Fishing Line

Sturgeon break out and salmon still around (Week of October 27, 2014)

Gabby Worth, 8, of Latrobe Elementary School releases a rainbow trout that fell out of a bucket in to the Ice House Lake as she and other students from different schools helped the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) staff release hatchery raised rainbow trout into the wild on Monday, June 2, 2014.
Gabby Worth, 8, of Latrobe Elementary School releases a rainbow trout that fell out of a bucket in to the Ice House Lake as she and other students from different schools helped the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) staff release hatchery raised rainbow trout into the wild on Monday, June 2, 2014.


▪ DELTA REGION: SACRAMENTO RIVER side — Sturgeon fishing broke out near Pittsburg with the diamondbacks stacking up in the deeper sections of the river off of the Pittsburg PGE Plant or near Chain Island. Salmon roe, eel, or grass shrimp are the top baits. Ghost shrimp remained unavailable for the majority of bait shops. Salmon fishing continued to be best in lower Suisun Bay with solid scores on a daily basis from the Benicia shoreline while a trickle of fish are taken from the shoreline near Freeport. Aquatic vegetation plagued trollers in the Old Sacramento River, and the clearest water has been near Walnut Grove. However, salmon fishing has been limited to the very occasional fish. Striped bass are holding throughout the system with the larger fish in the upper Delta near Liberty Island, Prospect Slough, and the Sacramento Deep Water Channel.

▪ DELTA REGION: SAN JOAQUIN RIVER side — Water hyacinth is choking the back sloughs in the south and east Delta, and in some areas, launching a boat has been problematic. Striped bass action remained solid with live mudsuckers or spoons in the main San Joaquin, but anglers will have to avoid the mats of hyacinth. The Department of Boating and Waterways started spraying the hyacinth on Friday. Near Antioch, small stripers are the rule, and fresh shad, sardines, or live mudsuckers are the top baits. Largemouth bass fishing is solid with a variety of techniques. There is a ripbait bite in the morning before dropping to the bottom outside of the weedline with plastics on a Zappu head. Fresh shad is readily available throughout the Delta bait shops from Stockton west to Pittsburg. Wax worms remained the top bait for bluegill near Jersey Island, Bethel Island, or Big Break.

▪ PYRAMID LAKE, NevadaCrosby’s Lodge reported the biggest fish of the new season was weighed this past week—a 23 3/4 pounder caught trolling at Hell’s Kitchen by Mike Peckham of Meadow Vista. A 14-15 and 12-13 made the board at Crosby’s also. George Molino at Cutthroat Charters reported catching 20 and 33 cutthroats on his last two trips with most running 17 to 23 inches. Molino was trolling Apex 80 feet deep at Warrior Point and from the Wash to Pelican. Joe Mendes at Eagle Eye Charters had a large group in on 4 boats that spent a couple of days jigging for trout on the east side of the lake. The boats all scored 40 to 60 fish per day with the biggest fish weighing 12 and 14 pounds. Mendes said the bigger fish were on the east side, while the west held big numbers of keeper-sized trout for trollers.

▪ AMERICAN RIVERThe salmon spawning area on the American River above the power lines at the lower end of Ancil Hoffman Park to below the Nimbus Fish Hatchery closes to fishing on Oct. 31. Salmon fishing has continued to be very slow. Some night fishermen have been getting a few around the Lower Dredger Hole, but not many. Steelhead fishing has been slow, but a few have been caught on Nightcrawlers, Little Cleos, and Kastmasters.

▪ SACRAMENTO RIVER, SacramentoSome good storms came in last week and salmon fishing went up and down again last week as small schools of salmon went streaking upstream. There was some good fishing upstream of the city and some big fish to 40 pounds were caught. Flying “C” spinners in chartreuse were good at bank fishing spots like the Minnow Hole and Discovery Park, and Miller Park. Jigs have been catching a few down by Freeport.


