– Salmon fishing improved considerably with the water temperatures cooling to 68 degrees in the upper Delta. In lower Suisun Bay, Dillon Point State Park remained the best location in the early mornings with improved action at 1st Street in Benicia in the afternoons at high tide. Freeport is showing signs of life with shore fishermen scoring from a variety of shore locations from Clarksburg to Freeport with Flying C spinners. Jigging with P-Line Laser Minnows or Slammer Minnows is also on the uptick. The big stripers have moved back into the upper Delta near Liberty Island, but boaters are warned to know this section of river before venturing in due to numerous locations to beach a boat. Sturgeon fishing in the Pittsburg area has started to take off, and the diamondbacks should start to stack up in numbers off of the PGE Plant. A few smallmouth are still holding along the rocks in the upper Sacramento sloughs of Steamboat and Miner. Catfish thrive in the Deep Water Channel, and blood or pile worms are the top baits.
•SAN JOAQUIN RIVER side
Striped bass are moving rapidly into the east Delta and topwater lures, jigging with spoons, or casting swimbaits are all producing quality linesides in the main San Joaquin River, Frank’s Tract, and inside Mildred Island. Largemouth bass remained active, and the larger fish are taken on shad-imitation versions of spinnerbaits, rip baits, or crankbaits. The water temperatures need to cool a few more degrees before the larger fish “come out to play.” Fresh shad is readily available throughout the Delta bait shops from Stockton west to Pittsburg. Bluegill action remained very good off of Eight Mile Road, Holland Tract, Bethel Island, or Big Break with wax worms being the top bait. Catfish are plentiful in the sloughs with frozen clams, sardines, or fresh shad.
The fall king salmon run greatly improved last week, and was called “Crazy good!” Many limits were caught, but other anglers were catching about one per rod. Shanghai Bend and Gridley were good, but so was Boyd’s Pump. Jigging has been good in deeper holes on the river. Troll slowly upstream, because the current is so slow. Steelhead fishing has been good, but you might catch 7 salmon for every steelhead.
The lake is at 31-percent capacity—it didn’t drop this past week!!! Guide Ron Gandolfi reported the bass fishing was ‘ON-FIRE’ with two clients catching up to 152 fish a day!! Topwater lures—buzzbaits, walkers, and poppers--were working very well in the early morning in the shade. The tube bite was “unstoppable” as well as drop-shotting at 10 to 20 feet deep in the upper Slot, West Branch, and North Fork on steep walls and points. Boat launching was still possible at the 4-wheel drive only gravel ramp at the Spillway or at the temporary ramp at Bidwell Marina (2-wheel drive accessible).
NORTH COAST RIVERS
•CHETCO RIVER, Brookings, Oregon
– Fishing the bay at the mouth of the Chetco River over the weekend was excellent for big king salmon preparing to move up the river, drawn by some early rain. The ocean season off the mouth opened Oct. 1 for 12 days, was expected to be excellent, as usual. Guide Andy Martin fished it in the afternoon and caught 3 big kings in “just a couple hours”.
•COOS BAY RIVER, Coos Bay, Oregon
– Fresh king salmon and a few coho are keeping anglers happy on the Coos River and Bay in Southern Oregon. Guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing said action was steady last week, landing 4 four to 8 kings a day for his customers. Guides are trolling plug-cut herring with Fish Flash flashers. "Most of the kings are now holding from the Somar barge dock to the mouth of the Millicoma River," Martin said. According to guide andWON
Field Reporter Curtis Palmer, mixed catches were reported this last week with few Chinooks being caught and more coho landing in the fish boxes. “Marshfield Channel is still the popular stretch of river for much of the boat traffic hunting for salmon,” he said. “More reports have been coming in over the week of anglers catching king salmon in the South Fork of the Coos River.”
•COQUILLE RIVER, Bandon, Oregon
– Fishing became more difficult for kings as they moved upriver last week, but the coho raced into the river to take their place, according to guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets. “Saturday the 27th was by far the best day to fish the Coquille River near Bandon,” he said. “From early morning low tide until late afternoon there was an all day bite. One of the hot spots was right in front of Bullards Beach State Park. Even though many anglers were catching coho on plug cut herring, it was obvious to me that the boats running spinners were catching way more fish. With the coho finally showing up at the end of last week, many locals think there are a couple weeks of prime fishing to come.”
•ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Oregon
– Guide Andy Martin fished it for a few hours one morning and found it slow, so moved to the Chetco where he did well on kings in the Bay off the mouth of the Chetco. Overall, however, “the Rogue Bay is putting out some of the best fish you will find in Oregon,” said guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets. “Indian Creek fish are being caught on a daily basis on the upper end of the bay,” Palmer said. “This later run of fall Chinook is a favorite for many anglers. There are still coho salmon entering the bay and the Rogue is one of the few places where you can find a fin-clipped salmon of this species. Between the two species, anglers are reporting anywhere from 2 to 6 fish being caught per boat this last week.”
•ROGUE RIVER, Middle, Grant’s Pass, Oregon
– Water got a little dirty after last week’s rain and put off the bite for a few days, but it’s starting to pick up again. Starting Oct. 1 you can only keep salmon caught below Hog Creek. Lots of fish continue to be caught on Kwikfish with a sardine wrap or back bounced roe. Steelhead anglers score on trolled crawdad colored plugs, or Glo-Bugs with Pautzke nectar. Nightcrawlers and Corkies also produce action, reported guide Troy Whitaker at U-Save Tackle in Grants Pass.
•KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen
– Fishing was good once again after the big storm, but steelhead fishing slowed. It’s still possible to fish for and catch jacks—three—under 22 inches and two hatchery steelhead. The best fishing has been about 3 miles above Blue Creek.
•TRINITY RIVER, Willow Creek
– Flows increased to 3,400 cfs as emergency flows went into effect to prevent gill rot in salmon and steelhead, but they declined to a summertime level of 400 cfs last Wednesday. Fishing for bright Chinook salmon improved as fresh fish moved upriver. Darker salmon are spawning in the stretch of river above Douglas City.
NORTH COAST LAKES
– The best thing to do right now is understand that the bite is tough. So fish each stop thoroughly and then move on. Keeper-sized fish have been caught on plastics, mainly worms or creatures. Launching is still good around at the main public ramps at Clearlake Oaks, Redbud and 5th Street in Lakeport. The launch at Konocti Vista is still in good shape and boaters have been getting in and out of the bay on their trolling motor, some just trimming the big motor way up.
– The spoon bite for bass continues to be good for fish in the 2- to 3-pound range. Work 1 3/4-ounce Blade Runner spoons around bait balls in the Narrows and around the Big Island. Drop-shot rigs and Carolina rigs worked on the offshore rock piles and rocky points. Launches are still available at Markley Cove, Steele Park, Pleasure Cove and the Putah Creek. But the free Capell Cove launch is now closed.
– Between windy conditions and the lake turning over, water clarity has been very bad. A lot of scent is required on all of your presentations for fish to find it. Barring any more big wind, water clarity should improve as the week progresses, allowing the trolling bite to rebuild.
– No changes this past week since conditions have remained essentially the same.
This lake is always a go-to spot in the summer and fall with its cold, clean water and an abundance of habitat and insects. Try to fish early and late when the sun is not high.
No changes this past week since conditions have remained essentially the same. Water conditions are great and the fishing has been excellent.
•UPPER HAT CREEK
– Fishing here is at its best early in the day before the sun gets high in the sky and then right at sunset. The Power House No. 2 riffle is worth checking out.
Water conditions, visibility and fishing for brown and rainbow trout have all been great here lately. The fish are hungry and willing to bite.
It continues to fish well. September and into October are high season months here.
– Cover lots of water and target the first 5 feet with crankbaits and spinnerbaits for bass. If you can find shade on hard structure like rock or wood in the afternoon head to that. There is also bait everywhere from the surface to 25 feet. Best bet has been the first two and last two hours of the day.
– The lake and ramps are in great shape and the kokanee fishing has also been outstanding for fish from 13 to 15 1/2 inches. Troll at a pink Apex behind a Sling Blade in the channel at the bridge or the coldwater curtain. Or try an Uncle Larry’s spinner with pink and white beads tipped with shoepeg sweet, the long kernel corn you can get in the grocery store. You have to keep the hooks tipped with corn so if you aren’t getting hit check to see if your corn is gone.
– Salmon were still on tap outside of the Gate, with many fish coming from between Duxbury and the Channel Buoys.Happy Hooker
slayed the striped bass, easily getting limits from inside the Bay.
