Fishing Report: Friday, May 4

OCEAN OUTLOOK

COASTWIDE: Forecasts call for winds up to 10 knots and northwest swells up to 4 feet. Saturday looks even better, with winds up to 10 knots but swells down to 2 or 3 feet. Sunday’s looking the best, with winds down to 5 knots and swells dropping to 2 feet or less.

The marine aggregate rockfish daily limit for bottomfishers is five fish. Anglers are allowed to fish for midwater rockfish species outside 40 fathoms using 30-foot leaders and floats to stay off the bottom. The midwater species limit is 10 per day.

Lingcod fishing has been excellent when anglers can get out, particularly out of Brookings, and anglers this weekend should benefit from excellent ocean conditions.

Surfperch fishing should be very good this weekend off the Rogue River sand spit off the south jetty, as well as at Nesika Beach. Winchuck Beach has been very good for surfperch after two days of relatively calm surf. Fish with Berkley Gulp sand worms or sandshrimp.

Commercial and recreational crabbing is open coast-wide. However, ocean crabbing has slowed, as has dock crabbing in Charleston.

There is a morning minus tide today but none the rest of this week. Razor clamming has been very good in the open stretch from the Columbia River to Cascade Head, including the clam-rich Clatsop County beaches. The rest of the coast is closed to razors because of elevated levels of domoic acid. Bay clamming and the recreational harvest of mussels is open along the entire coast, but that can change quickly, so check the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474 before digging.

LAKE OUTLOOK

AGATE: The lake was stocked last month with 350 larger-sized rainbow trout to go along with trout stocked in early winter. Fishing for them has been pretty good with PowerBait or worms under bobbers. The lake is full, but turbidity is a problem. Fish for bass and panfish around the submerged willows. No gas motors are allowed. Electric trolling motors are OK. The park closes at dusk.

APPLEGATE: The lake is up 5 feet from last week and is less than 5 feet from full. Another 10,000 legal-sized trout and 800 larger trout were stocked two weeks ago. Most of the action has occurred around the French Gulch and Copper ramps. Slow trolling of Flatfish or Wedding Ring lures could be good, and still-fishing in the French Gulch cove with PowerBait should be good. The surface temperature continues to rise.

DIAMOND: The lake is ice-free, and fishing has been very good for still-fishers and fly-fishers working the south side and the shrimp beds, as well as the old cheese hole. The water is cold but warming, so the trout are getting more active. Fish worms about 5 feet under bobbers and PowerBait off the bottom, as well as chironomid flies stripped slowly in the bottom half of the water column. All tiger trout must be released unharmed.

EMIGRANT: The lake is up to 79 percent full as the Talent Irrigation District moves water into the reservoir from Hyatt and Howard Prairie lakes. The lake was stocked three weeks ago with 1,000 larger rainbow trout at the county boat ramp, and that’s where the action is for bait fishers using PowerBait or worms under bobbers. Trollers should use Flatfish or Wedding Ring lures with worms, with or without dodgers. Bass fishing has been good with plastic worms and grubs fished slowly. The county boat ramp is open during daylight hours.

EXPO: The pond was stocked three weeks ago with 1,500 legal-sized rainbows, and another 1,500 legals are slated for stocking next week. Look for the action to be very good for them with worms, PowerBait and small spinners. There is a $4 day-use parking fee off Gate 5.

FISH: The lake received 5,000 legal-sized rainbows stocked at the resort last week. Look for good fishing in the marina area with PowerBait, worms and small spinners. The lake is holding steady at 81 percent full.

HOWARD PRAIRIE: The lake is fishing well for rainbow trout for still-fishers with PowerBait in the shallows each morning, and for trollers working the lake’s far-side channel with Wedding Ring or Tasmanian Devil lures. The resort’s boat ramp and campgrounds open Friday, but the marina, restaurant and store are not scheduled to open until May 12. The Willow Point boat ramp is open. The lake was to be stocked last week with 7,500 legal-sized rainbows. The lake was listed Thursday at 65 percent full.

