SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento — Fishing for striped bass was up and down last week. The only report of some consistent action was trolling deep-diving plugs down by Rio Vista. Deep Water Channel anglers might experience decent action on schoolie stripers one day but get skunked the next. The Turning Basin continued to provide the most consistent action. A few sturgeon were being caught along South River Road and the Flats at Clarksburg. Ghost shrimp and salmon roe were working best.
SACRAMENTO, Tisdale — It’s not a consistent bite yet, but some sturgeon were being caught around Tisdale, Knight’s Landing and Colusa. You might hook a couple one night on pileworms, eels, or ghost shrimp, and get skunked the next two or three nights. Most have been bigger than the upper limit of 60 inches, and were taking ghost shrimp, pileworms and eels.
NEW MELONES RESERVOIR –The trout and bass bite has been very good. Bank anglers and trolling anglers are catching plenty of planted and holdover trout. Bank anglers are catching limits off of Glory Hole Point and near the Tuttletown boat launch. The bass bite has been hit and miss. When you find the fish you can catch a bunch of fat 2- to 4-pound spotted bass. Try using a crawdad colored twin tail grub, Brush Hog, or Beaver as a trailer. Fishing for catfish is slow. This time of year the catfish get sluggish, just like the black bass.
PYRAMID LAKE, Nevada — Crosby’s Lodge reported weighing in 12 double-digit cutthroats by Saturday topped by a 20 pounder!! All the big fish checked in at Crosby’s were caught from shore. Joe Mendes at Eagle Eye Charters reported that trolling was good at the Needles on the north end of the lake this past week using bleeding frog and coho FlatFish at 60 to 80 feet deep. His clients scored 14 fish topped by 7 and 8 pounders.
DELTA REGION: SACRAMENTO RIVER side — Sturgeon fishing was excellent over the weekend with most diamondbacks taken on salmon roe or eel in lower Suisun Bay near the Mothball Fleet, the Big Cut, and the Middle Grounds. In the Pittsburg area, Chain Island , Broad Slough, or Collinsville are the top locations for the diamondbacks with fish found as far north as Cache, Liberty, and Prospect Sloughs. Striped bass action has been strong for knowledgeable anglers in the north Delta with swimbaits on 1/4- to 1/2-ounce jigheads. The water temperature is rising to a striper-friendly 52 degrees.
SAN JOAQUIN RIVER side — Striped bass continued to be scattered throughout the river system, but the best accumulation of linesides has occurred around the Antioch Bridge and False River. Largemouth bass have become more active with the warming water temperatures, and there is a reaction bite with swimbaits, spinnerbaits, and crankbaits. In the Stockton and south Delta, panfish continued to provide consistent action with large red-eared perch and bluegill taken on jumbo red worms, wax worms, or mini-crawlers near the bridge along King Island and Paradise off of Eight Mile Road, Whiskey Slough southwest of Stockton, or in Clifton Court Forebay. Crappie are biting medium to large minnows from the banks along Eight Mile Road northwest of Stockton. The supply of fresh shad is over for the year, but most bait shops are loaded with fresh frozen shad in their freezers.
NORTH COAST RIVERS
CHETCO RIVER, Oregon — The first 20-pound steelhead was reported to WON this week, caught by Paul LeFebvre while fishing with guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing, who said 2 inches of rain early in the week brought the river up to 1400 cfs, but it was again low and clear over the weekend with more rain in the forecast. It was good action for those who worked at it, according to Martin and guide Harvey Young of Fishawk River Company.
EEL RIVER—The main stem opened to fishing on Feb. 1, but may be closed by the 5th after a Fish and Game Commisssion meeting. About 30 anglers at the mouth of the VanDuzen caught lots of bright steelies 8 to 15 pounds, with some bigger, on almost everything they used. Flows dropped out quickly, but the fish are in the system.
SMITH RIVER—Rains brought the river up a little bit, and guide Dave Jacobs of Professional Guide Service took 3 clients up to The Forks and upper main stem where they met “wave after wave” of steelhead moving quickly up the river. They caught and released dozens of bright fish in a day and a half. The river dropped back out quickly, but the fish appear to the in the river—and up the river.
