Fishing Line

Fishing Line: Salmon fishing improved along Sacramento River in the Delta

It might not yield this kind of catch, but salmon fishing is heating up in the region.
It might not yield this kind of catch, but salmon fishing is heating up in the region. Sacramento Bee file

Here are the best places to fish in the Sacramento region, Northern California and beyond for the week of Aug. 24, 2015.

TOP PICKS

▪ AMERICAN RIVER

Salmon continue to be caught near the Wall, and steelhead have been reported throughout the river, biting roe, nightcrawlers and Glo-Bugs in nearly every riffle. The steelhead are “super halfpounder” size.

▪ DELTA REGION: Sacramento River

Salmon fishing has improved slightly with more and more fish taken on a daily basis at the Dillon Point State Park or near Freeport . Striped bass are moving into the Sacramento River system, and the fish are concentrated in the cooler water near Liberty Island, Sherman Lake, or in the Collinsville area. 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. Panfish are thick along the Delta Loop.

▪ DELTA REGION: San Joaquin River

Largemouth bass action continued to be the top species in the east Delta, but stripers are also on the move into the San Joaquin. Clifton Court Forebay has been a solid location along with the Antioch area. Largemouth bass are hitting topwater lures throughout the day as well as Creature Baits along the banks. Spinner and crankbaits are working when the wind is blowing, which has been nearly every day. 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.

▪ SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff to Colusa

Some salmon are being caught at first light on sardine-wrapped plugs, especially in the Hamilton City area.

▪ SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding to Red Bluff

Fishing at the Barge Hole as well as the canyon improved last week, as fish quickly moved from the lower river to the Red Bluff and Anderson area. Water temperatures at the Barge Hole were 58 degrees on Sunday. Trout fishing has been excellent from Keswick Dam clear to Red Bluff.

▪ SAN FRANCISCO

Salmon showed up in better numbers for the fleet, with Captain Jacky Douglas on the Wacky Jacky reporting fish at Buoy 1, Duxbury and Muir Beach. The bigger ones are in the mid-20-pound class, and while not many days produce limits, there are some good counts.

NORTH COAST RIVERS

▪ COOS BAY, Coos Bay, Oregon

The fall Chinook season is definitely here and salmon have shown up early this year, according to guide and WON Field Reporter Curtis Palmer. “I’m not sure why the Chinooks started being caught a few weeks early this year, but glad to know that they are. Last week anglers caught fresh salmon down at the Chip Mill all the way up to Catch'em Slough. It appears that the boats running double flashers in tandem with their tackle did a bit better. This seems to be catching on quite quickly on some of the rivers in Southern Oregon. This river and its forks will have a couple months ahead of great fishing.”

▪ COQUILLE RIVER, Bandon, Oregon

“I spent some time fishing this river last week and found it to be still one of my most favorite rivers for fall Chinooks,” said guide Curtis Palmer. “We found plenty of salmon in the mornings as tides favored to the low tide. Concentrations of these fish were above the 101 bridge where it crosses the river. Rocky Point first thing in the mornings was a solid place to hook into a king salmon for the few who fished there. The salmon are bright and strong fighters as I found with my first Chinook of the river being 28 pounds of line taking, reel singing music. I had such an enjoyable time fishing with Cooper Hedgecock, a young local guide that I did not pay attention to how the other few boats did when we were on the river. We only landed the 28 pounder, however the action did continue with Cooper himself losing two nice king salmon. Bill Buswell ended that first day with a long distance release to a very large Chinook that sunk our hearts and I had a couple more stripped baits over the day.”

▪ ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Oregon

The mouth of the Rogue River, is a unique fishery to most, and for me it is like home after so many seasons shared with her,” said guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets. “I only fished a couple hours with friends last week and that was plenty to see that the Rogue Bay is still a very consistent fall fishery. I did see a couple boats fighting salmon at the same time. I found up to five boats fighting Chinook salmon at the same time. I farmed a nice salmon during my 2 1/2 hours of fishing. A friend caught a very nice-sized Jack that was worth keeping. We counted close to 30 other fish on during that period of time. The Rogue Bay does become full of boats on the weekends, but it didn't seem to be over-crowded this last week. Still, the Rogue Bay, in my opinion, is the No. 1 Southern Oregon fall fishery.”

