Fishing Line

Fishing Line: Decent shad bite leads north state angling action

People fish near the old city water intake facility on the Sacramento River downstream from the confluence of the American River. Fishing conditions vary from stream to stream in the north state.
People fish near the old city water intake facility on the Sacramento River downstream from the confluence of the American River. Fishing conditions vary from stream to stream in the north state.



Shad fishing has been good at Discovery Park. Shad entered the American in good numbers, but heavy boat traffic slowed action during the Memorial Day weekend.


Shad fishing continues to be good on the Feather and the Yuba, while new stripers entered the river last week. They were biting cut baits near Shanghai Bend and Boyds Pump.

▪ SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff to Colusa –

Shad fishing has been good, with an above-average run this year. Chartreuse, orange and hot pink 1-inch grubs are working well.

▪ SACRAMENTO RIVER, Knight’s Landing to Colusa –

Shad fishing is good at Verona. New stripers moved into the river last week as water temperatures cooled. Cut bait has worked best. There is a mix of shakers and keeper-size fish.

▪  SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento –

Jigging for stripers has been good in the deep water channel. Crappie fishing is very good in the sloughs and ditches near Sacramento for anglers using small minnows and wax worms.


Shad fishing continued to be excellent from Clarksburg to Freeport with 1-inch grubs in chartreuse or champagne on a 1/32nd jig head. Boaters are using two grubs above and 1- or 2-ounce weights in the current line. Striped bass action has been best in the upper Delta for trollers with deep or shallow diving lures while interest in sturgeon fishing in lower Suisun Bay remained minimal. Live mudsuckers are back in area bait shops.


Largemouth bass are the top dog in the San Joaquin River, and the bite has been outstanding with a variety of techniques. The cloud cover during the day has allowed for long periods of topwater action, and the larger fish are taken on reaction baits. Senkos, swim baits, or crank baits are all working with spinner baits effective on windy days. Bluegill, catfish, and crappie are showing in the south and east Delta sloughs around Whiskey Slough, Bacon Island Road, and Eight Mile Road. 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.



The Chetco opened to salmon, steel head and trout fishing on Saturday. Fishing for sea-run cutthroat trout was good with Rooster Tail spinners working well near Social Security Bar and Willow Bar. Salmon won’t show up until September. Flows are 135 cfs, already down to summertime flows, according to Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing.

▪ ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Ore.

The spring salmon run is winding down, but as the waters warm up, the early fall fish and late springers will begin holding up in the estuary, and trollers will begin to score on the waiting fish. In fact, there have already been some nice salmon caught in the estuary by trollers.

▪ ROGUE RIVER, Shady Cove, Ore.

Salmon fishing for springer’s has gotten even better this last week on the upper-most section of the Rogue River. “I had a good feeling that it might become a little better than the week before, but had no idea that it would improve this much,” said WON Field Reporter and guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets. “Mike O’Conner, a local guide told me that you still have to work the holes, and there aren’t any fish jumping into the boats.” Flows at Agness were just under 3,000 cfs. Beginning June 1, anglers can keep wild salmon.


The shad fishing has picked up a bit in the last week with the mouth of the river staying open, according to Scott Heemstra of King’s Sport and Tackle in Guerneville. “Fisherman have been getting 0 to 10 fish in the morning or evenings swinging crystal shad flies or chartreuse grubs. There’s lots of activity on the water with swimmers and boaters, but Johnson’s Beach and Monte Rio beach are still producing fish. The smallmouth bass fishing has also improved with water temps fluctuating during the day between 66-70 degrees. Flows are currently holding at 180 CFS.”

▪ UMPQUA RIVER, Sutherlin Ore.

The shad fishing has been fantastic this last week, especially in the Umpqua boat ramp area just outside of Sutherlin, according to WON Field Reporter Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Guide Service. “Salmon fishing for spring Chinook has been difficult this last week, as many springer's are starting to move into the North Fork of the Umpqua River. The run is a little later this year, as is the transition into the North Fork, probably due to warmer and lower flows.”

▪ UMPQUA RIVER, North Fork, Roseburg, Ore.

