COASTWIDE: Friday’s forecast calls for winds up to 25 knots but easing down to 15 knots in the afternoon, with 7-foot swells. Saturday calls for winds to hit 15 knots and swells to drop to 5 feet. However, Sunday’s forecast is for 3-foot wind waves and swells to 7 feet.
No minus tides are in the offing this week. However, the coast is in the midst of another series of morning high tides that will crest at 7.6 feet just before dawn Thursday.
The general marine bag limit is five fish in aggregate, with copper, quillback or China rockfish no longer part of the daily limit for boat anglers. Bank anglers are under a different quota for those species and can still keep them. That includes those fishing off jetties. The lingcod limit is two fish over 22 inches.
Surfperch fishing is likely to be decent later in the weekend as surf conditions start to improve. Sandshrimp and mussels are the best baits, with plastic sand worms and shrimp as secondary choices.
Razor clam digging is 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 in the ocean and bays such as lower Coos Bay at Charleston.
AGATE: The lake received 2,500 legal-sized rainbow trout last June. Troll worms or fish worms or PowerBait under bobbers near the county boat ramp. Bank anglers need to stay off the ramp. The lake is still just 38% full, with turbid water. Electric trolling motors are OK. The park closes at dusk.
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 on warm days. The lake is 83 feet from full, and the normal filling schedule begins Feb. 1.
DIAMOND: Ice fishing interest has been relatively low so far. The resort’s food and lodging services have been suspended due to a COVID outbreak, but the rest of the resort’s services are open.
EMIGRANT: The lake is still mired at 6% full, and that has all but shut off angling activity. Some bank fishing for catfish with chicken livers has been good.
EXPO: State wildlife biologists stocked 120 trophy trout in late November. Catch them with Panther Martin lures, single salmon eggs or worms under bobbers. Parking fees are required.
FISH: Ice fishing has been good for a mix of rainbow and tiger trout. Use caution. Fishing is typically best near the springs off the resort and near the Forest Service ramp. Worms and small jigs are typically the best bets. All tiger trout must be released.
HOWARD PRAIRIE: The lake is open, but access is very poor. The lake was stocked with 50,000 fingerling rainbows Oct. 8. The lake is 6% full and rising very slowly. 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 holding steady at 4% full Thursday. Access is poor. The limit is five trout a day, with just one over 20 inches. No fingerling trout have been stocked so far this year.
LAKE OF THE WOODS: Ice fishing has been good near the resort, mostly for perch but a few trout and bass in the mix. The resort is open.
LOST CREEK: The lake received 7,300 more trout in October, including 2,300 trophy trout. Bank fish with PowerBait near the Takelma ramp, or at the Medco access point off Highway 62. Wind-drifting worms above Peyton Bridge has been good. The lake Tuesday was 20 feet below the normal late-season target for flood control as outflows have steadied at just under 900 cfs in an effort to kick-start this year’s winter fill.
MEDCO: The lake was last stocked with 1,100 legal-sized trout in June. Fishing is slow.
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 March. Fish them with worms or PowerBait near the county boat ramp and deeper water across the lake.
ROGUE: The lower Rogue has been decent for winter steelhead fishing just upstream of tidewater despite low and cold water conditions, while the middle Rogue is starting to be a nice spot for early-season winter steelhead in the Galice and Argo areas for boat and bank anglers. The upper Rogue is low and cold without any real showing of winter steelhead yet, but some late summer steelhead remain in the mix.
That makes the middle Rogue the best bet, and it’s coming right on time for what is shaping into a solid season on the Rogue this year. Most of the action is coming from bait and plug anglers around Galice, either in canyon water or in migration lanes. Though water levels are somewhat low and cold, these steelhead are on the move. Plunkers in the Argo area are catching a few fish every day. Also, steelhead are starting to show up downstream from the mouth of the Applegate River. Most are in the 8-pound range, give or take, and are very bright.
Flows at Grants Pass were a paltry 1,743 cfs Thursday and only a small blip up is forecast for early next week. A new rain would do wonders. Anglers can keep one wild steelhead at least 24 inches long per day, and two a year, downstream of the Hog Creek boat ramp. That limit extends river-wide Feb. 1.
In the lower Rogue, fresh winter steelhead are getting caught daily by those plunking with Spin-Glo’s either from the bank at places like Huntley Park and the old mill site to those in boats anchoring just upstream of holes. Flows at Agness were a weak 4,382 cfs Thursday and forecast to continue sliding downward through next week.
In the upper Rogue, low and cold flows have not helped lure winter steelhead into the area, but some late summers are still around. Also, there are a lot of spawned-out summer steelhead that should be released unharmed. Flows are a weak 1,330 cfs at Dodge Bridge, thanks largely to the 900 cfs released from Lost Creek dam in an effort to capture as much water for summer as possible. Flows at Gold Ray Dam were at 1,630 cfs, buoyed in part from Bear Creek.
Fifty-six summer steelhead reached Cold Rivers Hatchery this past week, upping the count to 3,128 fish. That’s a sliver behind the 10-year average and a nice showing considering how slow the run began.
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. Bait 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 open to winter steelhead fishing, and some spawned-out summer steelhead are getting caught and released. A few winter steelhead have been caught higher in the system, and most of these likely moved in a few weeks ago. Cast spinners in deeper holes as these fish are hunkered down while awaiting better flows. There is no fishing from a floating device, but roe, worms and corkies, flies and plugs all work for wading anglers.
CHETCO: The river was dropping and clearing for winter steelhead anglers through the weekend, with steelhead well distributed throughout the system. Flows were listed Thursday at 1,672 cfs and forecast to drop and clear even more through the week.
UMPQUA: The South Umpqua has been excellent for winter steelhead fishing of late for those fishing roe, plugs and even flies. The North Umpqua has been slower.
ELK: Flows were low, clear and cold. Winter steelhead fishing has been slowed by the conditions.