Fishing Line

Salmon slow after season opener

Here are the best places to fish in the Sacramento region, Northern California and beyond for the week of July 20, 2015.



Salmon fishing was slow at Discovery Park for last week’s opener, but decent numbers of fish were reported below Nimbus Dam.


The Outlet Hole produced the best fishing in the region for the salmon opener, with Blue Fox spinners working well. Guides also got into fish between the Outlet and Gridley on sardine-wrapped FlatFish. Some stripers are being caught on cut bait near Shanghai Bend.

▪ SACRAMENTO RIVER, Knight’s Landing

Some salmon were caught last week by anglers running sardine-wrapped plugs near Verona. Overall action was slow.

▪ SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff to Colusa

Last week’s salmon opener was very slow, with few kings caught. Warm water stalled the action for the salmon holding between Red Bluff and Chico.


The salmon opener was poor. Stripers are once again being caught in the deepwater channel at the Port of Sacramento. Catfish also are being caught from Sailboat Cove.

▪ DELTA REGION: Sacramento River

A solitary king salmon was been landed in the Delta during the opening week of river salmon season with the fish taken at Freeport’s Minnow Hole from the shoreline on a Flying C. Smallmouth bass are still in the upper river along the rocky structure, and crankbaits, live crawdads, or wacky-rigged Senkos are effective. The smallies are in deeper water. A few quality stripers are taken on frozen sardines with garlic spray. Catfishing is best in Lisbon Slough or the Sacramento Deep Water Channel with live crawdads, nightcrawlers, or chicken livers.

▪ DELTA REGION: San Joaquin River

Largemouth bass are the top species in the San Joaquin side of the Delta, and punching the mats with Missile’s D-Bombs on a 1- to 1.5-ounce weight is an effective technique. Buzzbaits, spinnerbaits, or ripbaits are also working in the warm waters of the river outside of the weed line. Moving current is the key to bass fishing. Small striped bass dominate catches, and unlimited numbers of 9- to 12-inch fish are abundant throughout the main river and the sloughs. Large stripers continue to be found on a weekly basis, but they are the exception. Jumbo red worms or wax worms are working for panfish in Whiskey Slough, Bacon Island Road, Holland Tract, Orwood Marina, Clifton Court Forebay, and off of Eight Mile Road. Crappie action has slowed considerably. Fresh and frozen shad is no available in the bait shops closest to Stockton.


▪ ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Oregon

The lower bay is best during low tide and the upper bay in front of the River View Restaurant near high tide is usually best, according to guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets. “Last weeks fishing for salmon was good for those who got out to go fishing,” he said. “There are a few more boats on the water with about the same number of king salmon being caught daily as last week. It is going to be a memorable August this season, and September is most likely going to be just as great. For up to date fishing conditions you can give the guys a call at the Rogue Outdoor Store.”

▪ ROGUE RIVER, Grant’s Pass, Oregon

Some fall Chinook are being caught in the Grants Pass areas on sardine-wrapped Kwikfish or tuna balls soaked in Pautzke’s,” said Troy Whitaker at U-Save Tackle in Grants Pass. “Some summer steelies are falling for small plugs like the Kwikfish or Brads Pee Wee. Salmon fishing in the Shady Cove area remains fair, but area closes at end of month. Applegate Lake remains fair for trout on trolled Wedding Rings, Apex and Wicked Lures. Same at Lost Creek and Galevsille. Bass fishing is fair to good at most lakes on plastics, swimbaits and crankbaits. If you want trout action, try the higher, cooler lakes, like Fish Lake, Diamond Lake and Lake of the Woods. Use Pautzkes on single egg hook or Power Baits are working well.

▪ ROGUE RIVER, Midsection, Oregon

There is a closure at the lower part of the river from the tidewater (estuary) up to Fishers Ferry boat ramp: The river is closed after 2 p.m. daily due to low, hot water. Fishing is fair at best, as fish that enter the estuary don’t move upstream into the warm flows of the river proper.


“Well, those feisty smallmouth bass can provide a different fishing opportunity in the wine country,” said WON Field Reporter Scott Green of Monster Fishing Tackle. “With water flows very low, smallies in the 8- to12-inch range can be found in the deeper holes along the Russian River. Grab your smaller topwater baits like 4-inch Robo sculpin worms and make a day of it. No giants in this system, but you can catch quite a few smaller ones, which can be fun on light tackle. Some of the better areas have been from Alexander Valley to Healdsburg with plenty of deeper holes, also down in the Burke run.”

