TOP PICKS• SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff — The river opened to fishing north of Red Bluff to the Deschutes River Bridge. Fishing was outstanding opening day from the Barge Hole downstream into the Canyon, but the action has been up and down since them. Fish were mostly in good shape at the Barge Hole and into the Canyon below, and increasingly brighter the farther downstream you go.
• SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento - Salmon fishing continued to be very slow from Sacramento up to Chico. Some salmon were being caught jigging around Freeport. Catfish have been one of the better bets in the Deep Water Channel, at Lisbon Slough, Verona and the 113 Bridge.
• DELTA REGION: SACRAMENTO RIVER side – Salmon action on both ends of the Sacramento River is exhibiting a heartbeat, with more fish taken from the shorelines at Benicia and by spooning near Freeport than at any time since the river salmon opener. The wind has limited sturgeon fishermen, but large stripers in excess of 20 pounds continued to be captured on live bait, especially during the evenings when the wind is absent. The Middle Grounds, the Firing Line, Broad Slough, and in the shallows of Honker Bait has been the top locations for huge striped bass. Smallmouth bass are numerous along rocky structure with Senkos or crankbaits in the upper stretch of the Delta near Isleton and Walnut Grove.
• DELTA REGION: SAN JOAQUIN RIVER side — Small striped bass are the rule, but the occasional quality lineside is taken on live bait, sardines, or frozen shad. Live mudsuckers have been effective, and Gotcha Bait in Antioch remained the top location for the gobis. Fresh shad of small quantity has been trickling in to local bait shops. Bluegill and catfish are plentiful in the south Delta with the best action in the sloughs. Jumbo red worms or waxworms are best for bluegill while anchovies, sardines, and frozen or fresh clams are tops for catfish. Largemouth bass fishing is outstanding with topwater lures, rip baits, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, and swimming jigs outside of the weed lines. Punching the weeds is also effective.
• LAKE TAHOE — Trolling or jigging for macks was still excellent on both ends of the lake. Kokanee action was red-hot at South Shore for limits of 12- to 14-inch salmon. Chuck Self at Chuck’s Charter Fishing was catching daily limits of 3- to 8-pound macks by 8:00 a.m. Mike Nielsen at Tahoe Topliners Sportfishing was catching 15 to 20 macks per trip with lots of catch-and-release while trolling, jigging, and drifting live bait. Zack Gordon at Tahoe Sportfishing reported easy limits of kokanee off South Shore trolling 60 to 90 feet deep and picking up five to ten 3- to 6-pound macks per trip as a bonus trolling dodger/minnows under the kokes.
NORTH COAST RIVERS• COQUILLE RIVER, Bandon, Ore.—“It is still early for the Coquille River to be popping out too many king salmon, but there have already been a few caught on this river,” said WONField Reporter Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Guide Service. “I have not been told by anyone of this happening yet, but this is one of those situations where the local talent will keep their mouths tightly shut for as long as they can keep the secret to themselves. The Coquille River salmon season peak varies due to it being a short season in comparison to other rivers. The Rocky Point area on the lower Coquille River is primarily a September fishery. Some of the nicest size Chinooks in Southern Oregon can be found in these waters. In recent years, we have been able to retain wild Coho salmon on this river. The Coho salmon season runs at the same time as our Chinook season.”
• ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Oregon – Fishing for fall Chinook has continued to get better and better on the Rogue River. According to WON Field Reporter and guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets, Tuesday, August 5th, was by far the best day for fishing of the season. Most guides had anywhere from three to four salmon in their ice chests for the day, with two guides that I know of who had caught five salmon each in their boats. We are seeing more and more 30-pound-plus fish being caught. Strong winds came in the last part of the week, having a bad effect on the fishing. Although there were plenty of fish in the bay, they were not as active and that showed at the fish cleaning station.”
