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 Nov. 7, 2016.
Fishing closed from the Nimbus Hatchery deadline to Ancil Hoffman Park on Oct. 31. Big numbers of kings have shown up in the hatchery fish ladder. Some kings are being caught near Hazel Avenue, but it has been crowded.
The first trout plant from Mt. Lassen Hatchery arrived with a total of 4500 pounds of rainbows to split evenly between the North Shore launch ramp, the South Shore launch ramp and the South Shore Pond. The best action has been in the South Shore Pond with crappie jigs, various colors of trout dough bait, or salmon eggs. Holdover rainbows are found near the surface from the dam to Little Hat Island, but the holdovers have copepods. The Informative Fisherman IF’MAS celebration was a big success with largemouth bass to 5.5 pounds weighed in. The lake held at 68% of capacity.
DELTA REGION: Sacramento River
Sturgeon action is all the rage in the section of river from Martinez to Cache Slough with an incredible number of sturgeon caught and released by 21 teams during the two-day Addathon Derby out of Antioch over the past weekend. A total of 210 sturgeon caught and released between 6:00 a.m. on Saturday and 1:00 p.m. on Sunday. The majority of fish were taken from McAvoy’s Boat Harbor to Chain Island, and the Big Cut provided an excellent bite as well. Pickled eel, lamprey eel, and salmon roe were the top baits at depths from 40 to 60 feet in the area around Pittsburg, Chain Island, Buoys 31 and 34, and in front of the Pittsburg PGE Plant. A larger grade of striped bass is showing up in the river from Collinsville to Liberty Island for trollers, bait soakers, or plug casters. Salmon are still coming through with the best locations along 1st Street in Benicia and below the Freeport Bridge south of Sacramento.
DELTA REGION: San Joaquin River
Striped bass are numerous in the San Joaquin-Delta, and the majority of fish are holding from Eddo’s Boat Harbor upriver to Prisoner’s Point. P-Line Laser Minnows are producing linesides to 5 pounds, but the majority of stripers are undersized. The Optima Bad Bubba Shad swimbait is working when the fish are chasing bait into the shallows, and the bigger cut of largemouth bass are holding with the striper schools. Ripbaits in shad patterns are working for largemouth bass. The key is to work the outside weeds on the low tide as the fish are holding around the weeds. Once the tide comes in, we are switching to the ima Squarebill in shad patterns. The largemouth bass are ambushing bait in the flats, and anything in shad-patterns particularly with a chartreuse line is working. Fresh shad is available in Stockton-area bait shops. Bluegill and crappie found in the back sloughs near Discover Bay on wax worms or small minnows.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff to Colusa
A few late-fall kings are being caught between Red Bluff and Los Molinos. 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. Fishing pressure has been light.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento
Guides trolling between Miller Park and Garcia Bend and reporting a few fish. Overall action has been slow. Spinners and plugs tends to work best as the water temperature cools.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Verona to Colusa
Salmon fishing has been slow near Verona. A few stripers are being caught near Tisdale 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.
NORTH COAST RIVERS
CHETCO RIVER, Brookings, Oregon
Salmon fishing went ballistic last week when the river fell into shape, and it was prime from Wednesday through Saturday. Another storm over the weekend should be clearing by the time you read this. Guides were getting 4 to 8 kings a day from Tide Rock to Ice Box. Plugs were best at first, then bouncing roe got going, according to WON Staff Writer Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing. A dry pattern is developing, and fishing should remain great.
ROGUE RIVER, Grant’s Pass
Lots of action on the river in the Grants Pass area, with cohos and steelhead both showing up in fairly good numbers. Hatchery-bred fish can be kept, but “wild” fish must be released. Good mix of both being caught. Cohos are being caught on plugs and side-drifted roe. The same combos, along with nightcrawlers, are also picking up steelhead.
The river was open to fishing all last week, according to Scott Heemstra of Kings Sport & Tackle in Guerneville, but was murky most of the week until the weekend, when flows went to about 650 cfs and clarity was about 2 feet. The river will continue to drop out, but should remain above the 300 cfs threshold. “High swells have kept the mouth of the river shallow to closing, so water seems to be backing up to Monte Rio,” Heemstra said. “I would expect some fish to be trickling through, but not necessarily holding in any spot until the water drops more. The usual fare of bouncing roe, plunking roe and a Spin-n-Glo, casting Cleos or back trolling plugs will put you in the game. For the fly fisherman try larger patterns in dark colors since the water is still stained.”
Rain kept the river up and producing salmon, and last week was fair to good, with some guides catching as many as 10 salmon a dy. More rain on Saturday primed the river for another good week coming up, according to guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing. Look for more great action on kings.
