Fishing Line

Salmon biting sparingly along Sacramento River

Eagle Lake strain of Rainbow trout in a raceway at Mt. Shasta Fish Hatchery in Mount Shasta on Tuesday, June 16, 2015.
Eagle Lake strain of Rainbow trout in a raceway at Mt. Shasta Fish Hatchery in Mount Shasta on Tuesday, June 16, 2015.

Here are the best places to fish in the Sacramento region, Northern California and beyond for the week of August 3, 2015.


▪ CARSON RIVER (East, West)

Todd Sodaro at Todd’s Bait and Tackle at the Creekside Lodge reported fishing in the East Carson was wide-open after receiving 2800 pounds of rainbows from the DFW and Alpine County. Biggest fish landed this past week was an 8 1/4-pound rainbow.


Mid-week saw the best salmon action of the week, however the counts were still on the positive side right through the weekend. Sundance neared the limit mark with 11 salmon for 6 people. Boats targeting rockfish and lingcod had an easy time of it, thanks to calm weather and very hungry fish. New Huck Finn, for example scored limits of rockfish, limits of lingcod to 22 pounds, 1000 sanddabs, 20 rock sole and 25 lemon sole.

▪ SACRAMENTO RIVER, Knight’s Landing to Colusa

Fishing for catfish has been very good at Knight’s Landing and near Verona. Salmon fishing is slow.

▪ SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff to Colusa

Salmon were seen moving through the river, but catches were poor, in part due to low, clear water. Anglers expect new fish to move in by mid-August.

▪ SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding to Red Bluff

The Barge Hole opener on Saturday was good, with most boats catching fish. Plugs worked at first light, while roe was the bait of choice once the sun came up. Fishing was fair to good Sunday. Trout fishing in the Redding section also was very good with Saturday’s opener between the Highway 44 bridge and Keswick Dam.


Salmon fishing is poor. Stripers are once again being caught in the deepwater channel at the Port of Sacramento.


▪ ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Oregon

Already peak season action here, and it’s still early in the year, as salmon move into the estuary to feed and prepare for an upriver move, but won’t do it until the river cools down. Jim Carey of Rogue Outdoor Store said at least 60 salmon were caught on Friday alone. He said the best fishing has been from the sand spit to the harbor entrance and anglers are trolling anchovies with small spinner blades. Some kings also have been caught on weightless spinners with size 5 gold Hilderbrant blades. “As many as 3 to 4 Chinooks caught at a time when the school hits,” said WON Field Reporter Curtis Palmer. “The rest of the day can be spent going through the motions and hoping to catch one or two kings while waiting for the bite. Lots of baitfish just off shore and a small number have been making their way in and out with the tide.”

▪ ROGUE RIVER, Grant’s Pass, Oregon

Salmon fishing is now closed upriver from the dam down to Fishers Ferry, but open below that. Not much action posted however, with some taken at the mouth of the Applegate, and a few at Galice and Gold Hill. “Fish are taken on sardine-wrapped Kwikfish or roe tied in netting to keep squawfish off it,” said Troy Whitaker at U-Save Tackle in Grants Pass. Summer steelhead action is picking up on small spoons and spinners in the upper river. Lost Creek Lake is really to low for boat launching. Applegate Lake remains good for bass on plastics or trolled plugs. Trout fishing is fair on spinners.


Low and warm flows and the only fishing is for smallmouth bass early or late in the day using minnow-imitating lures. The rest of the day is dedicated to rafters, kayakers and swimmers.



While pressure has been light, steelhead have been caught on small plugs between Iron Gate Dam and Interstate 5. Guide Scott Caldwell said crawfish plugs have worked best. The majority of the steelhead are wild fish between 1 and 3 pounds. Flows Sunday at Iron Gate Dam were 902 cfs.


Anglers are dealing with hot, smokey weather. Some halfpounders are being caught near Happy Camp and Orleans. Flows at Seiad Valley were 983 cfs on Sunday.

