TOP PICKS• SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento— The salmon opener was extremely slow, although a few kings were caught by boaters anchored up at the mouth of the American River—fish-per-boat average didn’t even register. Striped bass fishing was slow, but some shaker-sized fish were being caught between the mouth and Verona. Catfish, crappie and largemouth bass were the top bets for anglers around here.
• SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding/Red Bluff — Much better salmon fishing on the opener up here than downriver, and a few king limits were even posted. Trout fishing continued to be good from Redding to Red Bluff, being caught very early and very late, mostly on combo trips late in the day. Side drifting egg colored glow plugs, and back trolling FlatFish are the best techniques.
• SACRAMENTO RIVER, Woodson Bridge — The opener at Woodson bridge produced a few nice bright/chrome salmon up to 18 pounds, with around 6 salmon being weighed in by the huge number of boats on the river. Those anglers that worked up towards Deer Creek found salmon, but not the quality of the salmon at Woodson Bridge. Back trolling either Kwikfish or FlatFish wrapped in either sardine or crawdads worked far better than roe. Anglers in the afternoon and into the evening hours are finding the trout action to be producing 5 to 15 fish days, side driting egg colored glow bugs or back trolling Kwikfish or FlatFish.
• TAHOE LAKE – Chuck Self at Chuck’s Charter Fishing reported trolling for macks was still “really, really good” for limits of 3 to 8 pounders running minnow imitations at 140 to 150 feet deep from Tahoe City to Crystal Bay Point. Self was trolling for rainbows after scoring limits of macks and picking up some trout to 3 pounds. Zack Gordon at Tahoe Sportfishing reported that limits of 12- to 16-inch kokanee were coming in on the morning trips off South Shore trolling dodgers/ Wedding Rings at 70 to 90 feet deep. Their boats were also running to North Shore to get in on the excellent mack action drifting live bait.
• DELTA REGION, SACRAMENTO RIVER side — The river salmon season started with a single large fish taken off of the Benicia shoreline at 1st Street on a Vee-Zee spinner, but anglers are still waiting for the second fish. Undersized halibut and striped bass are showing up along the Benicia shoreline as well as leopard shark for a sure sign of saltwater intrusion into the Delta. During the brief windows between high winds, sturgeon have been taken in the Carquinez Straits with striped bass near Sherman Lake on live bluegill. Smallmouth bass are holding near the rocky shorelines in the Old Sacramento and in Steamboat Slough with small crankbaits. Salmon fishing has been slow in the metropolitan Sacramento area with a few fish taken by jigging heavy spoons. Catfishing continued to be solid with frozen shad, mackerel, and chicken livers in the Deep Water Channel above Rio Vista.
• DELTA REGION, SAN JOAQUIN RIVER side — Similar to the past several weeks, bluegill remained the most consistent species in the east and south Delta on wax worms or jumbo red worms along various shoreline access areas. Striped bass are scarce, with the occasional legal fish taken around Grant Line Canal or near the mouth of the San Joaquin. Sturgeon are beginning to show again near the Antioch Bridge in shallow water. There is a sporadic bass bite with topwater lures in the mornings, and either punching the weeds with Missle’s D Bombs or Sweet Beavers on heavy weights or tossing crankbaits in crawdad or bluegill patterns along the tops of the weeds remained the top techniques. Catfishing remained solid with mackerel, anchovies, or dip baits. Fresh shad once again disappeared, with anglers needing to rely on frozen shad at the present time.
NORTH COAST RIVERS• ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Oregon – Salmon fishing for fall Chinook at the mouth of the Rogue River is in full swing. “Big salmon are consistently being caught every day,” according to WON Field Reporter and guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets, “And not only by some of the best guides in the state, but also by private anglers, also. With the continuing changing bottom of the bay due to shifting gravel, most of the fish have been caught at the upper end of the bay near high tide.”
• ROGUE RIVER, Grant’s Pass – Steelhead and salmon action is picking up a little in most Grants Pass areas, but it’s still best at Gold Hill and Shady Cove areas on corkies and spinners for steelhead. Some salmon have been seen rolling in Gold Hill and upper river areas, and being caught on sardine-wrapped Kwikfish, or roe and sand shrimp, said guide Troy Whitaker at U-Save Tackle in Grants Pass. Action on early fall salmon has improved in lower river areas and they could move up this week.
