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. 21, 2016.
Lake Amador trout plants continue, and another 1200 pounds was released into the lake on November 17 with an additional plant of 1200 pounds in advance of the start of the annual Lake Amador Trout Derby. The derby starts this coming Friday, November 25 with a $7 one-time entry fee with 300 tagged fish being released during the months from late November through March. A total of $5000 in cash and prizes, and it will run until March 19, 2017. Despite the majority of interest focused upon the planted rainbows from the Mt. Lassen Hatchery, largemouth bass remain active compact plastic baits like Brush Hogs and Yamamoto Frenzy baits in various color patterns.
DELTA REGION: Sacramento River
Sturgeon are spread out from lower Suisun Bay to Freeport, and the fish should be moving upriver with the recent inflow into the river. Eel/nightcrawlers, eel/pile worms, straight pile worms, or ghost shrimp are all working for the diamondbacks. Striper fishing is improving with a larger grade of bass moving into the river for trollers and bait fishermen alike. A few salmon continue to trickle through, and trolling with a Brad’s Cut Plug behind a Pro-Troll flasher has been the technique of choice. Panfish are biting jumbo red worms on a drop-shot rig along the Delta Loop.
DELTA REGION: San Joaquin River
A larger grade of striped bass is moving into the San Joaquin-Delta, and experienced plug casters are averaging 40 fish per tide while throwing the Optima 5-inch Bubba Shad swimbait or hair jigs on the shallow humps in 6 to 8 feet of water in the middle of the river. The stripers are holding on the back sides of the humps on the incoming tide, and there are clearly different groups of fish. Anglers drifting bluegill in False River and the San Joaquin River are also finding success as well as in Suisun Bay at the Firing Line and Duck Club with shad. Fresh shad are still available in area bait shops, but they are on their way out within the next few weeks. There is continued solid bluegill bite in the normal locations of Whiskey Slough, Bacon Island Road, and Eight Mile Road with jumbo red worms.
Lake levels rose 2 feet to 402 feet on Sunday and the 5 mph speed limit has been lifted. 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. Bass are suspended or near the bottom in 40 to 60 feet of water. Fishing for both bass and trout has been slow.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento
Guides trolling between Miller Park and Garcia Bend reported good fishing again last week, but some of the fish are dark. Plugs, spinners and Brad’s Plug Cut baits fished behind flashers are working best. Some sturgeon are showing up on the lower river.
NORTH COAST RIVERS
CHETCO RIVER, Brookings, Oregon
They were still catching bright king salmon last week, but it’s about all over for the season, as the river got hit by big rains and was expected to hit 12,000 cfs by Thursday, putting most all the kings on their beds and probably bringing in the first of the steelhead, said WON Staff Writer and guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing. He will be switching over to steelhead when the water finally goes down. The salmon run was early due to early rains, and the steelhead run will be ahead of schedule, too.
ELKS RIVER, Port Orford, Oregon
Salmon fishing has been decent between storms. The river was blown out on Sunday but could be fishable at times this week. Call the Elk River Hatchery at (541) 332-0405 for the latest river levels. The Elk fishes best between 4 and 5 feet. Anglers are back-bouncing roe in the deeper holes between the hatchery and RV park.
ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Oregon
The lower Rogue River has been blown out for most of November. Flows Sunday at Agness were 13,600 cfs and rising. When the river drops below 5,000 cfs, look for the first winter steelhead to show up at Lobster Creek and Huntley Park.
ROGUE RIVER, Shady Cove/Grant’s Pass
Steelhead fishing was fair last week, but the weather forecasts show the river might “blow out” by storms this week. Anglers are still catching some steelhead, but not as many as last week, mostly on jigs and spinners. Rough weather could push some more fish up from the bay. If the river is fishable, anglers should try back-trolling small plugs, nightcrawlers or Corkies. If you find some back eddies, try throwing spoons and spinners for cohos. Good shore fishing spots for anglers are at Schroeder Park, Griffin Park and the Whitehorse area.
The river went from low flows to blown out at 4,000 cfs overnight after 5 inches of rain hit the river drainage. “This should be the first rain event to really bring in our first good push of steelhead,” said Scott Heemstra of Kings Sporting Goods in Guerneville. “Once the water drops and clears things should be in full gear for the rest of the season. Expect a week at least for the river to come into fishable shape.”
SIXES RIVER, Port Orford, Oregon
WON Staff Writer and guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing said, “High water stalled fishing over the weekend. With more rain, the Sixes could be blown out all week. Fishing has been best between Edson Creek and the Grange, with MagLip 5.0 plugs with sardine wraps working best.”
