• AMADOR LAKE– Fishing is good for trout, crappie and bass. Debbie Grayson at Lake Amador Store said, “There were over 3,000 pounds of trout planted last week with a lot of 6- to 9-pound fish in the mix.” Anglers are using black flies, crappie jigs, garlic green, chartreuse and rainbow Power Bait and trollers are using broken-back Rapalas, Needlefish and other go to trolling spoons at 20 feet. The lake is 30 feet from full.
• COLLINS LAKE — The lake is 15 feet from full and scheduled for a DFW trout plant and the release of 2 net pens this week. The CIFFI derby was a big success this past weekend with 155 contestants, according to emcee Dale Daneman. Lots of 3- to 4-pound rainbows were weighed. Shore anglers and trollers all did well.
• SACRAMENTO RIVER, Metro — Striper fishing has been outstanding with fresh sardines as the linesides are running both up and down the river. A heavy spawn is anticipated this week during the full moon, and the linesides will be migrating back into the Delta and San Francisco Bay through Sacramento in response to the spawn and high water temperatures. Fresh or frozen sardines are the top baits. Sturgeon are found upriver from Hood to Freeport.
• SACRAMENTO RIVER/Tisdale to Knight’s Landing — Striped bass fishing slowed on Sunday due to intense boat pressure on the river. A huge school of stripers has been holding from Knight’s Landing to Tisdale, and the action was spectacular until the arrival of the flotilla over the weekend. Drifting jumbo minnows, tossing rubber worms, swimbaits, large plugs, and spoons have all been effective. Sturgeon fishing continued to be excellent with a variety of baits, and striper fishermen have landed a number of sturgeon on cut bait. The river is low and full of snags near Knight’s Landing.
NORTH COAST RIVERS
• ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Oregon — Excellent springer fishing early in the week for most guides who waited until later in the day when the flood tide began pouring out, bringing the salmon that came into the bay earlier in the day up the river. It slowed progressively later in the week and over the weekend, but good tides are coming up again for this weekend, beginning April 17. It’s a great beginning for the spring king season here. Only native fish may be retained.
• ROGUE RIVER, Grant’s Pass, Oregon — "Haven’t heard of much action yet on salmon in this area, but there have been a couple reported in the Shady Cove area upriver, and a couple downriver in the Rainey Falls area,” said guide Troy Whitaker at U-Save Tackle in Grants Pass. “Steelhead are still the main targeted fish with some uppers and downers caught. There’s warmer weather now and the river is clearing, which isn’t normally good news for anglers. To try for springers, anglers should try sardine-wrapped Kwikfish or roe, in your favorite run areas, as springers should start moving through. For the steelhead, try crawdad-type plugs or drifted roe, in aerated waters below rapids," said Whitaker.
• UMPQUA RIVER, North Fork, Roseburg, Oregon — The North Umpqua River is in fantastic shape for fishing spring Chinook's below Winchester Dam. Salmon are filling the viewing windows at the fish ladder, according to WON Field Reporter and guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Guide Service. Winter steelhead have also been mixed in with the kings. First boats in the hole in the mornings are generally doing better than subsequent boats. “With the river height just below 4 feet, the springer's are stacking up in the deep holes,” Palmer said. “There are lots of salmon between Amacher Park on the North Umpqua River and River Forks Park on the Umpqua River. Salmon fishing should improve as the river becomes a little shallower and forces them to bunch up.”
• UMPQUA RIVER, Elkton, Oregon — The river has been on a steady drop over the past few weeks, and it has come down to the 6-foot level, according to guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets. “For those of you who do not have a big power boat for anchoring up while fishing for spring kings, using a driftboat will put you into bunched up fish that are moving upriver.
• KLAMATH RIVER, Mid to upper river — The PFMC set the fall salmon quotas, season and limits, with 4,184 kings allocated for the systems. See details in a story inside this issue of WON. The mid-Klamath River from Weithcpec to Happy Camp/Seiad Valley is looking better every day and should be great fishing in the “near future,” according to Ed Duggan of “D” Fishing Guide Service. “Above Orleans one. Above I-5, the fishing is starting to pick up some.”
