COASTWIDE - Winds will be picking up, and swells are forecast for 9 feet on Saturday and 10 feet on Sunday, which is plenty high to keep most people inside for the weekend. When things calm down, look for a plethora of spring fishing opportunities from rockfish and lingcod to chinook and halibut.
Bottomfishers must stay within the 30-fathom line to protect yelloweye rockfish from getting caught and released too often during bottomfishing excursions.
Chinook salmon fishing is open north of Humbug Mountain, and fishing has been decent out of Charleston and Winchester Bay. Conditions look marginal this weekend. Chinook fishing opens Wednesday south of Humbug Mountain, but catches are not expected to be good until next month.
Near-shore jigging should be very good for lingcod and black rockfish when conditions allow. 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 can be kept until July 1.
Clammers will have a good morning minus tide today and Saturday. All shellfish harvest, including mussels, is open along the entire Oregon Coast.
COOS BAY - Bottomfish catches have been very good this week, with anglers on charter boats averaging more than five fish apiece. The chinook salmon bite has been decent out of Charleston, where anglers are getting into fish when weather permits. When they can get out, anglers likely will stay somewhat close to shore and ply the water anywhere from 50 to 130 feet down.
Crabbing has been poor.
BROOKINGS - Pacific halibut fishing opens Saturday off Brookings, and catches will be good once anglers find the fish. Dragging large herring just off the bottom is a good way to prospect for bit halibut.
Ocean salmon fishing out of Brookings opens Wednesday, but early effort is expected to be light. Jigging for black and blue rockfish as well as lingcod has been very good when anglers have been able to sneak outside of the estuary. Charterboat trips this past week averaged more than five rockfish per angler. Good conditions are forecast for today, but the swells will get up to 9 feet by Sunday.
GOLD BEACH - Surfperch fishing has perked up a bit off the sand spit when the surf lies down for a few days. Cast sandshrimp or Berkley rubber crayfish or prawns 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.
AGATE - The lake is listed at 100 percent full, and the warmwater fishery is starting to heat up thanks to the first hot weather of the season. Crappie, bass and bluegill are becoming active around submerged willows and along the dam. Fish worms or small spinners or crankbaits, but fish them slowly. Focus on the shallows, particularly in the morning. For trout, wind-drift for holdover trout with worms. No gas motors are allowed. Small electric motors are legal.
APPLEGATE - The lake is fishing well for holdover rainbow trout 10 to 14 inches long, and the lake received another 12,000 legal-sized fish last week. Trolling has been good off points and in the lower section of the reservoir. All the boat ramps are open. The lake is 10 feet from full and rising slowly, with the filling rate now about 10 feet short of schedule.
DIAMOND - The lake is ice-free, and both boat ramps are open, but the south ramp does not have docks in place. The resort is now renting boats, as well. Fishing is picking up for holdover trout running either 12 to 13 inches or 19 inches long. PowerBait is working best, with worms under bobbers second. Vary your depth and get mobile if you're not catching fish every half-hour. Trolling is slow and won't pick up until the water warms some. 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 two weeks ago, and fishing in that cove area is still 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 some water into the lake from Hyatt Lake, so look for the surface level to continue rising. It was listed Thursday at 76 percent full.
EXPO - The pond was stocked recently with 1,500 rainbow trout, and fishing for them and a mix of legals and trophy trout stocked last month is very good, but the lake is crowded on weekends. Small Panther Martin spinners, worms and PowerBait have worked well for rainbows there.
FISH - The lake is ice-free and received another 5,000 legal-sized rainbows last week. Fishing is good for a mix of trout and chinook salmon, mainly around the resort and the Forest Service boat ramp or in the center of the lake. 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 are in the 12- to 14-inch range. A sno-park permit is no longer needed to park at the boat ramp for another week.
HOWARD PRAIRIE - Decent to good fishing greeted anglers on opening weekend last Saturday, with PowerBait and trolling with flashers and Triple Teasers catching fish. Typically trollers find opening weekend a tough go, but lures spiced with a piece of worm have worked well. Most of the trout are 10 to 14 inches, with another group at 18-plus inches. The lake is listed at 57 percent full. Most of the still fishing is in 14 feet of water. Low water is making fishing from the resort's jetty difficult. Bank fishing around Klum Landing and Grizzly Campground is fair to good, but only the resort ramp and the Klum Landing ramp reach the water. The limit is five trout a day but only one can be longer than 20 inches.