No new kings showed up in the river after the last storm, so it appears the run is already over, according to WON Field Reporter Phil DeSautel of Phil’s Smiling Salmon Guide Service. He said there’s a ton of seals in the river, and that’s got the last of the salmon on the run big time. He’s hoping that steelhead will be making a showing after the river drops from the most recent series of storms.
KLAMATH RIVER, Hornbrook
With flows of 1,010 cfs, the upper Klamath is in the best shape for steelhead and trout fishing. Worms fished behind divers, as well as small plugs are working best for steelhead to 7 pounds. Guides are focusing on the hatchery to Klamathon Bridge.
KLAMATH RIVER, Happy Camp
More rain has the middle section of the Klamath on the verge of blowing out. Flows Sunday at Seiad Valley were 2,650 cfs, with flows of 7,320 at Somes Bar and 9,210 cfs at Orleans.
KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen
The lower Klamath remained high and muddy over the weekend, with flows topping 16,000 cfs at the Terwer Creek gauge.
Steelhead fishing has been slow in the upper Trinity, while the lower river is blown out. Flows Sunday at Lewiston Dam were 317 cfs, while flows at Douglas City were 492 cfs and flows in Junction City were 562 cfs. The lower river is high and muddy, with flows at Willow Creek at 3,270 cfs and flows at Hooper at 4,580 cfs. A few steelhead are being caught near Junction City and Douglas City on roe as well as 3.0 and 2.5 MagLip plugs. Rain this week may pull some early winter steelhead up from the Klamath.
NORTH COAST LAKES
Plenty of big bass were brought to the scales in a recent 40 team derby held out of Markley Cove with 5 bags over the 20-pound mark. Overall fishing remains fair to good. Bass have become a little more active this past week with dropping water temperatures.
BLACK BUTTE LAKE
Park ranger Jeff Wood said few anglers were out this week, with bad weather prevailing.
Art Cerini at The Narrows Resort said trout fishing has been slow and bad weather all week kept anglers off the lake most days.
Bass fishing slowed up a little this week with wind and rain hampering the anglers. Even so, catches of a dozen or so bass are still being made by most anglers on jigs, plastic worms and crankbaits. Some catfish were caught at the south end and some crappie catches are being made in the Shag Rock area on small jigs.
Fishing remains slow with rainy weather and few anglers out.
Fishing has been very slow due to rainy weather, with few anglers on the lake all week.
There was little to no fishing pressure, but those who got on the water found fair to good fishing for both bass and trout this past week. Bass were hitting on jigs, while some steelhead were taken on trolled shad imitation lures about 25 feet deep.
FAR NORTH LAKE AND RIVERS
Small rainbows around the South end of the Lake on both the East and West shorelines were caught while fast trolling a little of everything in a variety of colors. Speedy Shiners, Rapalas and trolling flies, fished from 10 to 25 feet at 2.5-3 mph all caught fish. Anglers using nightcrawlers and trolled small swimbaits produced trout in areas near Canyon dam and along the east shoreline.
Trout fishing remains pretty good on baits and lures, with fly anglers also scoring.
Marina is closed for the winter. No reports available.
Trout are being caught in the 3- to 4-pound range from 5 to 7 feet down. Trollers are using grubs and flies. Bait fishing with nightcrawlers has also been good. The productive areas have been at the south end of the lake and the youth camp area.
Fishing for trout has been good for the fly fishermen using nymphs, but other anglers are not doing very well. The lake is calm, with not much water pushing through from the upstream dam.
Remains open below Britton Dam downstream to the outlet of the Pit No. 3 Powerhouse, through the winter. Action is also good on at Pit 4, 5 and 7 areas. Only artificial lures with barbless hooks may be used. Few anglers seen due to rains.
Fishing remains pretty good at Shasta with best action in the main body of the lake. Fish to 4 1/2 pounds were reported during a weekend tournament, with most bass taken on plastic worms, spoons and leadhead jigs. Trout fishing has been slow to fair with the best action in the dam area and Dry Creek on trolled lures. Anglers are also catching some catfish on sardines, and action for crappie has been fair off the points on small crappie jigs, spinners and small crank plugs.
Bass fishing is slowing down for anglers at Trinity Lake with bad weather hampering the anglers.
It has improved for bass, while the kokanee fishing has really slowed down. The smallmouth and largemouth bass have been hitting best on plastic worms.
More rainbows from Mt. Lassen Hatchery were placed into the lake last week with 750 pounds each released at the South Shore Pond, the South Shore launch ramp, and the North Shore launch ramp. The pond has been slow, with anglers struggling for one or two rainbows with trout dough bait, Power Eggs, crappie jigs, or Kastmasters. Bass fishing remains solid with crankbaits in the mornings and plastics in the afternoons for largemouth to 3 pounds. There is a scattering of crappie holding on certain submerged trees in deep water. The lake dropped slightly to 67 percent.
