Fishing Line

Salmon fishing slow on Sacramento River

Two anchored boats make for a comfortable spot for fishing near the confluence of the Sacramento and American rivers on Monday, October 7, 2013 in Sacramento, Ca.
Two anchored boats make for a comfortable spot for fishing near the confluence of the Sacramento and American rivers on Monday, October 7, 2013 in Sacramento, Ca.

Here are the best places to fish in the Sacramento region, Northern California and beyond for the week of July 27, 2015.



Shocking news … Berkeley Pier is closed due to “questionable structural stability.” Hopefully it will be fortified and reopened after being a very popular fishing spot for decades. Party boats hammered the bass, picked at the halibut and ran outside the Gate to do equally well on rockfish and lingcod. Happy Hooker and California Dawn posted limits of bass and rockfish through the week.

▪ CARSON RIVER (East, West)

The East Carson was stocked by the DFW and Alpine County this past week for a total of 2800 pounds of rainbows. Fishing in the East Carson was like fishing in a trout farm—everyone was catching limits of fish to 6 1/2 pounds on worms, salmon eggs, spinners, and flies.


The Feather has been the best bet for salmon, with fair fishing near the Outlet. Guides have been running T55 FlatFish and catching multiple fish a day. Some stripers are being caught on cut bait near Shanghai Bend.


The lake is at 78 percent capacity and was stocked by the DFW this past week and received a big plant for SMUD from Mt. Lassen Trout Farms. Dale Daneman at Dale’s Foothill Fishing Service reported catching 22 rainbows on his last trip to 16 inches, though most were 8- to 11-inch DFW planters. The trout were spread out from 15 to 35 feet deep and hit a Sep’s brown grub with and without a watermelon Strike Master Dodger. The lake was closed to boats for a time this past weekend to allow helicopters to dip water to fight the nearby Kyburz fire.

▪ SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff to Colusa

Salmon season opens Aug. 1 between Red Bluff and Anderson. The best fishing is expected to be in the barge hole. Trout fishing also re-opens Aug. 1 between the Highway 44 bridge and Keswick Dam. Fishing is expected to be very good.


Salmon fishing is poor. Stripers are once again being caught in the deepwater channel at the Port of Sacramento. Catfish also are being caught from Sailboat Cove.


▪ ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Oregon

The salmon fishing for chrome Chinook's has remained consistent through the month of July on the lower Rogue river, with almost all of the king salmon fishing being done on the Bay, according to guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Guide Service. “ Last week, trolling for salmon was good for many and nerve racking for others,” he said. “The salmon seem to be feeding at key points of the tide or day, however when the bite happens, the anglers come out of the woodwork and are ready to do battle with these line-peeling fish. I heard that most days of last week, when the fish did start to bite, there would sometimes be 3 or 4 anglers hooked up at a time out of the boats in the estuary.”

▪ ROGUE RIVER, Grant’s Pass, Oregon

Salmon fishing remains fair in the Shady Cove area and from Dodge Bridge down, and a few steelhead are also being caught. Back bouncing roe seems to be the best bet, said Troy Whitaker at U-Save Tackle in Grants Pass. “We fished the river from Gold Hill to Valley of Rogue to check it out, but only saw a few fall salmon being caught while back-bouncing roe or tuna balls. Lakes are still okay on bass and trout. At Applegate Lake, the smallmouth are being taken on cranks, jigs and plastic worms; some trout are being taken on trolled spinners. Galesville Reservoir is yielding small cohos on trolled plugs at the upper end of lake. The 5-mile buoy area is also good. Lost Creek Lake is getting lower and fishing is fair. It’s approaching low level lake records.”

▪ UMPQUA RIVER, Reedsport, Oregon

Fishing for salmon out of Reedsport has been alright this past week. “A couple anglers were about to stop fishing when they hooked up with a nice chrome salmon,” said guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets. “It wasn't two minutes after being back in the water fishing and they had another fish ready to go. So remember that going the extra hour can pay off well. Some days it was hard to find a fish that was interested in anything, but the other side of that report is that some boats did find their limits of chrome king salmon in the river. I know of two boats that were fishing about two hours when it was time to pull the rods and head for the dock because they had limits. Most of the angle's have been going out to sea when the bar is open for crossing so the river has been virtually deserved.”



