TOP PICKS• SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff — Salmon fishing has been good from Chico to the Deschutes River Bridge. Fish have been moving fast upstream, and anglers might get a fish a rod one day, and limits the next. Fish have been around longer the farther upstream you go, but they’re not holding anywhere very long. The brighter fish have been around Hamilton City and Red Bluff.
• FEATHER RIVER - The fall run of salmon has finally made a showing. These are bright fish and most are being caught at Shanghai Bend. The total flow of the river is out of the Low Flow Section. Some nice steelhead to about 4 pounds are taking drifted nightcrawlers in the Low Flow Section.
• DELTA REGION: SACRAMENTO RIVER side – Salmon fishing is holding up in both Suisun Bay and at the upper end of the Delta near Freeport with specific techniques for each region. In Suisun Bay, heavy spinners such as Vee-Zee’s or Flying C’s are the ticket while upriver, heavy spoons from a variety of manufacturers are working from boats with the best action in the evenings. Striper fishing for the larger fish slowed down, but quality linesides can be found in deep water near the Mothball Fleet with live bullheads. Smallmouth bass are numerous in the upper stretch of the Delta near Isleton and Walnut Grove, but the smallies have dropped in the water column, making drifting live minnows the top technique.
• SAN FRANCISCO — Salmon climbed aboard boats between Muir Beach and Rocky Point and also at the Channel Buoys. Counts are about a fish per rod and sizes range from 15 to 30 pounds. Argo hooked into some bigger fish, up to 36 pounds. Bass Tub went above a salmon per rod on Sunday. Wacky Jacky had counts range from a fish per rod on up to limits.
NORTH COAST RIVERS• ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Oregon – Fishing last week remained the same as the week before: We’ve been seeing more Chinooks being caught each day by anglers,” said WONField Reporter and guide Curtis Palmer. “Average salmon being caught is around 20 pounds, with many fish being weighed in the low 30-pound range. “The majority of anglers are using anchovies/spinnerbait, otherwise known as the Rogue Rigging,” said Palmer. “Local friends said they have been catching more fish with just an anchovy bait. Local Sea Lion Patrol has been operating with a slighty different offensive this year. In past years, Sea Lion Patrol used seal bongs as the main deterent to keep aggressive sea liona from stealing fish from anglers. These small explosive devices also have been used in past years to move aggressive and problematic sea lions out of the bay and into the Pacific Ocean. This season the sea lion patrol has been using rubber bullets and a small jetboat to chase sea lions away from anglers while they are trying to land their catch. Anglers have noticed that there have been a lot fewer sea lions on the Rogue River.
• ROGUE RIVER, Grant’s Pass, Oregon – “Some steelhead action being seen in our areas from Grants Pass to Shady Cove,” said guide Troy Whitaker at U-Save Tackle in Grant’s Pass. “A few reports of salmon upriver, too, but major movement of salmon hasn’t happened yet. Water flows expected to increase from the dam should improve the fishing soon. Today (Sunday), however, we’re fishing down at the Gold Beach Bay and we’ve caught 3 salmon today.”
• UMPQUA RIVER, Winchester Bay, Oregon – Salmon fishing at the mouth of the Umpqua River was good during the beginning of last week and progressively got better for Chinook and coho salmon. “Early morning tides produce most of the daily catches, according to a couple anglers,” said guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets. “We are seeing a lot of very large king salmon coming into the docks. Many of the large Chinook salmon have ranged from mid-30s to high 30-pound range. I am surprised that with this many healthy and bulky fish, that we have not seen more fish in the 40-pound range and higher. With low winds this week we should see more anglers fishing in the ocean then in the Umpqua River.”
TRINITY/KLAMATH RIVERS• KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen – Fishing for fall run Chinook has started to take off, and steelheading was very good again. Most of the fishing success and fishing pressure has been below Blue Creek. Adult Chinook were being caught, too—more than the jacks, but the take limit changed to one adult king salmon and two jacks.
• TRINITY RIVER, Willow Creek – Temperatures cooled a bit into the 90’s. 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 and adults were being caught around Weitchpec. Most have been wild so must be released.
• TRINITY RIVER, Junction City – Surprise! Just when most people have given up on fishing for spring run Chinook, they finally show up. Better late than never. Limits were being caught daily on roe above Junction City, but also on Little Cleo’s.