• TRINITY RIVER — The PFMC set the season, allocations and limits for the fall salmon run. See the accompanying story in this issue for details. A few springer salmon are showing at Gray’s Falls and Burnt Ranch Falls with a 2-salmon per day limit. Numbers are expected to increase as the run moves in. Nice color with good visibility, but tons of smolts eating up the baits. Brown trout are on a rampage chowing on the smolts.
NORTH COAST LAKES
• CLEAR LAKE — Plenty of 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 pounders and even quite a few 4 and 5 pounders plus a few bass up to 10 pounds were landed. But you have to know where to look. Anglers are scoring with live bait and fishing jigs in the deeper portions of the lake in the 20-foot range. The bed fishing is going on mostly on the upper end of the lake. The big swimbait and glidebait bite with the big jointed baits has dropped way off now that the fish have spawning on their minds and have moved up into the shallow areas. A near record catfish at 33.8 pounds was caught on the south end with a nightcrawler.
• LAKE BERRYESSA — The spawn is in all stages now and it’s a great time to go looking for bass in the shallows. And you can catch them with a variety of baits. There has been early morning topwater action with a LuckyCraft Sammy in ghost minnow. For numbers try a 6-inch oxblood Robo worms fished on a drop-shot rig. Please be gentle with the mommas. Trout and salmon action are also kicking into gear. Run Rocky Mountain Tackle (RMT) Bahama or Hyper plaid Dodgers with pink plankton mini squids, Uncle Larry’s spinners in Pinky, Pink Tiger, Hot Belly Tiger or Too Hot Tiger for kokes. Kings will be around the dam and Narrows taking rolled bait from 60 to over 100 feet.
• LAKE SONOMA — This is a good alternative for spawning bass, as there is much less traffic than on other are lakes. Grab your plastics, Senkos, worms, Brush Hogs and jigs and concentrate on the spawning flats and bays in the creek channels. The catfish bite has also been good soaking cut bait from shore with mackerel being the best fished on a sliding sinker rig.
• LAKE ALMANOR — When you find the bait you’ll find some nice big trout and salmon feeding on them. Search the east shoreline with a black/silver No. 13 Rapala.
• BAUM LAKE — The good trout bite continues for those that can get on the water and reach them. The Fly Shop in Redding suggests using a pram, pontoon boat, or float tube to get at them. The bite is usually consistently good because the water conditions are controlled, cold and clear.
• BUCKS LAKE — Some big mackinaw trout have been taken along the shoreline.
• PIT RIVER — Watch out for increased flows below Lake Britton from March 16 to May 9 while PG&E increases the flow on the Pit 3 Reach of the river for maintenance at the powerhouse electric switchyard. The best river conditions are going to be found below Lake Britton Dam at Pit no.3. River conditions below Pit 3 are improving but all reports are good.
• SHASTA LAKE — With the spotted bass now spawning, the bite toughened up for the big gals. Most are 14-inch males. For a few larger ones you will have to slow down and target 15 to 30 feet with jigs, Senkos and plastic worms. For salmon try in Dry Creek with rolled shad at 80 feet and blue wiggle hoochies at 65 feet. There was an inconsistent rainbow bite on a watermelon Apex at 10 and 20 feet.
• WHISKEYTOWN RESERVOIR — The koke bite continued to be good on either side of the Hwy 299 Bridge. A few bass boats were also spotted on the lake. Pressure is very light here.
NORCAL SALTWATERBERKELEY — El Dorado Flying Fish Happy Hooker
• BODEGA BAY — Salmon fishing was good, with some private boaters and party boats achieving a fish per rod. Telstar ran successful salmon/crab combos. Many of the fish came from near Point Reyes. Red tail perch put on a wild bite near Lawson’s Landing.
• EMERYVILLE — Salmon fishing was up and down throughout the week. On Saturday, New Huck Fin had 20 passengers caught 22 salmon to 16 pounds. Then on Sunday, New Huck Fin and C-Gull II had a combined passenger count of 22 people who caught 5 salmon to 18 pounds. Tiger Fish focused on halibut, getting 7 to 14 pounds on Friday and 8 to 5 pounds, plus 2 striped bass to 5 pounds on Sunday.
