Fishing Report: April 11, 2014

OCEAN OUTLOOK

COASTWIDE - A hazardous seas and small-craft advisory is in effect through Saturday evening, then 15-knot winds with 6-foot seas are expected Sunday. That makes Sunday doable in the morning for near-shore lingcod on the spawn.

Bottomfishers must stay within the 30-fathom line to protect yelloweye rockfish from overharvest.

Chinook salmon fishing is open north of Humbug Mountain, making Coos Bay or Bandon the closest ports to the Rogue Valley that will be open for salmon. Early-season fishing has been slow, in part because of poor fishing conditions and regular bar restrictions for smaller boats.

Near-shore jigging should be very good for lingcod and black rockfish when conditions allow. Lingcod are moving into the shallows in force for the spring spawn, and this is the best time to catch them. Black, white or red jigs are always good bets, but lings are so aggressive now that color doesn't matter.

The marine aggregate limit in Oregon is seven rockfish a day. The lingcod limit is two a day with a 22-inch minimum, and that is separate from the marine aggregate. No cabezon may be kept until July 1.

Clammers will see a good series of morning minus tides starting Tuesday and getting progressively better into the weekend. These are the most promising morning minus tides of the year so far.

Mussel harvest is closed from Cape Arago to the California border, but everything else is a go for shellfish on the Oregon Coast.

The halibut season for all of Oregon is closed until May.

COOS BAY - The chinook season is open, but the weather has been poor. When they can get out, anglers likely will stay somewhat close to shore and ply the water anywhere from 50 to 130 feet down. The chinook are scattered and tough to find in the early season.

Crabbing has been poor, as it normally is this time of year.

BROOKINGS - Ocean salmon fishing is closed until May 7. Jigging for rockfish and lingcod has been very good when anglers have been able to sneak outside of the estuary. For this weekend, Sunday conditions look better than Friday or Saturday for bottomfishers.

GOLD BEACH - Surfperch fishing has perked up a bit off the sand spit on calmer days. Anglers are finding them when the surf lies down for a few days. Cast Berkley rubber crayfish or prawns or sandshrimp for them. Spring chinook salmon are moving through the bay, but the vast majority of the effort is in the first 15 miles above tidewater.


LAKE OUTLOOK

AGATE - The lake is listed at 100 percent full and is fairly turbid. No fresh rainbow trout have been stocked yet. Warming water should get the crappie, bass and bluegill active around submerged willows and along the dam. Fish worms or small spinners. When the clarity returns, try wind-drifting for holdover trout with worms. No gas motors are allowed. Small electric motors are legal.

APPLEGATE - The lake is fishing well for rainbow trout. Trolling for holdover rainbow trout 10 to 14 inches long has been good off points and in the lower section of the reservoir. All the boat ramps are open. Bank fishing has been poor due to low water levels. The lake is 17 feet from full and rising somewhat rapidly, and the filling rate is about 2 feet off schedule.

DIAMOND - The ice is breaking up well in front of the marina and along most of the northern edge of the lake. There is open water from the north ramp across to Thielsen Campground and along the northeast edge toward the Cheese Hole. Fishing should be good for holdover rainbows now 15 to 19 inches long, and last year's fingerlings are longer than 10 inches. The limit is eight trout per day longer than 8 inches, but only one can be longer than 20 inches.

EMIGRANT - The lake received another 3,500 legal-sized rainbows, planted off the county park boat ramps, and fishing in that cove area has been good for them. The trout planted in March have moved around in the lower third of the lake. Try small spinners, worms and streamer flies for holdover trout. Bass and bluegill fishing should improve as the water warms. Focus around the submerged willows. The Talent Irrigation District is transferring water into the lake from Hyatt Lake, so look for the surface level to continue rising. It was listed Thursday at 66 percent full.

EXPO - The pond was stocked again this week with 1,500 rainbow trout, and fishing for them and a mix of legals and trophy trout stocked last month is very good. Small Panther Martin spinners, worms and PowerBait have all worked well for rainbows there. Expect crowds there this weekend.

FISH - The lake is ice-free and fishing fairly well for a mix of trout and chinook salmon, mainly around the resort and the Forest Service boat ramp. Tiger trout must be released unharmed. Chinook are legally considered trout and can be kept as part of the five-trout daily limit. The chinook now are in the 12- to 14-inch range. A sno-park permit is needed to park at the boat ramp.

