Fishing Line

Fishing Line: Decent shad bite leads north state angling action



Shad fishing has been good at Discovery Park.

▪ 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

Striper fishing is fair, with a mix of shakers and keeper-size fish. With a shortage of jumbo minnows, cut bait is working best.


Jigging for stripers has been good in the deepwater channel, but most of the fish are too small to keep. Crappie fishing is very good in the sloughs and ditches near Sacramento for anglers using small minnows and wax worms.


Wind was the big story over the past weekend in the main Sacramento River. Shad fishing remained best in the stretch of river from Clarksburg to Freeport with 1-inch grubs in chartreuse or champagne on a 1/32nd jighead. Striped bass action has been best in the upper Delta for experienced trollers with shallow diving lures while interest in sturgeon fishing in lower Suisun Bay remained minimal. Live mudsuckers are back in area bait shops.


Largemouth bass continued to be the most targeted species in the San Joaquin with clear water conditions and rising surface temperature. The bass are wrapping up their spawn and starting to feed in earnest. Senkos or topwater lures are the top techniques, and the larger bass are moving into the current in order to feed. The rare striper is found on live mudsuckers or bluegill. Large redear perch and bluegill are found on jumbo red worms or wax worms in Discovery Bay, Whiskey Slough, and Eight Mile Road. Construction on the False River rock barrier is nearly complete, and access to this section of the river is over until the projected removal of the barrier in November. Fresh shad is once again available in Stockton-area bait shops.

North Coast Rivers

▪ ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Oregon

Fishing for spring Chinook has been good all last week on the lower Rogue River, according to the Rogue Outdoor Store. Anglers are wanting to fish above Kimble Creek if they want any chance at catching multiple salmon, said guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets, relaying info. “It seems that these late springer's are holding down low near the bay for a day or two before heading upriver. I am told that there are a large number of sea lions in the Rogue Bay and they have been feasting on Chinooks. I am sure that is having a huge influence on the salmon not biting at anything in the first several miles of river.” Guide Bill Divens of Salmon King Lodge found a beautiful, 21-pound fresh springer for wife Julie over the weekend in the National Forest, and said that higher flows from Lost Creek Reservoir helped the bite, but that it is still inconsistent.

▪ ROGUE RIVER, Grant’s Pass, Oregon

Salmon fishing has been good in the upper river, and fair in the Grants Pass areas, according to Troy Whitaker at U-Save Tackle in Grant’s Pass. Best bets are bouncing roe, or fishing Kwikfish with sardine wrap. Bank anglers are scoring by throwing spinners. At Lake Selmac, bass, trout and crappie are being taken, but the water is warming and this could slow the fishing. Applegate Lake is providing some good action on small crankbaits and small Senkos rigged wacky style. Trout anglers are scoring by trolling Wedding Rings behind flashers. Tip the Wedding Rings with nightcrawlers. Bank anglers are getting bass and trout at Lost Creek Lake, on firebaits, Whitaker said. WON Staff Writer Andy Martin said, “Spring salmon anglers can now keep wild fish on the Rogue, effective June 1. Springers continued to move into the river last week, but warm water has stalled catches. The river temperature hit 70 degrees on Thursday and again Sunday. Flows at the Agness gauge were 3,020 cfs on Sunday.”

▪ ROGUE RIVER, Shady Cove, Oregon

Guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets said that the Shady Cove area put out some nice springers last week, again. “The drift boats are having to work for their fish, but springer's have never been known to be easy,” he said. “If a hole looks crowded or taken up, ask if you can jump in and take a pass in the hole after they work through it. Bank anglers up at the Hatchery Hole are catching fish. It is combat fishing and everyone has their own technique.”


Scott Heemstra of King’s Sport and Tackle in Guerneville went out Thursday evening to see what was up with the shad bite and he was able to find some takers. “I was swinging flies below the riffle in Monte Rio and managed a handful in an hour along with some feisty pikeminnows,” he said. “Any deep run downstream of shallow riffles are potential spots for shad right now. Not much with the bass action. Those that are targeting them are finding fair action using diving lures or Senkos. Flows have dropped to 130 cfs and the algae is in full bloom. The fog has been hanging around until mid-morning so mornings have been good.”