• RUSSIAN RIVER, Oregon – Flows have been erratic due to the water agency working on Wholer Dam, according to Scott Heemstra at King’s Sport and Tackle. “Last weekend, the flow went from 100 cfs to 200 cfs in a couple hours. Currently, it is fluctuating around 120-140 cfs. Smallies have been very active, mostly in the 1- to 2-pound range. Pete Taylor of Guerneville is out nearly every evening and has been averaging 1-3 smallies and some hardheads using the usual arsenal of Rooster Tails, diving craw patterns, swimbaits in green pumpkin and Senkos Texas-rigged. The best action has been around rocky rip rap structure. For the fly enthusiasts, the pike minnow (squawfish) are very aggressive and often times several pounds. With a light fly rod they can be a blast. The Russian River Fly Fishers along with the Russian River Wild Steelhead Society is holding the first annual Sacramento Pike Minnow Derby on Saturday. It is a $5 buy in with $3 going to the prize pool, $1 going to the RRFF Youth Program and $1 going to the RRWSS Steelhead in the Classroom Program. Sign in is from 8-8:30 at Kings Sport & Tackle in Guerneville with a weigh-in between 5-6 pm. For more information contact Lee at 707-974-2651.
• UMPQUA RIVER, Winchester Bay, Reedsport, Oregon – Fall Chinook are starting to enter the mouth of the river, and anglers have been trolling along the south jetty during the incoming tides, according to guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets. The numbers being caught at the mouth are way up from last week. “Upriver at Windy Bend, I have heard that a few fish are being caught each day during prime time.”
TRINITY/KLAMATH RIVERS• KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen – Fishing for steelhead and a few salmon has been good below Blue Creek, which has cooler water than most of the other tributaries to the lower Klamath. The fish have been about 6 pounds. The moss has gone, but algae has started to bloom and can become much worse. Anglers have been lining fish at the estuary, but they are walking a long ways to fish there.
• TRINITY RIVER, Junction City – The spring Chinook salmon run hasn’t reached its peak yet, but fishing continued to be poor because of the hot air and very warm water temperatures. Salmon are concentrated in deeper pools, but have been reluctant to bite, and the average has been about one to three fish a day. It’s important to get out on the water very early and off the water well before noon. Anglers have been lucky to average about one fish to three fish a day, mostly on roe, according to Sweet Trinity Guide Service. Fishing for small steelhead has been better. Trying upstream at Steel Bridge or Bucktail might be better because the water temperature might be cooler.
NORTH COAST LAKES• CLEAR LAKE – Concentrate on the 15- to 24-foot range and use a dropshot as your main technique for the largemouth. Try wacky style for the watermelon candy worms and baby Brush Hogs.
• LAKE BERRYESSA — Look for the kokanee between 60 to 75 feet deep. Kokanee are ranging from 16 to 18 inches. Kings are 19 to 26 inches long and deeper at 85 to 130 feet.
• LAKE SONOMA — Topwater action continues to reward bass anglers who get up at the crack of dawn and/or stay until dark. Largemouth bass to 6 pounds were caught this past week with the bigger fish coming on LuckyCraft Sammy 128s in ghost minnow.
• BAUM LAKE – This lake is always a go-to spot with its cold, clean water and an abundance of habitat and insects. Not much has changed here. Try to fish early and late when the sun is not high.
• EAGLE LAKE – Get out early and be ready to fish at first light. The area from the Ronald McDonald Camp over to Black Mountain had been popular and especially the Eagle’s Nest area. Try 50 feet of water with baits at 20 to 25 feet. Soaking nightcrawlers has also been productive.
• FALL RIVER – Not much has changed here. The Fly Shop in Redding reports night fishing has also been great with Hex hatches. You’ll need to be on the water before 10:00 a.m. for the morning hatches. With all of this action, fishing has been good.
• UPPER HAT CREEK – Fish early and late, during the day scout the flats for rising fish. Water conditions have been good and so has the fishing.
