Fishing Line

Shad fishing goes from good to great, depending on your location

Fishermen line the shore of the Sacramento River at the confluence of the American River in hopes of catching a shad or striped bass in Sacramento, Calif. on May 5, 2013. Shad fishing has been good this week at Discovery Park
Fishermen line the shore of the Sacramento River at the confluence of the American River in hopes of catching a shad or striped bass in Sacramento, Calif. on May 5, 2013. Shad fishing has been good this week at Discovery Park


▪ AMERICAN RIVER – Shad fishing has been good at Discovery Park with a few fish moving into the American.

▪ DELTA REGION: SACRAMENTO RIVER – Shad fishing has been outstanding from Clarksburg to Freeport with 1-inch champagne grubs on a 1/32-ounce jighead. A few anglers are starting to toss drop-shot rigs with two grubs above a weight from the shoreline. Striped bass action has been best in the upper Delta while interest in sturgeon fishing remained minimal. A few diamondbacks are taken at the top of the Mothball Fleet into the Big Cut.

▪ DELTA REGION: SAN JOAQUIN RIVER – Largemouth bass have taken over as the main species in the San Joaquin along with catfish, bluegill, and crappie. Senkos, swimbaits, crankbaits, or spinnerbaits are all working for largemouth bass. Stripers are moving through the system quickly, but there are still linesides with green eggs in the river. Bluegill, catfish, and crappie are showing in the south and east Delta sloughs around Holland Tract, Whiskey Slough, and Big Break. Construction on the False River rock barrier has begun, and access to this section of the river is over until the projected removal of the barrier in November.

▪ FEATHER RIVER – A few keeper stripers were caught last week at Shanghai Bend, where shad also are biting well after a big influx of fish.

▪ SACRAMENTO RIVER, Knight’s Landing to Colusa – Shad fishing is good at Verona. The striper run is pretty much over in the river, although some fish continue to trickle downstream. Sturgeon have been biting combinations of pile worms and ghost shrimp at Knight’s Landing.

▪ SAN LUIS RESERVOIR – The big news as the 66.9-pound striped bass landed by Alvin Vang of Clovis on a white fluke from the banks at the Romero Visitor Center, but the normal catch consists of school-sized stripers with jumbo minnows at depths from 60 to 80 feet around the Trash Racks and the mouth of Portuguese Cove. The 66.9-pound striper is one of the five largest ever caught in North America.


▪ CLEAR LAKEHang in there with the bedding bass and you will do fine. With more water in it than last year at this time and all ramps operational it’s a good time to go. Just try to fish during the week when it is less crowded. Once we get another warming trend and the fish that have spawned start to feed up there will be some topwater action and a better bite.

▪ LAKE BERRYESSA The kokanee and rainbows are scattered all over the main lake. Rocky Mountain Tackle (RMT) in Hyper Plaid and Bahama dodgers with Assassin Pink spinners, Uncle Larry's spinners in pink with Pautzke pink or red fire corn are some good combinations right now. The best depths will be from 30 to 42 to feet deep. Bass were found from 10 to 20 feet deep on steeper banks with soft plastics.

▪ LAKE SONOMA The personal watercraft and wake boarders are taking over the lake but there is plenty of room for everyone. The topwater bass bite is picking back up, but get out early or fish the mudlines the boats create.


▪ ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Oregon – The mouth of the Rogue River was smooth as glass towards the end of last week. It was so nice at the jetty's that many angler's passed on the spring Chinook fishing and headed out on the Big Pond for some bottom fishing, according to WON Field Reporter and guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets. The springer fishing has slowed down again, but there are still fish being caught by those who get up early and have their baits in the water by first light. A couple boats trolled the bay last week and one of the local guides said he expects warming water to begin holding kings in the Bay.