Spring Chinooks are pouring into the North Umpqua River finally. They’re late, but they are here now and with a surprising number of very bright fish. The fish bypass area at the Winchester Dam has a nice viewing area and the windows have been packed full of salmon waiting they’re turn to move on through the ladder. “I have only heard of a couple small salmon being caught late last week in the area below the Winchester Dam, but reports say the springers are stacking up in the many pools of the river and don’t seem to be in a hurry to move upriver,” said Palmer.

Trinity/Klamath Rivers

▪ KLAMATH RIVER, Iron Gate –

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, unchanged from a week ago.

▪ 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 1,790 cfs on Sunday.

▪ KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen –

Spring salmon fishing improved last week. Guides were catching fish on spinners, while tribal netters also reported catching salmon. Flows were an ideal 7,010 cfs on Sunday.


The river dropped to 1,890 cfs on Sunday at Lewiston. Sea-run browns, which are biting a variety of plugs in the slower edges, are available into June. Flows at Douglas City were 2,210 cfs on Sunday.



Another warming trend and the fish that have spawned will start to feed up, so there will be some topwater action and a better bite. Also try drop-shot worms and wacky rigged Senkos worked along weed edges and the harder bottom areas where there is still some spawning action.


There were kokanee to 16 1/2 inches and all fish came from the south end of the lake on Mepps, Needlefish and Dick Nite spoons from 15 to 21 feet deep with Pautzke Fire Corn. With warmer weather coming, look for the kokanee and trout to drive deeper and start being easier to catch.


There’s a good early morning topwater bite in the arms. When the sun comes up target standing timber off main body points in 15 to 20 feet with green pumpkin Senkos or drop-shotting 6-inch Roboworms in natural colors.



Afternoon thunderstorms made all the fishing early. Colder water slowed the trout bite, but helped keep bass on beds.


Kastmasters and worms always do well here, so these would be good choices to start out your day. Check special regulations here. Fishing has been best early in the morning.


Expect more good fishing here with some cloud cover, which will help with more hatches, which are going off before the sun is high. Fishing should be good here all summer.


Anglers are catching brown, rainbow and mackinaw lake trout.


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


Opened on May 23 and season runs to Dec. 31 with one questionable ramp. Anglers are allowed to keep two fish per day with a total of four in possession. DFW has already planted.


The Fly Shop in Redding continued to rate the fishing as good here. There are lots of big rainbows and good hatches along the upper river, but the lower section is also starting to produce.


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 company.


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.


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 to fish.


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


Fishing was fair for rainbows but not brown trout or salmon. Try topwater early and late for bass and then drop-shotting worms during the middle of the day


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



Trout fishing was good last week near the mouth of the South Fork for anglers trolling Speedy Shiners and Rapalas. Fishing for landlocked kings has been slow. Spotted, smallmouth and largemouth bass have been biting well.


Bass and trout fishing is slow to fair.


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. Salmon season opens July 16 below the Red Bluff Diversion Dam and Aug. 1 above it. Shad fishing is now good near Red Bluff.



The lake is at 14.7-percent capacity. With the low water level, the fish were concentrated in the deepest areas they can find. A few 8- to 10-inch kokanee were being caught from the shore. Try for rainbows and browns at the dam and inlet.


The lake is at 90-percent capacity. With the ramps open at Caples Lake Resort and the EID Boating Facility, boaters have no problems getting on the lake. Look for good action off Wood’s Creek inlet and Emigrant Bay.

▪ CARSON RIVER (East, West) –

The East and West Carson, and Markleeville Creek were stocked by the DFW and Alpine County this past week. Trout fishing was excellent for rainbows to 6 pounds in the whole drainage using salmon eggs. The East Carson was running a little murky over the weekend but was clearing. The West Carson and Markleeville Creek were running clear.


The lake is at 55 percent capacity and was stocked by the DFW this past week. With unsettled weather, trolling success was sporadic. Ed Dillard caught five fish to 20 inches in 10 hours of trolling Dick Nite and Needlefish spoons at 7 to 15 feet deep. Shore fishing and flyfishing was slower still. Launching was good at the Honker Cove ramp.


