Fishing Line

May 19, 2014

Fishing Line: Week of May 19, 2014

Shad fishing is plentiful this week on the American and Sacramento rivers.

Top Picks

•  AMERICAN RIVER – Fishing for shad has been very good with many anglers catching them from Discovery Park, all the way to the Sailor Bar Park. Try white, pink and chartreuse patterns. Fishing for some late season steelhead has been very good, too. Try caddis and pmd nymphs under indicators.
•  SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento – Shad fishing has been good at Discovery Park, Miller Park and Verona. Fish have gone upstream and taken lots of small shad with them. Catfish are also fishing in the Toe Drain and Deep Water Channel. Tisdale—Shad fishing has been good, and there’s been lots of fishing for striped bass at night on black rubber worms Red Bluff—Shad have gotten all the way to Red Bluff, and some anglers are doing combinations Trips. Anglers can fish for shad in the a.m. and trout later on, getting in both species in one day. Redding—Trout are putting on a show with some big rainbows to about 5 pounds taking pmd nymphs under indicators. Flow have been up raised to about 7,500 cfs.
•  CARSON RIVER (East, West) – The West Carson is scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Runoff made for murky conditions in the East Carson and Silver Creek, the flows were clear in the West Carson and Markleeville Creek. Todd Sodaro at Todd’s Bait, Tackle and Supplies reported that fishing pressure was low, but a few fish were being caught all over. Alpine County will stock 1800 pounds of 1- to 4-pound rainbows in the East and West Carson this week (900 pounds in each river).
•  UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR – The lake is at 91-percent capacity. Guide Ken Mathis put a Wounded Warrior on a 20-plus pound Mackinaw this past week using a herring. The big fish was 37 inches long and had a girth of 21 inches. 12- to 13-inch kokanee were hitting pink or orange spinners and hoochies at 16 to 35 feet deep.


•  ROGUE RIVER, Shady Cove, Oregon Water conditions remain good in the Grants Pass area, but not much action is being posted on salmon. A few fish have been taken on green-lip and silver body Kwikfish with a sardine wrapper, or a Worden’s 5.0 plug,” said Troy Whitaker at U-Save Tackle in Grants Pass. “Best catches are still being made up in the Shady Cove area and up to the dam for shore and boat anglers. Lots of strong water flows, so rowing is an effort. Catches are made on Kwikfish with a sardine wrapper. Sand shrimp or roe have produced some fish also for shore anglers.”
•  ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Oregon – I haven't heard anything over the last week on how good the mouth of the Rogue River was last week. For up-to-date reports by the day I have had very good information received from The Rogue Outdoor Store in Gold Beach at (541) 247-2451 over the dozen plus years I have been fishing in the area. With recent rainstorms I would expect to see a few more pushes of springers coming into the river through the three day weekend coming up.
•  RUSSIAN RIVER – Flows are down to a dismal 120 cfs, so any shad are locked into deep holes or below any dams that are up. Poor fishing conditions for anything except smallmouth bass, which can always be found in the deeper water areas.
•  SELMAC LAKE, Selma, Oregon – Anglers are doing well on largemouth bass, with some 7 and 8 pounders taken on Senkos during the daytime, while topwater plugs and buzzbaits produce action in the evening and nighttime hours, reported guide Troy Whitaker at U-Save Tackle in Grants Pass.
•  UMPQUA RIVER, North Fork; Glide, Oregon – If good salmon fishing is what you are looking for, then this is a great spot to find jut that, according to WON Field Reporter Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Guide Service. “Last week anglers found a mix of off-colored spring Chinooks to salmon as bright as a new nickel being caught on the banks of this river. The recent rains didn't do much for the volume of water in the river system, however it sure seemed to be the perfect amount to keep these salmon active. There are many holes upriver from Glide where a person can see the salmon jumping and slapping. With all the limit-sized catches last week and the forecast for more rain, I am expecting to see even better fishing this upcoming week.”
•  UMPQUA RIVER, Roseburg, Oregon – With just enough rain during the last storm to keep the temperature of the river cool, it has become difficult in many areas to run a jetboat through the rocky channels, according to Curtis Palmer of River Secrets. “These deep rocky channels are good spots to fish, as the spring king salmon are making their way upriver using these deep slots in many instances. Middle of the week was probably the best day for fishing below Elkton. I suggest anchoring your boat a few hundred yards above rapids using herring or anchovies. I have been using the 3.5-inch Mag Lips for springer fishing and have started become more impressed with the way these plugs are working. Next week should be much better, if people start putting most of their effort near the Confluence of both forks of the river.