NORTH COAST LAKES• CLEAR LAKE – Catching 30 to 50 bass was easy, but most are 4 to 6 inches long. It won’t be until we get some cooler mornings and water that the fall transition will begin. In the meantime try topwater baits early, chatterbaits and medium-sized swimbaits. The catfish bite was up and down. Try live minnows and nightcrawlers shallow on flats, as they are chasing schools of baitfish.
• LAKE BERRYESSA – Bass fishing has been fair to good with most fish caught on drop-shot rigs and Carolina rigs, but the spoon action is heating up. Some kokes are still on structure, while others are off in the deep water in the Narrows. The bite slowed with the pre-spawn going on and the full moon, but it should pick back up.
• LAKE SONOMA - Locate where in the water column the bass are and target outside trees on the main lake channel bends for your best luck.
NORTHEASTERN AREA• LAKE ALMANOR – Brown trout to over 8 pounds were caught on a variety of offerings including crickets, mealworms, small imitation smelt and jigs. Trolling lanes in some of the well known bait spots like Rocky Point, Canyon Dam, Big Springs and the A-Frame were also reporting decent fish.
• BAUM LAKE – With the Powerhouse shut down for its annual repairs, fishing will be inconsistent until it is back online.
• 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 – It’s back online for fly fishermen as a destination, since HWY 299 is open again.
• UPPER HAT CREEK – Open for business again after fires shut down access, and so are the campgrounds and stores. DFW has also resumed planting trout.
• McCLOUD RIVER – Still not worth a trip right now, since it is blown out and brown, but it is improving a little.
• 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 – Try topwater in the morning and then throw worms and jigs in the afternoon and evening in the shade pockets with varying vertical structure during the day. Dropping water and wind have the water fairly stained, but that didn’t affect fishing. A nice batch of rainbow trout between 17 and 19 inches have been 60 and 80 feet down in the channel on the west side of Toupee Island in at least 120 feet of water. The trout were hitting white hoochies, rolled shad, and shad patterned Humdingers. All the lures were behind Sling Blades.
• WHISKEYTOWN RESERVOIR - The lake and ramps are in great shape and there is nobody here. 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 – Salmon action captured the attention of passengers and crews alike on party boats. Happy Hooker and Jilly Sea posted high scores. At Berkeley Charter Boats, a number of fish in the thirties were caught. Boats wanting rockfish and lingcod had easy pickins for limits. California Dawn achieved limits of lingcod.
• BODEGA BAY/DILLON BEACH – Up and down salmon action, with trolling being the best one day and mooching the next, kept the Bodega Bay fleet on their toes. The quality of fish –up to the low thirties –were worth the effort. Elephant Reef and Point Reyes were rockfish and lingcod hotspots. Halibut bit fairly well in Tomales Bay, both at the bar and in the backbay. Local sandy beaches gave up surf perch and striped bass.
• EMERYVILLE – Sundance and Wet Spot posted reports of full limits of salmon. Other boats scored high counts of roughly 1.5 fish per rod, with many lost opportunities that would have put the counts at limits. The action has been great, especially later in the week and over the weekend.
• EUREKA – Albacore were caught 85 to 90 miles due west out of Eureka, aboard charter boat Scrimshaw from Coastline Charters. Cape Mendocino, an 18-mile from Eureka, hosted the best salmon bite as well as the best rockfish and lingcod bite.
• FORT BRAGG – Jellies continued to mess up salmon fishing, however there was sign that the jelly was dissipating and the salmon are still there. Clean trolling lines drew strikes. Lingcod action was good, rockfish showed how hungry they were and jetty fishing was excellent.
• HALF MOON BAY – Salmon stormed the coast and even invaded the harbor. Limits were caught by boaters. Hotspots down coast gave up easy limits of rockfish and a better than decent count of lingcod for Queen of Hearts, Huli Cat and other boats.
SIERRA LAKES/RIVERS• BOCA LAKE – The lake is at 18-percent capacity. With only 45 cfs running in from Stampede Reservoir, the best bet for fishermen was still the Little Truckee River inlet in the evening. The dam should be good in the very early morning for a trout or two casting spoons or Rapalas.
• CAPLES LAKE – The lake is at 87-percent capacity. Dave Foley at Caples Lake Resort reported fishing was fair for shore anglers at the spillway, dam, and off Wood’s Creek inlet. Boaters drifting the deep holes in the middle of the lake from Wood’s Creek to out from the marina, or east of the spillway were picking up some big fish to over 3 pounds--dropping a nightcrawler to the bottom in 40 to 60 feet of water was the most successful technique. 2 or 3 fish was a good day—no limits.
