Fishing Line: Week of April 28, 2014
04/28/2014 3:46 PM
04/28/2014 3:55 PM
TOP PICKS• SIERRA STREAMS – The Sierra streams and the Eastern Sierra opened up for fishing on Saturday, but expected crowds of anglers were somewhat diminished by the quick snowstorm that dropped up to 2 feet of snow at the passes. Those who made it to their favorite streams found them well-stocked with trout, and special plants of brood stock from the DFW and Alpers trophy trout in the eastern Sierra spiced things up. The biggest fish in the Eastern Sierra Bishop area was 9-pound, 6-ounce Alpers caught from Intake 2 up Bishop Canyon.
• AMERICAN RIVER — The May 1 opener of the upper river couldn’t come at a better time, and even though the flows are still low, shad are cruising in the lower river up to Howe Avenue, and some big stripers are following them and chowing down. Some steelhead are still present, as well.
• FEATHER RIVER — The lower river up to about Shanghai bend is good for shad. There are some striped bass up there, as well, and on some days, anglers can find about 15 or 20 shad. Some days, anglers can fish for stripers on minnows, too.
• SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento — Shad fishing has been very good for anglers fishing along Discovery Park and farther upstream. They are using little curly jigs in pink and white and getting up to 20 or so a day.
• SACRAMENTO RIVER, Tisdale — The shad are still here in decent numbers, with spawned out fish, spawning fish, and some still to spawn, too. The fishing has been consistent, and guides have been getting limits for their clients drifting minnows. Some are throwing black plastic worms on the rip-rap at first light for some bigger fish. Shad are showing more and more.
NORTH COAST RIVERS
• ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Oregon — Rains last week brought the river up, cooled the flows, and the spring kings surged into the lower river, providing multiple-fish days for most of the guides on the river, confirmed by WON Field Reporter Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing, Harvey Young of Fishawk River Company and Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Guide Service. Saturday was a good day at Elephant Rock. The river bottom has changed some due to shifting gravel, so a spot that was good last year might not work this year, warned Palmer. Expected to be good fishing up here for a few days this week, then dropping back out and clearing.
• ROGUE RIVER, Shady Cove, Oregon — Salmon fishing improved in the Shady Cove area as spring salmon move up the river from the mouth, according to guide Troy Whitaker at U-Save Tackle in Grant’s Pass, but the fishing remained static in the middle Rogue and Grant’s Pass area. Quite a few kings showing up at the hatchery, and fishing below there with sardine-wrapped Kwikfish and sand shrimp has been good. Some steelhead are being caught on plugs in the Rainey Falls area.
• RUSSIAN RIVER, Guerneville —The Russian River re-opened to fishing on Thursday with flows around 320 cfs, “perfect for swinging flies for shad,” said Scott Heemstra at Kings Sport and Tackle in Guerneville. “We have heard that people have seen some shad moving across the riffle in Monte Rio. Also there are still some downstream steelhead around.” Kings Sports has all you need as far as tackle and knowledge to put you on the fish.
• UMPQUA RIVER, Elkton, Oregon — The river shot up last Friday from around 5,000 cfs all the way up to 12,334 cfs. That killed the king bite for the weekend on the Umpqua River. “I heard of one spring Chinook caught on Sunday afternoon and that might possibly be the only salmon caught,” said WON Field Reporter Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Guide Service. “The river did drop at a considerable rate over Saturday and Sunday. I think Monday through Wednesday is going to be the best chance at action packed days on the river fishing for spring kings. Earlier in the week there were a few boats hooking up multiple times on big spinners in half silver and half chartreuse, green and perhaps a splash of orange.”
• UMPQUA RIVER, North Fork, Roseburg, Oregon — The North Umpqua might of had more steelhead caught during last week than springer’s, said guide Curtis Palmer or River Secrets. “With the last of what seems to be a lot of post-spawned steelhead being caught last week, I suggest using a FlatFish of sorts to fish for awhile and that should help keep the steelhead away. The viewing station has had some spring Chinooks in the windows, but for some reason the salmon just didn't bite last week. Friday, the river jumped straight up from about 3,600 cfs to a staggering 9,500 cfs in half a day. With good weather in the forecast, this week might be the beginning of some countable amounts of king’s being harvested.”
• ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Oregon — Mixed reports on the lower Rogue River last week. “Many boat owners are telling me it has been good all week, while other angler said it hasn’t been that good. When it comes to spring Chinook’s and catching any of them, it is clear to me that it isn’t easy and a whole lot of luck doesn’t hurt,” said guide and WON Field Reporter Curtis Palmer of River Secrets. “Wednesday sounds like it was a good day to be at the bottom of the island at the top end of the Rogue Bay. I was told that 8 hatchery salmon were harvested in that Hawg Line. People are fishing in different places this year. Gravel has been getting pushed around on the lower river. This has obviously made some major changes to the channels and some of the favorite holes on the river.”
• KLAMATH RIVER, Klamathon, Iron Gate Dam — It’s mostly over for this time of year on the Klamath, but the salmon fly hatch is due this mid month, and may be earlier since the water is so low from the lack of rain. That will bring on the big rainbow bite at the top of the river below the dam.
• TRINITY RIVER, Douglas City — The river is still a little murky from the rains last week, and anglers should be careful about wading. Be especially careful if you’re hiking to the falls.
NORCAL SALTWATER• BERKELEY — California Dawn trolled the Paradise area for halibut and bass. Happy Hooker posted limits of bass on Friday, slower Saturday, except for a 29-pound halibut, then 11 bass and 9 halibut for 11 people on Sunday. New Easy Rider scored 10 salmon for 8 people on Wednesday. Berkeley’s live bait receiver should be selling live anchovies by the time this issue of WON hits the street.
• BODEGA BAY — New Sea Angler got into the salmon, scoring well over a fish per rod. The action was 13 miles off of Bodega Head in an area of brown water with plenty of krill balls. Surf fishers did well on red tail perch, cabezon and rockfish from Salmon Creek to Fort Ross.
• EMERYVILLE — New Seeker nailed 5 salmon to 12 pounds for 18 people. Tiger Fish worked inside the Bay, tallying 2 halibut to 7 pounds and 4 striped bass to 10 pounds.
• EUREKA — Jetty fishers had a good week, using squid strips and swimbaits to catch greenling, black rockfish, cabezon and lingcod. Pacific halibut season opened May 1 and Eureka anglers are geared up and ready to head out. Then on May 10, salmon season opens, followed on the 15th by the groundfish opener.
• FORT BRAGG — Salmon fishing was very slow overall, with only a few fish reported. Two of those came aboard Trek II. Telstar fished salmon part of the day, then pulled crab pots for good counts of heavy crabs. Shore fishers got perch, greenling and just a couple of cabezon.
• HALF MOON BAY — Coastside Fishing Club and Capt. Tom Mattusch ran a fun trip for Veteran’s aboard Huli Cat, scoring half-limits of Dungeness crabs. Salmon fishing was very slow. Shore-based anglers hauled in striped bass, lingcod and jacksmelt.
• POINT ARENA — Pier fishing was very good when the weather and seas allowed. Anglers caught red tail perch and several lingcod, according to Nate Boucher at Cove Coffee and Tackle.
• SAN FRANCISCO — Salmon boats out of Fisherman’s Wharf went out in spite of weather and put fish aboard. Wacky Jacky ran up near Point Reyes to chase a good bite.
• SAUSALITO — Finding salmon meant long runs up the coast to fish near Point Reyes. Hog Heaven scored the big salmon for the week, a 30 pounder. New Rayann posted 18 limits of salmon to 20 pounds for her happy passengers.
• SHELTER COVE — The most consistently good salmon fishing on the coast was out of Shelter Cove. C’Mon scored full limits and was back to dock around noon. Shore fishers caught smelt, greenling, cabezon and rockfish.
• VALLEJO — Napa River system seemed chock full of stripers and even sturgeon. A 49-pound bass was caught on the Napa. Friday’s rain and strong tides combined to create excellent fishing opportunities for sturgeon fishing on the strong tides throughout San Pablo Bay and opportunities for bass fishing on the slower tides.
NORTH COAST LAKES
• CLEAR LAKE — Overall conditions slowed with the weather. As anglers wait for the next warming spell this week and the next round of spawning to begin, here are a few suggestions: The number one way to consistently stay on fish with the changing weather conditions is drop-shotting 6-inch Roboworms in Folkstad’s Special or MMIII. A few fish are being caught on the S Wave baits in smaller sizes.
