Fishing report, Feb. 15, 2019
COASTWIDE: A hazardous seas warning is in effect through Sunday, with Friday sporting a serious event for stormwatchers. Forecasts call for 25-knot winds and swells up to 20 feet, with possible thunderstorms, followed Saturday by winds of 20 knots and swells ebbing to 16 feet. Sunday calls for 20-knot winds and wind waves of up to 8 feet.
The marine aggregate rockfish daily limit for bottomfishers is five fish. Cabezon must be released unharmed. Rockfish angling is open beyond the 30-fathom line. A descending device to help release rockfish caught in deeper water is mandatory on all boats.
Lingcod are in the tail end of their spawn. They are aggressive and will take most jigs or frozen sardines. Fishing is very good when anglers can get out, particularly around rock piles and kelp beds.
Surfperch fishing has been hit and miss and is weather-dependent. Nesika and Winchuck beaches have been the most consistent, with fishing better on calm days. Try casting Berkly Gulp sandshrimp, sand worms or prawns.
All recreational crabbing is open coast-wide. Bay crabbing has been good to very good in Charleston and Bandon.
Razor clamming is closed from Cape Blanco to the California border due to domoic acid levels. Bay clamming is open along the coast. Before digging, call the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474.
AGATE: The lake is 39 percent full, but the water is turbid. The ramp is open. No gas motors are allowed. Electric trolling motors are OK. The park closes at dusk.
APPLEGATE: The lake was fishing fairly well for those trolling Wedding Ring lures spiced with a piece of worm. The lake dropped this past week and is back to 80 feet from full. The low-water boat ramp at French Gulch is usable. The Copper Ramp is high and dry. Hart-Tish Park ramp won’t open until the concessionaire returns this spring.
DIAMOND: Ice fishing has been good. Most of the action is right off the pizza parlor on the south end and 50 yards straight out from the resort. The ice this week was up to 10 inches thick. Worms and small jigs, and chartreuse-garlic PowerBait have worked well. Vary depths until you get into the rainbows.
EMIGRANT: The lake is up a hair to 34 percent full. Few anglers are venturing to the lake edge near the county park. All boat ramps are closed, and there is no driving below the high-water line.
EXPO: Trout fishing is poor.
FISH: Ice fishing has been good over the springs near the resort and off the Forest Service boat ramp, where a sno-park permit is needed to park. Worms, jigs and rainbow PowerBait are popular. The lake is 46 percent full.
HOWARD PRAIRIE: The lake is icing over, but no reports of ice fishing have come in. The lake water gauge listed the lake at 29 percent full Thursday.
HYATT: Ice fishing has been good, with a mix of trout and bass getting caught largely on worms. The lake is up a hair to 13 percent full.
LAKE OF THE WOODS: The ice is at least 9 inches thick throughout much of the lake, with some ice fishing off the resort. Lots of perch are in the mix at deeper levels, with rainbows biting worms in the top 10 feet of the water column.
LOST CREEK: The lake has crept up to 1,833 feet above sea level, which is a hair below the regular filling schedule. Both boat ramps are open. Most angling activity is occurring near the dam and the Takelma ramp. Fishing has been good for those trolling Wedding Ring lures spiced with a worm. Some are also using small flashers. Inflows remain more than double the outflows, which have held steady at 1,050 cfs, and that appears to be on course at least through the weekend.
WILLOW: The lake is open and angling activity is very light.
SELMAC: Bass fishing is poor.
ROGUE: As flows start to drop, the upper Rogue could be fishable by later Friday, with the Grants Pass area likely not ready until Saturday, depending upon turbidity. The lower Rogue could turn on for plunkers Monday. And when it does turn on, it should be a winter steelhead fest river-wide.
The best bet depends upon which days are open for fishing, starting high and working your way downstream as conditions improve.
In the upper Rogue, fishing for winter steelhead has been very good for this early in the game. Most of the catches have come side-drifting roe or yarn balls, followed by worms with watermelon corkies and plugs. Flows at Dodge Bridge were forecast to peak Friday at around 5,100 cfs. Flows at the old Gold Ray Dam site were forecast to peak at around 6,800 cfs. Since only 1,050 cfs of water is released from Lost Creek Lake, turbidity will be the determining factor for when and where to start steelhead fishing. The higher the better.
In the middle Rogue, the river is forecast to peak some time Friday at close to 10,000 cfs in Grants Pass, then the drop should be rather quick. Fishing will be best for winter steelhead in migration lanes and near the bank, as steelhead will be on the move. Fish plugs as well as yarn balls.
Anglers river-wide may keep one wild steelhead at least 24 inches long a day and up to three a year.
Plunking in the lower Rogue should be good next week at places such as Quosatana Creek and Dunkelberger bar. Lots of halfpounders will be working their way downstream soon, and Agness is a great place to intercept them with Panther Martin lures, worms and streamer flies.
APPLEGATE: The river is open to steelhead fishing, but likely will be out of shape until at least Saturday higher up in the system. The freshet should bring fresh winter steelhead into the river, and expect them to be well distributed right out of the chute. Flows at Wilderville will peak around 1,700 cfs Friday. Use Blue Fox spinners, yarn flies or worms and watermelon corkies. No wild steelhead can be kept on the Applegate, and there is no fishing from a floating device. All cutthroat must be released. Rainbow trout longer than 16 inches are considered steelhead.
CHETCO: The river is forecast to crest some time Friday at around 13,000 cfs, so that puts winter steelhead fishing on hold for a bit.
ELK AND SIXES: The rivers were forecast to crest late Friday, and look for the Elk to pull into winter steelhead fishing shape again Sunday.