Fishing Line

Salmon action winding down in Sacramento River

Encroaching water hyacinth is a continuing problem in the Delta, closing some ramps and making access a problem for anglers.
Encroaching water hyacinth is a continuing problem in the Delta, closing some ramps and making access a problem for anglers. rbenton@sacbee.com

Here are the best places to fish in the Sacramento region, Northern California and beyond for the week of Nov. 2, 2015.

TOP PICKS

▪ LAKE CAMANCHE

Crappie are starting to bite in earnest at both ends of the lake, with crappie jigs responsible for 20 crappie weighing a total in excess of 29 pounds. A huge catfish at 29.35 pounds was taken out of the South Shore Pond on chicken livers for the second huge catfish landed in the pond within the past two months. Trout plants are yet to start, but the concessionaires will be dumping the trophies in within the next few weeks now that the water temperatures are starting to cool enough for the rainbows. The South Shore Ramp 2 is open along with both ramps at the North Shore.

▪ DELTA REGION: Sacramento River

Salmon are still trickling through with the best action in the Delta found from the banks below the Freeport Bridge. An occasional bright fish is landed by trollers working spinners or Kwikfish. In Suisun Bay, the salmon bite is winding down with a few salmon landed per day at either 1st Street or the Dillon Point State Park. Striper fishing is best with swimbaits or topwater lures near Liberty Island while trollers are scratching up small fish and trying to avoid the omnipresent hyacinth. Sturgeon fishing is best in the deep water near Pittsburg with salmon roe, eel, or pile worms. The weekend closure on Highway 12 from10:00 p.m. on Friday evenings until 5:00 a.m. on Monday morning due to work on the Mokelumne River Bridge will continue for the next two weekends of November 6-9 and 13-16. As a result, traffic north on 160 from Highway 12 to Walnut Grove has been very high as all traffic is rerouted to this road during the weekends.

▪ DELTA REGION: San Joaquin River

Hyacinth has forced the closure of two public ramps in Stockton, and freezing weather is necessary to bring about the demise of the floating mats of vegetation. The recent winds have allowed for bank access off of Whiskey Slough as the hyacinth has migrated to the east bank. Small striped bass are the rule for anglers spooning or drifting live mudsuckers. The best grade of striped bass has been coming from the northern end of Frank’s Tract. The removal of the False River saltwater barrier is in process, and the barrier will be removed by November 15. Boaters are advised to use extreme caution while traveling through this popular route as construction and large floating equipment is in the water.

▪ SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding to Red Bluff

The first late-fall kings of the season were reported at the Barge Hole last week. Salmon anglers are running plugs at first light and then boondogging roe. Trout fishing is good as salmon begin to spawn. More steelhead also are showing in the catch.

▪ SMITH RIVER

The river opened up to fishing after low flow closures were lifted between 8 and 9 a.m. on Sunday morning following drenching rains. The river went to 2,100 cfs and was back down to 1,740 cfs on Sunday evening. Anglers on the river when it first started climbing found limits of kings, but moss and rising water stopped the action before noon. Old salmon that were holding in tidewater and new fish from the ocean are now in and up the river, and season is on! Call ahead of time for low flow closures.

NORTH COAST RIVERS

▪ CHETCO RIVER, Oregon

The river blew out on Sunday after heavy rains, hitting nearly 4,000 cfs, but it was dropping back into shape Sunday evening, already down to 2,560 cfs, according to guide and WON Staff Writer Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing. He was on the river when it blew out and said salmon were everywhere moving up the river, but it was unfishable by 8 a.m. The Chetco door is now open for salmon, and now is the time.

