Here are the best places to fish in the Sacramento region, Northern California and beyond for the week of Oct. 10, 2016.
Salmon fishing has been good from Howe Avenue up to the Wall at the hatchery. Up to 80 kings were caught last Monday. Two-thirds of the salmon being caught have been taken on beads, while Mepp’s Flying C spinners and Blue Fox spinners also are working. Anglers drifting beads are using 2 ounces of weight, as flows dropped last week from 1,600 cfs to 1,010 cfs.
Salmon fishing has been best from the 10th Street Bridge clear up to the Outlet. Anglers are trolling Blue Fox spinners, or running T55 FlatFish with a sardine wrap. Bank anglers are tossing spinners or drifting beads. Star Bend has been a hot spot for shore fishermen. Striper fishing is slow, although some large fish are being caught on jumbo minnows.
As is typical for this time of year, and exciting, the big holdover rainbows have followed the shad at 80 to 90 feet over the deeper, cooler parts of the lake, and trollers are getting some big, beautiful rainbows between 2 and 5 pounds, with an average of 3 1/2 pounds. Try the bigger sized Needlfish in CopCar or natural shad, of brokenback Rapalas or Apex. Now’s the time to sign up for the November catfish contest at Glory Hole Sports, but it’s limited to the first 50 entrants, and cost is $13. Bass fishing is tough, with explosive, short feeding sprees on the shad and then nothing.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento
Kings are being caught near Miller Park, Freeport and Garcia Bend on jigs as well as M2 FlatFish or K14 Kwikfish with sardine wraps. Flying C spinners and Silvertron spinners also are tricking some salmon. Some guides are trolling Pro Troll flashers with Brad’s plug cut baits with good success. New schools of salmon arrived throughout the week.
NORTH COAST RIVERS
CHETCO RIVER, Brookings, Oregon
A few salmon are being caught by trollers working the mouth of the river, but heavy rain expected this week should improve fishing upriver, where anglers will be fishing roe below bobbers. Salmon are spread throughout the tidewater area, but will be heading upriver with the high flows.
COOS RIVER, Coos Bay, Oregon
Salmon season is winding down, with only a few kings caught last week.
COQUILLE RIVER, Oregon
A mix of wild and hatchery silvers and a few kings are showing up in the catch. This week's expected heavy rain and possible flooding will likely bring salmon season to an end.
ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Oregon
Fishing has been good for coho salmon in the bay, where a few kings are still being caught. Only hatchery silvers can be kept. The upcoming rains will push remaining salmon upriver as the flows increase.
ROGUE RIVER, Shady Cove to Grants Pass
Steelhead fishing remains pretty good in the Grants Pass area, said guide Troy Whitaker at U-Save Tackle in Grants Pass. Anglers are back-trolling small plugs or side-drifting nightcrawlers with a Puffball, or try imitation eggs or Glo-Bugs. If you are bank fishing for steelhead, try at Schroeder Park, Griffin Park or the footbridge at Grants Pass. You can fish for salmon below Hog Creek, but not above this area. There are still some salmon down by Taylor Creek, but they are getting dark colored. Expect some cohos to start up here in November.
Closed to all fishing due to low flow closures. “As of October 1 the Russian is closed due to low flow closures until the flow exceeds 300 cfs.,” said Scott Heemstra of Kings Sport and Tackle in Guerneville.
Heavy rain expected this week likely will open the river above Rowdy Creek and salmon will flood in. Flows must surpass 600 cfs to open the river. That could happen as early as Friday. Guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing said peak season will be here as soon as the river begins to drop from the big storm.
KLAMATH RIVER, Hornbrook
The 189-fish quota for adult kings between Iron Gate Dam and the Highway 96 bridge at Weitchpec has been met, effective last week. All adult kings now must be released. Jacks less than 22 inches may be kept. Salmon fishing was improving between Interstate 5 and Iron Gate Dam before the quota was met. Flows on Sunday were 1,010 cfs. Plugs and roe have both been tricking kings. Trout fishing is very good, with nightcrawlers fished behind a diver working best. With salmon spawning, egg patterns are now working well.
KLAMATH RIVER, Happy Camp
The adult king salmon quota has been reached above the Highway 96 bridge, effective Wednesday night. Steelhead fishing is fair to good near Happy Camp, with egg patterns working well now that salmon are spawning. Flows Sunday at Seiad Valley were 1,180 cfs.
KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen
The 555-fish adult king salmon quota has been filled for the lower Klamath below Highway 96. Anglers can still keep two jack salmon less than 22 inches a day. Salmon fishing has been fair, with guides reporting two to four fish a day while side-drifting roe. Flows over the weekend at Terwer near the mouth were 2,590 cfs. The water temperature is 60 degrees.
Low, clear water has made steelhead fishing tough throughout the Trinity River, but fish are being caught on roe as well as plugs, spoons and spinners. Heavy rain this week is expected to give flows a slight boost, and also add color from feeder creeks. Salmon fishing is fair in the Willow Creek area. Flows Sunday at Lewiston were 450 cfs.
NORTH COAST LAKES
BLACK BUTTE LAKE
Bass fishing improved a little this week on chatterbaits, with a few fish to 4 pounds taken. Crappie fishing has been fair on small jigs, and a few catfish are being caught on cut mackerel.
Fishing remains slow, but Art Cerini at The Narrows Resort said the DFG has scheduled a trout plant for Oct. 15.
Bass fishing remains good in the brushy areas on various leadhead jigs and plastic worms flipped into these areas all around the lake. Lots of bass also taken on spinnerbaits and crank plugs just about anywhere on the lake. Crappie fishing has also been good, but it’s slowing a little. Bluegill up to 2 pounds have been caught on worms at Shag Rock and Henderson Point.
Not many anglers on the water, but those who went out found some good smallmouth bass fishing off the east shoreline and around the peninsula.
A few fishermen are going out, but not getting much action on any species.
A few anglers hooked up with 18- to 23-inch steelhead on 1-inch Apex lures or live nightcrawlers, fished as deep as 50 feet. Bass fishing remains slow, said Anthony Mirviss at The Outdoor Pro Shop in Cotati.
FAR NORTH LAKE AND RIVERS
Fishing is very good for rainbow trout and a few brown trout.
Fishing is slow here now, said John Dietz at The Fly Shop in Redding, but this is generally a good wintertime fishing lake for trout so should be getting more action soon.
Fishing is slow, according to marina spokesman.
Trout fishing was very good this week with reports of limits of fish to 3 1/2 pounds on soft plastic grubs.
Very little action was reported this week, with agencies not moving much water between dams, so there is very little current. The few anglers out this week did not catch much, but the DFG is expected to plant rainbows here this month.
Bass fishing is still fair for most anglers using spoons fished about 20 feet deep, while fishing the shoreline points is yielding some 2- to 3-pound largemouth bass on 4- and 6-inch Senko plastics, 1/4-ounce Hula jigs or shad-colored crank plugs. Trout fishing remains slow. The water level is dropping and is now down about 70.
Bass fishermen are getting a little action on drop-shot rigs fished down to about 15 feet, but marina officials say that trout fishing has been slow.
Kokanee salmon fishing remains fair to good for anglers trolling Hula Hoochies behind flashers near the 299 Bridge. Some bass action is being posted on topwater plugs in the early morning hours. Later in the day, crank plugs seem to be the best bets for bass.
Very short and sweet from the South Shore store, where they said. “It’s been really slow, and nobody has been coming in and saying anything about the fishing. They haven’t stocked the lake in a while, but they’re going to start trout plants in about a month.” When asked about the South Shore pond, they had no information about that, either. Also no information on the bass fishing.
Some decent bass and crappie action going on here, but the striper action has definitely slowed way down. Crappie are good if you find the “honey hole,” according to A-1 Bait.
Some bass and crappie action going on here and there on the lake, but nothing major, according to A-1 Bait. There was no detail. Tough launch conditions at McClure Point and Barrett Cove south ramp, north ramp is closed. Some catfish action.
Trout were finally planted for the big annual trout derby last weekend, according to A-1 Bait, and there are plenty of trout left in there. One angler trolled Kastmasters in the middle of the lake for 36 trout catch-and-release, and the next day he took out some kids and they caught 19 trout, again, in the middle of the lake.
The lake closes for the season on November 6 until reopening February, 2017. Currently, it’s mostly catfish being caught on most of your favorite catfish baits, or use nightcrawlers for a chance at a nice bass, too. Largemouth and smallmouth are being caught on plastics on the drop-shot, or spinnerbaits early and late in the shallows.