• EUREKA — PFMC set the date as May 10th for the opener of salmon season in the Northern Management Zone and so Eureka boaters either wait or drive down to Shelter Cover, where salmon fishing has been pretty good. At the jetty, fishers hooked up greenlings, black rockfish, cabezon and lingcod.
• FORT BRAGG — Telstar ran successful salmon/crab combos. Private boaters caught a fish per rod on average, though there were some limits reported. Shore fishers found very large red tail perch, cabezon and rockfish.
• HALF MOON BAY/PACIFICA — Salmon just began to bite into the weekend at Deep Reef. Striped bass bit increasingly well for surf fishers at Mussell Rock, Rockaway and Linda Mar. Pier people caught decent numbers of Dungeness crabs.
• SHELTER COVE — Charter boat C’Mon hosted some good fishing during the first full week of salmon fishing, with counts ranging up to limits.
• BOCA LAKE — The lake is at 37-percent capacity. The dam for browns and the coves near the boat ramp for rainbows were the best bets for anglers.
• CAPLES LAKE — The lake is at 62-percent capacity. Caples Lake Resort reported there was still ice on the lake, but they expect to see it thaw by May 1 so look out for soft ice along the edges. With the general stream season opening so soon, why take a chance?
• CARSON RIVER (East, West) — Both rivers received 1000 pounds of catchable rainbows from the DFW this past week. Alpine County Fish and Game will stock Silver Creek and Markleeville Creek this week with 1800 pounds of 1- to 4-pound rainbows. The Carson River will be stocked by Alpine County before the opener. Catch-and-release, barbless hooks only fishing below Hangman’s Bridge remained hit-or-miss below Markleeville Creek using woolly buggers, San Juan Worms, and dries to match any sporadic hatches of stones and BWO.
• DAVIS LAKE — The lake is at 68-percent capacity. Ed Dillard reported that trolling was improving with the rainbow trout spawn winding down. Trolling a copper/red head Wee Dick Nite 10 feet deep was producing near limits to limits of 16- to 20-inch fish. Shore fishing slowed way down with a few spawning fish showing in the shallows. Boaters launching at the Camp 5 ramp need to watch out to make sure they don’t back their trailers off the end of the concrete. Work on the Honker Cove ramp stopped without explanation by the USFS—rumor has it that it may not open this year.
• DONNER LAKE — The lake is at 74-percent capacity. Mountain Hardware and Sports said the DFW made an unscheduled trout plant here this past week. The rainbow trout action was good near the boat ramp on the west end. The occasional mack was hitting a trolled Lyman, Rapala or J-Plug in rainbow trout colors.
• FRENCHMAN LAKE — The lake is at 51-percent capacity. Wiggins Trading Post reported that shore fishing had slowed due to spawning activity. A few fish were still being caught at Lunker Point and Big Cove. Launching was only available at the Frenchman ramp—it’s too low and muddy at Lunker Point.
• GOLD LAKES BASIN — Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden reported that the road to the lower end of Gold Lake was open, but not to the upper end boat ramp. Small boats could launch off the shore near the outlet. The road to Salmon Lake had not been plowed, but could be this week.
• ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR — The lake is at 92-percent capacity and was stocked by the DFW this past week. Dale Daneman at Dale’s Foothill Fishing Service and Kyle Neeser at Crystal Basin Tackle and Guide Service reported that trolling was wide-open. The road and ramp was clear and fish were hitting just about anything you cared to use—especially dodger/nightcrawlers. One boater reported picking up 30 fish in just 2 1/2 hours—all 12 to 14 inchers.
• INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR — The lake is scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Fishing was improving all over the lake with warmer water—the plant will only make it better.