• ROGUE RIVER, Grant’s Pass, Oregon – “Salmon are not really biting well, but we know they are out there,” said Troy Whitaker at U-Save Tackle in Grants Pass. “Not many anglers have been out, so that may make for the lack of reports. Things should pick up this week, however, as more water flow is expected to be pushed out of Lost Creek Lake. Steelhead action is scattered and is fair from Valley of the Rogue and below this area. There are also some reports of action from Rogue River down to Pierce. Anglers are still getting steelhead by back-bouncing crawdad plugs such as the K-9.” The 19th annual Middle Rogue Steelheaders derby festivities kick off on Sept. 4, with a banquet dinner at the Tap Rock Event Center on 7th Street in Grants Pass.
• RUSSIAN RIVER - “I fished the Russian from my pontoon inflatable from 4-7 p.m. last Monday from Johnson’s Beach to Guernewood and caught a dozen smallies to 2 pounds and one 5- pound pike minnow using olive and burnt orange crayfish flies and olive articulated streamers with a sink tip line,” said Scott Heemstra from Kings Sport and Tackle in Guerneville. “As for new regulations on the river, I haven't heard an update, but my understanding was that the proposed change will start the 2015/16.”
• UMPQUA RIVER, Reedsport, Oregon – The beginning of the salmon season on the Umpqua River has started out strong this year, according to guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets.Tuesday of last week was the best day for fishing on the Umpqua River in the Reedsport area this fall Chinook season. Several anglers limited out on Chinook salmon. Reports indicated that some guides did exceptionally well for this time of the season, like Mike Springer of Springer Guide Service, catching 8 salmon on Tuesday. Strong winds kept anglers away from the mouth of the river on the second half of last week and that appeared to slow the bite down as well. Predictions for salmon fishing on the lower Umpqua River for the next two weeks are that it should continue to improve on an almost daily basis.
TRINITY/KLAMATH RIVERS• KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen – Fishing for steelhead was very good again last week, with a dozen or more steelhead a day being caught below Blue Creek. A few adult Chinook were being caught, too, but many of the salmon were now past their prime when being caught upriver. Anglers trolling in the estuary were putting in a lot of hours, but sometimes the effort paid off, catching one or two an outing.
• TRINITY RIVER, Willow Creek – The air temperature at Trinity River near Willow Creek has been reaching 100 degrees most days. Highway 96 is restricted to travel just out of Willow Creek due to fires, so call ahead before you plan on going into that area. A few halfpounder steelhead were being caught around Weitchpec.
• TRINITY RIVER, Junction City – Fishing for spring Chinook salmon is still very slow and it’s doubtful there is likely to be an improvement in the near term.
NORTH COAST LAKES• CLEAR LAKE – Catching a lot of bass right now is easy, but most are 4 to 7 inches long. Almost any spot you think should have fish, does, but they are either small dinks or catfish. The bait available is small and most keepers came on 3- to 4-inch shad colored worms.
• LAKE BERRYESSA – The topwater bass bite has been happening by the Big Island with fish averaging 2 to 3 pounds with an occasional 5- to 7-pound largemouth. Try a LuckyCraft Gunfish or Sammy’s in ghost minnow. Look for the larger kokanee in 65 to 100-plus feet deep. The kokanee range from 16- to 19-plus inches. Kings are 19 to 26 inches long and deeper at 85 to 130 feet.
• BAUM LAKE – HWY 299 is closed 1.2 miles east of Burney. Anglers will not be able to get to Baum Lake due to wildfire and road closures. Call ahead for road conditions at 1-800-427-7623.
• EAGLE LAKE – Get out early and be ready to fish at first light. Fish the east side of the lake by the springs at Eagle’s Nest with lead core from 3 to 6 colors deep. Options included Sure Catch Goldilocks, Bikini Needlefish or Jay Fair flies. Bobber fishing with nightcrawlers has also been good.
• FALL RIVER – HWY 299 is closed 1.2 miles east of Burney. Anglers will not be able to get to Baum Lake due to wildfire and road closures. Call ahead for road conditions at 1-800-427-7623.