▪ COQUILLE RIVER, Coquille, Oregon

The fishing for coho was on the slower side about 30 miles upriver from the mouth this last week, according to WON Field Reporter and tackle manufacturer Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Tackle Company. “However near the mouth, where we been reporting from so far this season, fishing was good for coho salmon the first half of the week. Anchovies are still the bait to be favored by the coho and not spinners this year. During beginning of last week the small town of Riverton had king salmon still being caught all the way past the town of Coquille and up to Arigo, which, for the most part, is a bobber and roe fishery. To my surprise, I was treated to a photo of a days catch just above Riverton of a striper, one of 3 they caught while trolling for Chinooks. That is truly amazing.”

▪ ELK RIVER, Port Orford, Oregon

“Now this is the place to be at the moment!” said Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Tackle Company. “This last week had some absolutely awesome morning fishing at the mouth on the incoming tide. It progressively slowed down as the foul weather got closer at the end of the week. I heard estimates at start of last week of 80 Chinooks being caught in a few hours with only 20 anglers trying their good fortune out on those days. By Sunday there was only 9 salmon reported being caught over the course of the day. However the coast got hit hard by the storm.”

▪ ROGUE RIVER, Grant’s Pass, Oregon

The steelhead fishing has been okay, but kind of hit-and-miss in most areas. Best catches seem to be made on a variety of things, including nightcrawlers and Puffballs, plus some on small pieces of orange roe or imitation eggs for steelhead. There’s no particular hot area, so just pick a favorite run and go for it, said Troy Whitaker at U-Save Tackle. “Coho salmon should be on the way up soon and hopefully our water conditions will improve with more rain,” Whitaker said. As for the lakes, there is low water everywhere, and Diamond Lake is about the best bet for trout anglers.

▪ UMPQUA RIVER, Roseburg, Oregon

Friday and Saturday I went out driving around and found a few salmon tagged,” reporter Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Tackle Company. “These were some of the largest coho I had seen in a long time. Two father/son teams were walking the bank and casting Wiggle Warts and catching them. I found one fairly dark Chinook at the Confluence of the South and North Forks of the Umpqua River, which is still extremely low and having an effect on the fishing. The rains are helping, though, and fishing will improve as more rains fall.”

TRINITY/KLAMATH RIVERS

▪ KLAMATH RIVER, Iron Gate

Salmon season is over. Steelhead fishing has been good, with very little pressure. Anglers are fishing nightcrawlers with divers, fly fishing with egg patterns and pulling plugs. FlowsSunday at Iron Gate were 1,060 cfs.

▪ KLAMATH RIVER, Happy Camp

Steelhead fishing has been slow from Orleans to Happy Camp, with very few halfpounders showing up in the catch. A fresh batch of fish that entered the lower river over the weekend could boost fishing by the end of the week. Flows at Seiad Valley were 1,220 cfs on Sunday.

▪ KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen

Salmon fishing is slow. Flows at Terwer were 2,360 cfs on Sunday.

▪ TRINITY RIVER

Rain last week didn’t boost flows but did add color to the water, which resulted in decent steelhead fishing near Junction City. Drifting roe has been a good bet for steelhead, while small plugs also are working. Steelhead fishing is slower near Hoopa. Flows at Lewiston were 326 cfs on Sunday.

NORTH COAST LAKES

▪ CLEAR LAKE

The bite improved with a few more fish being spread out and where they should be for this time of year. The bass are heavily feeding on the huge amount of baitfish, but you’ll have to move around and you’ll have to sort through the smaller ones still. Jigs, Senkos, chatterbaits, deep diving cranks and swimbaits were favorites in 2 to 22 feet of water. Jumbo minnows are also available now for those wishing to target catfish.

▪ LAKE BERRYESSA

Spooning for spotted bass was the ticket and the Narrows was the place. Not many targeting the trout yet since the lake hasn’t turned. Blade Runner spoons in the 1 1/2-ounce size with the new UV Morning Dawn color worked the best. The shad and bass were both in 35 to 45 feet of water.