• JACKSON MEADOW RESERVOIR — The lake is at 82-percent capacity. Mountain Hardware and Sports reported that the road past Weber Lake was still snowed in and only passable by extreme 4-wheelers.JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park)—
• LAKE TAHOE — Mike Nielsen at Tahoe Topliners Sportfishing reported doing well on both brown trout and macks this past week. The browns ranged from 1 to 7 pounds and hit Arashi Shad dipped in Pautzke’s Krill at South Shore, Rubicon Bay, and Meeks Bay trolled 10 to 25 feet deep over 30 to 50 feet of water. Macks were stacked up in huge schools from 50 to 240 feet deep and hitting jigged Williamson Vortex and Benthos or trolled ThunderStiks and Laxee spoons. The jig fish ran 2 to 4 pounds and the trollers weighed 5 to 7 pounds. Chuck Self at Chuck’s Charter Fishing was limiting out on macks to 6 pounds on both morning and afternoon trips trolling spoons and Lucky Craft Pointers at 150 to 350 feet deep from Dollar Point to Crystal Bay Point.
• LOON LAKE — The lake is at 64-percent capacity. The lake was stocked a month ago, but the gate to the launch ramp was still locked. The USFS needs to open the gates to allow anglers to get to fish the DFW has already stocked. There’s no snow, so what’s the deal?
• PROSSER LAKE — The lake is at 34-percent capacity. The best fishing was still near the dam and in Prosser Creek, according to Mountain Hardware and Sports.
• PYRAMID LAKE — Fishing slowed this past week according to Valarie Taylor at Crosby’s Lodge—they only checked in 3 fish over 10 pounds. Cathy Ripley landed an 18-pound, 13.6-ounce lunker trolling a frog FlatFish at Pelican. Jeff Morris of Austin, NV caught an 11 pounder off the shore at Warrior casting a spoon. Joe Mendes at Eagle Eye Charters reported improving numbers of fish on his 3 trips this past week and weekend, netting 20, 17, and 11 cutthroats up to 6 pounds. Mendes was trolling bleeding frog FlatFish and rainbow trout Apex at Hell’s Kitchen, the Needles, and Monument at 30 to 50 feet deep.
• RED LAKE — The lake was ice-free and producing cutthroats and few brookies off the dam.
• SILVER LAKE — The lake is at 51-percent capacity. Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters reported that the lake was pretty much open now. Shore fishing should be good with the higher water level. Mike Nielsen at Tahoe Topliners Sportfishing reported that friends John and Danielle Stafford fished the lake this past weekend trolling AC Plugs and caught 8 big Mackinaws 11 to 22 pounds—firstest gets the mostest as the old saying goes.
• STAMPEDE RESERVOIR — The lake is at 43-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Mountain Hardware and Sports reported that kokanee were hitting for trollers working schools of salmon at 25 to 50 feet deep with a variety of the usual offering—dodgers, spinners, and hoochies. The trout plant should attract some big macks into the shallows around the boat ramp to feed on the rainbows. Shore fishing will be good for trout near the boat ramp.
• TOPAZ LAKE — The water level was stable and boats on single-axle trailers up to 18 feet could still launch at Topaz Landing Marina. Chuck Fields reported that trout trolling was still excellent with anglers catching boat limits of 1 1/4- to 1 3/4- pound rainbows with a few to 2 3/4 pounds on flashers and worms, and Rapalas. Shore anglers were picking up some limits on Power Bait.
• TRUCKEE RIVER — Mountain Hardware and Sports and Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters reported decent action using March Browns, skwala stones, and BWO nymphs from Glenshire to Reno. Watch out for sporadic dry fly hatches.
• UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR — The lake is at 78-percent capacity. If you can make it in on the road to the dam (it’s in terrible shape), mack trolling should be pretty good using a dodger/herring combo over mid-lake humps and on the sandy ledges at 75 to 90 feet deep. Ask the Pacific Ranger Station why they haven’t opened the gate to the paved road to the Sunset ramp.
• WEST WALKER RIVER — A week of warm weather caused some runoff and the river took on a little color by the weekend. Windy conditions kept most anglers off the water according to Sam Foster at the Chamber of Commerce. Apparently the Chamber of Commerce and DFW plants made for the March 1 year-round opener should suffice for the general opener on Saturday. The Chamber will stock trophy fish again after Saturday.
