Top Picks• DELTA REGION: SACRAMENTO RIVER side – A new pod of salmon came through this past week bringing larger, bright fish. T-Roy’s Guide Service had the Freeport to Clarksburg stretch to himself and reported fish from 20 to 30 pounds.
• SAN JOAQUIN RIVER side –
Broad Slough was a good spot for stripers to 31 inches. The Antioch Pier was the hot spot for stripers, but is also becoming known for the sturgeon being caught there.• PYRAMID LAKE – George Molino at Cutthroat Charters reported catching 14 trout on his last trip from 15 to 23 inches with only three 17- to 20-inch keepers trolling Apex 25 to 40 feet deep over 45 to 70 feet of water from Pelican to Spider Point. Valarie Taylor at Crosby’s Lodge reported a great week for big fish brought in for weighing. Tom Zimmerman of Nevada City caught a 20-pound, 5-ounce lunker trolling a Father Murphy Vibrator at Hell’s Kitchen. She also checked in three 15 pounders and two 14 pounders, most of which were caught from shore. Joe Mendes at Eagle Eye Charters reported catching 25 fish on his last trip including 9 1/2 and 6 pounders trolling bleeding frog FlatFish from Warrior to Monument at 25 to 35 feet deep.
• AMERICAN RIVER – The fish ladder at Nimbus Fish Hatchery opened last week to accept salmon into the holding ponds. Viewing is available until 4:30 p.m. There was reported vandalism of the fish racks blocking salmon passage upstream into Nimbus Basin, and anglers were shoulder-to-shoulder, fishing for mostly dark fish. Steelheading was pretty good again around River Bend Park, Watt Avenue, and Howe Avenue on a mix of halfpounders and the occasional adult. Drift nightcrawlers, swing spinners and small spoons, or dead drift nymphs and egg patterns under indicators.
• SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento –
Salmon fishing was very good between Clarksburg and Verona on some days as new schools of fish passed through the area. These are now the prime quality late fall fish, but not as numerous as the fall run. Fishing for striped bass was excellent at the mouths of the Miners and Cache sloughs.
NORTH COAST RIVERS• CHETCO RIVER, Ore. – The opener of the river proper last week was slow, and most guides cancelled their trip because of the low, clear water, making it difficult to backbounce or drift baits. “Large concentrations of fall king salmon were present from Social Security Bar to Loeb Park, but limited flows made back-bouncing and pulling plugs tough,” said guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing. “Anglers did connect on some nice kings floating roe or sandshrimp below bobbers.”
• COOS RIVER, South Fork, Coos Bay, Ore. –
“Middle of this last week in the Daniels Creek area of the South Fork on upriver for about 1 1/2 miles was good fishing as compared to years of the past,” Palmer reported. “One morning trip produced four large Chinooks, of which all were returned unharmed. Fishing this time of year on this system produces a lot of dark fish, so understandably, two of the salmon were black. However the other two were surprisingly bright kings. Done fishing at 10:30 a.m. is the beginning of a nice day.” He didn’t find any coho in that section, but a friend named “Cooper” found them up upriver to the Old Log Dump.
• MILLACOMA RIVER, Coos River; Coos Bay, Ore. – Late season salmon fishing just became the season to remember for a few anglers this last weekend on the Millacoma River, according to Won Field Reporter and guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets. He said the confluence of the Millacoma River and the South Fork Coos turned on for fall kings for those using eggs under a bobber in deep pockets. They caught big numbers of kings, more than he ever has. A few others also did well trolling Blue Fox spinners, mostly dark fish, though, with a bright one here and there.
• ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Ore. – Salmon fishing on the Rogue Bay has wound down for the season, creating a lull in the action as anglers await the first winter steelhead of the year, according to guide and Won Field reporter Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing. “A few hatchery kings and wild coho salmon were still milling around the bay last week, but action was slow,” he said. “Steelhead will begin to enter the Rogue after the next big rain, with fishing generally picking up from Thanksgiving through March.”
