The yearly ODFW trout stocking schedule is not yet available on their online website, but last year, trout plants for the northwest region started the second week of February. Native and carryover trout should be available in some of the larger lakes in the region such as Devils Lake, Siltcoos Lake, Tahkenitch Lake and to a lesser extent, Big Creek reservoirs, Mercer, Munsel, Olalla Lake, Sutton and Woahink lakes.
Some of the sloughs, including Youngs Bay, offer some surprisingly good, but very much overlooked, crayfish populations.
Fishing for yellow perch should be improving over the next several weeks in virtually all of the area lakes. Try fishing deeper during colder weather. Seldom taken incidentally by perch anglers, brown bullheads can be taken in good numbers during the winter and early spring months in the more shallow coastal lakes since that is where the water is warmest. In Siltcoos and Tahkenitch lakes, that means fishing in water more than 15 feet deep
Steelhead fishing in most streams is slow to fair and low stream flows and clear water limits steelhead activity and the amount of fresh fish entering area streams. However, this is the time when the success rates between experienced, stealthy finesse anglers and other anglers shows its biggest gap. A wise move is to get last minute info on stream flows and water levels locally before deciding where to fish.
There usually are a few bass anglers that start fishing some of the area lakes for bass. Sunset and Cullaby lakes are relatively shallow and seem to perk up, fishing-wise, the earliest and each of these lakes have produced bass weighing well over nine pounds. Eckman Lake, just east of Waldport, is also very shallow and capable of producing large, if not numerous, bass during any brief warm spell during the late winter and early spring.
Once rated Oregon’s top bass lake, Siltcoos Lake bassfishing has fallen on hard times. The bass still reach large size, but the numbers of bass is only a fraction of what it was during the lake’s “glory” years. Tahkenitch Lake seems to have recovered from more than a decade of low bass numbers and some very large bass have been taken in recent years.