SW Oregon Fishing Reports for May 11th, 2018

From ODF&W

Bottom Fishing

Weather last week cooperated and allowed some anglers to get out and target bottomfish. There were several reports of rockfish “boiling on the surface,” however they were hard to catch. There appears to be plenty of feed in the water, mainly crab larvae, which makes the rockfish a bit tougher to catch as they currently have plenty of food available. Reports indicate that lingcod are on the bite, with some good size fish still being caught. Several reports of lingcod with full stomachs of squid. Reminder that as of Sunday, April 1, the bottomfish fishery is restricted to inside of the 30 fathom regulatory line.

The longleader gear fishery outside of the 40 fathom regulatory line has been authorized to continue in April through September. Recent catches from the offshore longleader trips often consist of a nice grade of yellowtail, widow and canary rockfishes. Reminder that the Stonewall Bank Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation Area is closed to all bottomfish trips, including longleader trips.

Pacific Halibut

Recreational Pacific halibut fisheries began opening on May 1. Reminder that similar to the bottomfish fishery listed above, descending devices are mandatory when fishing for or retaining Pacific halibut. Early reports from the first Columbia River all-depth opening are that there was success with most fish ranging from 30-40 inches in length. This weekend (May 10-12) is the first opening for the Central Oregon Coast all-depth halibut. Make sure to check the weather forecast before departing.

Columbia River Subarea (Leadbetter Point, WA to Cape Falcon, OR)

The all-depth Pacific halibut fishery will be closing at 11:59 pm on Friday, May 11, due to projected attainment of the quota. News release.
Nearshore season: opens May 7, every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday inside the 40 fathom regulatory line, until Sept. 30 or quota attainment, whichever is earlier. Quota = 500 lbs.
Central Oregon Coast Subarea (Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain)

Spring all-depth season: Fixed open dates are: May 10-12, May 24-26, Jun 7-9, and June 21-23. If enough quota remains after the fixed dates, available back-up dates are: Jul 5-7 and July 19-21. Quota = 135,742 lbs.

Summer all-depth season: opens Aug. 3-4, every other Friday and Saturday, until Oct. 31 or quota attainment, whichever is earlier. Quota = 53,866 lbs.
Nearshore season: Opens June 1, seven days per week inside of the 40 fathom regulatory line, until Oct. 31 or quota attainment, whichever is earlier. Quota = 25,856 lbs.
Southern Oregon Subarea: opened May 1, seven days per week until Oct. 31 or quota attainment, whichever is earlier. Quota = 8,982 lbs.

Ocean Salmon

Sport salmon fishing for Chinook in ocean waters from Cape Falcon (just North of Nehalem Bay) to Humbug Mt. (just South of Port Orford) is open for two salmon per day (all salmon except coho). Minimum sizes are 24-inches for Chinook and 20-inches for steelhead.

Anglers are also reminded that within the 15 fathom depth contour off Tillamook Bay (Twin Rocks to Pyramid Rock) that all Chinook Salmon must have a healed fin clip. Salmon fishing has been very slow to date.

Surfperch fishing has been good when the ocean swells have been small. Anglers are having the best luck fishing the beaches with sand shrimp or Berkley Gulp sand worms. Anglers need to be careful of rough ocean conditions and sneaker waves.

Trout stocking is abundant, check the 2018 stocking schedule.

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 should be good. Look for these fish around the flooded willow and other structure. The reservoir is full. The county park is open during daylight hours.

Applegate Reservoir has been stocked with legal-size and trophy rainbow trout. Fishing has been good for larger trout. Bank anglers have done well near French Gulch. Trolling lures or lure and bait combinations has been effective. Casting flies should work as well. Fishing for smallmouth bass and other warmwater species should be good.

Burma Pond, located on BLM land east of the town of Wolf Creek, has been stocked with legal-size rainbow trout. Largemouth bass are also available.

Cooper Creek Reservoir fishing should be good with multiple stockings of trout in 2018. Cooper was also stocked in the last two years with coho salmon juveniles. These are often mistaken for kokanee. Anglers may retain up to 5 as part of their daily trout bag limit. Please remember to release those less than 8-inches. Anglers have reported catching a few coho.