• RUSSIAN RIVER – They bulldozed the mouth open two weeks ago and a few halfpounder steelhead came into the river, but high tides closed it back up almost immediately, and no new fish have entered the river. No reports of adult steelies yet, and no salmon. Wait for the first big rain to blow it out and bring them in.
• SIXES RIVER, Port Orford, Ore. – “I have not heard of anyone fishing this river over the last week,” said guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets. “With the start of the rain, I am planning on starting my season on this river on Nov. 7. I will be concentrating on the bottom section from the grange to Hughes House. Pictures of the day to hopefully be in next week’s Won.”
• SMITH RIVER – November began with continued low flows on the Smith River, which was running at 440 cfs on Sunday, below the 600 cfs minimum to allow an opener above Rowdy Creek, according to guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing, and confirmed by Phil DeSautel of Phil’s Smiling Salmon Guide Service. There were fish moving in the tidewater, but fishing was slow below the closure at Rowdy Creek. Expect it to go wide open after the next rain.
TRINITY/KLAMATH RIVERS• KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen – Salmon fishing was slow, once again, and most anglers have given up. Some steelhead are coming through, both halfpounders and adults. Blue Creek, Johnson’s Riffle, the mouth of the Trinity and Somes Bar are a few of the better spots. Spin fishermen are drifting ’crawlers and swinging spinners and small spoons, while fly fishers are swinging Hiltons, brindle bugs, assassins and green-butted skunks.
• KLAMATH RIVER, Iron Gate – Some salmon are still spawning, but fishing for them is over, and anglers have gone to steelhead, catching from 5 to 10 adults from 2 to 6 pounds an outing. Most of the success has been by backtrolling small plugs, and drifting roe. Not much in the way of fly fishing yet, but drifting egg patterns and swinging assassins and green-butted skunks should attract a few strikes.
• TRINITY RIVER, Junction City – There are a few dark salmon still spawning, but only the very rare new arrival, so most anglers have switched to fishing for steelhead, which was fair last week. Some big brown trout are being caught, as well. It’s an early morning and late afternoon affair because the gin-clear water and low flows. Fishing pressure was low, and the few anglers who were out were fishing from Junction City to Del Loma, Douglas City to Junction City and Bucktail to Steel Bridge.
NORTH COAST LAKES• CLEAR LAKE – The mid section of the lake was added as an option to the south end, as a good bite for some nice bass continued. While most have switched to fishing with live bait, the risk is losing it to a catfish. Fish shallow in an effort to avoid them, but watch for rocks since the lake is low. Anglers using artificials are finding success with jigs, deep diving crankbaits and swimbaits worked slowly over the rocks in the deeper areas.
• LAKE BERRYESSA – The best bet has been from just off the Big Island to the Ranch House and down to Skiers Cove. Trout trollers should be toplining or targeting the top 15 feet with a variety of hardware. For bass, the best technique has been shad-patterned 1-ounce spoons fished horizontally.
• LAKE SONOMA – A good rain is needed to stir things up for bass fishing. Anglers are topline trolling for landlocked steelhead. Please consider releasing them, as they will never be planted here again.
NORTHEASTERN AREA• LAKE ALMANOR – Wind was an issue this past week, so there were few reports. Now that the lake has turned over, expect to find fish at all depths.
• BAUM LAKE – DFW continues to plant this lake and recently stocked it with some nice brown trout. Remember this lake is open all year and there is not much pressure here. Try the east side early in the day.
• CASSEL FOREBAY – Fishing should remain decent here until the end of the season. Especially since fewer anglers are fishing here now.
• EAGLE LAKE – Sep’s 2-inch orange or watermelon colored grubs and Red Dog lure by Sure Catch with the gold back have all been favorites. The Youth Camp and the Eagle’s Nest were popular sites, but the shoreline fishing was slow. It’s also time to throw your snow chains in the trunk just in case.
• FALL RIVER – Time’s running out to fish here since it closes on Nov. 15, so pack your bags because the fishing has been good.