▪ KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen

Anglers fishing from the beach at the mouth caught some salmon over the weekend, although the sand spit has backed up the river and limited the arrival of fresh fish. A few summer steelhead are being caught by jet boaters while side-drifting roe. Flows on Sunday at Terwer were 2,180 cfs. The water temperature was up to 74 degrees on Sunday. The Blue Creek section is closed until Sept. 14.


Salmon are spread throughout the Trinity, with the best fishing in the cooler water between Lewiston and Douglas City. Smokey weather has limited pressure. Flows at Lewiston were 362 cfs on Sunday, with a water temperature of 52 degrees. Temperatures at Hoopa were 72 degrees.



Areas with rock that are anywhere from 12 to 25 feet deep are producing good numbers of bass in the 3- 4-pound range and up to 20 fish per day. Drop-shot and shaking plastic worms as well as working jigs have been the more consistent methods. There are also topwater fish around these same areas going after poppers, walkers and buzzbaits. Look for isolated patches of weeds along the bank.


Look for schooling kokanee on your locator from 70 to 90 feet deep. 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 from the Narrows out west along Skiers Cove. Drop-shots, tubes and jigs fished around primary and secondary points found good action from the Narrows up to Skier's Cove for bass.


Drop-shotting Roboworms in Oxblood has been the ticket. Target 20 to 35 feet of water off the main body points and islands for smallies from 1 to 2 pounds.


Soak stink baits in 15 to 30 feet of water for catfish. Cover water with a black buzzbait shallow around standing timber and brush or pitch a jig around that same cover for bass.



Ben Williams from Fish Dog Outdoors said smallmouth bass fishing is heating up again with the stable weather. The pond smelt spawn is thinning out a bit. Look for areas with less bait in the water and fish slowly. Trout fishing has been slow. Trolling nightcrawlers and small lures in 30 to 35 feet produced a few fish ranging from 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 pounds and a few larger ones.


The water is consistently cold and clear and DFW plants trout here are by the boat ramp. Wild trout, rainbows and brown trout also reside here further down the lake. 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. The bobber bite was a little slow. Trolling in front of the homes at Eagles Nest with the boat in 50 feet of water and lead core out four to six colors produced limits but go at first light.


Trout fishing has been fair to good, but move around. The river is full of wild rainbow trout ranging from 10 to 14 inches, but with lots of fish well over 20 inches caught regularly. Good fishing can be found all the way from Spinner Fall Lodge down to the confluence.


There is lots of access via multiple campgrounds that dot HWY 89 from Old Station to Burney. Lots of planted big brook trout in this area, and brown and rainbow trout are also common. The average size varies by species, but most fish are in the 12-inch range. Spinners are always a good bet on this part of the creek.


It can easily be fished from a float tube, pontoon boat or even a driftboat or raft. And there is more than enough walking and wading shore access allowing anglers to hunt the shaded coves and undercut banks for cruising rainbow and brown trout. Check the regulations for where you can fish and what you can use on this catch-and-release only lake.


Scott Caldwell from SC Guide Service spent some time hanging with his family here and said fishing has been great. They found easy limits with Sep’s Dodgers with grubs for trout ranging from 3/4 to 2 pounds.


There are a few miles of great pocket water action in the headwaters section of the river that harbor an excellent population of resident trout. Below Fowler Camp, the river becomes progressively more rugged and terraced with small pools and pocket water that drops quickly in elevation before filling McCloud Reservoir. Rainbows range from 10 to 14 inches here.


Between the powerhouses, the river can rise very quickly and can sweep away unsuspecting anglers so be careful. Despite tough conditions, it is full of wild rainbows and brown trout with many over 18 inches.


Remember to fish early and late. as there is a lot of traffic out there now. Rainbows, browns and salmon are between 55 and 85 feet. Chrome and watermelon Apexs and Wiggle Hoochies in white and blue all produced limits. There’s still a lot of bait and they are spread out, so it’s tough to find bass. Fish early and late in the day in the upper third of the arms where it is less crowded.