• LAKE BERRYESSA — Pink was the way to go again this week for an improving kokanee bite on fish to 17 inches. Try Rocky Mountain Tackle (RMT) hyper plaid, Bahama Mama Dodgers, Uncle Larry’s spinners or RMT pink plankton squids with Pautzke’s pink fire corn with natural herring oil or Pautzke’s liquid krill. Kokes and trout are spread from Skiers Cove to the Big Island. Both kokanee and trout are scattered from 18 to 40 feet deep. Use a LuckyCraft Sammy 125 in ghost water and plan on covering some water for bass.
• LAKE SONOMA — Anglers tossing their favorite swimbaits, jigs, BDS3 or plastic worms have scored good numbers of bass with a few big largemouth bass to 8 pounds. For shears numbers, grab a green pumpkin 5-inch Senko and pitch to standing timber or brush piles in 5 to15 feet of water.
• LAKE ALMANOR — Focus on fish feeding on smelt early in the morning with pond smelt imitating soft plastics. In the later morning and early afternoon, focus on fish feeding on bugs with spoons and ramp up the speed to trigger strikes from the dam to Hamilton branch on the east shore.
• BATTLECREEK RESERVOIR — Jim Cimaglia from Rim Rock Resort said there were no reports as of yet, but with the most recent snows, access could have been delayed.• BAUM LAKE — The Fly Shop in Redding reported that cloudy, wet weather this past week can produce good topwater fishing. Baetis and BWOs love this type of cloudy, wet weather and hatches can be intense.
• BUCKS LAKE — For some nice brown and rainbow trout head to Mill and Bucks creeks and find trout on Rapalas and small spoons such as Needlefish in copper/red or frog patterns. Some big mackinaw trout have been taken along the shoreline, by the dam and off Rainbow Point on large lures and P-line Lazar Minnow in a clown color.• CASSEL FOREBAY — Jim Cimaglia from Rim Rock Resort said the Forebay did a bit better on the opener with reports of some huge brook trout being taken in the upper canal area. Worms and Panther Martins worked well to entice hits from big trout. Weather here was a bit warmer at the lower elevation, but still unseasonably cold. This next week should be much better with temperatures rising slightly above average.
• FALL RIVER — River conditions looked good, but there have been no reports yet.
• UPPER HAT CREEK — Jim Cimaglia from Rim Rock Resort said the weather only partially cooperated on the stream opener as snow and rain pummeled the area last Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday keeping temperatures in the low 30s and a high of 41 on the weekend. There were not as many fishermen for a season opener as typical, but a lot of dedicated fishermen braved the weather regardless. Fish and Wildlife made heavy plants on the Friday preceding the opener, so there were lots of fish in the system, but not widely dispersed. A nice mix of rainbows and brookies were coming in, but not as many large brooders. This means there are some big fish yet to be caught as the weather warms again. Worms and Power Bait were the top producers over the weekend.
• MANZANITA LAKE — Jim Cimaglia from Rim Rock Resort said the park has not yet completely opened so no reports yet as to fishing success. But now is a good time to catch some big browns cruising the shoreline looking for a high protein snack in the warmer water of the shallows. Weighted nymphs and streamers work well this time of year, so using these patterns would be a good start. Remember this is a catch and release, single hook, artificial lure only lake and check Lassen Park’s special regulations here.
• MCCLOUD RIVER —
Opened this past weekend but no reports yet. River conditions look good.
• PIT RIVER — Watch out for increased flows below Lake Britton from March 16 to May 9 while PG&E increases the flow on the Pit 3 Reach of the river for maintenance at the powerhouse electric switchyard. The best river conditions are going to be found below Lake Britton Dam at Pit no.3 and it has been fishing well. River conditions below Pit 3 are improving, but all reports are good. Make sure you go prepared when fishing this stream during these seasonal transitions.
• SHASTA LAKE — Most bass are small males, but you can use anything you want and catch a ton of fish. For the little guys, throw Senkos and that big one still might bite. For a few larger ones try the early topwater bite with swimbaits. Trout and salmon fishing slowed with the weather. Not many were even pre-fishing for this weekend’s tourney.• TRINITY LAKE — With an abundance of bait in the system it was tougher to get bit. One nice 7-pound salmon was caught by the Buckeye Inlet on a 3-inch watermelon colored Apex.
• WHISKEYTOWN RESERVOIR — The koke bite continued to be good on either side of the Highway 299 Bridge in 30 to 60 feet. Apexes in pink or watermelon and Uncle Larry’s Bugs in green have been the ticket. Bass anglers have been targeting bedding bass along the shorelines.
