From ODF&W, Weekend fishing opportunities:
Off the coast:
When weather and ocean conditions have allowed anglers to get out on the ocean, bottom fishing has been good out of most ports. For larger lingcod, try fishing closer to shore instead of offshore.
In the flatfish fishery, creels typically include sanddabs, sand sole and Petrale sole. Creels from the Offshore Midwater Fishery (i.e., long-leader trips) often consist of a nice grade of yellowtail, widow, and canary rockfishes.
Weekend fishing opportunities include:
With steelhead rivers vacillating between low and clear, and high and muddy, anglers may want hit Garrison Lake for some trout fishing.
Lost Creek Reservoir is a winter trout fishing hot spot in the Rogue Valley.
Winter steelhead should pick up on the Coos and Coquille rivers once we get some significant rain.
Winter steelhead fishing should be good in the North Umpqua this weekend.
Anglers have been catching trout up to 19-inches while trolling in Tenmile Lakes.
Anglers have been catching some surfperch when ocean swells have been small.
Ocean fishing for bottomfish has been great when conditions allow.
Winter steelhead fishing has been fair on the Chetco River. Rain is expected by the weekend which should improve fishing conditions. Plunking will be good as flows drop and the river clears.
Coos River Basin
Rivers will be high and muddy after the rain this week. As the river levels drop to fishable levels, anglers should have good success fishing near the acclimation sites on the West Fork and East Fork Millicoma rivers and the South Fork Coos River. Steelhead anglers are having success fishing eggs or yarn balls along the bottom or by fishing a jig suspended below a bobber.
Coquille River Basin
The steelhead river levels are forecasted to be high and muddy with this week’s rain. When water levels drop to fishable conditions, anglers should have good success fishing at LaVerne Park on the North Fork Coquille or on the South Fork Coquille from Powers downstream to Broadbent. In the Coquille Basin 1 additional hatchery steelhead may be retained per day for a total aggregate of 3 adult fish harvested daily.
Rain this week should improve fishing conditions on the Elk River.
Rain brought the Illinois River up last week and will likely blow it out this week. However, a few winter steelhead showed up around Briggs Creek and fishing should only get better once the high flows from this week subside. Only hatchery trout may be retained. Wild steelhead over 24-inches may be harvested, 1 per day and 5 per year.
A few winter steelhead are being picked up by anglers plunking Spin-n-Glos on the lower Rogue River. Boat anglers are starting to catch more steelhead. Most fish are being caught while boats are anchored up and running plugs waiting for steelhead to move up river. Boat anglers side drifting eggs in the Agness area are also picking up a some fish.
The Rogue (middle) finally got some rain and flows increased leading to few winter steelhead caught around Galice. Fish should continue migrating upstream towards Grants Pass until the forecast rain this week likely blows the river out. However, expect more fish to be on the move after flows subside. The river is also open for trout fishing. Five hatchery trout may be harvested per day. Wild trout must be released unharmed.
Fishing is slow in the upper Rogue. A few summer fish are still around but should disperse into the tributaries after forecast rain this week. Winter steelhead are on the way and the increase in river flow will help them get here faster.
On the Umpqua River mainstem fishing has been hit or miss. There seems to be a few pods of steelhead moving through and the rain should help move them even more. With a lot of rain in the forecast, the Main may not be good for drift fishing, but could be good for plunking this weekend.
On the North Umpqua steelhead are being caught throughout the river. There is a lot of rain in the forecast, but it should be in good shape for the weekend.
The South Umpqua reopened on Dec. 1 to winter steelhead fishing. Anglers are having lots of success throughout the South. There also seems to be good numbers of hatchery fish. With a good amount of rain this week, the South may not be very fishable this weekend.
From our friend Pete Heley: at www.PeteHeley.com
It’s getting to be the time of year for Oregon’s fishing and outdoor recreation shows. I am going to mention them in chronological order. Since all of the shows are informative and entertaining – it will be up to you to visit their respective websites for additional information. Since the shows’ tickets seem to get more expensive every year, I encourage you to use discount tickets (Bi-Mart) and make sure to sign up for “free stuff” like the one-year subscription to “Northwest Sportsman” which is available at some of the shows.
