Fishing Report: May 24, 2013

COASTWIDE - Good ocean conditions will greet bottomfishers and salmon fishers for Memorial Day weekend. Today's seas will kick up to about 7 feet in the afternoon, but look for calm surf and showers Saturday and low surf and clouds Sunday. Don't worry about the rain; get some rain gear and double up salmon fishing and bottomfishing through the weekend.

Spring jiggers still are finding lings close to shore and near kelp beds, but the gaudy catch numbers of earlier weeks have waned. Black, white and red jigs have been working best.

Clammers are in the midst of a good set of minus tides that run through Thursday, so there are plenty of good digging options for the weekend. Check the tides for the bays you work.

Chinook salmon fishing is open, with catches better along the North Coast than the South Coast, but that's typical of early-season angling. A few chinook have started to come into Brookings, but most of the interest has been on bottomfish there.

The marine aggregate limit in Oregon is seven rockfish a day. No cabezon may be kept until July. The lingcod limit is two a day with a 22-inch minimum, and that is separate from the marine aggregate.

It should be another good weekend for bay crabbing, although lots of smaller crabs have been in the catch of late, and South Coast crabs have started molting earlier than normal, so meat densities are light. All shellfish harvesting, including mussels, is open along the Oregon Coast.

BROOKINGS - The ocean salmon season for chinook opened May 1, and catches have been light. Most ocean anglers have focused their effort toward jigging for lingcod and black rockfish, because both of them are doing very well. A few early-season halibut have been caught, as well. Surfperch fishing has been very good at Winchuck Beach. Incoming to high tides are best.

GOLD BEACH - Surfperch fishing has been excellent, especially around Nesika Beach and the Highway 101 pullouts north of Gold Beach. Cast sandshrimp, clam necks, mussels or rubber crayfish for them. Fly-fishing for surfperch is very good with sinking lines and bright streamers. Red and yellow are the best colors.

AGATE - Look for a nice bass and crappie bite this weekend amid warming temperatures. Wind-drifting worms or casting grubs will be best. Some of the trout from the March stocking still are around, but they won't last long in the warm water. The lake was listed Thursday at 93 percent full. No gas motors are allowed. Small electric motors are legal.

APPLEGATE - The lake got 9,000 legal-sized trout and 500 larger trout this week. They were released at the Copper ramp. Trout fishing in the Seattle Bar area has been good on PowerBait, worms and streamer flies. Early morning has been best. Bass fishing slowed a bit during this week's storms, but look for it to pick up through the weekend. The lake is about 2 feet from full.

DIAMOND - The north and south ramps are open, and fishing has slowed some again thanks to an enormous insect hatch that has the rainbows focusing on emerging insects. Still, anglers working the early mornings are doing fairly well with PowerBait or worms until the insects get rolling. Most of the effort is on the south end in 18 to 20 feet of water. Trolling has picked up for those using Triple Teasers, No. 4 Flatfish and other lures just above the weed lines. Fly-fishing has been fair to good on chironomids and woolly buggers. Most of the rainbows are 12 to 16 inches long, and last year's fingerlings are 9 to 10 inches. The limit is eight trout per day over 8 inches, but only one can be longer than 20 inches.

EMIGRANT - Bass fishing should pick up over the weekend. Focus on rockpiles and submerged willows along the lower stretches where the water is warmer. The lake was infused in mid-April with 3,500 legal-sized rainbows and 351 adult summer steelhead from Cole Rivers Hatchery in March. The lake is 93 percent full.

EXPO - The pond received 1,300 legal-sized rainbow trout two weeks ago and they're actively biting worms, PowerBait and small Panther Martin lures. Some holdovers from last month's trout plant are also available.

FISH - The lake is up a bit this week, and slow trolling for trout has been a good option at varying depths. Some of last year's tiger trout could be in the 10-inch range this year, but they still must be released unharmed. Catches of rainbow trout should be good off the Forest Service boat ramp. Fish worms or PowerBait.

