Fishing Report: May 27, 2011

Coastwide - The three-day holiday weekend could provide a chance for anglers to catch some bottomfish, chinook salmon or even halibut far offshore. But mornings will be the best time because swells and winds will pick up during the day, especially as a new but weak storm front moves through the region Saturday.

Catches could be good for black rockfish and lingcod near rock piles and kelp beds close to shore. Big black or glow-in-the-dark jigs will be best. Rockfish anglers must stay within the 40-fathom line now.

The marine aggregate limit in Oregon is seven rockfish a day, with only one being a cabezon. The lingcod limit is two a day with a 22-inch minimum, and that is separate from the marine aggregate.

Halibut anglers are allowed past the 40-fathom line today and Saturday, with Saturday's traffic likely to be good. Some deep-water halibut anglers will be running out of Port Orford and Charleston.

Chinook fishing remains open off the Central Oregon coast and catches are starting to improve for anglers fishing out of Charleston and Tillamook Bay. Troll deep and slow with anchovies and hoochies. No coho fishing is opened yet off the Central Oregon coast, and coho fishing is banned summer-long in the ocean off Southern Oregon.

Sport crabbers are allowed on the ocean, and bay crabbing has improved thanks to improved salinity levels in bays.

Excellent morning minus tides on May 30 and 31 should make for excellent spring clamming in Charleston and at Clatsop County beaches. Clamming is open statewide. Mussel harvest also is open coastwide. For more information and updated closure information, call the shellfish hotline at 800-448-2474.

BROOKINGS - The ocean chinook season is open, but success has been fleeting. Most anglers are trolling 150 feet or deeper, but commercial trollers have reported catching fish in the top 60 feet of water, so vary your depths. Most fishing has been six to eight miles out and throughout the water column.

GOLD BEACH - Surfperch fishing was improving this week at Nesika Beach. No bay fishing is going on for spring chinook. Some ocean rockfish opportunities could open up this weekend, particularly on early morning trips.

WINCHESTER BAY - Sturgeon fishing remains slow. Crabbing has improved this past week as water salinity has increased to more Dungeness-friendly levels. Chinook fishing is open in the estuary but catches are slow. Some striped bass are being caught around dawn and dusk near the mouth of Smith River.

AGATE - Fishing for legal- and trophy-sized rainbows has been fair. The lake is full. Largemouth bass are biting plastic worms and grubs, while crappie are hitting pink and purple jigs. No gas motors are allowed. Small electric motors are legal.

APPLEGATE - The lake is about a foot shy of full and gently rising. Trout of up to 4 pounds have been caught recently, with most of the activity at and near the Seattle Bar area. Trolling Wedding Rings with a piece of worm is good, while fly-fishers using float tubes, sinking lines and woolly buggers have done well near Seattle Bar, as well. Smallmouth bass are biting plastic worms and small crankbaits near the dam. The French Gulch and Copper boat ramps are usable. Hart-Tish Park is open. For updates on facilities openings, call 541-899-9220.

EMIGRANT - Spring bass fishing has improved for those fishing grubs, rubber worms and crankbaits fished slowly in the cool water. The lake is full. Trolling Wedding Rings spiced with a worm or single salmon egg has been good for recently stocked rainbow trout.

A standing public-health advisory continues about eating all but trout from the lake because of elevated mercury levels.

HOWARD PRAIRIE - The lake's water temperature continues to inch upward, and that has helped rainbow trout catches. Trollers continue to out-produce bank anglers largely because they're more mobile. Success along the jetty near the resort has been spotty. The lake is full, and water visibility has improved slightly. Most of the trout are being caught in water 20-feet deep or less. Bank anglers off the jetty at Howard Prairie Resort have done very well in the early morning with rainbow or chartreuse PowerBait or worms floated off the bottom. Bobbers and worms can work well for suspended fish throughout the day. Good bank-fishing access is available at the jetty at Howard Prairie Resort, along with Klum Landing and Willow Point.

HYATT - The lake is fishing fairly well for legal-sized stocked rainbow and some holdover trout from last year, but angler effort remains somewhat light. Fishing near the dam and around the Orchard has been good. Trolling is slow, but try Triple Teasers or Wedding Rings with worms. Troll slowly and in the top 10 feet of the water column.