▪ UMPQUA RIVER, Reedsport, Oregon

King salmon are being caught on the lower Umpqua River and estuary, according to WON Field Reporter and guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets. “A few Chinook salmon were caught as high as Windy Bend this last week near Reedsport. The warm drought conditions in the valleys will more than likely stack fish up in the lower river this fall season, making it possibly a very good year for sport fishing.



Fishing pressure has been very light between Iron Gate and Interstate 5, although some trout and halfpounder steelhead are available. Salmon won’t show up until the first of September. Flows Sunday at Iron Gate Dam were 907 cfs.


Fishing has slowed for trout and steelhead. Some halfpounders are being reported near Orleans. Flows at Seiad Valley were 967 cfs on Sunday.

▪ KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen

Anglers trolling Kastmasters, small spinners and small plugs are catching king salmon and summer steelhead near the mouth. Fishing slowed early last week after thunderstorms dirtied the water, but action improved again for the weekend. Several salmon are being caught each day near the mouth. Flows on Sunday at Terwer were 2,450 cfs. The water temperature was up to 77 degrees on Sunday. The Blue Creek section is now closed until Sept. 14.


Spring salmon fishing has been fair to good. The river is now at summertime levels with water temperatures above normal. The best bet for springers is the cooler water closer to Lewiston.



Chasing bass is still a game of working around the little ones to get to the better ones. Anglers caught bass on plastic worms, mid-depth crankbaits, surface baits and jigs. The better action has been midlake and the two deeper arms of Rattlesnake and Redbud.


A lot of the kokes are on or over structure. Try RMT (Rocky Mountain Tackle) 5 1/2-inch hyper plaid Bahama Mama Dodgers with a lot of different Apex spoons with Pautzke Fire Corn. Fish were caught in the 69- to 90-foot range fishing from the Narrows out west along Skiers Cove. The good topwater bite is gone with the hot water. Try drop-shot or dartheading shad patterned worms.


Unless you make a night fishing trip for bass, plan on some tougher conditions for them. Steelie trollers are targeting the 35- to 50-foot range and hooking one to three fish to 16 inches with nightcrawlers, trolling flies and shad patterned hardware.



Try nightcrawlers behind dodgers in 25 feet on the east side of peninsular and east shoreline for trout.


Fishing should be good here all summer since water condition are consistently cold and clear. Go early if you want to use dry flies.


Try running watermelon dodgers with Uncle Larry’s pink tiger spinners or needlefish spoons for trout.


Start in the Eagles Nest area at first light anchored in 50 feet of water and go bobber fishing with threaded nightcrawlers. Then head to the homes in front of the Eagles Nest in 50 to 60 feet of water with lead core 5 to 6 colors behind the boat for some trolling.


With the Hex hatch still going strong, so has the fishing. But be on the water early for the surface action. A popular and technique here is retrieving dark or olive colored leeches on a sinking line.


Fishing is at its best here early before the sun gets high in the sky and then right at sunset as there are a variety of hatches going off. The Power House No. 2 Riffle has been fishing well, but has also been a little crowded. Expect a lot of fish, and the possibility of some nice ones.


Fish the shoreline and structure for better action early and late. Fishing has been fair to good, but check the special regulations here.


The fishing here has been good but get out early or just before sunset. It’s been hot up here.


Fish early and then fish the shade pockets mid-day. The evening bite has been fair. The good fishing should continue over the next few weeks. This is a great summertime river.


Remember to fish early and late, as there is a lot of traffic out there now. Apexs in watermelon and Wiggle Hoochies in white or blue are just about the only thing trout are taking right now but the fishing has been good. If you want to try for salmon work from 100 to 120 down rolling shad and or anchovies but there have not been many reports. Fish early and late for bass. Baitfish are close in so anything with a shad pattern will work.



Bass fishing has been good in the main body using drop-shot rigs and plastics. The 5 mph speed limit has reduced boat traffic on the lake. A few trout are being caught by trollers.


Bass and trout fishing is slow.


The city of Dunsmuir has stocked hundreds of 14- to 22-inch rainbows. 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 below the Highway 44 bridge. Salmon season opened July 16 below the Red Bluff Diversion Dam and opens Aug. 1 above it.



The lake is at 12.8-percent capacity. With increased flows from Stampede scheduled, fishing at the inlet in the early morning should improve. During the heat of the day, the trout head for deep water.


The lake is at 93-percent capacity. Caples Lake Resort reported fishing was good from the shore at the dam where one angler caught a 5-pound rainbow. Trolling was slow for 20 fishing club members who only landed 10 fish. Most of the fish weighed from 2 to 5 1/2 pounds and were caught on threaded nightcrawlers and flasher/’crawlers all over the lake.

