Fishing Line

Fishing Line: Decent shad bite leads north state angling action

Stripers are providing action in some waters of the north state, according to the latest Fishing Report.
Stripers are providing action in some waters of the north state, according to the latest Fishing Report. Sacramento Bee file


▪ SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff to Colusa

Shad fishing has been good. Chartreuse, orange and hot pink 1-inch grubs are working well.

▪ SACRAMENTO RIVER, Knight’s Landing to Colusa

While shad fishing has begun to slow, some stripers are still being caught as small schools of fish move through the river. Anglers are using cut bait, as no large or jumbo minnows have been available.


Jigging for stripers has been fair 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.


There are still plenty of holdover rainbows in the lake, and they are holding in the deepest water in the reservoir. Fishing fees have been dropped to $5.00 for the summer, but the use fee remains at $10.00 with a launch fee at $5.00. 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.


Catfish in excess of 10 pounds have been commonplace as the whiskerfish are moving into the shallows to feed on shad. Bass action remained good with a variety of lures including topwater baits in the early mornings as well as reaction baits throughout the day. Working the bottom with soft plastics is the best option for numbers. Kokanee are found at depths from 40 to 60 feet in the main lake from the dam to the spillway with hoochies or spinners tipped with scented corn behind a dodger. A large dodger is advised in deeper water. 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.

North Coast Rivers

▪ ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Oregon

The river temperature on Saturday was 70 degrees, so just 4 more degrees and we will probably see the same large numbers of fish being caught in the estuary by trollers as we did back in 2003,” said WON Field Reporter and guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Guide Service. “Last week, fishing was super good on Tuesday. The temperature dropped to 60 degree's and a large number of salmon came racing into the bay and up the river. I heard of a bunch of salmon being caught on the first few miles of river, and a few boats managed to catch 3-4 fish. As the water warmed the fishing started slowing down, but there were still chrome springers being caught.

▪ ROGUE RIVER, Grant’s Pass, Oregon

Springer action remains best in the Shady Cove to dam areas, although water is running high but is expected to drop this week, according to Troy Whitaker at U-Save Tackle in Grant’s Pass. Best bets for boat anglers have been roe or sand shrimp, or Kwikfish with sardine wraps. Bank anglers are scoring using Corkies at the Slide Hole, Hatchery and Casey Park. Anglers are also using spinners to catch salmon and a few trout. Trout season on the lakes is slowing a little due to warming waters, but the anglers are also catching trout on spinners. Lake Selmac is warming, bass and bluegill action has been good, but trout fishing is slowing. Applegate Lake is producing bass action on smallmouth and largemouth bass on cranks and plastics. Trout action is fair on Pautzkes Fire Bait. Trolling is okay too, dragging 20-40 feet deep with Wedding Rings and flashers. Lost Creek Lake bass fishing is improving with a salmon fly hatch on the lake. Plastic worms also are working well. Trout anglers are trolling with small worms or wedding rigs with worms.

▪ UMPQUA RIVER, Reedsport, Oregon

The fishing is hot on the lower Umpqua River, said guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets in Roseburg. “Guides and locals have been finding limits of Chinook's while trolling the river this last week,” he said. “With the heat wave running through the valley, the coast picked up some wind and dense fog. Near Roseburg, at the top end of the river, we had about everything caught at some point last week. Spring Chinook, which are slowing down, shad are also slowing down and as for summer steelhead, I didn't hear of any being caught, but they are around. Smallmouth bass are starting to bite and will just get better.”

▪ UMPQUA RIVER, North Fork, Glide, Oregon

Fishing has been fair for some and poor for others. The tackle shops have been reporting that the number of salmon being weighed in is slowing down, but that may be because of fewer bank fishermen as in past years.

Trinity/Klamath Rivers


The salmonfly hatch is in full swing, making for good fishing for halfpounders and small adult steelhead near Hornbook. Flows out of Iron Gate Dam were 1,010 cfs on Sunday, down another 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 1,370 cfs on Sunday, down around 200 cfs from the week before.

▪ KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen

Springer fishing was fair to good last week near Klamath. Flows on Sunday at Terwer were 4,630 cfs. The water temperature is up to 66 degrees.


Spring salmon fishing is still slow, although fish are expected to begin showing up after two good weeks of springer fishing on the lower Klamath. Flows Sunday at Lewiston were 1,110, while flows at Junction City were 1,030. Some springers were reported near Hoopa last week.