• McCLOUD RIVER – Not worth a trip right now since it is blown out and brown.
• PIT RIVER – Hatches have been going off mid-morning to early evening but cover some water. It continues to fish well all day long. Try No. 3, but don’t forget to check 4 and 5.
• SHASTA LAKE – Throw Senkos in the shade pockets with varying vertical structure during the day. It’s topwater time early and late in the day. Limits of rainbows have been easy, but you’ll have to work a little deeper and harder for the salmon. Start by going for salmon at 120 to 150 (go deep) and then trout from 40 to 70 feet.
• TRINITY LAKE – You won’t get many king salmon here but they could be nice ones. There wasn’t much action here this past week, as there is plenty of bait in the system. Little tiny sized kokes just perfect for rainbows, browns, kings and bass to all eat. Try Stuart Fork and the dam and by Captain’s Point. The lake may be 112 feet down, but you’ll have it to yourself. If you rent a houseboat, the one ramp launch at Minersville won’t matter. You can also still launch and there is a small dock there.
• WHISKEYTOWN RESERVOIR – This lake continues to be hot for 11- to 13 1/2-inch kokes and easy limits. Troll both sides of the 299 Bridge at 40 to 60 feet. Try a pink Hoochie behind a 6-inch Sling Blade and a pink Apex behind a 4-inch Sling Blade. If it starts to slow down or gets too crowded, check out the coldwater curtain and fish from 60 to 80 feet down. With lots of water, this lake gets crowded towards the end of summer.
NORCAL SALTWATER• BERKELEY – It seemed like everything was biting. Salmon were caught, the Marin Coast pumped out rockfish and lingcod, Central Bay gave up loads of bass and a decent pick on halibut. California Dawn put aboard a 65-pound white seabass. Happy Hooker scored limits of striped bass on two consecutive days.
• BODEGA BAY/LAWSON’S LANDING – Combo trips served up nice salmon to 28 pounds, lingcod to 18 pounds and limits of rockfish for New Sea Angler passengers. Out of Lawson’s Landing, salmon were caught both on the troll and also on the mooch in shallower waters. Halibut were caught by both fishers and divers near the entrance of Tomales Bay.
• EMERYVILLE — New Huck Finn fished the Marin Coast for great counts of rockfish and lingcod to 16 pounds. For boats interested in salmon, catches came from Duxbury to Point Reyes.
• EUREKA/CRESCENT CITY – Salmon slowed out of Eureka, until skippers found that the fish went to the bottom. Scratching the bottom got the fish to biting again. Pacific halibut fishing was excellent (limits) out of Eureka and Trinidad. C’Mon, out of Crescent City found limits of salmon, lingcod and rockfish.
• FORT BRAGG – Jumbo salmon moved in, providing a size range from shakers on up to a 38 pounder caught by John Hodges on Bragg’n. Telstar, Trek II and Sea Hawk all got into the salmon act, with fish up into the thirties. Shore fishers worked for greenling, cabezon, rockfish and red tail perch.
• HALF MOON BAY – Party boats Huli Cat and Queen of Hearts got into good counts of lingcod and rockfish throughout the week. Private boaters worked the area between the Red Can and Martin’s Beach, catching both halibut and white seabass up to 38 pounds.
• SAN FRANCISCO – Salmon finally showed in better numbers and Fisherman’s Wharf boats Wacky Jacky and Lovely Martha were out there. Bass Tub and Argo ran potluck and combo trips to target salmon, rockfish and lingcod, halibut and striped bass.
SIERRA LAKES/RIVERS• BLUE LAKES — Caples Lake Resort reported that fishing on Upper and Lower Blue Lakes was good.
• BOCA LAKE – The lake is at 26-percent capacity. Mountain Hardware and Sports reported that flows were still up in the Little Truckee River coming out of Stampede Reservoir and fish were congregating at the inlet. Fish early in the morning for the best success.
• CAPLES LAKE – The lake is at 96-percent capacity. With the surface temp at 70 degrees. Dave Foley at Caples Lake Resort reported that fishing was good in deeper water for both shore anglers and trollers. Shore anglers were doing well at the dam, spillway and Wood’s Creek inlet. Trollers did best running flasher/worm combos and Rapalas at 20 to 50 feet deep in the middle of the lake.
