Fishing Line

Fishing Line: Week of Oct. 13


▪ FEATHER RIVERThe fall king salmon run greatly has been holding steady with around 2 to 4 fish a boat per outing. Lots of spots up and down the river have been good, from Boyd’s Pump, Mosquito Beach, downstream, to Shanghai Bend and Gridley upstream. Steelhead fishing has been good, but you might catch four or five salmon for every steelhead. Use steelhead fishing gear, light lines and break off any salmon.

▪ LAKE TAHOEChuck Self at Chuck’s Charter Fishing reported he “slayed the fish” on Sunday morning, catching 5 limits of macks from 4 to 9 pounds in just 2 1/2 hours trolling spoons and Lucky Craft plugs at 150 to 180 feet deep from Flick Point to Crystal Bay Point. Mike Nielsen at Tahoe Topliners Sportfishing was catching limits of 3- to 6-pound macks jigging Williamson Raku, Abyss, and Benthos jigs tipped with a minnow at South Shore at 170 to 220 feet deep, and then picking up some 1- to 3-pound rainbows on rocky banks trolling F9 Rapalas. Zack Gordon at Tahoe Sportfishing reported the fleet was catching 10 to 20 macks per trip from 2 to 4 pounds mooching live bait on the bottom at 200 to 250 feet deep off the Rubicon area.

▪ SACRAMENTO RIVER, Woodson’s BridgeSalmon fishing was good at times, and lots of limits were being caught with some fish approaching 40 pounds. Fish were even being caught around Grimes and Colusa, but spots above Chico continued to be better. All the older fish at the Barge Hole went into tributaries, and some newer fish are moving in.

▪ COLLINS LAKEThe lake is 52 feet from full. Collins Lake Resort stocked 2500 pounds of rainbows this past week. A trout derby was held over the weekend and 150 contestants vied for the big fish award. At press time a 5.87-pound rainbow was leading the event. Boats can launch off the auxiliary ramp at the dam. Catfish to 7 1/2 pounds were still biting as well as bass and big redear sunfish.


▪ CHETCO RIVER, Brookings, Oregon – Rains are expected here this week, and if the forecast is correct, there may be a big surge of kings into the river proper, although only bobber fishing for kings is currently allowed due to snagging problems. All fishing methods will be allowed Nov. 4 unless there is a special opener. Kings are already being caught at the mouth, and the Bubble Season showed big numbers of kings off the mouth, according to WON Field Reporter and guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing.

▪ COOS RIVER, Coos Bay, Oregon – The Coos River has been one of Southern Oregon’s top three fisheries of last week. Without question the Coos River was dominated by the Siuslaw River. “This has been the longest fall season for the Coos River fishery that I have seen,” said WON Field Reporter and guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets. “I have previously reported the large number of jacks returning this year, and again this week I received reports of Chinook jacks being caught from 16 to 21 inches in the Marshfield Channel. The overwhelming number of jacks being caught are an indictor of next year’s run, which should be great! Coho are showing up in strong numbers throughout the river and we are still allowed to tag a wild coho Salmon per day. However, we are only allowed to harvest two native coho per season, which is down from five per season in past years. The retention of native coho will remain open until November. This river is my number one pick for fishing this week.”

▪ COQUILLE RIVER, Bandon, Oregon – The Coquille River has been a difficult piece of water to fish for Chinook salmon this last week, according to guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets. “Although some very nice size Chinook salmon have been showing up at the cleaning stations, even the anglers who were fortunate enough to catch one of these fish had discouraging reports from the mouth of the river in Bandon, upstream to the town of Coquille. Reports of the coho fishing for the same water has been exciting. With the same regulations as the Coos River, anglers are allowed too harvest one native coho salmon with a maximum of two coho per season. The coho on this river are quite a bit heavier than other places. Last week the average coho caught in my boat was 12 pounds, with many fish weighing two to three pound's heavier. Slack tide has been the hot bite of the day and the coho have been favoring pink spinners with hoochies on them. I found most of the fish caught in my boat have been with 1 1/2 ounces of weight 45 feet behind the boat, and trolling with the tide at about 3.2 mph, but troll a little faster than the tide coming in.”