Fishing have been incredible at Diamond Recently. Most anglers were taking home limits of fishing averaging 15-inches. Trolling seems to be the most effective technique. Camping is limited currently at some of the campgrounds.

Diamond Lake has been stocked with tiger trout. These fish are intended to assist in controlling illegally introduced tui chub. Tiger trout are catch-and-release only and need to be released immediately and unharmed if caught. As part of the 2016 regulation simplification process, Diamond Lake is now back to the Southwest Zone regulation of 5 rainbow trout per day.

Upper Empire Lake was stocked last week with lots of rainbow trout. 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.

Fish Lake has been stocked with legal-size rainbow trout. Tiger trout, Chinook salmon, and brook trout also are available. Trout fishing has been good for both bank and boat anglers. Larger tiger trout can be targeted by casting lures or streamer flies around structure, but remember that tiger trout must be immediately released unharmed.

Floras Lake was recently stocked with trophy trout. The lake is best fished by boat. Anglers can launch at an improved boat ramp at Boice Cope County Park. Boat anglers are reminded to clean all aquatic vegetation off their boats and trailers before heading home to help control the spread non-native plants and animals.

Galesville has been stocked several times this year and should have lots of trout from previous stockings. Recent stockings have included “trophy trout” weighing in close to two pounds. In addition to trout, the reservoir was stocked with coho smolts until 2015. Anglers have reported recent catches of coho measuring up to 14-inches. Many people mistakenly think these fish are kokanee. The coho smolts should be adipose fin-clipped, and please remember to release the ones smaller than 8-inches long.

In Galesville Reservoir, all landlocked salmon are considered trout and are part of the five-per-day trout limit, with only one trout over 20-inches long allowed for harvest.

Fishing for bass and other panfish should be decent. Good areas are near dead snags and the boat ramp.

Garrison Lake was recently stocked with legal and trophy-sized trout. Anglers slow trolling spinners, flies, or wedding ring spinners tipped with a worm all did well. Bank anglers can access the fishery from the 12th street or Pinehurst boat ramps and off Paradise Point Road. Anglers can check the stocking schedule for the weeks the lake is expected to be stocked.

Howard Prairie has been stocked with legal-size rainbow trout, and trout fishing has been good. The lake is 65 percent full, and the Willow Point boat ramp is open.

Hyatt Lake has been stocked with 7,500 legal-size rainbow trout. The Mountain View Boat Ramp is open; however, the BLM campground will not open until late May. The lake is very low (44 percent full) and access may be difficult for large boats.

Lake Marie has been stocked several times this year. Most anglers use PowerBait or worms to catch trout and yellow perch. The local STEP hatchery released clipped rainbow trout into Lake Marie in the spring of 2017. Anglers fishing the Lake Marie are asked to e-mail Greg.F.Huchko@state.or.us. Especially if they catch adipose fin-clipped fish. This will allow STEP to continue the project.

Lake Selmac has been stocked with legal-size rainbow trout, and trout fishing should be very good for bank and boat anglers. Fishing for bass and other warmwater species has also been good.

Lemolo was stocked last week and there should be good fishing conditions coming up. Kokanee in Lemolo are considered trout and therefore fall under the daily limit for trout of five per day with only one of those measuring over 20-inches. Contact Lemolo Lake Resort at 541-957-8354 for weather/road conditions and additional information.

Loon Lake was stocked last week and should have plenty of trout from other stockings. Fishing for crappie, bluegill and bass has been improving with recent warm weather. Slower presentations such as jigging can be a good technique. Visit the BLM and Loon Lake Resort websites for information on opening dates and camping.

Lost Creek Reservoir has been stocked with legal-size and trophy rainbow trout. Trout fishing has been good. Boat anglers can have success trolling along the dam and over shallower areas of the main reservoir. Bank anglers have good success on either side of the dam, but are reminded to not block access to the Takelma boat ramp.

Fishing for smallmouth and largemouth bass should be good as well.

