THE WHOLE COAST: Friday’s forecast calls for winds of 5 knots and swells of 4 feet. On Saturday the winds are expected to increase to 10 knots and the swell to 6 feet. Sunday’s forecast looks identical to Saturday’s forecast.
The general marine catch limit is five fish in total, with copper, spinyback 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.
Perch fishing is expected to improve significantly through the weekend, with favorable conditions through next week. Look for a good spring bite as they rise near river mouths and beach to spawn. 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. Look for good clams on the south coast, especially around Charleston in Coos Bay. 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. Many Dungeness begin to have soft shells due to molting. Be sure to eliminate the slack as the amounts of meat are not ideal.
AGATE: The lake received another 3,000 legal-sized trout last month to supplement the 1,000 legal-sized trout posted 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 listed as full on Thursday, with cloudy 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. French Gulch and Copper ramps can be used. The lake should be stocked with rainbow trout next week. 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 with plastic worms and grubs caught slowly on the bottom along rocky points and flats on hot days. The lake is slowly filling due to low flow and is 39 feet below where the US Army Corps of Engineers prefers it to be on its normal refill schedule. The lake was supposed to be full by Monday, but that won’t happen. Outputs held at 125 cfs.
DIAMOND: The lake is ice free and fishes decently for rainbow trout and tiger trout, mostly in shallow water in the mornings and evenings when the trout are looking for insects in warmer waters. The insect populations of the lake are not very busy yet, so the remaining trout are hungry. PowerBait and small leech flies caught slowly will work best. All tiger trout must be released safe and sound.
EMIGRANT: The lake is about 16% full with very little angling activity. There have been reports of shoaling of catfish with chicken livers, as well as casting with larvae or plastic worms for bass off the rocky headlands on sunny days. Legal-sized trout were due to be released there last week, but muddy banks prevented the stock truck from reaching the water’s edge. Storage will be rescheduled.
EXPO: State wildlife biologists again stocked 1,500 legal-size rainbow trout earlier this month, reigniting an April fishery that may become very popular. Catch them with Panther Martin lures, single salmon roe or under float worms. Parking fees are required.
FISH: The ice has melted and rainbow trout fishing has been good near the springs with PowerBait. The water is cold. The lake was listed Thursday at 42% full.
HOWARD PRAIRIE: The lake is open for angling and ice-free, but few take advantage of it. The lake level was up a hair’s breadth to 14% full on Thursday. Most of the action takes place near the access to the dam. The lake was stocked with 50,000 rainbow fry on October 8, and catches are expected to be very good with worms and PowerBaits as well as small streamers for fly anglers. Anglers can keep five trout a day, only one of which is over 20 inches.
Hyatt: The lake was 18% full on Thursday and is mostly ice free, with some fishing in the dam area for trout. The limit is five trout per day, with only one over 20 inches. No fry trout were stocked last year, so trout numbers are very low. Some warm water fish like black crappie make an appearance in the catch.
LAKE OF THE WOODS: The lake is ice free and already fishes fairly well for rainbow trout in shallow water. These fish navigate in search of meals in warmer waters. Try PowerBait or small lures that look like minnows.
LOST STREAM: The lake again received a new complement of catchable legal-sized rainbow trout last week, with stocking beginning Wednesday at the Takelma Ramp. More restocking is expected this week as state fish biologists focus on adding more catchable trout to open waters early this year. 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 35 feet below the normal fill level for this time of spring, and the lake is expected to be full by Monday. Outflows dropped to 600 cfs in an effort to capture as much water as possible for later releases to benefit salmon and rainbow trout downstream.
MEDECO: The lake is ice free and was stocked last month with 2,000 legal size trout. Catch them on PowerBait or worms.
SELMAC: The lake was stocked again with 1,000 legal size trout two weeks ago. Fish them with worms or PowerBait.
WILLOW: The lake received another 2,000 legal-sized rainbow trout late last month. Catch them with worms or PowerBait near the county boat launch, where the fish were released.
THUG: Winter rainbow trout fishing has been decent this late in the season, but many spawned fish are showing up in the catch and they should all be released safe and sound. The middle Rogue also appears to be loaded with kelts, while the lower Rogue tends to increase for spring chinook caught by boats in the migration corridors.
That makes Superior Rogue for winter rainbow trout the best bet for the weekend, and it’s probably the last good time that will happen. Additionally, all wild rainbow trout must be released safe and sound starting Sunday, and that will hold true for the rest of the year riverwide.
Flows at Dodge Bridge had fallen to 1,342 cfs on Wednesday and are expected to increase a little on Saturday, then pick up on Wednesday. However, none of these changes should be very dramatic. Flows at the former Gold Ray Dam site reached 1,830 cfs on Wednesday and are also expected to increase a bit on Saturday and Wednesday while dropping between those days.
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. Lots of summer rainbow trout and a few winter rainbow trout are in the fishery. These should all be released safe and sound. If killed, the quality of their meat is very poor and not worth the loss for the resource.
Fishing in Upper Rogue was best with plugs and pink plastic worms. Many adults now spawn in the mainstem of the river, and boaters should try to avoid spooking them when crossing shallow spawning areas.
In the middle of Rogue, flows at Grants Pass had fallen to 1,840 cfs on Wednesday and will fluctuate midweek next week. And that’s with discharges from Lost Creek Lake expected to hold steady at 600 cfs as the US Army Corps of Engineers seeks to recover the volume of water lost to the reservoir.
In the lower Rogue, the occasional cool winter rainbow trout gets caught by those diving with spin-glos from the bank at places like Huntley Park and the old factory site. Boaters anchored at lower Rogue hotspots are beginning to enter the fish as decent migration conditions are present.
The Hatchery Hole is closed to all angling from April 1 through July 31. The Hatchery Hole is permanently closed to all Chinook fishing.
The Rogue is closed to trout fishing to protect migrating smolts downstream. They cannot be targeted even for catch-and-release fly fishing at this time.
APPLEGATE: The river is closed to trout and rainbow trout fishing.
CHETCO: The river is now closed to fishing.