UMPQUA RIVER, Elkton, Oregon—River guide and WON Field Reporter Curtis Palmer of River Secrets reported in: “Anglers fishing the lower Umpqua River were better off fishing for winter steelhead. With the river rising quickly after rainstorms during mid-week in the Cascades, I was expecting to see flurries of fish rushing upstream after many weeks of extremely shallow water. With the Umpqua Fishery Enhancement Derby Friday & Saturday it gave a good perspective on how many steelhead are in the upper section of the river. There were 22 wild steelhead and 3 hatchery steelhead caught Friday, and another 53 wild steelhead and 7 hatchery on Saturday, for a total of 85 Steelhead caught by Derby participants. This numbers tell me that most of the fish are still in the much lower section of the Umpqua River.”
UMPQUA RIVER, North Fork, Glide, Oregon--During the end of this last week, we saw the river rise and become muddied with silt and top soil that has usually been washed downstream much earlier in the season, according to guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets. The North Umpqua fortunately started dropping as fast as it rose, making for better fishing. Friday, the anglers who drew the North Umpqua River caught 52 wild steelhead and 5 hatchery steelhead, giving a days total of 57 fish caught. Saturday had a new batch of Derby anglers fishing on the North Umpqua River and their results were 37 wild steelhead and only another 2 hatchery fish. A total of only 39 steelhead were caught on Saturday in total. These number should nearly triple over the next couple weeks.
UMPQUA RIVER, South Fork, Canyonville, Oregon - This river wasn't seeing much for anglers until the rains put some much needed water in this river, along with others in the area, said guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets. “I hadn't heard of many people fishing the South Umpqua River until the day before the derby. Even then, the prospecting boats caught few, if any fish on Thursday. The South Umpqua did produce the most steelhead caught during the derby. Friday there were 60 wild steelhead and 4 hatchery steelhead caught, giving a total of 64 caught by derby anglers. Saturday’s scores fell on the south river as they did for the other river's. There were 37 wild fish caught and 5 hatchery steelhead caught to bring the total for the day too 42 steelhead. I believe that the steelhead have been moving very slowly up the main Umpqua River and this is why we are not seeing the higher numbers of hatchery steelhead being caught. If looking for good bank access for fishing, the Myrtle Creek exit on the north side of the town and the bridge that is just before entering the town of Myrtle Creek are good spots to try. Under the bridge is one of the best fishing holes for catching a steelhead.
VANDUZEN RIVER—The lower river saw a lot of fish and a lot of fishing action after the rains brought the river up a little bit. But it dropped out again quickly. Look for the river to be closed due to emergency low flow closures on Feb. 5.
KLAMATH RIVER, Iron Gate — Fishing for small adult steelhead and halfpounders was good again last week as warmer weather stirred them up a bit out a cold-water induce lethargy. Fly fishing was better than it had been, and there were even some steelies taken by swinging streamers. Most, however, continued to be caught on small Hot Shots, crawdad plugs and drifted Glo-Bugs and roe.
KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen — A few fresh winter steelhead were moving past the estuary upstream to the Trinity or higher up the Klamath because of the rains last week. A few winter run steelhead were being caught around the mouth of the Trinity, mostly on roe and spinners.
TRINITY RIVER — Fishing improved with warmer temperatures and a bit of rain that really didn’t impact the river much, but a few fresh winter steelhead moved through the river into tributaries and to the upper end of the river. Driftboat guides were scoring two to five steelies a day, while waders were happy to get one or two hookups. Warmer weather produced some insect hatches, so decent fly fishers did as well as spin fishermen. Fishing pressure is very low.
AMERICAN RIVER — A few fishermen were fishing Nimbus Basin and on the river at Sailor Bar, but fishing was slow, and it’s a pretty sad affair given the low flow. There weren’t very many steelhead coming into the hatchery, either, although it will meet its egg-taking goal. The decision will come down this week from the Fish and Game Commission as to whether the river should be closed to fishing.
