Here are the best places to fish in the Sacramento region, Northern California and beyond for the week of Oct. 23.
Flows remained at 1,980 cfs over the weekend. Bank anglers are catching salmon on Flying C spinners and beads near Nimbus. Fishing was good last week. Driftboaters are catching kings downstream from Sunrise. Trollers are getting some fish near Discovery Park.
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Both the East Fork and West Fork of the Carson are fishing well. The East fork is kicking out trout averaging better than two pounds and fishing is good for a five-mile stretch above Markleeville. The West Fork is fishing well from the Woodfords Bridge to Sorenson. Best bite happens after the sun hits the water.
DELTA REGION: Sacramento River side
Salmon fishing is steady at both ends of the Sacramento-Delta with 15 salmon landed off of 1st Street in Benicia on Sunday morning for those tossing Vee-Zee or Flying C spinners while trollers pulling Brad’s Cut Plugs behind an 11-inch Pro Troll E-Chip dodger are finding good action from Clarksburg to Freeport. The wind was a limiting factor for the Rio Vista Bass Derby, but stripers to 35 pounds have been caught and released by trollers in Montezuma Slough.
Andy Doudna of Oakley placed first for the second consecutive year in the adult striped bass division, this time with a 31.46-inch striped bass, just under the 31.5-inch target length. Huge striped bass continue to be caught and kept off of McAvoy’s Boat Harbor with live splittail. Sturgeon are holding in deeper water around Pittsburg, Chain Island, and east of the Mothball Fleet. Grass shrimp is available in Suisun Bay bait shops, and live bullheads continue to be very popular at shops with shrimp boat access.
The lake closes until February 2018 on Nov. 5, but after the additional plant of 2000 pounds from the Calaveras Trout Farm on Oct. 13, trout fishing has been excellent from the banks near the marina with various colors of trout dough bait, nightcrawlers, or Kastmasters. The fish are holding closer to the launch ramp with the cooler water temperatures. The Pardee Recreation Company took the extra step of planting rainbows prior to their final day of operation as the contract was awarded to the Rocky River Company out of Southern California taking over as the concessionaire. The lake rose slightly to 93 percent.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff to Redding
Flows from Keswick Dam are 8,050 cfs, down slightly from a week ago. Salmon fishing was good near the Barge Hole most of last week, but slowed over the weekend as a storm moved through the region. Most of the kings are jacks and small adults. FlatFish plugs are working at first light. Trout fishing has been unusually slow near Redding.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento
Salmon fishing was good early last week between Miller Park and Garcia Bend, but slowed over the weekend with just a few fish caught. Good reports from the Golden Gate last week have anglers anticipating another burst of salmon in the next few weeks. Jiggers are catching a few salmon at Freeport and the Minnow Hole.
WEST WALKER RIVER
It’s good here, with healthy flows and abundant trout. The Walker Bridge and Twin Bridges are good places to start. Drift nightcrawlers with no weight or salmon eggs beneath splitshot for best action. A four-pound rainbow was caught and released last week by a fly angler, said Jenna Casanova from Walker General Store.
NORTH COAST RIVER
CHETCO RIVER, Brookings
The Chetco rose to 800 cfs last Friday, high enough for driftboaters to get on the water. Fishing was good Friday and Saturday morning before the river blew out around noon Saturday. It was over 4,000 cfs on Sunday, but should be in good shape much of this week, said guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing. Salmon are spread throughout the lower river.
ELK RIVER, Port Orford, Oregon
The Elk blew out on Sunday as heavy rain hit the Oregon Coast. It was 5.1 feet around noon Sunday and muddy, but should fish well for a few days this week.
ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Oregon
Heavy rain pulled many of the silvers holding in the bay upriver. Fishing for kings was slow last week as the run winds down. A few hatchery kings are being caught at the mouth of Indian Creek.
ROGUE RIVER, Grants Pass, Oregon
A few coho are still around but fishing is slow. Try bright colored spinners for best results; also a few taken on spoons and jigs. Steelhead fishing remains the best bet with some good action on drifted nightcrawlers, rubber eggs, roe or Glo-Bugs. Backtrolling small plugs can also produce. Trout angling continues to be good at Lost Creek Lake following recent plants of big hatchery fish.
The rain that came last week was nice to settle the dust and bring the flow up a bit in the river, according to Scott Heemstra of Kings Sport and Tackle in Guerneville.