• SACRAMENTO RIVER side — The river water has cleared, and striped bass action has improved with the best fishing from Collinsville north through metropolitan Sacramento with the linesides moving both up and down the river system. The migration will be heaviest over the next few weeks, but the action should remain strong until June. Trollers are working the West Bank from the Red Barn to Collinsville. Sturgeon fishing is best in Suisun Bay around Ozol Pier, the Middle Grounds, and the Firing Line, while diamondbacks are still to be had in the stretch of river from Chain Island to Freeport. Grass shrimp have been the top bait. Near Sacramento, sardines on the anchor around the inside bends of the river remained the top technique for schoolie stripers.SAN JOAQUIN RIVER side—
• AMERICAN RIVER — The South Fork was highly controlled by the Chili Bar Dam and flows were variable. The river at the confluence at Hwy 49 was loaded with sunbathers, swimmers, and picnickers with the hot, sunny weather, but few anglers were observed. It’s only open below Hwy. 49 until the stream trout opener end of the month.
• BULLARDS BAR — The lake is at 66-percent capacity. Emerald Cove Marina reported that bass fishing was still very good with fish to 8 pounds hitting Senkos, jigs, worms, and ripbaits on the flatter points and coves. According to Indian lore, trout fishing should be improving in the North Fork and Willow Creek now that the dogwoods are blooming.
• CAMP FAR WEST — The lake is still almost full. Bass fishing was good in the Rock Creek arm and on the main body using Brush Hogs and Roboworms at 8 to 10 feet deep. Ron Franks of Folsom caught 18 spots on his last trip, but only 6 were keepers.
• ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR — The lake is at 95-percent capacity. Lisa Rogers at Skippers Cove Marina reported that trollers were doing well on rainbows from the dam to Keystone Cove using a flasher or dodger/nightcrawler combo.
• FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR — The lake is at 47-percent capacity. With the sunny weather this past week, the roads were clear to the lake, but there was little word about fishing success according to the Foresthill Ranger Station.
• HELL HOLE RESERVOIR — The lake is at 60-percent capacity. The Georgetown Ranger Station reported that the roads were open to the lake, the boat ramp was in good shape, and boaters could reach the upper end of the lake through the Narrows. Use caution when traversing the shallows over the Narrows. There weren’t any current fishing reports coming into the Ranger Station. Mack trolling should be good by the dam.
• LAKE OROVILLE — The lake is at 51-percent capacity. Guide Ron Gandolfi reported that 65- to 75-fish days were still possible for bass anglers with the spawn about half over. The full moon this week should cause a major movement of spawners into the shallows, while post-spawn bass head for deeper water. Darthead worms, wacky Senkos, Paradise Tackle Company finesse jigs, tubes, and small swimbaits were all working. Heavy tournament pressure and recreational boat traffic was slowing the bite in the afternoons on weekends—fish during the week or early in the day for the best success. With the water still rising, traditional spawning areas were beginning to submerge, so look for flat points and coves. One Gandolfi client caught a bright 5-pound coho on a tube—a nice bonus.
• ROLLINS LAKE — The lake is at 97-percent capacity. Ryan Drake at NID reported that fishing activity was increasing here for trout and warmwater species alike. Crappie were hitting in the Greenhorn area. Rainbows and browns were found in the Bear River inlet. The rainbows were hitting flasher/worms while the browns preferred Rapalas, though a shore angler caught a 3-pound brown on a Kastmaster. Spotted bass were hitting in larger numbers as the spawn got into full swing in the flatter coves and on the flat points—use darthead worms, tubes and finesse jigs.
• SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE — The lake is at 83-percent capacity. Jim Caldwell at NID reported that rainbow trout fishing was good off the shore at the Cascade launch ramp for anglers using Power Bait and nightcrawlers. Bass anglers did well on smallmouths to 3 pounds cranking the rocky areas by the dam and spillway.
• SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR — Not much happening here yet, according to the Foresthill Ranger Station. With the early spring weather, the USFS may open the campgrounds early.
• STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR — The Georgetown Ranger Station reported that fishermen were still picking up planter rainbows on Power Bait and worms off shore and on flashesr or dodger/worms for trollers. The campgrounds will open for the season on April 18. The Georgetown Ranger Station will open 7 days a week on May 2.
• THERMOLITO AFTERBAY — The lake was at 135-foot elevation at press time—88-percent capacity. The hot weather this past week warmed the water and with the full moon this week, there should be a major movement of spawning bass into the shallow coves. Senkos and jigs pitched tight to the tules, and spinnerbaits cast between the tule clumps should draw a strike.