HOWARD PRAIRIE - Cold, rainy and windy conditions have marred bass and trout fishing this week. However, some early-morning anglers are faring well for bass or trout before the winds kick up. Trout fishing is best for trollers using flashers and Wedding Ring lures with a piece of worm. Largemouth have hit everything from top-water baits in the morning to worms later in the day. Crankbaits have also worked.

HYATT - The BLM boat ramps and most of the campground are open, and fishing is fair to good with PowerBait near the dam, around the Orchard and in the upper stretches of the lake. Trolling the old creek channel near the lake's western edge can be good, especially in the evenings.

LEMOLO - Fishing has been good. Brown trout are averaging 16 inches, rainbows are 12 to 16-plus inches, and kokanee are in the 13- to 15-inch range.

LOST CREEK - Another 20,000 legal-sized and 500 larger-sized rainbows were split this week between the lake's two boat ramps. Bank fishing is better at the Takelma ramp largely because there is more room to fan out and cast PowerBait or float worms off the bottom. Slow trolling with flashers or streamer flies from float tubes also works well. Despite wacky weather this week, the lake's surface temperature remained at 62 degrees. The water is 6 feet from full. Trollers are finding a mix of 15-inch holdover trout and legals from the 25,000 fish stocked there in April. Both ramps are open. Look for the stocked chinook to be close to 8 inches, which is where they can start going on stringers.

ROGUE - The lower Rogue remains dogged by low water, but at least a stiff drop in water temperatures has anglers there hoping for a decent if not good spring chinook salmon bite through the Memorial Day weekend. The middle Rogue remains slow for spring chinook, and the upper Rogue should settle down and fish decently through the Memorial Day weekend now that water flows will start to rise and fall almost daily — changes that should get chinook on the move despite low water levels.

That makes the upper Rogue by far the best bet for spring chinook.

Another decent showing of springers at Cole Rivers Hatchery this week shows that springers are definitely on the move. Catches at the Hatchery Hole have been steady but not spectacular despite good numbers of springers milling about. Casey State Park is yielding a few springers each morning, but the Slide Hole has been slower. Another 269 spring chinook were recycled to the Gold Hill ramp this week, so they should give those fishing the lower stretch of the upper Rogue a better shot at hitting a hatchery fish.

Flows out of Lost Creek Lake dropped from 2,300 cubic feet per second last week to 1,700 cfs Thursday. That has flows at Dodge Bridge down to less than 1,900 cfs at Dodge and 2,200 cfs at the old Gold Ray Dam site. Flows are forecast to rise today then drop again Saturday and Sunday, which should trigger another wave of springer movement. That could trigger a nice weekend bite for anglers. Driftboat anglers are using roe or Kwikfish in migration lanes in an effort to focus their catch more on hatchery fish that are on the move instead of wild chinook hunkering down in holes. All wild chinook must be released.

Flows at Grants Pass were at a summer-like 2,119 cfs Thursday and set to rise today before dropping late Saturday or Sunday. Most of the springer action in the middle Rogue is at places such as Hayes Falls and Rainie Falls. Both were yielding fish and will improve as more springers move through. Most of the fish are in the 14- to 18-pound range.

The lower Rogue has been slow for springers, but water temperatures dropped to 59 degrees Thursday and should rise through the weekend. This change, hopefully, will put the springers on the bite. The flows at Agness were down to 3,300 cfs Thursday and are set to yo-yo a bit through the weekend. Guides are running into a few springers daily, with most of the action from river-mile 6 on up. Anchovies with Rogue spinner blades have been best. Bank anglers who are plunking are down to No. 6 Spin-Glo's, with gray or black-and-white good options.

Wild springers must be released riverwide until June, when they can be kept downstream of the Fishers Ferry boat ramp — the new lower boundary of what is now considered the upper Rogue.

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