“Currently, the river flow is hovering around 190 cfs which means that the river is closed to fishing at this time due to the ‘low flow’ regulations that are in place and require a minimum flow of 300 cfs. Call the ‘low flow’ hotline to see if the river is open at 707-944-5533. Chinook, and soon coho, salmon are currently migrating through the system. The ‘low flow’ regulation allows them to travel through unmolested since both species of salmon are protected on the Russian. Do your rain dance to bring in some early season steelhead!”
The Sixes blew out over the weekend, but could be in good shape this weekend as the weather dries out.
There was measurable rain on Thursday night and the river opened to fishing on Friday morning, according to WON Field Reporter Phil DeSautel of Phil’s Smiling Salmon Guide Service.
“The fishing was pretty good. I had a couple friends, Mike Clifford from Tamarindo, Costa Rica, and his brother Jeff from Huntington Beach. They were five for seven with three jacks and two small adults 11 and 14 pounds on Saturday, and on Sunday the grade of fish was a little better. The brothers were three for five with fish 18 and 25 pounds. All the kings were caught backbouncing eggs and Fishpills on the Outhouse to Ruby drift. The river won't stay driftable long.” WON Field Reporter Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing said the river hit 1300 cfs on Friday and was up to 4,000 cfs on Sunday.
“Flows could drop back below 600 cfs by the weekend, which would cause the low-flow closure to resume,” Martin said.
KLAMATH RIVER, Hornbrook
The river is closed to salmon fishing. Steelhead anglers are reporting big numbers of salmon between I-5 and Iron Gate Dam. Steelhead fishing was good last week. Flows over the weekend at Iron Gate were 1,110 cfs.
KLAMATH RIVER, Happy Camp
Salmon season is closed. Steelhead fishing has been good near Happy Camp, as spawning salmon have steelhead actively feeding. Small plugs and roe and yarn are working well. Flows at Seiad Valley over the weekend were 1,560 cfs, while flows at Orleans were 2,960 cfs.
KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen
The river is now closed to salmon fishing, but remains open to summer steelhead fishing. Heavy rain blew out the lower river over the weekend. Flows were 5,800 cfs over the weekend at Terwer, up from 2,940 cfs a week ago.
Salmon fishing is closed. Steelhead fishing is good on the upper end, but few anglers are fishing. Guide Steve Huber said small MagLip plugs are tricking steelhead near Junction City. Flows over the weekend at Lewiston were 308 cfs. The Trinity is at its lowest flows of the year, as releases from Trinity Lake have been cut back. Flows at Douglas City were 343 cfs, while flows at Junction City were 404 cfs. Flows at Hoopa were 1,090 cfs.
NORTH COAST LAKES
Some good bass action on spoons fished about 20 feet deep off the points. Drop-shot rigs are also producing bass action, but catches of other species have been slow.
BLACK BUTTE LAKE
Fishing remains slow on bass and crappie.
Fishing remains tough for most bass anglers with weeds and algae hampering the bass anglers in most areas of the lake. There were a few fish to six pounds reported in a weekend tournament.
Bass fishing is slow to fair with few anglers out.
Fishing remains on the slow side with only a few crappie and bass catches being reported.
Anglers are doing fair on bass, with the fishing productive off secondary points on Speed Trap lures and crank baits. Bass to three and four pounds are being caught, but action is slow for other species.
UPPER BLUE LAKES
Still not much happening here until trout plants resume, hopefully in the next couple of weeks.
FAR NORTH LAKES AND RIVER
Anglers are targeting fish in the top 20 feet of water column fishing water as shallow as 15 feet. Hardware is being trolled at speeds ranging from 2.5 to 3 mph with red and gold Speedy Shiners being the top producer. Anglers have also caught fish slowing from 1.5 to 2 mph with Arctic Fox trolling flies.
Nights are getting very cool, but trout fishing is still fair for bait and fly fishermen.
Marina shut down for the winter, no fishing report available.
Trout action remains good on Power Baits or trolled Kastmasters and Needlefish lures. The marina and store shut down for the winter this upcoming weekend, but the campground and launch ramp remain open.
Light fishing pressure with not many catches reported.
Midge fishermen are picking up a few small rainbows.
