Top Picks• AMERICAN RIVER – Fishing closed this week, Oct. 31, in the Salmon Spawning Closure Area. The river will reopen to fishing Jan. 1, but no fishing will be allowed for salmon. Salmon were still being caught in Nimbus Basin and below the lower limit of the Salmon Spawning Area. Howe Avenue has been one of the better spots, and so has Paradise Beach. Night fishing has been good at times at the Upper Dredger Hole as schools move through. Steelheading continues to improve, and, now, River Bend, Watt Avenue, Campus Commons and Paradise Beach will be some of the places to go.
• MARTINEZ – Striped bass went off like gangbusters. Shore, pier and boat fishers all got into the act. Most boaters headed for the last row of ships at the Mothball Fleet, where fresher water was to be found. A few sturgeon, up to 50 pounds, began showing above the Mothball Fleet.
• DELTA REGION-SACRAMENTO RIVER side – The sloughs are starting to attract sturgeon. Fish were reported in Cache Slough in particular. Striper fishing was consistent for both bank anglers and trollers. For salmon, you just had to be there at the right time when a pod was moving through.
• SAN JOAQUIN RIVER side – Humphrey’s and River View piers both had keeper sturgeon. Stripers were the best bet and larger fish came in on bigger baits. The Antioch side of West Island and Broad Slough were good spots, with fresh shad and mudsuckers the best bets.
• SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento – Salmon fishing was again a case of being in the right place at the right time. It might be good one day as a school passed through, slow the next couple. The fish being caught have been bright and beautiful. Some of the better spots have been the Minnow Hole, the Brick Yards, Sherwood Marina and Miller Park. Fishing for striped bass was also good in the Deep Water Channel, especially at the mouth of Miner’s Slough.
NORTH COAST RIVERS• CHETCO RIVER, Ore. – The river opens Nov. 2, but low water conditions will make it difficult to fish, although a storm is expected within the first week of the season, which should bring in the fresh kings waiting in the estuary and offshore.
• COQUILLE RIVER, Bandon, Ore – According to WON Field Reporter Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Guide Service, large numbers of salmon are in the Rocky Point area on up to Bear Creek, but the fish weren’t biting on Sunday, when fewer than a half dozen salmon were caught all day. “Twenty miles upriver, the reports were similar on Sunday,” Palmer said. “The weather was changing constantly all day and that is the only thing that I can contribute the slowdown to. The end of the week had anglers working the water hard to produce salmon. The early morning was the better fishing.”
• MILLACOMA RIVER, Coos Bay, Ore – The Millacoma River is the north fork of the Coos River system, and it’s very narrow compared to the main river of the Coos, and therefore it isn’t fished much compared to the South Fork Coos or Coos River. “Bobber fishing for Chinook’s this last weekend was great in some holes on the river and slow in other holes, according to reports I received from anglers who fished all weekend,” said Curtis Palmer of River Secrets. Trolling Blue Fox spinners in size 6 has been working. There are king salmon rolling and jumping at high tide everywhere, and with this many fish returning this late, he expects fishing to continue for another 2 weeks.
• ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Ore. – Silver salmon fishing has been fair to good in the estuary. Upcoming rains will open up the way for those in the bay to move upriver quickly.
• SMITH RIVER – Closed due to low flows, but rains are expected to open the river after Nov. 4, which should bring in good numbers of fresh kings that are waiting outside the mouth. Call ahead to make sure the river is open.
TRINITY/KLAMATH RIVERS• KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen – Salmon fishing continued to be slow. The water is cooling, and some steelhead were being caught, mostly around Weitchpec and Somes Bar.
• KLAMATH RIVER, Iron Gate – Some salmon were still arriving, but not in the numbers of past years. Some, not many yet, smaller steelhead were also starting to show up in the upper end of the Klamath from the dam to Happy Camp.
• TRINITY RIVER, Del Loma – This was probably the best of a lot of poor salmon fishing spots on the Trinity last week, offering a bit better chance for a reasonably fresh salmon. However, numbers of salmon continued to be low, and the river is very low and clear. Steelheading is getting better and it’s a better bet than salmon fishing.
