Fishing line: Week of Sept. 16, 2013

Published: Wednesday, Sep. 18, 2013 - 7:22 am

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento - Salmon fishing broke wide open last week, with many anglers picking up at least one fresh king salmon, and quite a few catching limits from Garcia Bend, through Freeport, Miller Park, the Minnow Hole, Discovery Park and Verona. Backtrolled plugs, big spinners, and jigs were all accounting for fish.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Woodfords - Fishing on the mid- and upper sections of river from Chico to the Barge Hole had been very good, but got even better this past week, as most guides were catching limits or near limits. Most fish are still very bright between Tisdale and Red Bluff, which was good during the week, but really took off toward the weekend. Most of the fish were being caught on backtrolled plugs, but a few were being caught on roe.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding - Trout fishing was very good again last week in the low flows, and even wading fly fishers were doing well around Redding. Spin fishermen were drifting nightcrawlers, Glo-Bugs, and crickets, while fly fishers dead-drifted nymphs under indicators.

BERKELEY - Three Berkeley boays on Wednesday ran trips with a combined 27 anglers who caught 217 tuna to 40 pounds. Salmon was slow, rockfish and lingcod were plentiful. Bonus catches of halibut perked up the fish reports along the Marin coast.

DELTA REGION - SACRAMENTO RIVER side - Most of the fishing attempts are for salmon, as the big ocean schools move through the Delta towards the rivers, and guide Danny Layne of Fish'n Dan's Guide Service said he's been working the Old Sac. from Isleton to the Deep Water Channel to the west for the past week and averaging about a fish per rod using Uncle Larry's and Silvertron Spinners off a spreader with a 1.5- to 2-ounce weight on the dropper. Each day he's seeing the fishing improve.

SAN JOAQUIN RIVER side - You either get the salmon if they're moving through, or you don't if they're not. Or, you might get a good bite for an hour, then nothing. Because it can run anytime day or night, Capt. Mike Gravert of Intimidator Sportfishing is running two trips a day, a morning one and a twilight one. Lots of small stripers are being found in the Stockton area and 8 Mile, and a 25 incher was caught last week at 8 Mile. There is more and more talk about a good striper run in the Antioch area. Catfishing is redhot almost anywhere on the San Joaquin side of the Delta right now - lots of hungry smallish catfish.

NORTH COAST RIVERS

COOS RIVER, Coos Bay, Ore. - This has been the hot spot for anglers this past week. Reports are that there has been some hot fishing. "I have been hearing reports of people getting their limits early on the Coos River," said WON Field Reporter Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Guide Service. "Plug cut herring is the most used bait here, while being trolled behind a flasher. Hwy 101 bridge below the casino has been the place to be. I would look at Marshfield Channel for next weeks hot spot on the river."

COQUILLE RIVER, Bandon, Ore. - The Chinook salmon have been racing out of the ocean and into the river system all of last week. "I found most of the salmon we caught were smaller than what I have seen in past years," said guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets. "There have been a lot of jack's caught that have been anywhere from 17 1/2 to 22 1/2 inches There have been some boat limits caught over the past week, but 2-3 fish has been the average for most anglers.

ROGUE RIVER; Gold Beach, Ore. - Fishing has improved, but still remains slow. More action is being seen across the bay in Gold Beach with the arrival of Coho salmon. Some Indian Creek fish are being caught.

RUSSIAN RIVER - Hundreds of coho (silver) salmon smolts were found in Willow Creek, a tributary near Jenner, a "breakthrough" in decades of efforts to try and restore a coho run to the river. Willow Creek has undergone substantial restoration work to make it possible for salmon to access the area where the smolts were found. Smallmouth bass are the only fishing option here right now.

TRINITY/KLAMATH RIVERS

KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen - Salmon fishing was good early in the week, but then the mouth nearly closed, plugged with sand, and fishing slowed dramatically, except for bankies lining beads at the mouth. They're catching lots of fish, many of them illegally, and wardens are issuing lots of tickets.