HYATT - The lake opened to mixed success for anglers. People didn't catch lots of fish, but the ones they caught were nice, fat rainbows. Several 16- to 18-inch fish were caught by trollers slowly working around submerged trees or the old creek channel. The Bureau of Land Management ramp is open and usable for the time being. The lake is ice free but only 46 percent full. The limit is five trout a day but only one can be longer than 20 inches.
LEMOLO - The lake is open to angling and was recently stocked with rainbow trout. Expect good fishing for rainbows and brown trout in exposed waters along the shoreline. Brown trout can now be kept as part of the bag limit.
LOST CREEK - Another 20,000 legal-sized rainbow trout were stocked recently, but no new rainbows were added this week. The lake is filling fast and was about a half-foot from full Thursday. The fresh trout were split between the Taklema and Stewart boat ramps. That will entice anglers to work the lower section of the reservoir. Slowly troll Wedding Ring or Triple Teaser lures behind flashers, anywhere from 20 to 60 feet town. Wind-drifting worms or small clusters of roe has been good upstream of Peyton Bridge on days when the wind isn't blowing too strongly. Bass fishing should pick up as the reservoir warms. The surface temperature Thursday was up to 60 degrees, and that should help the largemouth and smallmouth bite.
LAKE of the WOODS - The lake is fishing well for trout from boats and from the bank. Rainbow or chartreuse PowerBait are the most popular offerings for brown trout and rainbow trout, especially near the resort.
WILLOW - The reservoir was listed Thursday as 99 percent full, and it received another 3,500 rainbow trout two weeks ago. Fishing from the bank with PowerBait or worms has been good around the resort and directly across from the county boat ramp. Very little trolling has occurred, but trollers could try Tasmanian Devils or Triple Teasers, or wind-drift worms in the afternoon.
SELMAC - Fishing remains good from the bank with single salmon eggs or PowerBait for legal-sized rainbows stocked there earlier this month. Bass fishing will start picking up when the water warms.
ROGUE - The spring chinook salmon bite in the upper Rogue is fairly good — very good for early May — for bank and boat anglers who are running into fresh springers daily, while the middle Rogue continues to be slow for springers.
That puts the best bet on the upper Rogue. Water flows out of Lost Creek Lake were up to 2,400 cubic feet per second Thursday as the lake hovers within inches of being full. That has helped the springer bite each morning, with the upper half of the upper Rogue best. Good percentages of hatchery springers are in the mix, with 18-pounders the most common. Boat anglers are doing best back-bouncing roe, but plugs spiced with an anchovy fillet are running into springers in migration lanes and the heads of pools and deep runs. Flows at Dodge Bridge were up to 2,717 cfs Thursday afternoon, and that should hold steady through the weekend as higher flows are needed to help migrating spring chinook during this week's short hotspell. Avoid the holes and fish the tailouts or the inside turns on gravel bars to intercept springers as they head upstream.
Bank anglers casting beads or small Spin-Glo's are catching fish rather consistently at the Hatchery Hole. Another 100 springers — by far the best week yet — were collected Tuesday at the hatchery. All wild chinook must be released unharmed through May.
Winter steelhead also are sprinkled throughout the upper Rogue, with catches better farther up the river. Many of the fish are dark or spawned-out and they should all be released unharmed. But there are some bright, late-run fish in the mix. Another 318 winter steelhead made it to Cole Rivers Hatchery over the past week. Fish them in deeper water.
Anglers can no longer keep wild steelhead, which all must be released unharmed for the remainder of the year.
The middle Rogue is giving up some spawned-out steelhead and a few dark, native fish for those fishing roe or worms and corkies. A few spring chinook have been caught this past week below Rainie Falls and at Hayes Falls. In the lower Rogue, a few springers are getting caught by boat anglers fishing upstream of tidewater, but bank angling has been slow as the water warms. Boat anglers are fishing primarily with anchovies and the Rogue Bait rig. The Brad's Cut Plug lure is about the only other thing working. Guides have been putting a few fish in the boat daily.
Bankies have done fairly well in the Agness area, with Lucas Bar the local hot-spot of late. Schools of springers continue to move through, and that will improve with more water.
About one-third of the springers being caught are hatchery fish that can be kept. Wild fish must be released unharmed. Plenty of fish in the 18- to 25-pound range have been caught, but nothing big so far.