers. The biggest fish from opening weekend came from PowerBait anglers on the lake's south end. Access, however, is poor because of big snow drifts. No boat ramps are open. The limit is eight trout over 8 inches long, with only one allowed over 20 inches.
EXPO - Fishing has been decent for legal-sized rainbow trout and 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 work well, too.
LOST CREEK - The lake recently received its second batch of 25,000 legal-sized trout, and fishing for them has been best for bank anglers fishing PowerBait from shore near the Takelma ramp. Trollers working the point off the marina have done fairly well with Little Cleo's or Wedding Rings spiced with a piece of worm.
LAKE of the WOODS - The ice is soft, making ice fishing a poor choice. The resort is open.
FISH - The ice has softened substantially. Ice fishing is not recommended.
WILLOW - The lake recently received another installment of 4,500 legal-sized rainbows, and fishing for them is fairly good but best around the boat ramp. Effort is very light.
MEDCO POND - The pond received its first complement of 2,000 legal-sized trout this week. Effort is light.
ROGUE - The Rogue is high and dropping only slightly in the upper river, where the early spring chinook bite remains slow because of a dearth of fish. The middle Rogue is just starting to transition to spring chinook fishing amid high but decent-colored water. The lower Rogue, however, has been a hot spot for early springers thanks to good water temperatures, pretty high flows and lots of fish.
That keeps the best bet on the lower Rogue, where anglers have consistently run into waves of spring chinook that are getting caught close to shore by anglers on the banks and in boats. Beause these fish are migrating, most of the action has come in 3 to 5 feet of water, with anchovies with spinner blades the top bait. With water temperatures around 51 degrees, the conditions are good and likely will remain good through the weekend.
Lots of fish were caught Wednesday, with catches split 50-50 between boaters and bankies. Huntley Park and Canfield are the top bankie spots. Water levels at Agness were down to 9,400 cubic feet per second and are forecast to drop slightly over the weekend, but heavy rains on the coast Thursday might cause a small spike of water.
All wild chinook must be released riverwide in May.
Flows at Grants Pass were a hefty 6,400 cfs Thursday, enticing some jetboaters to try back-bouncing roe or running Kwikfish on some inside gravel-bar turns Thursday. Look for catches to improve through the month.
The upper Rogue is very slow for springers, with none yet entering Cole Rivers Hatchery despite some fish getting caught in the Hatchery Hole. Flows out of Lost Creek Lake were 4,000 cfs Thursday but they will drop in increments until they're down to 2,950 cfs Sunday afternoon. That should aid in getting some springers moving and biting.
APPLEGATE - The river is closed to angling.
UMPQUA - The mainstem Umpqua was fishing fairly well for spring chinook in the Elkton area despite high flows. Most of the action is between Scottsburg and Scott Creek boat ramps by driftboaters fishing Kwikfish or roe and sandshrimp. The North Umpqua remains very good for late-run winter steelhead in the bait water, but no springers yet. The South Umpqua is closed.