The salmon are jumping up the fish hatchery ladder
Here are the best places to fish in the Sacramento region, Northern California and beyond for the week of Oct. 31, 2016.
Fishing closed from the Nimbus Hatchery deadline to Ancil Hoffman Park on Oct. 31. A few fresh salmon were seen in the lower river over the weekend, but most of the fishing had been concentrated around the Wall.
Trout plants from Mt. Lassen will arrive this week with 4500 pounds of rainbows to be split evenly between the North Shore launch ramp, the South Shore launch ramp, and the South Shore Pond. The shoreline bite should be good for the first few days after the plants before the rainbows scatter into the main lake. Crappie are holding in deep water, and slabs have been taken on plugs as deep as 70 feet in the main lake. The Informative Fisherman IF’MAS celebration is coming to Lake Camanche South Shore this coming Saturday, Nov. 5, and information is available at (866) 763-5121 Ext. 3. The lake held at 68% of capacity.
DELTA REGION: Sacramento River
There are still salmon trickling through the Sacramento-Delta, and the fish are big. They are rapidly blasting through the Delta towards the American River. Sturgeon are starting to assert themselves with the best action from Pittsburg upriver into Cache Slough. The area around Sherman Island has been particularly loaded with diamondbacks. Huge striped bass have been landed in deep water in upper Suisun Bay by fishermen transporting live jacksmelt from San Pablo Bay. The northern portion of the Delta near Liberty Island has been slower for stripers, but there have been some large fish taken from the Deep Water Channel into the Port. The first sturgeon derbies of the season is arriving on November 5-6 with the Addathon Iron Man derby out of Antioch, and the Central Valley Anglers Derby out of Brannan Island on November 6.
DELTA REGION: San Joaquin River
Small striped bass remain plentiful from Prisoner’s Point downstream to Antioch, and spoons or live bluegill are working for the deep schools. Around Antioch, the grade of bass becomes larger with linesides up to 32 inches taken on fresh shad or live mudsuckers. There is a good ripbait bite for largemouth bass with the ima Flit in American shad or the Bottom Hopper on a Zappu head. The American shad has a little flash in the clear water, and the bass bit good on the outside edges on the low tide. Fresh shad is available in Stockton-area bait shops. The salmon bite has slowed, but a few fish are still taken off of the Humphrey’s Pier in Antioch with heavy spinners. Bluegill and crappie found in the back sloughs near Discover Bay on wax worms or small minnows.
The Outlet Hole is closed for the season. Salmon fishing has been best from Boyd’s Pump to the train trestle above 10th Street. Plugs are now out-fishing spinners, with T50 and T55 FlatFish with sardine wraps working best. Some bank anglers are catching salmon on Blue Fox spinners near Shanghai Bend. Steelhead fishing is slow. Some big stripers are being caught, but they are now few and far between.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento
Guides trolling between Miller Park and Garcia Bend enjoyed good fishing to start the week, and reported slower action over the weekend. Party boats are catching late-fall-run kings outside the Golden Gate, and those bigger, brighter kings should arrive in early November. Spinners and plugs tends to work best as the water temperature cools. A 35-pound striper was reportedly caught in the deepwater channel.
NORTH COAST RIVERS
CHETCO RIVER, Brookings, Oregon
High water kept anglers off the river all of last week, and it looks it will be another week of high water and poor fishing until the weekend, when it just might fall into shape, according to WON Field Reporter and guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing. Salmon fishing should be excellent then, since this is the normal peak of season time. Guides were getting 3 to 8 kings a day before the high water.
EEL RIVER, Fort Seward
The Eel River went from under 8,000 cfs to over 22,000 cfs on Sunday, then was dropping on Monday morning, but was still thoroughly blown out. Catch-and-release only with king salmon and usually some silvers, steelhead later in the run.
Flows went from under 1500 cfs on Saturday to over 4500 cfs, and dropping steadily to 3700 cfs on Monday.
ROGUE RIVER, Shady Cove to Grants Pass
The flows have been fluctuating up and down, but should improve this week if rains let up. It’s been pretty good steelhead drifting with nightcrawlers and a Puffball, or pulling plugs in driftboats, said Troy Whitaker at U-Save Tackle. A few wild steelhead have also been caught and released. Best fishing areas have been off Schroder Park, Griffin Park and Robertson Bridge areas.
The Russian River opened to fishing on Wednesday, Oct. 26, to high muddy water. “We have been getting nothing but rain for the past week and this is excellent for an early season flush of the small streams and main stem as well it will get the salmon upriver to spawn and hopefully bring in some early steelhead,” said Scott Heemstra of Kings Sport & Tackle in Guerneville. “Currently the flow is 1300 cfs and rising. Hydrograph predictions show the river staying above the 300 cfs low flow closure for a while, but it’s always best to be sure, so call the hotline 707-944-5533. Bait season opens November 1, but it is a year-round barbless river.”
