Fishing Report: April 18, 2014
COASTWIDE - Forecasts call for ocean conditions to get progressively better and be near perfect for offshore rockfish fishing Sunday, with 5-knot winds and 1-foot seas in the forecast. Today will see winds up to 20 knots and seas up to 7 feet, with 3- to 6-foot swells Saturday.
Bottomfishers must stay within the 30-fathom line to protect yelloweye rockfish from overharvest.
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, but lings are so aggressive now that color doesn't matter.
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 a decent series of morning minus tides today through Tuesday. All shellfish harvest, including mussels, is open along the entire Oregon Coast.
COOS BAY - The chinook salmon 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 anywhere from 50 to 130 feet down. The chinook are scattered and tough to find in the early season.
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. Charterboat trips have gotten anglers into limits or near-limits, while pleasureboaters are averaging about five fish per trip. For this weekend, Sunday conditions look perfect and Saturday looks good.
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 rainbow trout 10 to 14 inches long, and the lake is set to get another complement of 12,000 legal-sized trout next week. Trolling has been good off points and in the lower section of the reservoir. All the boat ramps are open. The lake is 13 feet from full and rising more slowly now, with the filling rate now about 5 feet short of schedule.
DIAMOND - The lake is almost completely ice-free, and both boat ramps are open, but the south ramp currently does not have docks in place. The resort is now renting boats, as well. Fishing is a little slow, but some nice holdover trout averaging 17 to 19 inches long have been caught. PowerBait is working best, with worms second. 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, 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 again last week with 1,500 rainbow trout, and fishing for them and a mix of legals and trophy trout stocked last month is very good. Small Panther Martin spinners, worms and PowerBait have worked well for rainbows there. Expect crowds this weekend.
FISH - The lake is ice-free and fishing fairly well for a mix of trout and chinook salmon, mainly around the resort and the Forest Service boat ramp. 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.
HOWARD PRAIRIE - The lake is closed.
HYATT - The lake is closed.
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 until April 26.
LOST CREEK - Another 20,000 legal-sized rainbow trout were stocked this week, making the lake a popular draw for trout anglers awaiting the opening of Hyatt and Howard Prairie on April 26. The lake is filling fast and was 2 feet from full Thursday, well 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 town. 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 getting more open water for bank anglers fishing the shallows for patrolling rainbow trout and brown trout.
WILLOW - The reservoir was listed Thursday as 100 percent full, and it received another 3,500 rainbow trout last week. Fish from the bank with PowerBait, particularly in the cove near the boat ramp where the trout were released, or troll Tasmanian Devils or Triple Teasers, or wind-drift worms in the afternoon.
SELMAC - The lake received another 5,000 rainbow trout two weeks ago, and fishing should be good on bait from the bank. Single salmon eggs are a good spring choice. Bass fishing will start picking up when the water warms.
ROGUE - Winter steelhead fishing is starting to taper off in the upper Rogue with more spawned-out fish in the mix, but new fish and fresh fish remain available. Spring chinook salmon are being caught regularly but not spectacularly in the lower Rogue, where guides are putting two fish in the boat per day and everyone's seeing fish roll. The middle Rogue has kicked out a few springers this past week, but they are many hours between fish.
That keeps the best bet at either extreme of the Rogue, depending on your quarry.
In the upper Rogue, water flows out of Lost Creek Lake were down to 1,560 cubic feet per second Thursday as the lake inches closer to full. Flows at Dodge Bridge were a sparse 1,786 cfs Thursday afternoon, but flows are forecast to inch up over the next few days to about 2,100 cfs Saturday.
Winter steelhead are sprinkled throughout the upper Rogue. Boat anglers are doing best, with at least a few fish each day. It's not spectacular, but the peak of the upper Rogue run is starting to wane. Roe, yarn balls, plugs and even big streamer flies have tracked down fish, particularly in the lower water glides. Just one more spring chinook salmon showed up Tuesday at Cole Rivers Hatchery, but no confirmed catches have been reported. The total hatchery return so far is two fish.
The middle Rogue is giving up some spawned out steelhead and a few dark, native fish for those fishing roe or worms and corkies. Most have been in the 5- to 8-pound range. A few spring chinook have been caught this past week below Rainie Falls, in the Robertson Bridge area and at Hayes Falls, but it's still a bit slow. Flows at Grants Pass were down to a paltry 2,187 cfs Thursday and are forecast to inch up a few hundred cfs through the weekend before holding steady. The turbidity levels were down to the gin-clear reading of 2 NTUs, which is not helping the bite at all.
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. 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. Spin-Glo's have fallen out of favor this week, with more bankies going to anchovies or the Brad's plug fished a little farther off the bank than normal thanks to the clear conditions. About 40 percent of the springers being caught are hatchery fish that can be kept. 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.
APPLEGATE - The river is closed.
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 April.