SIERRA LAKES AND RIVERS
Lake is 26% of capacity and falling. Action is rated as “dead” according to guide Marc Cristophel.
Marina closes next Sunday, but there are limited boat rentals until then. Best action is with bait near the spillway or trolling near Woods Creek. Trollers should be aware of rocks in the shallows. Anglers reporting lost gear/fish.
Trout bite on the East Fork has been excellent due to an aggressive planting program by the Alpine County Fish and Game Commission. Another plant of 1,800 pounds of rainbows ranging from 10 inches to four pounds is planned for this week, said Todd Sodaro at Creekside Lodge. Bait, spinners and flies all are productive. West Fork is too low to plant.
Trout bite is up-and-down. “We had the storm last weekend and the bite went to pieces,” said guide Ed Dillard. “It warmed on Saturday and the bite wasn’t red hot but it was steadier than during the week. We got 9 in four hours on Saturday.” Best action is near the island 12 feet below the surface with Dick Nite Copper Red Heads. Red dot frog or firetiger Needlefish also work. There are fish at Lightning Tree but the weeds make trolling a problem, Dillard said. Bank anglers at Mallard Cove use Corn Power Bait. Fly fishing is so-so. Experienced fly fishers get three to four per outing.
Most are concentrating on trolling for mackinaw toward the west end of the lake near where creeks enter the lake, said Tony Marotta at Mountain Hardware and Sports in Truckee. Find the macks in depths ranging from 20 feet to 100. Most are trolling with rainbow trout patterns. Guide Marc Cristophel said there is still life to the kokanee season.
FEATHER RIVER CANYON
Anglers willing to hike and wade get native rainbow trout in the upper reaches of the North Fork. Mike Hanson at Caribou Crossroads Resorts told of a pair of fly fishers who went upstream and caught-and-released 11 native rainbows to four pounds. The foray requires aggressive wading, but it is a relatively easy walk, Hanson said. The lower reaches of the North Fork are virtually void of trout due to lack of DFW plants, Hanson said.
GOLD LAKES BASIN
Trout plants next week go into Gold and Upper Salmon lakes. Big browns and macks in Gold Lake make the trip worthwhile.
It was an excellent weekend of fishing at Heenan Lake. With low wind conditions, anglers were able to score good numbers of large, broodstock cutthroat trout.
ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR
The fall trout bite is underway, reported Dale Daneman of Dale’s Foothill Fishing Service. Daneman said anglers are scoring five fish per hour ranging from small DFW trout to larger Mount Lassen Hatchery fish in the 14- to 16-inch range. Daneman employs Sep’s brown grubs on a short leader trolled behind a watermelon sidekick or strike master dodger in the top 25 feet of water. The dock is out of the lake.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR
With all the trout being stocked in the East Carson, this is getting little attention. Check back in mid-November.
JACKSON MEADOW RESERVOIR
Lake is dropping but the Pass Creek Launch Ramp is open. Trollers do best, but don’t expect limits. Some catch 16- to 18-inch holdovers, said Nevada Irrigation District Supervisor Jim Caldwell.
JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park)
A trout plant on Sept. 28 has kept anglers entertained. Shoreline bait dunkers using Power Bait or nightcrawlers have been having steady success, said Karen Ward of Sly Park Resort. The rainbow trout activity has attracted mackinaw. A few small macks were caught by boaters trolling the shoreline, Ward said. Bass fishing is good in the deep cove near the second dam.
The gates have been locked for the season but there is beach launching past the first dam for small boats, reported Dale Daneman of Dale’s Foothill Fishing Service.
Two 20-pound cutthroat and four other cutts larger than 13 pounds were reported this weekend. Action is sporadic, however. Some report 40 fish days while others get skunked. Top spots are Blockhouse, Pelican Point and Hell’s Kitchen. Boat anglers doing far better than shore anglers with current conditions.
Boats scrape rocks at the ramp. Kokanee have turned. Some troll for browns in the hope of tying into a trophy, said Tony Marotta at Mountain Hardware and Sports in Truckee.
Early morning mackinaw bite is outstanding. Action slows later in the morning and through the afternoon. A few kokanee staging near Taylor Creek.
Lake closed to fishing. Season opens Jan. 1.
Trout fishing is a solid bet from Hirschdale to Floriston. October caddis, blue wing olives are prevalent.
UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR
The main access gate has been locked for the season, reported Dale Daneman of Dale’s Foothill Fishing Service. There is paved access but it takes a drive on Peavine Ridge Road to reach the ramp at the dam. How long the ramp is operable is a guess.
WEST WALKER RIVER
The West Walker is low and clear, requiring stealth and careful presentation, said Jim Reid at Ken’s Sporting Goods in Bridgeport. Seek deeper pools where trout are holed up. Pickle Meadows and the Canyon sections have been producing best. Small spinners, nightcrawlers, salmon eggs are good bets.
According to Steve Santucci of Lost Coast Outfitters, as of Oct. 6, “Fishing is steadily improving in the Delta and schools of stripers are moving into all regions of the Delta. The best area is the west Delta where you can access 65-degree water temperatures. We are catching them on topwater flies and sinking flies.” New fish are moving into the Delta following schools of threadfin shad as they migrate to each end of the Delta. Salmon made a good showing this past week, with best action on the incoming tides for trollers or shore casters, although more anglers were chasing stripers from shore and boat than salmon, with shad as the top bait offering. The Antioch Pier anglers found pretty good striper action and a few salmon. More salmon were also caught in the Isleton area as water temperatures cooled a bit, and it was actually worth going out after them specifically. Smallmouth bass to 4 pounds are also on a good bite for anglers throwing jigs and fluke. The Rio Vista Striper Derby was held over the weekend, and the results will be in next week’s issue of WON.
SAN JOAQUIN RIVER
On Oct. 4, David Scatena of Geyserville fished with friend Tom Noel out of Walnut Grove and the hooked and landed an 11.7-pound salmon using a 2-ounce chartreuse No. 5 Blue Fox. They were about half way between Ryde Hotel and Walnut Grove. “Our friend Mike Junker was out there also and hooked and landed a 12 pounder at the confluence of the Old Sacramento and Georgiana Slough,” said Scatena. “There were several boats out that had one fish, and one boat that had three.” Bank anglers who are using pile worms or cut baits find more catfish than anything else, although a few stripers are being caught in the Walnut Gove area. Trolling the Walnut Grove to Courtland area has been okay for stripers, but you’ll have to wade through a lot of fish to find the legal ones. Largemouth and smallmouth bass are available for those tossing small swimbaits, and that also works for stripers. Russo’s Marina is holding a Best Bass Tournament of Champions tournament and up to 200 teams are expected.
The lake dropped 1 foot last week, from 387 feet to 386 feet. The Hobie Cove ramp at Brown’s Ravine and Granite Bay’s low water ramp are open. The Folsom Point, Rattlesnake and Peninsula ramps are closed. The lake now has a 5 mph speed limit. Trout and landlocked salmon fishing has slowed, mainly because of the drop in effort. Bass fishing has slowed, in part because of the speed limit and lower lake levels.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Dunsmuir
Flows remained at 203 cfs at the Delta gauge over the weekend. Conditions have been good for fly fishing.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff to Colusa
Salmon fishing has been fair below Red Bluff, with good numbers of fish caught near Red Bluff and Hamilton City. Fresh fish arrived over the weekend. Anglers are drifting roe and also back-trolling T55 FlatFish with sardine wraps.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding to Red Bluff
Flows at Keswick Dam dropped from 7,810 cfs to 7,250 cfs. Salmon fishing remains good at the Barge Hole, where roe is outfishing plugs, although sardine-wrapped FlatFish are working at first light. Wild trout are now keying on egg patterns and beads now that salmon are spawning. October is prime time for trout between Redding and Red Bluff.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Verona to Colusa
A drop in flows in the Feather seemed to slow fishing in the Verona area over the weekend. Only a handful of kings were reported late last week. Trolling Blue Fox Spinners, Mepps Flying Cs or M2 FlatFish has been fair. A few large stripers were caught last week on pile worms at Knight’s Landing.
Trout success depends on your level of dedication. “You can still catch some nice fish downstream (from the Highway 49 Bridge),” said John Wadden of Will Fish Tackle in Auburn. “But you have to be willing to hike a mile to get fish. You have to put the effort in.”
BULLARDS BAR RESERVOIR
Lake is 66% of capacity and the surface temperature is 69 degrees. Bass are starting to move up and are in the 20-foot range. Mid-October through the end of the year is when the big fish become most active, said Daniel Robertson at Emerald Cove Marina. Kokanee bite is finished.