• UPPER HAT CREEK – The bite has been good until mid day and then again close to sunset when the bugs are more active again. As usual the Power House no. 2 riffle has been good and uncrowded.
• PIT RIVER – With colder weather the water has dropped a few degrees and the better bite has been in the afternoon to early evening.
• McCLOUD RIVER – Cooler weather and overnight temperatures have helped the bite with a few huge browns coming out of the Ash Camp area. Water conditions here have also been good.
• SHASTA LAKE – Centemudi, Sugar Loaf and Jones Valley and Bridge Bay are the only launches still in the water, but all that is needed is a little rain to get others back in. A little rain will also help the fishing. There are numbers of small bass in the bait balls providing good action all day with a 3/8- to 1/2-ounce spoons. Bait has been at 40 to 60 feet so the trout are deeper.
SIERRA LAKES/RIVERS• BOCA LAKE – The lake is at 30-percent capacity. The best bet was fishing at the inlet where the oxygen content of the water was higher and more attractive to the trout.
• CAPLES LAKE – With no boat ramps open and Caples Lake Resort closed until Christmas; the only option is shore fishing at the dam and spillway.
• CARSON RIVER (East, West) – Todd Sodaro at Todd’s Bait and Tackle at the Creekside Lodge reported that fishing was excellent on both the East and West Carson. With light fishing pressure, the bite should last until the end of the season on Nov. 15. Sodaro said bait was working better than flies with the colder water temps.
• DAVIS LAKE – The lake is at 67-percent capacity. Ed Dillard at Dillard’s Guided Fishing reported that trollers were doing well if they could find a weed-free area to fish - the amount of floating weed has diminished some with the colder weather. Dillard recommended the area from Honker to Mallard using woolly buggers, Needlefish, Dick Nites and flasher/worm combos. Shore fishing was good at Fairview, Coot, Mallard, and Eagle Point using Power Bait. Try the flyfishing at Mosquito with a nymph/indicator or a stripped nymph on an intermediate sinker at 6 to 10 feet deep.
• DONNER LAKE – The rainbow trout fishing was good at the west end near the boat ramp and off the nearby public piers. Look for macks in deep water and try jigging for them.
• FEATHER RIVER CANYON – Mike Hanson at the Caribou Crossroads Resort reported that fishing in the North Fork was slow.
• FRENCHMAN LAKE – The lake is at 50-percent capacity. Wiggins Trading Post reported that trollers were doing well using firetiger Needlefish and Dick Nite spoons. Shore fishing was good at the dam and Lunker Point. Flyfishermen were picking up some limits at Turkey Point on Sheep Creek Specials.
• GOLD LAKES BASIN – Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden reported that shore fishing and trolling was good at Gold Lake.
• ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR – The lake is at 56-percent capacity. Dale Daneman at Dale’s Foothill Fishing Service reported a Sunday trip produced 25 fish in 4 hours trolling a watermelon Strike Master Dodger and Sep’s brown grub in the top 15 feet. The fish ran from 10 to 13 inches - all planter rainbows. Fishing should remain excellent until the weather prevents access.
• INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR – No change here - little pressure with the excellent fishing in the nearby Carson River. Alpine County will stock the lake this month with 1800 pounds of 1 1/2- to 5 pound rainbows.
• JACKSON MEADOW RESERVOIR – Troll the inlet area for browns staging to spawn or those returning to the lake post-spawn. Troll the dam for nice rainbows using spoons and stickbaits.
• JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park) – Denise Cole at Sly Park Resort reported that shore fishing was good at the boat ramp for planter rainbows using Power Bait and worms. The access to the upper end of the lake was closed for the season.
• LAKE TAHOE – Mike Nielsen at Tahoe Topliners Sportfishing reported that mack jigging was excellent off South Shore at 180 to 220 feet for 2- to 6-pound fish. Scott Carey at Tahoe Sportfishing said trolling dodger or flasher/minnow combos was working well for macks running 3 to 7 pounds at 180 to 220 feet deep. The best action has been close to the bottom with the fish in spawning mode.
