Fishing Report: Friday, March 9
COASTWIDE: Forecasts today call for 5-knot winds and 7-foot swells, a residual effect from yesterday's gale warning. Saturday calls for much of the same, but the swells will drop to 4 feet. Sunday calls for winds up to 15 knots and swells to 6 feet.
The marine aggregate rockfish daily limit for bottomfishers is five fish. Anglers are allowed to fish for midwater rockfish species outside 40 fathoms using 30-foot leaders and floats to stay off the bottom. The midwater species limit is 10 per day.
Lingcod fishing has been excellent on days when anglers can get out, particularly out of Brookings, but this doesn't look like one of those weekends.
Surfperch fishing has been solid at times off the Rogue River sand spit off the south jetty, as well as at Nesika Beach, but it can turn off quickly when the surf builds up. Fish with Berkley Gulp sand worms or sandshrimp.
Commercial and recreational crabbing is open coast-wide.
No minus tides are forecast this week, but razor clamming has been very good in the open stretch from the Columbia River to Cascade Head, including the clam-rich Clatsop County beaches. Bay clamming and the recreational harvest of mussels was open Thursday along the entire coast, but that can change quickly, so check the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474 before digging.
AGATE: The lake was stocked last month with 350 larger-sized rainbow trout to go along with trout stocked in early winter. Fishing for them has been fair to good with PowerBait or worms under bobbers. This fishery should hold on well into mid spring. The lake is up to 91 percent full. No gas motors are allowed. Electric trolling motors are OK. The park closes at dusk.
APPLEGATE: The low-water ramp at French Gulch is open for boat access. The lake was up a foot this week to 1,915-foot elevation, and that's enough to make the Copper Ramp usable. However, the concessionaire at Hart-Tish Park has not opened, so access to that ramp remains closed. Slow trolling of Flatfish or Wedding Ring lures could be good, and still-fishing in the French Gulch cove with PowerBait should be good. The surface temperature is in the low 40s.
DIAMOND: The lake is iced over and covered with heavy snow, but no one is bothering to test whether it's strong enough for ice fishing. Perhaps its best to keep it that way. When angling resumes, all tiger trout must be released unharmed.
EMIGRANT: The lake was listed Tuesday at 54 percent full, up 3 percent from last week. The lake was stocked last month with 1,000 larger rainbow trout at the county boat ramp, and that's where the action is for bait fishers using PowerBait or worms under bobbers. The county boat ramp is open during daylight hours.
EXPO: The pond was stocked late last month with 300 larger rainbows, and they are still getting caught on worms, PowerBait and small spinners. There is a $4 day-use parking fee off Gate 5.
FISH: The lake was stocked two weeks ago with 700 larger-sized rainbow trout, but new snow and ice have hampered access.
HOWARD PRAIRIE: The lake is iced and snowed over, with extremely poor access. The boat ramp at Willow Point is open but access is not plowed. The marina is closed.
HYATT: BLM has closed the boat ramps at its recreation area. The lake is icing over and heavy snows have blocked access.
LOST CREEK: About 2,000 larger rainbow trout were stocked late last month, and fishing has been good this winter in the lower sections of the reservoir. Flows out of Lost Creek were hovering at to 1,000 cubic feet per second — just about as low as it goes — and that has helped raise the water level as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers looks to capture as much runoff as possible. The few anglers on the lake are finding trout by trolling green Wedding Ring lures near the dam and around the island off the Takelma boat ramp. Bank anglers using PowerBait at either side of the dam also are faring well.
LAKE OF THE WOODS: The lake is covered with snow and ice, and access is very difficult.
ROGUE: The Rogue really hasn't kicked in gear for winter steelhead yet, but the river seems poised to break out this weekend as a large pod of fresh winter steelhead finned through the bay and headed upriver last weekend. After river flows peak tonight, look for the best winter steelhead fishing of the season so far in the Grants Pass area, with the upper Rogue hopefully following suit soon. Until then, however, the middle Rogue is the best bet.
Flows at Grants Pass were forecast to peak late tonight at about 4,000 cubic feet per second, then dive pretty heavily through early next week. Turbidity will be the determining factor as to whether the action starts sometime Saturday or not until Sunday. When it does, fish for winter steelhead from Grants Pass down as far as Rand by side-drifting roe, yarn balls soaked in egg juice or worms with watermelon corkies. Also, find a nice migration lane near willows and hammer that with MagLip 3.5 lures — black and copper or gold and black are good bets.
The cold water in the upper Rogue continues to deter migration of wild and hatchery winter steelhead, and the bump in flows today might break things up. Flows at Dodge Bridge were down to 1,360 cfs earlier this week, and flows have been forecast to go over 3,000 cfs some time today before dropping quickly. That should get the winter steelhead moving. Same baits and plugs for the middle Rogue apply to the upper Rogue.
Flows at the old Gold Ray Dam site were down under 1,800 cfs earlier this week and are forecast to peak today over 3,000 cfs.
In the lower Rogue, boat anglers did well for fresh winter steelhead that charged through last weekend. Still no spring chinook other than an 8-pound hatchery fish caught in the lower Rogue two weeks ago. Flows at Agness were around 4,800 cfs this week.
Anglers can now keep one wild winter steelhead longer than 24 inches river-wide, and no more than five per year.
APPLEGATE: Low flows have slowed winter steelhead movement, and fishing has been largely relegated to spinners fished near the bottom in deeper holes. No winter steelhead have reached the fish trap at Applegate Dam. All wild steelhead must be released unharmed, and there is no fishing from a floating device.
CHETCO: Flows have been rising the past few days but were forecast to peak and drop later today, which could bring on a nice late flurry of winter steelhead fishing. Winter steelhead are present throughout the river.