▪ CARSON RIVER (East, West)

The West Carson was stocked by the DFW this past week. Alpine County will stock another 1800 pounds late this week. With a break in the rain, the East Carson cleared and fishing was very good for limits of rainbows on salmon eggs, nightcrawlers and floating dough bait. Alpine County stocked 1800 pounds of trophy rainbows in nearby Alpine Lake for a kids’ derby and there were plenty of fish left after the event.


The lake is at 52-percent capacity. Fishing was slow with warmer water temps and heavy weed growth. The best action was at Mallard Point for the few shore anglers in the right place to cast into deep water 50 yards offshore, or anchoring a boat in 30 feet of water. Catfish are being caught near the dam using garlic floating dough bait on a 24-inch leader.


The lake is at 69-percent capacity and was stocked by the DFW this past week. Kokanee were sitting on top of the hump between China Cove and Loch Leven—jigging at 60 to 75 feet deep might be the best technique instead of losing a lot of trolling gear. Macks were hitting No. 3 Needlefish in Cop Car at 80 to 110 feet deep. Look for planter rainbows near the west end boat launch and north side piers.


Mike Hanson at Caribou Crossroads Resort reported PG&E cut the high flows into the North Fork and the river cleared up and fishing took off. Anglers were catching limits of 12- to 14-inch rainbows on worms, salmon eggs and crickets.


The lake is at 30-percent capacity. Wiggins Trading Post reported trout fishing was very slow. The boat ramp was restricted to small aluminum boats 12 feet and under.


Mark Tieslau at Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden reported trolling was excellent at Lower Sardine Lake in the middle of the lake using flasher/worm combos or a Panther Martin at 10 to 12 feet deep.


The lake is at 80-percent capacity. Dale Daneman at Dale’s Foothill Fishing Service reported catching 14 fish to 15 1/2 inches on one trip and 10 rainbows to 14 inches on a second trip trolling Sep’s brown grubs with and without a watermelon Strike Master dodger at 5 to 40 feet deep, (5 to 25 feet one day and 25 to 40 the next)


Cast spoons and spinners from a small craft over the deep water in front of the dam for some nice quality Alpine County planters.


The lake is at 65-percent capacity and was stocked by the DFW this past week. Bret Brady at Bare Bones Guide Service reported a good bite for planters using flashers with Apex or a Sling Blade/Needlefish combo at 35 feet deep near the Pass Creek ramp, but pretty much anywhere on the north end of the lake was good.


The lake is at 79-percent capacity. Sly Park Resort reported the best action was for planter rainbows at the dam using worms and floating dough bait.


Chuck Self at Chuck’s Charter Fishing reported working hard for limits of 2- to 9-pound macks trolling 65 to 450 feet deep from Tahoe City to Crystal Bay Point. Mike Nielsen at Tahoe Topliners Sportfishing reported doing well jigging off South Shore at 120 to 220 feet deep for limits of 2- to 6-pound macks. Zach Gordon at Tahoe Sportfishing reported catching nice limits of 3- to 6-pound macks in the early morning on the west side near Rubicon bouncing live bait on the bottom in 140 to 170 feet of water. Kokanee trolling was still slow for all.


The lake is at 52-percent capacity. A friend of Ken Mathis of Ken’s Custom Tackle fished here this past week and found poor fishing, tough launching conditions, and hazardous boating due to many high spots and rocks exposed due to the low water level.


The lake is at 26.3-percent capacity. Soaking bait in the middle of the lake over the channel could produce some nice rainbows. The smallmouth bass bite was very sporadic—here today, gone tomorrow.


In a word—slow.


The lake is at 86-percent capacity and was stocked by the DFW this past week. Trolling should be good along with shore fishing near the boat ramp/dam.


The lake is at 16-percent capacity. James Netzel at Tight Lines Guide Service reported the kokanee bite got TOUGH!! The kokes were schooled up in a 3- to 5-acre area in front of the dam and the 35 boats from the Kokanee Power Derby just put too much pressure on them. Netzel caught 5 fish on Friday and only 3 on Saturdaytrolling dodger/RMT hoochies. Brett Brady at Bare Bone Guide Service reported pretty much the same bite. He caught fish up to 17 inches before the derby and had a tough time with all the boats stacked in such a small area for the derby.


Topaz Landing Marina was closed and the Douglas County Park ramp was still open with no courtesy dock. Fishing was slow.