▪ ROGUE RIVER, Grant’s Pass, Oregon

Good salmon and summer steelhead action is being found throughout the Middle Rogue River, said guide Troy Whitaker at U-Save Tackle. “Primarily the fish are hitting on back-bounced roe or Kwikfish wrapped with sardine fillets. All the traditional good spots from the Gold Hill area on down to Gray’s Creek are producing. Go fishing early, as the tour boats starting running about 10 a.m. and can mess up a few good holes.” Lake fishing is still fair, with some bass and trout being taken at Applegate and Selmac lakes, but most anglers seem to be fishing the river instead of the lakes.

▪ RUSSIAN RIVER

Smallmouth action continues to produce well for those hitting the water. “Last week I went out from 2:30 until 6:30 starting at Johnsons Beach and heading downstream towards the Vacation Beach summer dam,” reported Scott Heemstra of King’s Sport and Tackle in Guerneville. “I managed a handful of smallies at each spot I targeted, with the largest falling to a natural colored Rebel pee wee crawfish going about 14 iches or 1.5 pounds. Most of the time I was fishing an olive streamer pattern with a sinking tip on my 5 weight fly rod. All fish were caught along rocky edges with deep drops, or around tree structure in deep areas. Flows continue to hover around 80 cfs with water temps 68-72 degrees.”

▪ SMITH RIVER

“Pretty quiet up here right now,” said Jesse Noland, Biologist for the Smith River Alliance. “I usually start fishing for Smith kings in September. Some years there are decent numbers around and some years it's a desert. Rockfish are the only game in town currently, and we've had a poor year of salmon fishing out of Crescent City.”

▪ UMPQUA RIVER, Reedsport, Oregon

Reports from friends on the Umpqua River are mixed again,” said guide Curtis Palmer. “ I didn't make it there to see for myself but lots of anglers are putting time on the water near Windy Bend, as this is a favored spot. Plenty of room with easily a mile of common trolling area and yet it does get crowded at times. Not many boats were catching more than one king salmon a day, but it should be better. With the warmer water conditions and judging by the way most anglers I know fish that section of river, I am going to take a leap and say if anyone is planning a trip in the next couple weeks to try trolling with your gear at a mid-level. I think that with all the Chinooks stacked up in the river and showing themselves, that most of the anglers are fishing under their targets. I believe the salmon are suspended. Anglers aren’t marking as many as week before on the electronics, but yet everyone says they are seeing way more fish and getting line hits from fish. If you are seeing them on the surface then, the salmon are not on the bottom. At least not for a few seconds of time. This river is always worth fishing.”

TRINITY/KLAMATH RIVERS

▪ KLAMATH RIVER, Iron Gate

Pressure has been light on the upper Klamath as anglers await the first kings of the year, which generally arrive around Sept. 15. Fishing for small steelhead has been good, although very few hatchery fish are showing up in the mix. Flows out of Iron Gate Dam were 913 cfs on Sunday.

▪ KLAMATH RIVER, Happy Camp

Anglers expect salmon to show within the next two weeks. Halfpounder steelhead are available near Orleans and Happy Camp. Flows at Seiad Valley were 983 cfs on Sunday.

▪ KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen

The spit at the mouth of the river briefly closed again before re-opening early last week, in part because of a spike in flows from the Trinity. Salmon fishing is fair, with a mix of adults and jacks being caught in the lower river riffles and pools. Steelhead fishing is good. Flows Sunday at Terwer were 2,750 cfs. The Blue Creek section is closed until Sept. 14.

▪ TRINITY RIVER

Flows at Lewiston Dam are back up to 1,200 cfs and will remain at that level through Sept. 20. Salmon fishing has been good for anglers running sardine-wrapped plugs in the flats. A few brown trout as well as early steelhead are showing up in the catch.

NORTH COAST LAKES

▪ CLEAR LAKE

All roads and launch ramps are open. The upper end of the lake still has red/brown algae but from mid-lake through the bottom ends of the two deeper arms has been good on a variety of baits.