The lake is at 69-percent capacity. Shore anglers were catching limits of planter rainbows at the west end of the lake. Kokanee were still hitting for trollers running pink-chrome dodgers and pink hoochies at 30 to 35 feet deep between the Handicap Dock and Loch Leven. Launching was very good here with the lake continuing to rise.


Butt Valley Lake is at 85-percent capacity. Smallmouth bass fishing should be good here with fish spawning in the stump fields on the west side of the lake. Look for post-spawn fish on the steeper points. Trout fishing in the North Fork Feather was still good, according to Mike Hanson at Caribou Crossroads Resort.


The lake is at 35-percent capacity. Guide Ed Dillard at Dillard Guided Fishing reported great action trolling for 8- to 17-inch rainbows at 7 feet deep NW of the Frenchman boat ramp in 13 feet of water using Dick Nite and Needlefish spoons. Launching was okay.


Gold Lake, Snag Lake, Upper Salmon Lake and Lower Sardine Lake are scheduled for DFW trout plants this week.


The lake is at 81-percent capacity. Trolling was good this past week for a local fishing club. Dodger/nightcrawlers or brown grubs were the best producers.


Not much change here – with the heavy plants made in the Carson River drainage, few anglers bothered coming to this small lake.


The lake is at 78-percent capacity. According to Mountain Hardware and Sports, the fishing slowed down here and anglers had to work harder for rainbows and browns. Launching was okay at the Pass Creek ramp.


Sly Park Resort reported shore anglers were picking up a mix of planter rainbows and small macks on nightcrawlers and floating dough bait at the dam. Bass were hitting plastic worms and nightcrawlers in the coves.


Chuck Self at Chuck’s Charter Fishing reported doing well for limits of 2- to 10-pound macks by 9:30 trolling 200 to 250 feet deep all along North Shore. Mike Nielsen at Tahoe Topliners Sportfishing said he was picking up a mix of 3 to 6 rainbows, browns, and macks at South Shore and the west side on Rapalas. Mack trolling was good off the Keys at 140 to 200 feet deep on Laxee spoons. Zach Gordon at Tahoe Sportfishing reported a good mack bite at Dollar Point in 120 to 150 feet of water while mooching live minnows. 12- to 15-inch kokanee were hitting red Wedding Rings tipped with corn behind flashers in the top 35 to 40 feet in the SW corner of the lake.


The lake is at 43-percent capacity. Ken Mathis at Ken’s Custom Tackle and Guide Service reported the main launch ramp was closed due to decayed concrete at the bottom of the ramp. Small boats can still launch off the gravel ramp at the dam. Fishing should be good but watch out for shallow hazard rocks when boating.


The lake is at 25-percent capacity. The best bet here was fishing for smallmouth bass at the dam. Try fishing Prosser Creek above the lake for rainbows with worms and salmon eggs in the deeper pools.


George Molino at Cutthroat Charters reported doing well trolling at Warrior Point. His last 4 trips produced 18, 44, 18, and 10 fish in mixed weather. Most of the trout were 17 to 23 inchers with one day producing 6 and 9 pounders. Joe Mendes at Eagle Eye Charters fished Friday and his clients landed 32 fish 17 to 23 inches. Both guides were trolling Apex at 25 to 40 feet deep at Warrior Point.


Fish for cutthroats at the dam and the inlet.


The lake is full. Launching was excellent. Trollers should be doing well on rainbows and the occasional mack.


The lake is at 18-percent capacity. The launching site being used most lately became too unstable for continued use. Boaters were trying a rockier, steeper spot further east according to Mountain Hardware and Sports. Kokanee trolling was still excellent in the Little Truckee arm using pink dodgers and hoochies at 20 to 25 feet deep.


The lake dropped and fishing slowed despite rain in the higher elevations. Topaz Landing Marina will close if the lake drops another 6 inches. Boats of all sizes were still launching at the County Park. The lake was loaded with jetskiers and kayaks over the holiday weekend. Few fishermen were out.


The rain that plagued the Sierras this past week made the river below the Boca Outlet through Hirschdale murky. The river above Truckee was running clear. Fishing slowed in the off-color water.