▪ UMPQUA RIVER, Roseburg, Oregon

It’s been a good late season for spring kings, according to WON Field Reporter and guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Guide Service in Roseburg. “There were salmon caught at Cleaveland Rapids most days last week,” he said. “Bank anglers can be proud, because they caught 2 to 1 ratio against the boats, and you don't see that often enough. Just upriver at Forks River Park some springers were reported being caught, as well. This is also the time of year when we see a fair number of chrome summer steelheads start entering the North Umpqua River, so I am sure they are nearby.”

▪ UMPQUA RIVER, North Fork, Glide, Oregon

Things are becoming a lot more steady in the springer fishing lifestyle, according to guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets. “There have been more reports coming in of how the fishing was better in the morning than evening. More and more fishermen have been catching their limits this last week from the Narrows up to Deadline Falls. Check the regulations: The Umpqua system had a regulation change this year and it is a easy one to read and understand. The river is gorgeous and it’s very enjoyable to fish from shore. We should have a good month of springer fishing coming up.”

Trinity/Klamath Rivers


Fishing for halfpounder 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 1,170 cfs on Sunday, down 100 cfs from last week.


Conditions are good and anglers are catching a mix of spawned out adult steelhead and halfpounder steelhead. Pressure is very light. Flows at Seiad Valley were 1,510 cfs on Sunday.

▪ KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen

Tribal netters and guides fishing spinners were catching spring salmon last week above Klamath Glen. Flows on Sunday at Terwer were 5,740 cfs. The water temperature is up to 66 degrees.


Anglers are waiting for the river to drop more to begin targeting spring salmon with plugs as well as tuna balls. Flows Sunday at Lewiston were 1,890, while flows at Junction City were 1,920. Some springers were reported near Hoopa last week.



The bite was not consistent this past week. With the weed growth exploding all over the upper end of the lake the few spots that you can find clear of weeds will have lots of company on them. Topwater action with frogs and Rico type poppers has improved and should continue to get better over the next few weeks.


With warmer weather coming look for the kokanee and trout to drive deeper and start being easier to catch. There is still some pretty good bass fishing to be had for all three species of smallmouth, largemouth and spotted bass. Just get out early and late to avoid the boaters.


In the mornings target main body points with a topwater Gunfish, Sammys or buzzbaits for steady action until the sun comes up. In the creek arms, fish grass with a LuckyCraft LV500 along the grass lines to target bigger largemouth bass.



The bass spawn is winding down, but there are still plenty of fish. Try swimbaits, drop-shot and Texas rigged 6-inch worms. Trout continue to frequent areas that are producing bug hatches along the west shore.


Kastmasters and worms always do well here, so those 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 more hatches, which are going off before the sun is high. Fishing should be good here all summer.


Anglers are catching rainbows and some big mackinaws. The best bite has been on Uncle Larry’s watermelon Wild Things followed by Pink Tiger spinners fished 20 to 28 feet down.


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.


With no pressure for months here the opener was great. The fishing was hot and with all the drought concerns Eagle Lake is still the place to go. Anglers are allowed to keep two fish per day with a total of four in possession. DFW has already planted, but who know how often they will in the future.


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 from Island Dr. all the way to the confluence.


These waters are spring fed so the drought does not impact it and water conditions are great. Worms, eggs, dry flies 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. There are lots of hatches going off.


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. Go early or late to avoid the kayakers and other boaters.


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. The fishing continues to be good here, but it may be getting a little more crowded.


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 so expect some company at the popular spots.


Fishing was fair for rainbows but not brown trout or salmon. Look for shad boils and then some kind of moving bait like a spinnerbait or a small swimbait in shad. Just remember to fish early and late, as there is a lot of traffic out there now.


With all of the water they are dumping now and the water has muddied up. Things won’t clear up until mid August.



Shad are quickly moving through the Feather and into the Yuba, where fishing has been very good on the lower section. One-inch grubs are working best.


After a week of hot trout fishing, action for rainbows slowed last week, although anglers were still getting a fish or two per rod. Spotted, smallmouth and largemouth bass have been biting well.


Bass and trout fishing is slow to fair.


Trout fishing is very good from Dunsmuir to Shasta Lake, where numerous hatches have sparked good nymph and dry fly action. Gear anglers also are catching fish.

▪ 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 12.8-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. With the lake so low, most anglers were fishing at the inlet were the trout were concentrated looking for cooler, more oxygenated water. Flyfishermen were doing well, as were the bait soakers.