• CARSON RIVER (East/West) – Heavy thunderstorm activity this past week muddied the water in the East Fork and West Fork slowing the fishing. Alpine County stocked 1800 pounds of 1 to 5 pounders, but only anglers using salmon eggs or spinners were doing any good and limits were far and few between. The water should clear by the weekend and fishing should be excellent again.
• DAVIS LAKE – The lake is at 60-percent capacity. Ed Dillard at Dillard’s Guided Fishing reported catching limits of 18- to 20-inch rainbows while anchored in 30 to 35 feet of water at the island and using floating dough bait on the bottom. Trollers were catching a few fish around the island and at Lightning Tree running olive woolly buggers tipped with a piece of red worm at 15 feet deep. Lots of weeds floating on the surface made checking your gear often a must.
• DONNER LAKE – The lake is at 94-percent capacity. The best fishing in Truckee—rainbow trout shore fishing and trolling was very good this past week. Shore action was good on the west end and off the public piers while the trollers did best along the south shore. Kokanee were scattered around the lake, but trollers targeting them were catching limits at Loch Leven, China Cove, and along the SW side of the lake. Boaters using live minnows trapped in the lake were picking up a few nice macks in deep water.
• FEATHER RIVER CANYON – Butt Valley Reservoir is at 85-percent capacity. Dick Mason at Dick’s Guide Service reported that trolling for big rainbows was still very good at Butt Valley using a threaded nightcrawler on 2 to 3 colors of leadcore. Mike Hanson at Caribou Crossroads Resort reported that smallmouth bass action at Butt Valley was very good, too. Trout fishing in the North Fork was slowing while limits (2 fish) were possible at the Caribou Powerhouse.
• FRENCHMAN LAKE – The lake is at 40-percent capacity. Wiggins Trading Post reported trout fishing was best at the dam and Lunker Point using inflated nightcrawlers and floating dough bait.
• GOLD LAKES BASIN – Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden reported trolling for rainbows was still very good at Gold Lake running flashers with a worm, Needlefish or Wee Dick Nite at 15 feet deep. 5- to 10-pound macks were hitting a blue/white Lyman trolled on 3 colors of leadcore over 40 feet of water near the spillway and the boat ramp. Sardine Lake, Snag Lake, and Packer Lake were all producing for shore anglers using an inflated nightcrawler on a 3-foot leader.
• ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR – The lake is at 89-percent capacity. Kyle Neeser at Crystal Basin Tackle and Guide Service reported shore anglers were doing well at the creek inlet on the east end of the lake using worms and floating dough bait.
• INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR – Todd Sodaro at Todd’s Bait and Tackle at the Creekside Lodge reported fishing here was slow due to warm water temps and heavy aquatic weed growth.
• JACKSON MEADOW RESERVOIR – The lake is at 80-percent capacity. Trolling for planter rainbows was good right out from the launch ramp and by the dam using flashers or dodgers and worms, Needlefish or Dick Nites.
• JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park) – Denise Cole at Sly Park Resort reported shore anglers were still picking up planter rainbows at the first dam using worms and floating dough bait. The occasional smallmouth bass and mack were also being caught. Charlie Craig landed a 2-pound mack trolling a Flutter Spoon.
• LOON LAKE – The lake is at 82-percent capacity. Ken Mathis at Ken’s Custom Tackle and Guide Service reported that trollers were still scoring 20 to 30 fish per day using a watermelon dodger/nightcrawler or wooly bugger in the top 20 feet.
• PROSSER LAKE – The lake is at 27-percent capacity. The smallmouth bass action was good off the dam and the nearby rocky points using darthead worms, tubes and small jigs.
• RED LAKE – Not much change here—fish the dam or the inlet for cutthroats and brookies.
• SILVER LAKE – The lake is at 82-percent capacity. Caples Lake Resort reported that trolling was very good for nice rainbows using dodger/worms on the south and east sides of the lake.