▪ LAKE SONOMA

Bassers targeting transitions, ledges and creek channels with shad patterned crankbaits, chatterbaits and small swimbaits in 5 to 15 feet of water are having the best luck. Trout trollers are still waiting for the lake to turn over. In the interim put downriggers down to 25 to 35 feet with trolling flies, Needlefish or Humdingers in shad patterns for landlocked steelhead to 19 inches.

NORTHEASTERN

▪ LAKE ALMANOR

The rainbows are over open water, so split your time between the east and west shore depending on what the wind and weather is doing. Lately they have been from the surface to 10 feet as the season is changing and is more in their comfort zone. The brown trout are gearing up for spawning, so try trolling spoons like Needlefish or Aortic Fox flies in pond smelt or the chui chub patterns and black/silver Rapalas for rainbow trout.

▪ BAUM LAKE

Not many fishing here but it can be good this time of year. Try blue wing olive patterns. Just be careful and be prepared for changing weather conditions – carry chains now. Try by the parking lot, but anywhere should fish well.

▪ EAGLE LAKE

The excellent bite continues here with trout to 4 pounds. Whatever you like to do will work. But bring your own gas and supplies, since the only place open will be Arnold’s in Spalding and they will be closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays so come prepared. From here on out just keep chains and warm clothes handy.

▪ FALL RIVER

The season closes on Nov. 15, so get here sooner than later. The fishing has been really good, especially with any kind of baetis or blue wing olives in sizes 15 to 18.

▪ UPPER HAT CREEK

Open until Nov. 15 with fewer crowds. Baetis patterns or midge patterns are good with green drake hatches when the weather changes as well.

▪ MANZANITA LAKE

No reports, but midges should work well. They are bedding down for the winter so things are shutting down.

▪ McCLOUD RIVER

The fishing here has been very good as the browns are migrating to the Ash area. Try Oct. Caddis patterns. Probably will shut down for spawning by the time it closes on Nov. 15.

▪ MCCLOUD RESERVOIR

Open and fishing very well. Try midge patterns at the access at the dam.

▪ PIT RIVER

This is a very good fishery, but use caution as flows can change – and do! Maybe try some Oct. Caddis and drakes with the change of weather. Also watch road conations with some changes in the weather. This is the time of year you need to be prepared for changing road and weather conditions.

▪ SHASTA LAKE

Matt from Shasta Tackle said stick with plastics and fish the bottom with jigs and darter heads for bass in 15 to 20 feet early and late. Senkos are also good. Dry Creek tubes in green pumpkin or mud pie work as well for mostly keepers to 1 1/2 pounds. The McCloud and Squaw arms have been good. Find limits throughout the day, though it shuts down off and on. Look for the lake to turn over and then trout will also be in the top 25 to surface. With changing conditions, try Cripple lures, Kastmasters and Rapala in shad patterns for bass as this is what fish are feeding on. Follow birds for shad and both trout and bass. This is one of the best times to fish here.

SACRAMENTO VALLEY

▪ AMERICAN RIVER

Fishing for salmon continues to be slow, but there were multiple reports for new jacks being caught in the lower American last week.

▪ FEATHER RIVER

Some stripers are being caught near Shanghai Bend. Salmon fishing is fair near the Fifth Street Bridge.

▪ FOLSOM LAKE

All boat launches are now closed because of low water. Bank fishing for bass is fair.

▪ RANCHO SECO LAKE

Bass and trout fishing is slow.

▪ SACRAMENTO RIVER, Dunsmuir

Fly fishing for native rainbows has been good. Flows at Dunsmuir were 172 cfs on Sunday.

▪ SACRAMENTO RIVER, Knight’s Landing to Colusa

A few large stripers have been caught at Knight’s Landing. Anglers anchoring near Verona are catching an occasional king on plugs.

▪ SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff to Colusa

Salmon fishing has slowed, although new fish continue to show each day.

▪ SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento

Stripers are being caught in the deepwater channel, but most are shakers. Trolling M2 FlatFish and K14 Kwikfish has been fair for kings in the metro area.

