Fishing Report: Friday, April 1
COASTWIDE: Ocean anglers have enjoyed excellent bottomfishing success this week as bluebird days on the ocean translate into limits of lingcod and black rockfish out of ports such as Brookings and Coos Bay. Black, white and red jigs have been most productive. The ocean out of South Coast ports are expected to see 5-knot winds and pretty calm seas today and Saturday, then up a hair but still very manageable Sunday. These are the kinds of days that make up for all that dead time during the stormy winter.
Lingcod are spawning and aggressive. The ling limit is two fish, and jigging just off kelp beds is very good. Anglers can keep up to one canary rockfish as part of the seven-fish bottomfishing aggregate limit, but anglers should release canaries to ensure the quota is not filled, which could close the bottomfishing season.
The ocean and bays are open to crabbing coastwide. Catches have been improving in bays and will remain good until the next significant rain. Ocean crabbing is open and good when the weather and waves allow for safe pot-pulling.
Razor clamming remains closed south of Tillamook Head, while bay clams and butter clams are available coastwide. Mussels can be taken coastwide. Before digging, check the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474.
AGATE: The lake is officially full. It is still pretty murky, but some bass, crappie and perch have been caught with night crawlers or larger plastic worms fished very slowly around submerged structure. This week's warm weather will get the bass more active. The boat ramp is usable and closes at sunset. No trout stockings are planned this year.
APPLEGATE: The lake got 5,000 legal-sized rainbow trout two weeks ago, but no new stockings are planned for the remainder of the month. Trout and bass fishing improved for those few anglers hitting the water there, and this week's warm weather should help the bass bite even more. Trolling for trout out of boats has been the best bet. The lake is at 1,964 feet above sea level, up seven feet this past week. That's a slower rate of fill because runoff has ebbed. However, the outflow is down to 440 cubic feet per second and the inflow is still about double that so the levels will continue to rise. If you go, troll for trout up to 16 inches with Wedding Ring lures spiced with a piece of worm and small flashers farther down in the reservoir. Watch for floating debris.
DIAMOND: Lake ice is weakening, and open water is starting to form around the lake, but there's lots of snow and slush to melt to get to the ice. Fish those open pockets by targeting cruising fish looking for early bug hatches. They will eat worms under bobbers and take chartreuse PowerBait floated above the weed tops.
EMIGRANT: The lake was 91 percent full Thursday. Bass are starting to bite thanks to warming water. Fish plastic worms or grubs very slowly around structure. Look for an improved bite next week amid very warm afternoons.
FISH: The lake was up a bit to 52 percent full Thursday, and pockets of open water are forming. Soon anglers will be bait-fishing with worms or PowerBait for a mix of holdover rainbows, land-locked chinook and tiger trout, which must be released unharmed. When the water warms, start casting lures and flies that look like small chubs.
HOWARD PRAIRIE: The lake is ice-free and fishing fairly well from the bank near the dam for rainbow trout up to 19 inches. Worms under bobbers and PowerBait in the shallows are good bets as the bigger fish will be patrolling the shallows for early-emerging insects. The Willow Point boat ramp is open and usable, but the other public ramps remain closed. The water is cold, and the trout are somewhat sluggish. The lake is up to 55 percent full, up about 10 percent in the past week.
HYATT: The lake is open, and the ice has melted, but no boat ramps are open, and there is little activity there. The lake is at 54 percent full, up 4 percent in the past week. The best access should be near the dam, but cold water has trout lethargic and bass inactive.
LOST CREEK: Inflows are ebbing and that makes the lake settle down so it is starting to fish better for stocked rainbow trout. The best bank fishing remains near the Takelma ramp and trollers are working the water around the dam's northwest edges. The outflows have started to drop. The first 15,000 rainbow trout of the year were stocked here two weeks ago, split between the marina ramp and the Taklema ramp. Trollers should start with green Wedding Ring lures with a piece of worm. Land-locked salmon remain in the mix and they've been holding deeper than the trout. The lake is on the rise and was listed Thursday at 1,861.2 feet above sea level, just a bit more than a foot higher than last week.
LAKE OF THE WOODS: The ice has deteriorated and is not safe for ice-fishing. There is a little open water around the shore, but significantly more melting is needed before decent fishing can return. When more ice melts, look for bait fishing to start for trout and perch in the shallows near the resort.
WILLOW: Trout fishing is improving now that the first 4,000 legal-sized rainbows stocked there two weeks ago are acclimating to the lake. Most of this weekend's catches will be around that ramp. The lake is almost full.
ROGUE: The first spring chinook salmon to reach Cole Rivers Hatchery this season was officially counted Thursday, showing that the Rogue's most prized fish are river-wide. But the catching is lagging. The lower Rogue has been solid for spring chinook, while the middle and upper Rogue are still locked into winter steelhead.
That makes the best bet the lower Rogue for spring chinook for those tired of chasing steelhead. If not, the upper Rogue is the place to be for winter steelhead, because the middle Rogue has been slow of late.
As for the first springer, it was a 15-pound hen, which is a standard 3-year-old hatchery fish.
In the lower Rogue, plunkers continue to find springers at Huntley Park and Lobster Creek using a mix of lime-chartreuse and pearl-pink Spin Glo's in about 6 feet of water. Weights of up to 8 ounces have been used. A surprisingly decent showing of late-run and bright steelhead also getting caught by plunkers. Boat anglers this week have gotten into the mix as well, doing well with anchovies or chartreuse and silver Kwikfish in sizes K-9 and K-13. They're anchored in migration lanes from the Ferry Hole up to Lobster Creek. Flows at Agness were at about 8,000 cfs and holding fairly steady. That's excellent conditions for lower river springers.
In the middle Rogue, the winter steelhead bite slowed this week after looking fairly good the week before. Boat anglers are focusing on roe, worms and watermelon corkies, as well as Mag Lip 3.5 plugs. Bankies can use side-planers effectively at the current flows and those forecast into next weekend. Flows at Grants Pass were down to 3,832 cfs and are forecast to hold fairly steady through the weekend.
In the upper Rogue, outflows from Lost Creek Dam were dropped to 2,000 cfs Thursday and are forecast to hold steady there through the weekend. That makes for excellent winter steelhead fishing conditions in T-shirt weather. Flows at Dodge Thursday were down to a very conducive 3,100 cfs and are forecast to drop slightly through the weekend. Pink and blue as well as gold are good winter steelhead colors for this time of year.
Another 205 fresh winter steelhead were captured Thursday at Cole Rivers Hatchery, so the run is definitely moving. The count is up to 739 steelhead, the highest to date in the past three years and pretty close to average.
Anglers riverwide can keep one wild winter steelhead 24 inches or longer per day and five per year.
APPLEGATE: The river closed Thursday for the season and will reopen in late May.
CHETCO: The river closed Thursday for the season.
ELK: The river closed Thursday for the season.