TRINITY RIVER, Willow Creek - Salmon fishing picked up a little bit in the lower end of the Trinity at places like Hawkins Bar, but still was slow. Most of those fish have yet to hit the upper Trinity at Del Loma and above. However, that first wave of steelhead that had provided such good fishing on the lower Klamath for the past month is now headed up the Trinity, and steelheading is improving by the day throughout the river. It's continued to be very hot, so higher flows are being provided by the US Bureau of Reclamation to the Trinity. That should also help attract fish to the Trinity.

SIERRA LAKES/RIVERS

BOCA LAKE - The lake is at 73-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. The fishing was good at the inlet and along the west end of the dam using Power Bait and Kastmaster spoons. Try around the boat ramp after the plant.

CAPLES LAKE - The lake is at 71-percent capacity. Dave Foley at Caples Lake Resort reported that fishing was excellent and Dale Daneman at Dale's Foothill Fishing Service described it as "wide open". Foley said that trollers were doing well using flasher/worms everywhere on the lake, but especially at Emigrant Bay. Daneman said he caught 19 rainbows in 3 1/2 hours on grubs and Sep's Strike master dodgers from the top to 15 feet deep. Shore fishing was good at the dam, spillway, and Wood's Creek using Power Bait and worms.

CARSON RIVER (East, West) - The West Carson is scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. A late week thunderstorm muddied the East Carson, but the water was expected to clear by early this week barring anymore weather. Todd Sodaro at Todd's Bait and Tackle in the Creekside Lodge said fishing was very good with rainbows to 4 1/2 pounds hitting flies, lures, and salmon eggs.

DAVIS LAKE - The lake is at 70-percent capacity. With cooler water, trolling was a bit improved, according to Ed Dillard at Dillard's Guided Fishing. Half-limits to limits in 4 hours could be expected trolling a copper/redhead Wee Dick Nite near the north end of the big island. Shore anglers were picking up some limits at Eagle Point, Mallard Point, and Fairview on Gulp! Eggs and Power Bait. Flyfishing was slow.

DONNER LAKE - The lake is scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Trout fishing was good at the west end docks--try around the boat ramp after the plant. The kokanee bite was improving with limits common for trollers working dodger/pink hoochie combos at 50 to 60 feet deep off China Cove and the west end beaches.

FEATHER RIVER CANYON - Mike Hanson at Caribou Crossroads Resort reported that fishing on the North Fork behind the resort was good for planter rainbows. The Caribou Powerhouse was producing some big rainbows to 7 pounds on Kastmasters and salmon eggs.

FRENCHMAN LAKE - The lake is at 52-percent capacity. As the water temp dropped, the fishing began to improve. Shore fishing at the dam was still the best using inflated nightcrawlers and Power Bait. Trolling improved as the fish moved shallower. Good numbers of small bullhead catfish were still hitting worms.

GOLD LAKES BASIN - Mark Tieslau at Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden reported that fishing was good at Gold Lake and Salmon Lake, but slow at Sardine Lake and Packer Lake. Trolling a flasher/worm or Dick Nite combo at 2 or 3 colors from the Gold Lake beach resort to the dam was producing some 12- to 14-inch browns and rainbows up to 18 inches.

ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR - The lake is at 60-percent capacity. Two new fires in the area this past weekend had the region blanketed in smoke--call ahead to check on access. The lake was stocked by the DFW this past week, so fishing should be good near the boat ramp.

INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR - With the Carson River receiving heavy plants from Alpine County and the DFW, there was little fishing pressure here this past week, according to Todd Sodaro at the Creekside Lodge.

JACKSON MEADOW RESERVOIR - Trollers were doing best across the face of the dam and down the west side toward Woodcamp using Rapalas and Dick Nite spoons. Shore anglers were doing well off the dam with inflated nightcrawlers and salmon eggs.

JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park) - Sly Park Resort reported that trollers were picking up some limits of small planters in front of the dam in a couple of hours in the early morning using flasher/worm combos.