NORTH COAST LAKES• CLEAR LAKE – The south end continued to get most of the pressure. But the technique switched over to the use of live bait. Yo-yoing LV500 rattlebaits and dragging Huddleston swimbaits have also been favorites, with deep diving crankbaits and jigs a close second.
• LAKE BERRYESSA – The main body from Big Island down to the Narrows has been loaded with bait, birds and fish. Find the fast moving schools of shad and you’ll find the bass.
• LAKE SONOMA – Anglers are topline trolling for landlocked steelhead. A good rain to stir things up is needed for bass fishing.
• BAUM LAKE – DFW continues to plant this lake, There is not much pressure here and the fishing has been good. 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 – Fall and into the winter when this lake closes on Dec. 31 is when fishing is at its best. It’s time to pull out Sep’s 2-inch orange grubs and Red Dog lure by Sure Catch with the gold back. It’s also time to throw your snowchains in the trunk.
• FALL RIVER – Work the shallows, as the fish are hungry and targeting a variety of bugs. The hatches have been producing better fishing.
• UPPER HAT CREEK – The bite has been good until midday and then again close to sunset when the bugs are more active again.
• PIT RIVER – Water conditions have been good and with some morning hatches the fishing has been good as well. The better bite has been in the afternoon to early evening when the hatches happen.
• McCLOUD RIVER – Cooler weather and overnight temperatures have helped the bite. Water conditions here have also been good. Hatches help to keep the bite going.
• SHASTA LAKE – Centemudi, Sugar Loaf, Jones Valley and Bridge Bay are the only launches still in the water. The bass fishing has been good for numbers but not quality fish. Work the banks with topwater baits early and then plastics and crankbaits as the sun gets higher.
NorCal Saltwater• BERKELEY – Marin coast produced very well for Happy Hooker. California Dawn posted limits of both lingcod and rockfish. Weather was decent and the boat scored good counts of lingcod. Late in the week and over the weekend, New El Dorado III, El Dorado and New Easy Rider all posted salmon scores ranging from a fish per rod to full limits.
• BODEGA BAY/LAWSON'S LANDING – One lone albacore run on New Sea Angler boated a couple of nice fish... a 32 pounder and a 35 pounder, but then the bite shut down. Rockfish runs to the Point Reyes vicinity turned out highly productive for boats out of Bodega Bay and Lawson’s Landing. A keeper halibut was caught in Tomales Bay, creating quite a stir.
• EMERYVILLE – With a new batch of salmon outside the Gate, it was tough to decide between the salmon gamble and the sure-fire rockfish limits. Either choice turned out fruitful for Emeryville boats late in the week and over the weekend.
• EUREKA – Pacific halibut fishing continued to be productive with fish up to 40 pounds checked in. The 40 pounder was caught by WON Field Reporter, Lonnie Dollarhide. Shellback and Reel Steel are prepped to begin crabbing. Jetty fishers caught black rockfish and red tail perch. The rockfish season closed out with boats running to Cape Mendocino for limits of rockfish and a pick at lingcod.
• FORT BRAGG – Seahawk is ready for crabbing, as are other Fort Bragg boats. Blake, at Subsea Progression Dive Shop, reported good sea conditions and plenty of people out spearfishing for rockfish and lingcod, as well as harvesting abalone, yet no single large critters were reported.
• HALF MOON BAY – Lingcod and cabezon topped the catch for Half Moon Bay boats. Limits of rockfish was the word of the week. Fishing was generally slow in Pacifica, however rock crab and perch kept anglers busy.
• SAN FRANCISCO – Fisherman’s Wharf boats including Wacky Jacky and Lovely Martha scored salmon on the Middle Grounds. Private boaters joined the fleet and caught salmon up to 41 pounds. San Pablo Bay and East Bay anglers scored high counts of striped bass. South Bay anglers caught leopard sharks, shovelnose sharks, barred surf perch and one keeper halibut from Oyster Point Pier.
• SAUSALITO – A surprise influx of salmon outside the Gate brought Sausalito boats out in force. Salty Lady, Outer Limits and New Rayann put up solid repots on a mixed grade of fish from 10 pounds to 30 pounds.
SIERRA LAKES/RIVERS• BOCA LAKE – The lake is at 35-percent capacity. At this water level, Mountain Hardware and Sports recommended fishing at the inlet with bait and spoons. Be prepared to move if you don't catch fish right away.