• SACRAMENTO RIVER side — Interest in sturgeon fishing continued to be on the decline, but the diamondbacks are stacked up in lower Suisun Bay around Buoy 2 and the Glomar. High winds kept trollers out of the main Sacramento River on occasion, but solid action is available on calm days along the West Bank, the Old Dairy, Clyde’s Shoals, and in the Old Sacramento River to Walnut Grove. Grass shrimp continued to be in short supply, but large stripers have succumbed to shrimp in the shallows near Pittsburg. A few sturgeon are still holding in the upper Delta near Cache Slough. American shad are migrating up the Sacramento River, and they have appeared from Clarksburg north to the mouth of the Feather River.• SAN JOAQUIN RIVER side — Even the more protected San Joaquin side of the Delta was victim to high winds over the past week, but striper action is available for trollers working from the Antioch Bridge towards the mouth of the Mokelumne with both deep and shallow diving lures. The Antioch Fishing Pier has been a hotspot with keeper stripers landed on a daily basis. Largemouth bass are in all stages of spawning, and Senkos in shallow water have been productive. Extra-large and jumbo minnows continued to be top baits for largemouth while catfishing improved with a variety of baits. Crappie action has slowed, but red eared perch and bluegill remained a viable option with wax worms or red worms near Buckley Cove and Eight Mile Road west of Stockton.
• DON PEDRO RESERVOIR— Solid bites on the trout, kings and kokanee in 50 to 80 feet of water. Good options include Uncle Larry spinners and Rocky Mountain Tackle dodgers have been working well for all species. Frozen shad are also working for the kings and ’bows. Most of the kings are in the 1- to 3-pound range, with trout to 2 pounds and kokes in the healthy 12- to 14-inch class.
• LAKE MCCLURE — Good bassin’ here, with good numbers of limits reported. Top fish this past week was a 7 1/4-pound largemouth taken on a live crawdad. Live crawdads are currently doing a fair amount of damage, with large minnows doing even better. The hot spot is primarily from Arnold’s Bay to Hunter’s Point. Catfish are hitting well on large minnows, anchovies, chicken liver and crawdads. Barret’s Cove has been good for the cats. The kokanees are hitting, but they are of the smaller variety, while kings are slow. Trout have been fair in 40 to 45 feet of water near the dam, where they are hitting PBK’s rigged with ’crawlers or wedding rings rigged with ’crawlers.
• LAKE MCSWAIN — Decent numbers of limits for trout, with the majority coming in on white and garlic Power Eggs. A handful of fish were reported to 3 pounds. Trollers are doing well with Ford Fenders and trolling with multiple colors of PPK’s, including orange, rainbow and green. Below the dam and around the bridge area have been doing best. Bass have been hit and miss lately.
• NEW MELONES RESERVOIR — Bass and kokanee action has been good of late. The kokanee are primarily hitting pink and orange spinners, with both Micro Hoochies and Uncle Larry’s spinnerbaits producing well. The key target zone is around 45 to 60 feet of water for the kokes. The bass have been hitting topwater baits in the early mornings and late afternoons, while during the day they are hitting Texas-rigged worms and various other bottom-contact baits. The occasional catfish and trout are coming out, but just on a here-and-there basis. The trout are really spread out in anywhere from 10 to 60 feet of water. The water level is dropping quickly (approximately 1 foot per day).
• LAKE PARDEE — The crappie are active and biting well all around the marina and the lake’s shorelines (particularly in the coves), with the average slab being just under a pound or so. Nightcrawlers seem to be the ticket. Decent kokanee action for trollers, with Rooster Tails and Mice Tails rigged with red, rainbow or watermelon dodgers fished in about 50 feet of water scoring best. The area just outside the Narrows has been producing well. Recent weather has slowed the trout action.
• FOLSOM LAKE — The lake has some Eagle Trout in it, and anglers are fishing within the first 35 feet for rainbows up to about 18 inches. They are taking hoochies in pink and silver. Some are taking nightcrawlers, too.
• SACRAMENTO RIVER, Posse Grounds — Fishing for rainbow trout is outstanding. Fish in the morning under the coolness of the morning, and fish in the p.m. Pale morning dun’s have been good in the morning under an indicator, dead-drifted. Some caddis flies are doing well, too. Backtrolling small plugs like Hot Shots is a good bet, especially until noon or so.