The lake is at 93.5-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Caples Lake Resort reported fishing was slow with no limits of trout seen. One guest caught a 2-pound mack drifting a nightcrawler at Wood’s Creek inlet, and another caught a 3-pound brown off the shore using worms near the guest dock.

▪ CARSON RIVER (East, West)

Todd Sodaro at Todd’s Bait and Tackle at the Creekside Lodge reported fishing was slow on the East Carson due to muddy conditions caused by runoff from the warmer weather, but it was beginning to clear—use salmon eggs!! The West Carson and Markleeville Creek were clear. The West Carson saw heavy fishing pressure over the Memorial Day holiday and now fishing was slow. Markleeville Creek fishing was better.


The lake is at 55-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Ed Dillard at Dillard Guided Fishing reported trolling was slow. Anchoring at the island and fishing with floating dough bait on the bottom was a better choice. Flyfishing and shore fishing were slow. Catfishing at Fairview with worms was good.


The lake is at 71-percent capacity and is scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. 3- to 5-pound macks were hitting live minnows and nightcrawlers fished from shore. 14- to 16-inch kokanee were hitting dodger/hoochie combos in pink, orange, and purple at 60 to 80 feet deep at China Cove.


With all the heavy fishing pressure seen over the Memorial weekend, fishing success was now slow and the river needs another DFW plant to perk things up. Smallmouth bass to 2 pounds were hitting spinners in the deeper pools on the East Branch near the Caribou Crossroads Resort, according to Mike Hanson.


The lake is at 35-percent capacity. Trollers were doing well using Dick Nite and Needlefish spoons for 10- to 14-inch rainbows between Lunker Point and Snallygaster. Flyfishermen were picking up a few rainbows at Lunker Point on nymphs under indicators.


Upper Salmon Lake, Lower Sardine Lake and Gold Lake were stocked by the DFW this past week and Gold Lake is scheduled for another DFW plant this week.


The lake is at 84-percent capacity and is scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Nearby Wrights Lake is also scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week.


There was little fishing pressure here due to the heavy plants in the East Carson and Markleeville Creek.


The lake is at 77-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Brett Brady at Bare Bones Guide Service reported putting clients on 30 to 60 rainbows per day in the 12- to 20-inch class trolling dodger/worms at 20 to 40 feet deep. The fish schools were scattered, but once one was located it was a wide-open bite. The Pass Creek launch ramps were in good condition.


Sly Park Resort reported the trout bite had slowed due to the ladybug and flying ant hatches. Bass were still hitting Kastmaster spoons, jigs, and worms.


Chuck Self at Chuck’s Charter Fishing reported an “incredible” mack bite in the early morning for limits of 5- to 9-pound fish trolling from 120 to 250 feet deep early then dropping down to 450 feet as the sun rose. Self said the fish were feeding on crawdads, kokanee and minnows off King’s Beach. Mike Nielsen at Tahoe Topliners Sportfishing reported a sporadic bite trolling for 2- to 4-pound rainbows and browns using Rapalas. The mack bite was good early until the sun hit the water, then it got tough—typical summer fishing! 12- to 14-inch kokanee were hitting flashers with pink or orange spinners and small spoons at 18 to 27 feet deep over deep water. Zach Gordon at Tahoe Sportfishing reported “having to work” for macks on the west side at 80 to 120 feet deep. The 2- to 5-pound fish were hitting live minnows mooched on the bottom.


The lake is at 51-percent capacity and is scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. The USFS reported one lane of the launch ramp was now open.


The lake is at 26-percent capacity. Smallmouth bass fishing was the best bet for fish to 2 pounds on worms, tubes, and jigs in crawdad colors at the dam.


George Molino at Cutthroat Charters reported good action for 17- to 23-inch fish at Warrior Point trolling Apex at 35 to 40 feet deep. Joe Mendes at Eagle Eye Charters reported a great bite for 17- to 28-inch cutts’ at Hell’s Kitchen. Bait schools were up on top and the trout were feeding. Mendes will start jigging trips this week.


Drew Meteer at Caples Lake Resort fished the inlet for cutthroats and reported a slow bite.


The lake is full and scheduled for a DFW trout plan this week. Dale Daneman at Dale’s Foothill Fishing Service reported the flying ant hatch was going strong but rainbows were still hitting a dodger/nightcrawler. The fish were running 15 to 17 inches.