CAMP FAR WEST
It was a slow week of fishing, reported Katy DeRossett at the North Shore Resort. Boaters had little good news to report. Best report came from a shore angler who had some action on Brush Hogs. “He had to keep moving around and said the fish were very deep,” DeRossett said. The lake is 15% of capacity.
Bass bite is good at the north end of the lake and trout plants are due in another week. The cooler weather turned on the bass, and prompted the upcoming major trout plants by the DFW and privately by the lake.
There are quality bass willing to bite, but angling pressure has been light. A couple targeting spots last week caught a pair weighing 3 and 4 pounds from Keystone Cove, reported Lisa Rogers from Skippers Cove. Live nightcrawlers did the trick.
FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR
Campground closes on Oct. 16. Users can access the campgrounds, but bathrooms and garbage cans are locked.
HELL HOLE RESERVOIR
Water is low and it’s difficult to launch, said John Wadden at Will Fish Tackle in Auburn.
Morning surface temperature is 64 degrees. Fall bass bite is improving, but far from peaking. Worms and tubes work well, but also have spinnerbaits and lipless cranks at the ready. Salmon trollers get action 50 to 70 feet below the surface between the dam and the Highway 162 Bridge.
Rollins is low because of maintenance on canals above the lake, but all boat ramps are in the lake. The bass bite is much better than the trout bite, reported Nevada Irrigation District Supervisor Jim Caldwell. Cooler weather should bring better trout action in the near future.
SCOTTS FLAT LAKE
Trout plant went in last Tuesday and shore anglers pitching Power Bait or nightcrawlers did well from the shoreline west of the Marina. Nothing of size was reported but there were some limits. Smallmouth bite is good, said Jim Caldwell, Nevada Irrigation District Supervisor. Use floating Rapalas or plastics near the Cascade Shoreline.
STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR
A trout plant is scheduled for the coming week.
Bite was slow last week but should improve this week. Bruce Gibson of Paradise Tackle Company said bass go into a pre-weather feeding pattern and with a front predicted to come through on Friday, bass will be active. Use swimbaits, jigs or crankbaits. Best colors are red and black and orange and brown.
Party boats from Berkeley went out the Gate and hauled in impressive numbers of large rockfish and lingcod. Happy Hooker fished the Farallones and California Dawnworked Point Reyes. Private boats and kayakers fished Berkeley Flats where there were a surprising number of halibut caught. Most were shorts, but one guy weeded through 15 halibut to get his limit of 5.
Party boats like New Sea Angler made late week and weekend runs to Point Reyes where the size of lingcod and rockfish were formidable, yet enticing. Skiffs and kayaks worked local rocky spots near harbor to take home some fresh fillets. Shore anglers found great action on red tail and barred surf perch and picked up a few striped bass.
New Salmon Queen worked the salmon waters with moderate success on enticing the fish, but with fish counts under a fish per rod. New Huck Finn and Tigerfishfound the lingcod and rockfish, sending their passengers home with piles of fish. Fishing effort is shifting away from salmon and towards groundfish, with crab season coming up soon and combo trips in the works.
A long exploratory tuna trip was without success, dashing the hopes for an early October tuna bite. Cape Mendocino put out limits of rockfish, but for some reason the lingcod were sullen and didn’t eat with their usual authority. Jetty fishers enjoyed the benign conditions to work parts of the jetties that they can’t always access. California halibut pleased folks who caught them drifting with anchovies in the North Bay.
Local spots gave up plenty of fish, including lingcod to about 20 pounds plus limits or near-limits of rockfish for Telstar and Sea Hawk. The lighthouse was the best hotspot for Telstar passengers. Noyo Fishing Jetty was a popular place and on very calm days, folks fished Old Mill and MacKerricher.
HALF MOON BAY
Queen of Hearts and Huli Cat worked the rockfish spots and filled sacks with some fine fish both off of Pillar Point and also down the coast to San Gregorio. Salmon were caught periodically by private boaters working just outside the harbor and also by shore anglers who cast spinners and other lures for the fish milling around the harbor.
Salmon season may be winding down, but some good catches still came in. Capt. Jacky Douglas of Wacky Jacky, on her birthday fishing trip, caught an 18 pounder and a 16 pounder. A 28 pounder was taken on Lovely Martha. Flash and Nautilus fished South Bay for good catches of leopard sharks and Flash II worked the Marin Coast for lingcod and rockfish.
- Western Outdoor News