Fishing Line

Shad, some stripers are fish catches of the week

A fisherman stows his gear after catching shad. On the American River, shad fishing is improving and big numbers of fish are showing up.
A fisherman stows his gear after catching shad. On the American River, shad fishing is improving and big numbers of fish are showing up. AP file photo

TOP PICKS

AMERICAN RIVER –

Shad fishing improved last week on the American, as big numbers of fish showed up. Anglers are using 1-inch grubs and shad darts.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff to Colusa –

Shad fishing has been good. Chartreuse, orange and hot pink 1-inch grubs are working well. Stripers feeding on out-migrating salmon smolts are being caught in the evenings on small swimbaits. The majority of the fish are shakers.

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.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento –

There has been a fair topwater bite for undersize stripers in the deepwater channel at the Port of Sacramento in the evenings. Crappie fishing is very good in the sloughs and ditches near Sacramento for anglers using small minnows and wax worms. Shad are present near Freeport.

LAKE AMADOR

Holdover rainbows are still in the deepest portion of the lake, but trolling has been very slow for trout. Catfish and crappie are providing the best action. Fishing fees have been dropped to $5 for the summer, but the use fee remains at $10 with a launch fee at $5. Trout stocking will resume in October when the water temperature is cool enough to sustain plants.

LAKE CAMANCHE

Catfish are the top species with chicken livers or nightcrawlers in the coves, with the best action in the evenings. There are still rainbow trout holding in the deepest portion of the lake near the dam, and a few large fish are still taken on an intermittent basis. Senkos or drop-shot plastics are working for bass in the deep water. 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.

NORTH COAST RIVERS

ROGUE RIVER, GOLD BEACH, ORE.

Temperatures hit 70 degrees in the Bay last week and Chinook trolling season has begun in the Rogue Bay. “It is a lot earlier than I have ever seen it start up,” said guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets. “The first week of July: Yes, we see boats trolling the bay. First week of June? No, I don’t remember ever seeing this many boats trolling for king salmon in the Bay and catching fish. It has been an odd season and most likely Mother Nature will continue to have anglers guessing, what will it be like next? For instance, water in bay was warm and that had the salmon stacking up in the bay. Wind picked up last week, causing the water in the bay to cool on Friday and Saturday. Salmon liked the cooler water temperature and started moving upriver. Approximate fish counts for a few days last week were, 25 to 30 fish on Wednesday, 30 to 35 fish on Thursday, 20 fish on Friday, and on Saturday only 7 kings caught.” Guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing said 6 to 8 boats a day combined to catch 10 to 15 salmon a day on anchovies and spinnerbaits.

ROGUE RIVER, GRANTS PASS, ORE.

“Fair salmon action is being posted overall, but the Shady Cove area has been good, with springers on back-bounced roe or back-trolled Kwiwfish with a sardine wrap,” said Troy Whitaker at U-Save Tacke in Grants Pass. “Trout and steelhead also being caught up there. I’ve heard of 10 steelhead caught up in the Shady Cove area, and a few caught in the Grants Pass area. The Gold Hill area is starting to happen on salmon, too. Keep one wild fish here, or two hatchery fish or one of each. Grants Pass salmon action has been slower. Lake Selmac bass and crappie are still hitting on nightcrawlers and plastic worms. Applegate Lake remains fair on smallmouth bass and a few largemouth bass. Trolling for trout is good with a wedding rig and nightcrawler combo.”

UMPQUA RIVER, ROSEBURG, ORE.

This last week has been full of surprises for the Umpqua River System for fishing. Spring Chinook is always hit and miss situation and anglers know this. “Just as quick as I thought the runs were turning out small this season, they showed up late!” said WON Field Reporter and guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets. “Springer's are turning up the North Fork right now. Cleaveland Rapids should be a good place to catch one from boat or bank. Forks River Park is another fantastic place to fish right now, however, I have not gotten any reports or seen much boat traffic at either location for salmon. The reason is that the shad are thicker than ever at Huntley. which is just downriver a little bit from Cleaveland Rapids. I was seeing up to 40 fish catches from boats and that is very good this late in the season. Smallmouth are being aggressive at times.”

UMPQUA RIVER, NORTH FORK, ROSEBURG, ORE.