The lake is at 17-percent capacity and is scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. James Netzel at Tight Lines Guide Service was still catching limits of quality kokanee trolling down to 50 feet deep with dodger/hoochies. There was a better launch site 100 yards closer to the dam—just follow the beaten path to all the 4X4 trucks and trailers.


Boats were still launching at the County Park, but fishing was slow. Call Topaz Landing Marina for the latest on launching conditions there at 775-266-3550.


With the warmer weather, lots of insect hatches were coming off throughout the day—yellow sallies, PMDs caddis, and soon the green drakes. Flows were good from town through Hirschdale to Farad. Below Farad the runoff had the river blown out and muddy.


The lake is at 81-percent capacity and is scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Ken Mathis at Ken’s Custom Tackle and Guide Service reported a good kokanee bite on dodger/spinners at 18 to 35 feet deep. The occasional lunker mack was taken jigging the bottom at 80 feet deep.


The Little Walker and West Walker at Pickel Meadows and the Canyon are scheduled for DFW trout plants this week. Runoff had the river running muddy and fishing was slow, according to Pam Hamic at the West Walker Motel.



Berkeley boats split up so that some could fish the Bay where bass and halibut counts were similar. Bass were pretty much all over the place. Angel Island was the halibut hotspot with halibut to 35 pounds taken. Jilly Sea managed limits of halibut. California Dawn trips featured big flatties up to 34 pounds. Happy Hooker scored limits of bass to 18 pounds plus some nice, thick halibut. Other boats worked the improving salmon bite outside the gate from Muir Beach to Duxbury.


Salmon catches were reported and at time the counts were a fish per person aboard New Sea Angler. Rockfish and lingcod ate like they were starving and limits of crabs were common. Near Lawson’s Landing, salmon to 18 pounds were caught, but the counts were not high.


Lingcod fishing was very good and rockfish bit just about anything that anglers dropped down in front of them. Salmon fishing was slow overall and most that were caught came from 25 to 50 feet down in 200 to 300 feet of water.


The fleet from Emeryville Sportfishing worked hard and spread out. Sundance and C-Gull II worked Muir Beach and the Channel Buoys to bang some salmon, sometimes busting the fish per rod mark. New Huck Finn, New Seeker, Super Fish, Sea Wolf and Tiger Fish worked Central Bay for halibut and stripers, or went out the Gate to haul in great counts of rockfish and lingcod.


Salmon started the week slowly, but then the bite improved as the weather improved. By week’s end, counts were up to about a fish per rod with a few limits reported. Red tail perch action heated up at Table Bluff.


Trips to Westport put large-scale lingcod and a high percentage of big rockfish aboard Telstar. Capt. Randy Thornton caught a 19-pound lingcod. One customer hauled home a fish sack weighing nearly 100 pounds.


A 51-pound octopus was brought aboard Huli Cat and it was quite a battle. Queen of Hearts, Riptide and Huli Cat fished down the coast where they scored nice counts of lingcod, cabezon and rockfish. Striped bass fishing was awesome along all local beaches near Half Moon Bay and Pacifica. Kayakers got into the bass off of Rockaway Beach.


Wacky Jacky and Lovely Martha found salmon action on short runs to Muir beach and the Channel Buoys. Bass Tub got bass to 10 pounds and halibut to 12 pounds. Argo found limits of bass on slack tides. Flash and Sole Man got into the action in a meaningful way.



The final trout plant of the year occurred prior to Memorial Day weekend, but there are still plenty of holdover rainbows in the lake. The rainbows will be available for the next few months before holding in the deepest water in the reservoir, and trollers are finding trout at 15 feet in depth. Bass are loading up after the spawn while catfish are spawning along the rockpiles at the dam. Crappie fishing is best at night under lights with small minnows. Trout stocking will resume in October when the water temperature is cool enough to sustain plants. The lake is 13 feet from spilling.


Trout plants have ceased for the summer as the water temperature has risen to the point of no return. Catfishing is taking center stage with whiskerfish to 17 pounds landed in the past few weeks. Chicken livers or nightcrawlers are the top bait for catfish. Trout can be found in the deepest waters of the lake near the dam, as there are still plenty of planted rainbows in the lake. Night fishing under lights is a good option, but boats must stay anchored in the same spot throughout the evening and possess a Port-A-Potty on board. Both the North and South Shore Launch Ramps are open.