• CAMANCHE LAKE — Trout and bass fishing is good. Large and spotted bass are all over the lake around old vegetation. Best areas to troll for trout are by the dam and Causeway Cove. Catfish are being pulled out at Houseboat Cove. The favorite baits for trout last week were Power Bait, Jr. Jig, ‘crawler with marshmallow and Rapala Lure. Bass fishermen are using crankbaits, jigs and plastic worms.
• DON PEDRO RESERVOIR — Trout and bass fishing is good. The bass are spawning, pre-spawn and in a post spawn mode. Best method is drop-shotting or dartheading plastics. Jim and Terry Small averaged a fish an hour up the canyon on Wrights Baits 607 and oxblood 6-inch worms dartheading at 25 to 30 feet. Some crankbait and spinnerbait lures are working, but the bigger the swimbait the bigger the fish. Small swimbaits are working for more action but the fish are smaller. Trout, salmon and kokanee are being caught from the dam to Jenkins Hill.
• LAKE MCCLURE — Trout and bass fishing is good. Jason Mello at A-1 Bait in Snelling said, “Limits of trout were taken by trollers in Temperance arm with Wedding Rings ‘crawlers, blades/‘crawlers 3 1/2 colors deep. Bass fishing has been good with up to 20 bass a day with trout colored Senko’s and drop-shotting Pro Gold red flake plastic worms. Crappie fishermen are using small minnows, catching fish around Barrett Cove coves.
• LAKE MCSWAIN — Trout fishing is good. DFW planted 1,000 pounds of catchable trout Wednesday of last week. Victoria Sturtevant at the McSwain Marina said, “Trollers were doing good around the floating restroom and upriver using red Wedding Rings, flashers and Tomahawk spinners tipped with a ‘crawler. The Handicapped Docks, the Brush Pile, and the two points near the Marina are still producing fish. Anglers have been casting blue and chrome or plain chrome Kastmasters off the bank. Bait anglers have been using Bite Marshmallows, white and pink Power Eggs, rainbow and corn yellow Power Bait and ‘crawlers. Jason Mello at A-1 Bait in Snelling said, “Trollers are using baby Cow-Bells and ‘crawlers for limits of trout.”
• LAKE PARDEE — Fishing for trout and bass is slow. Randy Gomez at Lake Pardee Marina said, “The German brown trout are hammering the broken-back Rapals of all sizes up around Indian Head area of the lake. Trout trollers had a tough time Sunday with a lot of them getting skunked”. Bass anglers are catching some spawn and pre-spawn bass, smallmouth and largemouth. During media day Sunday, one pro caught a 10-pound smallmouth bass, but it was slow fishing in the wind for most of the anglers. A few catfish are starting to bite.
• NEW MELONES RESERVOIR — Bass fishing is good with trout fishing slower. Trout going deeper and the bass have been in transition from deep to shallow for the last month. John Liechty of Xperience Fishing Guide Service said, “My dad, Dan, and I have been catching bass to 8 pounds on a variety of soft plastic presentations from 5 to 25 feet”. The swimbait bite has slowed down. Trout trolling anglers should try targeting the fish with the use of downriggers or leadcore line from 30 to 60 feet. The fish should be near creek channels and the river channel and heading back out to the main lake.
• AMERICAN RIVER — No fishing pressure, as the fishing is too good in the Sacramento River for stripers for anyone to spend time here being plagued by smolts and small, halfpounder steelhead.
• FEATHER RIVER — The river remained extremely low, and launching a boat is next to impossible. A few striped bass are taken in the lower section of the river near Nicholas and Beer Can Beach by anglers wading or accessing the river on a kayak. Swimbaits or topwater lures in low light conditions or soaking minnows or cut baits are the top techniques.
• FOLSOM LAKE — Bass fishing is good, and anglers are finding multi-fish days on a variety of techniques. Trout action is good when you find the schools of fish, and salmon can be found occasionally by plying deeper waters with rolled shad.
• SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding — Trout fishing is back to “great”, and anglers are doing well on backtrolled plugs, flies, or drifted roe or even nightcrawlers.
- Western Outdoor News