• LOON LAKE – The lake is at 49-percent capacity. The gate to the main boat ramp was locked by the USFS. Small boats can launch at the gravel ramp at the dam - fishing should be good.
• PROSSER LAKE – The lake is at 23-percent capacity. No change here - fish the Prosser Creek inlet with bait and lures. With the lake so low, the oxygen content is higher at the inlet and more attractive to the trout.
• RED LAKE – Low and slow - try worms at the dam for an occasional small cutthroat.
• SILVER LAKE – The campground and boat ramp were still open, according to the last available report. Fishing should be good, but few reports were forthcoming.
• STAMPEDE RESERVOIR – The lake is at 53-percent capacity. The Mackinaw fishing was improving off the dam for shore casters using large spoons and Rapalas, and for trollers running Rapalas and Kwikfish.
• TRUCKEE RIVER – Tony Marotta at Mountain Hardware and Sports reported that flows above the Boca Outlet were low and dry fly action was good on overcast evenings, though nymphing was consistent in the deeper pools. Below the outlet, heavier flows made it better for nymphing and dredging streamers and large dark stones through the deeper pools and runs.
• UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR – The lake is at 55-percent capacity. With the Sunset gate locked, the only access to the lake is from Pea Vine Ridge Road. Ken Mathis at Ken’s Custom Tackle and Kyle Neeser at Crystal Basin Tackle reported that few anglers were venturing here. The last available report indicated that shore fishing was good at the dam.
• WEST WALKER RIVER – George Anderson at the Toiyabe Motel reported that most anglers were picking up limits of planters in the remaining deep pools in the West Walker. One flyfisherman caught a 26-inch rainbow in a big pool. The water flows were much better in the Little Walker and fishing was more consistent.
• FOLSOM LAKE – Bass are fairly deep, but can be taken by drop-shotting Robo-Worms over rock pile, dragging jigs, or spooning next to channels from 15 to 25 feet deep. Look for concentrations of bait using electronics. This is usually a good time of year for kings or trout, but hardly anyone is fishing the lake. Try in front of the dam on Speedy Shiners and Rapalas trolled fast between 25 to 35 for trout, and kings at 45 to 65 deep.
• RANCHO SECO LAKE – Fishing has been generally slow, but a very few bass were being caught, mostly very early and late. Fishing was better for redeared sunfish and a 1.5 pounder was caught on a nightcrawler.
• SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff – Salmon fishing transitioned to the late fall run as the fall run went upstream to spawn. These are high quality fish, bright, aggressive biters, but not as numerous as the fall fish. Highly worth targeting until Dec. 16 when the season closes.
• SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding – Salmon spawning has tapered off, and trout fishing slowed a little, but still was good down to Battle Creek. Some steelhead were starting to show at the lower end.
• UPPER SACRAMENTO/McCLOUD RIVERS – The rivers are in their prime time fall season of fishing. The lower part of the Upper Sac below Sims is now attracting some larger fish coming up from the Sacramento River, and some big browns are starting to show at the lower end of the McCloud.
• YUBA RIVER – Fly fishers continued to do well on trout, but some nice steelhead started to show last week. Fish from the Highway 20 Bridge to Sycamore Ranch. Egg patterns were good, but so were May fly, baettis, and pmd nymphs under indicators.
NORCAL SALTWATER• BERKELEY – Berkeley boat scored consistent limits of rockfish and good counts of lingcod up to 20 pounds (caught on El Dorado). Once the weekend arrived, limits of crabs were added to the list of dinner catches.
• BODEGA BAY/TOMALES BAY – Rockfish were on fire above Bodega Bay during the week for New Sea Angler. Over the weekend, focus shifted to Dungeness crabs. Reellentless ran rockfish trips during the week and added crabs to the game plan over the weekend. Tomales Bay saw crab boaters boat some beauties, though the offshore area provided higher counts.
• CROCKETT – Morning Star was reported to have scored exceptionally well on striped bass. Shore fishers got into the act as well, using bullheads for bait.