▪ ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Oregon – Big kings are still being caught in the Rogue Bay and from reports, quite a few king salmon are in the high 30-pound range. “Comparing various stories of anglers catches, I have found one common factor: Most of these salmon are being caught near Indian Creek at the top end of the bay close to the high tide,” said guide Curtis Palmer. “Last week I received reports about an increase of jack Chinooks being caught, and there are still some silver salmon entering the bay. I have only heard of a couple hatchery fish being caught over the last few weeks. This is discouraging, because unlike other coastal rivers, we are not allowed to harvest native silvers.”

▪ ROGUE RIVER, Middle, Oregon – “I walked on the footbridge and saw no salmon in this area of the Middle Rogue in Grant Pass,” said Troy Whitaker at U-Save Tackle in Grants Pass. A few salmon are still being taken downriver at Graves Creek, Hellgate Canyon and Taylor Canyon on Kwikfish with sardine wraps, or back bouncing baits. Anglers are still catching some steelhead on Glo-Bugs dipped in nectar or back trolling crawdad-colored plugs, nightcrawlers and Corkies.

▪ SMITH RIVER, Oregon – Staging king salmon have already been caught at the Sand Hole on the lower River, and if the rains forecast for mid-week occur, the river could very well be opened with kings flooding into the system. “Enough rain must fall, however, to open the Smith above Rowdy Creek, and flows must pass 600 cfs at the Jed Smith gauge to allow an opener,” reminded guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing. “At press time, flows were at 250 cfs, but were forecasted to top 1,000 cfs by Wednesday. Call the CDFW flow hotline at 707-822-3164 for current flows and restrictions.”


▪ KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen – Fishing has slowed down, with some jacks and a few adult as well as coho jacks being caught. All must be released and pressure has gone way down.

▪ KLAMATH RIVER, Iron Gate Dam – Lots of those salmon that were being caught in the lower Klamath have gone upstream to Iron Gate Dam, and are being caught on backbounced roe. Some days there might be well over a dozen caught.

▪ TRINITY RIVER – Fishing on the Trinity River has been fair to good above Del Loma, however, hundreds of thousands of smolts have been released into the river and fishing will be difficult for about another week. Steelhead fishing was improving before the smolt infusion and should be good again in a few days. Red copper John’s and stone flies have been good for fly fishermen, as well as dead-drifted nymphs under indicators. Back-trolled Hot Shots and Brad’s Wigglers have been good early in the morning.


▪ CLEAR LAKE – The most popular method has been fishing in and around the offshore weeds. Flipping, punching, chatterbaits, and pitching weightless Senkos have been the predominant way to catch fish, but it is anything but easy. Other anglers are simply covering water with rocks with shallow to deep running crank baits. The third method was sitting on the rock piles off and around Rattlesnake Island dragging plastics and jigs. The catfish bite has been a better option.

▪ LAKE BERRYESSA – Most of the bass were caught drop-shotting 6-inch green shiner colored Roboworms around the Big Island, Ranch House and through the Narrows where there is lots of bait. Head to the dam for some salmon.

▪ LAKE SONOMA - Shad imitations should land you a few bass or fish the grass edges in 5 to 10 feet of water with buzzbaits, LuckyCraft BDS3, spinnerbaits or chatterbaits. Work the east side of the lake, toplining white trolling flies 100 feet behind the boat for a few steelies to 19 inches but consider tossing them back.


▪ ALMANOR LAKE – Fast action lures were getting more trout than any other method. Try the east side of the peninsula from Bunell Point north to Big Cove with downrigged no. 2 Needlefish or Speedy Shiners.

▪ BAUM LAKE – Water conditions continue to be good here. This lake is always a go-to spot in the summer and fall with its cold, clean water and an abundance of habitat and insects. Try to fish early and late when the sun is not high.

▪ FALL RIVERWater conditions are great and the fishing has been excellent. The better hatches have been going off in the mornings. This is one of the rivers that will close on Nov. 15.

▪ UPPER HAT CREEK – Fishing here is at its best early in the day before the sun gets high in the sky and then right at sunset. The Power House No. 2 riffle is still worth checking out. This is one of the rivers that will close on Nov. 15.