The lake is at 92-percent capacity. Ken Mathis at Ken’s Custom Tackle and Guide Service fished here 5 days this past week and put a client on a 39-inch mack that weighed over 22 pounds. On other trips his clients caught holdover rainbows, kokanee, and macks to 3 pounds on dodgers with spinners and hoochies at 18 to 35 feet deep.


The West Walker at Pickle Meadows and the Canyon, and the Little Walker were stocked by the DFW this past week. The “Size Doesn’t Matter” Fishing Derby was going well when WON called. By Sunday evening 21 of the 55 tagged fish had been caught, but some were taken by folks who weren’t entered in the event – more prizes for those who were. Fishing was good with the heavy plants that were made. The derby ran until Monday at 4 p.m. when a drawing was being held for the top prizes – a kayak, a Go Pro camera, and $50 cash. Pam Hamic at the West Walker Motel reported everyone involved was having a blast.



New Easy Rider got 5 salmon for 13 anglers, on one of the best trips of the week. Other boats, including California Dawn, Happy Hooker went for bass and halibut, though California Dawn made a lingcod/rockfish trip on Sunday. Jilly Sea had a great day of shark fishing.


Trips to Elephant Rock and to Fort Ross on New Sea Angler were as good as it gets for rockfish and lingcod. At Lawson’s Landing, striped bass bit in the surf along with surf perches. Low tides allowed successful digging for gapers (horseneck clams).


Great weather all week made it easy for boats to get out and score quick limits of rockfish and lingcod. Salmon fishing was generally slow, although fish were taken each day.


The Emeryville fleet scored nicely on bass in the Bay and on rockfish and lingcod along the Marin Coast. On Sunday, C-Gull II had 24 bass to 12 pounds for 12 folks. Sundance got into the bass as well. Sea Wolf fished the Marin Coast with 24 fishers who boated limits of rockfish plus 37 lingcod to 15 pounds.


Salmon fishing was good early in the week, took a few days off and then went back on the job for the weekend. Charter boats scored limits on some trips. Rockfish and lingcod were good most anywhere there was structure, but the Lost Coast area was tops, producing lingcod and rockfish of epic proportions.


Telstar ran combo trips and lingcod/rockfish trips. Other boats ran similarly. There were a few decent counts of salmon among the fleet, but mostly it was a lingcod and rockfish kinda week. Jetty fishers got kelp greenling, cabezon and rockfish.


Party boats focused on rockfish and lingcod because the catches were so pleasing and consistent. Stones between Pillar Point Harbor and Pescadero were worked the hardest. Striped bass launched an assault reminiscent of D-Day.


Salmon trips produced reasonably well through the week up at Point Reyes, where Lovely Martha crew member Willy McKelvey caught an 18 pounder, but on Sunday a bite erupted much closer off of Muir Beach and near Buoy 1. Many Bay party boats got in on the building bite. Halibut fishing was decent and striped bass fishing was great. Lovely Marthawhacked the bass at Southampton Shoals.



The final trout plant of the year at 1,000 pounds was released into the lake prior to the Memorial Day Weekend, and this brought the total released this season to just over 40,000 pounds despite the need to purchase trout from an outside hatchery. Trout stocking will resume in October when the water temperature is cool enough to sustain plants. Bank fishermen off of the docks at night are scoring rainbows with trout dough bait or nightcrawlers. The lake is 11 feet from spilling and 71% of capacity.


Trout plants are over for the season due to the warm surface temperatures, but rainbows can still be taken from the deeper portions of the lake near the dam. Night fishermen using lights must anchor and remain in their location throughout the night, and a portable toilet must be on the vessel. Bass fishing continued to be fair, but catfishing is on the upswing with chicken livers or nightcrawlers near the Willows Campground and in Houseboat Cove. The South Shore Ramp is operational, but it is on the lowest ramp.


Rainbow trout fishing is solid with heavy spoons at depths to 55 feet near Jenkins Hill, Fleming Bay, or Middle Bay, but the kokanee are scattered into smaller pods. Anglers will have to work for kokanee at depths to 70 feet once they locate the fish. The Kokanee Power Phil Johnson Memorial Tournament is this Saturday. 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.