• EMERYVILLE – Rockfish and crab combos began Saturday and will continue through the end of the year. New Salmon Queen had the high lingcod count with 10 fish to 12 pounds.
• EUREKA – Heavy, full crabs greeted crabbers on opening day. Private boaters scored some nice pots and Reel Steel pulled limits for passengers. Shore fishing was generally slow.
• FORT BRAGG – Crab opener was a success, but a brief one, as winds descended on the area by mid-afternoon Saturday. Sea Hawk pulled limits. Sunday was blown out.
• HALF MOON BAY – The wildest day in the history of Half Moon Bay Sportfishing was reported Saturday as the Dungeness crab season opened amidst great fanfare. Sunday however, was a wash due to weather. Rockfish boats nabbed quick limits of bottom fish down the coast near Pescador.
• MARTINEZ/BENICIA – Striped bass action was hot and heavy as teenagers making out in the back seat. Shore fishers and boaters both got into the action on both sides of Carquinez Strait. Sturgeon catches were reported, including a 200 pounder which was unhooked in the water.
NORTHERN FOOTHILLS• AMERICAN RIVER – No change here - low and clear flows. Anglers hiking down to the deeper pools on the Middle and North Forks can catch plenty of nice rainbows, but it’s getting pretty cold.
• BULLARDS BAR – The lake is at 52-percent capacity. Kokanee were seen staging at Willow Creek to spawn. A local bass club held a tournament here and it took a 5-pound limit to win - lots of little fish hitting just about anything you want to throw.
• CAMP FAR WEST – Bass fishing was productive again this past week. One angler picked up a 4 pounder in the Bear River arm. The main lake was kicking out good numbers of fish on shad crankbaits.
• COLLINS LAKE – Trout fishing was “really good” this past week. Shore anglers and trollers were catching some limits, though most anglers were averaging 2 or 3 rainbows to 5 1/4 pounds. The occasional catfish to 8 pounds was still hitting bait. The DFW stocked the pens for the trout rearing program on Nov. 7. There was a private plant made this week also - 1,000 pounds of catchables and trophy rainbows.
• ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR – The lake is at 94-percent capacity. Mike Torres at Skippers Cove Marina reported that fishing pressure was light, but those anglers getting out were catching rainbows to 16 inches on Power Bait and nightcrawlers at Boston Bar and in the marina. The DFW stocked the pens for the trout rearing project on Nov. 5.
• FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR – The lake is at 33-percent capacity. No boat launching here with the low water level. Try off the dam for rainbows.
• HELL HOLE RESERVOIR – The lake is at 45-percent capacity. One boater managed to launch and catch trout trolling near the dam, according to the Georgetown Ranger Station.
• LAKE OROVILLE – The lake is at 43-percent capacity. The fall feeding frenzy broke wide-open this past week. Guide Ron Gandolfi took two out-of-state anglers fishing for two days and they caught a total of 180 bass. The best action came on green pumpkin tubes fished 5 to 35 feet deep in the West Branch, North Fork, the Slot, and main body on steep rocky banks and flatter mud banks for bass running 1 1/4 to 2 pounds. Gandolfi won a Nor Cal 90-team tournament this past weekend with 13 pounds that included the big fish, a 6.14-pound largemouth - all caught on tubes. Gandolfi’s clients also landed three 3-pound salmon that hit the tube baits.
• ROLLINS LAKE – Divers working on the dock systems at Orchard Springs and Long Ravine reported seeing lots of trout in both resorts at 50 to 60 feet deep. Drift bait in the marinas for a chance at some nice rainbows.
• SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE – Trollers were picking up limits of 14- to 16-inch rainbows on flasher/worm combos toplined at the dam/spillway. Shore anglers were catching trout and bass from the point outside the marina. One guy throwing a plastic worm landed a 4 1/2-pound largemouth bass, while anglers using Power Bait and worms were picking up some nice rainbows.
• SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR – With the colder water temp, holdover rainbows should be hitting Power Bait and worms at the dam and boat ramp.
• STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR – The lake was too low for boat launching. One angler was catching lots of big crawdads, but few trout.
• THERMOLITO AFTERBAY – The lake was at 133.8-foot elevation - 83-percent capacity. Anglers keep your distance from the duck hunters. Trollers might pick up a steelhead on a flasher/worm combo in the channel south of the bridge or in the canal off Wilbur Road.
MOTHERLODE• AMADOR LAKE – Fishing for trout is good with 5,000 pounds of 2- to 7-pound trout planted last Friday. Debbie Grayson at Lake Amador Store said “The trout bite has been good with a couple 7-pound trout caught last week.” While cleaning out the fish cleaning station last week a 10-inch wide trout tail was found. The fish are biting on black wooly buggers, Power bait and Rooster Tails.
• CAMANCHE LAKE – A planting total of 3,600 pounds of rainbow trout from Mt. Lassen Trout Farms was done at Camanche Lake recently. 1,200 pounds of trout were planted at North Shore, 1,200 pounds at South Shore and 1,200 pounds at the trout pond. Trout plants will continue once a week through the fall and winter season. Trout are currently hanging out at 30 to 35 feet and getting shallower with each cold morning. Last year the lake turned over during the first week of December.
• DON PEDRO RESERVOIR – Fishing for bass and trout is fair. One style is to troll with shad pattern crankbaits on leadcore line. Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing has been finding very good action fast trolling spoons and catching nice trout and an occasional bass. The fish have been holding from 13 to 40 feet. Bass are feeding on shad, so there is some early topwater action to be had, but covering water drop-shotting and dartheading plastics after the sun comes up will work for a few bass.
• LAKE MCCLURE – Fishing is poor. The bass are getting ready for winter and going deeper with the cooler water. Drop-shot fish are coming from 25 to 80 feet. Jason Mello at A-1 Bait Shop said, “I fished a little while off the bank with a Texas rigged 6-inch worm and caught a bass.” A few trout being caught 40 to 60 feet with flashers and ‘crawlers.
• LAKE MCSWAIN – Trout fishing is good. Denise Warwick at the Lake McSwain Marina said, “Fishermen were catching fish at the Brush Pile with a pink and white egg combination. Over at the Handicap dock anglers were using fluorescent yellow Power Bait balls catching trout. Jason Mello at A-1 Bait Shop said, “Fishermen are trolling flashers and ’crawlers from 1 to 10 feet catching trout.”
• LAKE PARDEE – Pardee Lake Recreation Area closed and locked the gate for this season last Sunday, Nov. 3. The Park will reopen for the 2014 season Feb. 13 for camping and the Feb. 14 for fishing.
• LAKE TULLOCH – Fishing is good for small planter trout. Danny Layne of Fish’n Dan’s Guide service took Kathy Wolfe from San Jose to Lake Tulloch, catching small planter’s ’bows and just north of the south shore ramp at 37 feet she caught a 17-inch 2-year-old kokanee, that weighed 2.3 pounds. It fell for Uncle Larry’s Mad Irish spinner behind a Vance’s Gold dodger scented with Pautzke’s Fire Corn. Lake Tulloch is down about 6 feet, which is normal for this time of year. The surface temp is around 57 degrees and gin clear.
• NEW MELONES RESERVOIR – Trout fishing is good, and the trout are moving from deep to shallow water. Trolling anglers should try trolling 25 to 35 feet with shad patterned spoons like Needlefish, Excels, Kastmasters and Speedy Shiners. The fish are feeding on the surface in the early morning. To target these fish, try top-lining a F5 or J5 Rapala. Bass fishing is fair as the lake is in transition from summer to fall. The fish seem to be spread out from deep to shallow water. Try using a shad patterned grub on a 1/4-ounce darthead.
• MODESTO RESERVOIR – Fishing is slow. The reservoir is slowly going down as the water goes through the nearby water treatment plant to be processed for clean drinking water.
- Western Outdoor News