▪ McCLOUD RIVERWater conditions have improved after the mud slide and fishing has been fair. This is one of the rivers that will close on Nov. 15.

▪ PIT RIVERIt continues to fish well. September and into October are high season months here, but bring a staff as the rocks and boulders in here are unforgiving. This is one of the rivers that will close on Nov. 15.

▪ SHASTA LAKE – Cover lots of water and target the first 5 feet with crankbaits and spinnerbaits for bass. If you can find shade on hard structure like rock or wood in the afternoon head to that. Best bet has been the first two and last two hours of the day. Look for bass rounding up the baitfish.


▪ BERKELEY – Berkeley Charterboats were on the salmon, with a fish-per-rod to full limits all week. Flying Fish and New El Dorado III had big fish honors. Pier and shore fishers caught perch. PBers made runs throughout Central Bay and San Pablo Bay to put the hammer down on hungry striped bass.

▪ BODEGA BAY – Salmon stood their ground at 10-mile Beach where good consistent counts were boated by private boats and party boats including New Sea Angler. Point Reyes area gave up great sacks of rockfish and lingcod, with individual lings to 23 pounds.

▪ EMERYVILLE – Mid- to late-week salmon counts climbed up the charts to better than a fish per rod. By the weekend, most boats were harvesting piles of rockfish and some quality lingcod at nearby Marin Coast. C-Gull II on Saturday put 17 salmon aboard for 16 anglers.

▪ EUREKA – Pacific halibut fishing was successful, with multiple fish in the thirties. A kayaker got the best Pacific halibut of the week. Cape Mendocino and in particular, Blunts Reef, were the prime hotspots for rockfish and lingcod hunters. An all-lady’s trip on Reel Steel resulted in full limits of both rockfish and lingcod. Jetty fishers got kelp greenling and rockfish.

▪ FORT BRAGG – Strong tides from the full moon made abalone gathering a successful pastime, right in time for the World Famous Abalone Cookoff, sponsored by Subsurface Progression Dive shop. Those same big tides made it possible to catch some very large cabezon, lingcod and rockfish. There were no signs of any albacore within striking distance.

▪ HALF MOON BAY – Salmon, preparing to spawn, continued to mill about inside and outside of the harbor in Half Moon Bay where the net-raising of smolts has obviously helped the local fishery. Boaters, kayakers and shore fishers all targeted them with trolling gear or small spin lures like the Blue Fox. Limits of lings were achieved, along with limits of rockfish on some days aboard Queen of Hearts and Riptide. Surf fishers got into good action on barred surfperch.

▪ SAN FRANCISCO – Party boats Wacky Jacky, Lovely Martha and Bass Tub hauled salmon over their rails, within a short distance of the Gate. Boats also went after bass, halibut and sharks. Striped bass went nuts in San Pablo Bay and halibut bit well at the islands of Central Bay.


▪ AMERICAN RIVER – The salmon spawning area on the American River above the power lines at the lower end of Ancil Hoffman Park closes to fishing on Oct. 31. Flows have gone down to 1,150 cfs, and hopefully will hold at that level throughout the salmon spawning season. Steelhead fishing was okay with nightcrawlers, Little Cleos and Kastmasters getting a strike or two, Salmon fishing continued to be very slow, but a few dark fish were being caught by flossing fish around Sailor Bar.

▪ FOLSOM LAKE – The lake has gone below the 400-foot elevation and a 5 mph is required now. It’s the fall pattern for bass. Fish using your electronics hanging over old rock tailings and river channels at the end of the Peninsula. Fish 20 to 30 feet deep with jigs, drop-shotting and Carolina-rigging. Some reaction bite can be good in the morning.

▪ RANCHO SECO LAKE – Some nice bass are continuing to be being caught on weightless Senkos close to dark. And even topwater plugs might get a strike early or late. Red-eared sunfish are biting worms under bobbers.

▪ SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento – Salmon fishing was only “so-so” last week, according to Allan Fong of Fisherman’s Warehouse, with bank fishermen doing better than boaters because boaters are keeping lures close to the bottom when fish are swimming nearer the surface far off the bottom. Fish Flying “C” spinners in chartreuse at places like Minnow Hole and Discovery Park Miller Park, Garcia Bend, Freeport, and Verona have been producing some fish.