•  KLAMATH RIVER, Iron Gate – There haven’t been any sightings of the big salmon fly hatch yet or the spring king salmon, but fishing has been very good for nice rainbow from 1 to 5 pouunds. They’ve been taking nightcrawlers behind divers or side-drifted divers.
•  KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen – Spring salmon fishing has been poor, and there’s lots of moss in the lower river. It’s even posing some problems for Indian netting. A few fish are getting up to the falls on the Trinity, but not many.
•  TRINITY RIVER, Willow Creek – The spring Chinook salmon season appears to be in trouble, with very few fish entering the Trinity River from the Klamath River. A very few salmon are entering the Trinity River and finding their way upriver with an occasional fish at the falls. Even the Indians have been having trouble filling their nets.


•  CLEAR LAKE – Now is the time to get out your black or white frogs. Topwater, jigs, shaky heads and drop-shot rigs were also productive. Sight fishing got tougher due to carp stirring up the waters while spawning. Find some clear water and that will work, as the bass are only half finished spawning.
•  LAKE BERRYESSA – A full moon and some wind slowed the koke bite a bit, but anglers still found limits. The fish were holding from 38 to 45 feet deep. Uncle Larry's spinners in orange with a copper back, pink tiger, RMT purple super squids teamed up with RMT dodgers in Bahama, hyper plaid and watermelon connected with fish. The best corn was Pautzke red and pink fire corn straight from the jar. The kokanee and some big rainbows came from the Big Island area. Don't forget that the California Inland Fisheries (CIFFI) derby is on Saturday June 7th out of Markley Cove Resort.
•  LAKE SONOMA – Stay in the Cherry Creek arm and pitch Senkos and Roboworms in and around standing timber in the 10- to 15-foot range. Green pumpkin Senkos and Aaron's Magic in Roboworms caught the majority of bass. Troll for steelies in front of the dam and up towards the No Ski buoys. Apex, Needlefish and Humdingers have been working well.


•  LAKE ALMANOR – Mooching was the way to go. The bite slowed a bit with the wind and full moon but should pick back up. Big Springs had some quality kings to almost 4 pounds. Try a half nightcrawler, or anchovy tails 4 1/2 cranks off the bottom or about 6 feet. There’s more smelt at the dam than any other spot. Slow trolling Gulp! smelt, or ripping trolling flies off lead core for clean rainbows from 2- to 3 1/2-pound and salmon to 3 pounds are working.
•  BAUM LAKE – This lake is a go-to spot on wet or cloudy days, as it helps the hatches. There has been some pretty good dry fly fishing going on.

• BUCKS LAKE — Catching a mix of rainbows, a few trophy brown trout and even a few brookies in the top 10 feet. For the chance at some big macks, try pulling plugs deeper and target fish focusing on little kokes.

•  CASSEL FOREBAY — Brook trout continue to be taken in the upper canal area. Worms and Panther Martins worked well to entice hits from big trout.
•  EAGLE LAKE — Opens Memorial Day (May 24). Ramp at the south is working fine.
•  FALL RIVER — The Fly Shop in Redding reported fair to good fishing here, but few hatches yet. Get out early, the bite can die down after about 2:30.
•  UPPER HAT CREEK — As the weather warms up there should be lots of good hatches going off. In the meantime try worms and Power Bait. The Power House No. 2 riffle has been giving up fish. Water conditions have been great.
•  MANZANITA LAKE — The fish are starting to warm and get hungry. Remember this is a catch and release, single hook, artificial lure only lake and check Lassen Park’s special regulations here.
•  McCLOUD RIVER — River conditions are good and the dry fly action has been good early and late. Nymphs are always an option here.
•  PIT RIVER – The best river conditions are going to be found below Lake Britton Dam at Pit No. 3 and it has been fishing well. Hatches have been going off midday to early evening.
•  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. Slow, but Dry Creek had a few salmon at 100, 120 and 150 feet. Try a large Sling Blade with a white hoochie 15 inches behind the Sling Blade.
•  TRINITY LAKE — With an abundance of bait in the system, it’s tough to get bit. Some nice salmon have been caught by the Buckeye Inlet on a 3-inch watermelon colored Apex or by the dam. You won’t get many bites here, but a few nice trout were caught by the dam.