• UPPER HAT CREEK – Due to the wildfire, HWY 299 is closed 1.2 miles east of Burney. HWY 89 is closed between HWY 44 and HWY 299. Call ahead for road conditions at 1-800-427-7623.
• McCLOUD RIVER – Still not worth a trip right now, since it is blown out and brown. That won’t change anytime soon.
• PIT RIVER – It continues to fish well all day long. Try no. 3 but don’t forget to check out pits 4 and 5.
• SHASTA LAKE – Throw Senkos in the shade pockets with varying vertical structure during the day. It’s topwater time early and late in the day for a bunch of little guys. They’re catching 2- to 3 1/2-pound trout down deep in the channel on the southwest side of Toupee Island. Troll between 60 and 80 feet with rolled shad, or a 3-inch Apex in a variety of colors including watermelon and blue.
• WHISKEYTOWN RESERVOIR - The lake and ramps are in great shape. Kokanee fishing has also been great with fish averaging 14 inches and still growing. Troll at 40 to 60 feet with a pink Apex behind a Sling Blade in the channel at the bridge or try an Uncle Larry’s spinner with pink and white beads tipped with Toupee corn. You have to keep the hooks tipped with corn.
NORCAL SALTWATER• BERKELEY – Happy Hooker worked the Marin Coast for easy pickings on rockfish. Lingcod counts went up well over a fish per rod and the size was good… up to 20 pounds.
• BODEGA BAYLAWSON’S LANDING – Salmon fishing was a bit slower during the week, but the quality of the fish improved, with fish up over 30 pounds caught. Limits of rockfish and high lingcod counts were the rule aboard New Sea Angler on trips to near Point Reyes. On Sunday the Ten Mile Beach produced higher salmon counts. A PBer got limits of salmon out of Lawson’s Landing. Red tail perch bit enthusiastically at Dillon Beach.
• EMERYVILLE – C-Gull II and Sundance both connected with limits of salmon over the weekend. Counts from other salmon boats ranged from a half fish per rod to near limits. Wet Spot ran a combo trip to catch better than a salmon per rod plus full limits of rockfish.
• EUREKA – Early-week salmon fishing was somewhere between excellent and stellar. Then the jellies moved in and drove the salmon deep. By the weekend, conditions were just returning to normal, but in this strange salmon season, there is no normal. Rockfish and lingcod bit like wildfire at Cape Mendocino.
• FORT BRAGG – Salmon fishing suffered from massive amounts of jellies that moved into the area. Some of the salmon that were caught weighed in at near 30 pounds. Sea Hawkand Bragg-n kept at it and score some fish. Lingcod counts were 1.5 fish per rod to full limits. Rockfish counts were generally limits. Abalone divers had a fantastic week, with lots of limits reported. Cabezon and greenling fishing from shore was very good.
• HALF MOON BAY/PACIFICA – Riptide scored limits of salmon on Wednesday and Que Sera Sera managed 1.5 fish per rod earlier in the week, proving that salmon fishing may be getting better. Lingcod and rockfish counts from south of Half Moon Bay reflected steady limits. Queen of Hearts has surpassed her total lingcod count for the entire 2013 season. Massive shoals of anchovies off of Pacifica resulted in pier catches of perch, striped bass and thresher sharks.
• SAN FRANCISCO – San Francisco boats Wacky Jacky, Argo and Lovely Martha got into the salmon from Rocky Point to Muir Beach. Between salmon, rockfish/lingcod, halibut and stripers, fishing options were promising.
• VALLEJO — On the Napa River System side of town, catches of striped bass and sturgeon to 49 inches were reported, with Cuttings Wharf again proving to be the favored spot. On the Bay side of Vallejo, leopard sharks were plentiful as were varied sharks and rays. The surprise catch of the week was a thresher shark.
SIERRA LAKES/RIVERS• BOCA LAKE – The lake is at 18-percent capacity. Tony Marotta at Mountain Hardware and Sports reported flyfishing and bait fishing were good at the inlet where the trout were congregated in the cooler, more highly oxygenated water.