▪ ROGUE RIVER, Grant’s Pass, Oregon Salmon action is improving a little in the Galice area and remains fair in the Shady Cove area, said guide Troy Whitaker at U-Save Tackle in Grants Pass. Best bets are back bouncing roe or sand shrimp, or back trolling Kwifish with sardine wrap. Trout season starts May 2next week on the river--May 23. On the area lakes, Applegate Lake bass are biting well with fish to 4 pounds, both largemouth and smallmouth bass are being caught. Trout anglers at Applegate and also at Lost Creek Lake are scoring by trolling Wedding Rings with flashers, or fishing nightcrawlers or Power Maggots. Action has also started at Diamond Lake with anglers dragging Apex or Wiggle Hoochies. Best action seems to be around 8 to10 feet deep. Guide Curtis Palmer said it’s time to drift from the Rogue River Hatchery or Casey Park down for springers. Wild salmon have to be released, and that happened with some 30 pounders last week.

▪ RUSSIAN RIVER - Shad fishing continues at a decent pace, but mostly in the evenings for anglers swinging shad flies or curly-tail jigs, according to Scott Heemstra from King’s Sport and Tackle in Guerneville. He said that smallmouth bass fishing is picking up as the weather warms.

▪ UMPQUA RIVER, Sutherlin, Oregon - The shad are in and the fishing has started to get good for these tiny tarpon look-a-likes. It isn't difficult to find the shad holes when they are in and being caught, according to guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets. “Anywhere you find a dozen or more vehicles together alongside the road, you’ve found the spot. If you like ultra lite tackle and fish that flat out fight and peel line super fast, give shad fishing a try.”

▪ UMPQUA RIVER, North Fork, Glide, Oregon Guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets said he received a report from the local store on how the fishing was going, and they said the fish are coming in, but not like they had hoped to see them being caught by now. With the low water conditions, the springers are holding in the deeper and much faster water this season. It is taking a lot more lead to get a bait down to the fish. There’s lots of public access on the North Umpqua for bank anglers.


▪ KLAMATH RIVER, Iron Gate Dam – Fishing for half pounder and small adult steelhead has been good with the warming weather and frequent hatches. Salmon flies will soon begin hatching. Flows out of Iron Gate Dam were 1,180 cfs on Sunday.

▪ KLAMATH RIVER, Happy Camp – Conditions are good and anglers are catching a mix of spawned out adult steelhead and half pounder steelhead. Pressure is very light. Flows at Seiad Valley were 1,550 cfs on Sunday.

▪ KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen – Fishing is slow for spring salmon, which usually show up in late May or June. Flows were an ideal 6,560 cfs on Sunday.

▪ TRINITY RIVER – The river dropped to 2,060 cfs on Sunday at Lewiston, perfect for sea-run browns, which are biting a variety of plugs in the slower edges. Brown fishing should remain good into June, when the spring king salmon will arrive. Flows are Douglas City were 2,550 cfs on Sunday.


▪ BERKELEY – Hefty halibut to 32 pounds came aboard Happy Hooker and California Dawn to join lots and lots of striped bass. Many passengers got their limits of bass. On ThursdayNew El Dorado III scored limits of salmon to 22 pounds. On Friday, El Dorado got 11 salmon for 9 people. An18-pound striper was caught onboard Flying Fish.

▪ BODEGA BAY/LAWSON’S LANDING – Lingcod went off the hook and the average size was 12 to 14 pounds. Limits of rockfish came up and on some trips, limits of Dungeness were pulled. New Sea Angler fished off of Elephant Rock. Up the coast at Fort Ross, where rockfish and lingcod also bit like a crazy horse, fish were plugged with small octopus. Near Lawson’s Landing, surf perch fishing bit pretty good, especially on incoming tides. Pier fishers got lots of jacksmelt and a few shiner perch.

▪ EMERYVILLESea Wolf, Tiger Fish and New Salmon Queen gave the rockfish and lingcod some love and on one of those trips, Sea Wolf posted 65 lingcod. New Huck Finn andNew Salmon Queen worked the Central Bay for halibut to 24 pounds and a bass and a half per rod.

▪ EUREKAA period of calm weather sent the boats out and they nearly all limited out on salmon. Most fish were in their teens. The Lost Coast kicked out some magnificent lingcod and rockfish from very shallow water for the first week of the groundfish season on the north coast. Pacific halibut was slow.