FEATHER RIVER — Steelhead fishing was pretty good, but for mostly dark fish in the Low Flow Section from Bedrock Park upstream to the Municipal Auditorium. Fly fishers were getting some on small nymphs and egg patterns, but fishing was good, too, for spin fishermen drifting nightcrawlers.
FOLSOM LAKE — Fishing slowed after the rain and cold weather front passed through, but some bass, trout, and king salmon were still being caught. Toplining from the launch ramp at Granite Bay up the North Fork channel with nightcrawlers behind dodgers in copper and pink was working best for trout. Go down to 40 feet with white hoochies behind dodgers for the king salmon. Bankies were doing all right with nightcrawlers, Power Bait off the bottom or suspending them under bobbers. A few bass, mostly smallies and spots in the 2-pound class, were being caught over rock piles at between 15 and 20 feet deep on drifted minnows, drop-shotted plastic worms, and jigs. It was on and off fishing most of the week. Small boats, only, and 4-wheel drive tow vehicles are highly recommended.
RANCHO SECO LAKE - Fishing for trout from shore as well as small non-gas-powered boats has been good, aided by plants and cooler water. Soaking the usual baits like Power Bait and nightcrawlers has been effective either from shore or from a floating craft (no gas motors allowed has been good, but so has trolling with Kastmasters, small, jointed Rapalas, and woolly buggers on sinking fly lines.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding — The low flows, right around 3,000 cfs are bad for fish, especially baby salmon trying to emerge from spawning gravels, but have been good for wading anglers who have catching trout from Redding to Red Bluff, the larger ones toward Redding, and smaller rainbows below Anderson. But downstream of Anderson there are the improving odds of perhaps tangling with steelhead.
YUBA RIVER — Fishing for trout has really ramped up as the Sqwala hatch is now well underway. Fish are taking nymph imitations, but the real thrill is fishing with dries. Anything bushy and buggy, like stimulators and sofa pillows are attracting splashy strikes. Some pmds and baetis are emerging as well, and trout may switch their preference during the day.
BOCA LAKE — The lake is at 12-percent capacity. The recent snow covered weak spots on the ice and anglers were advised to use extreme caution while on the ice and carry safety gear. Fishing was good early in the morning at the dam.
CAPLES LAKE — The lake is at 57-percent capacity. John Voss at Caples Lake Resort reported there was still 1 1/2 to 2 feet of ice with 1 1/2 feet of new snow for icefishermen to auger through. Fishing was best at the dam and the spillway, though one guy hiked all the way to Emigrant Bay and caught a 3 1/2 pound rainbow.
CARSON RIVER (East) — The area got a foot of nice wet snow this past week. According to Todd Sodaro at Todd’s Bait and Tackle at the Creekside Lodge, no one was fishing the restricted section below Hangman’s Bridge since the snowfall.
DAVIS LAKE — The lake is at 64-percent capacity. Ed Dillard at Dillard’s Guided Fishing reported that shore fishing was good at Mallard Point for rainbows to 23 inches using Power Bait and inflated nightcrawlers. The derby held this past weekend was won with a 20 3/4-inch, 3-pound rainbow—96 contestants vied for first place.
DONNER LAKE — The lake is at 37-percent capacity. Rainbows were still hitting at the boat ramp docks on the west end of the lake. Some macks were caught trolling at 80 to 100 feet deep, or casting Rapalas and Krocodile spoons from shore early in the morning
FRENCHMAN LAKE — The lake is at 49-percent capacity. Wiggins Trading Post reported that the ice was breaking up fast and there was open water at Ship’s Cove and Big Cove where shore anglers were catching limits of 14- to 16-inch rainbows on Power Bait and nightcrawlers. The ice at the dam was too thin and dangerous ice fishing.
ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR — The lake is at 57-percent capacity. The storm this past week dropped mostly rain, so icy roads conditions were the biggest issue concerning access—4-wheel drive was recommended.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR — With a foot of wet snow this past week, Airport Road was questionable due to snow and ice in the shady areas so 4-wheel drive was recommended. Fish were hitting in the open water near the dam on nightcrawlers before the storm. Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters reported that flyfishermen casting woolly buggers and blood midges from shore and float tubes were catching some nice rainbows.
JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park) — Sly Park Resort reported that shore anglers were picking up a few planter rainbows and some macks to 20 inches using Rapalas, Rooster Tails, Power Bait and nightcrawlers near the deeper water at the dam.
LAKE TAHOE — Chuck Self at Chuck’s Charter Fishing reported he was still catching limits of 2- to 6-pound macks on both morning and afternoon trips at North Shore. Mike Nielsen at Tahoe Topliners Sportfishing was catching macks and browns trolling at South Shore, but all the fish were small—2 to 3 pounders. The macks were hitting Laxee and Krocodile spoons tipped with minnows, and the browns were caught on Scatter Raps.
PROSSER LAKE — The lake is at 23-percent capacity. Icefishing was very good at the dam and at the old boat ramp on the point between the creek arms for 14- to 16-inch rainbows using worm/marshmallows, small tube jigs, and 1/8-ounce Kastmaster spoons.
RED LAKE — John Voss at the Caples Lake Resort reported that there was safe ice at the dam and anglers were still catching a few trout on worms, bay shrimp and jigged spoons. Victor Babbitt at Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters (TFFO) reported that his guides were putting clients on 2 to 3 fish each on the average—mostly 8- to 10-inch cutthroats and brookies, and the rare 18- to 20-inch cutthroat.
SILVER LAKE — The lake is at 14-percent capacity. TFFO reported that there were rumors of soft ice here and anglers were advised to USE EXTREME CAUTION.
STAMPEDE RESERVOIR — The lake is at 49-percent capacity. With snow on the road to the lake, 4-wheel drive was strongly recommended. Shore anglers were casting Rapalas and Krocodile spoons off the dam for trout and macks.
TOPAZ LAKE — The area got a foot of snow this past week, but that won’t be enough to bring the lake level up enough to launch boats.
TRUCKEE RIVER — TFFO reported that BWO hatches were coming off on warm, overcast days and dry fly action was very good in the Reno area. On the Ca. side, midges and small winter stones were working in the slow, deep holes on warmer days. The recent snow made access along the Little Truckee difficult—use 4-wheel drive.
UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR — The lake is at 45-percent capacity. Ken Mathis at Ken’s Custom Tackle and Guide Service reported the recent storm made access difficult due to snow and ice on Pea Vine Ridge Rd.—4-wheel drive was mandatory. Trolling for macks was good—expect 10 to 15 macks in the 3- to 5-pound range on a good day using Double Flutter spoons, Mack Master dodger/hoochies, and dodger/herring combos at 60 to 100 feet deep on mid-lake humps. The lake level was stable and launching was no problem, but watch out for ice on the ramp.
BERKELEY — Perch from the shoreline and on the pier were the main fishing activity at Berkeley. The success rate was good on rubberlip, pogeys and other perch, using pile worms and pieces of shrimp. Berkeley Charter boats did not run any trips for the week.
BODEGA BAY — Surf fishers made some awesome catches of rockfish and cabezon in the rugged, rocky shoreline of the Fort Ross area. Red tail perch turned on at other beaches such as Salmon Creek Beach. New Sea Angler made a crabbing crew trip and showed that crabbers can still haul up hefty pots, though long soaks are needed.
EMERYVILLE — No trips for the Emeryville Sportfishing boats. Perch fishers worked the entire area from Richmond to the Alameda Rock Wall, with Emeryville right in the middle. Herring spawns kept private boaters going out after sturgeon and they caught stripers while they were at it.
EUREKA — Kelp greenlings up to 3 pounds and in good numbers were caught along the South Jetty by anglers baiting up with squid. Crabbers worked the jetty and the pier to catch decent numbers of crabs. The Eel and Mad rivers saw steelhead action.
FORT BRAGG — Telstar ran a crew trip to re-bait pots and found 50 crabs for 18 pots. All pots were re-baited and sent back down with the crabs, which were told to eat and wait for a customer trip. Among the 50 crabs, there was one soft shell, a few females and the rest were healthy, heavy males, according to Capt. Randy Thornton. Along the jetty, people caught crabs in good numbers and also perch, rockfish, greenling and a cabezon.
