COASTWIDE - Sharp winds will give way to very good fishing conditions Saturday and Sunday off the Southern Oregon coast, as long as you don't mind a little sprinkle to go with the light swells. That has anglers still concentrating on lingcod/rockfish trips while they wait for the chinook salmon to move northward. This past week, catches have been steadily good off Crescent City and near the state line, suggesting that anglers might be in for some good catches off Brookings in a week or so.
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.
It should be another decent weekend for bay crabbing, although lots of smaller crabs have been in the catch of late, and south coast crabs started molting earlier than normal, so meat densities are light.
An excellent series of very minus morning tides starts Saturday and runs through the week, so bay and coast digging should be good around Coos Bay.
All shellfish harvesting, including mussels, is open along the Oregon Coast.
BROOKINGS - The ocean salmon season has still not taken off. Some big lingcod — along with black and blue rockfish — are still getting caught by anglers. A few halibut have been taken this week, as well, and look for more halibut this weekend should the calm seas materialize as forecast.
Surfperch fishing has been very good at Winchuck Beach. Catch them on bright streamer flies, clam necks, mussels or plastic, imitation crayfish.
GOLD BEACH - Surfperch fishing has been excellent. Bottomfishing has been great when anglers can get out of the bay, and this weekend looks good for that. A gray whale swam into the lower bay Tuesday and made it past Jot's Resort before turning around and leaving.
AGATE - Fishing for bass and crappie should be fine through the weekend in very warm water that favors bass over trout fishing. 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. The lake was listed Thursday at 82 percent full. No gas motors are allowed. Small electric motors are legal.
APPLEGATE - The lake got 9,000 legal-sized trout and 500 larger trout last month, and they are pretty well spread out and away from their release site at the Copper ramp. Catch them by trolling Wedding Rings with worms or using PowerBait off the bank. Evenings are best. Trout fishing in the Seattle Bar area has been good on PowerBait, worms and streamer flies. The lake is now 7 feet from full, so Seattle Bar will start getting muddy and less appealing. Bass fishing slowed a bit during this week's storms, and look for it to be a bit slow through early next week as more rains are forecast for Sunday into early next week.
DIAMOND - Trout are on the bite for anglers fishing mainly PowerBait, worms under bobbers and streamer flies. The best trout fishing is in water 35-40 feet deep with PowerBait floated 3-4 feet off the bottom. Trolling has picked up slightly but could be tougher with this week's hot weather. Trollers could try pulling Triple Teasers, No. 4 Flatfish and other lures slowly just above the weed lines. Fly-fishing has been fair to good on chironomids and woolly buggers. Most of the rainbows are 12 to 16 inches long, and last year's fingerlings are 9-10 inches. The limit is eight trout per day over 8 inches, but only one can be more than 20 inches.
EMIGRANT - Bass fishing has been off and on. Focus on 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. Try small spinners, worms and streamer flies. The lake is down to 83 percent full.
EXPO - The pond received 1,300 legal-sized rainbow trout a month ago, and that will be the last stocking for the summer due to warm water that hampers trout survival.
FISH - The lake got a dose of 3,000 legal-sized trout earlier last week, and fishing for them has been very good around the resort and the Forest Service boat ramp. Still-fishing with PowerBait is best in deeper water. Some of last year's tiger trout could be in the 10-inch range this year, but they still must be released unharmed.
HOWARD PRAIRIE - The trout bite has been very good despite the recent rains, with still fishing out-doing trolling. Anglers anchored in 15 to 30 feet of water have done best with PowerBait, while trollers have worked the middle of the lake with some success. Another 2,525 legal-sized rainbows were released three weeks ago at the resort, and fishing for them has been good off the jetty with PowerBait. Bass fishing has been very good regardless of what bassers are throwing at them, but white plastic worms and topwater baits have been the better choices this week. Largemouth are hitting a variety of crankbaits and plastic worms.
HYATT - The BLM boat ramps are open, and fishing is fair to good with PowerBait near the dam, around the Orchard and in the upper stretches of the lake. Trolling the old creek channel near the lake's western edge can be good, especially in the evenings. The limit is five trout more than 8 inches long, but only one can be longer than 20 inches. Bass fishing is picking up in the Orchard and on rocky points near the dam.
LEMOLO - Fishing has been good. Brown trout are averaging 16 inches, rainbows are 12 to 16-plus inches, and kokanee are in the 13- to 15-inch range.
LOST CREEK - Another 7,650 legal-sized rainbow trout were released three weeks ago, split between the Stewart State Park and Takelma boat ramps, on top of 20,000 legal-sized and 500 larger-sized rainbows released there last month. Bank fishing is better at the Takelma ramp largely because there is more room to fan out and cast PowerBait or float worms off the bottom. Slow trolling with flashers or streamer flies from float tubes also works well. The lake is 20 feet from full but starting to drop rapidly as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has stepped up water releases.
ROGUE - The lower Rogue has seen some spring chinook caught by boat anglers anchored in migration lanes, but the low and clear water has stymied their efforts. The middle Rogue is slow for springers other than at a few standard bank-fishing spots, while the upper Rogue has picked up a bit after the recent rain, and warmer weather should help get the bite going again despite dropping water releases from Lost Creek Lake.
That makes the upper Rogue by far the best bet for spring chinook, but it's still been a rough year for a rough fish to catch.
Almost 900 springers entered Cole Rivers Hatchery in the week preceding Tuesday, and that's a hair better than recent weeks. That has created a real hit-and-miss fishery for driftboaters and powerboaters who can be into fish on one particular run one day, then devoid of fish the next day. Lost Creek Lake outflows were down another 100 cubic feet per second to 2,250 cfs Thursday, and that helped get a little bite going as the water dropped. Wednesday's rain seemed to trigger an upper Rogue bite for boat anglers mostly back-bouncing roe, and more rain is forecast beginning Sunday and into next week.
For boat anglers, back-bouncing roe has out-produced plugs, with many of the bites light of late.
Another 631 spring chinook were recycled Wednesday from Cole Rivers Hatchery to Gold Hill, upping this year's recycle total to 3,795 fish.
Bank anglers are doing best at the Hatchery Hole and Casey State Park. Anglers have been complaining about bankies illegally keeping chinook that are hooked other than inside the mouth at these and several other upper Rogue holes upstream of Rogue Elk Park.
Wild spring chinook caught downstream from the Fishers Ferry boat ramp near Gold Hill can be kept as part of the daily two-fish limit. The old deadline was the Gold Ray Dam site, which allowed anglers at the old Deadline Hole and other places to keep wild fish in June. Those holes now are closed to the keeping of wild fish until July.
Another 20 summer steelhead showed up this week at Cole Rivers Hatchery, bringing the steelhead count there to 40 adults so far. But it's still hard to gauge whether there are enough around to start targeting them in evening floats along the upper Rogue.
Rainie Falls and Hayes Falls have been productive for spring chinook this week for bank anglers. Anglers working Hayes Falls have been finding some of the recycled chinook returned to the Rogue weekly at Gold Hill.
The lower Rogue has been slow for springers, but a handful of fish are getting caught daily by anglers spinning anchovies while anchored in migration lanes from Agness down to just above Huntley Park. Sea-run cutthroat are biting anchovies or sculpin fillets.
In the far upper Rogue upstream of Lost Creek Lake, the regular stocking schedule for the summer is in place and anglers are catching legal-sized trout daily.
APPLEGATE - The river opened for trout fishing, with all wild rainbow and cutthroat trout released unharmed. It is illegal to target steelhead when they reach the river during trout season.