Cover water and switch up your tackle. Fish the 299 Bridge in 40 to 60 feet of water using UV pink Apexs, pink spinners or hoochies or a watermelon bug. Or got to the curtain in 60 to 80 feet using the same stuff for 11- to 13-inch kokes at both sites.



Salmon fishing is slow, although fish have been seen moving through the mouth upstream.


Salmon fishing slowed last week. Some fish are still being caught near the Outlet, but overall success has been poor. Striper fishing has again slowed.


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, but some bluegill available.


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.



The lake is at 13.7-percent capacity. Drifting bait from a small boat over the channel put anglers over the biggest concentration of fish in the lake.


The lake is at 90.8-percent capacity. Caples Lake Resort reported shore fishing was good at the dam, Wood’s Creek inlet and Emigrant Bay for rainbows to 3 pounds.


The lake is at 50-percent capacity. 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 4-pound line and floating dough bait on a size 16 treble.


The lake is at 68-percent capacity. 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 trout fishing in the North Fork had slowed to 2 or 3 fish per person. Flows were good.


The lake is at 29-percent capacity. Wiggins Trading Post reported fishing was slow and consequently fishing pressure was light. Only small aluminum boats could launch with 4-wheel drive at the Frenchman ramp—anything larger was not recommended.


Mark Tieslau at Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden reported trout fishing was good for planter rainbows at Sardine, Packer and Gold Lake trolling a dodger or flashers and worms at 10 to 12 feet deep. Shore fishing was good at Sardine and Packer.


The lake is at 75-percent capacity. Kyle Neeser at Crystal Basin Tackle reported trolling for rainbows to 16 inches was good using a dodger/’crawler at 40 feet deep.


With fishing so good in the East Carson, fishing pressure was very light here. The best chance at success was probing the deep water in front of the dam from a small boat or float tube.


The lake is at 59.8-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 76-percent capacity. Denise Cole at Sly Park Resort reported trollers going deep were scoring a few trout, but heavy recreational boat traffic was making the lake murky and slowing the bite overall.


Chuck Self at Chuck’s Charter Fishing reported doing well late this past week catching limits of 2- to 9-pound macks trolling 140 to 160 feet deep from Tahoe City to Crystal Bay Point. Mike Nielsen at Tahoe Topliners Sportfishing reported “decent” fishing for macks this past week—jigging 190 to 240 feet deep for 3- to 7-pound fish in the North, and trolling 180 to 220 feet deep for 4- to 6-pound fish off South Shore. Zach Gordon at Tahoe Sportfishing reported a mixed bag on macks and kokanee. Some boats were mooching 140 to 160 feet deep from Sugar Pine to Dollar Point for limits of macks. Boats trolling for kokes were scoring 15 to 25 13- to 15-inch salmon per trip using flashers and red Wedding Rings tipped with corn at 75 to 95 feet deep. Running a dodger/minnow at 150 feet deep below schools of kokanee was producing two to four 4- to 12-pound macks per trip.


The lake is at 51-percent capacity. Kalan Richards of Cameron Park fished the shore at both dams and from a rocky shoreline on the north end and only caught 1 planter rainbow in 6 to 8 hours. The main ramp was barely in the water, but folks were still launching full-sized boats. Boaters need to watch out for shallow hazards.


The lake is at 26.2-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 81.4-percent capacity. Trolling was slow as of the last available report.


The lake is at 15-percent capacity. The kokanee bite shut down. The lake was dangerously warm and an algae bloom was forming at an alarming rate, which could lead to a fish kill.


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 68-percent capacity. The bite slowed to a crawl here with boaters having a hard time metering any fish at any depth—just the typical summer doldrums.


The DFW stocked the Little Walker and West Walker at Pickel Meadows and the Canyon this past week and will plant them all again this week. Chris Fowler of Seaside won the “How Big is Big” Fishing Derby with the 9.8-pound rainbow he caught the week before last. There were three 9s, four 8s, seven 7s, eleven 6s, and four 5 pounders weighed in during this popular month-long event. Pam Hamic at the West Walker Motel said fishing was still very good though the river flows were lower.