• CARSON RIVER (East, West) — Todd Sodaro at Todd’s Bait and Tackle at the Creekside Lodge reported the West Carson was running clear and fishing well. The East Carson was clearing, still a little murky but green, and fishing very well for rainbows to 4 pounds on worms and salmon eggs. Alpine County will stock both rivers again before the Labor Day weekend.
• DAVIS LAKE – The lake is at 58-percent capacity. Ed Dillard at Dillard’s Guided Fishing reported anchoring in 30 feet of water at the island was producing some 18- to 20-inch rainbows using a 3-foot 4-pound test leader with a size 16 treble hook baited with a small ball of floating dough bait. Trolling was hit-or-miss. One boater went out one evening this past week and caught 8 rainbows to 20 inches on a flasher/brown grub, but got skunked the next day in the same area using the same rig—go figure!! Shore fishing and flyfishing was slow.
• DONNER LAKE – The lake is at 91-percent capacity. The kokanee were beginning to “turn” and were still scattered all over the lake. The deep troughs on the east end by the State Park were good places to fish for rainbows, browns, macks and kokanee. Jigging for macks in 100 to 120 feet of water was a good choice using a 2-ounce Pucci Lazer Minnow jig.
• FEATHER RIVER CANYON – Mike Hanson at Caribou Crossroads Resort reported that experienced anglers seeking out the hidden holes and runs in the North Fork were picking up planters and native rainbows on worms and spinners. The Caribou Powerhouse was producing rainbows to 20 plus inches on white tube jigs and bobber/nightcrawlers in the generator outflow—timing was everything.
• FRENCHMAN LAKE – The lake is at 39-percent capacity. Wiggins Trading Post reported shore fishing was good at the dam and Spring Creek for limits of 15- to 18-inch rainbows. Boat launching was still good at the main Frenchman ramp.
• GOLD LAKES BASIN – Mark Tieslau at Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden reported Gold Lake was still producing limits of planter rainbows on flasher/worms at 15 feet deep. Boaters jigging a 3/8-ounce white marabou jig 40 feet deep on the bottom off the ledge on the rocky point in front of the 4X4 campgrounds were picking up 4- to 8-pound macks.
• ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR – The lake is at 82-percent capacity. Slow fishing, according to Kyle Neeser at Crystal Basin Tackle and Guide Service. Try the inlet on the east end of the lake.
• INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR – Little fishing pressure here with the great action on the nearby East Carson River.
• JACKSON MEADOW RESERVOIR – The lake is at 72-percent capacity. Brett Brady at Bare Bones Guide Service reported catching a 7-pound brown and 2 1/2- and 3 1/2-pound rainbows trolling gold or watermelon Apex on the bottom in 45 feet of water. Planter rainbows were still hitting 25 to 60 feet deep over deep water in front of the ramp, in the middle of the lake, and in front of the dam.
• JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park) – Sly Park Resort reported trolling was best in the deeper water in the Narrows where fishermen could get away from the recreational boat traffic on the main body of the lake.
• LAKE TAHOE - Chuck Self at Chuck’s Charter Fishing reported catching limits of 4- to 5-pound Mackinaw lake trout by 7:30 along with a few smaller fish that were released. The rainbow bite had slowed with heavy recreational boat traffic stirring up the shallows. Mike Nielsen at Tahoe Topliners Sportfishing said he was trolling for both macks and kokanee off South Shore. Nielsen was using Luhr Jensen Laxee and Shoehorn spoons at 120 to 220 feet deep for limits of 3- to 8-pound macks. The 12- to 13-inch kokes were hitting silver flashers and Dick Nite spoons or Apex tipped with Pautzke’s Fire Corn at 80 to 100 feet deep over deep water. Zack Gordon at Tahoe Sportfishing said the fleet was scoring easy limits of kokanee on morning trips along with a few 4- to 8-pound macks. The kokes were hitting flasher/Wedding Ring combos at 70 to 90 feet deep, and the macks were caught below the kokanee on dodger/minnows.
• LOON LAKE – The lake is at 69-percent capacity. Kyle Neeser at Crystal Basin Tackle and Guide Service reported trolling was wide-open for planter rainbows and a few holdovers using dodger/nightcrawler or grub combos in the top 30 feet.