▪ CHETCO RIVER, Oregon – The river blew out big time on Saturday and flows were at 10,000 cfs on Saturday night, according to guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing, but he still managed to fish it Saturday morning and his clients hooked 3 kings before it went totally out of shape. They were working plugs under bobbers, which is legal under the “bobber fishing only” rule in effect through October. King salmon are now spread out throughout the river, and plenty of kings were seen from Social Security Bar all the way up to Ice Box.

▪ COOS RIVER, Coos Bay, Oregon – With the recent rainstorms, the South Fork Coos River and the Millacoma River, which come together to make the Coos River, had a rush of salmon race into them as the streams of fresh water filled their banks. “During the mid-week storms the anglers in boats didn't catch very many salmon,” said WON Field Reporter and guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Guide Service, “neither coho nor Chinooks were anxious to bite spinners or bait. But the bank anglers who were fishing close to where a stream enters into one of the forks of the river did very, very well. It seems that the fresh water had the salmon near the bank. I heard of one pair of bank anglers who caught and released dozens of fish that were holding right at their feet.”

▪ COQUILLE RIVER, Coquille, Oregon – Salmon fishing was quite good early in the week when the fresh rains helped at first, but then became an angler’s enemy as the storm became more than most people could endure. High winds and downpouring rain raised water levels and muddied the river over the end of the week, according to guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets.

▪ ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Oregon – The lower Rogue River and Bay at Gold Beach were fair fishing last week, and some late king salmon were being caught here and there, according to guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets. “The heavy storm at the end of the week raised the river and colored it up, coaxing the last of the salmon to run upriver and enter the streams for spawning. For the most part, the Rogue River Bay will be dead until next summer. I wouldn't expect much steelhead fishing just a few miles up from the mouth of the river until middle of December and this should run well into March.”

▪ ROGUE RIVER, Grant’s Pass, Oregon – Good steelhead action is being seen in the Grants Pass area, where lots of steelhead are being caught on nightcrawlers with Puffballs, crawdad plugs, K-9 plugs in silver and pink or Gold Digger plugs. Make a long run and cover lots of water to find the fish. Some cohos showing also, on twitching jigs in pink and purple, or spinners. A few Chinook salmon are still being taken from Taylor Canyon, Hellgate Canyon and Graves Creek area, but the fish are getting dark, according to Troy Whitaker at U-Save Tackle in Grants Pass.

▪ SMITH RIVER, Oregon – Guides Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing and Phil Desautel of Phil’s Smiling Salmon Guide Service both said the Smith River is now wide open for king salmon, having blown out at least twice during the past week, bringing both chrome and darker kings up the river and into the system, where anglers are scoring well. The bite has been back and forth between plugs and roe, with the fresher fish hammering the lures. Roe worked better when the river dropped out and cleared a bit. Now is the time for the Smith salmon run.


▪ KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen – A few steelhead are being caught from Blue Creek up to the mouth of the Trinity River. Some coho were being caught, too, but all must be released except for Chinook jacks and hatchery steelhead.

▪ KLAMATH RIVER, Iron Gate Dam – Fishing has been outstanding with some anglers catching 2 dozen or more old king salmon an outing. It’s all catch and release, as the salmon in this part of the river are not in very good shape, but are lots of fun to catch. Backbounced roe has been the most effective method, and Kwikfish have worked, too. Steelhead are starting to enter the upper river in increasing numbers.

▪ TRINITY RIVER – Steelhead fishing on the Trinity River has been picking up. No more adult salmon may be taken, and the jacks have been in the river for a very long time. The river upstream from the North Fork has dropped to being fishable. Smolts have mostly been washed down the river, and steelhead fishing has been starting to take over. The whole river to the South Fork should be in good enough condition to fish n a few days. Try red copper John’s, Psycho prince nymphs, and stone flies dead-drifted under indicators. Back-trolled Hot Shots and Brad’s Wigglers have been good for lure fishermen.