▪ FORT BRAGG – The early rockfish season went viral with loads of lings and rockfish. Telstar fished below Cabrillo Lighthouse. One passenger took home a limit of lings weighing a combined 41 pounds. Salmon fishing was slow, overall. Shore fishing for lingcod and kelp greenlings was very good behind the Mill.

▪ HALF MOON BAY/PACIFICA – Striped bass stole the show along area beaches from Mussel Rock to way down the coast. The sizes ranges from small to medium to a monster 34-pound bass. Lingcod catches bested a fish per rod out of Half Moon Bay and limits of rockfish came up at the same time. Pescadero was a favored destination.

▪ SAN FRANCISCO – The bass and halibut bite in the Bay gave Bass Tub, Flash and Lovely Martha plenty to celebrate. Boats fished Southampton Shoals, Berkeley Flats and Angel Island. was releasing 20-inch bass and had 5 on at one time.


▪ BOCA LAKE – The lake is at 14.8-percent capacity. Mountain Hardware and Sports reported the fish were concentrated in the remaining deep water near the inlet and the dam. Lures and bait were working in both areas for rainbows and the occasional brown.

▪ CAPLES LAKE – The lake is at 91.7-percent capacity. More weather this past weekend slowed the fishing, but earlier in the week an 8-pound mack was caught off Wood’s Creek inlet. The EID ramp is open and the campgrounds will open May 21. The Caples Lake Resort store and marina are open on weekends to the public.

▪ CARSON RIVER (East, West) Alpine County will stock 1800 pounds of trophy rainbows in the East Carson, West Carson, Markleeville Creek, and Silver Creek. Fishing was good in Markleeville Creek and the West Carson. The East Carson was running clear to muddy depending on runoff.

▪ DAVIS LAKE – The lake is at 56-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Ed Dillard at Dillard Guided Fishing reported trolling and shore fishing were SLOW!!! Fish were hitting for an hour in the early morning then again in the early afternoon—if you miss those windows of opportunity you might as well stay home.

▪ DONNER LAKE – The lake is at 68-percent capacity. With the overcast weather, the macks were up in shallower water hitting large spoons and live minnows (only those caught out of the lake are legal to use). Kokanee were hitting pink hoochies and dodgers at 30 feet deep between the Handicap Dock and Loch Leven.

▪ FEATHER RIVER CANYON Mike Hanson at Caribou Crossroads Resort reported fishing in the North Fork Feather was still good, with most anglers catching limits of rainbows.

▪ FRENCHMAN LAKE – The lake is at 35-percent capacity. Wiggins Trading Post reported shore fishing was good at Turkey Point for anglers using inflated nightcrawlers for limits of 15- to 16-inch rainbows. Boat launching was getting difficult at the Frenchman ramp—be prepared to get wet getting the boat on and off the trailer.

▪ GOLD LAKES BASIN After the DFW plant this past week, fishing was good near the boat ramp at Gold Lake. Shore fishing and trolling at Sardine Lake was still producing a fish per hour.

▪ ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR The lake is at 94-percent capacity. Ken Mathis at Ken’s Custom Tackle and Guide Service reported excellent trolling for holdover browns and rainbows at the dam with a toplined flasher/nightcrawler.

▪ INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR – There was very little interest in fishing here with all the trout being planted in the nearby Carson River.

▪ JACKSON MEADOW RESERVOIR The lake is at full according to the NID website. Locals reported the lake was at 75-percent capacity. Trollers were launching bigger boats at Pass Creek and smaller boats only at Woodcamp. Spoons and spinners at 25 to 40 feet deep at the dam and 15 to 20 feet deep in the Yuba River inlet area were producing 14-inch rainbows.

▪ JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park) Sly Park Resort reported shore anglers were still picking up planter rainbows on bait at the dam.

▪ LAKE TAHOEChuck Self at Chuck’s Charter Fishing said he was catching limits of 3- to 7-pound keeper macks and releasing numerous 1 and 2 pounders trolling 80 to 400 feet deep from Tahoe City to Crystal Bay Point. Mike Nielsen at Tahoe Topliners Sportfishing reported doing well on browns, rainbows and macks. He scored macks to 16 pounds this past week in shallow water at South Shore and the west side. Zach Gordon at Tahoe Sportfishing said the boats were working hard for limits of 3- to 5-pound macks at Cascade. 12- to 13-inch kokanee were beginning to show in the top 50 feet on flasher/spoon combos tipped with corn at South Shore.

