Fishing Line

Fishing Line: Salmon fishing slow throughout the Delta

Fishing for largemouth bass is good in places. Is it good enough for you to land one big enough to go on your wall,like this sweet 8-pounder?
Fishing for largemouth bass is good in places. Is it good enough for you to land one big enough to go on your wall,like this sweet 8-pounder? Photo courtesy of Ed Moore

Here are the best places to fish in the Sacramento region, Northern California and beyond for the week of Aug. 10, 2015.


▪ DELTA REGION: Sacramento River

Salmon fishing continued to be slow throughout the Delta with the few fish coming through the river blowing past all markers in search of cool water. Most anglers are concentrating around lower Suisun Bay for salmon with Vee Zee or Flying C spinners, but the action has been limited by the muddy water from the minus tides. Striped bass are hitting the salmon spinners, and more and more stripers are making an appearance in the Delta. Trollers are finding solid action with both deep and shallow plugs from Collinsville north to the Rio Vista Bridge. 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.

▪ DELTA REGION: San Joaquin River

Largemouth bass action is outstanding with topwater lures and prop baits due to the slower tides and overcast and humid conditions. The ima Helly P prop bait or the ima Little Stick in shad patterns have been excellent for largemouth bass due to the abundant schools of shad in the 1- to 1.5-inch range. Flipping a Crigger Craw in black/red or the Havoc Flat Dog in green pumpkin/gold flake on a Zappu head are also effective for numbers along the banks. Striped bass are also on the move, and more and more linesides are found on the San Joaquin River. The river is loaded with undersized bass, but a few quality linesides to 14.5 pounds have been taken on live bluegill. 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.


Stripers have been biting well at Shanghai Bend on topwater lures as well as minnows and cut bait. The river is dropping and fishing very poorly for salmon.


The Brown’s Ravine boat launch closed last week, leaving Granite Bay as the only option for launching boats. Bass fishing is good using drop-shot rigs for suspended fish in the main body. Trout and salmon fishing is slow.


Catfish are the top species with huge whiskerfish roaming the shallows in search of easy meals with the warm water temperatures. 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.


▪ ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Oregon

The well known Rogue Bay is producing more king salmon than any of the other rivers in Southern Oregon. “The Mouth of the Rogue has proven her worthiness of producing large numbers of fish being caught during extreme warm water conditions,” according to WON Field Reporter and guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Guide Service. “There’s a lot more boat traffic. Local anglers have reported they have seen multiple salmon being caught at the same time. One person even reflected back on the years around 2004 when all the boats were netting fish at the time.”

▪ ROGUE RIVER, Grant’s Pass, Oregon

Lots of salmon appear to be coming through the Grants Pass are, but there hasn’t been much catching by the anglers, according to Troy Whitaker at U-Save Tackle in Grants Pass. “Steelhead fishing was fairly good from Valley of the Rogue on down using nightcrawlers, pink rubber worms, small Hot Shots or Brad’s Pee Wee Warts. More water is expected to be let out of Lost Creek Lake, which might improve the fishing in the river below, while the lake is in bad shape water-wise. Some bass action is being seen at Selmac Lake, along with bluegill. Applegate Lake is still producing fair action bass and trout.


Not much to report on the Russian, according to Scott Heemstra of King’s Sport and Tackle in Guerneville. “Continual summer smallie activity remains good using Rebel Crawfish, Rooster Tail spinners, and soft plastics. Flows have been hovering around 80-90 cfs with water temps around 70 degrees.”

▪ UMPQUA RIVER, Reedsport, Oregon

The lower Umpqua River near Reedsport has been seeing abnormally high water temperatures. “This above 70-degree temperature has been getting the blame for lack of salmon being caught,” said guide Curtis Palmer. “Fishing conditions last week were not consistent from one day to the next. For instance, at the beginning of the week I received a couple reports stating that it was difficult to even find a strike/bite. During the end of the work week reports came my way of boats with multiple catches. It was reported that a full boat of anglers had fortunately hook 8 Chinooks near Windy Bend. But as luck would have it, they were only able to land 3 out of the 8 . I except to see more consistent fishing conditions as we get closer to the end of the month of August.”