▪ LAKE BERRYESSA

The Markley Cove, Steel Bridge and Putah Creek ramps are still open. The Markley Cove area is producing kokes and rainbows and limits are possible if you know how to fish structure. Good setups included Rocky Mountain Tackle’s dodgers with Apex spoons, radical glow spinners or Uncle Larry’s spinners with Pautzke fire corn at 80 to 90 feet. In the Narrows look for a steep bank that still had shadows for bass. A good bait has been a 6-inch MM 111 Roboworm, Texas rigged.

▪ LAKE SONOMA

Throw shad patterned “search” baits like an LV500, chatterbaits or smaller A-rigs in small creek channels in 10 to 15 feet of water for largemouth bass to 5 pounds. Troll in 25 to 45 feet of water for two to three hookups a day for landlocked steelhead to18 inches pulling shad patterned offerings with a small dodger and a snubber.

NORTHEASTERN

▪ LAKE ALMANOR

The moon phase is dark and feeding cycles have adjusted back to earlier in the morning rather than later. Many boats have been trolling the Big Springs to Hamilton Branch areas, as that's where cool water is available. Fish are deep most of the day but are active in the top 20 feet early. The lake is stabilizing and the bass are back on the bite. Use topwater early and plastic worms or grubs midday. Fish the flats in 6 to 12 feet and just keep moving until you hit a good spot.

▪ BAUM LAKE

Check DFW’s website for trout plant dates by the boat ramp. 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 mid day. This lake will fish well all summer.

▪ EAGLE LAKE

This past week the fishing was good for some and not so good for others. Troll tight to the shoreline between the Ronald McDonald Camp heading towards the Eagle Nest homes with Red Dogs, Goldilocks or watermelon and pumpkin seed grubs. Bobber fishing with nightcrawlers was fair starting around 5:30 a.m. in the Eagles Nest area.

▪ FALL RIVER

Trout fishing has been good, but you’ll need to keep moving around. Consider hiring a local guide. A popular technique here is using black or olive colored leeches on a sinking line. Wild rainbow trout here range from 10 to 14 inches but there are also trout over 20 inches caught regularly.

▪ UPPER HAT CREEK

There are lots of planted fish in this area but brook trout and browns are also common. Most fish average in the 12-inch range. Spinners are a good bet on this part of the creek. The flat waters below the Power House No. 2 riffle has been producing some fish, but overall the fishing has just been fair. Fish early before the sun gets high in the sky and then right at sunset.

▪ MANZANITA LAKE

You can fish from a float tube, pontoon boat or even a drift boat or raft but no motors. 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 fair.

▪ McCLOUD RESERVOIR

The reservoir is in good shape and there is no fishing pressure here. Catch brown trout on a downrigger in the 20- to 40-foot depth range. Trolling slowly is an effective method and often provides constant action all day for all three species of trout. The fishing has been very good here.

▪ McCLOUD RIVER

The fishing here has been good for some and fair for others. The fishing will only get better over the coming weeks as the water continues to clean up.

▪ PIT RIVER

Use small nymphs in the Powerhouse 1 area for trout up to 20 inches or cover water and hit the runs for one of the best wild trout fisheries in the state. The rainbows here will eat all day and can be found holding in both fast water as well as slow.

▪ SHASTA LAKE

Fish the upper third of the arms for rainbows, browns and salmon. Watermelon, chrome and white or blue wiggle hoochies and shad patterned Humdingers are working well for easy limits. There have been lots of bass off topwater early and late. Jigs and worms worked the best during the middle of the day.

▪ WHISKEYTOWN RESERVOIR

Work for kokes at 60 to 85 feet using UV pink Apexs and Hoochies behind Sling Blades and beads with spinners. There are large plankton bait balls at 60 feet by the dam.

SACRAMENTO VALLEY

▪ FEATHER RIVER

Salmon fishing is poor with low, warm water. Some stripers are being caught.

▪ FOLSOM LAKE

The Brown’s Ravine boat launch is now closed, leaving Granite Bay as the only option for launching boats. Panfish are biting well near the dam. Bass fishing has been good with drop-shot rigs.