▪ LOON LAKEThe lake is at 42-percent capacity. Ken Mathis at Ken’s Custom Tackle and Guide Service warned against running fast in outboards in this lake due to the number of rocky hazards sitting just under the surface. The gate to the ramp should be open and the campground should open this weekend.

▪ PROSSER LAKE – The lake is at 24.9-percent capacity. After the recent DFW plant, the best action was in the Prosser Creek arm channel using small spoons and worms.

▪ PYRAMID LAKEFishing was slow with strong winds most of this past week. By the weekend, heavy rains and hail were falling—“the heaviest I’ve seen in 16 years,” according to Joe Mendes at Eagle Eye Charters. Earlier in the week, George Molino at Cutthroat Charters said trolling was good for 20 to 25 fish per day to 8 pounds.

▪ RED LAKE – Fish the dam or the inlet for the best action on cutthroats and a few rainbows.

▪ SILVER LAKE – The lake is at 98.7-percent capacity. Trollers should be doing well on rainbows.

▪ STAMPEDE RESERVOIR The lake is at 18-percent capacity. James Netzel at Tight Lines Guide Service reported the kokanee bite was going strong with his last trip producing easy limits of 14-inch fish on glow dodgers and pink plankton RMT spinner hoochies. Launching is 4-wheel drive only.

▪ TOPAZ LAKE Chuck Fields at Topaz Landing Marina reported trout trolling was very good for limits of 1 3/4- to 2 1/4-pound rainbows using Rapalas in the SW corner of the lake. Launching at the marina was only for single-axle 12 to 14 footers. The County Park had no launching restrictions

▪ TRUCKEE RIVER – Flows were lighter above the Boca Outlet, so fish with smaller flies—stones, March Browns, caddis, and BWO. Below the Boca Outlet, use larger sizes of the same patterns and streamers.

▪ UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR – The lake is at 91-percent capacity. Ken Mathis at Ken’s Custom Tackle and Guide Service said the kokanee bite was picking at 20 to 40 feet deep. Macks were heading out to their spring-summer pattern of suspending under schools of kokanee.

▪ WEST WALKER RIVER – The West Walker at Pickle Meadows and the Canyon is scheduled for DFW trout plants this week. The Northern Mono County Chamber of Commerce will stock 400 pounds of 2-pound rainbows including 50 tagged fish for the “Size Doesn’t Matter” Fishing Derby to be held this weekend.


▪ FOLSOM LAKE – Fishing improved last week for landlocked kings and rainbows in the South Fork. Trolling shad or minnow imitations is working best. Bass fishing has been good in the South Fork and North Fork as spots, smallies and largemouth are all feeding on shad and pond smelt.

▪ RANCHO SECO LAKE – Bass and trout fishing is slow to fair.

▪ SACRAMENTO RIVER, Dunsmuir – Trout fly fishing has been fair to good near Dunsmuir, where conditions are considered perfect. Nymphing is best, as there has not been much dry fly action yet.

▪ SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding to Red Bluff – The river is closed to all fishing between Keswick Dam and the Highway 44 bridge from April 27 to July 31. Trout fishing has been good to excellent below the Highway 44 bridge, with anglers reporting 20 to 40 hookups a day using rubber legs and sucker spawn patterns. Some trout also are being caught on roe and Glo Bugs. Salmon season opens July 16 below the Red Bluff Diversion Dam and Aug. 1 above it. Shad fishing is now good near Red Bluff.


▪ AMERICAN RIVER — The river was running cold and off-color with rain and snow at the higher elevations adding to the flows.

▪ BULLARDS BARThe lake is at 59-percent capacity. Some bass were still spawning on points with stump fields, while the post-spawners were moving to the steep walls. Some 4- to 5-pound males were caught on Senkos. Larry Hemphill hit the lake this past Tuesday afternoon and caught a 7-pound, 13-once spot on a point at 25 feet deep. Kokanee should be hitting for trollers.