Trout fishing has been very good at the lake for both shore and boat anglers. The shore anglers are scoring well on Power Baits, while the boat anglers are trolling Kastmaster lures or drifting with worms or Power Baits.
Area No. 3 continues to produce some trout action on dark colored nymphs.
Action is fair to good on spotted bass on most lures. Trout are still deep, about 60 feet down but taken on flasher/lure combos. Catfish action improved in Jones Valley area on cut mackerel.
Few anglers out and no reports of any good catches.
Kokanee fishing has slowed as the fish are into spawning areas. Not much bass action reported either.
An experimental trout plant of 500 pounds was released into the lake last week, and bulk plants from the Mt. Lassen Hatchery are expected to start by the end of the month in the 74-degree water. Night fishing has been solid from the docks for largemouth bass, crappie and catfish, and there is a topwater bite in the early mornings and late afternoons for bass.
Bass fishing is starting to heat up with plastics on the drop-shot up the river arm. The bass have moved out into deeper water following the shad schools in response to this week’s cold front. Trout plants are expected to begin by the end of the month with Mt. Lassen Hatchery once again being the provider. Few trout trollers are working the lake at the present time, but holdover rainbows can still be found in the deepest waters near the dam or up the river arm with shad-patterned spoons coated with scent on a fast-troll. The lake dropped to 73 percent.
Bass fishing remains slow, but it is expected to break lose when the water temperature stabilizes. Currently the action is slow, with the bass holding in deep water around the shad. The weather front moved the bait out into deeper water at depths to 60 feet with a few fish taken on finesse techniques. Trout fishing should improve once the lake turns over, but there are few trout anglers at the present time. The lake dropped to 80 percent this week.
Bass fishing remains on the slow side with the bait moving out into deeper water. Finesse techniques of drop-shotting shad-patterned plastics are picking up a few fish at depths to 50 feet. There is plenty of natural bait in the lake, and the bass are more reluctant to hit artificial lures. The bite is expected to improve considerably once the water temperature stabilizes. The lake dropped to 67 percent.
Bass fishing slowed down considerably after Thursday’s cold front with rain, and the counts dropped from 50 fish to less than half that. Finesse techniques remain the top producer as the bait has moved out into deeper water with the bass less willing to chase. The BABC Swimbait tournament is scheduled for Saturday and limited to 50 participants with a number of excellent “sticks” entered into the event. With the change in weather, it is unclear if the big swimbait bite will be on during the event. The lake held at 84 percent.
SIERRA LAKES AND RIVERS
Upper and Lower Blue Lake will be planted next week by the DFW.
Rainbow trout are stacking up at the mouth of the Little Truckee inlet. A few Macks and browns are in the same vicinity. Trout will take flies, spinners and small Rapalas (No. 5 or No. 7).
Resort closed for the season. The boat launch managed by the El Dorado Irrigation District will stay open until Oct. 31. The lake next week will get trout from DFW.
Trout bite is good from Lightning Tree up through Mosquito. Trout have moved close to shore and are being caught in 10 feet of water. Mallards has been good for shore anglers using Power Bait. Be sure your bait is off the bottom. Lake is 85 percent of capacity. The docks at Lightning Tree, Camp Five and Honker are scheduled to come out of the water on Friday.
Kokanee season may finally be winding down. Although silver kokes were caught last week, guide Shaun Rainsbarger said they usually turn to spawn after the first good storm. That came last Thursday. Mack bite is so-so. Small Macks are being caught from shore. Water level is dropping but boat ramp is still in the water.
FEATHER RIVER (Middle Fork)
Trout in the 8- to 10-inch range can be caught near Graeagle with small spinners, nightcrawlers or salmon eggs.
Trout bite is very good here for both size and numbers. Shore anglers go to Turkey Point with Power Bait or nightcrawlers and get limits. Trollers are pulling Dick Nites or white trolling flies just north of the narrows on the east side of the lake and getting action in the top seven feet of water, said Mark Tieslau from Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden. He said one angler caught and released 11 trout with none shorter than 18 inches with the largest at 21 inches.
GOLD LAKES BASIN
Brown trout are moving into the shallows, preparing to spawn. A 5-pound brown was caught last week by a shore angler using a nightcrawler under a bobber near the boat ramp, said Mark Tieslau at Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden. No reports from the other lakes.