• CAPLES LAKE – The lake is at 66-percent capacity. Caples Lake Resort will be closed until the week before Christmas. With no boat ramps open, shore fishing is the only option at the dam or spillway.
• CARSON RIVER (East, West) – Alpine County planted early this week (Oct. 28) - another 1800 pounds of rainbows. The West Carson was planted depending on the river flow up to the Luther Pass turnoff. The East Carson was stocked up to the bridge above Monitor Pass. Fishing was spectacular this past week for anglers using salmon eggs and flies in any deeper water pools and runs.
• DAVIS LAKE – The lake is at 67-percent capacity. The trolling slowed drastically due to the large amount of floating weeds that kept lines fouled - find clear water and catch fish, otherwise it was tough! Ed Dillard of Dillard’s Guided Fishing found open water one day this past week and caught 14 rainbows running 16 to 18 1/2 inches on flies trolled 8 feet deep at Fairview and Mosquito Slough. Shore fishing and flyfishing were very good. Shore fishermen were picking up limits of big rainbows on Power Bait and inflated nightcrawlers at Eagle Point, Coot, and Fairview. The flyfishermen were doing well on cinnamon wiggle tails stripped 6 to 10 feet deep on an intermediate sinker at Mosquito Slough and from Jenkins to Cow Creek.
• DONNER LAKE – Rainbow trout and macks were hitting for shore anglers using nightcrawlers near the west end boat ramp and the nearby public piers.
• FEATHER RIVER CANYON – With no recent DFW plants, the fishing in the North Fork was slow this past week.
• FRENCHMAN LAKE – The lake is at 50-percent capacity. Wiggins Trading Post reported that shore anglers and trollers were still picking up nice rainbows at the dam using nightcrawlers. Lunker Point was also producing fish. The Frenchman campground was open for dry camping, so haul your own water in and your trash out. The boat ramps were open, but the docks have been pulled out of the water.
• GOLD LAKES BASIN – Mark Tieslau at Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden reported that trollers using a woolly bugger in the top 10 feet over 20 feet of water all over Gold Lake were catching a mix of 2- to 3-pound rainbows and macks. Salmon Lake and Sardine Lake were still producing some DFW planters on Power Bait.
• ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR – The lake is at 57-percent capacity. Dale Daneman at Dale’s Foothill Fishing Service reported that trollers were catching easy limits of planter rainbows on dodger/threaded nightcrawler combos in the top 15 feet.
• INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR – No change here this week - the fishing was so good in the Carson River with all the trout plants that few folks were fishing here. Alpine County will stock the lake in Nov. before any snow makes access difficult.
• JACKSON MEADOW RESERVOIR – Mountain Hardware and Sports reported that the lake level was low and fishing was slowing down. Check the inlet of the Yuba for spawning browns by trolling a big Rapala.
• JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park – Trollers were doing well for limits of rainbows to 17 inches in the main body and up in the Narrows. One boat caught two limits of fish that included 3 tagged fish worth $250. A boy caught a tagged fish at the boat ramp from the shore on Power Bait.
• LAKE TAHOE – Chuck Self at Chuck’s Charter Fishing reported “off the chart” mack trolling from Tahoe City to Crystal Bay at 120 to 400 feet deep. Self was picking up limits of 3 to 9 pounders by 8:30 a.m. Mike Nielsen at Tahoe Topliners Sportfishing reported excellent action at South Shore jigging for 3- to 7-pound macks at 200 feet deep.
• LOON LAKE – The lake is at 50-percent capacity. The gate was closed for the season by the USFS. Small boats can still launch at the primitive gravel ramp at the dam.
• PROSSER LAKE – The lake is at 23-percent capacity. Mountain Hardware and Sports reported that rainbow trout fishing was good at the Prosser Creek inlet in the evenings on bait and spoons.
• PYRAMID LAKE – George Molino at Cutthroat Charters reported good trolling for 12 to 20 cutthroats per day running from under 17 inches to 23 1/2 inches. Molino was trolling Apex in bleeding frog, army truck, and watermelon at 25 to 40 feet deep from Warrior Point to Pelican. Valarie Taylor at Crosby’s Lodge reported weighing in several big cutthroats that were caught from shore this past week. The top fish was a 13 3/4 pounder landed by Peter Thompson of Reno on a zebra fly cast off Pelican. Taylor weighed in 12 fish over 10 pounds and an 8 pounder this past week. Joe Mendes at Eagle Eye Charters scored a double hookup on a 9 and an 11 1/2 pounder while trolling at Indian Head with rainbow Apex this past weekend.