▪ CAMP FAR WEST – The lake is at 90-percent capacity. A local bass tournament reported slow fishing with a big fish of only 2 3/4 pounds. The unstable weather was a factor.

▪ COLLINS LAKEThe lake is 27 feet from full and was stocked by the DFW and Collins Lake Resort with 3800 pounds of rainbows this past week. Trout fishing was understandably excellent for rainbows to 8 3/4 pounds. Shore anglers were doing well at the dam, Beach, and campgrounds while the trollers scored in the channel from the island to the dam.

▪ ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR – The lake is at 96-percent capacity. Skippers Cove Marina reported a rental boater trolled threaded nightcrawlers and caught limits of rainbows. Houseboaters berthed in the marina were picking up small bass on nightcrawlers.

▪ FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR The lake is at 44.5-percent capacity. The Foresthill Ranger Station reported the French Meadows boat ramp was fully operational but the McGuire ramp on the north side of the lake was too muddy and rocky to safely use. Fishing was good for trollers. The campgrounds should all be open for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend.

▪ FULLER LAKEThe lake is scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week.

▪ HELL HOLE RESERVOIR The lake is at 53-percent capacity. Kokanee trolling was very good for fish to 16 inches using chrome dodgers and purple hoochies at 20 to 40 feet deep. Launching was good with the lake level still coming up.

▪ LAKE OROVILLEThe lake is at 47-percent capacity—down 5 feet this past week. The unstable weather slowed the bite to 30 to 40 fish per day on steep walls. The coves were void of fish with the spawn pretty much over. Tubes, worms, and Senkos were working for 1 1/4- to 1 1/2-pound spots. Salmon were hitting for trollers between the dam and the Bridge and at the mouths of the West Branch and North Fork.

▪ ROLLINS LAKE – The lake is at 96.5-percent capacity. No report available from NID.

▪ SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE – The lake is at 64.8-percent capacity. Unstable weather kept fishing pressure very low here this past week and no one reported any success to Jim Caldwell at NID. The two campgrounds, the store and marina will open for the Memorial Day weekend.

▪ SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR – The Foresthill Ranger Station reported all the campgrounds were open, boat launching was good, and fish were biting.

▪ STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR The lake is scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. The camp host reported fishing was good, but the lake was still too low to launch boats. The campground was not open, but RVers can use the parking lot at the boat ramp.

▪ THERMOLITO AFTERBAY – The lake was at 134.7-foot elevation at press time—86.8-percent capacity. Wind and unstable weather made fishing tough this past week.


▪ LAKE ALMANOR With thunderstorms and snow flurries almost every afternoon there wasn’t much action here. The bass spawn should last until the next full moon so if some high pressure systems come through fishing should be good again.

▪ BATTLECREEK RESERVOIR Kastmasters and worms always do well here, so these would be good choices to start out your day. Check special regulations here. With weather here this past week and more on the way also check that.

▪ BAUM LAKE Expect more good fishing here with some cloud cover, which will help with more hatches which are going off before the sun is high.

▪ BUCKS LAKE - The lake is full and water temperatures around 40 which makes it perfect for fishing and there were lots of boats out. Two anglers caught 5 rainbow and 1 very large brown trout on Saturday, while another got an 8-lb., 7-oz. Mackinaw.

▪ CASSEL FOREBAY Power Bait, worms and eggs are good go-to baits. There is always more pressure on the weekends but there should be plenty of fish for everyone. An overcast sky will help the bite here.

▪ EAGLE LAKE - Opens on Saturday to Dec. 31 with one ramp. Anglers are allowed to keep two fish per day with a total of four in possession.

▪ FALL RIVER The Fly Shop in Redding rated the fishing as good this past week. There are lots of big rainbows and good hatches along the upper river but the lower section is also starting to produce.

▪ UPPER HAT CREEK These waters are spring fed so the drought does not impact it and water conditions are great. Worms, eggs and lures all work well here. Fishing is at its best early before the sun gets high in the sky and then right at sunset. The Power House no. 2 Riffle has been hot, but expect to share the water.