Medco Pond has been stocked with legal-size rainbow trout, and fishing has been very good. Anglers are reminded that Medco Pond is privately owned. Gas engines are not allowed on the pond, and bank access is restricted to the west shore.

Mingus Park Pond was stocked with legal-size rainbow trout in late March. Anglers also catch big largemouth bass during the spring and summer.

Plat I was stocked recently and should have plenty of trout from other stockings. In addition to trout fishing, the lake also has good bass fishing. Where access is available, anglers may have success catching trout and bass with bait such as PowerBait and nightcrawlers.

Powers Pond was stocked this week with legal-size trout. Anglers are reporting good catches of trout using PowerBait. During the late spring fishing for largemouth bass, crappies and bluegills is good.

Reinhart Pond was stocked last week with legal-size trout. Fishing for trout and warmwater species has been very good. Suspending a worm below a bobber is a very effect here.

The lower Rogue River is low and clearing up. Bank anglers plunking and anchored boats have had some success in the lower Rogue. The river is open to hatchery steelhead harvest year-round. There should be great fishing opportunities over the next few weeks.

On the middle, steelhead are still present, and the first spring Chinook are arriving; however, numbers of each are currently low in the middle Rogue. Fishing should be fair. Anglers are reminded that wild steelhead and salmon must be immediately released.

On the upper river a few winter steelhead are still available in the upper Rogue, and the first few spring Chinook of the season have arrived at Cole River Fish Hatchery. Anglers are reminded that wild steelhead and salmon must be immediately released.

The Rogue River is currently closed to trout fishing. It will reopen for trout on May 22.

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.

Springers are still hard to come by on the mainstem of the Umpqua and most winter steelhead have moved through the system. There should be more springers to come, but fishing will slow down as algae builds with warming water temperatures.

Shad are starting to show up in good numbers and fishing should be good.

Smallmouth bass fishing should continue to improve as we move closer to summer.

Trout fishing in the mainstem Umpqua will reopen May 22, 2018 and is catch-and-release only. Retention of trout is allow in the tributaries, which also open May 22.

The north Umpqua River is looking really good for steelhead fishing and should be good for a little while longer. Chinook fishing opened on the North up to Deadline Falls, and a few are being caught.

The South Umpqua and Cow Creek are closed to all fishing from May 1 through May 21. This has been occurring for some time and is a conservation measure to protect migrating fish.

Willow Lake has been stocked with legal-sized rainbow trout, so trout fishing should be good. Angling for bass and other warmwater species should also be good with the warm weather forecast for the middle of this week. The boat ramp is open, and Jackson County has a few campsites and cabins available. The lake is full.

Fishing in the Triangle and South jetty has been successful.

From Pete Heley at PeteHeley.com

The very popular run of female surfperch that spawn in the three miles of Umpqua River above Winchester Bay has not started in earnest as of last weekend. It should happen any day and there were several perch taken last week around Marker 12. Several boats are fishing the area each day anticipating their arrival. In the meantime, all the local beaches are producing fair to good surf fishing for “pinkfins” with most people using Berkley Gulp sandworms for bait.

The South Jetty at Winchester Bay is still producing good lingcod fishing, as well as decent fishing for greenling, rockfish and striped surfperch. Pat Jones, a very successful lingcod angler, hit the South Jetty last Friday and caught ten lingcod, but forgot his measuring tape and since almost all of his fish were around the 22-inch minimum legal length – he went home with only one six pound lingcod.

Some nice smallmouth bass bailed out a fishing trip on a cool, windy day last week on Woahink Lake. They weighed between 1.5 and two pounds and fought well on a day when every other of Woahink’s fish species seemed lethargic. With the possible exception of Galesville Reservoir, Woahink offers the best lake fishing for smallmouth bass within a two-hour drive of Reedsport.

Most of the waters in central Oregon are now open and fishable, but kokanee fishing in Wickiup Reservoir has been very slow – to the point where nobody is complaining about the daily five kokanee limit. Most of the kokanee taken have been between 16 and 20-inches in length. Wickiup’s bassfishing is exceptional from late May through mid-August.