▪ CLEAR LAKE – The bite continues to be slow for both bass and catfish. A little cool down is needed to see change. Current conditions include clarity from 1 to 4 feet around the lake, water temperatures in the low to mid 60s and a lake level of -.74 Rumsey. The Redbud launch ramp is now officially closed for upgrading leaving the Lakeport, Clear Lake Oaks and Konocti Vista Marina the remaining usable ramps.

▪ LAKE BERRYESSA – The usual places such as the Narrows are producing some nice bass on jigs and spoons.

▪ LAKE SONOMA - A little rain helped to stain up the water some. Try Dry Creek arm above Cherry Creek for bass covering water with Redemption spinnerbaits, chatterbaits or a LuckyCraft BDS3 in the top 10 feet.


▪ ALMANOR LAKE – Fast action lures were getting more trout than any other method. Launch out of Rec. 2 and troll out toward Goose Island and back with downrigged No. 2 Needlefish or Speedy Shiners in the top 15 feet. As the sun goes up, fish deeper. For launching, the Canyon Dam ramp is open with a dock, the USFS ramp is open but with no dock, the Rec. 1 ramp is closed due to low water but Rec.2 is open with a dock.

▪ BAUM LAKE – Water conditions continue to be good here. Try to fish early and late when the sun is not high. Fishing has been fair to good, but should get even better with the little bit of rain it got, which will help hatches.

▪ FALL RIVERWater conditions are great and the fishing has been good. The better hatches have been going off in the morning, so come early. This is one of the rivers that will close on Nov. 15.

▪ UPPER HAT CREEK – Fishing here is at its best early in the day before the sun gets high in the sky and then right at sunset. The Power House No. 2 riffle is still worth checking out. This is one of the rivers that will close on Nov. 15.

▪ McCLOUD RIVERBoth water conditions and fishing have been fair to good, although some had better luck than others. This is one of the rivers that will close on Nov. 15.

▪ PIT RIVERIt continues to fish well. September and into October are high season months here, but bring a staff as the rocks and boulders in here are unforgiving. This is one of the rivers that will close on Nov. 15.

▪ SHASTA LAKE – Cover lots of water and target the first 15 feet of shoreline with crankbaits and spinnerbaits for bass. Best bet has been the first two and last two hours of the day. Look for bass rounding up the baitfish. Spoons have been picking up a few more trout in the top 20 feet.


▪ BERKELEY – On Wednesday New El Dorado III had 14 salmon for 18 anglers to 28 pounds plus one lost barracuda. The 28 pounder was caught by Bill McClelland from Sacramento. On Friday the El Dorado had 12 salmon for 12 anglers to 31 pounds. The big fish was brought in my Damon Williamson from Fremont. California Dawn is preparing for crab/rockfish combo trips.

▪ BODEGA BAY/LAWSON’S LANDING New Sea Angler ran trips up the coast and the fishing was excellent for rockfish and lingcod up to 16 pounds. The boat will be running combo trips once crab season busts open. Salmon were caught at Ten Mile Beach by Lawson’s Landing boaters. Tomales Bay anglers got leopard sharks and rays. Surf fishers caught perch and a few striped bass.

▪ EMERYVILLE – Rockfish trips along the coast kept Sea Wolf and New Huck Finn busy catching limits of rockfish. New Huck Finn made a trip to the Farralones on Thursday for limits of lingcod to go with limits of rockfish. Emeryville boats are readying for combo trips, when crab season opens.

▪ EUREKA – Swells peaking at 23 feet and winds gusting as high as 49 knots convincingly kept boaters off of even the Bay, much less the open ocean. What little fishing was concentrated on very few protected spots where perch, sharks and rays could wiggle and bend rod tips. New charterboat, Fishy Business, has high safety rating, is geared just right for fishing and is ready for business.

▪ FORT BRAGG – Most people spent the blustery week preparing for the crab season, happy to have time to tend to pots, ropes, baits and all the other needs for a successful early crab season. Protected spots inside Noyo Jetty towards the bridge produced some rockfish, cabezon and rock crab. A few shore fishers tried Mendocino Headlands but the surge was pretty bad and fishing was tough.