Fortunately, very few people were fishing the river with flows so low and water so warm. Leave this river alone to protect this valuable fishery.


The lake is at 72-percent capacity. The kokanee bite was still sporadic at 30 to 50 feet deep over 80 feet of water using dodger/hoochies and spinners in pink or orange.


The Little Walker and West Walker at Pickel Meadows and the Canyon were stocked by the DFW this past week and are all scheduled for more DFW plants this week. The Walker General Store weighed in 17 fish over 5 pounds this past week including a 7.8 pounder caught by Russell Cunningham of Pioneer. With a break in the rain, the flows dropped and cleared up and fishing took off. Flyfishermen were having a ball catching-and-releasing fish to 7 pounds.



Boats including California Dawn and Happy Hooker showed their adaptability and versatility during a week of wind and minus tides. Trips featured bass to 25 pounds and halibut to 19 pounds in the morning, then rockfish and lingcod in the afternoon. El Dorado made runs to Point Reyes for great bottom fish.


An improving salmon bite got some enthusiasm going, especially since the fish were of substantial size. The biggest reported for the week was 31 pounds. Halibut kept the faith in Tomales Bay and along the beaches near Lawson’s Landing. Lingcod and rockfish went nuts, with skilled anglers hauling in high counts of lingcod, adding to boat limits aboard New Sea Angler.


Salmon were caught 4 miles off the beach and albacore were taken 20 miles offshore. The salmon were a mix of Chinook and silvers. Wild Rivers Fishing Guide, Andy Martin reported 10 salmon before noon Sunday and a half dozen hatchery silvers. Sunday was the first day of the season when albacore were caught out of Brookings.


Sundance, C Gull II, Sea Wolf, New Huck Finn, New Salmon Queen, New Seeker, Tiger Fish and Wet Spot all managed limits of rockfish. Bass counts were high and at times reached limits. Sundance achieved limits of salmon on Sunday. On Tuesday, New Easy Rider boated over 20 salmon.


Pacific halibut finished their July open period strongly with a 71 pounder caught and a 50 pounder. A great salmon bite erupted near Cape Mendocino where lingcod and rockfishing was fantastic. Shelter Cove anglers also got into a solid salmon bite.


Salmon proved agreeable early in the day and PBers were able to leave early and catch a few fish before the bite slowed. Telstar hauled in a few salmon and then brought aboard great quantities of rockfish and lingcod, on trips down the coast to and beyond Mendocino Headlands.


Striped bass swarmed sandy beaches throughout the area, providing great evening action. Huli Cat, Queen of Hearts and Riptide worked primarily on lingcod and rockfish along productive spots to the south. Huli Cat spent some time chasing salmon and boated a couple before switching to bottom fish.


Bass Tub banged bass and halibut in the morning, then went outside the Gate and added rockfish and lingcod to the stacks of fish. Wacky Jacky and Lovely Martha found salmon fishing to be a good fish per rod.



Catfishing has been outstanding with several fish over 15 pounds landed within the past week. Nightcrawlers , chicken livers, prepared dough baits, or nightcrawlers are all effective with the best action in Jackson Creek or Carson Cove. Crappie are holding in the submerged structure along the shorelines. 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. Trout stocking will resume in October when the water temperature is cool enough to sustain plants.


A huge catfish estimated at over 20 pounds was caught in the South Shore Trout Pond at night on frozen shad. This was a very unusual catch since few catfish come out of the pond. Catfish are the top species at the lake in the warm water conditions. The North Shore Ramp will be closed until July 24 for repairs. Holdover trout are hanging around in the deeper water near the dam, and there are a few kokanee that have come in from overflows from Lake Pardee. The lake is as shallow as 60 feet near the dam, and boaters must be careful and watch their depth.


King salmon and rainbow trout action have improved at depths from 30 to 60 feet near Jenkins Hill and Fleming Bay with blue/silver Excel spoons or Kastmasters in similar color patterns. Kokanee schools appear to be holding deep, but they have been unwilling to bite. The lake continues to steadily release water, and patience is required to launch a boat from the one-lane ramp at Fleming Meadows. Bass fishing remained best with live minnows from the bank, and large minnows have reemerged in area bait shops.


The South Barrett Cove launch ramp has closed as the water level has dropped to 11% of capacity. The North Barrett Cove ramp is still operational with no time restrictions. The ramp requires a long walk back to the parking lot unless you arrive early. Catfish and bass can be found near the dam in the deepest water in the lake with medium to large minnows. Information on the launch ramp is available at (855) 222-5253.