As of Saturday, the viewing windows at Winchester Dam were completely packed full of spring Chinook. This is a month later than what the usual dates on the calendar are for this to be happening. Very early morning Friday a couple driftboats caught a few nickel-bright salmon in front of Amacher Park. The Glide area has slowed down for the bank angling. Colliding Rivers down to Whistler Bend Park has been very slow over the last week. A few summer steelhead have been spotted in the shallow riffles and I was told spooked easily. There’s a very healthy number of springer’s coming over the dam now, so in two weeks it should be nets out in the Glide area of the North Umpqua River.”

TRINITY/KLAMATH RIVERS

KLAMATH RIVER, Iron Gate –

The salmonfly hatch is in full swing, sparking good fishing for halfpounders and small adult steelhead near Hornbook. Flows out of Iron Gate Dam were 1,060 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 1,290 cfs on Sunday.

KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen –

Fishing for springers has slowed. Flows on Sunday at Terwer were 3,550 cfs. The water temperature is up to 72 degrees.

TRINITY RIVER –

Spring salmon fishing is still slow, although fish are expected to begin showing up. Some springers have been caught at first light on roe.

NORTH COAST LAKES

CLEAR LAKE

Most anglers are working hard to get 5 to 8 bites from keeper-sized fish. There are still good numbers of smaller 8- to 10-pound bass. Topwater, crankbaits, sightfishing, Senkos, plastic worms and swimbaits were all reported to be effective. Or try fishing the deeper water with drop-shot and shaky head jigs as well as nail weighted worms.

LAKE BERRYESSA

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. There were still some smallmouth bass at the north end on the rest were caught all over the main body from 5 to 25 feet deep. With the weather stabilizing again, look for the koke bite to pick back up.

NORTHEASTERN

LAKE ALMANOR

Trout continue to frequent areas that are producing bug hatches along the west shore, although it is dying off. Fish are from all depths from the surface to the bottom since the hatches are off the bottom. Ben Williams from Fish Dog Outdoors said another wave of bass has moved up to spawn while a post spawn bite is on as well, and that right now it's hard not to catch bass. Fish anywhere on the lake in 4 to15 feet of water with a drop-shot rig.

BATTLECREEK RESERVIOIR

Kastmasters and worms always do well here. Fishing has been best early in the morning. Check special regulations here.

BAUM LAKE

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

BUCKS LAKE

Fishing for trout has been a little slow. But there has been by a wide open koke bite from 25 to 35 feet. They are still only 12 or 13 inches but healthy, thick fish. There are still some 2- to 4-pound Macks on koke gear and you can find 1 to 3 fish up to 18 pounds if you are working for them.

CASSEL FOREBAY

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

EAGLE LAKE

The fishing has been 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. Limits are being caught and anglers have been finished and off the water by 11. Fish ranged from 1 1/2 to 2 pounds and a few trout were 3-plus pounds. Bait and bottom anglers are doing well the first hour of light in the Eagle’s Nest area fishing down 10 to 20 feet with slip bobbers anchored at 50 feet. Trollers are working from the Eagle’s Nest area to Shrimp Island at 15 to 25 feet in 40 to 50 feet of water.

FALL RIVER

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 Drive all the way to the confluence.

UPPER HAT CREEK

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. There are still hatches going off.

MANZANITA LAKE

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.

MCCLOUD RIVER

River conditions are excellent and so is the brown and rainbow trout fishing thanks to all of the hatches. The fishing continues to be good here, but it may be getting a little more crowded.

PIT RIVER

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.

SHASTA LAKE

Remember to fish early and late, as there is a lot of traffic out there now. The trout fishing has been slow. This is the time of year when the trout will go down 40 to 60 feet. Always have one rolled shad onboard, an Apex, Wiggle Hoochies and spoons such as a Humdingers. Don’t waste your time trying for salmon. Not much bait in the main body but hopefully it will start to show up over the next few weeks.

WHISKEYTOWN RESERVIOIR

Kokanee fishing is starting to improve, which means they are catching a few more quality fish in the 13- and 14-inch range, although the majority are little kokes measuring 8 to 10 inches. Fish the Curtain and both sides of the 299 Bridge. The larger fish seem to be deeper like 60 to 80 feet. Pink Apexs and occasionally pink Scorpion spinner with beads have been working. The smaller ones (for kids) are in the 30- to 50-foot range. Most anglers leave around 11 with limits and then it’s the skiers turn.

NORTHERN FOOTHILLS

AMERICAN RIVER

The South Fork at Coloma was stocked by the DFW this past week.