SACRAMENTO RIVER – Shad action is winding down in the upper Delta from Clarksburg to Freeport, and most shad fishermen are heading into the American River. Striped bass action has been best in the upper Delta for experienced trollers with shallow diving lures. Smallmouth bass are holding along the rocky walls in the upper Delta. Sturgeon are still in the lower Delta, but interest has waned. Saltwater intrusion into the Delta is attracting saltwater species into lower Suisun Bay.

SAN JOAQUIN RIVER – Largemouth bass remained tops in the San Joaquin system, and the bass just completed their final spawn during last week’s full moon. Senkos, flipping D-Bomb’s Missles, topwater lures, and plastics on a Zappu head are consistent producers. The occasional striper is found on frozen shad, live mudsuckers, or bluegill. Jumbo red worms or wax worms are working for panfish in the sloughs while crappie are starting up in Holland Tract and inhaling live minnows. 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.



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 fishing has been fair on the American, where some spawned out stripers also are being caught.


Cut baits are catching an occasional striper on the Feather, while shad fishing is slow. Shad fishing, however, is still good on the Yuba for anglers using 1-inch grubs.


Spotted and smallmouth bass are suspending off the points in 20 to 30 feet of water. Anglers using drop-shot rigs are doing well in the mornings. Trout and salmon fishing was hit and miss last week.


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 fair to good near Red Bluff.



Upper and Lower Blue Lakes are scheduled for DFW trout plants this week. Flashers and worms were working for cutthroats to 18 inches and rainbows to 15 inches.


The lake is at 13.4-percent capacity and was stocked by the DFW this past week. Brian Nylund at Mountain Hardware and Sports said the west side of the lake was a good option for shore anglers wanting to get away from the east side fishermen and boat launching activity, and the crowds at the inlet. Artificial scented eggs were working well.


The lake is at 95.8-percent capacity and was stocked by the DFW this past week. Drew Meteer at Caples Lake Resort reported fishing was slow near the resort. Try at Wood’s Creek inlet near the EID ramp where the DFW stocked the lake.

▪ CARSON RIVER (East, West)

The East Carson and Silver Creek are scheduled for DFW trout plants this week. Todd Sodaro at Todd’s Bait and Tackle at the Creekside Lodge reported the East Carson cleared up and anglers were “destroying the rainbows”. A 9 pounder was caught in Markleeville Creek on a prince nymph.


The lake is at 55-percent capacity and was stocked by the DFW this past week. Ed Dillard at Dillard Guided Fishing reported trolling was very slow. The best bet was anchoring near the island and dropping floating dough bait to the bottom. Expect to catch 1 to 5 fish for a couple anglers.


The lake is at 71-percent capacity and was stocked by the DFW this past week. Trollers were picking up 13- to 15-inch kokanee at 25 to 35 feet deep in the early morning and 30 to 40 feet deep later in the day using pink, orange, blue, and purple hoochies. Rainbows were hitting at the boat ramp and outlet lagoon.


The North Fork at Belden was scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Fishing was slow, so this plant should make a huge difference in angler success.


The lake is at 34-percent capacity. Ed Dillard at Dillard Guided Fishing reported trollers were catching limits of rainbows to 3 pounds on copper/redhead Dick Nite spoons fished 3 to 4 colors deep.


Gold Lake is scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden reported fishing was good at Upper Salmon Lake.


The lake is at 84-percent capacity and was stocked by the DFW this past week. Trolling should be good using dodgers with worms or a brown grub in the top 20 feet.


Alpine County was scheduled to stock the lake this week with 1800 pounds of 1- to 6-pound rainbows for the kids’ derby to be held on June 13. Fishing should be good for the next couple weeks after the plant.


The lake is at 76-percent capacity and was stocked by the DFW this past week. Brett Brady at Bare Bones Guide Service was doing very well for 12- to 16-inch rainbows using small Apex, RMT spoons, and dodger worms at 20 to 40 feet deep.


The lake is at 85-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Denise Cole at Sly Park Resort reported Austin Wilson caught a 6 3/4-pound largemouth bass from shore using a swimbait. Shore anglers were still picking up rainbows at the dam using worms and floating dough bait.