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 896 cfs.


Fishing has slowed for trout and steelhead. Some halfpounders are being reported near Orleans. Flows at Seiad Valley were 990 cfs on Sunday.

▪ KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen

Fishing for steelhead is slow. Salmon are being caught in the estuary by anglers trolling small plugs, Kastmasters and spinners. Flows on Sundayat Terwer were 2,300 cfs. The water temperature was up to 74 degrees on Sunday. The Blue Creek section is now closed until Sept. 14.


Salmon are spread throughout the Trinity, with the best fishing in the cooler water between Lewiston and Douglas City. Anglers are pulling MagLip plugs in the morning and then switching to roe once the sun hits the water. Some summer steelhead were caught last week on leach and muddler minnow patterns. Indian gillnets were working full time downriver, because a lot of the salmon had net marks on them from being lucky and escaping.



A little cooling of the water helped improve the bite. You’ll still have to move around and pick through the little guys, though. Best depths were from 5 to 20 feet using on a combination of topwater baits, drop-shot worms, wacky rigged Senkos, shaky head worms and jigs.


Kokes continue to be found 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 tipped with Firecorn. Fish were caught in the 65- to 95-foot deep range fishing from the Narrows out west along Skiers Cove. For bass, hit the Narrows with jigs and worms and work primary and secondary points with deeper access for all three species of bass.


Target the long sloping points with a deeper edge to it for bass. Drop-shotting Roboworms in Oxblood has been the ticket in 15 to 35 feet of water.


Largemouth bass are starting to push bait balls of shad into smaller bays and pockets. Try an LV500 in ghost minnow and yo-yo the bait though the bait balls from a distance.



The trout bite was up and down. Both baitfishing nightcrawlers off the bottom and trolling them with dodgers produced trout. Bass fishing for smallmouth is picking up again. Shake 6-inch worms in 10 feet of water and fish early.


The water is consistently cold and clear and DFW plants trout here. Go early if you want to use dry flies although some days have been more productive than others. The bite slows from the afternoon to sunset.


The excellent bite continues here. Bobber fishermen are on the east side anchored in 50 to 55 feet fishing with a threaded nightcrawler at 25 to 28 feet. For trolling, just use whatever you like. Everyone is getting limits or near limits to 2 or 2 1/2 pounds plus a few larger ones now that the tui chi minnows have hatched.


Trout fishing has been fair to good, but move around. The Hex hatch is still happening after sundown and should continue through the end of July. If you are casting to a bunch of fish, you may get a chance at several if you are standing upstream and out of their sight.


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 flats below the Power House have been good for rising fish. Match the hatch with flies from your fly box.


Fish the shoreline and structure for better action on big rainbow and brown trout early and late. Fishing has been fair for some and good for others. Check the regulations for where you can fish and what you can use on this catch and release only lake.


The fishing here has been good, but get out early or just before sunset. It’s been hot up here. Many small fish are caught during the summer months, but the average size will becomes quite good in the fall. The average trout now is about 10 inches. Get your flies down, as the trout here do not like the sun.


Fish early and then fish the shade pockets mid-day. The evening bite has been fair. Try tossing yellow 1/8- or 1/4-ounce barbless hook Panther Martins with a silver blade for Pit River-strain rainbows in the Wild Trout section across riffles into deep holes and at the beginning of runs.


Remember to fish early and late, as there is a lot of traffic out there now. Try rolling 3- to 4-inch shad, Apexs and Wiggle Hoochies in the arms by Waters Gulch, Toupee Island, in front of the dam and the channels in Dry Creek at 50 feet in 75 to 80 feet of water. There’s still a lot of bait and they are spread out, so it’s tough to find bass. Try early and late in the day in the upper third of the arms.



Salmon fishing is fair to slow. Few salmon are being reported at the mouth of the American.


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, Red Bluff to Colusa

Salmon fishing remained slow last week. Anglers fishing for salmon ran into decent numbers of stripers and had good success with baits.

▪ SACRAMENTO RIVER, Knight’s Landing to Colusa

Fishing for catfish has been very good. Salmon fishing is slow.



