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MailTribune.com
  • Fishing Report: May 17, 2013

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  • COASTWIDE - Good ocean conditions will greet bottomfishers and salmon fishers today and Saturday, but 25-knot winds and 10-foot seas are forecast for Sunday. That creates a good chance to head over the bar for lingcod and black rockfish, but not as good for chinook.
    Early-season salmon catches have been somewhat slow so far, with fishing better along the North Coast than the South Coast, but that's typical of early-season angling.
    Great bottomfishing has most charters and pleasure-boaters focusing on rockfish and lingcod. Spring jiggers will find lings close to shore and near kelp beds. Black, white and red jigs have been working best.
    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.
    All shellfish harvesting, including mussels, is open along the Oregon Coast. A great set of minus tides begins late next week.
    It should be a good weekend for bay crabbing, although lots of smaller crabs have been in the catch of late. South coast crabs have started molting a little earlier than normal, so meat densities won't be ideal.
    BROOKINGS - The ocean salmon season for chinook has been open since May 1, and catches have been very light. That is common when the season opens this early. Most ocean anglers are jigging for lingcod and black rockfish because fishing for both has been good. A few early-season halibut have been caught, as well.
    Surfperch fishing has been very good at the Winchuck Beach. Incoming to high tides are best.
    GOLD BEACH - Surfperch fishing has been excellent, 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 with sinking lines and bright streamers is very good under these conditions. Red and yellow are the best colors.
    AGATE - Look for a nice bass and crappie bite this weekend amid warm temperatures. Wind-drifting worms or casting grubs will be best. Some of the trout from the March stocking are still around, but they won't last long in the warm water. The lake was listed Thursday at 93 percent full. No gas motors are allowed. Small electric motors are legal. The lake is open year-round.
    APPLEGATE - No fresh Applegate River winter steelhead were released this week at the Copper ramp, so just 563 steelhead have been released this season in the lake. Catch them on small spinners, worms and streamer flies. They 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 down a foot from last week and is 2 feet from full.
    DIAMOND - Both the north and south ramps are open, and fishing has picked up after a slowdown due to big insect hatches. The best fishing is with PowerBait in 20 feet of water near the south end. Fishing in the shrimp beds directly across from the resort also is good. Early morning and evening are best, with fishing slowing during windy periods. Trolling has picked up for those using Triple Teasers, No. 4 Flatfish and other lures. Fly-fishing has been fair on chironomids or woolly buggers. The water surface temperature is hovering in the low 50s. 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 longer than 8 inches, but only one can be longer than 20 inches.
    EMIGRANT - Bass fishing has picked 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 351 adult summer steelhead from Cole Rivers Hatchery in March. 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 rose this week to 95 percent full.
    EXPO - The pond received 1,300 legal-sized rainbow trout last week, and they are biting worms, PowerBait and small Panther Martin lures. Some holdovers from last month's trout plant also are available. The pond is open year-round.
    FISH - The lake is three-fourths full, and slow trolling for trout has become a good option at varying depths. 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. The lake is three-quarters full.
    HOWARD PRAIRIE - Cold, rainy and windy conditions slowed bass and trout fishing this week. However, some early-morning anglers have done OK for bass or trout before the winds kick up. 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. The lake is down slightly this week to 85 percent full. The limit is five trout per day with an 8-inch minimum, and only one can be longer than 20 inches.
    HYATT - The BLM boat ramps and most of the campgrounds are open, and fishing is fair to good with PowerBait near the dam, around the Orchard and in the upper stretches of the lake. However, windy conditions and cold weather have kept angler numbers low. Trolling the old creek channel near the lake's western edge can be good, especially in the evenings. The limit is five trout longer than 8 inches, but only one can be longer than 20 inches.
    LOST CREEK - The surface temperature has held steady at 62 degrees, which has kept bass more active, and trolling for trout has improved. Trollers are finding a mix of 15-inch holdover trout and legals from the 25,000 fish stocked there in April. Both ramps are open. Stocked chinook are close to 8 inches, which is the legal size for keepers. Bank anglers are doing best with PowerBait, while trollers are using Wedding Rings with worms or Triple Teasers. The lake is 4 feet from full.
    ROGUE - The lower Rogue is dogged by low and warm water despite good numbers of spring chinook milling about, while the middle Rogue continues to be a poor show for springers other than a few standard bankie hotspots. The upper Rogue has been fairly hit and miss, but the hits should keep coming, in part because of Thursday's recycling of 700 springers at the Gold Hill ramp, which makes Hayes Falls a go-to spot for bankies.
    That makes the upper Rogue by far the best bet for spring chinook, the cream of the Rogue's crop of anadromous fish.
    Another strong showing of springers at Cole Rivers Hatchery this past week shows that springers definitely are on the move. Catches at the Hatchery Hole have been steady but not spectacular despite good numbers of springers in the area. Casey State Park is yielding a few springers each morning, but the Slide Hole has been slower.
    Flows out of Lost Creek Lake jumped earlier this week but slid Wednesday evening to 2,300 cubic feet per second. Flows have stayed steady at Dodge Bridge at around 2,400 cfs, but the water was rising Thursday afternoon and forecast to continue rising into Friday before dropping over the weekend. That could trigger a nice weekend bite for anglers.
    Driftboat anglers are using roe or Kwikfish in migration lanes to focus on hatchery fish that are on the move instead of early-run wild chinook hunkered down in holes. More wild fish are getting caught in the upper Rogue than hatchery fish.
    Most of the middle Rogue springer action is at places like Hayes Falls and Rainie Falls. Both have yielded fish and will improve as more springers move through. Most of the fish are in the 14- to 18-pound range.
    The lower Rogue provided a frustrating week for anglers, who saw plenty of fish but had trouble getting them to bite. That's largely because of low, rather warm and very clear water that has springers skittish. The flows at Agness were up a bit but still a paltry 3,800 cfs Thursday and rising slightly.
    Guides are running into springers daily, with most of the action from river mile six on up. Anchovies with Rogue spinner blades has been the best bait. Plunkers 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. Wild steelhead must be released unharmed. Wild springers must be released riverwide until June, when they can be kept downstream of the Fishers Ferry boat ramp — the new lower boundary of what is considered the upper Rogue.
    APPLEGATE/CHETCO/Elk/SIXES - Fishing is closed until May 25.
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