• YUBA RIVER — The flow are about 1,000 cfs, and fishing is good from the Highway 20 Bridge down to the Campground.
• BOCA LAKE — The lake is at 39-percent capacity. The area saw some snow this past weekend. Nothing much has really changed here in weeks. The planter rainbows should be on the points out from the boat ramp and at the dam. There still should be some rainbow trout spawning activity in the Little Truckee above the lake - leave them alone.
• CAPLES LAKE — The lake is at 70-percent capacity and thawing. The lake received 1 1/2 feet of snow this past weekend and refroze the lake, but only with a thin sheet of ice. WON staffer Bill Karr drove by the lake on Sunday afternoon, and the snow cover makes it look solid, but it’s NOT. Ice fishing is still done for the season. Caples Lake Resort said the lake should thaw by mid-May.
• CARSON RIVER (East, West) — The DFW stocked the East Fork and West Fork Carson River and Markleeville Creek this past week for the opener and Alpine County planted 1,800 pounds of trophy rainbows. Opening day was very good with anglers catching easy limits of nice rainbows, with some averaging 2 pounds. The flows on the East Carson and West Carson were excellent, but flows on Silver Creek and Markleeville Creek slowed due the reduction in runoff caused by the cold storm that dropped snow at the higher elevations. Todd Sodaro at Todd’s Bait, Tackle, and Supplies said Alpine County released some fish over 6 pounds in the loads stocked before the opener, and so far he had not heard of anyone being able to land one, but one guy hooked a lunker that broke his rod.
• DAVIS LAKE — The lake is at 68-percent capacity. Ed Dillard at Dillard’s Guided Fishing said the trout trolling was good this past week. One boater caught 15 rainbows in three hours trolling a copper/red head Wee Dick Nite and a red-dot frog Needlefish at 8 to 10 feet deep (2 colors) around the island. The rainbows measured 16 to 21 inches. Shore fishing was rated slow as spawning behavior was still being observed by groups of rainbows cruising the shallows. The Camp 5 boat ramp has a dock in place. The work on the Honker ramp was proceeding very slowly.
• DONNER LAKE — The lake is at 84-percent capacity. Rainbow trout were still hitting at the west end public piers, the boat ramp dock, and the beach. The occasional mack was caught by a troller or shore caster.
• FEATHER RIVER CANYON— Mike Hanson at Caribou Crossroads Resort reported that fishing was good for a mix of planter rainbows and native rainbows and browns. The annual opening day derby was won with a 21-inch native rainbow caught on nightcrawlers. The river flows were perfect with good color — fishing will improve as the weather warms after the rain and snow that hit the opener.
• FRENCHMAN LAKE — The lake is at 51-percent capacity. Mountain Hardware and Sport reported that fishing was good trolling a brass Bikini Needlefish at 6 to 12 feet deep off Turkey Point. Limits of rainbows were running 14 to 18 inches. The Frenchman ramp was open, but the Lunker Point ramp will be closed all year. The Frenchman campground was already open, and the Big Cove and Spring Creek campgrounds will open on May 1. Shore fishing was slow at Lunker Point and Big Cove due to spawning activity.
• GOLD LAKES BASIN — Packer Lake, Upper Salmon Lake, and Lower Sardine Lake were all scheduled for DFW trout plants this week. Snow this past weekend made access to Gold Lake difficult, but warm weather in the forecast should help melt it off quickly. A shore angler who hiked to the Gold Lake boat ramp caught a couple of browns to 18 inches on a 3/8-ounce gold Kastmaster.
• ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR— The lake is full. The 6 inches of snow that fell here this past weekend should melt off quickly. Trout trolling was as good as it gets in the top 12 feet. One boater reported catching 20 fish in an hour on a dodger/nightcrawler. Get up here quick — this bite won’t last forever.
• INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR— Shore anglers were catching limits of rainbows ranging from planters to 2 1/2 pounders at the dam on inflated nightcrawlers and Power Bait.• JACKSON MEADOW RESERVOIR— The lake is at 88-percent capacity. The snow this past weekend closed the road again, but it could be plowed by later this week. Check with the Mountain Hardware and Sports for the latest conditions at 530-587-4844, or contact the Sierraville Ranger Station.
• JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park) — The lake is at 88-percent capacity. Sly Park Resort reported that fishing was good for planters and a few nice macks. The rainbows were hitting Power Bait and nightcrawlers at the first dam. A 4 1/2-pound mack hit a nightcrawler trolled between the second dam and the island.
• LAKE TAHOE — Captain Zack at Tahoe Sportfishing reported that their boats were picking up limits of 4- to 7-pound macks on early morning trips bouncing live bait on the bottom in 180 to 240 feet of water along the west side from Rubicon to Tacoma. The afternoon bite was much tougher. Mike Nielsen at Tahoe Topliners Sportfishing reported good brown trout action trolling in the shallows on the south and west sides. Rapala Tail Dancers covered with Pautzke’s Krill worked for browns averaging 3 to 4 pounds with the occasional 7 pounder. On one afternoon trip he caught 9 browns and a rainbow in 2 1/2 hours —that’s good fishing.
• LOON LAKE — The lake is at 74-percent capacity. Snow this past weekend will make access a problem — call the Pacific Ranger Station to find out the latest road conditions and when they’re going to open the gate to the boat ramp at 530-644-2344.
• PROSSER LAKE — The lake is at 38-percent capacity and was stocked by the DFW this past week. Mountain Hardware and Sports reported that shore anglers were doing well around the boat ramp after the plant.
• PYRAMID LAKE — Trollers were picking up a few cutthroats along the west side from Warrior Point to the Nets on Apex run 20 to 40 feet deep mostly over 50 to 70 feet of water, but as much as 150 feet. The red dot frog and rainbow Apex were working well for George Molino of Cutthroat Charters and Joe Mendes at Eagle Eye Charters. Shore anglers were scratching for fish with only one weighed in at Crosby’s Lodge this past week — a 12 1/2 pounder caught on a black woolly bugger at the South Nets. George Molino said he saw a shore angler pick up a 7 to 8 pounder at Pelican. Spawning season has slowed the bite overall.
• RED LAKE — The storm refroze the lake with a thin layer of ice — much too thin for ice fishing though.• SILVER LAKE — The lake is at 82-percent capacity. The lake was open and boats were launching this past week, according to Caples Lake Resort staff. Mackinaw trolling should be good.
• STAMPEDE RESERVOIR — The lake is at 41-percent capacity. Some snow fell here this past weekend. The lake was stocked by the DFW 2 weeks ago and there should still be plenty of rainbows hitting Power Bait and worms by the boat ramp and the nearby points. Not much has been said lately about the kokanee that were being caught a few weeks ago, but they should still be there and getting more active. Check around the island with dodgers/hoochies or spinners.
• TOPAZ LAKE — Topaz Landing Marina is now able to launch any size recreational boat, even those on tandem-axle trailers, since the lake rose another 6 inches this past week. The County Park ramp was still not open. Trollers were still picking up limits of nice rainbows on flasher/worms and Rapalas.
• TRUCKEE RIVER — The Little Truckee River along Highway 89 was scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Mountain Hardware and Sports said the fishing in the general section was good using salmon eggs, worms, Panther Martins, and Rooster Tails. Flyfishing was productive using BWO, March Browns, and skwala stones, but runoff from the latest snow will make for tougher conditions.
• UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR— The lake is at 88-percent capacity. The road to the ramp near the dam off Pea Vine Ridge Road was still in very poor condition with lots of bumps and potholes ready to break a trailer. Ken Mathis at Ken’s Custom Tackle and Guide Service said the rapidly rising water level shut off the mack bite. The lake needs to stabilize before the bite kicks back in.
• WEST WALKER RIVER — The Little Walker and West Walker were stocked by the DFW this past week for the opener. The opener on the West Walker was “fabulous” by any measure. Limits of rainbows were common with fish averaging 2 to 3 pounds and bigger trout to 4 1/2 pounds netted by lucky anglers. Panther Martins, worms, and salmon eggs were all working. “Everyone was happy!” according to the Toiyabe Motel and the West Walker Motel. Snow closed the passes on Friday night, which caused serious problems for anglers traveling from the west side, but they should be cleared soon with warm weather in the forecast.
• AMERICAN RIVER — The river opened on the North Fork, Middle Fork, and South Fork above Folsom Lake to trout fishing with barbed hooks and bait. The easiest access is on the South Fork along Highway 50 and on the Silver Fork south of Kyburz. The North Fork can be reached by hiking down established trails off Foresthill Road. The Middle Fork fishes well below the dam at French Meadows Reservoir — bring good hiking boots.