High flows keep drawing in bright ocean kings to the river, and pluggers are getting some really big king salmon right now. On Sunday, flows were ideal, according to guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing. Most guides are getting a fish per rod to a 2-fish limit he said, but it takes a hard day of fishing. A few steelhead are already in the river, and conditions are expected to be ideal this weekend.
KLAMATH RIVER, Hornbrook
The 189-fish quota for adult kings between Iron Gate Dam and the Highway 96 bridge at Weitchpec has been met. Steelhead fishing remains good near Hornbrook, with plugs working well last week. Flows Sunday at Iron Gate were an ideal 960 cfs.
KLAMATH RIVER, Happy Camp
The adult king salmon quota has been reached above the Highway 96 bridge. The river was rising fast over the weekend, which has slowed steelhead fishing. Anglers competed in the Klamath River Steelhead Derby on Saturday and caught steelhead side-drifting roe in the Happy Camp area. Flows Sunday were 3,100 cfs, up from 2,500 cfs on Saturday.
KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen
The 555-fish adult king salmon quota has been filled for the lower Klamath below Highway 96. Salmon fishing has been poor. Flows on Sundaywere 15,500 cfs at Terwer on Sunday, too high for effective fishing.
Flows from Lewiston Dam have been cut to 300 cfs for the rest of the winter. Flows Sunday at Douglas City were 700 cfs, while flows at Junction City were just under 800 cfs. Flows at Hoopa were 5,810 cfs. Both salmon quotas for the Trinity have been reached. Steelhead fishing is good near Junction City with red or orange 3.0 MagLip plugs working well. Bank fishing was difficult over the weekend as flows were quickly rising below Junction City.
NORTH COAST LAKES
Few reports were available due to bad weather and few anglers. Guide Troy Barr said fishing is usually tough here in the winter months and he won’t fish it again until next spring.
BLACK BUTTE LAKE
Fishing is still slow with few anglers out. Lots of rain fell over the weekend.
Lake finally got a 1,000-pound trout plant last Thursday, but weekend weather was so rainy there were few anglers out.
Rains made it miserable for most weekend anglers, but bass fishermen continue to catch fish on jigs, plastic worms and crankbaits. Most of the action is in waters less than 20 feet deep. Some catfish are being taken on nightcrawlers fished in the Skylark Shores area.
Fishing remains slow, with few anglers on the water.
Fishing is hit-and-miss on both bass and trout, but if you can find fish chasing baitfish, you might catch a fish.
FAR NORTH LAKE AND RIVERS
Weather hampered anglers much of the week, but some trout to the 5-pound range were being taken on trolled Needlefish, Rapalas and Speedy Shiners in depths of 12 to 35 feet.
Not much action reported here with few anglers out.
Marina is now closed for the season. Fishing is slow.
Anglers are trolling between Shrimp Island and the Broccoli tree in 4 to 8 feet of water with the Jay Fair set-up 3 to 5 feet down. Best action is on the Fiery Rust and Tui Chub Jay Fair Flies. The shore fishermen and fly fishermen are still catching fish at Christy Day Use, Pikes Point and Ronald McDonald house areas.
Fishing this week was slow due to rainy weather. A small beetle pattern might produce for fly anglers.
Trout fishing was slow due to rainy weather.
Water level is dropping and few anglers reported catching any trout.
Pretty much blown out by bad weather. After the storms pass try fishing Posse buggers and other caddis nymphs.
Flows here were normal this week and fly fishing was generally good for many anglers.
The bass have moved to deeper water around the points. Salt and pepper and bubble gum 4-inch worms are working the best. Crankbaits also bring in a few bass. Pearl color lures are the ticket. Some trout action is being posted on spinners trolled in the main lake and the dam areas.
Bass fishing was fair at Trinity Lake, with fish taken on plastic worms and Hula grubs, but trout fishing has been slow.
Anglers are still catching some kokanees, but most salmon on the lake have turned dark in color due to spawning. Anglers are trolling with Hoochies and Wedding Rings 40 feet deep in the main body of the lake.
The best option for a combination of good launch ramp conditions and high water with the lake holding at 65% of capacity. The water is becoming stained from the inflow and switching to a darker color pattern of plastic such as green pumpkin or with a chartreuse tail is recommended at depths from 25 to 50 feet on a drop-shot rig. Trolling for trout remains slow, but the action should improve within the month as the lake prepares to turn over by the end of November. The lake rose held at 65% of capacity.