▪ SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding – Most folks are concentrating on salmon, but trout fishing continued to be very good fishing nymphs under indicators, and there was a bit of some dry fishing late in the evening.

▪ YUBA RIVER – The Yuba River is flowing at about 400 cfs. The lower Yuba below DeGuerre dam down to Sycamore Ranch has been good in the warmer weather on hopper indicators with a small caddis nymph dropper.


▪ BOCA LAKE – The lake is at 20.9-percent capacity. With the lake level up a little each week, fishing should be better at the inlet with the increased flows for lure casters, bait soakers, and flycasters.

▪ CAPLES LAKE – The lake is at 70-percent capacity. The night time temps have been dropping down into freezing range and the water temp was down to 57 degrees. Caples Lake Resort will close for the season on Oct. 20. Fishing was improving with the cooler temps.

▪ CARSON RIVER (East, West) – Alpine County stocked 1800 pounds of 1- to 5-pound rainbows this past Saturday (450 pounds in the West and 1350 pounds in the East) and fishing was excellent in both the East and West Carson. One couple from Hollister, who had never fished before, caught 9 trout in the 2- to 4-pound class on salmon eggs in 2 hours on Saturday evening. Heenan Lake was kicking out double-digit catches of cutthroats to 26 inches.

▪ DAVIS LAKE – The lake is at 54-percent capacity. Ed Dillard at Dillard’s Guided Fishing reported fishing was sporadic—good one day and slow the next. Trollers were picking up some limits on red-dot frog Needlefish and copper/red head Wee Dick Nites. Shore anglers were scoring rainbows to 22 inches at Mallard and Fairview using pink eggs and corn floating dough baits. Flyfishermen were catching 3 to 10 fish sight casting for rainbows up feeding on the flats mid-morning using rust Wiggletails from Jenkins to Cow Creek, Fairview, and Mosquito Slough.

▪ DONNER LAKE – The lake is at 53-percent capacity. Shore fishing was slow for rainbows. Trollers were catching “next year” class kokanee in the 8- to 10-inch size range using dodger/RGT’s at 30 to 50 feet deep.

▪ FEATHER RIVER CANYON – The North Fork was producing some nice native rainbows from the resort to the powerhouse dam, according to Mike Hanson at Caribou Crossroads Resort. Dick Mason at Dick’s Guide Service fished Butt Valley Lake this past week with two clients and caught 4 rainbows to 19 inches, two 3-pound smallmouth bass, and a 2-pound catfish trolling threaded nightcrawlers. The bite here should get better as the water cools.

▪ FRENCHMAN LAKE – The lake is at 35-percent capacity. Trolling was still good across from the Frenchman ramp using copper/red head Wee Dick Nite spoons at 18 feet deep over 25 feet of water. Flyfishermen were picking up a few fish in Big Cove on red Copper John’s. Shore anglers were scoring on nice rainbows at the dam using inflated nightcrawlers.

▪ GOLD LAKES BASIN – The evening bite at the Gold Lake boat ramp was good for browns and rainbows casting a 1/4- or 3/8-ounce Kastmaster from shore.

▪ ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR – The lake is at 82-percent capacity. This lake is outside the closure zone, but there hasn’t been much traffic here since the King Fire.

▪ INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR – With the Carson River stocked this past week, everyone was fishing the river. This lake will get stocked after the end of the stream season in mid-November.

▪ JACKSON MEADOW RESERVOIR – The lake is at 63-percent capacity. Trolling was good for the few anglers willing to brave the crowds of deer hunters in the area since the hunting season opened.

▪ JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park) – Sly Park Resort reported fishing was slow with only a few big bluegill being caught by the kids near the boat docks on worms.

▪ LOON LAKE – The lake is at 52-percent capacity. Launching was good and fishing was, too, for trollers using dodger/worms in the top 20 feet.

▪ PROSSER LAKE – The lake is at 27-percent capacity. Smallmouth bass fishing was still good at the dam and nearby rocky points using Rapalas, tube jigs, and plastic worms in browns and greens.