• STAMPEDE RESERVOIR – The lake is at 27-percent capacity. Boaters were still launching off the shore east of the boat ramp and trolling for kokanee, which were scattered all over the lake. Limits of 12- to 14-inch kokes were coming out of 35 to 50 feet of water. As usual, the bigger fish were deeper. Smallmouth bass were hitting in the Davies Creek arm for boaters and float tubers.
• TRUCKEE RIVER – The flows increased due to thunderstorm activity this past week and water flows were also fluctuating due to releases at the Boca Outlet and from Lake Tahoe. The flyfishing slowed this past week with the unstable weather. As conditions stabilize, the fishing should improve using caddis, PMDs, PEDs, and little yellow stones.
• UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR – The lake is at 88-percent capacity. Ken Mathis at Ken’s Custom Tackle and Guide Service reported fishing was tough. Mathis fished the lake for 3 days and caught one 8-pound mack that was gorged with small DFW rainbows. Kokanee trollers were only picking up 2 or 3 fish per day with 6-inch rainbows everywhere.
• WEST WALKER RIVER — The Little Walker and West Walker were both scheduled for DFW trout plants this week, and both were stocked this past week, too—you should be able to walk across the river without getting your feet wet on the backs of all the trout!! Heavy thunderstorm activity muddied up the river and shut down the fishing this past week and weekend. The river should clear by mid-week and fishing should return to excellent.
SACRAMENTO VALLEY• FEATHER RIVER, Outlet – This was the most productive salmon area on the rivers due to there being older spring salmon along with a few bright early fall fish, especially around the Outlet. Anglers are finding a combo of holdovers as well as some nice chrome salmon. Roe has far exceeded lures in getting the salmon to bite. Dropping water levels caused the salmon to go off of the bite. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday were by far the best days, with the weekend slowing greatly.
• FOLSOM LAKE – Rapidly dropping water levels have slowed the bass fishing, as things are changing daily. Trout and salmon are moving deeper and up the river arms towards the cooler flows coming in from the rivers. Basically, “search and ye shall find.” Keep changing depths and lures until you find the action.
• RANCHO SECO— Bluegill fishing is good here on redworms or small jigs, and the monster Florida-strain largemouth are still being targeted by bass anglers using monster swimbaits mostly, and early or late in the day when they’re out feeding. No outboards allowed on the lake.
MOTHER LODE LAKES• AMADOR LAKE – Bass fishing is great for anglers getting out in their boats. Many fish in the 6- to 10-pound range have shown up this last week. Chartreuse crankbaits, Senkos, and texas-rigged plastics are producing well for anglers fishing the lake’s submerged islands.
• CAMANCHE LAKE – Fishing for bass and trout remained slow this week. Catfish are the best bet. Chicken livers soaked in the coves along the river arm have produced the most fish.
• DON PEDRO RESERVOIR— Trout are still providing the best action, but trollers will have to work to find the fish. Bass anglers have been fishing topwater lures early in the mornings, then switching to Senkos and jigs later in the day.
• LAKE McCLURE – Bass anglers have found a decent bite early and late. Texas-rigged and dropshot rigged plastics have been the best producers, with spinnerbaits and live bait not far behind.
• LAKE McSWAIN— Recent plants have helped anglers bring in more trout. Shore anglers have been soaking yellow dough baits in the mornings and evenings for decent numbers of fish. The handicap dock, brush pile, and marina have proven to be the best spots.
• NEW MELONES RESERVOIR – The kokanee fishing slowed this last week and anglers were either on the fish or were not. For those who found the fish, using large hoochies and Apexes worked well. Glory Hole Point, Rose Island, the dam, and the spillway were the best areas to look for the kokanee. Catfish remained a solid option for anglers. Shad, anchovies, and mackerel were the best baits this week.
• LAKE PARDEE – Fishing remains hit or miss. Trollers are doing the best by the river arm for both trout and kokanee. Fire tiger colored lures are the best for trout. Pink and orange hoochies, spinners, and Apexes are the best lures for kokanee. Bass anglers have done okay fishing broken back Rapalas and Senkos.
• BULLARDS BAR – The lake is at 57-percent capacity. Emerald Cove Marina reported that recreational boat traffic was heavy with nearby lake levels so low. Trollers getting out early in the morning were still picking up 12-inch kokanee from Mills Creek to Garden Point on dodger/hoochie combos. Small spotted bass were hitting live bait and plastic worms all around the lake.