With the lake continuing to rise rapidly, Lake McClure launch ramps are back in play at both the Barrett’s Cove North and South launch ramps. The ramps are on the concrete, and there is over 100 feet of water on the concrete at both ramps with the ability to launch two boats side-by-side on the south ramp. The first gold-tagged rainbow out of five planted last spring was landed this week by Hank Van Vuren of Escalon with a 21-inch rainbow weighing in at 3.5 pounds while targeting bass with his brother. The fish was worth $500 from the Merced Irrigation District Parks and Recreation, and there are four others still in the lake worth $500 each with one more at Lake McSwain worth $250. The lake held at 38% of capacity.
Striped bass action from the banks has been solid for those walking the shoreline and tossing shad-patterned flukes. The lake is rising with heavy precipitation over the weekend in the Calaveras River watershed.
Trout still good for few fishermen heading to the lake, and the rainbows have moved up to the 80- to 90-foot. The bass bite is improving with the water temperatures starting to drop. The Glory Hole Sports Catfish Derby is ongoing, and the catfish have moved into the lake’s inlets in search of easy meals washed down from the shorelines. The crappie bite has slowed, but the cold winter months can be a good time to target them in the back of major creek channels around standing timber with small minnows or mini-jigs. The Glory Hole launch ramp is on the dirt. A courtesy dock is available.
The lake closed for the season on November 6 before reopening on February 16, 2017 for camping and February 17, 2017, for fishing.
SIERRA LAKES AND RIVERS
Water temperature is 43 degrees. Fairview has been a decent spot to nab trout for both fly fishers and bait fishers. Mallard Cove boat dock is out of the water.
Guide Marc Christophel said mackinaw continue to provide a decent bite. Trolling in 70 to 100 feet of water can yield macks to 5 pounds. “They are in post-spawn and hungry,” Christophel said.
FEATHER RIVER CANYON
River is high and close to unfishable. “River is cranking. It’s really going,” said Sam Birchaard at Caribou Crossroads Resort. “No one is fishing around here.”
Use nightcrawlers or Power Bait at the dam or Turkey Point and you have a shot at limits of trout with some to 18 inches.
GOLD LAKE BASIN
Check on road conditions before planning a trip here. Snow is on the ground and the roads do not get plowed. Brown trout are caught near the outlet at Gold Lake. Throw chrome blue Sierra Spoons or Kastmasters, Nightcrawler/marshmallow combo also will work.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR
A plant of 1,800 pounds of trout from Desert Springs Trout Farm went in last Tuesday. That will be the only trout plant of the winter.
JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park)
When the skies are clear, anglers are catching trout near the second dam and in the narrows with nightcrawlers or Power Bait. Few are venturing out when it rains.
Rainbows continue to he bard to find but the Mackinaw bite has been good. Finding spots to fish out of the heavy wind has been the bigger challenge. Nevertheless, limits to near limits of macks are being caught on both the north and south ends of the lake.
Shore anglers continue to catch cutthroat trout in the 14- to 16-inch range with a few as large as 18 inches. Use spinners like Rooster Tails, Panther Martins, or Kastmasters. Nightcrawlers or salmon eggs also can work.
Big cutthroat are cruising the shoreline and there has been excellent action for shore anglers on almost all the beaches. Water temperature remains in the mid-50s. Less angling pressure is expected between now and New Years because of the holidays. That presents a great opportunity for those able to break away.
Rainbows continue to bite, but for how much longer is a guess. Water temp was 54 degrees before last week’s cold storm and colder water could lead to a tougher bite. Best to try this during the day when it is warmest, but wind will be a problem in the afternoon.
Closed until Jan. 1.
It’s catch-and-release from Trout Creek to the Stateline and fishing has been pretty good with best action below the Boca Outlet, reported Brian Nylund at Mountain Hardware and Sports in Truckee. “The River is in good shape and streamer fishing has been pretty good,” Nylund said. “But the water temperature is getting colder and that is going to slow them down.”
WEST WALKER RIVER
River is in good shape but very few have been fishing since catch-and-release regulations have taken effect.
Fishing closed from the Nimbus Hatchery deadline to Ancil Hoffman Park on Oct. 31. Salmon fishing was best around Howe Avenue last week, with beads or Flying C spinners working, but fishing has slowed down. Flows Sunday were 1,300 cfs and holding steady.