The lake is at 14-percent capacity. With the bump up of the flows in the Little Truckee, fish were moving to the inlet to find cooler, more oxygenated water. Drifting bait from a small boat over the channel put anglers over the biggest concentration of fish in the lake.


The lake is at 92.4-percent capacity. Caples Lake Resort reported shore anglers were outfishing the trollers. Wood’s Creek inlet and Emigrant Bay were the most consistent producers for anglers using worms, salmon eggs, and floating dough bait. Rainbows to 3 to 4 pounds were mixed in with plenty of DFW planters.


The lake is at 51-percent capacity. Fishing slowed to a crawl this past week for trollers, but shore fishing at Mallard Point was producing some limits for experienced anglers. The secret was getting out EARLY and casting out 40 to 50 yards into deeper water with light line and floating dough bait.


The lake is at 69-percent capacity and was stocked by the DFW this past week. Kokanee to 15 1/2 inches, though most were 10- to 12-inch fish, were hitting dodger/hoochies and spinners at 75 feet deep over the hump between China Cove and Loch Leven. Some macks to 8 pounds were hitting spoons trolled 80 to 110 feet deep below schools of kokanee.


Mike Hanson at Caribou Crossroads Resort reported limits were still coming in from the North Fork for the few anglers out giving it a try. There were plenty of fish, just not much fishing pressure.


The lake is at 30-percent capacity. Wiggins Trading Post reported fishing was very slow with the fish concentrated in deep water. Boat launching was not recommended at the Frenchman ramp—boats were getting damaged, plus there’s no dock.


Lower Sardine Lake was stocked by the DFW this past week. Mark Tieslau at Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden reported fishing was wide-open at Lower Sardine and Packer for shore anglers and trollers--it doesn’t get any easier!! Gold Lake was still kicking out good numbers of planter rainbows, but the bigger browns and macks were deep.


Small boaters and float tubers were still scoring some of the Alpine County trophy rainbows in the deep water in front of the dam—float tubers be wary of the winds.


The lake is at 62.5-percent capacity. With the hotter weather, the trout were moving deeper, so try for the DFW planters at 30 to 50 feet deep with flashers/Apex and nightcrawlers.


The lake is at 77-percent capacity. Sly Park Resort reported trout fishing was slow with the hot weather, though bass were still hitting plastic worms, jigs, and live nightcrawlers.


Chuck Self at Chuck’s Charter Fishing reported he was working hard for half-limits of macks trolling 40 to 450 feet deep—fishing was TOUGH!! Zach Gordon at Tahoe Sportfishing reported some of the fleet had switched over to kokanee trolling and trips were producing 20 to 25 kokes and 2 to 4 macks. The 10- to 13-inch kokanee were hitting flasher/Wedding Ring combos at 75 feet deep and the 4- to 8-pound macks were at 150 feet deep below the schools of kokes hitting flasher/minnows. Mooching trips were producing limits of 2- to 6-pound macks at Homewood on live minnows at 170 to 180 feet deep.


The lake is at 51-percent capacity. The last report had a common theme--slow fishing, poor launching, and dangerous boating conditions due to shallow hazards.


The lake is at 26.3-percent capacity. Sporadic smallmouth bass action was found on rocky banks around the lake using crawdad imitations—crankbaits, worms, jigs, and tubes.


The lake level was dropping, but fishermen were still picking up a few cutthroats, according to Drew Meteer at Caples Lake Resort.


The lake is at 84.4-percent capacity. Trolling was slow as of the last available report.


The lake is at 16-percent capacity. James Netzel at Tight Lines Guide Service reported the kokanee bite had shut down. The lake was dangerously warm and an algae bloom was forming at an alarming rate.


The Douglas County Park reported the concrete ramp could still launch small fishing boats and personal watercraft. Larger boat owners with 4-wheel drive were launching off the shore at the “primitive area”. Trout and smallmouth bass fishing were both slow with the low lake level and warm water temps.


Mountain Hardware and Sports reported the river flows were too low and warm to support any fishing—leave this precious resource alone.