•  BERKELEY California Dawn fished the Berkeley Flats for better than a striper per rod and some nice counts of halibut (like 14 for 17 anglers). For Berkeley Charter boats, salmon averaged a fish to a fish and a half per rod. A 29 pounder was caught on the El Dorado and a 27 pounder on New Easy Rider. Bay potluck trips averaged 2 fish per rod.
•  BODEGA BAY/LAWSON’S LANDING – Salmon fishing off of Point Reyes spiked, with some boats scoring limits of fish to 20 pounds. Rocky shoreline spots gave up rockfish and cabezon, while the sandy beaches –where they intersect with rocky areas –produced catches of red tail perch. Crabbing showed signs of the season winding down.
•  EMERYVILLE – Wednesday was the big day for the Emeryville Fleet with all salmon boats scoring limits. The rest of the week averaged about a fish and a half per rod. Rougher weather was a factor. Tiger Fish worked Central Bay for high counts of striped bass to 14 pounds and decent counts of halibut to 16 pounds.
•  EUREKA – Pacific halibut fishing was wildly good for early season and the size of the fish was impressive, like up to 114 pounds. Salmon were a bit slow for some private boaters, however charter boats caught mostly limits. The rockfish opener down by Cape Mendocino was excellent for both rockfish and for lingcod.
•  FORT BRAGG – Abalone gathering was a cinch and staff at Subsurface Progression Dive Shop reported loads of limits of abalone. Rockfish season opener went very well aboard Sea Hawk and Telstar, with limits of lingcod common and people having trouble getting through the voracious lings to catch rockfish.
•  HALF MOON BAY – Salmon counts took off, hitting, and even topping a fish per rod on some trips aboard Queen of Hearts, Huli Cat and Riptide. Limits of rockfish and near-limits of lingcod came from below town in waters as shallow as 50 feet. Striped bass bit in the surf from El Gregorio to Pacifica.
•  SHELTER COVE – Capt. Jared Morris of C’Mon sportfishing in Shelter Cove reported nice clear water and very good shore fishing/diving. Fishers caught plenty of rockfish and cabezon. Divers got limits of black rockfish and some impressive lingcod up to 30 pounds. Salmon fishing wasn’t as easy as last week. The fish were deeper and farther away.
•  VALLEJO – Striped bass were available on both sides of town. The Vallejo waterfront produced plenty of keeper bass for shore fishers. On the Napa side, near American Canyon, some bigger units were scarfing shrimp baits. Near Cuttings Wharf, sturgeon to 54 inches were caught.


