Fishing report: Friday, Feb. 4
COASTWIDE: Friday’s forecast calls for winds up to 15 knots and 3-foot swells, followed Saturday by winds up to 20 knots and swells growing to 8 feet. Sunday’s forecast sees the winds dropping to 10 knots but the swells still holding at 7 to 8 feet.
The general marine bag limit is five fish in aggregate, with copper, quillback and 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 this weekend. 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 inching up and was at 41% full Thursday, 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, and the lake’s official filling schedule is underway. 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 89 feet from full, and outflows have been cut to 150 cfs.
DIAMOND: Ice fishing has been very good amid clear, hard ice. Action has been best near the resort simply because that’s the best access. Snowmobilers are also fishing on the south side near the channel.
EMIGRANT: The lake is still mired at 7% 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. More trout stocking is expected in March.
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 to angling, and the ice is mostly good but always use caution. The lake was stocked with 50,000 fingerling rainbows Oct. 8. The lake is 6% full. 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 this past week to 6% full Thursday. Ice conditions are basically good but the new inflows have caused some cracking. Access is poor. The limit is five trout a day, with just one over 20 inches. No fingerling trout were stocked last 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 15 feet below the normal Dec. 1 target for flood control as outflows have steadied at just under 900 cfs in an effort to kickstart this year’s winter fill.
MEDCO: The lake was last stocked with 1,100 legal-sized trout in June. Fishing is slow. The pond is iced over.
SELMAC: The lake was last stocked with 1,000 legal-sized trout in mid-May. Fish for them with worms or PowerBait. Bass are active on warm days, and next week’s afternoons are forecast to be warm.
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: Winter steelhead fishing has either slowed to a crawl or just a hair better than that river-wide thanks to low and cold water flows that don’t appear to be improving significantly throughout the week.
That makes the middle Rogue the best bet, just because something has to be. The issue is flow.
Flows at Dodge Bridge were down to 1,071 cfs and they will inch up slightly this week thanks to a holding steady of releases from Lost Creek dam at 900 cfs. Things aren’t much better at the old Gold Ray Dam site at 1,306 cfs Thursday, and 1,306 cfs at Grants Pass. Flows at Agness were a paltry 2,535 cfs. While flows are forecast to improve a bit, they will not be the kind of early February flows that drag steelhead upstream into the Rogue Valley en masse.
But there are some winter steelhead around. A few are getting caught by boat and bank anglers in the Agness area fishing slowly along the bottoms of deeper canyons and near the heads of pools. Roe, worms or egg balls are best, with plugs secondary because of cold water conditions.
In the lower Rogue the occasional fresh winter steelhead is getting caught daily by those plunking with Spin-Glo’s either from the bank at places like Huntley Park and the old mill site. But that’s not inspiring.
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.
The proof of stagnant fish is in this week’s collections at Cole Rivers Hatchery, where eight new summer steelhead, three recaptured steelhead and zero winter steelhead were found.
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 fishing is very slow amid 150 cfs releases from Applegate Lake. That’s low and cold. When conditions improve, cast spinners in deeper holes as these fish are hunkered down 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 flowing at a woeful 801 cfs and forecast to continue to drop throughout the week. dropping and clearing for winter steelhead anglers through the weekend, with steelhead well distributed throughout the system. Flows were listed Thursday at 1,033 cfs and forecast to drop and clear even more through the week.
UMPQUA: Flows are low and clear and winter steelhead angling has slowed significantly in the North and South Umpqua.
ELK: Flows were low, clear and cold. Winter steelhead fishing has been slowed by the conditions.