BULLARDS BAR

The lake is at 58-percent capacity. Brett Brady at Bare Bones Guide Service reported 12-inch kokanee were hitting dodger/spinners at 30 to 40 feet deep at the dam and from Dark Point up into Willow Creek. Emerald Cove Marina said lots of small bass were hitting, but big fish were far and few between. Try shad Senkos on steep walls and points.

CAMP FAR WEST

The lake is at 71-percent capacity. Recreational boat traffic was getting very heavy, so fish for bass during the week using plastic worms and lizards in the Bear River arm.

COLLINS LAKE

The lake is 33 feet from full. With the warmer weather, 2 or 3 rainbows per person was a good average, though a few folks were scoring limits. Lots of 2 to 5 pounders were seen this past week with the biggest trout weighing 5 pounds, 14 ounces. Catfish to 5 1/2 pounds and bass to 3 pounds were also showing.

ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR

The lake is at 96-percent capacity. With the lake level so consistently high, recreational boat traffic was very heavy. Fishermen were advised to try for trout in the marina or in the 5 mph zone on the upper end of the lake.

FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR

The lake is at 44.6-percent capacity. The Foresthill Ranger Station reported all the campgrounds were open and the French Meadows boat ramp was operational. Without a recent DFW plant, fishing was only fair.

HELL HOLE RESERVOIR

The lake is at 52-percent capacity. The campgrounds were open and the launch ramp was still in operation. Kokanee, macks and trout were all hitting for trollers.

LAKE OROVILLE

The lake is at 43-percent capacity - down another 3 feet this past week. Bass fishing was good using tubes and darthead worms on steep walls, especially those in the shade, at 5 to 30 feet deep. The topwater bite in the early morning was very sporadic. King salmon up to 6 pounds were hitting dodger/hoochies at the dam and Green Bridge at 30 to 60 feet deep.

ROLLINS LAKE

The lake is at 95.8-percent capacity. Greenhorn Resort reported bass fishing was good and rainbow trout action was slow. Recreational boat traffic was ramping up with schools out for summer vacation.

SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE

The lake is at 61.2-percent capacity. Mike Dowd at the marina reported fishing was slow with light angling pressure. Recreational boat traffic was getting heavier, especially on the weekends.

SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR

The Foresthill Ranger Station reported the campgrounds, day-use area, and boat ramp were all open. Fishing was fair at best.

STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR

The lake is at 60-percent capacity. The Georgetown Ranger Station reported the lake was dropping and use of the boat ramp was not advised. One boater tried to launch a fiberglass boat with a 75-hp outboard and wound up flipping the boat over and sinking it trying to get it on the trailer, so cartoppers only. Shore fishing was okay according to the camp host.

THERMOLITO AFTERBAY

The lake was at 134.5-foot elevation at press time - 85.4-percent capacity. Bruce Gibson at the Paradise Tackle Company reported bass fishing was good for fish to 8 pounds. Smaller fish were on the tule banks hitting Senkos and jigs. The bigger fish were offshore on the rocky humps and drop-offs in deeper water using jigs, Senkos, spinnerbaits, and crankbaits. An 8 pounder came off a rocky bank on a crankbait.

SACRAMENTO VALLEY

FEATHER RIVER

A few shad are still being caught, but overall action is slow. Some stripers also are being caught, but the spring run is practically over.

FOLSOM LAKE

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.

RANCHO SECO LAKE

Bass and trout fishing is slow to fair.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, DUNSMUIR

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. The town of Dunsmuir is starting up their trout planting program.

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 below the Highway 44 bridge, although the river stretch between the bridge and Anderson is crowded. 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.

MOTHERLODE

DON PEDRO

King salmon are found at depths from 85 to 110 feet near Graveyard Bay with small 4-inch Rapalas in rainbow trout or rolled shad. Kokanee are holding at depths from 40 to 70 feet with pink or orange micro hoochies behind a teardrop spinner as the best presentation. The kokanee are small, but they are in good shape. Bass fishing is solid, with the available live medium minnows. 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.

LAKE MCCLURE

Few anglers are willing to make the long walk down to the water’s edge after launching a boat in the narrow chute that is the North Barrett Cove Launch Ramp. The lake held at 13% of capacity. Information on the launch ramp is available at (855) 222-5253.

LAKE MCSWAIN

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. Few reports from trout fishing in the lake.

NEW MELONES

The launch ramp remained the limiting factor for most fishermen, but regular maintenance on the ramp makes putting in a boat “doable.” The catfish continued to move into the shallows, and fresh shad scented with Pro Cure is the top bait as well as chicken liver or nightcrawlers. Bass fishing is good with a variety of baits including topwater baits in the early mornings. Working the bottom with soft plastics is the best option for numbers. Kokanee are found at depths from 40 to 80 feet in the main lake from the dam to the spillway with hoochies or spinners tipped with scented corn behind a dodger. Night fishing under lights is producing rainbows with live or artificial minnows.

