Fishing Report: Friday, May 12
COASTWIDE: The ocean will not be terribly agreeable this weekend, with 20-knot winds, swells up to 8 feet and rain in the forecast. Saturday doesn't get much better, with 20-knot winds and 10-foot swells. Sunday looks much better but still not that good, with the forecast calling for 10-knot winds and swells to 7 feet.
Very good to excellent lingcod and black rockfish catches have occurred recently out of Brookings when the weather has allowed. Blue rockfish catches have been good to very good.
Rockfish anglers have new bag limits for 2017. Canary rockfish are part of the seven-fish marine bag limit, and there is no sub-limit on them, so anglers can have canaries make up their entire seven-fish daily limit if they choose. However, anglers can keep no more than six black rockfish as part of that seven-fish aggregate limit. Also, there's a new, combined, four-fish sub-limit for a combination of blue/deacon, China, copper and quillback rockfish. There is no change to the two-fish lingcod daily limit. Cabezon are off-limits.
Rockfish anglers must carry at least one descending device and use it when releasing any fish caught in 30 fathoms of water or deeper, but that does not affect rockfish anglers, who must currently stay inside the 30-fathom line.
Crabbing is open along the entire Oregon Coast.
Razor clamming is closed along the entire coast because of domoic acid. Bay clams and butter clams are available coastwide, and mussels are closed south of Cape Arago near Charleston. Before digging, check the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474.
AGATE: The lake is full. Spring fishing has been pretty good for crappie, yellow perch and the occasional bass. No gas motors are allowed. Electric trolling motors are OK. The park closes at dusk.
APPLEGATE: Trolling for rainbows has picked up after 10,000 legal-sized rainbows and 800 trophy trout were added at the Hart-Tish Park and the Copper ramps late last month. The water level dropped this week and is now 4 feet from full. But inflows are forecast to rise this weekend. That will slow the movement of more trout farther up the reservoir. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is releasing about 250 cfs less water than it is capturing, so levels will rise this weekend if the trend continues. Bank fishing with worms under bobbers near the release sites will be a good idea. Trollers might try a Wedding Ring lure spiced with half a worm. Fishing off the bank higher up in the reservoir has been good at times for those using PowerBait or worms under bobbers with varying leader lengths. The French Gulch ramp also is open.
DIAMOND: The Diamond Lake Resort guide boat has been breaking up the ice around the resort this past week, and the north ramp should be usable this weekend. The wind is blowing the ice chunks around, but anglers should be able to find some decent water near the resort to anchor and fish PowerBait off the bottom or worms under bobbers. Cold fish often bite light, so be attentive.
EMIGRANT: Another 1,000 legal-sized rainbows were released last week at the county boat ramp to go with 1,000 legals released there a month ago. That's brought some interest from trollers and bank anglers. The lake was listed Thursday at 100 percent full. Spring bass fishing is picking up for those casting plastic worms or slowly worked crankbaits in the shallower water around willows and other structure. Look for that to improve with warming temperatures.
FISH: The lake last week received its first stocking of the season when 5,000 legal-sized rainbows were released off the Forest Service ramp, and fishing for them already has been good with PowerBait as well as leeches and woolly bugger flies. The lake was up a hair this week to 73 percent full, and fishing is good around the shallows as trout are cruising for early insects. Tiger trout must be released unharmed.
HOWARD PRAIRIE: The lake received its first complement of rainbows of the season two weeks ago with 5,100 legals, and the fish have been moving about the lake. Fishing has been good for both trollers and still fishers with PowerBait in water 8 to 12 feet deep. The far upper flats, normally just a meadow in most years, are also holding fish feeding on insects. The resort is open and operating, and boat rentals are available. Early-season anglers have done well trolling out of the Willow Point boat ramp, but also expect good bank angling in the shallows around the resort. On warmer days, troll the shallows with Wedding Rings and worms and other lures.
HYATT: The lake is ice-free and it got its first batch of fresh trout of the season when 5,100 legal-sized rainbows were released two weeks ago. The water is cold, so still-fishing with PowerBait is a good bet. Bass are starting to get active, as well. The lake is holding steady at 64 percent full and it will stay about that level for the foreseeable future in preparation for some improvements to the dam.
LOST CREEK: The lake got 800 trophy trout split last week between the Takelma and marina ramps, as well as 20,000 legals last month. The lake level is holding at a little more than a foot under full as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is juggling releases to keep the lake under full while passing most, if not all, of the inflow. Lots of debris in the lake, particularly after inflows last week at over 6,800 cubic feet per second. It also has pushed anglers back down to the dam area, where trolling has been decent with red or green Wedding Ring lures with a worm.
LAKE OF THE WOODS: Fishing is picking up for rainbows in the shallows with bait or lures. The resort is open.
WILLOW: The lake got 4,000 legal-sized rainbows last month at the county boat ramp. Catch them early on PowerBait or worms near the ramp before they disperse.
EXPO: The pond received another 1,500 legal-sized trout last week to go with 3,000 legal-sized rainbows stocked there earlier this spring. Fishing is best with worms and bobbers or Panther Martin lures. Access the pond through Gate 5 off Peninger Road. Parking fees are required.
MEDCO POND: The pond received 2,000 legal-sized rainbows two weeks ago, and fishing for them is good off the shore with PowerBait or worms under bobbers.
ROGUE: Water flows are high, and that continues to slow the migration of spring chinook salmon river-wide, which has helped lower Rogue anglers but made mid-May feel more like mid-April in the middle and upper river.
And that makes the lower Rogue the best bet for at least the weekend.
In the lower Rogue, spring chinook fishing tailed off a bit this week, but good conditions have springers milling around from the top of tidewater up to Agness. Flows at Agness Thursday were just under 8,700 cfs and set to rise slightly through the weekend. Boat anglers primarily are using cut-plug herring and are out-fishing plunkers.
In the upper Rogue, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has kept the outflow around 3,650 cfs, but it is set to bounce up and down through the weekend as the Corps looks to keep the reservoir under full despite rising inflows. That will turn the bite off and on, depending upon whether the flows are rising or dropping.
Flows at Dodge Bridge were a feisty 4,329 cfs, way better than last week when it peaked last Saturday at 6,800 cfs there. But the water is clear, just ripping. Flows at the former Gold Ray Dam site were close to 5,400 cfs. The trick is to find some slower water to fish, and that means most of the traditional holes aren't that good in these conditions — too much hydraulics in holes to get fish to hold there. Spring chinook fishing should be better in migration lanes with plugs such as Mag Lip 4.5s and K-15 Kwikfish instead of back-bouncing holes with roe. Back-bounce roe and live sandshrimp. Just two more spring chinook salmon were counted Tuesday at Cole Rivers Hatchery, upping the return so far to three. The 10-year average for this date is 510.
Winter steelhead fishing has slowed in the Grants Pass area, and no spring chinook have reportedly been caught by those fishing in city limits. Most of the steelhead getting caught recently were dark and spawned-out.
Surfperch fishing off the Rogue sand spit has been good when the surf cooperates.
APPLEGATE: The river is closed to all angling.
CHETCO: The river is closed to all angling.