COASTWIDE - Excellent ocean and tide conditions await ocean anglers and clammers who want to spend Mother's Day on the South Coast. Forecast are nearly flat seas today and small, rolling swells through the weekend. That should bode well for those fishing black rockfish, lingcod, chinook salmon and even a few halibut, whose season began last week amid poor ocean conditions.
Spring jiggers will find lings close to shore and near kelp beds. Black, white and red jigs have been working best.
Good morning minus tides are here through Tuesday, and that should make for good clamming at Charleston.
Chinook salmon fishing is open along the Oregon Coast, with catches better along the North Coast than the South Coast.
The marine aggregate limit in Oregon is seven rockfish a day. No cabezon may be kept until July. The lingcod limit is two a day with a 22-inch minimum, and that is separate from the marine aggregate.
The ocean is open to sport and commercial crabbers, and it should be a fairly good weekend for bay crabbing. Recent rains did not swell rivers much, so salinity levels should be good, especially for those crabbing out of boats. Lots of smaller crabs are in the catch coastwide of late.
All shellfish harvesting, including mussels, is open along the Oregon Coast.
BROOKINGS - The ocean salmon season for chinook has been open since May 1, and early action has been very light. That is common when the season opens this early. Look for the first few chinook to reach the cleaning station this weekend as nice, flat seas will draw good numbers of boats over the bar to fish for salmon. Add jigging for lingcod and black rockfish to the trip because fishing for both of them is very good. A halibut was caught and landed at Brookings earlier this week. That season also began May 1.
Surfperch fishing has been very good at Winchuck Beach. Incoming to high tide is best.
GOLD BEACH - Surfperch fishing has picked up very well with the calmer surf conditions, especially around Nesika Beach and the Highway 101 pullouts north of Gold Beach. Cast sandshrimp, clam necks, mussels or rubber crayfish for them. Fly-fishing for surfperch is very good under these conditions with sinking lines and bright streamers. Red and yellow are the best colors.
AGATE - Fishing for bass and crappie has picked up as the lake has continued to warm. Look for a nice bass and crappie bite this weekend. Wind-drifting worms or casting grubs will be best. Some of the trout from the March stocking still are around, but they won't last long in the warm water. The lake was listed Thursday at 96 percent full, so the level is dropping. No gas motors are allowed. Small electric motors are legal.
APPLEGATE - Another 150 Applegate River winter steelhead were released this week at the Copper Ramp, bringing to 563 the number of excess steelhead released this season in the lake. Catch them on small spinners, worms and streamer flies. They will disperse relatively quickly, and you will be able to find them in the Seattle Bar area and at the mouths of tributaries. They are legally trout once released in the lake, and anglers can keep just one over 20 inches a day. Bass fishing has picked up off points. Trout fishing is good in the Seattle Bar area for those casting PowerBait or trolling streamer flies from float tubes. The lake is less than a foot from full.
DIAMOND - The north and south ramps are open, and fishing has slowed as insect hatches have stolen the attention of trout away from PowerBait and worms. Still, fish are hitting baits, and trolling has picked up for those using Triple Teasers, No. 4 Flatfish and other standard lures. Fly-fishing has been fair on chironomids or woolly buggers. The water surface temperature hit 54 degrees Sunday, so the trout will start going a little deeper earlier than most years. Most of the rainbows are 12 to 16 inches long, and last year's fingerlings are 9 to 10 inches. The limit is eight trout per day over 8 inches, but only one can be longer than 20 inches. The lake is open year-round.
EMIGRANT - Bass fishing is picking up near rockpiles and submerged willows along the lower stretches where the water is warmer. The lake was infused in mid-April with 3,500 legal-sized rainbows and in March with 351 adult summer steelhead from Cole Rivers Hatchery. The steelhead are legally considered rainbow trout, so no steelhead tag is necessary, and anglers can keep just one longer than 20 inches per day. Try small spinners, worms and streamer flies. The lake is 98 percent full.
EXPO - The pond received another 1,300 legal-sized rainbow trout this week, and they are actively biting worms, PowerBait and small Panther Martin lures. Some holdovers from last month's trout plant also are available.
FISH - The lake has inched up to 74 percent full, but the water is warming, so slow trolling for trout has become a good option. Some of last year's tiger trout could be in the 10-inch range this year, but they must be released unharmed. Catches of rainbow trout should be good off the Forest Service boat ramp. Fish worms or PowerBait.
HOWARD PRAIRIE - Wind has slowed fishing some days, but anglers going out in the early mornings and evenings have done very well for trout and largemouth bass. Trout fishing is best for trollers using flashers and Wedding Ring lures with a piece of worm. Largemouth have hit everything from topwater baits in the morning to worms later in the day. Crankbaits also have worked this past week. The lake is 86 percent full.
HYATT - The BLM boat ramps are open, and fishing is very good with PowerBait near the dam, around the Orchard and in the upper stretch of the lake. Trolling has picked up with the warming water, and the old creek channel near the lake's western edge is an excellent place to start. Evening trolling is best.
LOST CREEK - The surface temperature has skyrocketed to 62 degrees, which has the bass more active and has improved trolling for trout. Trollers are finding a mix of 15-inch holdover trout and legals from the 25,000 fish stocked there in April. Look for the stocked chinook to be close to 8 inches, which is where they can start going on stringers. Bank anglers are doing best with PowerBait, while trollers are using Wedding Rings with worms or Triple Teasers. The lake is 2 feet from full. Both ramps are open.
ROGUE - Despite good schools of fish and a little more water, the lower Rogue has been slow for spring chinook, while the middle Rogue continues to be poor for springers. The upper Rogue is picking up and fished fairly well after Wednesday's increase in water flows out of Lost Creek Lake.
That makes the upper Rogue a pretty good call as the best bet for spring chinook, the cream of the Rogue's crop of anadromous fish.
A good crop of springers hit the Cole Rivers Hatchery pond this week, increasing the total to 682 fish. Those springers all made it past the gauntlet of anglers at the Hatchery Hole, where catches have been fair to good but certainly not red-hot so far this year. Casey State Park is yielding a few springers each morning, but the Slide Hole has been slower.
Flows out of Lost Creek Lake jumped to 2,250 cubic feet per second Wednesday, but flows crested late Wednesday night at Dodge Bridge, and that helped trigger a nice little springer bite Thursday morning throughout the upper Rogue for driftboat anglers using roe or Kwikfish in migration lanes. More wild fish than hatchery fish are getting caught in the upper Rogue, and all wild chinook must still be released riverwide. The flow at Dodge Bridge Thursday was 2,400 cfs and dropping. That's not ideal, but certainly better than it has been.
Flows at Grants Pass were at 2,630 cfs. Most of the middle Rogue springer action is at places such as Hayes Falls and Rainie Falls. Both were yielding fish and will improve as more springers move through. Most of the fish are in the 14- to 18-pound range.
The lower Rogue has not seen an appreciable increase in spring chinook catches despite a little more water and good schools of fish present. The flows at Agness were a paltry 3,500 cfs Thursday and still on the rise. Guides are running into fresh springers daily, with most of the action from river mile 6 on up. Anchovies with Rogue spinner blades are best. Bank anglers who are plunking are down to a size No. 6 Spin-Glo, with gray or black-and-white good options.
A few steelhead, mostly spawned-out kelts, have been picked up riverwide. The wild fish must be released unharmed. Wild springers must be released riverwide until June, when they can be kept downstream of the Fishers Ferry boat ramp.
APPLEGATE/CHETCO/Elk/SIXES - Fishing is closed until May 25.