• PROSSER LAKE – The lake is at 27-percent capacity. The dam and the nearby rocky points were still the best bets for catching a nice smallmouth bass on a jig or tube.
• RED LAKE – Caples Lake Resort reported fishing was good for small brook trout at the dam and the inlet using worms.
• SILVER LAKE – The lake is at 71-percent capacity. Trolling and bait drifting were good in the deeper sections of the lake. Shore fishing was best off the dam.
• STAMPEDE RESERVOIR – The lake is at 26-percent capacity. The kokanee were still hitting copper dodgers and pink or orange hoochies from 30 to 60 feet deep. The fish were “turning”.
• TRUCKEE RIVER – With the low water flows and high water temps, ethical anglers should refrain from fishing here if they have the choice. If you must, fish early and get off beforenoon to protect this valuable resource and keep from killing trout.
• UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR – The lake is at 78-percent capacity. Ken Mathis at Ken’s Custom Tackle and Guide Service reported slow kokanee action for trollers working from the dam to Sunset Point with copper dodgers and orange spinners at 60 to 70 feet deep.
• WEST WALKER RIVER – The West Walker and Littler Walker are both scheduled for DFW trout plants this week. With the water clearing more this past week, fishing was excellent for rainbows to 5 pounds in both the West Walker and Little Walker. One angler reported catching limits two days in a row using worms and salmon eggs.
SACRAMENTO VALLEY• AMERICAN RIVER— Flow are down to 1,500 cfs, and steelhead have been providing some action to about 3 and 4 pounds. Salmon fishing continued to be very slow.
• FOLSOM LAKE – The lake has been holding just above 400 feet, and there’s still no limit on speeds. That could change virtually overnight. Fishing for bass has been good, even though skiers and jetskiers are crowding the main body with anglers. 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 continued to be caught on weightless Senkos close to dark. And even topwater plugs might get a strike early or late. Red-eared sunfish are biting worms under bobbers.
• SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento - Salmon fishing continued to be very slow from Sacramento up to Chico as pods of fish scooted through the warm water without holding. 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. Striped bass are being caught at Miller Park and the Deep Water Channel.• SACRAMENTO RIVER, Tisdale - Warm water from Sacramento to Chico is causing salmon to jet upstream to Chico and above.
• 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. Striper fishing continued to be good around Hall Street.
MOTHER LODE LAKES• AMADOR LAKE – Bass anglers continue to do the best. Senkos and crankbaits fished off the lake’s points and coves have produced the most fish.
• CAMANCHE LAKE – A few catfish are still being caught in the coves and out by Hat Island. Chicken livers and nightcrawlers produce most of the fish.
• DON PEDRO RESERVOIR – The trout fishing has begun to warm up since the trout have begun to gorge on the lake’s baitfish populations. Chunky trout up to 3 pounds have been biting well for anglers trolling spoons at a fast pace.
• LAKE McCLURE – Catfish have been the best option for anglers. Soaking chicken livers in the lake’s bays and coves has produced the best fish.
• LAKE McSWAIN – Anglers have been picking up a few trout by the marina by soaking dough baits and nightcrawlers. Trollers have been fishing flashers and spinners tipped with a nightcrawler for decent numbers of trout by the floating restrooms.
• NEW MELONES RESERVOIR – A few anglers have been pulling in trout during the day trolling the deeper areas of the lake, but most of the trout are being caught at night next to submersible lights. The kokanee have moved up into the river arm and are being caught at 70 to 90 feet deep. Catfish anglers have continued to pick up fish at night with anchovies, sardines, nightcrawlers, and frozen shad.
• LAKE PARDEE – Kokanee anglers are moving upriver with the fish and are catching limits with spinners, hoochies, and Apexes. Trout anglers are fishing the south end of the lake with flashers and dodgers trailed by a nightcrawler. The river has also been producing well for bass anglers. Plastics on a dropshot rig have been the best rig.
NORTHERN FOOTHILLS• AMERICAN RIVER –Will Fish Tackle in Auburn reported one angler hiked 1/2-mile below the Hwy 49 confluence and caught a 16-inch rainbow and an 18-inch brown on worms out of a deep hole. The North Fork was still producing rainbows in the deep holes from Italian Bar to Mumford Bar on worms and spinners.
