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MailTribune.com
  • Fishing Report: May 11, 2012

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  • COASTWIDE - Blustery weather has kept most chinook and bottomfish anglers at bay, but those sneaking out in the mornings have done well of late for black rockfish.
    The marine aggregate limit is seven rockfish a day. Anglers are relegated to inside the 30-fathom line. One cabezon can be kept as part of the aggregate daily bottomfish limit. The lingcod limit is two a day with a 22-inch minimum, and that is separate from the marine aggregate.
    The near-shore Pacific halibut season is open, but light effort was reported the past few days due to rough seas. A few early halibut were caught just after the season opened May 1 off Brookings.
    Today and Saturday mark the second and third all-depth halibut fishing days for the spring season, but action has been light due largely to poor weather.
    Ocean crabbing is open but most crabbers will continue to work larger bays such as Coos Bay and Winchester Bay.
    A good late-morning minus tide greets clammers today but that's the only one in the coming week.
    BROOKINGS - Stiff winds made for poor ocean fishing the past few days, but bottomfishing has picked up when anglers have been able to get out of the estuary. Chinook salmon season is open south of Humbug Mountain but not a lot of chinook are present yet. Surfperch fishing has been very good at Winchuck Beach, particularly for anglers working the top two hours of the incoming tide to one hour after high tide. For chinook, troll large anchovies with hoochies slowly in 120 feet of water or deeper near the shore. Chinook prefer near-shore waters.
    COOS BAY - A good morning clam tide will generate activity around Clam Island. The all-depth halibut fishery is open today and Saturday, but rough seas could make for low catches. Chinook fishing remains a bit slow, but catches should pick up soon.
    WINCHESTER BAY - Sturgeon fishing and crabbing have been slow but are improving. Rockfish catches are good off 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 now, followed by PowerBait. Trolling will be poor until the water clears. No gas motors are allowed. Small electric motors are legal.
    APPLEGATE - The lake received its first shot of 12,000 legal-sized rainbow trout recently. There also are plenty of holdover trout 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. For spring trout fishing, troll Triple Teasers or Wedding Ring lures with worms.
    EMIGRANT - The lake received another complement of 1,700 legal-sized rainbow trout this week, 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 fishing has been a bit slow but OK in the rocky points and around other rocky structure along the lake's lower end.
    A standing public-health advisory continues about eating all but trout from the lake because of elevated mercury levels.
    HOWARD PRAIRIE - The lake remains cold and that has slowed the action a bit, but the upcoming warm weather will do nothing but improve rainbow catches. The fish being caught are in excellent shape, with plenty of 15-inchers in the mix. Still-fishing off points and around Buck Island has been best 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 less than 15 feet deep. Most of the holdovers are at least 9 inches long thanks to the fall fingerling stocking strategy. The limit is five trout per day, with only one over 20 inches.
    HYATT - Cold water has slowed catches, but anglers working the lake are finding nice trout of 15 to 20 inches, mostly by still-fishing in shallow water with PowerBait off the bottom. The bite is light, so be patient and let the trout do a little more than nibble before setting the hook. Anchoring near the Orchard, the dam and the west bank in eight to 12 feet of water has been a good strategy for anglers chasing holdover rainbow trout. The cold water should make trolling a little tougher. The limit is five trout a day with an 8-inch minimum, and only one can be 20 inches or over.
    DIAMOND - The ice is thawing rapidly, and the north ramp near the resort is now usable. Anglers are pushing through slush to get to the open water, where catches have been good for very nice, edible trout. The bite is light, so anglers need to be patient before setting the hook. PowerBait is out-fishing worms now, and trolling is very slow. 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 recent trips have come on PowerBait anglers on the lake's south end. Access, however, is poor there due to heavy snow drifts. No other ramps are currently open. The limit is eight trout over 8 inches long, with only one allowed over 20 inches.
    EXPO - The lake received another 1,300 legal-sized rainbow trout this week, and fishing for them is very good with worms, PowerBait and small Panther Martin lures. The pond is accessible at Gate 5 for the Jackson County Expo Park off Peninger Road. Worms a few feet under a bobber have worked well.
    LOST CREEK - The lake received its second batch of 25,000 legal-sized rainbow trout recently, and fishing for them has been best for bank anglers fishing PowerBait 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 should improve bass fishing. Fish slowly presented crankbaits or worms or grubs near structure.
    LAKE of the WOODS - The lake is ice-free and fishing fairly well for rainbow and brown trout in shallow water with PowerBait. The resort is now open.
    FISH - The lake is ice-free, and access to the Forest Service boat ramp is available. Fishing around the resort and the Forest Service ramp has been good for rainbow trout with PowerBait or worms. Trolling is slow.
    WILLOW - The lake received another installment of 4,500 legal-sized rainbows recently, and fishing for them is fairly good but best around the boat ramp. Effort is very light. The county boat ramp is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. but the campgrounds remain closed.
    MEDCO POND - The pond received its first complement of 2,000 legal-sized trout last week. Effort is light.
    ROGUE - The upper Rogue finally is pulling into good spring chinook salmon-fishing shape, and the fish are starting to show up, while the middle Rogue has a lot of springers rolling but not biting. That's not the case on the lower Rogue, where the springer bite has been consistently good amid excellent fishing conditions and numbers of fish.
    That keeps the best bet on the lower Rogue, where anglers have consistently run into waves of springers getting caught close to shore by anglers on the banks and in boats. Though the past two afternoons have been slow because of windy conditions, the bite should hold on through the weekend. Because these fish are migrating, most of the action has come in 4 to 8 feet of water. The top bait is anchovies behind spinner blades. 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 boat anglers doing better than bank anglers. Bankies, however are still hitting fish at Huntley Park and Canfield. Water levels at Agness were down to 6,500 cubic feet per second and are forecast to drop consistently into next week.
    All wild chinook must be released riverwide in May. Only fin-clipped hatchery fish can be kept.
    Flows at Grants Pass were down to 4,418 cfs Thursday, and anglers are reporting fish rolling in most holes. Fishing at Rainie Falls was pretty strong earlier in the week for anglers hiking in.
    The upper Rogue is starting to spit out some springers for bank and boat anglers from the Hatchery Hole down to the TouVelle State Park area. Boat anglers are doing best with K-15 Kwikfish in migration lanes, while bank anglers have done best at the Hatchery Hole and at Casey State Park casting beads and yarn. Flows out of Lost Creek Lake were down to 3,000 cfs Thursday and are set to drop to 2,800 cfs this weekend amid warm temperatures. That should trigger a good early-morning bite for weekend anglers.
    The first 38 springers reached the hatchery collection pond this week.
    APPLEGATE - The river is closed to angling.
    UMPQUA - The mainstem Umpqua was fishing fair to good for spring chinook in the Elkton area, where flows are dropping and water conditions are improving. Most of the action is between Scottsburg and Scott Creek boat ramps by driftboaters fishing Kwikfish or roe and sandshrimp combinations. A few springers have been caught this week in the lower section of the North Umpqua, as well. The South Umpqua is closed.
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