Fishing Report: May 25, 2012
COASTWIDE - Decent-looking seas are forecast for the weekend after a storm front moves through today, which bodes well for a holiday weekend on the seas. Fairly good morning minus tides will happen today and Saturday for clammers at hotspots such as Charleston and Empire.
The all-depth Pacific halibut season is open today and Saturday, with excellent halibut catches expected out of Charleston, Newport and Garibaldi. Bottomfishing is open only to the 30-fathom line, so halibut anglers who want to catch bottomfish need to run past 30 fathoms for halibut, then move back inside when bottomfishing or when they have bottomfish on board.
The marine aggregate limit in Oregon is seven rockfish a day, which can include one cabezon. The lingcod limit is two a day with a 22-inch minimum, and that is separate from the marine aggregate.
BROOKINGS - Excellent lingcod and black rockfish catches have been reported in recent days from the mouth of the Chetco River up to House Rock, with black, white and red jigs working well. A few Pacific halibut were caught this past week by anglers not encumbered by the 40-fathom rule south of Humbug Mountain. Chinook fishing in the ocean has been slow.
Surfperch fishing has been very good at Winchuck Beach near Brookings and Nesika Beach near Gold Beach. Focus on the top two hours of the incoming tide to one hour after high tide. Clam necks and Berkley Gulp sand worms have been the most effective baits of late, but mussels and squid work very well, too.
COOS BAY - A good morning clam tide will generate activity around Clam Island today and Saturday. Chinook fishing was very good for a while earlier in the week but died down as a storm front moved through. Look for a resurgence in the chinook bite this weekend for ocean anglers heading three miles straight out of Coos Bay. Troll anywhere from 12 feet to 60 feet down in the water column for chinook there.
WINCHESTER BAY - Sturgeon fishing remains slow. Rockfish catches are good off the south jetty.
AGATE - Turbidity levels are improving at the lake, but it's still a bit cloudy for good trout fishing. No fresh trout will be released this week. Fishing with worms beneath bobbers, or using PowerBait, at the lower end of the lake is your best bet. Trolling will be poor until the water clears. Bass and crappie fishing have started to pick up now that the water is warming. Work plastic worms slowly near the willows for largemouth. No gas motors are allowed. Small electric motors are legal.
APPLEGATE - The lake received 9,000 legal-sized trout and 500 1-pound trout this week in time for the holiday weekend. The lake is just a few inches shy of full, opening the Seattle Bar area for good angling opportunities for trout and bass. Slowly troll lures spiked with worms, or fish PowerBait from the bank near the boat ramps. Hart-Tish Park is open and the boat ramp is usable, as is Copper and French Gulch, but French Gulch sports little parking.
EMIGRANT - The lake received no new trout in the past two weeks. Fishing for legal-sized trout stocked earlier this month has been good for bank and boat anglers along the lower section of the reservoir, particularly around the county park. Water clarity is good. Bank anglers using chartreuse or rainbow PowerBait have fared very well for trout, while trollers using Little Cleo's or Triple Teasers have also caught fish. The lake was listed Thursday as a hair under full. Smallmouth bass fishing has been a bit slow but OK off rocky points and around other rocky structure along the lake's lower end.
A standing public-health advisory continues about eating all but trout from the lake because of elevated mercury levels.
HOWARD PRAIRIE - The water remains cool, and the trout bite remains fair to good. Still-fishing along the shorelines in 10 to 15 feet of water is best, while trolling the east side channel is slow and will remain slow until water temperatures rise. Chartreuse and rainbow PowerBait are working best, along with worms seven feet or so under bobbers. Wind-drifting night crawlers also is good. The limit is five trout per day, with one over 20 inches.
HYATT - Cold water has slowed catches, but anglers working the lake are finding nice trout 15 to 20 inches long, mostly by still-fishing in shallow water with PowerBait. The bite is light, so be patient and let the trout all but hook themselves. Anchoring near the Orchard, the dam and the west bank in 8 to 12 feet of water has been good for anglers chasing holdover rainbows. The cold water makes trolling a little tougher. The limit is five trout a day with an 8-inch minimum, and only one can be 20 inches or longer.
