South coast surf anglers have been making good catches

Central & South Coast Reports – Offshore launches should be possible this coming weekend off the central Oregon coast. Saturday is the transition but Sunday looks positively friendly according to NOAA forecasts.

South coast surf anglers have been making good catches of redtail and calico surf perch whenever the ocean has laid down. The Bandon, Brookings and Gold Beach areas have been particularly productive.

While the Siuslaw hasn’t been as productive the last couple of seasons, this year seems to be showing an improvement. Stocking of hatchery steelhead has been stepped up so the future looks even brighter. There has been talk recently about sturgeon fishing on the lower Siuslaw. There are a few with emphasis on few.

Coos Bay has been muddy from runoff due to recent rains, as it clears and the salinity returns to normal, crabbing and jetty rockfishing will resume. Steelheading will yield a mix of hatchery and wild fish in the Coos system. The West Fork Millicoma River has dropped and cleared sufficiently to fish with the South Fork Coos not far behind.

As the mainstem Umpqua drops and clears, steelhead should be good although less than 10% of the fish here will be of hatchery origin. There have been no reports of spring Chinook as yet but it’s not uncommon for springers to make an appearance here in February. Catch-and-release steelheading will improve on the North Umpqua along with water conditions. Were just entering the peak of the hatchery steelhead season on the South Umpqua, which fishery should produce winters through March. At just over four feet with flows at 1,500 cfs near Tiller, it will be fishing now.

Waters of the lower Rogue are still high but clearing. It should fish by Friday or Saturday and results prior to the recent freshet were good on the lower river with winters running on the larger side. If the water is off-color, try pink plastic worms or drift roe. If it’s too swift, plunk Spin ‘n’ Glos. On the middle river where steelheading has been fair to good and steady, water conditions have improved and it is fishable now. Side-drifting or pulling plugs should hook some fish. Upper Rogue steelheaders will have a much better chance of a hookup following rain earlier this week as the fresh water will draw those fish upstream. Try a jig tipped with shrimp on the upper river.

Waters were just dropping into fishing levels and the clarity rapidly improving on the Chetco as of Thursday this week. Steelheading should be good but anglers should expect to hook a mix of fresh, bright fish and those which has spawned out which will be returning from tributaries now.

Steelhead have been caught at the Elk River and a few on the Sixes, but these river drop so rapidly that they’ll probably be fairly low by the coming weekend.

With open water at Diamond Lake, it’s time for the ice fishers to put away their jigging rods and for Power Baiters to get busy. The local weather forecast looks like a mostly sunny weekend for lake fishers.