HYATT: BLM has opened the Mountain View boat ramp, and there is just enough water for most trailered boats to launch there, but be cautious. Trolling and still-fishing for trout has been good near the dam and in the Orchard area. Trollers should work the shorelines and the old creek channel. The lake was holding steady at 44 percent full this week.

LAKE OF THE WOODS: The lake is ice-free, and fishing for rainbows and perch is good with worms and PowerBait. Brown trout fishing and kokanee catches have been low.

LOST CREEK: Another 15,000 legal-sized rainbow trout and 800 larger trout were stocked two weeks ago, with the majority planted at the Takelma ramp and a few at the marina. That’s why the best fishing is near the Taklema ramp and the island. Flows out of Lost Creek will be increased to 2,500 cubic feet per second by Sunday as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has the lake hovering just under full with increased inflow from warming weather. Bank anglers using PowerBait at either side of the dam also are faring well.

RIVER OUTLOOK

ROGUE: A really nice showing of late winter steelhead as well as some early spring chinook are entertaining and frustrating anglers in the upper Rogue, while the middle Rogue has still been decent for winter steelhead, with some bright late-run steelhead in the mix. The lower Rogue has slowed some for springers, but fish are still caught daily in the lower 11 miles of river.

That makes the upper Rogue this weekend’s best bet, in part because of the decent steelhead showing as well as the prospect of running into a spring chinook.

A few springers have been caught in the Hatchery Hole by bank anglers casting beads, as well as a sprinkling of fish in migration lanes upstream of Shady Cove. Daily catches are also reported at Hayes Falls near Gold Hill.

In the upper Rogue, flows out of Lost Creek Lake started Friday morning at 2,200 cfs and will increase 100 cfs each day before topping out at 2,500 cfs Sunday morning. Flows Thursday at Dodge Bridge were down to 2,426 cfs and forecast to rise into Monday, but not enough to throw off the steelhead bite much. Flows at the old Gold Ray Dam site were at 2,876 cfs Thursday and also are forecast to inch up steadily through Sunday.

The real story of the upper Rogue this week is the best showing of the season for winter steelhead. Another 400 winter steelhead reached Cole Rivers this week, almost twice the number of last week. That was enough for the Cole Rivers Hatchery technicians Wednesday to release 157 retread steelhead from the hatchery back down to TouVelle State Park. That brings the total retread counts to 380. The total count of 1,643 fish to the hatchery remains quite low. The 10-year average is 2,303 to date.

The upper Rogue is fishing best for winter steelhead with yarn balls soaked in juice or MadLip 3.0 lures. Some spring chinook are biting beads at the Hatchery Hole, as well as at Casey State Park and the Chief Hole. More reports of illegal snagging are coming in, as well.

In the middle Rogue, a few steelhead have been caught in the Rogue River run as well as the Galice area, with a mix of spawned-out summer steelhead and some surprisingly fresh late winter steelhead. Fishing has been best with roe, worms and plugs, with fishing best on cloudy days. Flows Thursday at Grants Pass were at a favorable 3,377 cfs and forecast to rise Friday through early Monday. That’s the target day for float trips. The crew that fishes Rainie Falls has remained deathly silent, which usually means catches have been decent.

In the lower Rogue, the spring chinook bite has slowed quite a bit this past week, with more water needed to improve catches and entice more chinook to move. Plunking from the bank was extremely slow this week. Flows Thursday at Agness were just over 4,300 cfs and set to rise. What little action that happened was on 6-inch anchovies behind a gold blade. Bankies continue plunking with the Gray Ghost Spin-Glo (now named the Rogue), as well as flame-chartreuse and pink-pearl.

All wild steelhead now must be released river-wide, and that will remain through the rest of 2018.

APPLEGATE: The river is closed to all angling.

CHETCO: The river is closed to all angling.

ELK: The river is closed to all angling.

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