The fall salmon run is about a month away. Fishing for steelhead between 1 and 3 pounds has been good on crawfish plugs and MagLip plugs. Flows out of Iron Gate Dam were 902 cfs on Sunday.


Cooler water, in part because of smoke-filled skies, is expected to draw the first salmon of the season into the middle section of the Klamath by the end of the month. Flows at Seiad Valley were 921 cfs on Sunday.

▪ KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen

The sand spit at the mouth of the Klamath busted open last week, allowing shore anglers to catch some salmon near the mouth last week, but more steelies came in then salmon, and steelhead fishing is now good throughout the lower river, with a few jack salmon showing in the catch. Flows Sunday at Terwer were 2,140 cfs. The Blue Creek section is closed until Sept. 14.


Salmon fishing improved last week near Lewiston, as several groups of new fish moved into the river. Guide Travis Michel reported several days of limits last week on MagLip plugs, roe and tuna balls. Flows are expected to rise from 450 cfs to 2,500 cfs as water is released to help salmon migrating through the lower Klamath River.



The Redbud and Rattlesnake arms are producing the best bass action. The best bites have been found bottom bouncing baits like jigs, deep crankbaits, Texas rigged Brush Hogs and drop-shot or shaking worms.


The free public launch ramp at Capell Cove is now closed, but you can still launch at Markley Cove, Putah Creek and Pleasure Cove. Work the shallow flats on the main body for a mixed bag of both largemouth and smallmouth bass cranking a LuckyCraft LC 3.5 in pearl shad. For kokes and a few nice trout, fish the schools of kokanee through the Narrows all the way to the dam in 70 to 95 feet. Rocky Mountain Tackle’s (RMT) 5 1/2-inch dodgers with Uncle Larry's spinners, Assassin spinners, Plankton Micro Squids, Apex spoons and Pautzke Firecorn have all been good producers.


Drop-shot Roboworms in Oxblood in 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, especially in the evenings. Cover water with a black buzzbait shallow around standing timber and brush or pitch a jig around that same cover for bass.



Bass fishing has been fair, but will improve once they finish drawing water from the lake. Drop-shot worms and run and gun all over the lake in order to find fish that have moved up on points. Troll slowly with some nightcrawlers in the Big Springs area over towards the A-Frame in 25 to 35 feet for trout.


Not much changed here this past week as the water is consistently cold and clear and DFW plants trout by the boat ramp. Wild trout, rainbows and brown trout also reside here but further down in the lake. Go early if you want to use dry flies, although some days have been more productive than others. Generally the bite is best from the early morning until midday.


This is a good time to go as the excellent bite continues with easy limits. Bobber fishing picked up at the Eagles Nest anchored in 55 feet of water with threaded nightcrawlers down 20 to 25 feet. The week started well for trollers but then slowed down.


Trout fishing has been fair to good, but you’ll need to keep moving around. Wild rainbow trout here range from 10 to 14 inches, but there are also trout over 20 inches caught regularly. Good fishing can be found all the way from Spinner Fall Lodge down to the confluence but fish early and late.


There are lots of planted fish in this area but brook trout, brown and rainbow trout are also common. Most fish average in the 12-inch range. Spinners are a good bet on this part of the creek. There is also lots of access via the many campgrounds along Hwy 89 from Old Station to Burney.


You can fish from a float tube, pontoon boat or even a drift boat or raft but no motors. There is also plenty of wading access so you can find the shaded coves and undercut banks to look for rainbow and brown trout. But check the regulations for where you can fish and what you can use on this catch and release only lake.


Scott Heemstra had some fantastic trout action with the help of Bob and Steve at Ted Fays Fly shop using streamer patterns from shore.


Blown out thanks to a mud slide.


