Fishing report: Friday, Jan. 7
COASTWIDE: Friday’s forecast calls for winds up to 30 knots and seas of up to 12 feet. Saturday calls for winds to back down to 5 knots with 8-foot swells. Sunday calls for 10-knot winds and 5-foot swells.
The general marine bag limit is five fish in aggregate. The lingcod limit is two fish over 22 inches.
Surfperch fishing is likely to be a bust again this weekend due to heavy surf that will push perch offshore. But look for conditions to improve early next week. Sandshrimp and mussels are the best baits, with plastic sand worms and shrimp as secondary choices.
Razor clam digging remains closed from Cape Blanco to the California border because of elevated levels of domoic acid in clams. Before digging, call the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474.
Recreational crabbing is open in the ocean, and catches have been excellent so far in the ocean and bays such as lower Coos Bay at Charleston. Work the bays when stream runoff is low.
AGATE: The lake is very muddy but rising, and it was listed Thursday at 27% full. Fish off the dam with worms or small spinners for bass or catfish. The park is open between sunrise and sunset. Electric trolling motors are OK.
APPLEGATE: The Hart Tish Park boat ramp and dock are closed due to low water. The French Gulch and Copper ramps are usable. Fish for rainbows with PowerBait or worms from the bank or slowly troll Tasmanian Devil lures spiced with a piece of worm. Bass fishing has been fair to good with plastic worms and grubs fished slowly off the bottom along rocky points and flats. The lake was listed Thursday at 90 feet from full, with 253 cfs of water out and 673 cfs coming in. The reservoir-filling schedule does not start until Feb. 1.
DIAMOND: The lake is under heavy snow now and not accessible for ice fishers.
EMIGRANT: The lake is still mired at 4% full, and that has all but shut off angling activity. Some bank fishing for catfish with chicken livers has been good near the dam where there is open water. Watch for mud.
EXPO: State wildlife biologists stocked 120 trophy trout in late November. Catch what’s left of them with Panther Martin lures, single salmon eggs or worms under bobbers. Parking fees are required.
FISH: Snow levels make the lake largely inaccessible now. However, a mix of spring flow and snow runoff has the lake improving in volume, and it was listed Thursday at 36% full. Tiger trout must be released.
HOWARD PRAIRIE: The lake is open, but access is poor thanks to heavy snow and a dearth of water. The lake is 5% full and it appears to have bottomed out. The lake is not likely to fill this winter. Fishing access is best near the dam. Anglers can keep five trout a day, with just one longer than 20 inches.
HYATT: The lake was up a hair to 5% full Thursday. Access is poor thanks to heavy snow. The limit is five trout a day, with just one over 20 inches.
LAKE OF THE WOODS: Fishing access is poor due to heavy snow and thin ice. Look for ice fishing to get rolling soon near the resort, mostly for perch and some rainbows.
LOST CREEK: The lake received 7,300 more trout in October, including 2,300 trophy trout. Bank fish with PowerBait near the ramp. Wind-drifting worms above Peyton Bridge has been good. The lake Thursday was rising and was still 30 feet from the normal low pool. The lake’s filling schedule began Jan. 1 but it is way behind schedule. Outflows were just a hair under 900 cfs.
MEDCO: The lake was last stocked with 1,100 legal-sized trout in June. Access is poor.
SELMAC: The lake was last stocked with 1,000 legal-sized trout in mid-May and that’s it until February. Fish for them with worms or PowerBait. Bass are active.
WILLOW: The lake received another 4,000 legal-sized rainbow trout in mid-May, and that’s it until next March. Fish for them with worms or PowerBait near the county boat ramp and in deeper water across the lake. Access is poor due to snow.
ROGUE: Steelhead fishing seasons on the Rogue are in that tweener period as summer steelhead start to peter out in the upper Rogue while early winter steelhead start doing their magic in the lower Rogue. But add in high water and the predictions of where to go for what get muddied.
The best bet is to stay close to home. If home happens to be near the upper Rogue, there are still a decent number of summer steelhead around, albeit degraded. Wild adults are in the height of spawning, and most will be in tributaries this week. In the mainstem, flows are high but dropping. Consider 3,765 cfs Thursday at Dodge Bridge. That’s half of what it was Monday but about three times what it was most of the past fall. Ditto in the Grants Pass area, where flows were at 6,215 cfs Thursday and will be bouncing around through the weekend like they will on the upper Rogue.
The whole upper Rogue is now open to lures, bait and flies. Plugs such as MagLips have been hot throughout most of the past month. For fly-fishers, use of molded plastic beads are now allowed.
Some hatchery coho are getting caught in the far upper Rogue on roe, spinners and some plugs. All wild coho must be released unharmed. Tuesday’s collection at Cole Rivers Hatchery saw another 114 summer steelhead. Look for those numbers to start dropping significantly after the next freshet. The steelhead numbers are just 200 short of the 10-year running average, and the coho numbers are way off the charts good.
In the lower Rogue, some early winter steelhead are getting caught on the lower 12 miles of the river, all on plugs. Fishing was quite good until last week’s heavy rains and winds, but anglers were back after them Thursday on boats and off the bank. The early success suggests perhaps a decent to good winter run this year on the Rogue. Flows at Agness were a raunchy 17,409 cfs Thursday but dropping quickly. Once they get to around 12,000 cfs, look for some good catches on plugs or roe.
The Hatchery Hole is open for summer steelhead and coho anglers, and a few fish have been caught by fly-fishers nymphing with Ugly Bugs and single salmon egg point flies. The Hatchery Hole is permanently closed to all chinook fishing and will remain open only for steelhead. Baits such as worms and roe are legal now, and that has worked for some coho prepping to move into the hatchery
APPLEGATE: The river is now open only to steelhead fishing, but no fresh steelhead have been observed yet.