The lake is at 70-percent capacity. Kyle Neeser at Crystal Basin Tackle and Guide Service reported the kokanee bite was very sporadic with no limits being caught. The few being landed were 13- to 15-inch fish and they were hitting dodger/spinner, hoochies, or bug combos—be willing to change depths, colors, and speeds to find the right combination for success.


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 trout plants this week. The Walker General Store weighed in three 9 pounders this past week with a new “How Big is Big” Derby leader—Chris Fowler of Seaside with a 9.8-pound rainbow. All of the big fish were being caught in the Canyon where the bigger Mono County and Chamber of Commerce rainbows were stocked. The river was in fabulous condition and fishing was great for everyone.



Salmon showed up from Bodega Head to the key holes. The bite wasn’t red hot but some private boaters got 4 to 5 fish. Halibut bit smartly in Tomales Bay (especially near Hog Island) and along beaches near Lawson’s Landing. Lingcod and rockfish action aboard New Sea Angler and private boats was pretty much wide open.


Boats from Emeryville exercised options. Some went for salmon, some for rockfish and lingcod, some for bass and some ran combo trips. The shining example wasSea Wolf with 25 people bagging limits of rockfish, limits of lings to 17 pounds, limits of bass to 12 pounds, a 15-pound salmon and 7 rock sole to 3 pounds. Sundance on Sundaymanaged limits of salmon for 6 people. C Gull II got 17 salmon to 25 pounds for 12 folks.


Salmon fishing turned on near Cape Mendocino where salmon were working pinnacles to eat baby rockfish. Limits came quickly and then the same general area produced limits of rockfish and plenty of lingcod. Boaters out of Crescent City caught albacore as close as 15 miles offshore, though better activity was encountered 25 to 30 miles out.


Salmon teased but rarely pleased Fort Bragg boaters who valiantly spent time trolling or mooching near town. Lingcod and rockfish action made up for the lack of salmon, with limits of rockfish and good counts of lingcod in the teens, taken primarily from near Cleone.


Halibut decided it was time to go on the bite. One private boat got 3 right off of the radio towers. Many of the flatties came from downcoast, beginning near the Ritz. Party boats hammered the rockfish and hauled up lingcod. Striped bass fishing was phenomenal from above Half Moon Bay, through Pacifica and all the way to the Bay.


Flash and Flash II scored easy limits of bass at Arch Rock, Harding Rock and Raccoon Straits. The boats also got into wide open leopard shark fishing and also rockfish and lingcod. Bass Tub took limits of stripers and rockfish, plus a couple of halibut and 15 lingcod for 22 people.



Catfish are the top species, and big whiskerfish continued to be brought to the Tackle Box Café for weigh in on a regular basis. A 14-pound catfish was landed on a live crawdad near Jackson Creek this week. Nightcrawlers , chicken livers, or prepared dough baits 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 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.


Catfish remain the top species at the lake in the warm water conditions, but there have been limits of rainbow trout taken in the deepest water near the dam. Ponds have emerged along both the North and South Shores in response to the lake’s recession, and the ponds are loaded with catfish, crappie, bluegill and largemouth bass. The lake is as shallow as 60 feet near the dam, and boaters must be careful of watching their depth.


Few reports from Don Pedro with launch ramp conditions at Fleming Meadows appearing to discourage area fishermen. There are king salmon and rainbow trout holding at depths from 30 to 60 feet near Jenkins Hill and Fleming Bay. The kokanee are deep, and they have been reluctant to bite. 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. 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. Trout fishing is slow with the warm water temperatures, and many trollers are hooking spotted bass that have cascaded down from McClure.


Launch ramp conditions have also limited the number of trollers willing to try for kokanee and rainbow trout. The troll bite is fair for both species with the fish in the deepest and coolest water. Catfish continued to be the best option for shoreline fishermen with mackerel, anchovies, sardines, or nightcrawlers. 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 now unavailable. Small striped bass to 20 inches are possible on frozen shad or anchovies on a harness rig, but few fishermen are willing to launch their boats given the conditions.


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.


Catchable trout are available for boaters drifting trout dough bait at depths of 20 feet near the dam. The recent severe Sierra thunderstorms have slowed the overall action, but this week of warm weather should return bring about a return to solid action.