• BULLARDS BAR — The lake is at 69-percent capacity. Guide Ron Gandolfi reported that bass fishing was very good. Deep crankbaits, swimbaits, darthead worms and Senkos, jig, and tubes were all working at incoming water or on the points leading into the coves. The fish were holding at 5 to 20 feet deep.
• CAMP FAR WEST — The lake is full. North Shore Resort reported that bass fishing was good. Ron Franks of Folsom caught 32 bass to 2 pounds using bluegill and oxblood Roboworms and green pumpkin Brush Hogs on the main body and in Rock Creek at 8 to 10 feet deep. The water temp ran 64 to 68 degrees — prime spawning conditions.• COLLINS LAKE — The lake is 15 feet from full. The DFW stocked 1,000 pounds of rainbows, the Resort planted 2,000 pounds of trophy trout and they released the last two pens of rainbows reared at the marina for a total of about 4,500 pounds this past week. Trout fishing was excellent with LOTS of limits checked in. Trollers were doing well using flasher or dodger/worm combos and Rapalas while the shore anglers relied on Power Bait and worms. Catfish from 4 to 10 3/4 pounds were caught this past week on live crawdads, and bass were hitting them too. Bass to 5 pounds were hitting lures and bait.
• ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR — The lake is at 91-percent capacity. Boaters running up to the North Fork and South Fork Yuba River confluence were catching rainbows to 19 inches drifting and trolling nightcrawlers, according to Lisa Rogers at Skippers Cove Marina.
• FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR — The lake is at 56-percent capacity. Snow fell at this elevation this past weekend, but warm weather should melt it by this weekend. Call the Foresthill Ranger Station to confirm that access is open at 530-367-2224. The campgrounds could open as early as May 16, weather permitting. Shore fishing was good around the boat ramp using Power Bait and worms, and boat launching was difficult according to Will Fish Tackle in Auburn.
• FULLER LAKE — The lake is scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Shore fishing will be good around the boat ramp and the dam. Trollers should do well near the ramp.
• HELL HOLE RESERVOIR — The lake is at 65-percent capacity. There was snow at lake level this past weekend and no boats were on the lake. Call the Georgetown Ranger Station for the latest road conditions at 530-333-4312.
• LAKE OROVILLE — The lake is at 53-percent capacity. Guide Ron Gandolfi reported that bass fishing was “awesome”. Bass were hitting every lure in the tackle box from crankbaits to worms. The bass were stacked up on the steep walls leading into and out of the spawning coves — either pre-spawn or post-spawn fish. Deep cranks, Persuader spinnerbaits, grubs, darthead worm, weightless Senkos, tubes, drop-shot worms, and jigs were all working. The reaction bite was best in the mudlines. In the spawning coves, use weedless jigs around brush, and darthead worms and tubes on the clear gravel or rock banks — basic Bass 101. Big bait schools were seen moving closer to the surface, so the topwater bite shouldn’t be too far behind.
• ROLLINS LAKE — The lake is at 97-percent capacity. Rainbow trout were hitting dodger/worms for trollers in Long Ravine, while the browns liked Rapalas in the Bear River inlet. Bass fishing should be good.
• SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE — The lake is at 84-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Shore fishing should be good near the marina until the fish disperse out into the lake. Jim Caldwell at the marina said trollers were also picking up some 11- to 14-inch rainbows from Cascade Shore to the dam on flasher/worms. 2- to 3-pound smallmouth bass were hitting near the Hensley House.
• SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR — The Foresthill Ranger Station reported that snow fell at lake level this past weekend, but with hot weather in the forecast for this week, it would most likely melt and not be a problem for campers and fishermen. The campgrounds were supposed to open on April 25, but the unexpected snow could delay that. Call the Foresthill Ranger Station to confirm that access is good, and the campgrounds are open at 530-367-2224.
• STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR — The Georgetown Ranger Station reported that the campgrounds were open and the camp host said that shore anglers and trollers were only catching a few rainbows.
• THERMOLITO AFTERBAY — The lake was at 134.4-foot elevation at press time —84-percent capacity. Guide Ron Gandolfi reported the bass bite was good for bass moving into the shallows around the tule banks in the coves. Persuader buzzbaits and jigs were working well. Cast the buzzbaits between or in front of the tules, and pitch the jigs tight to the pockets.
- Western Outdoor News
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