•  AMADOR LAKE — The trout bite here has been okay during the day with a decent number of smaller fish. The evening is the time to fish for trophy trout, particularly by the big blue boat dock. Catfish have been active recently with the top baits being nightcrawlers, anchovies, crawdads and chicken livers. Most of the catfish are 7 to 8-pounds, however, a 26-pound catfish was caught on fly-fishing gear this week. When trying for bass, use small plastic worms and senkos in the backs of coves. Crappie fishing has been good at the docks and in the coves.
•  CAMANCHE LAKE – Fishing for trout and bass remains good here. Most of the trout action has been occurring in the South Shore pond with Power Bait and worms. Trollers are having the best luck out by the dam and Hat Island. Bass anglers fishing near the small islands and up into the river are meeting with good success as well.
•  LAKE MCCLURE – The bass action here is good. Anglers have been casting minnows and crawdads off of McClure Point and Barrett’s cove for the bass that are trying to bulk back up after the spawn. Kokanee and king salmon have also been showing up for those fishing at depths of 70 to 80-feet along the dam and McClure point.
•  LAKE MCSWAIN – The trout action has slowed here due to a lack of recent plants and warmer weather. Shore anglers have been casting orange and chartreuse Power Bait from the bank, while boaters have been trolling up in the river arm using a variety of spinners behind a dodger.
•  LAKE PARDEE – The trout fishing here picked up on Sunday. Anglers using Power Bait in orange and peach colors were having good success from shore. Trollers have been catching a few kokanee by the Narrows using Micro Hoochies with corn behind a medium dodger. The bass bite has been good with nightcrawlers and Senkos. Worms and jigs have been producing good numbers of crappie for those targeting them.
•  NEW MELONES RESERVOIR – Despite being hit or miss, many kokanee anglers have gone home with limits. Most of the fish are in the 11- to 13-inch range with the occasional fish up to 15 inches. Pink is the best color for lures such as Micro Hoochies and Uncle Larry’s fished behind dodgers. The catfish action has been really good this week, with fish up to 18 pounds being caught on shad, sardines and anchovies. The bass spawn is over, but many of the fish are hitting topwater lures in the mornings and evenings. Anglers fishing Senkos and jigs have been doing well all day at depths of 5 to 40 feet.


•  BOCA LAKE – The lake is at 39-percent capacity. The lake apparently received an unscheduled DFW plant, because the rainbow trout fishing was wide-open at the inlet, according to Mountain Hardware and Sports.
•  CAPLES LAKE – The lake is at 83-percent capacity and was stocked with 22,700 brown trout fingerlings this past week and is scheduled for a DFW rainbow trout plant this week. Caples Lake Resort marina and boat rentals are open. Public launching is available for $10.
•  DAVIS LAKE – The lake is at 66-percent capacity. Rick Kennedy at Tight Lines Guide Service reported that trout fishing was hit-or-miss—some boats had a few, others did well. The best bite was on the red dot frog Needlefish trolled 6 to 25 feet deep on both sides of the island, by Camp 5 and north of the island. Ed Dillard reported that shore fishing was good at Fairview on Power Bait for rainbows to 23 inches. Flyfishermen were picking up a few fish along the west side from Eagle Point to Cow Creek.
•  DONNER LAKE – The lake is at 98-percent capacity. The lake was stocked by the DFW this past week and rainbow trout fishing was very good at the west end near the boat ramp and beach.
•  FEATHER RIVER CANYON — Butt Valley Lake is at 89-percent capacity. The North Fork Feather was scheduled to be stocked by the DFW this past week, but reports from Mike Hanson at Caribou Crossroads Resort indicated that the plant may not have occurred. The bite was very slow for those who tried.
