THE WHOLE COAST: Friday’s forecast calls for winds up to 5 knots and wind waves of 2 feet or less. On Saturday, winds are expected to be up to 25 knots with wind waves rising to 7 feet. Sunday’s forecast sees winds up to 15 knots, with swells reaching 11 feet. So the mantra for the weekend is to fish Friday, then watch the storms.
The general marine catch limit is five fish total, with copper, quillback and Chinese rockfish no longer part of the daily limit for boat anglers. Anglers are subject to a different quota for these species and can still keep them. This includes those who fish from the piers. The lingcod limit is two fish over 22 inches.
Pole fishing is likely to be decent on Friday but will plummet as rough seas build throughout the weekend. Sand shrimp and mussels are the best baits, with plastic sandworms and shrimp as secondary choices.
Clam mining is closed from Cape Blanco to the California border due to high levels of domoic acid in the clams. However, the rest of the state, including the bays, is open for clam fishing. A lower tide evening round begins Wednesday evening. Before digging, call the Seashells Hotline at 1-800-448-2474.
The recreational crab fishery is open in the ocean and catches have been excellent in the ocean and bays such as lower Coos Bay in Charleston.
AGATE: TThe lake received another 3,000 legal-sized trout last week to supplement the 1,000 legal-sized trout released two weeks earlier. Fishing around the ramp should be good all weekend long on Power Bait, worms, or anything that smells like hatchery food pellet. The lake was 51% full on Thursday, with murky water. Electric trolling motors are OK. The park closes at dusk.
APPLEGATE: Hart Tish Park boat launch and dock are closed due to lack of water. The French Gulch and Copper boat ramps are usable and the lake filling schedule is underway. Fish for rainbows with PowerBait or bank worms or slowly drag Tasmanian Devil lures spiced up with a piece of worm. Bass fishing was fair to good with plastic worms and grubs caught slowly on the bottom along rocky points and flats on hot days. The lake is 72 feet from full and flows have been maintained at 125 cfs.
DIAMOND: The ice fishing was very good with clear hard ice. The action was best near the station because it’s the best access. Snowmobilers also fish on the south side near the channel.
EMIGRANT: The lake is filled to a hair at 9% which has all but stopped angling activity. There have been reports of schools of catfish being caught with chicken livers.
EXPO: State wildlife biologists stocked 1,500 legal-size rainbow trout last week. Catch them with Panther Martin lures, single salmon roe or under float worms. Parking fees are required. Other trout stockings are expected throughout the spring.
FISH: Ice fishing was good for a mix of rainbow and tiger trout. Pay attention. Fishing is generally best near the springs off the resort and near the Forest Service ramp. Worms and small jigs are usually the best bets. All tiger trout must be released.
HOWARD PRAIRIE: The lake is open for angling and the ice is generally good, but always be careful. The lake was filled with 50,000 rainbow fry on October 8. The lake is 8% full. Fishing access is best near the dam. Anglers can keep five trout a day, only one of which is over 20 inches.
Hyatt: The lake was up to 8% full on Thursday. The ice conditions are basically good, but the new inputs have caused cracks. Access is poor. The limit is five trout per day, with only one over 20 inches. No fry trout were stocked last year.
LAKE OF THE WOODS: Ice fishing was good near the resort, mostly for perch, with some trout and bass in the mix. The station is open.
LOST STREAM: The lake received 7,300 more trout in October, including 2,300 trophy trout. Bank fish with PowerBait near the Takelma boat ramp or at the Medco access point near Hwy 62. Wind drift worms over the Peyton Bridge have been good. The lake on Tuesday was 6 feet below the normal flood control target for Jan. 1, so the infill is well behind the normal schedule. Flows have stabilized at just under 900 cfs in an effort to capture as much of this year’s winter fill as possible.
MEDECO: The lake is ice free and was stocked last week with 2,000 legal size trout.
SELMAC: The lake was stocked with 1,000 legal size trout last week. Fish them with worms or PowerBait.
WILLOW: The lake received another 2,000 legal-size rainbow trout late last month, meaning trout fishing with worms and PowerBait continues near the boat launch County. This is where the fish were released.
THUG: The rain will slightly increase flows in the upper and middle Rogue next week, but enough to alter the bite of rainbow trout for a day or two. The lower Rogue is also improving for late winter rainbow trout.
The Rogue mid around Galicia will be the best bet for the weekend. Flows at Grants Pass were at a low 1,320 cfs Thursday and are expected to increase Tuesday and peak early Wednesday around 3,600 cfs. This is by far the best rainbow trout so far this winter season.
Slow Drifting Fish Eggs, Soaked Yarn Balls, or Pink Plastic Worms will do best at the head of the pools and in the migrating rapids. Plug fishing should be acceptable, but in slower than normal waters due to cold temperatures.
Flows at Dodge Bridge increased Thursday to 1,071 cfs, and are expected to reach around 1,900 cfs on Tuesday. Things weren’t much better at the old Gold Ray Dam site on Thursday at 1,259 cfs. Flows at Agness were a paltry 2,085 cfs.
In the lower Rogue, the occasional cool winter rainbow trout is caught daily by those who dive with spin-glos from the bank at places like Huntley Park and the old factory site. But that’s not inspiring.
The movement of rainbow trout to Cole Rivers Hatchery is still very low due primarily to extremely low flows. To date, only 38 winter rainbow trout have reached the hatchery, but it’s still early days and early returns are largely dependent on throughput. Don’t give up yet for a decent end to the season. It takes more rain to get it all going again.
The Hatchery Hole is open for rainbow trout and summer coho, and a few fish have been caught by nymphaeant fly anglers with ugly bugs and salmon egg tip flies. The Hatchery Hole is permanently closed to all chinook fishing and will only be open to rainbow trout. Baits such as worms and eggs are legal, and it has worked for some coho who are preparing to enter the hatchery.
APPLEGATE: The river is open for winter rainbow trout fishing, but catching is very slow amid the 150 cfs discharge from Applegate Lake. It’s low and cold. No winter rainbow trout have yet been caught at the collection facility at the base of Applegate Dam. Do not worry; it’s the same number so far for the past five years. When conditions improve, toss spoons into deeper holes, as these fish are curled up waiting for better flows. There is no fishing from floating gear, but eggs, worms and plugs, flies and plugs all work for wading anglers.
CHETCO: The river was flowing at a low 810 cfs on Thursday, but another storm is expected to push the river above 4,000 cfs on Tuesday before falling next weekend. This could be the last good winter rainbow trout fishing period of the season. Look for fish all over the river, cork fishing should be very good in the migration corridors.
UMPQUA: Flows were high and muddy on Thursday, but expect the North and South Umpquas to be in good fishing shape early next week.
ELK: Flows were easing Thursday and the color was turning clear and harsh for the late winter rainbow trout fishery. Winter rainbow trout fishing should improve by the middle of next week with eggs, balls of yarn and plugs.