HOWARD PRAIRIE - The lake is closed until April 26.

HYATT - The lake is closed.

LEMOLO - The lake is open to angling. Expect good fishing for rainbows and brown trout in exposed waters along the shoreline. All brown trout must be released unharmed until April 26.

LOST CREEK - Another 25,000 legal-sized rainbow trout are scheduled for stocking early next week. They will be split between the Taklema and Stewart boat ramps. That will entice anglers to work the lower section of the reservoir, mostly slowly trolling Wedding Ring or Triple Teaser lures behind flashers, anywhere from 20 to 60 feet town. The lake is rising steadily and is now 21/2 feet from full. Bass fishing should pick up as the reservoir warms, but the surface temperature Thursday remained a chilly 43 degrees.

LAKE of the WOODS - The lake is getting more open water as the ice melts, allowing bank anglers to fish the shallows for patrolling rainbow trout and brown trout.

WILLOW - The reservoir was listed Thursday at 100 percent full, and it received another 3,500 rainbow trout this week. Fish from the bank with PowerBait, particularly in the cove near the boat ramp where the trout were released, or troll Tasmanian Devils or Triple Teasers, or wind-drift worms in the afternoon.

SELMAC - The lake received another 5,000 rainbow trout this week, and fishing for them should be good on bait from the bank. Single salmon eggs are a good spring choice. Bass fishing will start picking up once the water warms.


RIVER OUTLOOK

ROGUE - Winter steelhead fishing is holding its own in the upper Rogue, and good numbers of adults are streaming into Cole Rivers Hatchery — accompanied by the first spring chinook salmon of the season. The middle Rogue has kicked out a few spring chinook, but most of the action continues to be on winter steelhead. The lower Rogue is producing about 20 springers a day to boat anglers, while bank anglers plunking the Agness area this past week have done well.

That makes the best bet either extreme of the Rogue, depending largely on your quarry.

In the upper Rogue, water flows out of Lost Creek Lake were bumped up Thursday to 2,000 cubic feet per second as Lost Creek Lake inches closer to full. Flows at Dodge Bridge were a sparse 2,108 cfs Thursday afternoon, but flows are forecast to inch up over the next few days to about 2,400 cfs Saturday.

Winter steelhead are sprinkled throughout the upper Rogue. Boat anglers are doing best, with at least a few fish each day. It's not spectacular, but the peak of the upper Rogue run is here and the action is fairly steady. Roe, yarn balls, plugs and even big streamer flies have brought down fish, particularly in the lower water glides. The first spring chinook of the season showed up Tuesday at Cole Rivers, but no confirmed catches have been reported.

The middle Rogue is holding steady for a mix of fresh and spawned-out winter steelhead, most of them in the 5- to 8-pound range. A few spring chinook have been caught this past week below Rainie Falls, in the Robertson Bridge area and at Hayes Falls, but it's still a bit slow. Flows at Grants Pass were a paltry 2,733 cfs Thursday and forecast to inch up a few hundred cfs through the weekend before holding steady. The turbidity levels were hovering at 3 NTUs, which is not helping the bite at all.

In the lower Rogue, the best spring chinook fishing has been from Quosatana Creek on down, with good catches between Elephant Rock and the Power Lines. Boat anglers are fishing primarily with anchovies and Rogue Bait rigs, getting about 20 fish a day. The Brad's Cut Plug lure is about the only other thing working. Bankies have done well in the Agness area, with about two dozen anglers at Lucas Bar the past few days. Waves of spring chinook are moving through, bending a few rods along the way. Spin-Glo's have fallen out of favor this week, with more bankies going to anchovies or the Brad's plug fished a little farther off the bank than normal thanks to the clear conditions.

About 40 percent of the springers being caught are hatchery fish that can be kept. Wild fish must be released unharmed. Plenty of fish have been in the 18- to 25-pound range, but nothing big so far. A few steelhead are still coming over the bar, and fishing remains decent for winter steelhead in the Agness area.

CHETCO - The river is closed to angling.

APPLEGATE - The river is closed to angling.

UMPQUA - The first spring chinook are showing up in the lower mainstem, and they are biting plugs fished in migration lanes from Scottsburg on down, but the lower you go the better.

SOUTH UMPQUA - Winter steelhead fishing remains good, especially for large hatchery fish. The South has seen very good hatchery returns this year. Side-drifting roe or scented yarn balls has been best. The river is open to steelhead angling through April.


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