• CAPLES LAKE – The lake is at 91-percent capacity. Caples Lake Resort reported that fishing was still good for anglers concentrating on deeper water, 20 to 30 feet deep, either from shore or trolling. Nightcrawlers and floating dough bait fished at the spillway, Wood’s Creek and the dam from shore, or drifted on the bottom in deep water from boats was working well. Trolling F7 or F9 brown trout Rapalas, gold or silver Kastmaster spoons, and flasher/worms was picking up some trout to 3 pounds.
• CARSON RIVER (East, West) — The West Carson was running clear and fishing well. The East Carson was blown out by heavy thunderstorm rains that hit this past week and were still in the forecast for early this week. Todd Sodaro at Todd’s Bait and Tackle at the Creekside Lodge recommended calling ahead to check on the flows in the East Carson before making the trip. Alpine County was scheduled to plant another 1800 pounds of 1- to 5-pound rainbows in the East and West Carson this week. For river flow info call Sodaro at 530-694-2511.
• DAVIS LAKE – The lake is at 59-percent capacity. Trout fishing was SLOW. The best bet was fishing for bullhead catfish using worms at Camp 5 and Mallard Point.
• DONNER LAKE – The lake is at 92-percent capacity. Kokanee action was slow, a few macks were still being caught, and rainbows were hitting along Donner Pass Road toward the middle of the lake off the public piers.
• FEATHER RIVER CANYON – Mike Hanson at Caribou Crossroads Resort reported that fishing for planter rainbows was slow, but good for experienced anglers fishing for native trout. Dick Mason at Dick’s Guide Service said the bite on Butt Valley Reservoir had slowed from 20 to 30 bites a day to 10 to 12 bites trolling a threaded nightcrawler for 15- to 20-inch rainbows.
• FRENCHMAN LAKE – The lake is at 39-percent capacity. Wiggins Trading Post reported trout fishing was fair at best for shore anglers using nightcrawlers at the dam and Turkey Point, or drifting nightcrawlers in deep water across from the Frenchman ramp. Boat launching was still good at the Frenchman ramp. Catfish were hitting worms at Turkey Point.
• GOLD LAKES BASIN – Mark Tieslau at Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden reported trolling for planter rainbows was still good using flasher/worms at 15 feet deep in front of the 4x4 campgrounds and lodge. Trollers were picking up 5- to 10-pound macks running vampire F18 Rapalas 60 feet deep in the channel.
• ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR – The lake is at 85-percent capacity. Kyle Neeser at Crystal Basin Tackle reported the best bet was still fishing at the creek inlet on the east end of the lake.
• INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR – Todd Sodaro at Todd’s Bait and Tackle at the Creekside Lodge reported anglers were catching a few trout in the first couple of hours after dawn, and then the bite shut off. The lake was too warm and weedy for day time action.
• JACKSON MEADOW RESERVOIR – The lake is at 74-percent capacity. Trolling was still very good for 11- to 13-inch rainbows using a watermelon Apex at 35 to 55 feet deep. Shore anglers were doing well at the dam.
• JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park) – The lake is at 80-percent capacity. Sly Park Resort reported shore anglers were doing well on planter rainbows at the second dam using worms and floating dough baits.
• LOON LAKE – The lake is at 73-percent capacity. Trollers were doing best using a dodger/nightcrawler at 20 to 30 feet deep.
• PROSSER LAKE – The lake is at 27-percent capacity. With the lake low and warm, bass fishing at the dam was the best bet. Trout fishing was slow.
• RED LAKE – Still no change here—fish the dam or the inlet for cutthroats and brookies using worms and salmon eggs.
• SILVER LAKE – The lake is at 74-percent capacity. Anglers seeking out the deepest water in the lake were doing well trolling or drifting bait. Shore anglers were doing best at the dam.