▪ MANZANITA LAKE — Rainbow and brown trout have been active earlier this year with the warmer water temperatures. Fish the shoreline and structure for better action. Remember that this is a catch-and-release, single hook, artificial lure only lake. Remember to check Lassen Park’s special regulations for this lake. Fishing has been fair for some and great for others. The callibaetis are just starting to become active.

▪ MCCLOUD RESERVOIR River conditions are excellent and so is the brown and rainbow trout fishing thanks to all of the hatches. Look for rising fish before jumping in.

▪ PIT RIVERWater conditions are good and with plenty of hatches going off, and the fishing has been great. This is a go-to river in the springtime but expect some company at the popular spots.

▪ SHASTA LAKEFishing was fair for one to four browns but the bite stops at about 9:00 a.m. Then, try to find some rainbows using Apexs, Wiggle Hoochies and even threaded nightcrawlers. For the browns try FlatFish or rolling shad for most productive offerings. Look for some kind of vertical structure and shade pockets for bass. Topwater baits of all types are working early and late. During the day, throw Senkos and worms in shad patterns.

▪ TRINITY LAKE With all of the water they are dumping now the water has muddied up.

▪ WHISKEYTOWN RESERVOIR - More kokes are showing up, but there are a lot of the 8-inch variety around. Troll in 25 to 80 feet to find 12- to 13-inch kokes, which are fat and healthy. There has been no pressure here at all.


▪ LAKE AMADOR The Lake Amador Children’s Fishing Derby was held earlier this year on Sunday, and 1200 pounds of rainbows from Mt. Lassen Hatchery were released prior to the derby. The concessionaires are stocking one last time on May 21. The lake is 11 feet from spilling and 72% of capacity.

▪ LAKE CAMANCHE The NorCal Trout Anglers Challenge was held on Sunday at the South Shore Launch Ramp, but trout plants are concluded for the season due to warming water conditions. Bass fishing has been best near the dam or along the east side of the South Shore launch ramp. Catfish are biting off of the Willows Campgroud or Day Use Area and also in Houseboat Cove with a variety of baits. Future plants may be released into the South Shore Pond in the coming weeks. Trollers continued to score the largest trout in the deepest water near the dam and spillway with large plugs or grubs. The South Shore Ramp is operational once again as it is on the lowest ramp.

▪ DON PEDROBass fishing remained best with live nightcrawlers or reaction baits for largemouth bass to 7 pounds. Kokanee action rebounded after a slowdown due to the incoming storm fronts. The Fleming Meadows Launch Ramp is open with only one lane at the present time, and patience is required to launch with long lines on the weekends.

▪ LAKE MCCLUREThe North Barrett Cove Launch Ramp is still operational with the lake at 11% of capacity. Bass fishing has been excellent from the shoreline with live bait or soft plastics, but few fishermen are willing to make the long walk down to the lake’s edge. Information on the launch ramp is available at (855) 222-5253.

▪ LAKE MCSWAIN The Calaveras Trout Farm in Snelling is closed to water restrictions from the Merced Irrigation District. There are still rainbow trout in the lake from the plant prior to the Merced Irrigation Trout Derby a few weeks ago. Few reports from the Marina.

▪ NEW MELONESKokanee are found in the main river channel at depths from 42 to 52 feet with hoochies, spinners, or spoons in pink or orange. Bass fishing is excellent with a variety of techniques. The launch ramp is limited to the dirt ramp at Glory Hole Point, and a 4WD tow vehicle in essential.

▪ NEW HOGAN - Striped bass are starting to boil in Wrinkle Cove, and action is good for trollers pulling anchovies or shad on a harness rig from the launch ramp to the dam and over to Deer Island. The launch ramp is still accessible despite low lake levels.

▪ LAKE PARDEE Kokanee action has been outstanding with the fish in excellent shape. The Kokanee Power Team Two-Day Derby on June 13/14 and the Russ Faught Memorial Tournament on June 27 have been rescheduled to Pardee due to ramp conditions at New Melones. Kokanee are hitting various micro lures behind small dodgers in the main lake and also upriver. Reconstruction of the Recreational Vehicle Park will result in the lake’s closure on July 10. All boats are required to pass a Quagga Mussel inspection prior to launching.

Western Outdoor News