▪ HALF MOON BAY – Salmon milled about the harbor showing no signs of wanting to leave. Spinners worked early and late, while pink Mad River worms worked best during the middle of the day. Queen of Hearts pulled limits of rockfish, some lingcod, one white seabass and one wolf eel from points south of the Harbor.

▪ SAN FRANCISCO/SAUSALITO – Salmon fishing outside the Gate kept people happily making the trek. Argo managed 3 limits during the week. Lovely Martha fished halibut inside the Bay one day, getting flatties to 18 pounds. On other days, the boat fished salmon for a fish per rod average. Wacky Jacky, Salty Lady, Outer Limits and New Rayann all got into the salmon and it seemed like there were a lot of 28-pound whoppers caught. It was a popular size.


▪ FEATHER RIVER – The fall king salmon run has been holding steady with around 2 to 4 fish a boat per outing but some of the fish have continued to get darker—especially the farther upstream you go. Shanghai Bend and Gridley have been the best places to go. Steelhead fishing has been good, but it’s still tough to keep dark salmon off the line.

▪ FOLSOM LAKE – The lake has continued to drop lower and lower by the day. Bass are in their all pattern. Fish using your electronics over old rock tailings and river channels at the end of the Peninsula. Fish 20 to 30 feet deep with jigs, drop-shotting and Carolina rigging. Some reaction bites can be good in the morning.

▪ RANCHO SECO LAKE – Some nice bass are continuing to be being caught on weightless Senkos close to dark. And even topwater plugs might get a strike early or late. Red-eared sunfish are biting worms under bobbers.

▪ SACRAMENTO RIVER, Woodson’s Bridge – A big rush of fall salmon went streaking upstream into Deer Creek last week, with the rain which was heavier upstream of Grimes. The fall run seems to be about over, and the late fall run is about to begin.

▪ SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding – Most folks are concentrating on salmon, but trout fishing continued to be “magical” on small egg patterns, or nymphs under indicators.

▪ YUBA RIVER – The Yuba River is flowing at about 400 cfs. The lower Yuba below DeGuerre dam down to Sycamore Ranch has been good in the warmer weather on hopper indicators with a small caddis nymph dropper.


▪ BOCA LAKE – The lake is at 22.9-percent capacity. Brown trout were staging at the inlet and moving up into the Little Truckee to spawn—do the fishery a favor and leave the spawners alone!! Macks and rainbows can be caught at the inlet, too.

▪ CAPLES LAKE – The lake is at 68-percent capacity. Caples Lake Resort closed this past week and will reopen by Christmas for icefishing and the Kirkwood ski season (assuming we get enough snow!!) The resort still has a couple of cabins available. Fishing was improving with the colder weather and the area saw some snow over the weekend.

▪ CARSON RIVER (East, West) – Alpine County stocked the last 1800 pounds of rainbows for this season on Oct. 24. Trout fishing was excellent for those anglers braving the stormy weather on Saturday. There was enough snow at the higher elevations to close Ebbett’s Pass, but it was supposed to open by Monday.

▪ DAVIS LAKE – The lake is at 53-percent capacity. Strong winds kept boaters off the lake this past weekend. Mark Tieslau at Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden reported shore fishing was good at Mallard and Fairview for limits of 18- to 20-inch rainbows using floating dough baits. Ed Dillard flyfished with a buddy at Jenkins and they caught 5 fish one day and 10 the next using a cinnamon leech under an indicator in 12 feet of water.

▪ DONNER LAKE – The lake is at 46-percent capacity. Mountain Hardware and Sports reported fishing was slow. Boaters might try jigging for macks.

▪ FEATHER RIVER CANYON – Butt Valley Lake was too low to launch a boat, according to Dick Mason at Dick’s Guide Service. Only a few native rainbows were coming out of the North Fork between Caribou Crossroads Resort and the Caribou Powerhouse dam.