Use small nymphs in the PH 1 area for trout up to 20 inches.


Remember to fish early and late as there is a lot of traffic out there now. Fish the upper third of the arms where it is also less crowded. Rainbows, browns and salmon are between 55 and 85 feet. Chrome and watermelon Apexs and Wiggle Hoochies in white and blue are all produced limits. The bait is thinning out so the bass bite is starting to pick back up a bit.


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



Salmon fishing is slow.


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

Salmon fishing was good early last week at the Barge Hole but slowed over the weekend. Trout fishing remains very good. Anglers are waiting for fresh salmon to enter the river, which normally happens in mid- to late August.

▪ SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff to Colusa

Salmon fishing was slow last week, as anglers wait for new salmon to enter the river.

▪ SACRAMENTO RIVER, Knight’s Landing to Colusa

Salmon fishing is slow. Fishing for catfish has been very good near the wingdams at Verona, as well as near First Beach at Knight’s Landing. Pile worms and chicken livers are catching catfish to 10 pounds.


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



The lake is at 15.5-percent capacity. Flows from the Little Truckee were increased and the lake rose this past week. Mountain Hardware and Sports recommended wading out to the channel edge near the inlet and casting into deeper water for a chance at rainbows, browns and the occasional mack.


The lake is at 89.6-percent capacity. Caples Lake Resort Marina is open 8 to 5 daily with boat rentals, bait, and tackle. Rainbows to 3 pounds were hitting floating dough bait and scented artificial eggs at the Spillway. Shore fishing was good at the Wood’s Creek inlet. Trolling was uncharacteristically slow.

▪ CARSON RIVER (East, West)

Todd Sodaro at Todd’s Bait and Tackle at the Creekside Lodge reported fishing in the East fork was fantastic with lots of limits of DFW planters and a few trophy rainbows to 8 pounds. The West Carson flows were very low and fishing was slow.


The lake is at 50-percent capacity. Fishing was slow overall for trout—trolling was dead and shore anglers were only picking up 1 to 3 fish at Mallard Point in the early morning. Bullhead catfish were hitting worms at Fairview and Mallard. The Honker Cove boat ramp was still good for launching craft under 18 feet long.


The lake is at 67-percent capacity. Kokanee trolling was still good at 80 feet deep over the hump between China Cove and Loch Leven using pink, orange, or purple hoochies behind a dodger. Rainbows were still hitting garlic floating dough bait on the west end and north side.


Mike Hanson at Caribou Crossroads Resort reported trout fishing was still good on the North Fork Feather above the resort for those giving it a try.


The lake is at 28-percent capacity. Wiggins Trading Post reported the Frenchman launch ramp and campground were closed. Fishing was slow at the dam for trout, but some bullhead catfish were hitting worms.


Mark Tieslau at Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden reported trout fishing was still 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. Trolling for rainbows was consistent using dodger/worms at 30 to 50 feet deep according to Kyle Neeser at Crystal Basin Tackle and Guide Service.


The best bet was fishing in the deeper water at the dam from a small boat or float tube with bait and spoons. Shore fishing was slow.


The lake is at 58-percent capacity. Trollers were still picking up good numbers of planter rainbows and few holdovers on watermelon or gold Apex at 45 feet deep. Try a gold dodger/brown grub too, according to Brett Brady at Bare Bones Guide Service.


The lake is at 75-percent capacity. Denise Cole at Sly Park Resort reported fishing for trout and bass was better in the Narrows away from the recreational boat traffic on the main lake.


Chuck Self at Chuck’s Charter Fishing reported mack action was hit-or-miss this past week for fish running 3 to 8 pounds. Everyone on his trips caught at least one fish, but limits were tough on trips with full loads of 4 to 6 anglers. Self was trolling from Tahoe City to Crystal Bay Point. Mike Nielsen at Tahoe Topliners Sportfishing said he was catching limits of mostly 3- to 6-pound macks with a few fish to 9 pounds while trolling in the early morning and jigging late mornings at South Shore at 100 to 160 feet deep. Zach Gordon at Tahoe Sportfishing reported the fleet was concentrating on kokanee trolling scoring 25 to 40 fish per boat along with a few macks to over 12 pounds. The kokes were hitting flasher/Wedding Rings in red or green tipped with corn at 75 to 90 feet deep from Camp Rich to Cascade.