▪ RANCHO SECO LAKE

Bass and trout fishing is slow.

▪ SACRAMENTO RIVER, Dunsmuir

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, Knight’s Landing to Colusa

Catfishing remains very good from bank and boat. Salmon are moving through the river, but not biting well in the warm water. Anchoring and running small plugs, such as M2 FlatFish or K14 Kwikfish are working best.

▪ SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento

Salmon fishing is poor but possible, as they’re streaking through heading upriver, so you have to wait it out and be in front of them when they move through. Stripers are once again being caught in the deepwater channel at the Port of Sacramento.

SIERRA LAKES/RIVERS

▪ BOCA LAKE

The lake is at 14.3-percent capacity. Mountain Hardware and Sports still 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 in the early morning. Dropping a kayak or canoe in the water and drifting the channel was another option.

▪ CAPLES LAKE

The lake is at 82-percent capacity. According to John Voss at Caples Lake Resort, fishing was slow, but one angler picked up a 4-pound brown drifting a nightcrawler along the south shore. The water temp was 67 to 68 degrees and beginning to cool with the colder nights.

▪ CARSON RIVER (East, West)

Alpine County stocked 1800 pounds of trophy rainbows in the East Carson this past Friday and limit fishing was the rule over the weekend. Rainbows to 8 pounds were hitting bait, spinners, and flies in all the deeper pools. The West Carson flows were very low and fishing was tough.

▪ DAVIS LAKE

The lake is at 49-percent capacity. With the low water level and warm water temps, trout fishing was very slow. Bullhead catfish were hitting worms at Fairview. The ramp at Honker Cove was still operational and able to launch boats to 20 feet with 11 feet of concrete still in the water.

▪ DONNER LAKE

The lake is at 65-percent capacity. Experienced trollers were catching the 10- to 12-inch “next year’s” kokanee over the hump between China Cove and Loch Leven at 80 feet deep. Roving schools of rainbows were hitting for anglers in the right place at the right time along the north side docks and west end beach and boat dock. The best fishing has been in the early morning or late evening.

▪ FEATHER RIVER CANYON

Mike Hanson at Caribou Crossroads Resort reported experienced flyfishermen were picking up some native rainbows in the North Fork below the Caribou Powerhouse. The water in the North Fork and East Branch were getting mossy due to the warm water temps.

▪ FRENCHMAN LAKE

The lake is at 26-percent capacity. Wiggins Trading Post reported fishing was slow with only one rainbow reported this past week. A shore angler caught an 18-inch, 2.7-pound trout at the dam using nightcrawlers.

▪ GOLD LAKES BASIN

Mark Tieslau at Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden reported trout fishing at Packer Lake was very good with limits coming in as little as an hour using worms and floating dough bait. Sardine Lake was producing near limits trolling flasher/worms in the channel or drifting nightcrawlers and floating dough bait near the white buoy at the inlet.

▪ ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR

The lake is at 73-percent capacity. Fishing was fair with the warm temps, but rainbows were still being caught trolling a dodger/’crawler at 30 to 40 feet deep.

▪ INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR

Not much happening here with the East Carson getting planted by Alpine County and little or no fishing pressure on this small impoundment.

▪ JACKSON MEADOW RESERVOIR

The lake is at 56-percent capacity. Brett Brady at Bare Bones Guide Service reported a slower bite for rainbows but still hooked enough fish for boat limits on a Sunday trip. Rainbows to 16 1/2 inches were hitting a dodger nightcrawler trolled 0.8 to 1.2 mph at 45 feet deep. The Pass Creek boat ramp was still good for launching.

▪ JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park)

The lake is at 73-percent capacity. Denise Cole at Sly Park Resort reported smallmouth bass action was good on the rocky banks at the mouth of the Narrows. Heavy recreational boat traffic was still evident on weekends.