NEW HOGAN

Few fishermen are targeting the lake with the low water conditions, but experienced anglers are picking up stripers with frozen shad or anchovies on a harness rig. The launch ramp is still accessible.

LAKE PARDEE

Kokanee fishing is solid, with the best action in the main part of the lake. Micro hoochies in pink behind a small dodger are the best offering, and the hot temperatures have the fish schooling in deeper water. Catfishing from the banks at night is solid with chicken livers or nightcrawlers. Trout trolling is improving in the south end of the lake. The Russ Faught Memorial aka “Mr. Kokanee” Tournament on June 27 will be held at 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.

LAKE TULLOCH

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.

NORCAL SALTWATER

BERKELEY

Striped bass fishing went ballistic. Happy Hooker limited out by about 9:30 each morning. California Dawn did similarly and both boats nailed some thick halibut. Jilly Sea worked Raccoon Straits and made passengers happy with catches of both stripers and halibut.

BODESGA BAY/LAWSON’S LANDING

The first jumbo halibut was caught in Tomales Bay, kicking off the late spring season. Rockfish and lingcod bit with authority at all local stones from Point Reyes to Fort Ross… a very wide area. Crabbing was amazingly good for skilled trap designers like Capt. Rick Powers aboard New Sea Angler.

EMERYVILLE

Pulling away from the Landing’s docks, some Emeryville boats headed out the gate to chase salmon from Muir Beach to Duxbury. A 25 pounder was taken aboard C-Gull II and a 22 pounder came aboard New Seeker. Other boats headed for the productive bass and halibut spots in the Bay or to rockfish spots on the Marin Coast. Bass bit like fleas and some halibut were taken, mostly under 10 pounds.

EUREKA

Salmon fishing was generally slow due to rising water temps driving the fish deeper. Cape Mendocino produced limits of lingcod and rockfish when the weather allowed boats to be there. Lingcod to 30 pounds were taken. Three Pacific halibut were caught out of Trinidad and also a few were taken out of Crescent City.

FORT BRAGG

Telstar hammered the rockfish and lingcod and it didn’t seem to matter whether it was a short distance or a longer run. The fish were just hungry. Shore fishers found perch, rockfish and cabezon along the jetty. The Old Mill produced nicely for shore anglers. Some folks fished down the coast at Jughandle or up the beach at MacKerricher, with good results on kelp greenling, rockfish and cabezon.

HALF MOON BAY/PACIFICA

Party boats Huli Cat, Queen of Hearts and Riptide tore up the rockfish and lingcod on both local trips and runs out to the Farallon Islands. Shore fishers grappled with aggressive striped bass along all sandy beaches from Ocean Beach to Half Moon Bay. Mackerel showed up inside Pillar Point Harbor.

SAN FRANCISCO

Salmon fishing remained on the list of things to do, with a local bite ranging from Muir Beach to Duxbury. Bass Tub showed that catching limits of bass in the Bay was easy in mid-June and with some nice halibut to go with them. Outside the Gate, surf fishers laid into the striped bass in the surf.

DELTA

SACRAMENTO RIVER

Shad action in the Freeport area picked back up with the arrival of fish heading for the American River. Striped bass are quickly moving downstream from upriver, and a few bass to 15 pounds have been taken on sardines. Smallmouth bass are holding along the rocky walls in the upper Delta. Live crawdads, Senkos, or crankbaits are working for the smallies. Sturgeon are still in the lower Delta, and a few are taken near the Mothball Fleet. Grass shrimp is back in selected bait shops. Saltwater intrusion into the Delta is attracting more and more shark, bat rays, and jacksmelt into lower Suisun Bay.

SAN JOAQUIN RIVER

Largemouth bass continued to be the number 1 species in the San Joaquin River, and the recent heat wave will bring out the frog bite as the water temperature increases. The bass will hold under the weedy mats for shade and will not be able to resist a properly worked frog. The topwater bite is improving in the early morning hours, and there is a solid ripbait bite throughout the day. Live mudsuckers or bluegill are working for the larger stripers while undersized fish are common on sardines. Regular red worms or wax worms are working for panfish in the slough. Large, extra-large, and jumbo minnows will be scarce for the upcoming month.

Western Outdoor News

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