The lake is at 50-percent capacity. The low lake level made for tough fishing and boating this past week. Boaters need to use extreme caution due to shallow hazards.


The lake is at 26-percent capacity. Lots of little smallmouth bass were hitting tubes and worms. Think about casting a topwater popper in the early morning or late evening for surfacing fish.


A few cutthroats were still being caught at the dam.


The lake is at 78.8-percent capacity. Fishing was surprisingly slow here.


The lake is at 15-percent capacity. Trout and kokanee fishing was slow with the low water level and warm water temps. Smallmouth bass fishing was pretty good.


The Douglas County Park launch ramp was still launching any size boat, but most recreational boaters were launching off the shore with 4-wheel drive in the “primitive area”. Fishing was slow for trout and fair for bass.


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


The lake is at 66-percent capacity. Ken Mathis at Ken’s Custom Tackle and Guide Service reported rainbow trout trolling was the best bet here with kokanee and mack action slow. SMUD was stocking nice Mt. Lassen Trout Farm rainbows as mitigation for their FERC permit.


The DFW stocked the Little Walker and West Walker at Pickel Meadows and the Canyon this past week and was scheduled to plant them all again this week. Sam Foster at the Toiyabe Motel reported fishing was fantastic for DFW rainbows and a few trophy fish to 6 pounds. With regular thunderstorm activity in the region, the river flows were much better than expected. Catch-and-release flyfishing was very good. Plan a trip now before the flows drop.



California Dawn and Happy Hooker focused on striped bass, lingcod and rockfish, posting consistently great numbers including full limits of lingcod on one day. Some of the rockfish trips ranged as far up as Point Reyes. Berkeley Charter Boats vessels mixed it up with some trips targeting bass and halibut and other trips working for salmon outside the Gate.


Halibut action expanded from Tomales Bay to the beaches, thanks to squid spawns. Salmon were not exactly filling boats, but there were catches at Bodega Head, Bell Buoy, Ten Mile Beach and Tomales Point. New Sea Angler and Surf Scooter found excellent lingcod and rockfish action on runs both down the coast and up the coast to Fort Ross.


Salmon fishing was generally slow, however Sundance got roughly a fish per rod over the weekend and other boats posted decent counts. Most boats hammered the lingcod and rockfish along the Marin Coast. New Huck Finn posted a count of 40 lingcod plus limits of rockfish for 18 anglers.


Albacore runs were marginally successful with fish to 30 pounds. Pacific halibut bit better at 35 fathoms than the typical 50 fathoms. Salmon fishing was perhaps better than anywhere on the coast and Cape Mendocino was the hot spot. The same locale also produced dazzling catches of lingcod and rockfish.


Some fine big fish were reported including a 22-pound lingcod on Telstar and a 46-pound salmon on Bragg-n. Telstar kept her passengers on the lingcod and rockfish, finding that local spots produced better than some favorite spots to both the south and north. Old Mill surf anglers scored greenling, cabezon and rockfish.


Salmon showed up right outside of Pillar Point Harbor and Huli Cat got into them one day, and some were hooked at Pacifica Pier. Hopefully the bite is on! Lingcod and rockfish bit great. Que Sera Sera managed limits of both rockfish and salmon. Stripers bit along sandy beaches and evening high tides were the magic times.


Lingcod and rockfish made it easy for skippers to send their passengers home with lots of fish. Bass Tub posted high scores of lings and rockfish and also took the time to stop for bass to stuff the sacks. Wacky Jacky caught bass, halibut and salmon – all in one day. Lovely Martha had a trip when the Rescino family joined forces to help 4-year-old Junior Rescino catch a 29-pound salmon.



