Southwest Oregon Fishing Reports
Bottomfishing is open to fish at all depths. The daily bag limit for marine fish is 5 of which only one can be a copper, quillback or China rockfish. Anglers are also allowed 2 lingcod per day. The harvest of cabezon will not open until July 1.
Anglers are starting to catch steelhead in the Tenmile, Coos and Coquille systems.
Steelhead fishing on the mainstem Umpqua has been pretty good, but with rain in the forecast for this weekend anglers might want to adjust their tactics for high water. Plunking is a popular choice.
Trout anglers can still catch fish that were stocked earlier in the year. As long as conditions allow, places like Lost Creek Reservoir can fish throughout the winter.
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.
Steelhead anglers have been catching a few steelhead this past week on the West Fork Millicoma, East Fork Millicoma and South Fork Coos rivers. 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 also in the North Fork and South Fork Coquille rivers. Most anglers will plunk in tidewater and drift eggs/yarn while fishing the North Fork and South Fork.
Winter steelhead fishing should start to pick up in the Lower Rogue. Anglers might want to try swinging flies, tossing spinners or running plugs. When expecting rain and rising river levels, consider switching tactics and anchor up and back-bounce eggs.
Bank anglers will want to look for fish on inside of bends in the river and slots along willow banks.
Half-pounders are still present in the Rogue Canyon, but anglers are reminded only hatchery trout can be retained.
There have been some good reports of steelhead continuing to come in, especially during or after a rain event. Summer steelhead are looking skinny as it nears their time to spawn, and some anglers may begin to encounter kelt or “down-runners,” fish that have already spawned and headed back to the ocean. Please treat these wild steelhead with care and release them unharmed so they can come back again next year.
Steelhead will bite on bait, spinners or a well-placed fly. Wild steelhead must be released unharmed unless you are below Hog Creek Boat Ramp, there anglers may keep 1 wild steelhead per day and 3 per year.
Steelhead fishing has been decent throughout the main Umpqua River. With rain in the forecast, the river may be a little high this weekend. 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 and anglers have been picking up some fish.