Ocean Outlook

Ocean Outlook

COASTWIDE - Excellent wind and wave forecasts are on tap for the weekend, with 5-knot winds and 2-foot swells enticing inlanders to hit the briny deep for chinook salmon and bottomfish, with the occasional Pacific halibut jigger, as well.

Bottomfishers must stay within the 30-fathom line to protect yelloweye rockfish from getting caught and released too often during bottomfishing excursions.

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.

Southern Oregon's chinook salmon season has started a bit slow, with most of the fish off Northern California right now.

Clammers will have good morning minus tides today through Wednesday.

All shellfish harvest is open along the entire Oregon Coast.

COOS BAY - Bottomfish catches have been very good this past week, with the vast majority of anglers on charter boats continuing to catch limits. The chinook salmon bite has been slow largely because the chinook remain scattered. 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 - Excellent fishing conditions are forecast for today through Sunday, giving anglers plenty of opportunities for lingcod and bottomfish, both of which have been very good. The first week of the chinook season was slow, as expected, while anglers await Oregon chinook to swim past Northern California and reach their home waters.

GOLD BEACH - Surfperch fishing has perked up and is now very good. Weather conditions are perfect for the weekend, allowing larger boats to cross the bar and either troll for chinook or jig for lingcod. Lingcod fishing out of Gold Beach has been very good when the weather permits.

Lake Outlook

AGATE - The lake is down a bit to 98-percent full, and the warmwater fishery is really taking over now that hot weather has reached the valley. 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 complement of 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 up to just over 7 feet from full and rising slowly, with the filling rate now about 7 feet short of schedule.

DIAMOND - Fishing is slow and not what Diamond Lake anglers are used to in May, where holdover trout are running either 12 to 13 inches or 19 inches long. The fish are gorged on insects, so they are tough to entice with baits. 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 1,500 legal-sized rainbows planted off the county park boat ramps this week, and fishing in that cove area is good for them. The trout previously planted 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 77 percent full.

A standing public-health advisory continues about eating all but trout from the lake because of elevated mercury levels.

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, but expect crowds this weekend. Small Panther Martin spinners, worms and PowerBait have worked well for rainbows there.

FISH - The lake received another 3,500 legal-sized rainbows and 500 larger rainbows this past week. Fishing is good for a mix of trout and chinook salmon, mainly around the resort and the U.S. 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.

HOWARD PRAIRIE - The lake is fishing fairly well for trout, with both PowerBaits working as well as early trolling with flashers and Triple Teasers. Use lures spiced with a piece of worm. Most of the trout are 10 to 14 inches, with another group at 18-plus inches. The lake is listed at 55 percent full and holding pretty steady. 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 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 over 20 inches.

HYATT - The lake is down to 44 percent full, and that's left the BLM boat ramp unusable for larger boats but OK for cartoppers or other smaller boats. Anglers are not catching lots of fish, but their stringers were full of nice, fat rainbows. Several 16- to 18-inch fish were caught by trollers slowly working around submerged trees or the old creek channel. The limit is five trout a day but only one over 20 inches.

LEMOLO - The lake is open to angling and 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 is also good upstream of Peyton Bridge on days when the wind isn't blowing too badly. Bass fishing should pick up as the reservoir warms. The surface temperature Thursday was 59 degrees, which does not 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 last month. 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, 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.

River Outlook

ROGUE - The spring chinook salmon bite in the upper Rogue is surprisingly steady for this early in the run upstream of Shady Cove, while the springer bite turned up some Thursday in the lower Rogue after a few days of hum-drum fishing. The middle Rogue remains slow for chinook other than a couple pots.

That puts the best bet as the upper Rogue, and chance are it will stay that way through the remainder of the spring chinook season, the river's most popular fishery.

In the upper Rogue, water flows out of Lost Creek Lake were at 2,500 cubic feet per second and slowly dropping to 2,000 cfs by Sunday afternoon as the lake hovers just under full, and cooler air temperatures mean lighter releases are necessary for chinook. That should help the springer bite each morning, with the upper half of the upper Rogue being 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 down to 2,700 cfs Thursday afternoon and forecast to drop daily into next week as out-flows are getting cut. Avoid the holes, and fish the tail-outs 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. The hatchery count of spring chinook is up over 1,000 fish, thanks to 629 new springers showing up in the hatchery collection pond Wednesday. All wild chinook must be released unharmed through May.

Winter steelhead also are sprinkled throughout the upper Rogue, but most are dark or spawned-out and not worth keeping. Good thing, since all wild steelhead must now be released unharmed for the remainder of the year.

The middle Rogue is seeing some fair bank fishing for spring chinook at Hayes and Rainie falls, but nothing else is giving up fish.

The lower Rogue saw an improved bite Thursday with most guides boating at least one chinook. Bankies, not so much. Cooler water temperatures should help the weekend bite. Springers are also starting to hit in the evening, with decent catches reported between 4 and 6 p.m. of late. 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.