Good one day, not so good the next at this cutthroat broodstock lake. Blood midges, leeches, chironomids are the most common offerings. Lake closes to fishing Oct. 29.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR
Use rainbow or chartreuse Power Bait or nightcrawlers to get rainbow trout. Trout are moving in and out of the shallows and have been biting.
Lake will be planted this week by DFW.
Mackinaw bite is going very well in some spots and just good in others. Sometimes limits are quick. Other times it take some work. End result is the same. West Shore has been producing some of the larger Mackinaw.
Slow in general. Some smallmouth continue to be caught near the dam.
Last week’s cold front helped drop the surface temperature into the 50s and that has drawn cutthroat closer to shore. Don’t expect numbers but the odds on catching a 10-pound plus cutthroat just went up. Biggest fish last week was a 14 1/4-pounder.
Lake will be planted next week with rainbow trout delivered by DFW.
Rainbow trout and smallmouth bass both are being caught from the Narrows. Some get limits of trout using Power Bait. Charlie Craig went out last week and caught three mackinaw to two pounds using a nightcrawler/Speedy Shiner combination from the shore between the first and second dam.
Toplining for trout can be a worthwhile endeavor. With kokanee anglers off the water there are plenty of unimpeded trolling lanes available.
Lake closed to fishing on Sept. 30. It will re-open Jan. 1.
Water will be released this week from Lake Tahoe after construction at Fanny Bridge in Tahoe City is completed. The additional water will blow out the river for four or five days but should improve the fishing conditions in the general regulation stretch once it settles. Downstream below Boca continues to be the best stretch for fly fishers. Streamer action hasn’t gotten into gear but nymphing will get trout, said Miles Zimmerman from Mountain Hardware and Sports in Truckee.
Trout are in shallow and anglers are toplining with Needlefish and Rapalas near the inlet where there is a dropoff. Worm and a bobber also can be effective.
SACRAMENTO RIVER side
Salmon fishing has slowed as the number of fish moving through the system is starting to taper off. The Mokelumne has been the top area with the release of pulse flows out of Lake Camanche. The Benicia shoreline off of 1st Street has been the most consistent location for shore anglers with Vee-Zee or Flying C spinners. Striped bass are moving into the river system, but the fish are scattered with the exception of huge linesides caught and kept on live bait in Liberty Island or outside of Bay Point near Garnet Point. Sturgeon fishing has been best in the deep water near Pittsburg with live grass shrimp as the diamondbacks are stacking up on the incoming tide. Live bullheads are also effective for striped bass near the Mothball Fleet. Grass shrimp is available in Suisun Bay bait shops, and live bullheads continue to be very popular at shops with shrimp boat access.
SAN JOAQUIN RIVER side
Largemouth bass are getting ready for a big feed as the weather switches over to the fall pattern. Suspending reaction baits are working in shad and bluegill patterns while Senkos and Brush Hogs are another good option. Striped bass are starting their move into the San Joaquin River, but the majority of linesides remain small. Fresh shad is available most days in Stockton-area bait shops. Crappie are showing up with live minnows off of the Louis Park shoreline in Stockton.
The Outlet Hole closed Oct. 15. Dropping water flows caused salmon fishing to slow last week between Yuba City and Verona. Steelhead fishing is good near Gridley.
Folsom Lake is at 426 feet, down 3 feet from a week ago. Full pool is 466 feet. The water temperature is now 66 degrees. Brown’s Ravine, Rattlesnake Bar, Folsom Point and Granite Bay launches are open. Trout fishing is slow. Bass anglers are doing well from shore at Rattlesnake Bar, where they are throwing Senkos and other plastics and catching mainly smallmouths, but also some largemouth and spotted bass.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Dunsmuir
Flows at the Delta gauge rose slightly to 253 cfs. Trout fishing remains fair.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff to Colusa
Fishing for salmon is slow in the Woodson Bridge area. Sardine-wrapped T50 FlatFish plugs have been working best at first light. Some big stripers are being caught upstream from Colusa on swimabits as well as nightcrawlers or cut bait.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Verona to Colusa
Salmon fishing is slow. Trolling spinners has been working best for kings in the Verona area, while some fish also are being taken on M2 FlatFish in the mornings. Fishing for catfish remains good at Knight’s Landing and fair to good near Verona.
Small Kastmasters or Panther Martins can attract trout on the Middle Fork in the vicinity of Rucky Chucky. Last week’s rain brought some much needed color to the river.
