Conditions for crabbing and rockfish and lingcod angling in Coos Bay should be improving as the mud and heavy freshwater runoff subsides from recent storms. Using a jig with a twister tail has been a great bait for catching rockfish. Anglers have been catching lingcod with a herring floated under a bobber.
Trout fishing in streams and rivers will open May 22, 2019, while lakes in the basin are open year-round.
Striped bass and smallmouth bass should be active now, and there are no size limits or bag limits for these species in the Coquille Basin.
Diamond Lake is the hot place to be right now. Recent reports indicate most successful anglers are using flies and using a quick retrieve. The trout are hungry! On reports was of over 50 trout caught and released.
Make sure to contact Diamond Lake Lodge for up-to-date conditions. Anglers can check fishing and water conditions at Diamond Lake on the Diamond Lake Resort Facebook page, or call 541-793-3333 for updates. Diamond Lake is open year-round. Anglers should also check with the Umpqua National Forest (541-498-2531) for information on seasonal camp and ramp closures.
Diamond Lake has been stocked with tiger and brown trout. These fish are intended to assist in controlling illegally introduced tui chub. These trout are catch-and-release only and need to be released immediately and unharmed if caught.
As part of the 2016 regulation simplification process, Diamond Lake is now back to the Southwest Zone regulation of 5 rainbow trout per day.
Eel Lake will be stocked again this week with legal-size rainbow. In addition, the lake usually provides some holdover trout in excess of 15-inches long. The fishing dock is a great place for kids to fish. A small crappie jig tipped with a piece of worm, and rigged about two feet under a bobber will entice bluegill and crappie to bite.
Fishing for warmwater species should be good now, and these fish should be active with spring temperatures.
Galesville was stocked the week of April 29 and should have lots of trout from previous stockings. In addition to trout, the reservoir was stocked with coho smolts until 2015.
In Galesville Reservoir, all landlocked salmon are considered trout and are part of the five-per-day trout limit, with only one trout over 20-inches long allowed for harvest.
Fishing for bass and other panfish has been good. Good areas are near dead snags and the boat ramp. Try a slow retrieve with a diving crank bait.
Call 541-837-3302 for information on camping and boat launching conditions as the reservoir had been well below normal, but is finally filling again.
Fishing can be good this time of year at Lemolo Reservoir. The lake is scheduled to be stocked this week and there have been some good reports. Kokanee in Lemolo are considered trout and therefore fall under the daily limit for trout of 5 per day with only one of those measuring over 20-inches. Contact Lemolo Lake Resort at 541-957-8354 for weather/road conditions and additional information.
Lost Creek received its first stocking of 20,000 legal rainbow trout the week of April 1 and was stocked again the week of April 15 with another 15,000 legal sized trout and 800 trophy trout. There should still be good populations of holdover fish from last year as well.
Recent reports indicate the fishing has been good for trolling and bank angling. Last weekend fishing was reportedly good with large trout and a spring Chinook caught trolling off the Takelma boat ramp. Additional reports indicate trolling under Peyton Bridge has been good as well. The lake is 97 percent full and both ramps are usable.
Medco Lake was stocked with 2,000 legal-size rainbow trout the week of April 22. Largemouth bass and bluegill are available, and fishing for them is getting better with the warmer weather. Anglers are reminded that Medco Pond is privately owned. Gas engines are not allowed on the pond, and bank access is restricted to the west shore.
On the ocean, bottomfishing has been good when the ocean lays down and anglers have been able to make it out.
Beginning May 1, bottomfishing is restricted to inside the 40-fathom regulatory line. Fishing for lingcod and rockfish has been good when the ocean is calm enough to fish. The daily bag limit for marine fish is 5 plus 2 lingcod. The retention of cabezon is closed until July 2019.
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. Find information about a longleader setup here.
Ocean salmon fishing for Chinook salmon from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt is open. Chinook must be a minimum of 24-inches long. The ocean is close to coho salmon.
On the lower Rogue, anglers are still catching a few steelhead, but this run is winding down. Through April 30,one wild steelhead at least 24-inches may be harvested per day and three per year as part of a daily and annual salmon/steelhead bag limit. Beginning May 1, only hatchery steelhead may be retained.