The McSwain Marina is now closed on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. More spotted bass than rainbow trout are being caught by trollers as the water temperatures are warm and the bass are coming over from the Lake McClure dam. There will be no future trout plants for the summer, and a decision for future plants will be reviewed in August based upon the water temperatures.


Catfish continued to be the best option for shoreline fishermen as they are the only species holding in the shallows of the lake. The baitfish have gone into the deepest portions of the lake near the dam and main river channel, and the spotted bass and rainbow trout are following the bait. Kokanee fishing is only fair with few anglers trying. The launch ramp is limited to the dirt ramp at Glory Hole Point, and a 4WD tow vehicle in essential.


The lake has dropped to the point where the courtesy dock is at its limit. Striped bass fishing continued to be slow, but the linesides are boiling on the surface in response to hot weather conditions. The low pool of water is concentrating the shad schools, and the stripers are busy chasing the baitfish. The lake has dropped to 14% of capacity, but launching a boat is still possible with care and caution.


The lake has closed due to a major reconstruction of the RV Park over the remainder of the summer, and it will reopen in February 2016 with heavy trout plants anticipated for the opener.


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



The river was running low and clear. Hike down to the deeper pools on the North Fork and Middle Fork for plenty of rainbows and few browns.


The lake is at 52-percent capacity. Emerald Cove Marina reported their ramp was still in operation as was the ramp at Dark Day. Kokanee trolling was still good and catfishing was improving with the warmer water temps.


North Shore Resort reported their boat ramp was still in operation, but warned boaters to be on the lookout for shallow hazards (rocks and islands). There was heavy recreational boat traffic on the lake and fishing was slow.


The lake is 42 feet from full. Warm water species were providing the bulk of the action—catfish, bass and panfish. Cats to 6 1/4 pounds, bass to 4 1/4, and lots of bluegill and redears were filling stringers especially at night. Trout fishing was very slow with the rainbows holed up in the deepest water in the lake. The main ramp was still useable, but the auxiliary ramp will open August 15.


The lake is at 96-percent capacity. Lisa Rogers at Skippers Cove Marina reported houseboaters were catching rainbows in the marina using nightcrawlers. Boaters running up past the confluence of the North and South Yuba were catching a few nice rainbows and browns on ‘crawlers.


The lake is at 38.7-percent capacity and was stocked by the DFW this past week. The Foresthill Ranger Station reported the French meadows boat ramp was out of the water, but the ground below the ramp was solid and small boaters could still launch—4x4 was recommended. Trolling and shore fishing should be good since the DFW plant.


The lake is at 42-percent capacity. The Georgetown Ranger Station reported small boats were still launching off the shore below the ramp but 4X4 was recommended. USFS staff reported anglers were scoring trout and kokanee.


The lake is at 35-percent capacity. Bass fishing was getting tough with the warmer weather and recreational boat traffic. A disabled veterans’ derby was held that treated 23 vets from 83 to 24 years old to a day on the lake. Bruce Gibson’s Paradise Tackle Company, Bass Pro Shops, and Sportsman’s Warehouse sponsored the event. Gary Ponciano won the derby with a 16 1/2-inch spot caught on a tube. Gibson said small bass to 13 inches were hitting drop-shot worms and bigger fish were taken on tubes on steep rocky walls in the Slot and North Fork. The ramps at Lime Saddle and the spillway are closed. Bidwell should have the low-water ramp available for about 3 weeks with the water dropping a foot per day. The State Parks and Rec people were working on the single lane gravel ramp at the dam and installing a dock and lighting—4-wheel drive will be highly recommended if not mandatory here.


The lake is at 94.6-percent capacity. Still no reliable source of reports available from NID.


The lake is at 54-percent capacity. Mike Dowd at the Scott’s Flat Marina reported the fishing as “slow and slower”. Boat launching at the marina was good, but the Cascade ramp was 5 feet out of the water and closed.


The Foresthill Ranger Station reported the boat ramp was still in operation, but fishing was slow. All the campgrounds were open with working water systems.


The Georgetown Ranger Station reported the campground would open by the end of July. Shore anglers were catching a few rainbows in the early morning while the water was still cool.


The lake was at the 135-foot elevation at press time—89-percent capacity. Bruce Gibson at the Paradise Tackle Company reported the bass bite was good for fish running 2 to 7 1/2 pounds using crankbaits, ripbaits and topwaters lures on the rocky banks in the early morning. The bite was best from safe light to 8 a.m. then it slowed way down. No problems launching here with the high water level.

– Western Outdoor News