Catfish are the story in the back of the lake with nightcrawlers , chicken livers, or prepared dough baits. 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.


Quality brown and rainbow trout are possible for trollers working the main lake with blade/’crawler combinations, spoons, or plugs. The launch ramp is easily accessible for boats.


A few holdover rainbows are holding in the deepest water near the dam, but few fishermen are targeting the trout. 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. Catfish are the top species with chicken livers or nightcrawlers from the banks. The lake is as shallow as 50 feet near the dam, and boaters must be careful of watching their depth.


Think deep at this reservoir with both trout and king salmon holding at depths below 100 feet. The recent overcast conditions may bring the cold water species closer to the surface. 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.


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, and it may be open for only a few more weeks. 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. Spotted bass are dominating action for the few bank and boat fishermen as the warm-water species have moved into the lake due to releases from upstream McClure. 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.


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.


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.



According to the Georgetown Ranger Station, the river was running low and clear. Hikers willing to make the trek down to the North Fork and Middle Fork can find good rainbow action in the deeper pools using worms and spinners.


The lake is at 48-percent capacity. Emerald Cove Marina reported their boat ramp was closed, but launching was good at the one-lane Dark Day ramp. Fishing was slow.


The lake is at 40-percent capacity. North Shore Resort reported their ramp was still in operation. Ron Franks of Folsom fished this past week and caught 17 bass, a mix of spots and largemouths, in the main body at 10 to 15 feet deep using oxblood and green pumpkin lizards and bold bluegill Roboworms.


The lake is 45 feet from full. Trout fishing was very slow with only one rainbow checked in all this past week. Catfishing on the other hand was very good for fish to 4 1/2 pounds at the Beach, Bridge, and dam using sardines, anchovies, and stink bait. The occasional bass to 5 pounds, and lots of redear sunfish were hitting for kids fishing at the docks.


The lake is at 97-percent capacity. Skippers Cove Marina reported a boater at Black’s Ravine caught rainbows and a big kokanee on worms at night.


The lake is at 37.4-percent capacity. The water is 70 feet below the French Meadows ramp but small boats can still launch on the gravel and packed earth according to the Foresthill Ranger Station. Some rainbows were still being caught.


The lake is at 37.9-percent capacity. Small boats can still launch on the shore below the concrete ramp, but 4-wheel drive is mandatory. Trout and kokanee were still hitting dodger/hoochies at the powerhouse.


The lake is at 32-percent capacity—down 10 feet in the last 2 weeks. Guide Ron Gandolfi reported the bass fishing was very good with the reduced recreational boat traffic on the lake. Topwater in the early morning, spinnerbaits, tubes, dart-head and drop-shot worms, and Keitech swimbaits were all working on steep walls from 2 to 40 feet deep. Trips were producing 50 to 60 fish for novice anglers mostly on drop-shot worms and tubes. Experienced anglers can expect to catch 70 to 80 fish a day. King salmon were still hitting dodger/white hoochies at the dam in the early morning, and the Green Bridge after the sun hit the water at 55 to 65 feet deep.


The lake is at 92.4-percent capacity. Bass were hitting drop-shot worms on the steeper points.


The lake is at 48.6-percent capacity. Bass were hitting topwater in the early morning and late afternoon, and drop-shotting Roboworms mid- to late-morning at the dam was also producing nice smallmouths. Trout fishing was slow.


The boat ramp was still in the water but at the low lake level the shoreline has been increasingly used as a beach and beachgoers and boaters can come in contact near the ramp—both groups need to use caution.


The Georgetown Ranger Station reported the campgrounds were open, but camper traffic was light. With the lake so low, fishing was slow.


The lake was at 133.8-foot elevation at press time—80.5-percent capacity. Bass fishing was good on the rocky banks using crankbaits and jigs. Punching through the heavier weed beds and laid over tules was producing bigger fish to 6 pounds.

– Western Outdoor News