Southwest Oregon Fishing Reports
Some anglers have been catching trout at Eel Lake.
Hatchery steelhead returns in the Coos Basin will be down this year due to low smolt releases two years ago. Because of disease issues at the hatchery then, we were only able to release less than 40 percent of our production goal.
Fishing for rockfish inside the bay has been good near the submerged rock piles. Fishing is typically best near slack tide. Boat anglers are no longer able to harvest copper, quillback, or China rockfish for the remainder of the year because we reached our catch limit on these species. A jig with a twister tail can be a great bait for catching rockfish.
A few winter steelhead anglers are fishing the Coos Basin rivers with little to no success. The rain forecasted for the end of the week should get steelhead moving into the rivers as the water levels come down. Steelhead anglers wanting to fish the South Fork Coos River above Dellwood will need a fishing permit from Weyerhaeuser to access this portion of the river.
Anglers have reported catching a few steelhead in the tidewater sections of the Coquille River near Arago and the town of Coquille. Most anglers will plunk in these areas with a Spin-n-Glo tipped with eggs or sand shrimp. Anglers have reported catching a few steelhead in the tidewater sections of the Coquille River.
Half-pounders are still present in the Rogue Canyon, but anglers are reminded only hatchery trout can be retained.
Steelhead fishing was good this past weekend due to the bit of rain we got. This upcoming storm should also get fish moving and active for some great fishing until the river blows out. Fish are especially likely to move as the river clears up and is dropping back down to normal levels, but this may not happen until after the 25th.
Summer steelhead may begin moving into tributaries to spawn if water conditions allow. Spinners and flies are bringing in some nice large fish as they continue to move upstream. Wild steelhead must be released unharmed.
Some coho have been reported throughout the river, but they may be getting dark and ready to spawn. Only hatchery coho can be retained. Please release wild coho back into the river unharmed with minimal handling. Coho are aggressive and bite on flashy spinners with black, pink or purple.
Boaters floating from Hog Creek to Graves Creek should be familiar with the rapids in this section of river, and know their takeouts. Experienced oarsmen/woman are recommended here. There are many BLM public access points to bank fish from Hog Creek to Graves Creek. This is often referred to the “Galice area.”
Steelhead and trout remain open in the upper Rogue, and summer steelhead fishing has been good. Bait restrictions are in effect in some areas so be aware of the regulations where you are fishing. From Fishers Ferry to Shady Cove anglers cannot use bait. A simple setup of bouncing bait, or using lures such a spinner, a plug or a bead can be very effective in steelhead fishing.
With this week’s rain, steelhead fishing in the mainstem Umpqua should be picking up. River levels may be high for drift fishing, plunking may be a better strategy.
Lost Lake Reservoir will remain a good trout fishing destination throughout the winter.
Steelhead fishing should be starting up on the main Umpqua River. With rain in the forecast, the river may be a little high for drift fishing. A lot of anglers fish the main by “plunking.” This is usually a good strategy for water with more color and when the water is high. Make sure to turn in snouts from hatchery fish for a chance to win a gift card.
The mainstem South reopened to steelhead fishing Dec. 1. Fishing usually picks up in January, but with recent rains there may be a few steelhead around.
Bottomfishing is now open to fish at all depths. The daily bag limit for marine fish is 5 plus 2 lingcod.
The harvest of cabezon along with copper, quillback, and China rockfish are now all closed to boat anglers. Shore anglers will still be able to harvest these rockfish species (but are encouraged to release them) and 1 cabezon a day.
Anglers may also choose to fish the offshore longleader fishery outside of the 40-fathom regulatory line, which is open year round. The longleader fishery has a daily bag limit of 10 fish made of yellowtail, widow, canary, blue, deacon, redstripe, greenstripe, silvergray, and bocaccio rockfish. No other groundfish are allowed and offshore longleader fishing trips cannot be combined with traditional bottomfish, flatfish or halibut trips.