•  FRENCHMAN LAKE – The lake is at 49-percent capacity. Wiggins Trading Post reported that fishing was best at Lunker Point for anglers using Power Bait and nightcrawlers.
•  GOLD LAKES BASIN — Packer Lake, Salmon Lake, Snag Lake and Sardine Lake were all fishing well with the recent DFW plants.
•  ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR – The lake is full. Trollers can still catch planter rainbows in the top 10 feet, but the ant hatch has slowed the bite from the previous “wide-open” rating. The campgrounds are open.
•  INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR – Shore anglers were still picking up some nice rainbows at the dam on Power Bait and worms.
•  JACKSON MEADOW RESERVOIR — The lake is at 96-percent capacity. The rainbow trout bite was still good at the Yuba River inlet for trollers using flasher or dodger/nightcrawlers or Rapalas.
•  JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park) – Sly Park Resort said the smallmouth bass bite was improving for fish to 4 3/4 pounds along the east side of the lake into the Narrows using worms and jigs. Rainbows and few small macks were hitting Power Bait and worms at the second dam.
•  LAKE TAHOE – Chuck Self at Chuck’s Charter Fishing reported “absolutely incredible” action in the early mornings for macks from Tahoe City to Crystal Bay at 150 to 400 feet deep. He was catching limits of 3- to 9-pound macks by 8:30 a.m. Scott Carey at Tahoe Sportfishing reported catching limits of macks bouncing live bait on both ends of the lake.
•  LOON LAKE—The lake is at 86-percent capacity. The USFS will open the boat ramp on Tuesday and the campgrounds on Thursday.
•  PROSSER LAKE – The lake is at 35-percent capacity. Brian Nylund at Mountain Hardware and Sports reported seeing a video of a 20-inch plus cutthroat that was hooked and lost in the Prosser Creek arm this past week. The smallmouth bass bite has not kicked in yet.
•  PYRAMID LAKE – Crosby’s Lodge reported that fishing was slow for big fish—only one double-digit cutthroat was weighed this past week. Dave Stoddard of Sacramento caught a 14 1/4-pound cutthroat trolling at the Willows. Shore anglers at the Nets were still catching smaller fish.
•  RED LAKE – Not much to report from here. The lake is low and fishing access is best at the dam. Cast an inflated worm off the dam and hope for the best.
•  SILVER LAKE – The lake is full and was stocked by the DFW this past week. The Silver Lake East campground opened. Trolling should be good for a mix of rainbows, browns and some big Mackinaws.
•  STAMPEDE RESERVOIR – The lake is at 36-percent capacity. Rick Kennedy at Tight Lines Guide Service reported that the kokanee bite was still excellent for 12- to 13-inch fish using a Sep’s watermelon dodger and a RMT Assassin spinner tipped with Pautzke’s Fire Corn from 26 to 35 feet deep. The ramp was cleaned off and launching was easier and didn’t require 4-wheel drive.
•  TOPAZ LAKE – Chuck Fields at Topaz Landing Marina reported that he had enough water on his ramp to launch small aluminum fishing boats on single axle trailers only. Windy weather all this past week kept fishing pressure to a minimum.
•  TRUCKEE RIVER – Mountain Hardware and Sports reported that the flyfishing was getting good on golden stones, little yellow stones, caddis and PMDs. Some residual BWO and March brown action was still being seen. The flying ant hatch is just around the corner and should bust open the bite on terrestrials.
•  WEST WALKER RIVER – The Little Walker and West Walker are scheduled for DFW trout plants this week. George Anderson at the Toiyabe Motel reported that the flows were up due to a heavy rain that fell this past week, but the water was clear and dropping by the weekend. Fishing in the deeper pools was good for rainbows to 4 pounds.