▪ LAKE TAHOE

Chuck Self at Chuck’s Charter Fishing reported he was catching limits of 4- to 8 1/2-pound macks on light load trips trolling UV spoons at 140 feet deep in the early morning and then down 250 to 420 feet deep as the sun hit the water. Mike Nielsen at Tahoe Topliners Sportfishing reported he was trolling and jigging for 3- to 5-pound macks at 190 to 220 feet deep and jigging for 14-inch kokanee at 75 to 100 feet deep from Taylor Creek to Emerald Bay—just look for the armada! Zach Gordon at Tahoe Sportfishing said the fleet was doing very well for mixed limits of kokes and macks on early morning trips trolling from the Keys to Camp Rich. The kokes were hitting flashers and red or green Wedding Rings at 65 to 85 feet deep, while the 5- to 7-pound macks were hitting dodger/minnows below the kokes at 170 to 200 feet deep over 1000 to 1200 feet of water.

▪ LOON LAKE

The lake is at 49-percent capacity. Ken Mathis at Ken’s Custom Tackle and Guide Service reported boats could still launch at the ramp with some difficulty. Trollers were catching nice rainbows on flasher/worms.

▪ PROSSER LAKE

The lake is at 25.7-percent capacity. Smallmouth bass fishing was still the best bet, especially in the early morning or late evening. Fishing the Prosser Creek inlet area in the early morning could produce the occasional rainbow.

▪ RED LAKE

Fishing here was slow with a few cutthroats being caught near the dam.

▪ SILVER LAKE

The lake is at 73-percent capacity. Shore fishermen were picking up a few rainbows at the dam, otherwise fishing was slow.

▪ STAMPEDE RESERVOIR

The lake is at 14-percent capacity. The lake surface temp was still high and algae were forming a green sheen on the water—not healthy. The kokanee were still stacked up in front of the dam in deep water and tough to catch, so most local anglers had given up on them, according to Mountain Hardware and Sports.

▪ TOPAZ LAKE

The Douglas County Park reported there was only 2 feet of concrete left in the water at the main launch ramp though all size boats were still launching. Most folks were launching their bigger recreational boats off the shore in the “primitive area”. Fishing was still very slow with the lake down 21 feet.

▪ TRUCKEE RIVER

Nothing has changed here--Mountain Hardware and Sports reported the river flows were way too low and much too warm to support any ethical fishing, so leave this precious resource alone.

▪ UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR

The lake is at 63-percent capacity. Ken Mathis at Ken’s Custom Tackle and Guide Service reported kokanee were impossible to find and only small macks were hitting a dodger/herring at 125 feet deep. A local fishing club fished the lake recently and only one boat found the fish catching two limits of rainbows to 3 1/2 pounds trolling.

▪ WEST WALKER RIVER

The DFW stocked the Little Walker River and West Walker River at Pickel Meadows and the Canyon this past week and will do the same again this week. The flows were dropping with no further thunderstorm activity for the past few weeks. Fishing was good in the deeper pools and runs where the fish were stacked up like cord wood.

NORCAL SALTWATER

▪ BERKELEY

Chimney Rock was the salmon hotspot early in the week, offering limits for the boats, then the mackerel moved in. “Then we found schools of big fish between Muir Beach and the Channel Buoys,” said Scott Sutherland for the landing. Most of the boats managed a fish per rod later in the week. “Coastal rockfish trips are producing limits and about one lingcod per person,” he said. The occasional halibut is also showing up on those trips. Captain Chris Smith put together a tournament on the California Dawn, and that produced the boat’s biggest lingcod for the week, a 31 pounder caught at Point Reyes.

▪ BODEGA BAY

A mixed bag for anglers here, with salmon action solid earlier in the week (after a long period of no kings), and wide open rockfish and lingcod action the rest of the time. “The warm water has made for wide open rockfish action, with lots of vermilion, browns and the other colorful species,” said Captain Rick Powers on the New Sea Angler. On Wednesday, he got into the salmon after a long run down to Point Reyes, the haul rewarding 19 anglers with salmon limits, big fish a 24 pounder.

▪ EMERYVILLE

Salmon action fluctuated, with some great mooching action earlier in the week, the New Seeker finding 29 kings for 19 anglers on Tuesday. “Then it dropped to one around on the salmon trips, then even slower,” said Frank Salazar at Emeryville Sportfishing Center. The Sundance has been focusing on salmon and kept the scores up through the weekend with limits on Thursday, just under one around on Friday, and 1.5 per rod on Saturday. The nearshore and Farallon Islands rockfish trips have been stellar with rockfish limits the rule, and good numbers of lingcod too, plus some trips with lingcod limits also.

