June 2-3 is Free Fishing Weekend and you won’t need a license, tag or endorsement to fish anywhere in Oregon that’s open to fishing. Rockfish, halibut, ocean salmon, clams – take your pick! ODFW and its partners also will host several free trout fishing events throughout the state to help you and your family or friends get started.
Reports from the Central Coast last week were that rockfish were off the bite. Those that were caught had stomachs full of crab larvae. Lingcod success is marginal, limits are being caught but it takes a lot of time and work. Reminder that as of Sunday, April 1, the bottomfish fishery is restricted to inside of the 30 fathom regulatory line.
This past weekend, many anglers took advantage of the three day weekend and nice weather window to fish for halibut. Mixed reports of success, as there was very little drift at times.
Sport salmon fishing for Chinook is open in ocean waters from Cape Falcon (just North of Nehalem Bay) to the Oregon/California border for two salmon per day (all salmon except coho). Minimum sizes are 24-inches for Chinook and 20-inches for steelhead.
Salmon fishing has generally been slow to date. Most open areas are seeing one Chinook landed for every four angler trips.
The lower Rogue opens for hatchery and wild Chinook salmon June 1-Sept 30. In aggregate, two adult salmon or steelhead (hatchery steelhead only) per day, 20 per year. Five jack salmon per day, two daily jack limits in possession. Bank anglers plunking and anchored boats have had some success in the lower Rogue.
Fishing has been fair on the middle Rogue for spring Chinook salmon, and a mix of late winter and a few early summer steelhead. Back-bouncing bait and back-trolling plugs have been effective for boat anglers. Bank anglers can do well by drifting bait. Starting on June 1, anglers will be able to retain both hatchery and wild Chinook salmon in the river downstream of the Fishers Ferry Boat Ramp. Wild steelhead must still be released.
The Rogue River is again open for trout fishing. Only hatchery rainbow trout may be retained. All wild rainbow and cutthroat trout must be released.
Fishing for spring Chinook is good as more fish have moved into the upper Rogue River. Fishing for steelhead has been fair for a mix of late winter steelhead and a few early summer steelhead. Anglers are reminded that wild steelhead and salmon must be immediately released.
Fishing continues to be incredible at Diamond Lake. Most anglers are taking home limits of fishing averaging 15-inches. Trolling seems to be the most effective technique.
Streams and rivers opened in the Coquille River Basin to trout fishing on May 22. Anglers can use only artificial flies and lures in streams above tidewater, except the use of bait is allowed on the South Fork Coquille up to the Forest Service boundary upstream of Powers. The daily limit for trout in streams is 2 fish per day and they must be 8-inches or longer.
Smallmouth bass have started to bite in the mainstem Coquille River. Smallmouth are hitting on crankbaits, jigs and bait in the mainstem river. There is no size limit or daily bag limit on the number of smallmouth bass you can keep in the Coquille River Basin.
Anglers are reporting good catches of shad on the mainstem Coquille River near the town of Coquille. Some anglers have had success catching striped bass fishing at night from Coquille to Mrytle Point.
Legal-size rainbow trout are scheduled to be stocked in Tenmile Lakes this week. Trout anglers trolling spinners and wedding rings in the main part of the lake are still catching holdover hatchery rainbow trout in Tenmile Lakes. As water temperatures warm, trout fishing will be best in the early mornings. Trout fishing is open all year in Tenmile Lakes.
Fishing for largemouth bass is picking up with the warm, sunny days. Water temperatures are in the low-60s and bass will become very active in shallow water near weed lines and submerged logs.
Butterfield Lake was stocked last month with 3,000 legal-size and 400 larger-size rainbow trout. Largemouth bass fishing is best in the early mornings and late evenings. Anglers are having best success using crankbaits or jigs.
On the Umpqua, as we get move into June, Springer fishing slows with algae buildup. Anglers are reporting good shad fishing. Smallmouth bass fishing should continue to improve as we move closer to summer.
Trout fishing in the mainstem Umpqua opened May 22 and is catch-and-release only. Retention of trout is allow in the tributaries, which also opened May 22.