▪ FRENCHMAN LAKE – The lake is at 35-percent capacity. Wiggins Trading Post reported shore anglers were picking up 18-inch rainbows at the dam using inflated nightcrawlers. The windy weather kept boaters off the lake this past weekend.

▪ GOLD LAKES BASIN – Mark Tieslau at Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden reported brown trout to 18 inches were hitting a 1/4- or 3/8-ounce gold Kastmaster fished from the shore in the evenings in the cove by the boat ramp at Gold Lake. Salmon Lake, Packer Lake, and Sardine Lake were all slow.

▪ ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR – The lake is at 81-percent capacity. Kyle Neeser at Crystal Basin Tackle and Guide Service reported seeing 8 boats on the lake on Sunday morning while driving in the area looking for deer. Fishing should be good as the water temp drops and the trout go on their annual fall feeding frenzy—try a dodger/nightcrawler or a Sep’s brown grub in the top 15 feet. Watch out for ice in the mornings on the roads and ramp.

▪ INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR – Alpine County will stock the lake after the close of the stream trout season or sooner if snows threaten to close the road.

▪ JACKSON MEADOW RESERVOIR – The lake is at 62-percent capacity. Mountain Hardware and Sports said the lake level was too low for launching at the Pass Creek ramp—so it looks like cartoppers only. Browns should be staging and moving up the Yuba River inlet to spawn.

▪ JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park) – Sly Park Resort reported rainbows were hitting worms by the boat docks.

▪ LAKE TAHOEChuck Self at Chuck’s Charter Fishing reported catching limits of 5- to 6-pound macks in 2 1/2 hours on Sunday morning in cold, rough conditions as the tail end of a big storm moved though the region. Self was trolling Lucky Craft minnows and spoons 160 feet deep off Kings Beach. Zack Gordon at Tahoe Sportfishing reported their fleet was still picking up limits of 2- to 5-pound macks mooching live bait on the west side from Sugar Pine to Tahoe City.

▪ LOON LAKE – The lake is at 51-percent capacity. The Georgetown Ranger Station reported the lake was open and fishing well.

▪ PROSSER LAKE – The lake is at 27-percent capacity. Mountain Hardware and Sports reported smallmouth bass fishing was slow this past week, and not much else was happening.

▪ RED LAKE – Still no reports available from here—fish the dam or the inlet with worms and salmon eggs for a mix of brookies and cutthroats.

▪ SILVER LAKE – The lake is at 40-percent capacity. As the water temps drop, fishing should be improving but few reports were available.

▪ STAMPEDE RESERVOIR – The lake is at 24-percent capacity. If you can get a small boat in the water, try the inlets areas on the Little Truckee and Sagehen Creek for browns preparing to spawn or rainbows feeding on kokanee eggs.

▪ TRUCKEE RIVER – Mountain Hardware and Sports reported that the river flows were extremely low and fish were very vulnerable, concentrated in the last remaining deeper pools. Ethical anglers will leave these trout alone to protect this vital fishery.

▪ UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR – The lake is at 59-percent capacity. The lake is still in the King Fire Closure Area west of Ice House Road.

▪ WEST WALKER RIVER – Flyfishermen and lure casters were doing a lot of catch-and-release of rainbows running 6 to 10 inches— the DFW planters. According to the West Walker Motel, no bigger fish were caught this past week and fishing pressure was very light.


▪ AMADOR LAKE – Bass have been biting very well for anglers all across the lake. The key has been to look for the boils and fish shad imitations nearby. The lake was planted with 5,000 pounds of trout last week and another big plant is scheduled for this week.

▪ DON PEDRO RESERVOIR– Anglers have been finding very little success with the lake’s trout. Spotted bass have been a much more viable option since they have been hunting the large schools of shad around the lake. Fishing shad colored plastics or spoons above shelves or near structures along the shoreline has been productive.

▪ LAKE McCLURE – Due to the low water conditions and limited launching capabilities, anglers have been avoiding this lake like the plague. Shore anglers may be able to pick up a few bass or catfish fishing live baits near structures or shelves.