DIAMOND - The lake is about 90 percent ice-free, and the north boat ramp is open, allowing weekend anglers to hit the holdover rainbows pretty hard with worms or PowerBait. Water temperatures are still frigid and the south end remains iced up. Focus on open water 10 to 15 feet deep with rainbow or chartreuse PowerBait and worms under bobbers. Vary the depth until you get dialed in. The temporary eight-fish limit is in effect, but only one can be longer than 20 inches.

EXPO - Fishing has improved greatly after the recent release of 1,400 legal-sized rainbow trout. Find them with Panther Martin lures, worms and single salmon eggs.

LOST CREEK - The lake was infused with another 20,000 legal and 500 larger rainbow trout this week, and they are already biting worms, Triple Teasers and Wedding Ring lures. No need to troll with flashers. Vary your depths because the fish are suspended in the water column. The lake remains about 21/2 feet from full. Effort has been light. Focus near Lost Creek Lake Marina and the Takelma boat ramp. Bank fishing has been best with worms, single salmon eggs or PowerBait. The Stewart State Park boat ramp and the Takelma ramp are open.

FISH - The lake is ice-free and was stocked last week with legal- and trophy-sized rainbow trout. Fishing should be best around the resort and the cove near the Forest Service boat ramp with PowerBait, worms and streamer flies. Trolling should be good for stocked and landlocked spring chinook around 12 inches long. Try Flatfish and Wedding Rings.

WILLOW LAKE - The lake was stocked with another 3,000 legals and 500 larger rainbow trout, all put in at the Jackson County boat ramp. The stocking should jump-start angling there. The county facilities are all open. Trolling Wedding Ring or Triple Teaser lures should be best for stocked rainbows. Water quality is good.

SELMAC - The lake was stocked recently with legal-sized trout, and fishing has been good for them with most baits. Single salmon eggs and cheese have worked well.

MEDCO - Fishing for rainbow trout has been good off the bank with PowerBait.

LAKE of the WOODS - Bank and boat fishing for stocked rainbow trout has been good with PowerBait and worms. Brown trout fishing has been a little slow.

KLAMATH - Fishing for native redband trout has been good with PowerBait and for those trolling Tasmanian Devil lures in Klamath and Agency lakes.

ROGUE - The upper Rogue is high but fishing fairly well for spring chinook from the bank and from boats, while the middle Rogue has produced some springers for boat anglers back-bouncing roe and the lower Rogue remains slow for springers despite good water conditions.

That makes the upper Rogue the best bet, which will make us sound like a broken record until the lower Rogue's summer steelhead action heats up in late July.

Bank anglers at Casey State Park, the Chief Hole and the Hatchery Hole are finding decent numbers of fish as the first waves of springers move upstream. But more fish are getting caught further down toward the Shady Cove area. Releases from Lost Creek Lake will hold at 3,600 cubic feet per second through Memorial Day weekend, barring any radical changes to in-flow to the reservoir. That means anglers at Casey are chucking 31/2 to 4 ounces of lead with their corkies and yarn.

Most bank anglers are fishing an odd variety of beads, corkies and a little yarn. Remember, only fin-clipped hatchery fish can be kept, and only those hooked inside of the mouth.

Boat anglers fishing primarily Kwikfish are starting to get into the springers, as well. Boat traffic has been somewhat light, but look for it to pick up this weekend. Roe on divers has worked well, too.

With no Gold Ray Dam count available, it's hard to say how many springers have reached the upper Rogue, but the run is a bit later than last year.

The first five summer steelhead of the year were captured this week in the Cole Rivers Hatchery fish trap. No one's reported catching any yet.

In the middle Rogue, boat anglers fishing Kwikfish wrapped with sardine fillets hit a few chinook in the Galice stretch, while bankies were doing best at Rainie and Hayes falls with beads and yarn.

All wild chinook must be released riverwide. Beginning Wednesday, anglers fishing downstream of the old Gold Ray Dam site can keep up to two wild chinook adults per day.

APPLEGATE - The river opens to trout fishing Saturday. All wild trout, including cutthroat, must be released unharmed. It is illegal to target any residual spawning winter steelhead in the Applegate.

UMPQUA - The North Umpqua remains high but is fishing fairly well for spring chinook in the forks area. A few striped bass are being caught in tidewater near the mouth of Smith River.

COQUILLE - Striped bass fishing has been fair at dusk and dawn in the mid-tidal areas. Fish large, loud plugs, particularly Rapalas that look like salmon smolts.

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