▪ EUREKA

The weather was up, complicating trips, particularly for the albacore, but also for the salmon. “We’ve been fishing the pinnacles down south for salmon, and while the fish are there, it’s a long run, and the weather is usually poor down there,” said Captain Marc Schmidt of Coastline Charters. When the weather was too bad to get out the bar, Schmidt’s customers opted to do some fun fishing in the bay targeting sharks and rays. “Each day we caught 10 to 20 bat rays to 100 pounds, several leopard sharks and spiny dogfish,” said Schmidt. They also picked up some rockfish along the jetty, and one angler hooked up an estimated 40-pound thresher shark that was too much for the 20-pound leader. Pacific halibut is closed, but California halibut in the bay is an option, and there is a possibility of scoring some live bait which will help out both the halibut and albacore efforts. Tuna trips were weathered out, but the last time boats were able to get out, they found fish as close as 22 miles, and most were getting 3 to 5 fish per day.

▪ FORT BRAGG

Salmon remained slow, but the bottomfishing has been a stable option, although the bite was tougher mid-week for Captain Randy Thornton on the Telstar. “We had a couple tough days due to the drift, then Sunday it took off again.” A light load of six anglers caught limits of lingcod and rockfish.

▪ HALF MOON BAY

After a long stretch of no salmon, the kings showed up earlier in the week and best yet, right outside the harbor. “There is bait everywhere!” said Sherry Ingles at Half Moon Bay Sportfishing and Tackle. “The birds are going nuts. We’ve got anchovies inside and outside the harbor, mackerel and squid.” Salmon finally started to show up and the bite has improved daily with fish caught just outside the harbor between the red and green cans.

▪ SHELTER COVE

The salmon bite died, but the bottomfishing remained excellent. Water conditions were clear for the area making diving for abalone a good bet.

MOTHERLODE

▪ LAKE AMADOR

Bluegill action has been taking center stage with a piece of nightcrawler under a bobber near the Boathouse. A huge largemouth bass at 11.8 pounds was landed by Randy Ness of Bakersfield while trolling a nightcrawler near the dam. The catfish bite has slowed down within the past few weeks. 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. The lake is 32 feet from spilling, and the launch ramp is still open.

▪ LAKE CAMANCHE

Catfish and bass remain the top species. Chicken livers, nightcrawlers, or sardines are working for catfish in the early mornings or late afternoons near the Day Use Area with slow action during the heat of the daytime. Bass fishing is best in the mornings or evenings with drop-shot plastics or spinnerbaits. 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.

▪ DON PEDRO

Few reports from this lake with minimal interest during the dog days of summer. The warm temperatures have dropped the baitfish, rainbow trout, and king salmon into the deepest portions of the lake. The bite should turn on within the month as the water cools, as the amount of bait fish in the lake is a good sign for the future. Bass fishing is the best bite occurring in the lake with Baby Brush Hogs on a Carolina-rig from the shoreline with deep water access. The launch ramp is a single-lane with a curve to the left on the way down, making for challenging conditions.

▪ LAKE MCCLURE

Few fishermen are heading to the lake with the low water conditions, but spotted bass and catfish are abundant for those willing to make the long walk to the lake. Live crawdads or plastics worms are working best, and there is a topwater bite in the mornings and evenings. Few boats are launching into the lake with the reservoir receding to 10% of capacity. The North Barrett Cove ramp is the only launch operational as the lake has dropped to 10% of capacity, and the ramp requires a long walk back to the parking lot unless you arrive early. The Merced River is now closed to fishing until January 1 between the Crocker-Huffman Bridge to G Street in Snelling due to warm water conditions.

▪ LAKE MCSWAIN

The McSwain Marina is now closed on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. A few limits of holdover rainbows have been reported from the banks in the early morning as cooler evening temperatures are improving conditions. Spotted bass are as abundant as rainbow trout, with the bass thriving in the warm water conditions after coming over the dam with releases from Lake McClure. There will be no future trout plants for the summer, and a decision for future plants will be reviewed based upon the water temperatures.