• CAMP FAR WEST – North Shore Resort reported fishing was slow on the main lake, but fair in the Rock Creek and Bear River arms where cooler water was still running into the lake. Ron Franks of Folsom caught 11 bass on his last trip using oxblood Roboworms.
• COLLINS LAKE –The lake is 33-feet from full. Trout fishermen were picking up the occasional limit at the dam using floating dough baits in orange and garlic. A father/son duo caught a big stringer of rainbows that included a 4 3/4 pounder in the cove on the east side of the dam. Boaters were picking up 3 or 4 fish each while drifting floating dough baits near the dam. Catfish made a good showing this past week up to 8 1/2 pounds for anglers using anchovies, chicken livers, and a Thomas Buoyant Spoon.
• ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR – The lake is at 91-percent capacity. Boaters running up to Buck’s Beach in the “No-Ski” zone were still picking up a few 12- to 14-inch rainbows on inflated nightcrawlers and floating dough bait.
• FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR – The lake is at 47-percent capacity. The Foresthill Ranger Station reported that both launch ramps were operational, but the south ramp had more water on it. The campgrounds were in good shape with no problems with any of the water systems. The shore fishing was reported to be good near the campgrounds. Trollers should be doing well near the dam and at the inlet.
• HELL HOLE RESERVOIR – The lake is at 53-percent capacity. The water level dropped below the concrete, but small aluminum boats can still launch—no heavy fiberglass boats! Fishing was slow, according to the Georgetown Ranger Station. Boats cannot get past the Narrows. Anglers hiking to the Rubicon River inlet should do well on a mix of browns and rainbows using bait and spinners.
• LAKE OROVILLE –The lake is at 38-percent capacity—down 189 feet!! The Lime Saddle Marina launch ramp will probably close by the end of this week as the water only needs to drop another 4 feet before it becomes unusable. The marina still needs to pull 40 houseboats out this week, so it might be rather busy here. Launching is best at Bidwell Canyon Marina. Guide Ron Gandolfi reported that bass fishing slowed this past week, with clients only catching 20 to 30 fish per day using spinnerbaits, tubes, drop-shot worms, and Paradise Tackle Company finesse jigs in green pumpkin/chartreuse. Bigger fish, 2 to 5 pounds, were up shallow in the early morning and late evening. After the sun hit the water, the majority of the fish dropped down to 10 to 30 feet deep on steep points and walls in the river arms where the water was cooler.
• ROLLINS LAKE – The lake is at 91-percent capacity. With the high lake level, weekend recreational boat traffic was extremely heavy with some resorts turning away boaters due to lack of parking space. Fishing was slow on the main body, but boaters were picking up a few trout in the Bear River arm in the early morning trolling flashers and worms or Rapalas, and drifting nightcrawlers. Bass fishing was good in Long Ravine using topwater baits in the morning. Fish during the week if you can--on the weekends be off the water by 7:30 a.m.
• SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE – The lake is at 70-percent capacity. Mike Dowd at the marina reported that heavy recreational boat traffic had slowed the fishing on the main body of the lake. A few rainbows were hitting at the mouth of Deer Creek for boaters drifting worms and floating dough baits.
• SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR – The Foresthill Ranger Station reported the lake level was good for boat launching. The lake received an unscheduled DFW trout plant in early June before the American River Hatchery closed, but fishing has slowed since then. The fishing should be best early or late in the day when the fish move up into shallower water.
• STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR – The Georgetown Ranger Station reported fishing was good at the river inlet, but slow on the main body of the lake. The water level was below the concrete at the launch ramp, so only smaller aluminum boats were recommended.
• THERMOLITO AFTERBAY – The lake was at 133.5 feet at press time—78-percent capacity. Bruce Gibson at the Paradise Tackle Company reported that bass fishing was good using swimbaits, buzzbaits, spinnerbaits and frogs on and around the grass beds for fish to 5 pounds. Gibson said smaller bass could be caught flipping worms and jigs on the tule banks in the coves. Get out early because the recreational boat traffic gets heavy by late morning.
– Western Outdoor News