KLAMATH RIVER, Hornbrook
Steelhead fishing has been good between Iron Gate Dam and Interstate 5, where conditions have been good. Flows Sunday at Iron Gate were 1,010 cfs. Worms or salmon eggs fished behind divers are working best for steelhead to 6 pounds. Plugs also are producing. The 189 fish quota for adult kings between Iron Gate Dam and the Highway 96 bridge at Weitchpec has been met.
KLAMATH RIVER, Happy Camp
Steelhead fishing is slow to fair near Happy Camp, but should improve as the weather dries out. Flows Sunday at Seiad Valley were 2,370 cfs. Side-drifting roe and yarn has been catching a few steelhead. The river is too high from Orleans down. The adult king salmon quota has been reached above the Highway 96 bridge.
KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen
The lower Klamath continues to be too high and muddy for steelhead fishing. Flows Sunday at Terwer were 12,300 cfs. The 555-fish adult king salmon quota has been filled for the lower Klamath below Highway 96.
Conditions should be ideal this week on the upper Trinity and improving on the lower Trinity for steelhead. Flows Sunday at Lewiston were 317 cfs. Flows at Douglas City were 425 cfs, with flows of 487 cfs at Junction City. Hoopa had flows of 3,090 cfs, while flows at the confluence with the Klamath were 9,680 cfs. Plugs have been catching adult steelhead near Douglas City and Junction City, although roe fished below bobbers also has been producing.
NORTH COAST LAKES
Bass fishing has been fair to good on plastic worms fished in brushy areas, while crappie fishing has been very good on small jigs.
BLACK BUTTE LAKE
Not much going on, said Jeff Wood at the lake. A few catfish were caught off the shore near Buckhorn ramp, but few anglers report any bass action.
Trout fishing picked up following last week’s DFW plant of rainbows to about 16 inches. Best catches were made on woolly buggers about 15 feet deep, said Art Cerini at The Narrows Resort. He said the DFW will be making another trout plant later this month.
Bass fishing remained good here with best catches reportedly above the 30-pound range for 5 bass during a weekend tournament. Guides reported good bass fishing all over the lake with jigs, plastic worms and cranks producing lots of action. Most of the fish are 2 and 3 pounders, but a few lunkers over 6 to 10 pounds were weighed at a big weekend tournament.
Not much action reported here, with few anglers out.
Still not much fishing action reported at the resort.
Trollers are picking up some steelhead on various lures, but the bass fishing has been slow.
FAR NORTH LAKE AND RIVERS
Trout fishing remains fair on days when it’s not raining. Fly fishermen are catching a few rainbows and browns in Keddie Cove and Geritol Cove.
Trout fishing has been fair to good. Brassies and Midges in size 20 and 22 have been producing well along with egg patterns. Stripping woolly buggers is popular as is fishing BWO imitations on overcast days. Bait fishing with inflated worms and Power Bait is always an option. Kastmasters, Little Cleo, Blue Fox, Panther Martin, Mepps, and even Rooster Tails will produce fish.
Marina is closed for the season, no fishing report available.
Trout action from Shrimp Island to Pelican Point has been good, using the Jay Fair set ups, trolling, with Tui Chub and Fiery Rust flies, as well as Berkley Pumpkinseed grubs. Anglers are limiting out daily with 2- to 3 1/2-pound fish, fishing shallow in 8 to 10 feet water with the flies down 3 feet.
Fair to good trout fishing on small bugs like No. 20 and 22 flies.
Fair to good for fly fishing trout fishing on nymphs. The all-tackle section is good for planter brookies and ‘bows on salmon eggs and ‘crawlers.
Louise Baghin at Pine Cove Marina said trout fishing has been fair for fly fishermen scoring with copper Johns and black sparkle flies. Best action has been off the tip of the island. Other anglers are not catching much.
Trout fishing is fair on most flies.
Good trout fishing on tap with most flies.
Good for bass anglers working the upper reaches of the arms of the lake on medium-sized swimbaits, wacky-rigged Senkos, Hula grubs on football heads and dark-colored spinnerbaits. They are also getting some surface action where the bass are chasing shad. Trout fishing is pretty good, too, with a DFG stocking made in the dam area. These fish are also chasing shad and are caught on a variety of trolled spinners. A few catfish are also being caught on worms.
Bass fishing is fair on grubs, but most fish are small. Not much trout action reported.
Kokanee fishing is still producing fair action for trollers working near the 299 bridge.
A second plant of 1200 pounds is scheduled this week after the initial plant of 3100 pounds of Mt. Lassen Hatchery rainbows two weeks back. Shore action is best with nightcrawlers in the early morning before switching to various colors of trout dough bait. The rainbows are close to the surface and the shorelines. Although most fishermen are targeting the planted rainbows, quality largemouth bass are still taken on topwater lures in the mornings and evenings. The lake is currently 18 feet from spilling.