The launch ramp conditions at Barrett Cove South have limited the number of fishermen heading to the lake as the end of the launch ramp has been muddy with a steep grade. The recent inflow is staining the water at the creek channels and around the shorelines. The bass are there for the taking, but it is a matter of access. The lake rose slightly to 36% of capacity.
A few holdover rainbows from the late September plant have been taken from the shoreline with garlic trout dough bait, salmon eggs or nightcrawlers. There have been no additional trout plants since prior to the Merced Irrigation Fall Trout Derby during the first weekend of October.
The lake will close for the season on Sunday, Nov. 6 and will reopen Feb. 17, 2017.
Holdover rainbows in excess of 4 pounds continue to be taken by the few trollers working the lake. Large spoons in Cop Car with a feathered hook at a trolling speed of 2.4 mph at depths to 104 feet are working. It is not a fast bite, but there are quality fish to be taken. The spotted bass bite is improving with the shad starting to rise towards the surface. The Glory Hole Sports Fall Catfish Contest began Nov. 1 and it will run until the end of the month. Frozen shad, mackerel, sardines, or preserved crawdads are the top baits for whiskerfish and adding scent is important. The crappie bite continues to be slow, but some larger slabsides have been taken on live minnows or mini-jigs near standing timber with deep water access. The Glory Hole launch ramp is on the dirt with the lake at 21% of capacity, but the courtesy dock will remain in the water.
SIERRA LAKES AND RIVERS
All ramps closed and wind and rain keep anglers away. Could be a decent bet this week with better weather.
CARSON RIVER (East, West)
East Carson went muddy Sunday. Should be fine for the weekend. There have been plenty of trout planted.
Shore anglers get trout at Honker Cove, Mallards or Fairview. Fly fishers get action at Fairview. Weather kept trollers off the water so no word on whether the floating weed beds have abated.
Casting spoons from the shore near the boat launch may draw interest from mackinaw.
FEATHER RIVER CANYON
Few, if any, gave it a go during the stormy weekend.
Lake remains at 32% of capacity despite recent rain. Best action is at the dam for anglers using bait. Ron Powers of Reno caught a 1-pound and 2-pound rainbow using Power Bait and nightcrawlers. Garlic Power Bait brought Bill Rodgers of Reno three 14- to 16-inch trout in three hours. Fly fishers in the north end score with orange wooly buggers on a fast retrieve.
GOLD LAKES BASIN
Dock has been pulled from Gold Lake, although small aluminum boats can be hand-launched. Trout bite was slow last week at Sardine and Salmon lakes, said Mark Tieslau of Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden.
Fishing in this brood stock cutthroat lake closed on Sunday. Will re-open next September.
ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR
Three inches of rain came down Thursday through Friday and more arrived Sunday. Guides canceled all their trips last week.
JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park)
The hope is Sunday’s storm was a cold one and will spur the turnover of the lake. Fishing has been so-so, but a cold snap and cooler surface temps will bring on the typical winter trout bite.
Morning limits are the rule for anglers targeting mackinaw on sportfishing charters. Zach Gordon of Tahoe Sportfishing has been mooching from the south end up to Rubicon and getting quick limits of macks in the 2- to 5-pound class. Fish are found near the bottom in depths from 20 to 200 feet. Rainbows are starting to show more frequently.
Gates are locked to Loon Lake.
Larger cutts are moving toward the shoreline along the beaches in the south end of the lake. More numbers, less size at Pelican, Spider and Warrior. Shore anglers continue to outperform boaters, according to creel census reports.
Very little attention being paid to this lake.
Closed until Jan. 1.
River came up again during last weekend’s storm but it was fishable from Glenshire into Truckee. October caddis, blue wing olives, leeches all produce nice trout. River was predicted to be fishable all the way down by mid-week.
WEST WALKER RIVER
Water is in great shape and fishing continues to be good for the few walking the banks. Sam Foster said residents at the Toiyabe Motel last weekend were catching daily limits of rainbows 10 to 14 inches long from the Walker Bridge to the town of Walker. The river is high and has color but there isn’t any mud. Best action has been with bait. No reports of fly fishing.