▪ PYRAMID LAKE – The fishing has been spectacular for big fish. On two consecutive trips with the same clients, Joe Mendes at Eagle Eye Charters scored cutthroats weighing 12 and 18 pounds along with lots of fish less than 24 inches trolling bloody frog Apex at 35 to 45 feet deep at Warrior Point. Fishing shallower was producing lots of smaller fish and 50 to 60 fish days were a real possibility. Crosby’s Lodge reported they had weighed in 59 more cutthroats over 10 pounds between Oct 6 and Oct 12 with the two biggest weighing 21 3/4 and 20 pounds!! George Molino at Cutthroat Charters reported he caught 12 fish to 22 inches in 3- to 4-foot wind chop on Sunday trolling Apex at 80 feet deep on the west side of the lake.

▪ RED LAKE – Little to report from this little lake—fish at the dam or the inlet for the best chance at picking up some small brookies and cutthroats.

▪ SILVER LAKE – The lake is at 43-percent capacity. Trolling and shore fishing should be improving as the water cools.

▪ STAMPEDE RESERVOIR – The lake is at 25-percent capacity. Launching is for small boats only off the shore with 4-wheel drive. Mountain Hardware and Sports reported trollers were catching “next year” class kokanee in the 8- to 10-inch size range using dodger/RGT’s at 35 to 50 feet deep.

▪ TRUCKEE RIVER – The river was running very low this past week—only 80 cfs at Stateline. Now would be a good time to visit the river and map out the structure, so when the river flows increase, you’ll know where the lies are located and can outfish your buddies. The main river is fishing much like the Little Truckee normally is—small flies, light leaders, and a stealthy approach to the water, but the fish are concentrated in the deepest available water.

▪ UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR – The lake is at 63-percent capacity. This lake is in the El Dorado Forest fire closure zone.

▪ WEST WALKER RIVER – Sam Foster at the Northern Mono Chamber of Commerce talked to a local DFW retiree who fished recently and he reported catching lots of 1 1/2- to 2-pound rainbows in the deeper pools, despite the fact there have been no recent trout plants. Fishing pressure has been light according to the West Walker Motel with most folks visiting the area to view the fall colors.


▪ AMADOR LAKE – Cooler weather has triggered an increased bite for bass and catfish. The bass were biting well for anglers tossing topwater lures early and late. The catfish were biting for anglers soaking livers, nightcrawlers, or anchovies.

▪ CAMANCHE LAKE – A few anglers have been trying for catfish, bass, and trout. Catfish have been biting the best with chicken livers or nightcrawlers. Bass anglers have been fishing topwater early and late. Trout anglers are trolling along the dam or by Hat Island.

▪ DON PEDRO RESERVOIR– Live bait has been working the best for bass anglers, but a few anglers are tossing topwater lures in the shallows early and late. Trout anglers are trolling deep for a few fish.

▪ LAKE McCLURE – A few bass are still biting live bait around Barrett’s Cove. Most anglers are avoiding the lake due to the launching difficulties off of the Barrett’s Cove North Ramp, which is the only open ramp on the lake.

▪ LAKE McSWAIN – With the recent heavy plants, there are plenty of fish in the lake. Anglers did the best early and late while casting or trolling silver and blue Kastmasters. Most of the fish are still concentrated near the dock area.

▪ NEW HOGAN RESERVOIR – Striper action has been hit or miss. Anglers who find a slow day for stripers have been switching gears and fishing for black bass with good results. Crankbaits in white, crawdad, or shad colors work the best.

▪ NEW MELONES RESERVOIR – The cooler weather helped perk the bass up this week. Catching 20 or more fish a day is not uncommon. Drop-shot rigs, jigs, and dartheads work best. There has also been plenty of catfish action on frozen shad for anglers fishing late into the night.

▪ LAKE PARDEE – A few anglers made it out to try for trout, but it was hit or miss for most. A few reported success fishing in shallow water with brown colored grubs. A few bass anglers also reported good success with the lake’s smallmouth while fishing near the rock wall.


▪ AMERICAN RIVER – Check ahead with the Forest Service for the latest access conditions in this area due to cleanup efforts after the King Fire. Foresthill R.S.—530-367-2224; Georgetown R.S.—530-333-4312.

▪ BULLARDS BAR – The lake is at 42-percent capacity. Emerald Cove Marina reported boat launching was still good at the Dark Day ramp—the marina ramp was closed due to the low water level. Bass fishing should be improving with cooler weather.