• STAMPEDE RESERVOIR – The lake is at 27-percent capacity. For boaters able to launch off the shore east of the ramp, kokanee trolling was good using gold/pink dodgers and pink hoochies at 40 to 60 feet deep all over the lake with the fish still scattered.
• TRUCKEE RIVER – With the low flows, trout fishermen were asked to only fish until late morning to reduce killing fish caught during the hotter periods of the day when the water temp was warmer. Nymphing with yellow stone, caddis and PMDs was all working in the deeper pools. Fishing pressure was up on the Little Truckee with the voluntary moratorium on afternoon fishing on the main river.
• UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR – The lake is at 81-percent capacity. Ken Mathis at Ken’s Custom Tackle and Guide Service reported kokanee trolling was good for limits of 13-inch fish using orange/pink spinners behind chrome dodgers at 40 to 60 feet deep. A few small macks were also being caught on the koke gear.
• WEST WALKER RIVER – The Little Walker and West Walker are both scheduled for DFW trout plants this week. The “Size Doesn’t Matter” Fishing Derby had 34 registered anglers fishing for 36 tagged fish. By 4 p.m. Sunday, 21 tagged fish had been checked in and anglers were catching limits of planted fish to 2 1/2 pounds, too. Thunderstorm activity in the area clouded the water, but it was still very fishable.
SACRAMENTO VALLEY• AMERICAN RIVER— Flow are down to 1,750 cfs, and steelhead from smolts to fish 3 and 4 pounds are being caught with some regularity. Salmon fishing continued to be very slow. Flows are likely to drop to very low levels within a couple of weeks.
• FEATHER RIVER — The fall run of salmon hasn’t shown up yet, but there are a few old spawners below the Outfall. Some steelhead are taking flies and nightcrawlers in the Low Flow Section using flies like Red Copper Johns. Fish are on the way up the lower Sacramento, though, and some are moving through the Sac. in small pods, so expect some here soon.
• FOLSOM LAKE – The lake is still dropping and is within 2 feet of requiring a 5 mph speed limit. Skiers and jetskiers are crowding the main body with anglers, so it’s not a pleasant fishing experience on weekends. Fish early and late drop-shotting Robo-Worms in pond smelt patterns. 15 to 30 feet deep over submerged rock piles.
• RANCHO SECO LAKE – Some nice bass were being caught on weightless Senkos close to dark, and even topwater plugs might get a strike early or late. Fish time for red-eared sunfish fished with worms under bobbers.
• SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding — Most folks are concentrating on salmon, but trout fishing continued to be very good fishing nymphs under indicators, and there was a bit of some dry fishing late in the evening.
• YUBA RIVER – The lower Yuba down to below DeGuerre dam has been producing some nice trout on small hopper imitations with a small nymph like a pmd as a dropper.
MOTHER LODE LAKES
• CAMANCHE LAKE – Recreational traffic has kept many anglers away. Bass anglers have been fishing the coves with soft plastics and crankbaits. Catfish anglers are soaking nightcrawlers, chicken livers, or anchovies in the river arm or near Hat Island.
• DON PEDRO RESERVOIR – Bass anglers have been soaking large minnows or nightcrawlers for good numbers of fish. Trout anglers have been trolling in the Blue Oaks Recreation Area with large spoons for decent numbers of fish.
• LAKE McCLURE – Catfish have been the best bet with anglers soaking crawdads or chicken livers for the most fish. Bass anglers have also been doing well casting top-water lures in the morning and soft plastics later in the day.
• LAKE McSWAIN – Bank anglers have been fishing upriver for limits of planters. Most of the fish have been hitting garlic scented dough baits and nightcrawlers.
• NEW MELONES RESERVOIR – The best fishing has focused around the morning and evenings hours. Bass anglers have been fishing crankbaits and soft plastics around the lake for good numbers of fish. Trout fishing has been best at night under submersible lights.