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 but fishing has slowed. Pressure has been light. Very few stripers are now being caught.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Dunsmuir
High, muddy water has brought fishing in the Upper Sacramento to a halt. Flows Sunday were 2,200 cfs at the Delta gauge.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff to Colusa
The striper bite has slowed, but some fish are still being caught near Colusa on swimbaits. Salmon fishing is best between Red Bluff and the Bend Bridge, with T55 FlatFish working well in the mornings.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding to Red Bluff
Flows at Keswick Dam held steady at 5,210 cfs last week. Salmon fishing is still good at the Barge Hole, where late-fall kings are stacking up near Battle Creek. Guides are using T55 FlatFish with sardine wraps. Roe also is working downstream of Red Bluff. Several small schools of fish were reported over the weekend from the Barge Hole to Bend Bridge. 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. Fishing for catfish near Knight’s Landing has slowed. A handful of keeper sturgeon were reported at Verona last week, hitting ghost shrimp, roe and eel.
Regulations mandate artificial, barbless lures and catch-and-release trout fishing above the Hwy. 49 Bridge until the April 2017 trout opener.
Spotted bass bite has been hit or miss. The few anglers out have been keying on depths of 25 to 30 feet but haven’t had much success. Water temperature is in the high 50s.
CAMP FAR WEST
Lake is rising and water is muddy, but fishable. The concrete launch ramp now has a dock in it for the first time since July. Ron of Folsom on Friday caught and released 25 bass using a green pumpkin lizard in 8 to 10 feet of water near Rock Creek. Water temperature is 61 to 62 degrees.
Water temperature is holding at 60 degrees. A triple load of trout goes in this week and will be the final plant of the season. Trollers score in 15 to 20 feet below the surface. Power Bait or nightcrawlers get action at the dam. No trout much larger than three pounds have been caught this season.
Little pressure here last week due to weather. Water clarity is holding and lake is near capacity. A good bet going forward.
Little has changed here. Jigs or dartheaded worms get bass in five to 30 feet of water. Larger bass are starting to appear but nothing over three pounds, yet. Spots are holding off steep walls or points where pond smelt can be ambushed in the current.
Water is 60 degrees and 91-percent of capacity. Bass bite was great last weekend, but a full moon and a cold front shattered that. Cold weather may spark lake to turn over.
SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE
Trout bite is slow. Smallmouth bite is decent on the Cascade side of the lake where there is a rocky bottom. Water temperature is 60 degrees.
Water is cold and bass don’t start moving until they hit shallow water in the afternoon where there is baitfish and warmer water in the low 60s. Topwater offerings and square-bill crankbaits work. Largest bass in a Paradise Bass Club tourney last week weighed 5.8 pounds. Swim jigs offered on the edge of the tules or grass can be effective.
Rockfish and crab combo trips were awesome with limits of rockfish and crabs nearly certain and also with some high lingcod counts and individual lings up to 22 pounds (aboard Golden Eye 2000) from the Farallones. California Dawn posted high scores when they could get out.
Every angler aboard New Sea Angler was pretty much assured of limits of crabs and rockfish plus a good shot at a lingcod. Water conditions were rough for much of the week and small boaters didn’t go out. Crabbing wasn’t bad, however, inside the harbor. Tomales Bay also offered decent crabbing. Shore fishers got into surf perch at dusk.
New Huck Finn, Sea Wolf and New Salmon Queen made it out the Gate and then brought successful anglers back with standard-issue limits of crabs and rockfish plus some lingcod. Along the Emeryville shoreline, people were hooking striped bass and occasionally a halibut using hardbaits and swimbaits.
Only a few boats made it out very early in the week, finding 12 to 15 crabs per trap which meant the crews had to pull quite a few traps to accumulate limits for everyone aboard. Crabbing inside Humboldt Bay was good for red rock crab and fair for Dungeness. The jetties were overwhelmed with big swells, leaving no place safe for anglers.
Crab-only trips were few and far between due to big weather, however Telstar made it out twice and both times came back to dock with limits of crabs well before the afternoon winds kicked up. Noyo Jetty was safe for part of the week and locals caught kelp greenling, rockfish and cabezon or snared crabs closer to the bridge.
HALF MOON BAY
Huli Cat made combo runs off of Pillar Point and caught some nice rockfish to 5 pounds to go with the limits of crabs. People picking their times to safely fish the jetty used crab snares to get both Dungeness and rock crabs. While out on the jetty, some people soaked baits or cast 3-inch swimbaits for rockfish and perch.
Early-week crab-only trips for Bass Tub and Lovely Martha resulted in full limits of Dungeness. Shore fishing along the San Francisco shoreline inside the Bay was very good for striped bass and an occasional halibut hookup.
- Western Outdoor News