▪ NEW MELONES

Catfish and crappie remain the top species at the lake with the crappie ambushing the abundant shad schools from the submerged timber along the shoreline. Catfishing has been best with frozen shad from the shorelines as the whiskerfish are keying on the shad schools. Trout fishing is slow, and kokanee fishing is all but dead. Bass action is decent for those willing to launch, and the bass are suspending on the shad schools. Small flukes, plastics worms, or plastics minnows are working with the fish preferring a smaller bait as the shad are in the 1- to 2-inch range. 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.

▪ NEW HOGAN

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.

▪ LAKE PARDEE

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.

▪ LAKE TULLOCH

Night fishing for bass is the only game in the afterbay for New Melones with heavy recreational boating during the daylight hours. The drawdown of the nearly filled lake is expected to start this week.

NORTHERN FOOTHILLS

▪ AMERICAN RIVER

According to the Georgetown Ranger Station, the river was low and clear with heavy recreational traffic at the Hwy 49 confluence. The best bet for fishermen was to hike to the remote sections of the North Fork above Foresthill and try for rainbows in the deeper pools.

▪ BULLARDS BAR

The lake is at 47-percent capacity. Boats can still launch at Dark Day on a 1-lane ramp. Emerald Cove Marina reported bass and kokanee were still being caught.

▪ CAMP FAR WEST

Boaters can still launch on one lane on the North Shore Resort ramp. Ron Franks of Folsom fished this past week and caught 22 bass to 2 1/2 pounds on oxblood and green pumpkin lizards at 10 to 15 feet deep in the Bear River arm.

▪ COLLINS LAKE

The lake is 51 feet from full. Catfish, catfish, catfish. Cats to 12 pounds were caught on anchovies and chicken livers at the dam and the rental docks, especially at night. Bass were hitting plastic worms.

▪ ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR

The lake is at 92-percent capacity. Skippers Cove Marina reported houseboaters were catching some limits of planter rainbows in the marina on cheese baits. Weekends were still seeing heavy recreational boat traffic.

▪ FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR

The lake is at 36-percent capacity. Only small boats were able to launch below the concrete ramp at French Meadows with 4-wheel drive. With the warm water temps, fishing was slow.

▪ HELL HOLE RESERVOIR

The lake is at 32-percent capacity. Launching was difficult even for small boats with 4-wheel drive. Fishing was slow.

▪ LAKE OROVILLE

The lake is at 31-percent capacity. Guide Ron Gandolfi reported good bass action on the main body and Slot for spots running 1 1/4 to 3 pounds. Drop-shot worms in any color and green pumpkin tubes were worming well from 5 to 20 feet deep on steep rocky walls and points. Salmon trolling was slow.

▪ ROLLINS LAKE

The lake is at 94-percent capacity. Bass fishing was good on the steeper rocky banks using drop-shot and darthead worms. Recreational boat traffic was heavy with the high lake level.

▪ SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE

The lake is at 45.2-percent capacity. Boat launching was restricted to 12 to 14 footers with the low lake level. Smallmouth bass were hitting worms and jigs at the dam. Trout fishing was very slow.

▪ SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR

With the low lake level and lack of recent DFW trout plants, fishing was slow.

▪ STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR

The Georgetown Ranger Station reported fishing was very slow with the lake level continuing to drop and the warm water temps. The campgrounds were open.

▪ THERMOLITO AFTERBAY

The lake was at 133-foot elevation at press time—75-percent capacity. Bruce Gibson at the Paradise Tackle Company reported steelhead fishing was good for fish to 7 pounds in the channel at Wilbur Road drifting nightcrawlers behind a Spin-n-Glo at 4 to 6 feet deep or drifting trolling flashers and nightcrawlers near the bottom. Bass fishing was good in the early morning using topwater and jigs on the rocky banks. Pitching Senkos to the edges of the grass beds was producing also. In the evenings, crankbaits and swimbaits were working on the rocky banks.

– Western Outdoor News

www.wonews.com

sacbee.com/fishing-line

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