Fishing Report: Friday, May 26

OCEAN OUTLOOK

COASTWIDE: Forecasts call for a mix of ocean conditions over Memorial Day weekend, starting today with winds of up to 20 knots and wind waves as high as 9 feet. Saturday looks the best, with 5-knot winds and 5-foot swells, followed Sunday by 15-knot winds and 4-foot mixed swells — and those are the kind of waves that can separate a boater from his breakfast rather easily.

Very good to excellent lingcod and black rockfish catches have occurred recently out of Brookings when the weather has allowed. Blue rockfish catches have been good to very good. The South Coast halibut season is open but no verified catches have been reported. It remains open through Oct. 31.

Crabbing is open along the entire Oregon Coast, but it's been slow.

Razor clamming is closed along the entire coast because of domoic acid. Bay clams and butter clams are available coastwide, and mussels are closed south of Cape Arago near Charleston. Before digging, check the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474.

LAKE OUTLOOK

AGATE: The lake is full. Fishing has been pretty good for crappie, yellow perch and the occasional bass. No gas motors are allowed. Electric trolling motors are OK. The park closes at dusk.

APPLEGATE: Another 14,000 legal-sized trout and 500 pound-size trout were stocked this week in time for Memorial Day weekend. Fish were released at Hart-Tish Park and French Gulch. Catches should be very good with worms and bobbers off the bank or trolling Tasmanian Devil or Wedding Ring lures off points near those ramps. The lake is loaded with floating woody debris so be cautious and heed the 10-mph speed limit. The lake is a hair under full as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is releasing slightly more than the 1,313 cubic feet of inflow to keep it there. Fishing off the bank higher up in the reservoir has been good at times for those using PowerBait or worms under bobbers with varying leader lengths. The French Gulch ramp also is open.

DIAMOND: The lake is ice-free and fishing fairly well for rainbows in the shallows at the south end and near the shrimp beds. PowerBait floated off the bottom is out-fishing worms under bobbers, with corn yellow and salmon-egg peach the most popular flavors this past week. Trollers are starting to get some action on Needlefish and Flat Fish.

EMIGRANT: The lake was listed Thursday as full, and the warm weather plus trout stocking earlier this month mean the entire gamut of fishing opportunities await. Spring bass fishing is picking up for those casting plastic worms or slowly worked crankbaits in the shallower water around willows and other structure. Look for bass catches to improve in the Emigrant Arm amid this weekend's hot weather. Trolling for trout will be best in the lower section of the lake but look for trout to work their way up toward cool creek mouths.

EXPO: The pond is set to get another complement of fish next week. The RV park is full this weekend, so expect crowds at the pond. Fishing is best with worms and bobbers or Panther Martin lures. Access the pond through Gate 5 off Peninger Road. Parking fees are required.

FISH: This week saw another big infusion of rainbows, with 3,500 legal-sized trout and 500 "pounders" released last week to go along with 5,000 legal-sized rainbows stocked earlier this month. The fish have spread out, but many remain in the cove near the Forest Service ramp. Catches have been best with PowerBait, as well as leeches and woolly bugger flies. The lake was up a bit this week to 78 percent full, and fishing is good around the shallows as trout cruise for early insects. Tiger trout must be released unharmed. 

HOWARD PRAIRIE: The lake received 5,100 legal-sized trout near the resort this week in time for Memorial Day weekend. Fishing has been very good from Grizzly Campground on up into the flats at the lake's northwest side. Fishing has been good for both trollers and still fishers with PowerBait in water 8 to 12 feet deep. The far upper flats, normally just a meadow in most years, are holding fish feeding on insects. The resort is open and operating, and boat rentals are available. 

HYATT: The lake received 5,100 legal-sized rainbow trout stocked at the Bureau of Land Management ramp this past week, and anglers will be catching them with PowerBait or worms under bobbers. Trolling will be good along the lake's old creek channel with Needlefish or Flat Fish lures. Bass are starting to get active, as well. The lake is holding steady at 62 percent full and it will stay about that level for the foreseeable future in preparation for improvements to Hyatt Dam this summer.

LOST CREEK: The lake got 800 trophy trout split two weeks ago between the Takelma and marina ramps, as well as 20,000 legals last month. The lake level is holding at a hair under full as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has increased water releases amid increased snowmelt. Flows out of the reservoir were a hefty 4,724 cfs Thursday, just ahead of the 4,575 cfs coming in. Debris levels aren't bad this year. Trolling has been decent with red or green Wedding Ring lures with a worm.

LAKE OF THE WOODS: Fishing is picking up for rainbows in the shallows with bait or lures. The resort is open.

MEDCO POND: The pond received 2,000 legal-sized rainbows last week to go with 2,000 legals released the first week of May. Fishing is good for them with PowerBait or worms under bobbers.

WILLOW: The lake got another 3,000 legal-sized trout and 1,500 pound-sized trout this week. Catch them early on PowerBait or worms near the ramp before they disperse.

RIVER OUTLOOK

ROGUE: Water flows are high, and that continues to slow the migration of spring chinook salmon river-wide. The lower Rogue is still the best bet for this weekend, but look for anglers to start showing more interest in the upper Rogue despite high flows.

In the lower Rogue, spring chinook fishing picked up Thursday as a good contingent of fin-clipped hatchery fish showed up. Flows at Agness Thursday were about 8,250 cfs and are set to hold steady through the weekend. Bankies fishing Brad's cut-plug herring lures are using 10 ounces or more of lead to keep their bait swimming in deeper water, while boat anglers are running into a few fish a day from the top of tide to the Quosatana Creek area, but they're spending a lot of time looking for fish. About one in four springers lately have been hatchery fish that can be kept.

In the upper Rogue, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has jacked up the Lost Creek Lake outflow to more than 4,700 cfs to keep pace with a growing inflow to a reservoir just inches from full. That's changing fishing conditions throughout the upper Rogue, where traditional holes are seeing too much current to hold springers. Fishing is best for bank and boat anglers in migration lanes, where the chances of catching a hatchery fish are better. Kwikfish and Mag Lip lures are best for boat anglers, with chartreuse and pink combinations good bets.

The Hatchery Hole is closed for the season because state fish biologists are concerned that Cole Rivers Hatchery might not meet spring chinook production goals for the second straight year. Fishing is allowed from the old deadline on down, which is the area where boat fishing begins.

Flows at Dodge Bridge were a feisty 4,900 cfs Thursday, and that should hold through the weekend. Water color is very good. Flows at the former Gold Ray Dam site were close to 5,500 cfs. The trick is to find some slower water to fish, and that means most of the traditional holes aren't that good in these conditions. Bank fishing is best at Hayes Falls.

Twenty-five spring chinook showed up this week at Cole Rivers Hatchery, boosting the early return to just 31 chinook. That's the lowest at this time in the run since 2008. Four early summer steelhead were found in the hatchery collection pond this week, which is somewhat rare for this date.

The Grants Pass area is very slow for spring chinook. A few anglers are hiking into Rainie Falls for spring chinook and hitting a few fish a day.

Surfperch fishing off the Rogue sand spit has been good when the surf cooperates.

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