Chuck Self at Chuck’s Charter Fishing reported catching limits of macks to 6 1/2 pounds by 7:00 on Sunday trolling North Shore at 250 to 400 feet deep with plugs and glow spoons. Mike Nielsen at Tahoe Topliners Sportfishing said he was still picking up a few 1- to 4-pound rainbows and browns trolling Rapalas 30 feet deep in 45 feet of water and jigging 3- to 4-pound macks in 110 to 150 feet of water. Zach Gordon at Tahoe Sportfishing reported Capt. Bobby scored rainbows to 8 pounds and browns to 4 pounds at the Keys. Most boats were after macks at South Shore and the west side mooching live bait at 60 to 110 feet deep. Some nice kokanee were hitting flasher/spoons at 30 to 40 feet deep in Emerald Bay, but the bite on the main lake remained sporadic.


The lake is at 53-percent capacity and was stocked by the DFW this past week. With the lake level coming up, boats were launching on one lane of the ramp at the campgrounds. Fishing should be good.


The lake is at 26.5-percent capacity. Smallmouth bass can be found all over the lake, you just have to find them using darthead worms, tubes, and jigs. The best rainbow action was in the Prosser Creek inlet channel.


Cutthroat fishermen only have until June 30 to hit the lake before the season closes until October 1. Trollers were doing well on both sides of the lake. According to Crosby’s Lodge, the top fish caught this past week was taken at Hell’s Kitchen on an Apex—a 12 1/2 pounder. George Molino at Cutthroat Charters reported his trips were producing 15 to 17 trout to 8 pounds trolling Apex from Warrior Point to Spider Point.


Fishing was slow.


The lake is full. By last report, trolling was good for rainbows, but a recent flying ant hatch could have slowed the bite.


The lake is at 17-percent capacity and is scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. James Netzel at Tight Lines Guide Service reported he was still doing very well for limits of 15- to 16-inch kokanee trolling dodger/hoochies at 15 to 55 feet deep—check the meter for the activity level in each area for the best results. Launching was still a big problem and 4-wheel drive was highly recommended.


Chuck Fields at Topaz Landing Marina reported the lake was still dropping and he was just about ready to close his ramp. The County Park announced that they may close their boat ramp in another week or so. Call ahead to Topaz Landing for launching conditions at 775-266-3550. Fishing was slow.


The main river was running very low and moss was becoming a problem. Flows were at 40 cfs through Truckee and only 100 cfs at Farad. The Little Truckee was down to 67 cfs. The fishing here was likened to “shooting fish in a barrel” because the trout were stacked up in the remaining deeper pools and easy to catch.


The lake is at 81-percent capacity and was stocked by the DFW this past week. Ken Mathis at Ken’s Custom Tackle and Guide Service reported that nice limits of kokanee were taken on dodger/hoochies or spinners at 35 to 45 feet deep in the early morning or late afternoon. The mack bite was slow, only producing one or two fish to 4 pounds trolling or jigging on mid-lake rocky humps at 70 to 80 feet deep. Look for the macks to suspend under the kokanee schools and hit a dodger/herring. Crawdad trapping was very productive.


The Little Walker and West Walker at Pickel Meadows and the Canyon were stocked by the DFW this past week and all were scheduled for more DFW trout plants this week. Pam Hamic at the West Walker Motel reported trout fishing was good since the river started clearing up. Easy limits of rainbows were hitting worms for those that wanted a fish dinner and others were practicing a lot of catch-and-release using Panther Martins and flies.



Salmon fishing gained consistency. New El Dorado III and Flying Fish came back in with the salmon flag flying. Boats scored big on lingcod and rockfish. California Dawn worked Central Bay for a fine combination of bass and halibut, topped by a whopping 36 pounder. Happy Hooker had a fabulous week inside the Bay, posting limits of bass to 22 pounds and a nice pick at halibut.


Ten straight days of crab limits (1,290 crabs) proved how good the late season crabbing has been. New Sea Angler got limits of rockfish and high counts of lingcod on trips to Point Reyes and to Elephant Rock. Lawson’s Landing employees got 2 halibut inside Tomales Bay and then a private boater got 2 more the very next day.


Vast baitballs of anchovies showed up in the Port of Brookings boat basin, igniting expectations that salmon fishing will bust wide open any day now. Wind has been the limiting factor. Capt. Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing reported that lingcod and rockfish bit with savage abandon.


Limits of salmon were proven possible, thanks to C-Gull II’s highly successful run on Friday. Sundance managed a fish and a half per rod. Other Emeryville boats worked for lingcod and rockfish. Every trip saw limits of rockfish and some nice lingcod to 20 pounds.


Trips to the Lost Coast aboard Shellback and other charter boats were legendary for catching big lingcod to over 30 pounds and piles of good rockfish, all in shallow water using swimbaits. The June season for Pacific halibut began well, with fish to 64 pounds taken. Salmon fishing was spotty, overall.