Viable options included striped bass, salmon, rockfish and lingcod. Even some halibut were caught. California Dawn put all of these different species aboard. Happy Hooker hung high counts of bass plus limits of rockfish and some long lingcod. Berkeley Charter Boats found salmon within a few miles of the Golden Gate, allowing for quick transits and plenty of fishing time.


The salmon bite improved, though there is still a long way to go to steady limits. Private boats, party boats and 6-pack boats all caught some decent salmon. Most of the focus was on the great rockfishing both up the coast and down towards Elephant Rock and Point Reyes.


Salmon fishing slowed, causing anglers to switch gears and drop baits for lingcod and rockfish which have been biting like gangbusters. Dungeness crabs also filled pots readily, with up to 10 to 12 keepers per pot. Albacore were 20 miles off the beach a week ago and have moved out to the 30-mile mark where they are being caught in decent numbers.


A limit of Pacific halibut were hauled aboard Scrimshaw on the August 1 opener. Salmon bit at a reasonable rate, keeping boaters busy. Lingcod were oddly off of their feed locally, but trips to the Lost Coast were highly productive for lings, blacks, blues, vermillion, yellowtail, quillback and coppers.


Gunny sacks were stuffed full aboard Telstar on trips up the coast to Virgin Creek and Cleone and on trips south to Mendocino. Capt. Richard Thornton repoweredAmbush and it is back in the game. August 1 proved to be a great abalone season opener, thanks to calm weather and seas, allowing people to work the entire coast, including numerous areas where they can rarely go safely.


Half Moon Bay Sportfishing celebrated its 10-year anniversary. Most party boats (Huli Cat, New Capt. Pete, Riptide and Queen of Hearts) focused on rockfish and lingcod down the coast as far as Pigeon Point. Striped bass grabbed hardbaits and bucktails in the surf zone along sandy beaches from Half Moon Bay to Ocean Beach.


The biggest catch of the week was an 80-pound thresher shark aboard Wacky Jacky. Lovely Martha and Wacky Jacky hit the salmon pretty hard through the week and put up good scores. Bass Tub found plenty of striped bass to keep people smiling, then ran outside to pack the sacks with rockfish and lingcod. Halibut were bonus catches, both from the North Bar and inside the Bay.



Catfish remain top species with nightcrawlers, chicken livers, or prepared dough baits. The area of the lake opposite of the dam near Jackson Creek or Carson Cove have been the top locations for catfish. 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 with resume in October when the water temperature is cool enough to sustain plants.


This small impoundment on the Stanislaus River is kicking out quality browns and rainbows for trollers working the main lake with blade/’crawler combinations, spoons, or plugs. The launch ramp is easily accessible for boats.


Ponds cut off from the main lake 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 50 feet near the dam, and boaters must be careful of watching their depth. Catfish are the top species with chicken livers or nightcrawlers from the banks while a few holdover rainbows are holding in the deepest water near the dam.


Bass fishing is the best bite occurring in the lake with medium, large, or extra-large minnows from the shorelines. The launch ramp is crowded on the weekends, and the conditions appear to discourage area fishermen. King salmon and rainbow trout are in deep water near Jenkins Hill and Fleming Bay, but a few fishermen have been out on the lake. The launch ramp at Fleming Meadows is the only launch on the lake, and it requires a skillful backup job in order to launch.


The North Barrett Cove ramp is the only launch operational at the lake as the South Barrett Cove launch ramp is closed as the water level has dropped to 11% of capacity. The North Barrett 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 this 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.


Bass fishing is best with an early window for topwater lures before working the bottom with soft plastics by mid-morning. There is no viable pattern with the bass suspended throughout the lake in the warm, stained waters. Launch ramp conditions have limited the number of trollers willing to try for kokanee and rainbow trout. The launch ramp is limited to the dirt ramp at Glory Hole Point, and a 4WD tow vehicle in essential. Catfish continued to be the best option for shoreline fishermen with mackerel, anchovies, sardines, or nightcrawlers.