• RED LAKE – No change here - try at the dam with worms for cutthroats.
• SILVER LAKE – The lake is at 41-percent capacity. The EID west campground was still open and the boat ramp was okay for launching.
• STAMPEDE RESERVOIR – The lake is at 54-percent capacity. Mountain Hardware and Sports reported that macks were hitting large spoons and stickbaits cast off the dam. Flyfishermen casting blood midges off the dam were picking up some nice rainbows.
• TRUCKEE RIVER – Above the Boca Outlet, dry fly fishing was good in the evenings for 8- to 12-inch native trout. Below the Outlet, flows were higher and bigger rainbows were feeding on brown trout spawn. Try an egg pattern, BWO or midge nymphs, or big dark stones.
• UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR – The lake is at 55-percent capacity. The Sunset access gate was closed by the USFS. Pea Vine Ridge Road to the dam was open and shore anglers were experiencing wide-open fishing for nice rainbows and the occasional mack.
• WEST WALKER RIVER – With very low flows, the fishing slowed way down, according to the Toiyabe Motel. Stick to the remaining deep pools for any chance of success.
SACRAMENTO VALLEY• FEATHER RIVER – There are still lots of salmon, but they are mostly dark. The stretch of river now closed to salmon fishing above the boat ramp at Live Oak has been providing some outstanding steelhead fishing with some adult weighing between 5 and 7 pounds. The Gridley area has been particularly good. Drift nightcrawlers or swing spinners and small spoons. Fly fishers are getting them on egg-flies combined with a prince nymph under an indicator.
• FOLSOM LAKE – Bass fishing was pretty good for anglers drop-shotting Robo-Worms over rock piles or next to channels from 15 to 25 feet deep. Look for concentrations of bait using electronics. Not many folks are fishing for kings or trout, but it should be good 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 continued to be good from the Barge Hole to Chico, and some brighter, newer fish started to move in later in the week. Most are being caught on backtrolled plugs.
• SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding – Trout fishing was outstanding again with most weighing up to 2 pounds, with some between 20 and 24 inches. Glo-Bugs and egg-flies rule, as the river is loaded with spawning salmon.
• 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.
NORTHERN FOOTHILLS• AMERICAN RIVER – The river was running low and clear this past week. Anglers willing to hike down to the deeper holes on the North Fork and the Middle Fork can find plenty of rainbows.
• BULLARDS BAR – The lake is at 54-percent capacity. Paul Reynolds of Red Bluff pre-fished the lake for a club tournament and caught lots of 10- to 12-inch spots, but no good fish. The fish were spread out from the bank to 50 feet deep on points and humps and were hitting worms, jigs, and Senkos.
• CAMP FAR WEST – North Shore Resort reported that Ron Franks of Folsom caught 44 spotted bass including 30 keepers to 2 1/2 pounds on Roboworms and Brush Hogs on main lake points at 5 to 10 feet deep. One troller caught a 5-pound largemouth on a shad crankbait.
• COLLINS LAKE – With a 2,000-pound DFW trout plant this past week, the trout fishing finally busted wide-open. Anglers were catching limits of planter sized rainbows from the shore and trolling, especially near the dam. 4- to 8-pound catfish were still hitting nightcrawlers and chicken liver. Only the occasional bass was caught this past week, but anglers targeting bass should be doing well.
• ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR – The lake is at 93-percent capacity. Mike Torres at Skippers Cove Marina reported that boaters drifting worms in the marina were catching a mix of bass and trout. The DFW will deliver 2000 pounds of rainbows for the pen-rearing program on Nov. 5 -call the marina at 530-432-6302 to find out what time the fish will be delivered if you’d like to watch or help stock the pens.
• FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR – The lake is at 36-percent capacity. The Foresthill Ranger Station reported the boat ramp was out of the water. The campgrounds were no longer being serviced, but French Meadows and Ahart camps were open for dry camping - haul your own water in and your trash out.