Kokanee fishing was good during the past weekend’s Kokanee Power Phil Johnson Memorial Tournament. Orange or pink hoochies or spinners at depths from 35 to 65 feet are picking up the kokanee while the king salmon are found below the kokanee schools. Bass fishing is best with live minnows while tournament fishermen are tossing Hula Grubs in colors 208 or 221. 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 continued to be outstanding, but few fishermen are willing to make the long walk down to the water’s edge. There are reports of a crappie bite with small to medium minnows, and the crappie are found in open water instead of holding along structure. 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.


Few reports from the Marina, as the private trout plants from Calaveras Trout Plants have ceased with the closure of the trout farm due to low water conditions on the Merced River.


Bass fishing is solid with topwater lures in the early mornings before dropping to the bottom with soft plastics by mid-day. The bass are moving into the coves from the main lake as they are chasing the shad into the shallows. Kokanee are found at depths from 42 to 51 feet in the main lake from the dam to the spillway with orange hoochies. Catfishing has been excellent in the shallows with frozen shad. Several large brown trout have been caught within the past week. The launch ramp is limited to the dirt ramp at Glory Hole Point, and a 4WD tow vehicle in essential. Work crews are smoothing out the ramp in the early mornings.


Few fishermen are targeting the lake with the low water conditions, but the stripers are holding in the deeper portions of the lake. Experienced trollers can find action with frozen shad or anchovies on a harness rig. The launch ramp is still accessible.


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 Silver Fork was scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week.


The lake is at 60-percent capacity. Bass fishing was still good for spotted bass on steep walls and points. The post-spawners were hitting darthead worms and Senkos at 20 to 30 feet deep—lots of small fish with one or two in the 6- to 7-pound range possible.


The lake is at 75- to 80-percent capacity. Bass fishing was good for 12 to 18 fish per day in the Bear River arm using spinnerbaits, crankbaits, and lizards in 10 to 15 feet of water. Recreational boat traffic was very heavy on weekends, so fishermen should try to get out during the week to avoid the crowds and rough water.


The lake is 30 feet from full. With the water warming up, catfish were beginning to show in increasing numbers, and the trout were moving towards deeper water. Trollers and shore anglers at the dam scored on rainbows to 8 1/2 pounds. Trollers did best using a Wedding Ring/nightcrawler and the shore anglers preferred green floating dough bait. Catfish to 11 pounds were hitting for trollers and shore anglers—they must be hungry


The lake is at 95-percent capacity. Skippers Cove Marina reported bass and trout were hitting in the marina cove since the main lake was loaded with recreational boat traffic and just too crowded and rough on weekends. Fishing should be better during the week when the lake is more peaceful—try nightcrawlers for the trout and plastic worms for the bass.


The lake is at 44-percent capacity. The Foresthill Ranger Station reported all the campgrounds were open and the French Meadows boat ramp was still usable. Rainbow trout should be hitting for shore anglers and trollers.


The lake is at 52.5-percent capacity. The Hell Hole campground was open without water. The Middle Meadows group camp was reserved for most of the season already. Fishermen were doing well on kokanee at the powerhouse using dodger/hoochies and spinners in pink or orange at 20 to 40 feet deep. A few macks were hitting near the dam. Boats cannot get past the Narrows.


The lake is at 45-percent capacity—only down 2.5 feet this past week. Bass fishing was very good for spots and largemouth to 4 pounds. Tubes, darthead worms, Paradise Tackle Company finesse jigs, and Senkos were all working. There was a good topwater bite in the early morning—stay in the shade!! At the rate the lake is dropping expect to see some launch ramps high-and-dry by late June. By mid-July the dirt ramp at the Spillway could be the only launch site left, and it’ll be 4-wheel drive only.


The lake is at 96.9-percent capacity. No report available from NID.


The lake is at 63-percent capacity. Mike Dowd at Scott’s Flat Lake Resort marina reported smallmouth and largemouth bass to 2 pounds were hitting plastic worms on the points. Trout fishing was slow, but a few rainbows were hitting at the Deer Creek inlet on spoons, spinners, and bait.


The lake is at 90-plus percent capacity. The Foresthill Ranger Station reported the campgrounds and boat ramp were all open. Lots of folks were fishing, but few were reporting in to the USFS.


The campground was not open yet with hazard trees being removed this week. The Georgetown Ranger Station reported fishing was good for shore anglers and small car top boaters.


The lake was at 134.6-foot elevation at press time—86-percent capacity. Guide Ron Gandolfi reported the bass bite was good using buzzbaits on the grass beds.

Western Outdoor News