▪ LAKE McSWAIN – Early in the week anglers pulled in good numbers of trout, but the recent rains seemed slowed the bite significantly. Kastmasters in orange, gold, or silver have producing very well.

▪ NEW MELONES RESERVOIR – The bass bite continues to improve as the weather cools down. Anglers are pulling in some good fish with jigs, shakeyheads, and drop-shot rigs. Catfish are also biting well for anglers fishing near deep water with frozen shad, anchovies, or nightcrawlers.


▪ AMERICAN RIVER – The flows in the North Fork and Middle Fork bumped up a bit with the rain this past weekend, but fishing pressure was non-existent, according to the Georgetown Ranger Station.

▪ BULLARDS BAR – The lake is at 40-percent capacity. Wind and rain this past weekend kept fishing pressure very light, according to Emerald Cove Marina. Boats can still launch at the Dark Day ramp.

▪ CAMP FAR WEST – North Shore Resort reported small boats could still launch off the muddy shore by the concrete ramp, but 4-wheel drive was MANDATORY!! Ron Franks of Folsom caught 20 bass this past week that included 6 largemouths using green lizards on main lake points at 20 feet deep.

▪ COLLINS LAKE The lake is 56 feet from full. The lake was stocked with 1800 pounds of rainbows this past week and fishing was good for shore anglers and trollers. The best spot for shore fishing was at the dam where inflated nightcrawlers and floating dough baits were being used for limits of rainbows to 4 1/2 pounds. Trollers were doing well using flashers or dodgers and nightcrawlers near the dam.

▪ ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR – The lake is at 95-percent capacity. Trollers were picking up the newly planted rainbows in the marina between the moored houseboats on flasher/worms in the top 10 feet. If you fish here, check in with the marina so they can get some feedback on the action to report to WON.

▪ FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR – The lake is at 31-percent capacity. The campgrounds were closed and both launch ramps were well out of the water, according to Danielle Kelly at the Foresthill Ranger Station. The road to the lake was opened after the King Fire.

▪ HELL HOLE RESERVOIR – The lake is at 28-percent capacity. The Georgetown Ranger Station reported the road to the lake was still closed for cleanup after the King Fire.

▪ LAKE OROVILLE – The lake is at 28-percent capacity—down 239 feet—Danger! The temporary ramp at Bidwell was closed, moved to another site, and reopened for use by 2-wheel drive vehicles. The spillway ramp was getting tougher to use with the dock moving into the launch area and making it difficult to get boats off the trailer—4-wheel drive is MANDATORY here!! Guide Ron Gandolfi reported the bass fishing was still wide-open with 1/2-day trips producing 50 fish on topwater, spinnerbaits, and tubes on rocky outside steep walls and points from the Slot up into the North Fork and West Branch. Fish to 3 pounds were spread out from the bank to 20 feet deep.

▪ ROLLINS LAKE – The lake is at 77-percent capacity. Bass fishing was still good using worms and jigs. A few rainbows were beginning to show up for trollers near the dam. Watch out for navigational hazards near the Bear River inlet—sand bars and such.

▪ SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE – The lake is at 49-percent capacity. Jim Caldwell at NID reported the smallmouth bass fishing was still good for 2 to 3 pounders at the dam using worms, jigs, and crankbaits.

▪ SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR – Not much happening here with the campgrounds closed and fishing very slow with no DFW plants since early summer.

▪ STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR – The Georgetown Ranger Station reported the road was open to the lake, but the campgrounds had been burned over by the King Fire and with the lake so low the boat ramp was closed. Shore fishing was a possibility.

▪ THERMOLITO AFTERBAY – The lake was at 135.1-foot elevation at press time—90-percent capacity. Strong winds and some rain kept boats off the lake this past weekend. Look for the bass bite to improve with stable weather. Try Senkos and jigs around the edges of the grass beds and tule banks. Run a buzzbait or swimbait over the sparser grass beds.

– Western Outdoor News