Lingcod and rockfish were more than hungry through the week and Telstar cleaned up on the bottom fish. Over the weekend, brown salmon water moved in, which affected the rockfish bite but brought hopes that the days ahead will be good for salmon. Trek II got limits of lingcod to 24 pounds. Samurai caught 2 salmon and lost 3.


Party boats Huli Cat, Queen of Hearts and Riptide made limits or near limits along the coast from the Ritz Carlton to Pescadero. Lingcod and rockfish bit well and one angler took home a 9-pound wolf eel. Sandy beaches were blitzed by hungry striped bass.


With increasing consistency in the salmon bite, San Francisco boats had good options. Wacky Jacky posted an 18 pounder on the Whoppers List. Bass Tub went for bass and sacked up full limits. While at it, a 45-pound leopard shark was put aboard the popular boat.



Trout are still found for trollers in the deepest part of the lake near the dam. One angler picked up a quick limit running Speedy Shiners at 30 feet near the dam. Largemouth bass in excess of 10 pounds have been taken on Senkos. Catfishing continued to improve with chicken livers or nightcrawlers. 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 has been excellent with the best action at depths from 40 to 65 feet with pink or orange hoochies in the early morning before experimenting with blues and greens. Small hoochies behind a teardrop spinner are the best presentation. The kokanee are in good shape and continuing to grow. 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 for bass, 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 13% 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.


Striped bass are holding in the deeper portions of the lake, and although few fishermen are hitting the lake, experienced trollers can find action with frozen shad or anchovies on a harness rig. The launch ramp is still accessible.


Catfish from the Recreation Area banks has been a top draw during the current week as the whiskerfish are moving into the shallows in search of food. Chicken livers or nightcrawlers are the top baits. Kokanee fishing has slowed slightly with the fish moving deeper in the water column and moving throughout the main body of the lake at depths from 40 to 60 feet. Trout trolling is improving in the south end of the lake. Bass action heated up after the recent storms with more 2 to 3-pound fish taken on soft plastics. 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 Silver Fork was stocked by the DFW this past week and the South Fork at Coloma is scheduled for a plant this week.


The lake is at 59-percent capacity. Emerald Cove Marina reported kokanee trolling was good for 12-inch salmon at the dam using dodger/hoochies or spinners at 50 to 70 feet deep. The bass bite was slow for bigger fish, but try shad Senkos on steep points and walls at 25 to 40 feet deep.


The lake is at 71-percent capacity. Ron Franks of Folsom caught 32 bass on his last trip using lizards and craws in the main body and Bear River arm at 8 to 10 feet deep in 70- to 74-degree water. The South Shore Resort is now open Friday to Sunday until Labor Day.


The lake is 32 feet from full. Trout fishing was the best bet for rainbows to 7 1/4 pounds. Shore anglers and trollers were doing equally as well. Most anglers were picking up 2 to 3 trout. Bass to 3 pounds were hitting nightcrawlers and plastic worms. Bluegill and redear sunfish were hitting worms.


The lake is at 96-percent capacity. With recreational boat traffic increasing, fishermen were picking up trout and bass in the quiet of the marina using nightcrawlers.


The lake is at 45-percent capacity. Will Fish Tackle in Auburn reported fishing here was slow. Boats were still able to launch at the French Meadows ramp.


The lake is at 52-percent capacity. The Georgetown Ranger Station said anglers were catching kokanee, trout and macks. Launching was good for all boats.


The lake is at 97.5-percent capacity. According to Will Fish Tackle in Auburn, fishing was slow.


The lake is at 62-percent capacity. Mike Dowd at the marina reported bass anglers were picking up some nice smallmouth bass to 2 1/2 pounds on Roboworms near the Ditch Tender’s House. A few rainbows were hitting flasher/worms at the dam and the Deer Creek inlet.


The Foresthill Ranger Station reported the lake level was higher than expected and launching was good.


The lake is at 62-percent capacity. The Georgetown Ranger Station reported shore fishing was good for planter rainbows using floating dough bait and worms.


The lake was at 135.1-foot elevation at press time—89.7-percent capacity. Bruce Gibson at the Paradise Tackle Company reported bass fishing was good for smaller fish along the tule banks using spinnerbaits and Senkos. The bigger fish were moving offshore to the humps and brush piles on the main body at 13 to 15 feet deep and hitting jigs. Look for the frog bite to develop on hot afternoons in the weed beds using black/yellow (blackbird) colors.

Western Outdoor News