Bank fishing with jumbo minnows has been outstanding, but few fishermen are willing to make the long walk down to the water’s edge. The North Barrett Cove Launch Ramp is still operational with the lake at 11% of capacity. Information on the launch ramp is available at (855) 222-5253.


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.


The launch ramp situation is limiting the number of boats on the water, but there are still plenty of fish and plenty of water in the lake. Kokanee, bass, catfish, and rainbow trout are still abundant. Kokanee are found around the spillway and dam area in the main lake at depths to 60 feet with hooches, spinners, or spoons in pink or orange. The cloud cover has allowed for a reaction bite for bass throughout the day. The launch ramp is limited to the dirt ramp at Glory Hole Point, and a 4WD tow vehicle in essential.


Striped bass are getting active, and although few anglers are targeting this inconsistent lake, the action can be solid 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.


A heavy trout plant of 2- to 3-pound rainbows spurred on the bank bite during the Memorial Day Weekend. Kokanee fishing is best in the main lake or upriver with micro lures. 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. 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.


Plans have been announced to drain the lake in September to meet agricultural and environmental obligations, but it appears that the lake will be open for the summer months.



The river was running clear with flows a bit lower than normal. Fishing should be good for hardy anglers willing to hike down to the deeper holes in the North Fork and Middle Fork.


The lake is at 61-percent capacity. Guide Ron Gandolfi fished 2 days this past week and found big fish far and few between. His clients caught a 3 1/2 and a couple of 6 pounders along with lots and lots of dink spots on Senkos and tubes cast to steep points and walls at 25 to 30 feet deep.


The lake is at 85-percent capacity. North Shore Resort reported bass fishing was improving as the fish moved into post-spawn patterns. Ron Franks of Folsom fished this past week and caught 32 bass to 2 1/2 pounds on lizards in the Bear River arm.


The lake is 29 feet from full. Trout and bass fishing was good this past week. Trout to 11 3/4 pounds were hitting for shore anglers and trollers and limits were common. Bass were hitting at the dam.


The lake is at 95-percent capacity. Houseboaters in the marina were catching limits of rainbows to 23 inches on nightcrawlers. The recreational boat traffic was crazy on the lake, so fishermen should stay in the 5 mph zones.


The lake is at 43.8-percent capacity. The French Meadows ramp on the south side of the lake was open, the McGuire ramp on the north side was not recommended. The campgrounds were all open. Fishing for trout was good.


The lake was stocked by the DFW this past week.


The lake is at 52-percent capacity. The Georgetown Ranger Station reported any size boat could launch at the ramp. Fishing was good for kokanee, browns, and macks. The Hell Hole campground was open. Work will begin clearing hazard trees out of the Big Meadows camp and it should open by mid- to late June.


The lake is at 46-percent capacity down another 5 feet this past week. Guide Ron Gandolfi reported bass fishing was very good with fish counts running from 75 to 90 fish per day. The topwater bite was good for 1 to 1 1/2 hours in the early morning. The rest of the day throw tubes, darthead and drop-shot worms and Senkos on steep walls and points.


The lake is at 96.5-percent capacity. The resorts were all open for the Memorial Day holiday. Recreational boat traffic was very heavy over the holiday weekend.


The lake is at 64-percent capacity. The campground, store, and marina opened for the Memorial Day holiday. Jim Caldwell at NID reported trout fishing was good for 1 to 3 rainbows to 21 inches for trollers at the dam and above Cascade Shore using dodger/nightcrawlers.


The campgrounds have been open since April 24. Shore anglers should pick up a few rainbows between the boat ramp and the dam using worms and floating dough bait.


The lake was stocked by the DFW this past week. Only cartop boats could launch. Trout fishing was good after the plant. RV’s can camp in the parking lot at the boat ramp.


The lake was at 135-foot elevation at presstime 89-percent capacity. Bruce Gibson at the Paradise Tackle Company reported bass action was good for 2- to 4-pound largemouth.

Western Outdoor News