LAKE TAHOE - The kokanee trolling/jigging season was winding down this past week as the majority of the fish had turned. Guides indicated that the eating quality of the fish was dropping off quickly and many dark fish were released trying to pick up some of the few remaining bright kokes. Mack trolling and jigging was still productive for fish to 13 pounds on both ends of the lake.

LOON LAKE - The lake is at 55-percent capacity. With cooler water, the bite should be good in the top 15 feet using dodger/threaded nightcrawler combos.

PROSSER LAKE - The lake is at 29-percent capacity. The lake was planted by the DFW a couple of weeks ago, but is very low--described as a "mud hole" by locals. Try the Prosser Creek inlet.

PYRAMID LAKE - Joe Mendes at Eagle Eye Charters reported catching 75 cutthroats on his last perch jigging trip. His clients landed 11-pound and 10-pound, 2-ounce lunkers on light spinning gear. The east side of the lake north of the Pyramid produced the best action. The lake "opens" for cutthroats Oct. 1.

RED LAKE - Cooler water should be perking up the bite for brookies and cutthroats on worms at the inlet and the dam.

SILVER LAKE - The lake is at 61-percent capacity. Fishing here was good for trollers and shore anglers.

STAMPEDE RESERVOIR - The lake is at 55-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. There was a big fish kill of kokanee and macks at the dam attributed to oxygen depletion, according to Mountain Hardware and Sports. Trout fishing from the shore was good using marshmallow/worms from the boat ramp toward the Sagehen arm. Kokanee trolling was good at the mouth of the Little Truckee and Sagehen arms as the fish stage for the spawn using dodger/hoochies or spinners in pink and purple at 45 to 50 feet deep.

TOPAZ LAKE - Still no boat launching due to low water levels and the trout season ends in two weeks on Sept. 30.

TRUCKEE RIVER - Flyfishing was best from the Boca Outlet through Stateline into Reno. Overcast days and thunderstorm rains cooled off the water and got the browns up and active. The bigger fish were hitting streamers, crayfish and big stone patterns. There were some BWO hatches coming off with the overcast weather, but dry fly activity was slow. The baetis nymph bite was better.

UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR - The lake is at 61-percent capacity. The DFW stocked the lake this past week so there should be decent action near the boat ramp for trollers and shore anglers. Only 3 or 4 kokanee were hitting on all morning long trips running dodger/hoochies or spinners at 70 to 80 feet deep near the dam.

WEST WALKER RIVER - The Toiyabe Motel reported that fishing pressure was very light this past week. River flows were low and the fish were concentrated in the deeper pools and runs in the canyon. Bait, lures, and flies were all working well for DFW planters and the few remaining Mono County trophy fish.

NorCal Saltwater

BODEGA BAY - New Sea Angler found albacore spread over a 30-mile area from the Farallones to Cordell Banks. Casting iron while sliding into areas of jumpers produced good counts. Halibut and salmon action kept nearshore boats busy. Excellent rockfish and lingcod fishing was enjoyed by boaters off of Fort Ross.

EMERYVILLE - Two boat limits of lingcod were reported, one aboard New Huck Finn and one aboard Sea Wolf. Salmon fishing on any given day was a roll of the dice, but generally slow. New Salmon Queen took 12 people to catch 152 albacore and left the fish biting.

EUREKA - Salmon season ended with some boats scoring limits. Albacore tested anglers' tackle and a couple of bluefin were caught. Pacific halibut bit off of Eureka and Trinidad. Red tail perch kept jetty fishers busy.

FORT BRAGG - Albacore slowed down but salmon fishing remained at a fish per rod success level along the edges of local kelp beds. Surf and jetty fishers scored perch, and good counts of greenling and cabezon. Locals Joel Hendricks and Phil Johnson took honors in the Trident X spearfishing tournament.

HALF MOON BAY - Queen of Hearts encountered a rare event when all sea critters went wild in a feeding frenzy, during which over a hundred albacore were hooked. Salmon fishing is slow but viable and rockfish is wide open.