Lake levels rose another 4 feet last week from 390 feet to 394 feet. The Hobie Cove ramp at Brown’s Ravine and Granite Bay’s low water ramp are open. The Folsom Point, Rattlesnake and Peninsula ramps are closed. The lake has a 5 mph speed limit. Trout and landlocked salmon fishing has slowed, mainly because of the drop in effort. Bass fishing has also slowed.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Dunsmuir
Heavy rain blew the upper Sacramento out big time, increasing flows from 260 cfs a week ago to 9,130 cfs on Sunday. Fishing is poor.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff to Colusa
Salmon anglers are now awaiting the late-fall kings. Pressure is light, as many guides have stopped fishing for the season. Sardine-wrapped plugs typically work best for the late-fall kings, which should be in the river from mid-November until the river closes in December.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding to Red Bluff
Flows at Keswick Dam dropped from 6,090 cfs to 5,500 cfs last week. Although salmon fishing has been fair to slow at the Barge Hole, kings are still being caught on FlatFish with sardine wraps or roe. Guides expect late-fall kings to arrive in early November. Fishing for wild rainbows has been wide open from the Posse Grounds to Anderson. Trout are feasting on eggs from spawning salmon, and aggressively grabbing any egg imitations. Crickets also are working for trout.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Verona to Colusa
Salmon fishing has been slow near Verona. A few stripers are being caught near Verona on pile worms. Fishing for catfish is slowing near Knight’s Landing, but some are still being caught. Chicken liver, nightcrawlers and pile worms are tricking the catfish.
BULLARDS BAR RESERVOIR
Water temperature has dropped slightly to 63 degrees and lake is at 66 percent of capacity. That lake level is 117% of normal for this time of the year. Clarity remains good. Bass fishing is slow. Guide Ron Gandolfi reported he knows a couple of anglers who fished all day for a pair of eight-inch spotted bass. A small tournament with eight to 10 boats on Saturday, “Didn’t catch much or any big fish,” said Daniel Robertson at Emerald Cove Marina.
CAMP FAR WEST
The lake is filling fast. Water level has risen to 20% of capacity from 15% in the last two weeks. Water temps are in the low 60s. Few are fishing. Those hunting bass are using plastics by the dam and up toward Bear River, reported Kathy DeRossett from the North Shore Resort.
Few anglers, lots of rain has resulted in little fishing success. A plant of 1,800 pounds of trout weighing 3 to 5 pounds is scheduled for this week. That’s the second privately-purchased plant in the last three weeks.
Lots of rain, no angling pressure, said Lisa Rogers at Skipper’s Cove Marina, who said she hadn’t seen a boat all week. Lake is at 96% of capacity and 114% of normal for this time of year.
Bass in the 1- to 2-pound class are plentiful off steep walls and points. Use darthead worms or jigs. Water temp was 62 degrees on Sunday. Cooler temps can be found up the North Fork where there is moving water. Lake is 44% of capacity, which is 73% of average for this time of year. Bass are in 10 to 30 feet of water throughout the lake.
DFW this week will deliver a trout plant here.
Water level is too low to launch a boat.
Some fine, big fish were caught on the Berkeley Flats including a 38-pound halibut and a 44-pound white seabass. California Dawn worked her magic along the Marin Coast for limits of rockfish and plenty of lingcod.
Limits of lingcod were attainable as proven by Willy Vogler of Lawson’s Landing who banged limits on a rainy day. Boats such as New Sea Angler fared exceptionally well also, with lingcod to 16 pounds and some heavy reds and coppers. Surf fishing was slow in general due to lack of effort, however several species of surf perches were caught by the few who tried.
After switching gears to bottom fishing, Emeryville boats New Huck Finn and Sea Wolf made out like bandits on the Marin County rockfish grounds while Tigerfishworked inside the Bay for halibut and sharks. Folks fishing the shorelines in the vicinity of Emeryville found striped bass and perch.
With only one lone day of decent weather and water, several boats including Reel Steel made the trek to Cape Mendocino and absolutely hammered the lingcod using the Lingslayer and worked up high counts of rockfish with squid and other baits. Jetty fishing was slow because the weather and swells kept people away from the better areas.
There were some good lingcod caught up to 17 pounds and a monster cabezon that went nearly 13 pounds was brought aboard Telstar by Capt. Randy Thornton. Samurai ran north and caught some fish but encountered difficult weather. Shore fishing was not generally available due to high seas and swells coming in from the west.
HALF MOON BAY
Ankney Street went out and returned with full limits of rockfish and some lingcod. Huli Cat ran a local charter and caught quantities of average size rockfish with little talent aboard. Salmon still milled about the inside of Pillar Point Harbor and people fished feverishly, with occasional yelps of delight as they hooked up.
Wacky Jacky scored salmon as did Lovely Martha and Nautilus, but the big news was the size of the late season salmon with whoppers going to 35 pounds. Trips for rockfish and lingcod along the Marin Coast and Farallones featured high counts of good fish. Running inside the Bay meant sharks, stripers and smallish halibut. Bass Tub did the halibut/bass thing and caught some keeper halibut, along with striped bass.
- Western Outdoor News