HALF MOON BAY — Rain on Sunday turned on the bite for people fishing inside the harbor for crabs and for perch. Crabbers did well on the public pier and along the breakwater, where hook & line casters caught perch and rockfish. Boaters worked the deeper areas offshore and found the crabs to be full and healthy.
SHELTER COVE — Charter boat, C’Mon, skippered by locally renowned captain Jared Morris, joined the local fleet and is ready for the season. Salmon were seen jumping, which always gets adrenaline to pumping. Jetty fishers were seen catching perch, greenling and cabezon.
AMADOR LAKE – Trout fishing is good and the bass are starting to bite. Sandy Lockhart at Lake Amador Store said, “There were a lot of nice 5- and 6-pound trout caught last week”. There was a daily planting of 1,000 pounds of trout last week. Kastmasters, woolly buggers, Needlefish, firetiger Rapalas and Excels are good artificials to use. Power Bait and ‘crawlers are working for trout and bass in the Rock Creek area of the lake.
CAMANCHE LAKE – Trout fishing is good with an occasional bass, catfish and crappie. This lake is one of the best bass lakes around. The top spot for trout angling this past week was the South Shore Trout Pond. Pond anglers are finding Power Baits and jigs to be the best bait for the pond! The most popular spot for boat anglers who wanted to catch trout this past week was Little Hat Island with white grubs.
DON PEDRO RESERVOIR – Trout fishing is good for holdover and planters. Excel lures in ladybug or trout pattern with white backs were working good. Monte Smith of Gold Country Sportfishing has been trolling 3 and 4 colors deep. The bass bite is tough. Drop-shotting plastics are working in 40 to 50 feet but live minnows or ‘crawlers are working better at catching bass.
LAKE MCCLURE – Fishing for bass and trout is good . Jason Mello at A-1 Bait Shop in Snelling said “I have a couple guys that are limiting out on trout on every trip.” The anglers have been using rainbow dodgers with Wedding Rings and ‘crawlers. A few trout have been caught off the bank at McClure Point on Power Bait. A few bass being caught on plastics but there is a good bass bite on minnows and crawdads in 20 to 50 feet.
LAKE MCSWAIN – “Trout fishing is good, with everybody catching a fish or two,” said Victoria Sturtevant at Lake McSwain Marina. Calaveras Trout Farm planted another 1,000 pounds of trout into the almost full Lake McSwain. Anglers have been catching trout off the points by the marina, the Brush Pile and also upriver still fishing and trolling. Anglers have been using chartreuse Tomahawk, blue-chrome Kastmaster, rainbow or chartreuse Power Bait. Jason Mello at A-1 Bait Shop in Snelling said “Three anglers caught several trout trolling.”
LAKE PARDEE - Pardee Lake Recreation Area is closed. The Park will reopen for the 2014 season Thursday February 13th for camping and the 14th for fishing.
AMERICAN RIVER — The rain this past week did little more than settle the dust in the foothills. The river was still running extremely low and clear with little fishing pressure.
BULLARDS BAR — The lake is at 42-percent capacity. There was still no launching at Emerald Cove Marina, but one lane was available for launching at Dark Day. Try for some nice spots on kokanee colored Senkos on main body points at 30 to 50 feet deep.
CAMP FAR WEST — The lake level was stable and there was still boat launching on one lane at the North Shore Resort ramp. Bass fishing was improving with boaters catching from 6 to 20 fish per day to 6 pounds on worms, jigs, and Brush Hogs on main body points and in the Bear River.
COLLINS LAKE — The lake level was holding at 47 feet from full. Trout fishing was still very good, especially for shore anglers using Power Bait at the dam. Boat launching was good on the concrete ramp.
ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR — The lake is at 95-percent capacity. Skippers Cove Marina reported trout fishing was still good in the marina and up in the No-Ski zone. Trolling flasher/worm combos or drifting worms was working in the marina, while fishing from the shore up lake was good on nightcrawlers.
FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR — The lake is at 30-percent capacity. The Foresthill Ranger Station reported that the recent storm dropped a little bit of rain, but no snow. Watch out for icy spots on the road to the lake—4-wheel drive was recommended.
HELL HOLE RESERVOIR — The lake is at 40-percent capacity. The Georgetown Ranger Station reported that the road to the lake had some icy spots due to the recent rains. No one had reported any fishing success this past week to the USFS.
LAKE OROVILLE — The lake is at 36-percent capacity. Guide Ron Gandolfi took second place and second big fish at the Nor Cal 90 team tournament with 11.90 pounds topped by a 3.24-pound spot. The water temp was 46 degrees and fish were shallow in the early morning, dropped to 30 to 50 feet deep in the late morning and moved back up onto sunny walls in the early afternoon—you had to keep up with the movement to stay on fish. Tubes, drop-shot and darthead worms worked best for Gandolfi though the reaction bite on crankbaits, A-rigs, and float n’ fly accounted for good numbers of smaller bass for many teams who weighed 7- to 9-pound limits. Gandolfi said there were still some big coho salmon hitting bass lures that were in spawning mode, releasing eggs and milt.
ROLLINS LAKE — The lake is at 75-percent capacity. No fishing reports were available, but launch ramp were open at Orchard Springs and Long Ravine.
SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE — The lake is at 66-percent capacity. Jim Caldwell at the marina reported that trollers were still catching a few rainbows, not limits, on flasher/worm combos at the dam.
SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR — The Foresthill Ranger Station reported the lake level was low, but the boat ramp was still usable for launching small fishing boats.
STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR — The Georgetown Ranger Station reported that the road to the lake was clear, but few anglers were visiting the lake. Some trollers were carrying cartoppers to the shore to get out on the lake, but not reporting much success.
THERMOLITO AFTERBAY — The lake was at 136 feet elevation at press time—FULL!! Bruce Gibson at the Paradise Tackle Company reported that bass fishing was very good with a few fish to 8 to 10 pounds hitting using black/red or black/blue jigs on the flats. The bite was best after 10 a.m. after the water had a chance to warm up a little. Try for steelhead in the channel at Wilbur Road.
NORTH COAST LAKES
CLEAR LAKE — Work the stretch of water from the pipeline near the Redbud launch up through Konocti Bay. Jigs, swimbaits, crankbaits and plastics are being used with different success levels. For numbers try live bait.
LAKE BERRYESSA — Try dropshot rigs or tubes on outside points and steep banks from the dam up through the Narrows or over by the Putah Creek Bridge. Robo Worms in shad patterns and green pumpkin tubes have been good colors. There was a bass tourney this past weekend, but no news by press time.
LAKE SONOMA — The best bet has been drop-shotting 6-inch Robo Worms, wacky rigged Senkos and jigs in green pumpkin, watermelon and oxblood for largemouth to 5 pounds. A few larger ones were caught on A-rigs and big swimbaits. The best areas have been Yorty Creek, Brush Creek and the Dry Creek arms from the 5 mph buoys back. The steelhead are scattered, waiting for rain.
LAKE ALMANOR — Run the east shoreline from the dam to Big Springs. The morning bite has been best for a mix of trout and a few browns using Arctic Fox Tube flies in the Pond Smelt pattern fished from the surface to 15 feet or orange patterned flies as well as soft plastic smelt imitations.
BAUM LAKE — According to The Fly Shop in Redding, not much has changed here. Fishing has been fair to good.
PIT RIVER — From Nov. 16 through the Friday proceeding the last Saturday in April only artificial lures with barbless hooks may be used. Fishing has been mostly good. A little injection of warmer water or rain could get the insect hatches popping again.
SHASTA LAKE — Fish on the banks in 10 to 15 feet for bass and look for hard rock bottoms. Most bass are looking for crawdads in the rocks. Trout are on surface so try long-lining. Shad are at 100 feet so you can also use a downrigger for them as well. Head to Hirz Bay to troll for some brown trout in 10 to 20 feet with shad imitations.
-Western Outdoor News