LAWSON'S LANDING - A salmon derby Saturday was successful with a near 3-way tie between 19 pounders. Judges used secondary qualification criteria to determine that Gage Vogler won the event. Boaters also found halibut willing to bite in shallow water where herring and smelt were the best baits.

MARTINEZ - Striped bass and sturgeon fishing both proved productive, with the competitive edge going to stripers. Mothball Fleet area produced the best sturgeon bites, mostly on shrimp, while downstream areas seemed best for striped bass bites on bullhead baits.

SACRAMENTO VALLEY

AMERICAN RIVER - Salmon have showed up in good numbers for the first time this season with decent numbers of nice fish being caught all the way to Paradise Beach. The appearance of sea lions in the lower American also is a good indicator of the presence of lots of salmon making their spawning run. Fewer, but increasing numbers of salmon were being caught, mostly on backtrolled Kwikfish from Howe Ave. upstream. Some steelhead, mostly small ones were being caught by fly fishers above Watt Ave. on small nymphs, while spin fishermen were swinging spinners and spoons, and drifting nightcrawlers.

FEATHER RIVER - Flows dropped by half on the Feather River last week, and turned off the great salmon fishing that anglers had been experiencing. Bankies up by the Outlet were still catching mostly over-the-hill dark kings, but the bright salmon that most anglers were seeking were hunkering down in deep holes. However, some bright fish were still being caught all the way down to Star Bend. Not many anglers were fishing for steelhead, but there seem to be a good number of the halfpounders and some small adults are present, given the ones that are being caught accidentally by salmon fishermen backtrolling big plugs.

FOLSOM LAKE - The lake is still dropping slowing and is likely to hit the 400-foot elevation this week or early next week at which time 5 mph speed limit will be imposed. Meanwhile fishing has been slow nfor bass, which are looking for safety in deeper water. Most of the bite is drop-shotting Robo-Worms over submerged rock piles and off major points. Fishing for trout and landlocked king salmon likewise was slow, with only a few anglers trying. Speedy shiners trolled in front of the dam between 50 and 60 feet are fooling a few trout and salmon.

RANCHO SECO LAKE - A very few bass were being caught, mostly very early and late, but most of the fishing action continued to be on panfish, especially redeared sunfish.

UPPER SACRAMENTO/McCLOUD RIVERS - Fishing continued to be in the summer doldrums, with the McCloud a more enjoyable experience than the Upper Sac, if only because of the more comfortable chance to fish in the shade under vegetation. Planted trout in the Dunsmuir area offered better opportunities to feel a tug on the line, than downstream because of plants. On the McCloud, try around Ah-Di-Na and Ash Camp.

YUBA RIVER - Fly fishers continued to score on hoppers last week, but a more consistent bet was smaller dries like pmd's, and dead-drifted nymphs like rubberlegs, and micro-Mayflies. Use a big dry like a stimulator as the indicator.

NORTHEASTERN AREA

BAUM LAKE - Tough shore fishing here with all the growth, but the float tubers can work the open water at will and have a great time catching nice trout here on woolly buggers and other flies. Cooling weather will really kick it into gear.

CASSEL FOREBAY - Less pressure means fewer spooked trout, and that makes them easier to catch. Good trout fishing here for bait anglers dunking Power Bait, mini-crawlers or Pautzke's salmon eggs, but hardware will entice a bite now and then, too. Most are planters, but a few big fish are in the mix.

UPPER HAT CREEK - Fishing is always good here, but sometimes it's really, really good!! Lots of fish from multiple plants all summer long, and the trout truck is still dumping them twice a week, and now that there are fewer anglers, that means more fish for everyone who's still fishing. Worms on the free-drift are always productive, or with a tiny splitshot in deeper holes. It's getting colder, and that improves the bite.

PIT RIVER - Be there when the isonychia hatch begins - that's what makes the trout get stupid. Probably already going on in some stretches of river.

