SW Oregon Fishing Reports for May 25th, 2018

From ODF&W

Bottom Fishing

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.

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.

Halibut – The Columbia River Subarea nearshore fishery open days per week expands to seven day starting on Thursday, May 24, 2018. In the Central Oregon Coast Subarea, the next fixed all-depth dates are May 24-26; followed by June 7-9 and June 21-23. The Southern Oregon Subarea remains open seven days per week.

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, but last week catches bumped up to about one Chinook per three anglers.

Fishing continues to be incredible at Diamond Lake. 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.

Plenty of trout stocking this week in anticipation of the holiday weekend. Highlights include Applegate Reservoir (15,500 fish), Howard Prairie Reservoir (7,450) and Willow Lake (6,500).

The lower Rogue River is low and clear. The forecast is calling for a little bit of rain this week, but it’s not likely enough to make big changes in water conditions. 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.

In the middle, fishing has been fair for a 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. Anglers are reminded that wild steelhead and salmon must be immediately released.

The Rogue River reopened for trout on Tuesday, May 22. Only hatchery rainbow trout may be retained. All wild rainbow and cutthroat trout must be released.

Fishing for spring Chinook is improving as more fish move 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.

The weekly stocking of rainbow trout in the Rogue River above the reservoir will begin this week and continue through the summer.

Streams and rivers open 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.

Fishing has been good for bluegill and crappie in several are lakes and ponds including Eel Lake and Johnsons Mill and Powers pond. Bluegill fishing is a fun and easy way to introduce kids to fishing.