The Family Fun Day, including a kid’s fishing event, at Upper Empire Lake will happen this Saturday, April 28 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Kids age 12 and older will need a fishing license to fish at the event.
Empire Lakes was stocked with “pounder” size trout last week and were stocked with trophy trout two weeks ago. Bank anglers have been catching trout fishing PowerBait near the bottom while anglers in small boats/kayaks are doing very well trolling spinners in the middle of the lakes.
A paved trail encircling the lakes allows easy access bank fishing. Located in the City of Coos Bay’s John Topits Park, near the community college.
Hyatt Lake will be stocked this week with 7,500 legal-sized rainbow trout. The lake is very low and access may be difficult. The best opportunity will be to fish from the bank or launch small watercraft along the western shore. The lake is 44 percent full.
Howard Prairie will be stocked this week with 7,500 legal-size rainbow trout. This along with the nice weather forecast for most of this week should make for good fishing. The lake is 64 percent full, and the Willow Point boat ramp is open.
With the onset of warmer temperatures, look for warmwater fishing to take off in places like Johnsons Mill Pond, maistem Coquille, Tenmile Lakes, Fords Pond, Galesville Reservoir, Agate Lake, Applegate Reservoir, Emigrant Reservoir, Lake Selmac, Lost Creek Reservoir, Willow Lake and others.
Johnsons Mill Pond was stocked with 3,000 legal-size trout earlier this month. The pond was stocked with trophy trout last month.
Largemouth bass will become more active with the warm, sunny days this week. Anglers should try fishing weedless jigs, topwater lures, or rubber worms to catch bass.
The Coquille Basin steelhead rivers are open until April 30.
Smallmouth bass will begin to bite throughout the mainstem as the water clears and temperatures warm. There is no size limit or daily bag limit on the number of smallmouth bass you can keep in the Coquille River Basin.
Legal-size rainbow trout were stocked in Tenmile Lakes earlier this month. Trout anglers trolling spinners and wedding rings in the main part of the lake are still catching holdover hatchery rainbow trout in Tenmile Lakes. Trout fishing is open all year in Tenmile Lakes.
Fishing for largemouth bass will pick up with the warm, sunny days. Water temperatures are in the mid-50s and bass will become more active in shallow water near weed lines and submerged logs.
Steelhead fishing is open upstream to Sisters Creek on the mainstem and to bridge ten (~14.5 miles up the N.F. Smith River Rd.) on the North Fork. Steelhead fishing above tidewater closes at the end of April.
Striped bass fishing usually picks up in the spring, but they can be hard to find.
The Coos Basin steelhead rivers are open until April 30.
Recreational fishing for bottomfish is open in the ocean along with bays and estuaries. The daily bag limit will be 5 marine fish plus 2 lingcod. There will be no retention of cabezon until July 1. Anglers have reported catching rockfish, greenling and striped surfperch inside Coos Bay near the north jetty and other submerged rock structures.
From April 1 through September 30 bottomfish anglers will need to fish inside the 30 fathom curve. The daily bag limit will be 5 marine fish plus 2 lingcod. There will be no retention of cabezon until July 1. Anglers are reporting catching black rockfish feeding near the surface. This is a great time to catch rockfish on light tackle.
The lower Rogue River water level had dropped quite a bit and Spring Chinook has started to turn on. Bank anglers plunking and anchored boats have had some success in the lower Rogue. Steelhead has been winding down, but can still be harvested through the rest of April. There should be great fishing opportunities over the next few weeks.
On the middle Rogue Steelhead fishing has been fair, and the first spring Chinook are arriving in the middle Rogue. Yarn balls, plugs and fly-fishing all work well.
The Rogue River is currently closed to trout fishing. It will reopen for trout on May 22.
Winter steelhead are available in the upper Rogue, and fishing has been good. The first spring Chinook of the season has arrived at Cole River Fish Hatchery.
Weather forecasts have been off a bit recently around the mainstem Umpqua River. Springers are still hard to come by and most winter steelhead have moved through the system. There should be more springers to come and the later part of April can be decent for winters.
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.
The river is looking really good for steelhead fishing and should be good through the end of the month. Chinook fishing opened on the North up to Deadline Falls, but very few have been caught so far.
There has definitely been a mix bag on the south Umpqua, but there are still some bright fish moving through the river. The Umpqua has a late run of steelhead and folks are still catching a few. The South Umpqua and Cow Creek close from May 1 through the 21.
From Pete Heley at PeteHeley.com
Spring chinook fishing has improved somewhat on both the Umpqua and Rogue rivers but no genuine lunkers have yet been reported on either river. Bank anglers casting large spinners for springers at Winchester Bay have yet to report any salmon taken. In the last two weeks most of the Umpqua River springers have been taken between Wells Creek and Elkton. Fishing is improving as the river drops and clears and shad could start biting at any time.
Smallmouth bass should start biting on both the Umpqua and Coquille rivers and muddy water can be both a blessing and a curse – limiting which lures are effective, but warming up much quicker than clear water. Smallmouths in Woahink Lake should be gradually moving into shallow water over the next few weeks as their spawn approaches.
With about half the bass in Woahink Lake now being smallmouths, it seems inevitable that some of them will leave the lake via the Woahink Creek outlet and end up in Siltcoos Lake – which doesn’t seem that suitable to them, but also reach the Siltcoos River outlet stream which is suitable for them. The same travel path has resulted in fair numbers of northern pikeminnows in the 100 yard stretch of stream immediately above the dam on the Siltcoos River – which is about three miles below the lake.
It looks like its going to be two to four weeks before the coastal largemouths get serious about spawning, but largemouth fisheries in the Medford area should be in their immediate pre-spawn stage, while spawning largemouths in the Roseburg area will lag their Medford-area brethren by about a week. Last week, two anglers fishing the upper end of Loon Lake, while using large rainbow trout-imitating lures accounted for six largemouth bass weighing at least five pounds. Warmer temperatures this week should allow for improved fishing in virtually all the bass and panfish lakes.
Numerous lakes in our area were planted last week and cool weather limited fishing success, so there should be plenty of stocked trout left. The only lake in our area stocked this week is Upper Empire Lake which received 2,000 trophy trout and will receive 2,500 legal rainbows next week. Other Coos County waters being stocked next week include Bradley Lake (3,000 legals); Eel Lake (3,000 legals) and the West Fork of the Millicoma River (500 legal rainbows).
Also stocked next week, Bluebill Lake gets its first trout stocking of 2018 – a plant of 3,000 legal rainbows. Other waters receiving trout next week include: North and South Tenmile Lakes with 3,000 legal rainbows each; Butterfield Lake (3,000 legals and 400 trophies) and Saunders Lake (3,000 legals). Florence-area lakes slated to be stocked next week include: Carter Lake (750 trophies); Cleawox Lake (345 legals and 1,477 trophies); Munsel Lake (1,650 trophies) and Sutton Lake (1,000 trophies).
Redtail surfperch were first reported in the Umpqua River last year during the last week in April – but then disappeared for nearly two weeks before they resumed their spawning run in earnest. Presently, anglers fishing the surf near the second parking lot south of Winchester Bay have been enjoying fair to good fishing while using two to three-inch pieces of Berkley sandworms in the camo color pattern.
With a slightly lower quota than last year, all-depth halibut for the central Oregon coast is set to begin its 3-day openers this year on May 10th. The openers for the spring season will be on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and the first four fixed or locked-in openers will be: May 10th – 12th; May 24th – 26th; June 7th – 9th and June 21st – 23rd.