Don Pedro continues to be the top bass lake in the Mother Lode with relatively high water conditions in comparison to New Melones and Lake McClure. The launch ramps remain open, and local tournaments are focusing upon the lake. The Kerman Bass Club made the trip north to Don Pedro on Saturday, and their 21 participants weighed in 11 limits and a total of 89 fish weighing a combined 159.34 pounds. With the water temperatures cooling slightly and the edges of the lake becoming stained, there is an early morning topwater bite, but the most consistent action is with dark color patterns of plastics on a 3/16- to 1/4-ounce drop-shot weight to work depths from 25 to 50 feet. This lake has the best launch ramp conditions and high water with the lake rising slightly to 66% of capacity.
The launch ramp conditions at Barrett Cove South along with muddy water along the shorelines from the recent inflow have limited the number of fishermen heading to the lake. The launch ramp is muddy with a steep grade. The only issue to taking the abundant spotted and largemouth bass is access. The lake rose slightly to 38% of capacity.
The lake closed for the season on Nov. 6 before reopening on Feb. 17.
Trout fishing continues to be the top story at New Melones with the opportunity for a large rainbow in the 3- to 5-pound range. Deep trolling action is starting to slow down, and the bait and rainbows are moving higher in the water column. The bass bite is slowly improving and anglers are catching a few more fish on each outing. The lake is full of shad and most of the spotted bass are schooled up and hunting them in wolf packs. The Glory Hole Sports Catfish Derby started on Nov. 1, and there a few more opening in the tournament that lasts all month long and is limited to 50 anglers. Crappie fishing has slowed, but there are slabs holding around standing timber with deep water access, waiting to ambush shad. The Glory Hole launch ramp is on the dirt, and it will remain so until the lake rises during the winter months. The lake’s drawdown continues, and it receded slightly to 859.49 feet in elevation and 21 per cent.
SIERRA LAKES AND RIVERS
Shore anglers have had little success of late, despite last week’s break in the weather.
CARSON RIVER (East, West)
River is green and in good condition for the final days of the season. River closes to fishing Nov. 15. River was aggressively stocked in the preceding weeks and should be worth a last shot.
Weed mats have dissipated and trolling prospects are good again. Trout to 18 inches are taking Needlefish. Shore angling has slowed. Boat dock at Honker Bay is scheduled to come out Nov. 15.
Guide Marc Christophel hit Donner last week and nabbed macks to 4 pounds trolling Cripplures and Needlefish in 100 feet of water on the south side of the lake. Macks are no longer stacked in China Cove, rather suspended all over the lake. Launching is fine as long as it is done with care. Lake is at 45 percent of capacity.
FEATHER RIVER CANYON
Stormy weather is keeping people away.
Turkey Point is the hot spot here and anglers soaking nightcrawlers are getting rainbow trout. Robert Asatani nailed a 3 pounder floating nightcrawlers at Turkey Point. Other anglers reported limits and near limits of 12- to 16-inch trout. All were using nightcrawlers alone or with yellow Power Bait. Lake is holding at 32 percent of capacity.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR
A plant of 1,800 pounds of trout from the Desert Springs Trout Farm will be planted late this week andapproximately 400 pounds of them will be trout weighing two pounds or larger.
JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park)
It’s slow here but the cooler weather should bring on better prospects. Lake is 80 percent of capacity.
Mackinaw are in the peak of their spawn and actively knocking jigs away or feeding to stay strong. Charter boats are getting limits on morning trips by bouncing the bottom. Both North Shore and South Shore are productive, but it takes some hunting to find pods of fish. Biggest mack last week was a 13 pounder. A handful of 8 to 12 pounders were caught. A few rainbows are being caught on the south side.
Gates are locked to Loon Lake.
Cutthroat are being caught by shoreline bait dunkers. Streams are running and there is water moving into the lake. Those are good spots to target.
Water temperature has dropped to 55 degrees, improving prospects for shore anglers and bringing cutts closer to the surface. No need for downriggers.
Cutthroat and rainbows are being caught in the top 15 feet of water. Shoreline anglers use salmon eggs. Trollers use small Needlefish. Boat ramp is usable. A few of next year’s kokanee are being caught by trollers.
Closed until Jan. 1.
It’s big streamer time on the Truckee. Larger fish are fattening up for winter and looking for a large meal. Darker stoneflies, blue wing olives or baetis in sizes No. 8 to 12 also are good bets, Best stretch is from the Boca outlet to stateline.