▪ CAMP FAR WEST – North Shore Resort reported the lake was down to 5-percent capacity and boat launching was difficult at best. Small boats can launch off the shore with 4-wheel drive—the banks were muddy. One angler reported catching 42 bass and 3 catfish, so fishing was good.

▪ ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR – The lake is at 93-percent capacity. Skippers Cove Marina announced they were getting 2500 pounds of rainbows from PG&E in the next 2 weeks—1500 pounds were going into the pen-rearing program, and 1000 pounds would be released into the lake.

▪ FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR – The lake is at 34-percent capacity. The road was opened to the lake, but the area has lots of cleanup activity going on due to the massive King Fire. Check with the Foresthill Ranger Station for the latest info on access for hunting and fishing in this area since it can change daily due to the cleanup work, 530-367-2224.

▪ HELL HOLE RESERVOIR – The lake is at 24-percent capacity. The road to the lake is still closed due to cleanup efforts by the Forest Service. Check with the Georgetown Ranger Station for the latest access info at 530-333-4312.

▪ LAKE OROVILLE – The lake is at 30-percent capacity—down 229 feet. Guide Ron Gandolfi reported the full moon this past week slowed the bite to 75 fish per day from 100 to 150 fish per day. The topwater bite early in the morning was sporadic, but producing bigger fish on buzzbaits, Spooks, and Persuader Walking Pops worked on rocky flats. The tube, Senko, worm, drop-shot bite was still very consistent at 10 to 20 feet deep on steep walls and points in the Slot, North Fork, and West Branch. Boats were still launching at the Spillway and Bidwell Marina.

▪ ROLLINS LAKE – The lake is at 77-percent capacity. The bass bite was very good on topwater early in the morning and on worms and jigs after the sun hit the water.

▪ SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE – The lake is at 48-percent capacity. Lots of 2- to 3-pound smallmouth bass and a few nice largemouth bass were hitting jigs and worms on the Cascade Shore end of the dam, according to Jim Caldwell at NID. Small aluminum boats and bass boats were still able to launch at the marina ramp.

▪ SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR – Not much happening here since the Tahoe National Forest lifted all their closures after the King Fire was contained.

▪ STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR – The lake is at 47.5-percent capacity. Access to this area was still closed by the El Dorado National Forest after the King Fire.

▪ THERMOLITO AFTERBAY – The lake was at 133.2-foot elevation at press time—76-percent capacity. There was still a good bite for 2- to 4-pound bass on buzzbaits and frogs around the edges and over the tops of the weed beds and in front of the tules. Senkos and jigs pitched to the outside pockets in the tules and grass beds were working, too.


SACRAMENTO RIVER side — Salmon fishing was best in lower Suisun Bay with the action in the upper Delta slowing down with the rise in water temperature. Water hyacinth dominate the Sacramento River form Decker Island north to the Deep Water Channel with the aquatic vegetation moving up and down with the tide. In lower Suisun Bay, Dillon Point State Park remained the best location in the early mornings with improved action at First Street in Benicia in the afternoons at high tide. In the upper Delta, lure casters are finding better action than jigging spoons with the fish moving through the water column near the surface or at midlevel. Liberty Island is a solid location for stripers in the shallows, but the fish move out when the wind is blowing. Sturgeon fishing in the Pittsburg area has been spotty, but anglers are picking up diamondbacks on a daily basis from Pittsburg to Chain Island.

SAN JOAQUIN RIVER side — Heavy aquatic vegetation has made for difficult conditions on the San Joaquin for trolling, plug casting, or anchoring, and striper fishermen are migrating to the Sacramento River south of Decker Island to find clearer waters. Schoolie stripers are taken on butterflied shad or live mudsuckers on the anchor while plugging swimbaits is effective when the vegetation has moved out. Fresh shad is readily available throughout the Delta bait shops from Stockton west to Pittsburg. Bluegill action continued to be excellent off of Eight Mile Road, Holland Tract, Bethel Island, or Big Break with wax worms being the top bait. Catfish are plentiful in the sloughs with fresh or frozen clams, sardines, or fresh shad.

– Western Outdoor News