•BODEGA BAY/LAWSON’S LANDING
– Salmon were caught by PBers at McClure's Beach and Abbott's Lagoon. Several white seabass were also caught in the same areas. Rockfish and lingcod action onboardNew Sea Angler
was terrific near Point Reyes. Live bait is available at Bodega Bay, so halibut and albacore may soon be targeted.
– Boats from Emeryville split forces and went after salmon or rockfish/lingcod.Sundance
achieved limits of salmon over the weekend andNew Salmon Queen
came within one fish of full limits. Other boats, includingSea Wolf
caught limits of rockfish and at least a lingcod per rod.
– Coast Line Charters made an exploratory run and found albacore 57 miles southwest of Eureka, landing 24 tuna to 38 pounds. Pacific halibut fishing produced some very nice catches, however it came with a warning label, “patience required.” Cape Mendocino gave up limits of rockfish and good lingcod counts.
– Party boats remained tied to the dock, between fishing seasons. Shore fishers, however, fared well at Noyo Jetty and Mendociono Headlands. Limits of abalone were fairly common from Russian Gulch, Van Damme and Mendocino Headlands.
•HALF MOON BAY
–Queen of Hearts
ran a successful salmon trip early in the week. Salmon milled about the Harbor, creating a challenge for local anglers. Rockfish and lingcod counts were gratifying from rocky areas south of town.
– Fishing options were happily varied.Bass Tub
fished salmon one day, rockfish the next and shark on another day. Argo had good luck on sharks in the south Bay.Wacky Jacky
focused on salmon throughout the week and brought back plenty of fish.
–Flows continued to be about 1,350 cfs, but they are likely to decrease soon. Steelhead fishing has slowed down, and nightcrawlers, Little Cleos, and Kastmasters have been getting a strike or two, Salmon fishing continued to be very slow, but a few dark fish were being caught by lining fish around Sailor Bar
– The lake has gone below the 400-foot elevation level and a 5 mph is required now. It’s the fall pattern for bass, and find bait and fish using your electronics hanging over old rock tailings and river channels at the end of the Peninsula. Fish 20 to 30 feet deep with jigs, drop-shotting and Carolina-rigging. Some reaction bite can be good in the morning.
•RANCHO SECO LAKE
– Some nice bass are continuing to be being 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 was very good for a few days last week, but fish have been streaking through, and the catch rate can be good one day and not so much the next. The Sacramento region, especially around Verona, was very good until the weekend, but turned off. Fishing at Freeport was good for jigging, but only in the last half hour before dark. Some limits were being caught, even though the water is still warm and fish are jetting north to cooler water. Fish are being caught at Miller Park, Garcia Bend, Freeport, and Verona, and others. Trolling with Kwikfish, jigging with P-line jigs, or casting spinners like Flying C ‘s have all been catching an occasional fish.
•SACRAMENTO RIVER, Woodson’s Bridge
– Salmon fishing was good at times, and some limits were being caught. Fishing was very good until the rain came on Wed. and Thursday when it turned poor again. There were a couple of flurries of action around Grimes and Colusa, but spots above Chico continued to be better, and the Barge Hole and the Canyon improved as some new fish moved in.
•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.
– The Yuba River is flowing at 600 cfs. The lower Yuba below DeGuerre dam has been producing some nice trout on small hopper imitations on some days, but fishing might be slow on others.
– The lake is at 19-percent capacity. The dam and inlet were still the best places to look for rainbows and browns, according to Mountain Hardware and Sports. Browns should be moving toward the inlet to stage for the spawn later this month.
– The lake is at 71-percent capacity. The lake received a bit of snow over the weekend, but John Voss at Caples Lake Resort said it would melt off quickly. Trout fishing was still good for trollers and shore anglers using nightcrawlers.
•CARSON RIVER (East, West)
– Alpine County stocked 450 pounds of rainbows in the West Carson and 1350 pounds in the East Carson on Sept. 26. The weekend rains made the water a little murky in the East Carson, but fishing was spectacular for fish to 5 pounds on worms, salmon eggs, and spinners over the weekend on both rivers, according to Todd Sodaro at Todd’s Bait and Tackle at the Creekside Lodge. Heenan Lake produced 28- and 30-inch cutthroats for one lucky lady angler this past weekend on Prince Nymphs and hare’s ear nymphs.
