The recent heavy rains have flushed out to sea a scent that king salmon hone in on, which brings more opportunity for anglers.
The Rogue River is going to have another year of big fish and when it starts, it will be wide open.
Several fish this past week tipped the scales from 22 to 28 pounds. They were caught using straight herring baits on a spreader spinning in the current with the boat anchored.
Other fish were enticed to slam spinner-bladed anchovies. Be sure to have on hand red, gold, silver and Chartruse CV7 or G-spot spinner blades to swap out at a moment's notice.
Most of the action should be just above the Woodruff Riffle, Birthday Hole, Clay Banks, Johns Hole and the Fairy Hole.
Year after year, guides Mark Van Hook, Jim Bansemer, Terry Kennedy, Dave Anderson, Sam Waller and other guides hook plenty of big fish. I expect to see more 30-plus-pounders this year than in previous years.
Lingcods are on the prowl. Dozens of them were brought in recently between rains. They averaged 7-12 pounds.
Anglers Otto Eid and Greg Papas of Northern California caught their limits of rockfish and lingcod at depths less than 25 feet using green scampi tails and 1-ounce jig heads. Blacks averaged 2 pounds with several over 6 pounds. Lingcods were taken on large Cocahoes and frozen sardines.
Dennis Hamilton and Lynne Jointer also landed limits of both black and blue rockfish in 90 minutes while fishing out front of the Brookings' harbor just north of the red buoy.
Clear-sparkle scampi tails and 1-ounce jig heads did the trick here. They also marked bait fish by Bird Island.
Coos Bay and ocean
Surfperch bite has been slow off ocean beaches. Sport salmon angling in the ocean opened April 1 for species other than coho.
The PFMC and Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted the summer ocean salmon seasons last week.
From Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain are open every day through Oct. 31 for all but coho salmon, except where provided in the Selective Coho Fishery. The bag limit is two salmon per day with no more than six harvested in seven consecutive days. Anglers must use no more than two single-point, single-shank, barbless hooks in the ocean fishery.
The Selective Coho Fishing will run from July 7 through Aug. 4 or until a quota of 22,500 is met. During this fishery, adipose fin-clipped coho may be retained within the two fish daily bag limit.
Steelhead angling is essentially over in the Coos Basin and Coquille Basin area. Although there are areas that are open year-round for steelhead, the fish are now spawning or spawned out.
Coos County Lakes:
Bradley, Eel, Saunders, Bluebill and Empire lakes as well as Johnson Pond and Powers Pond have been stocked with rainbow trout (8-10 inches).
Empire and Bradley were stocked in March with trophy-sized trout averaging 4 pounds. Both lakes and Johnson Pond will receive another stocking of trout in early May.
Angling for warm-water fish such as largemouth bass, black crappie and bluegill is improving in Tenmile Lake and other Coos County lakes. A 6-pound largemouth bass was caught and released in Tenmile Lake during a recent bass tournament.
Upper Rogue River:
Fishing for winter steelhead is fair to good. Anglers may keep one unmarked steelhead at least 24 inches in length per day, five per season through April 30. The river is closed to trout angling through May 24.
South Coast Streams:
The Sixes, Elk, Hunter, and Pistol are closed to fishing.
South Coast Lakes/Ponds:
Floras Lake, Garrison Lake and Libby Pond will be stocked monthly until Free Fishing Weekend in June. Check our Web site (http://www.dfw.state.or.us) or call the Gold Beach Field Office at (541) 247-7605 for stocking schedule. Five trout per day may be kept with 8-inch minimum length. Only one trout over 20 inches may be kept per day.
All Sports Ponds:
These ponds near Grants Pass were recently stocked with legal-sized trout. All ponds are producing very well.
The reservoir was recently stocked with legal-sized trout and surplus adult winter steelhead. These are big fish, so get the kids out.
Lost Creek Reservoir:
Trout angling is fair to good on bait and trolling. It was recently stocked with legal- sized trout.
Rainbow Trout have been stocked at the following lakes: Willow, Selmac, Emigrant, Lost Creek Reservoir, Ben Irving, Plat, Cooper Creek and Loon Lake last week.
Marie Lake will be stocked this week, along with Cooper, Galesville and Plat again.
North Umpqua River:
Winter steelhead fishing is fair to good in the all-angling section and fly-only section. The fly-only section is restricted to single, barbless, unweighted artificial flies only. The first spring Chinook was caught near the narrows.
Question of the week:
Craig Luedeman asks: andquot;The first season will run from May 15-June 30. Do you know what the prospects are for the king run this year?andquot;
This is going to be another year of catching big fish.
As far as where to fish, I head out through the Jaws and drop my down riggers, one at 15 feet and the other at 25 feet. I use herring on a rotary salmon killer with a large O'ki flasher.
My course is toward the bouys before I head out a mile or two in front of Bird Island and make a big circle. If nothing happens, I will stay in a big circle around the bouys and tune into Channel 2 on the CB.
Don't fish deep because 10 percent of all salmon I have taken were at 25-30 feet deep, while 90 percent including two over 50 pounds, were between 15-20 feet. I also have a dozen baits prerigged that can be changed quickly.
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