Guide Ron Gandolfi fished here last Wednesday and led his client to a 30-fish day, but none were larger than 1 1/2 pounds. “Bass are scattered. Some are on the bank but most are deep. Mostly around 30 feet,” Gandolfi said. “We caught quite a few fish in one of the arms but we were mainly fishing the points with tubes and ZMan worms.” Lake is 69 percent of capacity and surface temperature is 63 degrees.
CAMP FAR WEST
Bass bite remains slow. Fish are deep. Surface temperature is 62 to 64 degrees. Docks are still in place as the water level is holding steady. “It’s a week-to-week thing,” said Kathy DeRossett from the North Shore Resort.
Double plant of trout went in last week and fishing picked up immediately. Shore anglers near the dam used nightcrawlers or Salmon Power Bait to get trout. Trollers also were able to score. Surface temperature is 67 degrees. Another double plant is scheduled for next week.
Lake is in ideal shape – 93 percent of capacity and clear. Trout fishing is typically very good this time of year, but reports have been sparse. Weekday pressure is minimal, but weekend trollers have been working off the dam.
FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR
Trollers working off the bottom with trolling spoons or deep-diving jointed Rapalas get rainbow trout, said Craig Newton at Will Fish Tackle in Auburn. Not a lot of traffic here.
Lake will be planted next week by DFW.
Lake has dropped to 35 percent of capacity. Surface temperature is 63 degrees. Guide Ron Gandolfi fished the lake five times last week and averaged about 50 bass per outing. Biggest change from last week was the topwater bite faded and the fish caught were 3/4-pound to 1 1/4 pounds. Bass are from one to two feet from the bank down to 20 feet. ZMan worms on a wedge jig head, tubes, dartheading worms and drop-shot all pick up fish.
Smallmouth bass and crappie are active here. Bass are in Long Ravine Cove and will take jigs or Ned Heads. Crappie are near rocks or off steep ledges. Crappie have been as large as 20 inches. A 17-pound catfish last week was caught from Long Ravine.
DFW put in a trout plant this week.
Water temperature and level have stabilized, presenting better conditions to catch largemouth bass. Use Senkos among the tules or rip baits along the rocks.
California Dawn, Happy Hooker, Sea Wolf and New El Dorado III sampled the fishing at the Farallones and along the Marin Coast. Fishing was good before the big seas rolled in and tough while the high seas prevailed. El Dorado got better than a salmon per rod.
Sea limited fishing for even bigger boats like New Sea Angler. Private boats were limited to harbor fishing or along local relatively protected beaches. Those same beaches, like Doran, were good for perch when the swells weren’t too large. There were boats working halibut inside Tomales Bay near Hog Island but no reports came in from them.
Fishing outside the gate was limited by weather and customers being impacted by the fires to the north but Sea Wolf got out to the Farallones and scored limits of both lingcod and rockfish including good grades of various species of rockfish.
California halibut bit enthusiastically for the umpteenth week in a row (better than two solid months now) and skilled boaters with a day to work with could score limits. Cape Mendocino was reachable one day out of the week and besides rockfish there were some huge cabezon up to eight pounds caught. Jetty fishing was good for rockfish and kelp greenling, but access was limited by large swells.
Boat activity was prohibited by huge seas that built up to 20 feet according to Capt. Patrick Heavyside on Bragg-n. Lots of people want to go out but not in those horrendous seas. Shore fishers did OK on rockfish, perch and cabezon at Noyo Jetty. Perch were the main catches at adjacent Dog Park.
HALF MOON BAY
Partyboats Huli Cat, Queen of Hearts, Riptide and New Capt. Pete were able to fish shallower spots for rockfish, lingcod and cabezon, though the seas were not exactly friendly. Pacifica Pier was good for perch on days when it was open (it was closed a couple of days due to swell height). There were stories of striper catches along the beaches from below Half Moon Bay northward to above Mussel Rock.
Wacky Jacky scored eight salmon for seven people over the weekend. Flash and Flash II had a variety of half-day successes such as leopard sharks in South Bay and rockfish along the Marin Coast. Lovely Martha had high counts of rockfish and lingcod on one trip and then striped bass and 29-pound halibut inside the Bay on another trip. Bass Tub is busily prepping for the crab opener coming up on Nov. 4.