COASTWIDE - Forecasts call for very good ocean conditions today, but it's expected to become progressively windier and rougher through the weekend.
Chinook salmon fishing is open north of Humbug Mountain, and fishing has been good out of Charleston and Winchester Bay. Conditions look good for fishing early Saturday and most of Sunday.
Near-shore jigging should be very good for lingcod and black rockfish when conditions allow. Black, white or red jigs are always good bets. Bottomfishers must stay within the 30-fathom line to protect yelloweye rockfish. 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 see another decent series of morning minus tides beginning Sunday and running all next week. All shellfish harvest, including mussels, is open along the entire Oregon Coast.
COOS BAY - Bottomfish catches have been very good this past week, with anglers on charterboats averaging more than five fish apiece. The chinook bite has heated up out of Charleston, where anglers are getting into the fish when weather permits. When they can get out, anglers likely will stay somewhat close to shore and ply the water from 50 to 130 feet down. The chinook are scattered. Crabbing has been poor.
BROOKINGS - Ocean salmon fishing out of Brookings is closed until May 7. 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.
GOLD BEACH - Surfperch fishing has perked up a bit off the sand spit when the surf lays 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. Crappie, bass and bluegill are becoming active around submerged willows and along the dam. Fish worms or small spinners. 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 rainbows 10 to 14 inches long, and the lake received another complement of 12,000 legal-sized trout this week. Trolling has been good off points and in the lower section of the reservoir. All the boat ramps are open. The lake is 12 feet from full and rising more slowly now, with the filling rate about 10 feet short of schedule.
DIAMOND - The lake is ice-free, and both boat ramps are open, but the south ramp currently does not have docks in place. The resort is renting boats. Fishing is picking up for holdover trout running 12 to 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 last week, and fishing in that cove area is 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 66 percent full.
EXPO - The pond was stocked recently with 1,500 rainbow trout, and fishing for them is very good, but the pond is getting crowded on weekends. Small Panther Martin spinners, worms and PowerBait have worked well for rainbows there. Expect crowds there this weekend.
FISH - The lake is ice-free and received another 5,000 legal-sized rainbows this 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 needed to park at the boat ramp for another week.
HOWARD PRAIRIE - The lake opens to fishing Saturday and it is listed as 58 percent full. Fishing for holdover trout should be very good from boats. Try anchoring in 12 to 14 feet of water and casting PowerBait. Low water will make fishing from the resort's jetty difficult. Bank fishing around Klum Landing and Grizzly should also be 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 opens to fishing Saturday with a suspect boat ramp that might not be deep enough to launch deep-drafting boats. Bank and boat fishing should be good, with anchoring near submerged trees and casting PowerBait the best choice. The lake is ice-free but only 48 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. Expect good fishing for rainbows and brown trout in exposed waters along the shoreline. All brown trout must be released unharmed today, but they can be added to the bag limit beginning Saturday.
LOST CREEK - Another 20,000 legal-sized rainbow trout were stocked last week, making the lake a popular draw for trout anglers. The lake is filling fast and was less than a foot from full Thursday, about 1 foot ahead of normal. 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 down. Wind-drifting worms or small clusters of roe was 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 up to 55 degrees.
LAKE of the WOODS - The lake is ice-free and is still fishing well for trout from boats and from the bank. Rainbow or chartreuse PowerBait are the most popular offerings.
WILLOW - The reservoir was listed Thursday as 99 percent full, and it received another 3,500 rainbow trout last week. Fishing from the bank with PowerBait or worms has been good around the resort and directly across from the county boat ramp. Trollers could try Tasmanian Devils or Triple Teasers, or wind-drift worms in the afternoon.
ROGUE - Winter steelhead fishing is starting to taper off in the upper Rogue, with more spawned-out fish in the mix, and early spring chinook salmon catches are getting better for driftboaters, powerboaters and bank anglers. The spring chinook bite in the lower Rogue was the best of the season so far Tuesday and Wednesday, but the water rose and that settled things down a bit Thursday. In the middle Rogue, anglers are finding a few springers daily at Hayes and Rainie falls, but it's still tough fishing.
That puts the best bet as the upper Rogue, only because anglers need to put in their time to catch springers.
In the upper Rogue, water flows out of Lost Creek Lake were down to 1,517 cubic feet per second Thursday as the lake inches closer to full. Flows at Dodge Bridge were a sparse 1,877 cfs Thursday afternoon, but flows are forecast to jump over 4,000 cfs later today and start dropping Saturday morning. Dropping water will get springers moving and make them more prone to bite. Avoid the holes and fish the tail-outs or the inside turns on gravel bars to intercept springers as they head upstream. Kwikfish should outfish roe for boat anglers, while beads and Spin-Glo's will always be the choice for bank casters. A few side-planers could run into some springers at the old Gold Ray Dam site, as well. All wild chinook must be released unharmed riverwide now.
Winter steelhead 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. Anglers can still keep one wild fish over 24 inches a day through Wednesday, then it's catch-and-release fishing for steelhead for the rest 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, but it's still a bit slow. Flows at Grants Pass were down to a paltry 2,232 cfs Thursday and are forecast to jump to 4,300 cfs by tonight. That could improve springer catches. The turbidity levels were up slightly to 3 NTUs, which helps.
In the lower Rogue, the best spring chinook fishing has been from Quosatana Creek on down, with decent catches between Elephant Rock and the Power Lines. 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. Wild fish must be released unharmed. Plenty of fish in the 18- to 25-pound range have been caught, 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 - Early spring chinook salmon 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 Wednesday.