Weather this last weekend kept most anglers off the ocean. However, reports over the previous couple of weeks indicated that the lingcod bite has slowed somewhat, but many anglers are still able to get their limits. Rockfish fishing has been a lot more hit and miss with anglers spending more time to catch close to their limit. Reminder that beginning Sunday, April 1, the bottomfish fishery is restricted to inside of the 30 fathom regulatory line. In the flatfish fishery, creels typically include sanddabs, sand sole and Petrale sole.
The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission will finalize the recreational halibut fisheries at their April 20 meeting.
On the Lower Rogue River conditions have been almost perfect and many steelhead are still being picked up. Spring chinook has started to turn on. Reports of catch are beginning to come in from excited anglers. There should be great fishing opportunities over the next few weeks.
Steelhead fishing has been good, and the first spring Chinook are arriving in the middle Rogue. Yarn balls, plugs and fly-fishing all work well throughout the middle river.
Recent rains have brought the river up, but there might be a small window to fish before it goes even higher this weekend on the Mainstem Umpqua River.
Chinook fishing has reopened on the Main; fishing has been slow with only a few reports of fish.
There have been reports of large groups of juvenile steelhead moving through the basin. Please remember to release these fish quickly and unharmed. Trout fishing in the mainstem Umpqua tributaries will reopen May 22, 2018 and is catch-and-release only.
On the North Umpqua steelhead fishing was realy good before the river came up. With more rain in the forecast steelhead fishing will likely be difficult. Chinook fishing opened on the North up to Deadline Falls, but very few have been caught so far.
The South Umpqua has a late run of steelhead. Watch the river level as fishing should be good if it drops back into shape.
Fishing for bass and other warmwater fish has been getting better, especially on warm afternoons. Consider Agate Lake, Emigrant Reservoir, Expo Pond, Lake Selmac and Reinhart Park Pond.
Anglers have reported catching rockfish and lingcod inside Coos Bay near the north jetty and other submerged rock structures.
From Pete Heley at PeteHeley.com
Quite a few area lakes received trout plants this week. Loon Lake and Lake Marie each received 1,000 legal rainbows. Other Douglas County lakes receiving trout plants include Ben Irving Reservoir with 1,000 legal rainbows; Plat ‘I’ Reservoir with 1,000 legal rainbows; Cooper Creek Reservoir with 1,500 legal rainbows and Galesville Reservoir with 1,667 trophy rainbows. Curry County lakes receiving trout plants included Floras Lake with 150 trophy trout and Garrison Lake with 250 trophies. In Coos County, Bradley Lake received 3,000 legal rainbows and 200 trophies and both Upper and Lower Empire lakes received 250 trophy rainbows. Florence-area lakes receiving trout plants included Carter Lake with 750 trophy rainbows; Cleawox Lake with 1,475 trophy rainbows and Woahink Lake with 1,000 trophy rainbows.
Winchester Bay’s South Jetty continues to offer good fishing for lingcod and rockfish – as does virtually every saltwater jetty in Oregon. Striped surfperch are entering their pre-spawn period and have also been biting well. Greenling, which no longer have a minimum size limit, are being caught primarily on the ocean side of the south side of the “Triangle”.
Redtail surfperch, often called “pinkfins” and walleye surfperch have been biting well on the beach adjacent to the second parking lot south of the Triangle. Other popular surfperch spots are Horsfall Beach near North Bend, Sparrow Park Road near Gardiner and near the mouth of the Siltcoos River at the end of Siltcoos Beach Access Road.
The much-anticipated run of female redtail surfperch up the Umpqua River usually starts around the first week in May and lasts until late July
The first shad should be bending rods on the Umpqua River near Sawyers Rapids and Yellow Creek within the next couple of weeks.
Spring chinook fishing on the Umpqua and Rogue rivers continues to be slow, but it is still early in the season and fishing should improve.
Striped bass should be on the agenda. On the Smith River, stripers seem to school up in a few holes on the North Fork about three miles upstream of where the North Fork Smith River enters the mainstem Smith River. It seems that every year a few stripers are spotted in the Umpqua River near Sawyer’s Rapids – but seldom fished for. On the Coquille River, the spring striper fishery occurs from the Arago Boat Ramp upriver.
On the Coquille River in the spring, muddy water is often a factor limiting fishing success.
As for largemouth bass angling, some of the larger coastal lakes have water temperatures in the mid-50’s. However for the next couple of weeks we won’t have a series of consecutive warm days needed to raise water temperatures a noticeable amount.
Some of the shallow lakes in the southern Willamette valley in which fishing may improve during a single warmer day would be Ford’s Pond, Plat ‘I’ Reservoir and Selmac Lake.
Pete Heley works part-time at the Stockade Market & Tackle, across from A’ Dock, in Winchester Bay where he is more than happy to swap fishing info with anyone.