Reports over the last couple of weeks indicate that the lingcod bite has slowed somewhat, however 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. Other species showing up on bottomfish trips include kelp greenling, with some petrale sole mixed in.
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.
Fishing has been good through the middle Rogue River with reports of fish being caught from Gold Hill to Galice. March into early April is typically peak migration through the middle Rogue for winter Steelhead. Yarn balls, plugs and fly-fishing all work well throughout the middle river.
The Rogue River is currently closed to trout fishing. It will reopen for trout on May 22.
As of Tuesday morning, the flow in Grants Pass was 2,090 cfs, the water temperature was 50oF, and the clarity was 3 NTUs. For those interested in checking conditions before getting on the river, the City of Grants Pass Water Division’s website offers information on river conditions at Grants Pass as well as a link to a river camera.
Winter steelhead are available in the upper Rogue, and fishing has been good. Updated fish counts at Cole Rivers Hatchery can be viewed here.
The lower elevation areas near Prospect are free of snow and open to trout fishing; however, high flow and cold water will make fishing difficult above Lost Creek Reservoir.
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.
Agate Lake has been stocked with larger-size rainbow trout, and should provide good trout fishing through the spring. Fishing for bass and other warmwater fish is improving. Fishing for these species will be best on the warmer afternoons. The reservoir is 100 percent full. The county park is open during daylight hours.
Emigrant reservoir has been stocked with legal- and larger-size rainbow trout. Fishing for bass and other warmwater fish is improving. Fishing for these species will be best on the warmer afternoons. The lake is currently 66 percent full, and the county boat ramp is open during daylight hours.
Expo Pond has been stocked with legal- and larger-sized rainbow trout. Fishing for bass and other warmwater fish is improving. Fishing for these species will be best on the warmer afternoons.
Anglers can fish the pond, which is now within a RV Park developed by Jackson County by parking in the lot to the right as you drive in Gate 5 and walking to the pond. A day use fee to park here is $4. An annual parking permit can be purchased from Jackson County Parks Department for $30.
Lake Selmac has been stocked with rainbow trout, and trout fishing has been good for bank and boat anglers. Fishing for bass and other warmwater species has also been good.
Reinhart Pond has been stocked with legal- and larger-size trout. Fishing for warmwater species is improving.
Recent rains have brought the Umpqua river levels back to around normal, anglers were catching a lot of fish in the Main, and it should still be good whenever conditions allow.
Chinook fishing has reopened on the Main; fishing should pick up as the river drops.
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.
Recent rains should make for some good fishing throughout the North. Chinook fishing opened on the North up to Deadline Falls. Springer fishing should start picking up any time.
On the South Umpqua fishing has been good recently with good numbers of hatchery fish being harvested and, with recent rains, fishing should be good throughout the South.
From Pete Heley at PeteHeley.com
Marine waters deeper than 30 fathoms closed to conventional bottomfishing March 31st and during the last few days of the season the fishing was very, very good with surprisingly heavy fishing pressure. Winchester Bay’s South Jetty has been fishing fair for rockfish, greenling and striped surfperch and good for lingcod.
Fishing pressure for ocean chinook has been very light and unproductive. Spring chinook fishing on the Rogue and Umpqua rivers has been slow, but should show gradual improvement as it is still early for that run. Although no lunker-sized springers have yet been reported caught in either river, hope fully their springers will not exhibit a shrinking average size to the degree that the Columbia River has.
Mingus Park Pond was indeed stocked last week, but I checked it twice last week and saw no evidence of trout. I watched several cormorants go fishless for an hour – yet a young lad started hooking nine to ten-inch rainbows every several casts. It was quite pleasing to note that cormorants are very inefficient trout predators in extremely shallow water.
Other Coos County waters being stocked this week include Butterfield Lake and Johnson Mill Pond with 3,000 legal rainbows each. Upper and Lower Empire Lakes are slated for 1,000 larger rainbows each.
Both Tenmile Creek and Eel Creek remain open for hatchery steelhead through April 30th and since both streams’ steelhead tend to be late-arriving – there should still be fair numbers of steelhead present.
Yellow perch in all area waters are in post-spawn mode, while smallmouth bass should be approaching pre-spawn mode. Crappie should begin spawning in late April. Largemouth bass should begin spawning in early May and bluegills should begin spawning in early June. Bullhead catfish usually spawn in late May or early June.
The Oregon Bass & Panfish Club recently celebrated its 60th anniversary with an active membership of more than 230. The Portland-based club has had as many 700 members during different periods in the club’s lifetime. The club performs many outdoor-related projects in northwest Oregon, but the neatest thing about the club, to me, is their multi-species fishing tournament where the length of the largest specimen of each fish species is recorded and the largest “total length” wins the tournament.
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.