From a boat or on shore, spring Chinook fishing is reaching its peak right now. Spinners, plugs, anchovies, and sardines have all been used successfully. Hatchery Chinook may be retained year-round. Wild Chinook opens for retention June 1. This spring, ODFW is conducting a genetic study on wild chinook by collecting fin tissue samples. Anglers interested in learning more and participating in this project can contact ODFW staff at 541-247-7605.
On the middle river, anglers were catching bright winter fish before the rain arrived and now that the river is back into shape fishing is ok. Both bank anglers fishing plugs and side-planners, and boat anglers are catching fish. Recent reports indicated plugs, eggs and yarn balls all producing winter fish from boats.
More hatchery spring Chinook have reportedly been caught in this section as well and many more should be arriving soon. Based on reports from the lower river, expect a good push of hatchery and wild spring Chinook to hit the middle Rogue very soon.
Fly anglers that nymph will want to use prince nymphs or copperswans, steelhead brassies, stone flies, ugly bugs, or will want to fish large dark flies if swinging. Don’t be afraid of color such as black and chartreuse, black and blue, black and purple, black and pink, or black and red. If tying your own flies, don’t be afraid to add a little bit of flash dubbing or tinsel in the body of your fly. Also, covering lots of water when working through a run is a good technique when swinging flies. Trying moving 4-5 feet downstream every cast or two.
Popular floats include: Gold Hill to Rogue River, Baker to Lathrop or Ferry Hole, or Griffin Park to Robertson Bridge.
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”.
The upper Rogue is in good shape and expect flows to hold around this level for the foreseeable feature. The higher flows from the last couple weeks have brought more winter steelhead and a few more spring Chinook into the upper Rogue. Trout fishing is closed and will reopen May 22.
There is good public access for bank fishing and boat access at Cole Rivers Hatchery, McGregor Park, Casey Park, Rogue Elk, Shady Cove, Takelma, Dodge Bridge, Modoc, Denman Wildlife Area, Touvelle State Park, Gold Ray and Fishers Ferry. Most floats in the upper Rogue have been from the hatchery or Rogue Elk downstream to Shady Cove. Dodge Bridge to Touvelle is an excellent float but anglers should be aware that they will encounter Rattlesnake Rapids. If you are not ready for Rattlesnake, many floats will start at the ODFW Modoc Access Site and float to Touvelle or Fishers Ferry.
Fly anglers that nymph will want to use prince nymphs or copperswans, steelhead brassies, stone flies, ugly bugs, or will want to fish large dark flies if swinging. Don’t be afraid of color such as black and chartreuse, black and blue, black and purple, black and pink, or black and red. If tying your own flies, don’t be afraid to add a little bit of flash dubbing or tinsel in the body of your fly. Also, covering lots of water when working through a run is a good technique when swinging flies. Trying moving 4-5 feet down every cast or two.
The Tenmile Lakes have been stocked with legal-size rainbow trout. Tenmile Lakes provide some nice holdover trout this time of year, and some can measure over 17-inches long. Try trolling slowly with a “wedding ring” type lure, tipped with a worm, to catch these larger trout.
Conditions should be prime for bass, crappie, bluegill, and brown bullhead catfish angling at this time. Anglers also use small jigs or a worm on a hook fished near the bottom to catch yellow perch this time of year.
All wild steelhead must be released in the Umpqua so please follow good catch-and-release techniques.
Spring Chinook should be in the river; however, reports have been mixed with some reporting good catch rates, and others reporting zeros. Most anglers fish for spring Chinook from a boat using plugs or bait.
Shad anglers are at the usual spots between Scottsburg and Roseburg, but no recent reports year. It should start up as we get closer to Mother’s Day (the usual start of the main part of the season).
Trout fishing will reopen on May 22, 2019.
On the north Umpqua River we are entering the “shoulder” season for steelhead. Most of the winters should be done spawning and heading out and some early summers might start showing up.
Spring Chinook are on their way, but no reports of anyone catching any yet.