MANZANITA LAKE - Not many anglers here this time of year, but it's getting better fishing as it cools down. Caddis, midge and pmd's are all working early and late. Special regulations apply here, don't fish without reading them.

SHASTA LAKE - Guide Mike Elster fished the Dry Creek area over the weekend with "solid results" on kings and rainbows. He caught all his fish from 80 to 120 feet, hitting rolled shad and Apex in chrome and watermelon patterns. They only fished four hours and kept 4 kings from 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 pounds and two rainbows over 2 pounds. Small bass continue to dominate the bass scene.

NORTHERN FOOTHILLS

AMERICAN RIVER - The river was running low and clear, according to the Georgetown Ranger Station. Hikers can do well in the deeper pools on the Middle Fork and North Fork.

BULLARDS BAR - The lake is at 59-percent capacity. Will Fish Tackle in Auburn reported that trollers were catching limits of 10- to 12-inch kokanee at Garden Point using a white/redhead Dick Nite behind a chrome dodger at 30 to 40 feet deep. Boats drifting nightcrawlers 30 to 35 feet deep at the dam were picking up 12- to 14-inch trout and kokanee.

CAMP FAR WEST - The lake is very low but launching was still available on one lane at the ramp. North Shore Resort reported that very few anglers were out this past week and fishing was slow.

COLLINS LAKE - Collins Lake Resort reported that fishing was spotty this past week. With warmer water and fewer anglers, the best action reported was for catfish using anchovies, chicken livers, live crawdads, and nightcrawlers--some to 10 pounds. Trout fishing was slow, but one trio reported catching limits at the dam on nightcrawlers. Trollers were picking up a few rainbows on dodger/worm combos at 45 feet deep.

ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR - The lake is at 94-percent capacity. Mike Torres at Skippers cove Marina reported that trout fishing was good in the "No-Ski" area for boaters either drifting nightcrawlers or pulling up on shore and casting into deeper water. Largemouth bass to 6 pounds and smallmouth bass to 2 pounds were hitting worms and swimbaits near the boat ramp and in Hogsback Ravine and Black's Ravine.

FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR - The lake is at 45-percent capacity. Not much fishing pressure here.

FULLER LAKE - The lake is scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week.

HELL HOLE RESERVOIR - The lake is at 46-percent capacity and received a DFW trout plant this past week. The Georgetown Ranger Station reported that launching wasn't recommended for anything larger than a small aluminum boat with the ramp out of the water. Fishing should be good near the boat ramp for shore anglers and trollers.

LAKE OROVILLE - The lake is at 48-percent capacity. Bass fishing was still good this past week with inexperienced anglers catching 20 fish on a half day trip and 'good sticks' managing 40 fish, according to guide Ron Gandolfi. The bass were spread out from the bank to 30 feet deep chasing pond smelt and hitting swimbaits, spinnerbaits, drop-shot worms and Senkos, and tubes. Most of the fish were in the 1 1/2- to 1 3/4-pound class. Move to stay on fish!!

ROLLINS LAKE - -Fishing was slow, with few anglers reporting any big success. Bluegill fishing was good in the morning.

SCOTT'S FLAT LAKE - Will Fish Tackle in Auburn reported that trollers were picking up a few rainbows and browns at the dam using a bikini Needlefish/dodger combo at 20 to 30 feet deep. Jim Caldwell at the marina said anglers fishing off the point in the campgrounds were catching catfish to 3 pounds on blood bait.

SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR - Not much to report, with few anglers at the lake. As fall arrives and the water cools, fishing for holdover trout should improve.

STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR - Fishing was slow, according to the campground host, with few anglers at the lake.

THERMOLITO AFTERBAY - The lake was at the 132-foot elevation at press time--71-percent capacity. At this water level, the fish were still in the tules, but more toward the front edges. Pitch Senkos and jigs into the pockets in the early morning and run spinnerbaits in the gaps between clumps. The frog bite should still be good on hot afternoons.