• HELL HOLE RESERVOIR – The lake is at 45-percent capacity. The Georgetown Ranger Station reported that the Big Meadows and Hell Hole campgrounds were still open and the ramp was still good for launching. There was little fishing pressure here this past week.
• LAKE OROVILLE – The lake is at 44-percent capacity. Guide Ron Gandolfi reported that the bass bite really picked up this past week with cooler water temps and a more stable lake level. Gandolfi did well using a Paradise Tackle Company finesse jig on points in the North Fork, West Branch, and the Slot for bass to 3 pounds at 30 to 35 feet deep. Large numbers of smaller fish, 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 pounds, were hitting drop-shot and darthead worms in shallower water.
• ROLLINS LAKE – With the lake level down, boat launching could be limited. Trout were still hitting nightcrawlers in the deeper coves. Look for catfish in the deeper channels.
• SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE – Trout were hitting flasher/worm combos at the dam.
• SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR – The Foresthill Ranger Station reported that the campgrounds were closed, but the boat ramp and day-use area were open for use.
• STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR – The Georgetown Ranger Station reported that the campgrounds were closed and the ramp was out of the water. Only cartopper boats were recommended at this time.
• THERMOLITO AFTERBAY – The lake was at 134.2-foot elevation at press time - 86-percent capacity. With duck season open, the locals usually stay away from any decoys to avoid conflicts with the hunters. Some trollers were trying for steelhead in the channel south of the bridge.
• CAMANCHE LAKE – Water temperatures at the launch ramps is still holding at about 70 degrees. The summer-like temperatures (prior to the front) have trout still hanging out at 50 or so feet. Trout were expected to come closer to the surface once the weather cools and the lake turns over. Last year the lake turned over during the first week of December.
• DON PEDRO RESERVOIR – The fall fishing at Don Pedro Reservoir has finally turned on. Guide Monte Smith of Gold Country Sportfishing took Mike Tubbs and his family out Saturday for a days fishing. Smith took his lead core rods and set two of those out and set two rods on the downriggers from 30 to 45 feet, and the first rod to get hit was the lead core rod on the port side, and Spencer was up first and he landed a nice 20-inch trout. The family boated nine rainbow trout and one small king salmon and two bass. All the fish were caught while trolling spoons at depths from 13 to 45 feet. Most of the fish were stuffed with shad. The water temps were 62 to 64 degrees.
• LAKE MCCLURE – Fishing is good. The bass are getting active and anglers are catching them with jerkbaits, swimbaits and drop-shotting and with live bait. Drop-shot fish are coming from 25 to 40 feet with fish to 3 pounds. Jason Mello at A-1 Bait Shop said, “One fisherman and his boy fished with anchovies and chicken liver off a houseboat and caught 15 catfish. The cats were full of crawdads when cleaned.”
• LAKE MCSWAIN – Fishing is good with the steady trout plants the last few weeks. Jason Mello at A-1 bait Shop said, “One of his customers fished from the first fence to the second fence using a hammered nickel baby cowbell and ’crawler for a dozen trout up to almost 3 pounds.”
• LAKE PARDEE – “Trout fishing is good and they are in the top 20 feet,” said Bill Cook at Lake Pardee Marina. The fish are hitting spoons like Needlefish or Excel lures. Trollers are also using blades and ’crawlers. The south end of the lake has been producing the best. Bass are upriver hitting topwater and jerkbaits, but the best producer has been drop-shotting plastics. Catfish are biting ’crawlers and chicken liver all over the lake. The lake is 90% full and will be closing on Nov. 3.
• NEW MELONES RESERVOIR – Trout fishing is good and will get better as the cold nights cool down the water temperature. The trout are moving from deep to shallow water. Trolling anglers should try trolling 25 to 35 feet. Needlefish, Excels, Kastmasters and Speedy Shiners are good spoons that produce many limits. Bass fishing is slow. The fish seem to be spread out from deep to shallow water. Catfish are still biting in fairly shallow water and feeding heavily. Nightcrawlers, liver, shad, and anchovies seem to produce the majority of fish.
• MODESTO RESERVOIR – Fishing is slow. The reservoir is high, but since the canals have been shut off, the lake will slowly recede.
- Western Outdoor News