• BULLARDS BAR – The lake is at 49-percent capacity. Emerald Cove Marina reported launching was still good at their ramp and across the lake at Dark Day. Some good-sized bass were still hitting on occasion, but fishing overall was slow with heavy recreational boat traffic.
• CAMP FAR WEST – The lake is at 30-percent capacity. North Shore Resort reported bass fishermen were picking up 10 to 20 bass per day to 5 pounds in Bear Creek, Rock Creek, and on main lake points using Brush Hogs and worms at 5 to 20 feet deep.
• COLLINS LAKE –The lake is 40 feet from full. Trout fishing was slow with the fish in deep water. A troller picked up one rainbow in the channel near the boat ramp in the early morning. Catfishing was productive at the rental docks, off the Open Area from shore, and out in boats drifting bait in deeper water. Chicken livers, worms, hot dogs, and live crawdads were all working for cats to 5 pounds.
• ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR – The lake is at 94-percent capacity. Lisa Rogers at Skippers Cove Marina reported a troller caught a 16 1/2-inch kokanee on a Rapala at 20 feet deep between the marina buoy line and Keystone Cove.
• FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR – The lake is at 39-percent capacity. The Foresthill Ranger Station reported both boat ramps were out of the water and recommended only launching cartoppers. When asked about the fishing the answer was “nothing good.”
• HELL HOLE RESERVOIR – The lake is at 44-percent capacity. Shore fishing was good near the boat ramp where vehicles can drive right down to the water’s edge. Launching was restricted to small aluminum boats and cartoppers.
• LAKE OROVILLE –The lake is at 33-percent capacity—down 212 feet at press time. The Bidwell ramp was scheduled to close Aug. 20, leaving the dirt road at the spillway as the only boat ramp. Bass fishing was still good using tubes, darthead worms and Senkos. 40 to 50 fish days were still possible on steeper walls in the North Fork, West Branch, and Middle Fork at 5 to 30 feet deep.
• ROLLINS LAKE – The lake is at 90-percent capacity. Ryan Drake at NID reported bass fishing was good in the early morning using Pop-Rs and Spooks on the points and the jetty near the inlet for spots and smallmouths to 2 1/2 pounds. Tubes and worms were working later in the morning in the same areas in deeper water. A few trout were caught by trollers using flasher/worms at 45 to 50 feet deep between Long Ravine and the dam. Recreational boat traffic on the weekends has been extremely heavy—fish during the week.
• SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE – The lake is at 63-percent capacity. Mike Dowd at the marina reported fishing was slow due to heavy recreational boat traffic. The Scott’s Flat Resort marina boat ramp was in good shape with some silt on the lower part of the concrete, and the Cascade Shore ramp should stay open until Labor Day.
• SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR – The Foresthill Ranger Station reported the campgrounds were busy, the boat ramp was still open, and fishing was slow.
• STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR – The Georgetown Ranger Station reported the campgrounds were full. Most fishermen weren’t interested in catching rainbows heavily infested with copepods, so fishing pressure was low.
• THERMOLITO AFTERBAY – The lake was at 135.5-foot elevation at press time—92-percent capacity. Bruce Gibson at the Paradise Tackle Company reported bass fishing was good for fish to 5 pounds pitching jigs to wood on the shoreline, or casting frogs on grass beds, tule banks and weedlines. The Monument ramp sees heavy recreational boat use—fishermen should launch at Wilbur Road and fish the north end coves first as they head out to the main body.
SAN JOAQUIN RIVER side — Small striped bass continued to be the primarily result of soaking fresh or frozen shad, sardines, or anchovies, and the best quality of lineside is taken on live bait in the deeper water sections of the San Joaquin. Live mudsuckers are the top choice for the larger grade of linesides, and Gotcha Bait in Antioch continued to be one of the only shops with a solid supply of mudsuckers. Fresh shad has been available in Stockton area bait shops, but the bait fish remained small and seem to be stagnant in their growth. Crappie are starting to appear near Bethel Island with live minnows while bluegill remained plentiful with jumbo red worms or waxworms. Frozen or fresh clams, chicken livers, or dip baits have been the top baits for catfish in the Stockton and Tracy regions. Largemouth bass fishing remained excellent with topwater lures, crankbaits or buzzbaits on the reaction bite while plastics on the drop shot continued to produce numbers.
– Western Outdoor News