•  FEATHER RIVER – There are a few streelhead up in the Low Flow Section, and some shad below Gridley. There aren’t many striped bass, though.
•  FOLSOM LAKE – Trout fishing has been pretty good, with anglers fishing Speedy Shiners near the Surface at 2.5, and 3.0 mph for some nice holdover rainbows. The landlocked salmon bite has turned off lately, but fishing for catfish has picked up in the backs of coves. Bass are in the coves
•  RANCHO SECO – Some trout are still present from the recent plant of rainbow trout from the tournament, supposedly, but WON Staffer Bill Karr hasn’t caught one all winter, so plants weren’t frequent. He did well on bluegill and had a big bass break 4-lb. line last week after it hit a trout spinner. However, the reservoir is warming up quite a bit, and is not likely to see much more trout fishing in the near future. It’s going to be mostly redear sunfish, and maybe a few bass in the mornings or evenings.


•  AMERICAN RIVER – Tom Lanini of Davis reported that the North Fork off Foresthill Rd. was running a bit high but clear. He caught a dozen rainbows to 11 inches on Panther Martins close to the bottom and in the quieter pockets along the shore. Will Fish Tackle in Auburn reported anglers were hiking up and down stream on the North Fork and Middle Fork from the confluence and catching small rainbows on spinners. The South Fork at Coloma is scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week and can be accessed at the State Park and Lotus Park.
•  BULLARDS BAR – The lake is at 68-percent capacity. Emerald Cove Marina reported an 8-pound spot was caught from the docks by the launch ramp using a Senko. Most of the bass were holding on the points at 30 to 50 feet deep. No word on any trout or kokanee trolling.
•  CAMP FAR WEST – With the hot weather this past week and weekend, the recreational boaters took over the lake—North Shore Resort described it as crazy. Do yourself a favor and only fish during the week.
•  COLLINS LAKE – The lake is 18 feet from full and was stocked with 1800 pounds of rainbows including trophy trout this past week. The warmer weather slowed the trout bite, but a few limits were still coming in for both shore anglers and trollers. Bass and catfish were hitting better in the warmer water.
•  ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR – The lake is at 95-percent capacity. Boaters heading up the lake to the Buck’s Beach area were picking up some nice 16- to 20-inch rainbows on Power Bait.
•  FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR – The lake is at 57-percent capacity. The Foresthill Ranger Station said all the campgrounds were open, but the water system had not been cleared for use yet—call ahead to get the latest word on the water supply at 530-367-2224. Both boat ramps were open with a $5 day-use fee. Campground costs range from $20 to $24 per night!! Get a motel room for a few bucks more instead!
•  FULLER LAKE — The lake was stocked by the DFW this past week. Try for planter rainbows by the boat ramp and day-use area.
•  HELL HOLE RESERVOIR – The lake is at 69-percent capacity. The Georgetown Ranger Station reported the Big Meadows and Hell Hole campgrounds were open. Boaters were trolling, but the USFS had little to report about fishing success.
•  LAKE OROVILLE – The lake is at 51-percent capacity. Guide Ron Gandolfi reported that bass fishing was very good. Anglers were still catching 30 to 65 bass per day on a wide variety of lures including spinnerbaits, crankbaits, tubes, drop-shot worms, Senkos, jigs and Keitech 3.8 swimbaits. The majority of the fish were post-spawners in the 1 1/4- to 1 3/4-pound range. Rick Kennedy of Tight Lines Guide Service trolled for salmon this past week and scored four kings to 20 inches and a 22-inch coho. Kennedy said he trolled a set of large Pro Trol flashers and a Berkley Gulp! Minnow at 36 to 45 feet deep in the North Fork and near the dam.
•  ROLLINS LAKE – The lake is at 98-percent capacity. Ryan Drake at NID reported that bass fishing was good in all the coves for anglers using Senkos. Trout were still hitting for trollers and shore anglers in Long Ravine and up in the Bear River inlet.
•  SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE – The lake is at 83-percent capacity. Look for smallmouth bass on the rocky shores along Hensley House or at the dam. Trout were hitting at the inlet.
•  SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR – The lake was stocked by the DFW this past week. The Foresthill Ranger Station reported that fishing was good near the boat ramp. The campgrounds are open.
•  STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR – The lake was stocked by the DFW this past week. The Georgetown Ranger Station reported that fishing was good for trollers and shore anglers. The campgrounds are open. Boat launching costs $7.
•  THERMOLITO AFTERBAY – The lake was at 134.6-foot elevation at press time—85-percent capacity. There should still be some bass spawning activity on the tule banks—try Senkos, jigs, spinnerbaits and buzzbaits.


• SACRAMENTO RIVER side — Striped bass continue to move through the system, and fresh fish are moving upriver with others running back quickly towards San Francisco Bay. The key has been to avoid the winds to intercept the linesides. Sturgeon action has been limited to a few diehard fishermen in Suisun Bay, but the results have been promising for those willing to put in the time. Shad fishing has been the top draw in the north Delta from Clarksburg to Freeport.

• SAN JOAQUIN RIVER side — More encouraging signs of school-sized striped bass came on the San Joaquin side of the Delta with the fish scattered from the Antioch Bridge towards the Old River. Live bait, fresh shad, or sardines were the top draw in the generally off-color water due to large tides, but a few experienced anglers are catching and releasing big stripers in low-light conditions with topwater lures in the back sloughs. Live bluegill have been a top bait for stripers, and the bluegill are thickest in Whiskey Slough and in the Old River. Topwater frogs and prop baits are working for largemouth bass during the intermittent periods of hot weather while crankbaits are scoring heavily on windy days. Catfishing has started to show signs of life with fresh or frozen clams or mackerel.

– Western Outdoor News

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