Anglers have been reporting slow rockfish bite the last couple of weeks. When weather and ocean conditions have allowed anglers to get out on the ocean, fishing can be good out of most ports. For larger lingcod, try fishing closer to shore instead of offshore, as a somewhat larger average size has been reported.
In the flatfish fishery, creels typically include sanddabs, sand sole, and Petrale sole. Creels from the Offshore longleader trips often consist of a nice grade of yellowtail, widow, and canary rockfishes.
Fish Lake was stocked recently with 700 larger-size rainbow trout. Tiger trout and Chinook salmon also have been stocked. Brook trout also are available. Fish Lake is currently ice-free but that could change depending on the weather. Reports from the lake indicate rainbow in the 14-inch range are being caught. Anglers have had good success in boats casting flies and lures like little close in to shore and retrieving back to the boat. The lake is currently 72 percent full. Anglers should be aware that a snow park permit is needed to use the USFS lot at the boat ramp in winter. The resort will be open Fridays through Sundays during the winter.
Winter steelhead fishing picked up on the lower Rogue River over the weekend with good catches reported by boat and bank anglers. Anglers plunking Spin ‘n Glos also reported catching a few spring chinook.
The middle Rogue is up a little and fishing for winter steelhead has been fair. Yarn balls, plugs and fly-fishing all work well throughout the middle river.
The river is also open for trout fishing. Five hatchery trout may be harvested per day. Wild trout must be released unharmed.
As of Tuesday morning, the flow in Grants Pass was 2,000 cfs, the water temperature was 43oF, and the clarity was 4 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 but with chronically low flow conditions it will take some time for large numbers of fish to arrive. Updated fish counts at Cole Rivers Hatchery can be viewed here.
Trout are also available. Only hatchery rainbow trout can be kept, while all cutthroat trout and wild rainbow trout must be released unharmed.
The steelhead rivers in the Coos Basin are running a little high after the rain over the weekend but are clearing quickly. Steelhead anglers are having success fishing eggs or yarn balls along the bottom or by fishing a jig suspended below a bobber. In the Coos Basin, 1 additional hatchery steelhead may be retained per day for a total aggregate of 3 adult hatchery fish harvested daily.
Anglers fishing the South Fork Coos River above Dellwood will need a permit from Weyerhaeuser, which allows the angler access up to the Seven Mile Bridge. Permits can be obtained at Weyerhaeuser’s Coos Bay office.
Recreational fishing for bottomfish is opened on Jan. 1 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 and lingcod inside Coos Bay near the north jetty.
Chetco and Elk Rivers – Steelhead fishing has been fair. With the recent rain, the water level is up and steelhead conditions are great.