DIAMOND - Trout fishing is very good lakewide for those casting PowerBait from anchored boats, wind-drifting nightcrawlers or fishing olive woolly bugger flies with sinking lines. The lake is ice-free, and the south and north ramps are open. Trout are barely nibbling at the baits. Trolling has been very slow and will remain slow until the water warms. The limit is eight trout over 8 inches long, with only one allowed over 20 inches.
EXPO - The lake received another 1,300 legal-sized rainbow trout recently, and fishing for them is very good with worms, PowerBait and small Panther Martin lures.
LOST CREEK - The lake received 20,000 legal-sized rainbow trout and 500 1-pound rainbows this week, and fishing for them has been best for bank anglers fishing various-colored PowerBait balls off the shore near the Takelma ramp. The lake is a hair under full and should remain stable for the next week, at least. Most anglers are fishing fairly close to shore. Trollers working the point off the marina also have done fairly well with Little Cleo's or Wedding Rings spiced with a piece of worm. Warming water should improve bass fishing. Fish slowly presented crankbaits or worms or grubs near structure.
LAKE of the WOODS - Fishing is good for rainbows and brown trout along shorelines.
FISH - Fishing for rainbow trout is good near the resort and the cove near the Forest Service boat ramp. Rainbow-brown hybrid trout called tiger trout were stocked there and they must all be released unharmed. The lake got 4,500 legal-sized trout and another 500 larger trout last week, and they're starting to bite, with PowerBait or worms top choices. Trolling is improving with warming water temperatures.
WILLOW - The lake received 3,000 legal-sized rainbow and 1,500 1-pound rainbows this week in time for the Memorial Day weekend, and fishing should be very good around the county boat ramp. The ramp, campgrounds and cabins are open and available.
ROGUE - The upper Rogue has picked up for spring chinook salmon as drops in the out-flows from Lost Creek Lake have put the river into a more normal, late-May mode for boat and bank anglers. The middle Rogue was hit-and-miss for springers at places such as Rainie Falls and Hayes Falls, while the lower Rogue picked up a bit for springers — and it could turn on again if the water temperature drops a few degrees this weekend.
That keeps the best bet on the upper Rogue, where it belongs, and likely will remain there until August.
The high flows that dogged anglers in recent weeks have waned as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers cut out-flows from Lost Creek Lake to about 2,600 cubic feet per second. Expect to see chinook settling in holes more, but that will mean anglers will hook more wild fish that must be released unharmed. The early-run wild springers are settling in upper Rogue holes awaiting spawning time.
Bankies have done well with beads and yarn at the Hatchery Hole, while boat anglers have done very well with roe and divers, Kwikfish and cut-plug herring. Water upstream of Shady Cove has fished better than areas downstream of town, in part because of increased angler presence upstream of Shady Cove.
The lower 8 miles of the Rogue has improved slightly for springers amid 54-degree water. A drop to about 52 degrees could trigger a nice weekend bite for those fishing anchovies with spinner blades. The Agness area has been slow.
Middle Rogue angling for springers is tough, but the Hayes Falls crowd is running into fish on a consistent basis. All wild chinook must be released riverwide in May. Only fin-clipped hatchery fish can be kept.
APPLEGATE - The river opens to fishing Saturday, with anglers targeting resident rainbow and cutthroat trout.
UMPQUA - The mainstem Umpqua is fishing fair to good for spring chinook in the Elkton area, where flows are dropping and water conditions are improving. Most of the action is between the Scottsburg and Scott Creek boat ramps by driftboaters fishing Kwikfish or roe-and-sandshrimp combinations. A few springers have been caught this week in the lower section of the North Umpqua, as well. The South Umpqua is closed.
CHETCO - The river reopens to fishing Saturday. Look for decent catches of sea-run cutthroat trout in tidewater by free-drifting bait. Only flies and artificial lures are allowed upstream of tidewater.