• LAKE PARDEE – Trollers are picking up limits of kokanee at 90 feet deep in the main body of the lake. Anglers looking for trout have been fishing the south end of the lake at 30 to 50 feet deep. Bass anglers are doing well in the river arm with crankbaits, Robo Worms, and nightcrawlers.
NORTHERN FOOTHILLS• AMERICAN RIVER –The Georgetown Ranger Station reported the river at the Hwy 49 confluence was low and clear with lots of swimmers and few, if any, fishermen. The North Fork between Italian Bar and Sailor Flat was low and the fish were holding in the deeper pools—bring good hiking boots, and watch out for poison oak and rattlesnakes.
• BULLARDS BAR – The lake is at 51-percent capacity. Emerald Cove Marina reported their boat ramp was down to one lane, but still capable of launching any size boat. The Dark Day ramp was in good shape. Fishing was good for small bass and bluegill.
• CAMP FAR WEST – The lake is at 37-percent capacity. North Shore Resort reported they were still launching boats off one lane at their ramp. Ron Franks of Folsom caught 18 bass on the main body using oxblood and watermelon Brush Hogs at 5 to 10 feet deep in the early morning. Another couple reported picking up 4- and 8-pound bass at the Bear River inlet.
• COLLINS LAKE –The lake is 38 feet from full. Trout fishing was very slow this past week with the lake down and the water temp in the high 70s—only 3 rainbows were checked at the store all this past week. Catfishing was very good for fish to 13 pounds. The dam, rental docks, and east side coves produced for shore anglers while a troller picked up a 6 3/4 pounder.
• ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR – The lake is at 93-percent capacity. One boater caught two 14- to 15-inch brown trout drifting nightcrawlers in the “No-Ski” zone. Other anglers reported catching planter rainbows drifting nightcrawlers in Keystone Cove.
• FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR – The lake is at 43-percent capacity. Will Fish Tackle in Auburn reported shore anglers were still picking up some planter rainbows in the early morning using worms and floating dough bait. Launching at the north ramp requires 4-wheel drive.
• HELL HOLE RESERVOIR – The lake is at 48-percent capacity. Will Fish Tackle in Auburn reported some nice macks were being caught trolling and jigging 70 to 90 feet deep at the dam and on mid-lake rocky structure.
• LAKE OROVILLE –The lake is at 34-percent capacity. Guide Ron Gandolfi reported the bass bite was still very good with anglers picking up 40 to 50 fish to 3 pounds on full day trips using tubes, drop-shot worms, and topwater on steep walls in the North Fork and West Branch, and off the face of the dam.
• ROLLINS LAKE – The lake is at 92-percent capacity. Will Fish Tackle in Auburn reported that bass were hitting Senkos and Shad Raps along the shore in the early morning. Trollers were picking up a few DFW planters near the dam and at the inlet. A few browns were being caught in the early morning at the inlet trolling Rapalas. Clyde Crow reported a good topwater bite for small schooling bass in Long Ravine and at the inlet using Pop-Rs and Spooks in the early morning from 5:30 to 7:00 a.m.
• SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE – The lake is at 64-percent capacity. Mike Dowd at the marina reported a rental boat ran up to the Deer Creek inlet and hiked up the creek and caught rainbows to 13 inches on worms.
• SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR – According to the Foresthill Ranger Station, the fishing can be described using a single word—“SLOW”.
• STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR – The lake is at 59-percent capacity. At the current lake level, boat launching was difficult due to the 90-degree turn at the bottom of the ramp to reach the water—small boats only!! The Georgetown Ranger Station reported fishing was slow.
• THERMOLITO AFTERBAY – The lake was at 135.4-foot elevation at press time—91-percent capacity. Bruce Gibson at the Paradise Tackle Company fished the lake on Sunday and said they caught 6 or 7 bass to 2 1/2 pounds using Roboworms and jigs in the backs of the coves on the tules banks and weedlines. The topwater bite was off due to cold winds and a full moon. Warmer, stable weather should improve the bite.
– Western Outdoor News