The lake has dropped to the point where the courtesy dock is now unavailable. Few fishermen are willing to launch their boats given the conditions, to chase the abundant supply of small striped bass.


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.


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. Hikers can experience good trout action in the deeper pools in the North Fork above Foresthill.


The lake is at 50-percent capacity. The boat ramp at Emerald Cove Marina closed due to the low water level. Boaters can still launch at the Dark Day ramp. Kokanee were still hitting near the dam and in Willow Creek but recreational traffic was slowing the bite.


The lake is at 40- to 45-percent capacity. The boat ramp was still in operation. Ron Franks of Folsom fished this past week and caught 15 bass, all dinks but one. He fished the main body at 8 to 10 feet deep in 78- to 81-degree water with green pumpkin lizards in the early morning—after the sun hit the water the bite shut off.


The lake is 45 feet from full. Fishing was slow for trout, but good for catfish and panfish. The store weighed catfish from 1 3/4 to 8 pounds that were caught at the dam, rental docks, bridge, and Beach on anchovies and chicken livers.


The lake is at 96-percent capacity. Skippers Cove Marina reported fishing pressure was very low and there was little to report.


The lake is at 37.5-percent capacity. The Foresthill Ranger Station reported only small aluminum boats could launch below the French Meadows ramp with 4-wheel drive. Fishing was best in the early morning with the hot weather.


The lake is at 39.4-percent capacity. The Georgetown Ranger Station reported trollers were still catching kokanee to 17 inches at the powerhouse at 65 feet deep on dodger/hoochies.


The lake is at 33-percent capacity. The Bidwell low-water ramp was still open and the gravel ramp at the Spillway was now open with a dock in place. The Spillway ramp is “4-wheel drive strongly recommended” at this time but should switch over to “4-wheel drive only” after a bit of use. Bass were hitting drop-shot worms and tubes on steep rocky walls in the river arms, and king salmon were hitting dodger/hoochies at 65 feet deep in the Middle Fork.


The lake is at 87.9-percent capacity. Trout fishing was slow, but bass action was good in the early morning. With the lake level high, recreational boat traffic was heavy.


The lake is at 50.4-percent capacity. The ramp at the marina is now “small fishing boats only” with the low water level. Fishing was slow for trout and only a few small bass were reported. Recreational and fishing traffic was low this past week with the launching restrictions and the smoke from the nearby Lowell Fire.


The lake was low and fishing was slow.


The Georgetown Ranger Station reported the main campground was open on a “first come-first served basis, no reservations” basis. Fishing was slow.


The lake was at 135.0-foot elevation at press time—88.9-percent capacity. Bruce Gibson at the Paradise Tackle Company reported bass fishing was good using crankbaits, swimbaits, and jigs on the rock banks on the south end of the lake. Running in on the pad back through the thick weed beds in the coves puts anglers on good numbers of big fish in the open pockets that hit jigs and Senkos.



Salmon fishing remained very slow on both ends of the Delta with the fish rushing through in search of cooler water. Few fishermen are trying in the Old Sacramento with most Delta salmon fishermen concentrating around the Dillon Point State Park or First Street in Benicia along with the shorelines around Freeport. Stripers to 28 inches have been taken from the shoreline in Benicia with Vee-Zee or Flying C spinners intended for salmon. Striped bass are showing up below the Rio Vista Bridge with shallow-running lures. 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 remained excellent with reaction baits in the warmer waters in the afternoons. The reaction bite has been slow in the early morning, but it turns on with the increased temperature. Flipping creature baits or Havoc Bottom Hoppers on a Zappu head are also effective for numbers/ The frog bite is best in the afternoons. Moving current is the key to bass fishing. A larger grade of striped bass are beginning to make their move, and linesides to 15 pounds have been caught and released on topwater lures. Jumbo red worms or wax worms are working for bluegill or red eared perch in the normal locations of Whiskey Slough, Bacon Island Road, Holland Tract, Orwood Marina, Clifton Court Forebay, and off of Eight Mile Road. Fresh and frozen shad is now available in bait shops.

– Western Outdoor News