Night fishing for bass is the only game in the afterbay for New Melones, with heavy recreational boating during the daylight hours. The bite has been limited to a few fish on dark-colored plastics on the drop-shot.



The river was running low and clear. Flyfishermen were seen in the tailwater below Chili Bar in the South Fork. Hikers can expect to find plenty of small rainbows in the deeper pools in the North Fork from Italian Bar to Mumford Bar.


The lake is at 51-percent capacity. Emerald Cove Marina reported boats were still launching at their ramp and consequently recreational boat traffic was heavy on the lake, slowing the fishing. Trollers getting out early were catching a few kokanee by the dam and in Willow Creek.


The lake is at 40- to 45-percent capacity. Ron Franks of Folsom fished the lake mid-week and caught 21 bass, but only 4 were keepers. The fish hit oxblood worms at 10 to 15 feet deep in the Rock Creek arm. Heavy recreational boat traffic kept the main lake tough for fishing.


The lake is 43 feet from full. Catfish topped the week’s catches again with fish to 16 3/4 pounds. The best action for all species has been at night at the docks, Elmer’s Cove, and the dam. Only a couple of trout were caught and they hit a trolled Rapala in deep water near the dam.


The lake is at 94-percent capacity. Lisa Rogers at Skippers Cove Marina reported a 22-inch rainbow was caught at the confluence of the North and South Yuba. Planter rainbows were hitting drifted nightcrawlers in the marina and the upper reaches of the lake.


The lake is at 39-percent capacity. The launch ramp at French meadows was out of the water, but small boats could still launch off the shore below the concrete. Planter rainbows should be hitting for shore anglers and trollers.


The lake is at 40.8-percent capacity. Launching was difficult for all but small aluminum boats off the shore below the ramp. According to the Georgetown Ranger Station, fishing was slow with the heat and rapidly dropping water level.


The lake is at 34-percent capacity. The lake was down over 200 feet at press time and launching was restricted to the low-water ramp at Bidwell Marina. The gravel ramp at the Spillway should open mid-week, but it will be 4-wheel drive only. Bass fishing was still good in the early morning using tubes and drop-shot worms. Catfish to 8 pounds were hitting crawdads, chicken livers, and stink bait in Spring Valley, Dark Canyon, North Fork, and South Fork. Guide Bill Dunn found good king salmon action on 2- to 4-pound fish in the Middle Fork at 55 to 67 feet deep on dodgers with Apex or white hoochies tipped with a piece of sardine.


The lake is at 93.3-percent capacity. The big wildfire burning in the area had the lake blanketed in smoke this past weekend. Early in the week, bass fishing was good.


The lake is at 52.3-percent capacity. Heavy smoke from the wildfire choked out the lake this past weekend. A few bass were being caught earlier in the week, but trout fishing was slow.


All facilities were open. Fishing was slow with the low water level.


The campgrounds should open this next week as predicted. Shore fishing was slow with the hot weather driving fish into deep water.


The lake was at 134.8-foot elevation at press time—87.5-percent capacity. Bass fishing was good, according to Bruce Gibson at the Paradise Tackle Company. Deep diving and lipless crankbaits were working on the rock banks. Punching through the heavy weed beds and laid over tules was producing some big fish to 7 pounds. Crappie to 2 pounds were hitting live minnows on the tules near the Monument ramp.



A trickle of king salmon have been taken from the Benicia shoreline, and this week’s tides may produce more opportunities with high water in the early morning on 1st Street. Vee-Zee or Flying C spinners are the top lures in green/yellow. Stripers are showing up along the West Bank with shallow-running lures, and the key is to finding clear water. Smallmouth bass are still in the upper river along the rocky structure, and live crawdads or wacky-rigged Senkos are effective. Catfishing is best in Lisbon Slough or the Sacramento Deep Water Channel with live crawdads, nightcrawlers, or chicken livers.


Largemouth bass action has been tremendous with the bass hunkered down under mats with the hot water temperatures. Punching the mats with Missile’s D-Bombs in green pumpkin with no skirt 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. 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. Fresh and frozen shad are not available in the bait shops closest to Stockton.

– Western Outdoor News