– The lake is at 55-percent capacity. Ed Dillard at Dillard’s Guided Fishing reported trolling was improving. The copper/red head Wee and Number 1 Dick Nite spoon trolled 12 to 20 feet deep was producing good numbers of 15- to 20-inch rainbows. Strong winds this past week loosened up lots of weeds, so check your gear often. Shore fishermen were picking up some nice fish on inflated nightcrawlers at Mallard and Fairview. Flyfishermen working the west side from Jenkins to Cow Creek were seeing 10 to 12 fish days sight fishing for cruising rainbows using a rust J. Fair Wiggletail.
– The lake is at 64-percent capacity. Mountain Hardware and Sports reported kokanee trolling was still good for fairly bright fish that hadn’t turned as much as in other nearby lakes. Trolling dodger/hoochies or RGTs at 55 to 70 feet deep from China Cove to Loch Leven or across from the launch ramp was producing limits of 12- to 14-inch salmon.
•FEATHER RIVER CANYON
– Mike Hanson at Caribou Crossroads Resort reported anglers caught rainbows to 22 inches right behind the resort on the North Fork this past week. Some bigger fish could be moving up out of the East Branch into the North Fork.
– The lake is at 36-percent capacity. Mark Tieslau at Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden fished the lake this past week and caught 8 rainbows in 1 1/2 hours trolling a copper/red head Wee Dick Nite at 16 to 18 feet deep over 20 to 25 feet of water across from the Frenchman ramp. Shore anglers did well using inflated nightcrawlers at the dam.
•GOLD LAKES BASIN
– Fishing slowed here, according to Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden. Trollers could still pick up a few rainbows on flasher/worms at 15 to 20 feet deep at Gold Lake.
•ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR
– The lake is at 85-percent capacity and located in the King Fire closure area.
•INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR
– With the Carson River plant this past week, no one was here this past weekend. Alpine County will stock the lake in November after the general stream season closes.
•JACKSON MEADOW RESERVOIR
– The lake is at 66-percent capacity. Bumping bottom with an Apex at 45 to 55 feet deep was producing some nice rainbows. Browns were beginning to move toward the Yuba River inlet to stage for the spawn.
•JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park)
– Fish the second dam for rainbows using inflated nightcrawlers and floating dough baits.
- Wind and rain made for tough fishing conditions here this past week and weekend, but Chuck Self at Chuck’s Charter Fishing reported catching limits of 3- to 6 1/2-pound macks by 10 a.m. trolling 180 to 350 feet deep at North Shore each day. Zack Gordon at Tahoe Sportfishing said he had stopped fishing for kokanee, but a couple of the other boats in the fleet were still chasing the salmon, though they were quickly “turning” to prepare for the spawn. By week’s end he figured all the boats would be back mooching live bait for macks on the west side at Sugar Pine and along the South Shore. Mike Nielsen at Tahoe Topliners Sportfishing was jigging up quick limits of kokanee and macks at South Shore and the west side from Rubicon to Sugar Pine.
– The lake is at 53-percent capacity and in the King Fire El Dorado National Forest Closure Zone, so not accessible.
– The lake is at 26-percent capacity. The best bet here was smallmouth bass fishing at the dam and nearby rocky points—trout fishing was dead.
– George Molino at Cutthroat Charters and Joe Mendes at Eagle Eye Charters reported the opener looked great for a good jigging bite. With the lake so low, launching was going to be a problem due to construction at the Pelican ramp and parking lot facility, and obstacles in the ramp at Sutcliffe below Crosby’s Lodge. Be patient and watchful as you launch opening week.
– Colder nights should be dropping the water temp and improving the bite—try the dam and inlet for brookies and cutthroats using worms and salmon eggs.
– The lake is at 52-percent capacity. Shore fishing at the dam and trolling all over the lake was improving as the water temp drops.
– The lake is at 25-percent capacity. With only small boat launching here, trolling reports were slow in coming, though the kokanee bite was done with the fish already “turned”. Smallmouth bass fishing was sporadic in the Davies Creek arm.
– The trout season closed on Sept. 30 and reopens Jan. 1. Hopefully there will be more water in the lake by then.
– With the colder temps, the water was cool enough to allow fishing all day. The deeper pools and runs were holding the bulk of the fish with some in the 20-plus-inch range (both rainbows and browns). Streamers, crayfish, dry/droppers, and nymphs were working well during the day, and dry fly action was good in the evenings on October caddis, PMDs, and baetis.
•UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR
– The lake is at 68-percent capacity and located in the El Dorado National Forest King Fire Closure Zone—stay out.
•WEST WALKER RIVER
– Sam Foster at the Northern Mono Chamber of Commerce reported the rains this past week and weekend bumped the river flows up a bit and dropped some snow on the higher peaks. Fishing was still good in the deeper pools for rainbows to 3 pounds.
MOTHER LODE LAKES
– Few anglers have made it out to fish the lake, but a few anglers are still trying for the local bass, catfish and bluegill. The recent rains helped to lower the surface temperatures, but the water remains too warm for trout plants to begin.
– A few catfish stringers were reported to the marinas. Rabbit Creek has been the best area for anglers fishing with nightcrawlers. A few trollers have been fishing along the dam but there have been no reports of success.
•DON PEDRO RESERVOIR
– The bass have been the only thing biting and even that has been hit or miss. Fishing live bait has been the most consistent method.
– Continually receding water levels has made launching boats difficult. The best action has been for catfish along the shoreline. Anglers have been soaking frozen shad, anchovies, chicken livers, and nightcrawlers for a few catfish per trip.
– Recent plants have boosted the fishing. Trollers continue to score more fish while fishing Kastmasters and Rooster Tails. Anglers have been picking up a few king salmon as well when fishing a bit deeper. Shore anglers have been fishing around the marina with dough baits and nightcrawlers.
•NEW MELONES RESERVOIR
– Very few anglers are making it out. The few that do are fishing for catfish. Many deep channels have become accessible due to the low water and anglers are taking advantage of the new fishing terrain. Soaking scented frozen shad, anchovies, sardines, or nightcrawlers has provided the most bites.
– Trout and kokanee fishing has slowed dramatically, but bass and catfish anglers still found hungry fish. Soft plastics in dark colors have been the best option for bass. Catfish continue to bite chicken livers and nightcrawlers.
– The American River forks above Folsom Lake run through the King Fire Closure area, so stay out until the fire is officially declared out.
– The lake is at 43-percent capacity. Emerald Cove Marina reported boat traffic was very light on the lake with the rain and wind this past week and weekend. Launching was still good at Dark Day.
•CAMP FAR WEST
– North Shore Resort reported boaters were having a difficult time launching off the shore past the concrete ramp, so boat traffic was very light. Small boats can launch, but 4-wheel drive is recommended.
– The lake is 50 feet from full. The auxiliary boat ramp by the dam will open this week for launching. The only fish reported this past week were catfish taken on bait at the dam and the bridge—no trout!! Aaron Mendoza caught 5- and 10-pound cats at the bridge on nightcrawlers.
– The lake is at 94-percent capacity. Skippers Cove Marina reported wind and rain kept boats off the lake late this past week and over the weekend. Fishing was slow.
•FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR
– The lake is at 33-percent capacity and located in the King Fire closure area—stay out until the fire area is officially reopened.
•HELL HOLE RESERVOIR
– The lake is at 26-percent capacity and located in the King Fire closure area—stay out until the fire area is officially reopened.
– The lake is at 83-percent capacity. Bass fishing was good and the trout bite was improving. The King Fire was still creating a smokey environment for the surrounding region, but the rain helped to clear the air this past weekend.
•SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE
– The lake is at 51.5-percent capacity. Jim Caldwell at NID reported the smallmouth bass bite was good for fish to 2 1/2 pounds using worms and jigs on rocky banks. A few rainbows were also being caught by trollers. The marina boat ramp only had 8 feet of concrete left under 4 feet of water and no dock. The Cascade Shore ramp can only accommodate cartoppers. Boat traffic was very light with the launching situation.
•SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR
– This lake is out of the King Fire/ Tahoe National Forest Closure Zone and the rain had the smoke down to a tolerable level, but it would still be wise to stay out of this area until the fire is out.
•STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR
– The lake is located in the King Fire/El Dorado National Forest closure area—the fire burned through the campgrounds, so stay out until the area is officially reopened.
– The lake was at 135.1-foot elevation at press time—89-percent capacity. Guide Ron Gandolfi reported bass action was good for largemouths to 5 to 6 pounds though bigger fish were blowing up on buzzbaits and frogs fished around isolated structure. Senkos pitched into and around the grass beds and tules were producing lots of smaller fish. Try swimbaits over the top of the sparser grass beds and frogs on the matted beds for bigger fish.