WEST WALKER RIVER
Water is a bit murky, but trout bite has been fair. Those pitching nightcrawlers or salmon eggs can get trout in the 10- to 12-inch range. Browns were planted last week and catch-and-release is strongly urged.
The Outlet Hole is closed for the season. Late-season kings are being caught above the 10th Street Bridge on T55 FlatFish with sardine wraps. There is a mix of dark and fairly bright fish. Pressure has been light. Striper anglers are finding a few fish on swimbaits and topwater lures near Star Bend.
Lake levels rose another 5 feet last week from 394 feet to 399 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
High, muddy water has brought fishing in the Upper Sacramento to a halt. Flows Sunday were 1,500 cfs.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding to Red Bluff
Flows at Keswick Dam held steady at 5,020 cfs last week. Although salmon fishing has been fair to slow at the Barge Hole, kings are still being caught on T55 FlatFish with sardine wraps or roe. Conditions improved over the weekend after rain last week muddied the water. 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.
Little action here. Water temperature is 66 degrees, lake is 68 percent of capacity and clarity is fine. Not too many people out and those out have been struggling to get bass.
CAMP FAR WEST
Bass bite has picked up for shore anglers and boaters. Lake has risen to 25 percent of full with water temps in the high 60s. Shore anglers cast dark-colored plastics toward drop-offs and boaters go to where Bear River enters the lake and fish 10 feet down with Brush Hogs. Most of the spotted bass are in the 1- to 2-pound class.
With water temperatures at 66 degrees, trout bite remains on the slow side. Most troll, but limits are sparse and trout have been small. Another plant of 1,000 pounds of privately-purchased trout with trophy fish included will arrive this week.
Bite remains slow. Lake won’t receive trout until trout pens open in February.
Small bass are plentiful in the main lake body. Bass are plentiful from five to 15 feet with larger fish found deeper. Anything close to two pounds is a big fish, though. Lake is 44 percent of capacity and water temperature is 62 degrees, but much colder in the moving water of the West Branch.
A trout plant from DFW went in last week. Not a lot of reports of success but there is surface activity near the Orchard Springs Boat Launch. Bass are 20 to 25 feet and will become active with the addition of trout. Good time to toss a swimbait in Long Ravine Cove. Water temperature is in the low 60s and lake is 82 percent of capacity.
SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE
A group of five bass fishermen spent three days here last week and had smallmouth limits every day using plastics near the Cascade side of the dam and up toward the inlet. Largest smallie was under three pounds. Trout bite is slow.
There were options aplenty for boats out of Berkeley. Happy Hooker ran crab combos along the Marin coast, pulling 8 crabs apiece after a short soak and the magic number after an overnight soak. California Dawn put aboard limits of rockfish and crabs. El Dorado ran crab-only trips over the weekend and New El Dorado III made combo runs. Local boats found all the juvenile stripers they could handle in San Pablo Bay, Central Bay and South Bay.
Boats made it out for the crab opener, thanks to the direction of the big swells and the results were tangibly good. New Sea Angler had a high passenger count but still managed full limits of both crabs and rockfish plus some fat lingcod. Shore fishing was very good for perch and so-so for striped bass near Dillon Beach and Doran Beach.
Tigerfish ran out of Emeryville Sportfishing for limits of rockfish and some lingcod. Locally, shore fishers and skiff fishers found striped bass overly willing to bite, though most were shorts to be released.
The swells were just too big on opening day of crab season and only one boat was known to have gone out, scoring 30 crabs before retreating back inside Humboldt Bay where most boats stayed to catch what crabs they could. Shore fishers got into the crabs at Englund Marine and Del Norte. Early in the week, both north and south jetties were really good for kelp greenlings and local sandy beaches served up red tail perch catches.
Boats stayed tied to the docks for the opener and since the crews spent much of the week in preparation, there were precious few people out fishing except for shore fishers who had a great time of it. Rockfish, cabezon and lingcod were caught at Old Mill, Glass Beach, Mendocino Headland and Jughandle.
HALF MOON BAY
Queen of Hearts worked spots down the coast for heavy sacks of rockfish and some lingcod. Huli Cat ran combo trips for opening weekend and had to work hard to find crabs. Big swells prevented smaller boats from going out for crabs so there was an inordinate amount of people crabbing inside the Harbor from shore, pier, docks and boats. At Pacifica Pier the swells made it too tough and many people left to wait out the swell event.
Bass Tub dropped pots Saturday morning, ran to the Farallones for limits of rockfish and some lings, then pulled the pots for limits of crabs. Sunday’s results were similar. Lovely Martha ended the salmon season with a 32-pound king, then put limits of rockfish aboard during the week before the swells hit the Bay Area coast.
- Western Outdoor News