MOTHERLODE

AMADOR LAKE - Things are slowing down here, and the restaurant is closed, only a dozen or so campers show up for the weekends, and there aren't that many anglers - it's that time of year! But catfishing is really good for those who try, and the night time bass guys are getting half a dozen apiece up to 6 pounds.

BEARDSLY RESERVOIR - According to the Strawberry Store, fishing is "quite good" in the afterbay at Beardlsey using big nightcrawlers, Panther Martins and Power Bait.

CAMANCHE LAKE - Catfishing is the main action here, although there are still some trout holding at 50 feet or so over cooler water. Bass fishing has been good early and late, but when it's a hot day, they're scarce. Use anything for the catfish, if they see it or smell it, they'll eat it.

DON PEDRO RESERVOIR - Not many reports this week, as even guide Monte Smith headed for the Sacramento River and salmon fishing in his new boat. Rainbows, king salmon and bass are all biting here, but you need to get down to 40 feet or more, generally, depending on where you're fishing and the time of day. Troll a minnow-imitating lure and you'll be surprised what you might hook up with.

LAKE MCSWAIN - Anglers are still scoring on the trout plant last week, and the trout have moved out some from the point by the Lake McSwain Marina, but are still biting there, too. Bait like Power Bait or an inflated 'crawler will work for shore anglers better than casting lures now, as the fish have become acclimated.

LAKE ALPINE - Trout plants keep the anglers happy here, and now and then a holdover 'bow gets the blood going. Trolling is always a good way to go here to locate the fish.

LAKE PARDEE - Catfishermen are having the best luck here now, mostly early and late, although if you go a little deeper you can still catch catfish all day long. Trout are scattered around the lake and most easily found by trollers rather than bankies, although the deeper lake areas can still be production.

MOSQUITO LAKES - These two small side-by-side lakes right alongside the highway don't get many fishermen, but those who try it do fair to good on planted rainbows, depending on when it was planted last.

NEW MELONES RESERVOIR - Best fishing here now is dusk and dawn, and during the night, when the catfish prowl the shallow water bays and the trout can be attracted to suspended lights over the side of a boat. Some kokanee still being caught up by the 49 bridge, but they're getting older. Bass are on a decent bite in the morning and evening.

NORTH COAST LAKES

CLEAR LAKE - Bass are on a good bite, with multiple 20-plus-pound limits caught during a 2-day tournament, according to guide Ross England of Clear Lake Guide Service, and the catfish are "on a tear" all over the lake, but keep your bait up off the bottom, these are channel cats, not bottom feeding cats. The bass are hammering almost any type of lure you want, on the top, mid-depth or deep running. All three arms are working well for the bass.

LAKE BERRYESSA - According to guide Don Paganelli, Lake Berryessa has been fishing very good with a great topwater bite in the morning working the weed lines in the backs of coves in the Narrows. Spinnerbaits and rip baits are also working. "Later we switch to working drop-shot rigs on outside points in the main body and working Blade Runner spoons over bait schools. Most of the fish run around 2 pounds, but we are getting some better fish mixed in." Most of the kokanee and king fishermen have stopped fishing here due to the older fish, but bass fishing has remained fair to very good at times, especially early and late in the day, or going deeper when the sun it on the water. Find the baitfish and you'll find the bass.

LAKE SOMONA - Bass fishing continues to reward anglers who are willing to get out early and throw topwater baits across main body points at daybreak, according to Scott Green. "Plenty of smallmouth bass to 2 pounds with an occasional largemouth to 4.5 pounds are smacking LuckyCraft Sammy 128's in shad patterns. As the sun pops up, go back and work those same points in 15 to 30 feet of water with drops-shot, jigs or Senkos for continued success. Angelo Flores of Santa Rosa managed a dozen fish to 4 pounds on topwater and Senkos this past week. Catfishing reports are slim to none with limited lake campers, but the landlocked steelhead are starting to show up for main lake trollers working the 25- to 45 foot depth of water with a variety of hardware, trolling flies and Apex. Call the Outdoor Pro Shop for updates."

- Western Outdoor News

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