February 2nd – 4th
KEZI EUGENE Boat and Sportsmen’s Show
at 796 W 13th Ave, Eugene (Lane Events Center)
Feb. 7th – 11th
Pacific Northwest Sportsmen’s Show
at the Portland Expo Center
2060 North Marine Dr, Portland,
February 16th – 18th
Roseburg Sportsmen and Outdoor Recreation Show
at the Douglas County Fairgrounds
2110 Frear St, Roseburg
Feb. 23rd – 25th
KVRD Sportsmen and Outdoor Recreational Show
Jackson County Fairgrounds
1 Peninger Rd, Central Point
March 1st – 4th
Central Oregon Sportsmen’s Show
Deschutes County Fairgrounds
3800 SE Airport Way, Redmond
The trout stocking schedules for the first three months of 2018 are now posted for the Northwest Zone, Coos/Coquille, Rogue, and Umpqua and South Coast districts and North Willamette and South Willamette areas. The ODFW will post the schedules for the rest of the state as soon as they are available.
The first trout plant in the Umpqua Zone will be at Cooper Creek Reservoir during the last week in January and will consist of 1,155 14-inch rainbow trout and 345 15-inch or larger rainbows. Loon Lake’s first plant will take place the last week of February and will consist of 1,500 legal rainbows. Lake Marie’s first trout plant will take place during the second week of March and will consist of 2,000 legal rainbows.
The Coos County lakes will begin receiving planted trout during the last week of February and Bradley Lake, Johnson Mill Pond, Powers Pond and Saunders Lake will each receive 3,000 legal trout.
Many Florence-area lakes will receive this year’s initial trout plants during the week beginning Feb. 5th which includes Alder Lake (850 legals, 100 12-inchers and 36 15-inchers); Buck Lake (36 15-inchers); Carter Lake (750 12-inchers); Cleawox Lake (3,000 legals, 450 12-inchers and 150 15-inchers); Dunes Lake (850 legals and 36 15-inchers); Lost Lake (500 12-inchers); Munsel Lake (1,500 12-inchers and 150 15-inchers); Perkins Lake (36 15-inchers) and Siltcoos Lagoon (425 legals and 35 15-inchers).
In a trend that seems sure to build or increase, the ODFW has begun buying some of the trout they plant from private hatcheries. Some of these hatcheries raise high quality fish, but I hope that dealing with profit-seeking ventures does not result in even smaller or fewer trout being planted.
Possibly because it’s pretty much the only coastal lake being targeted by bass anglers, Tenmile Lakes has been providing slow to fair bass fishing over the last couple of weeks. As for yellow perch, fishing has been slow, but since they will be spawning over the next six weeks, it should be the best time of the year to catch fat, egg-laden female perch weighing more than a pound.
Very rough ocean and surf conditions have temporarily halted surfperch fishing. The steep drop-offs along many beaches make it very difficult to retreat a sufficient distance from a rogue wave and jetties and shoreline rocks are dangerous as well. There was a wave-related fatality last week at Depoe Bay.
Possibly the best free fishing show in our area, the “Flyfishing Expo” put on by the Lower Umpqua Flycasters, will take place at the Reedsport Community Center on Saturday, Feb. 24th between 9 am and 3 pm.
A “Fishing and Conservation” class will be available for the Reedsport Charter School students who sign up for it. The class, organized by Steve Godin of “The Oregon Coast Anglers”, will be a series of nine classes with the first class being on Jan. 23rd and the final class being on Feb. 2nd. One of the OCA’S upcoming projects will be to place as many as 200 of the discarded Christmas trees they have collected into Camp Creek to improve habitat for young steelhead and salmon. The ODFW and students from the Reedsport Charter School will assist with the project.
Spring halibut season for the central Oregon coast will be the topic of Jan. 30 meeting in Newport. The OCA will continue efforts to get separate, but reasonable halibut quotas instead of being lumped in with the Newport area.
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.