SIERRA LAKES/RIVERS

▪ BOCA LAKE

The lake is at 13.3-percent capacity. Fishing was very slow here with the low lake level. The old “Ice House” foundation was showing from back in the day when ice was cut from the lake during the winter to supply ice boxes.

▪ CAPLES LAKE

The lake is at 62.5-percent capacity. Fishing should still be good. Caples Lake Resort was closed until December 19 when it will reopen for the ski season.

▪ CARSON RIVER (East, West)

Todd Sodaro at Todd’s Bait and Tackle at the Creekside Lodge reported fishing on the East Carson was slow, but anglers were still picking up 1 to 3 DFW planters on worms and salmon eggs. The river closes on November 15.

▪ DAVIS LAKE

The lake is at 44-percent capacity. Ed Dillard at Dillard’s Guided Fishing reported the bite was slow for the most part. The dock was pulled out of the water at Honker Cove, but 12-foot aluminum boats could still launch. Shore fishing was sporadic at Mallard Point with anglers scoring two or three 18- to 20-inch rainbows in 4 hours using floating dough bait. Flyfishermen on float tubes were picking up some nice fish on rust wiggle tails at Mallard.

▪ DONNER LAKE

The lake is at 36-percent capacity. Mountain Hardware and Sports reported trollers were still picking up kokanee, but they were unfit to eat since they were ready to spawn. Jiggers were picking up some macks to 8 pounds in 100 feet of water at China Cove and Loch Leven.

▪ FEATHER RIVER CANYON

The North Fork Feather River and Caribou Powerhouse Reservoir close onNovember 15. Fishing was slow in the river while a few nice trout were still being caught on jigs or worms under a bobber at the Powerhouse.

▪ FRENCHMAN LAKE

The lake is at 22-percent capacity. “Mitch” from Reno, a lake regular, caught a limit of rainbows to 3 1/2 pounds at the dam on worms under a bobber. A flyfisherman did well at Turkey Point scoring two limits of rainbows to 20 inches on size 16 nymphs—all fish were released.

▪ GOLD LAKES BASIN

Mark Tieslau at Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden reported a troller in a canoe caught two 5-pound browns and a nice mack using a black leech on a medium sinking fly line close to the shore.

▪ ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR

The lake is at 70-percent capacity. WON Staffer Pat Young fished the lake this past week with Dale Daneman of Dale’s Foothill Fishing Service and a couple of his friends and they hooked 5 rainbows to 13 1/2 inches on threaded nightcrawlers and jointed brown trout Rapalas. A shore angler caught a 16-inch rainbow at the boat ramp using worms.

▪ INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR

Fishing was improving here with the colder weather from shore near the dam, and from small boats or float tubes in front of the dam over deeper water.

▪ JACKSON MEADOW RESERVOIR

The lake is at 45.9-percent capacity. Mountain Hardware and Sports said they had not heard any current reports for this lake, but trollers should be able to pick up some rainbows on dodger/worms and Apex.

▪ JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park)

The lake is at 64-percent capacity. Sly Park Resort reported fishing was slow with few anglers giving the lake a try.

▪ LAKE TAHOE

Chuck Self at Chuck’s Charter Fishing reported doing well for limits of macks running 3 to 7 pounds on tough days and 5 to 7 pounds on good days trolling 180 to 350 feet deep between Tahoe City and Crystal Bay Point. Trolling in 15 to 25 feet of water was producing a few rainbows to 2 1/2 pounds. Zach Gordon at Tahoe Sportfishing said the fleet was doing well at South Shore for limits of 3- to 6-pound macks mooching live minnows at 140 to 180 feet deep.

▪ LOON LAKE

The lake is at 47-percent capacity. Denise Cole at Sly Park Resort said they like to fish the back side of the lake from shore for browns this time of year. Boat launching is available at the gravel ramp near the dam.

▪ PROSSER LAKE

The lake is at 25-percent capacity. The best bet here, according to Mountain Hardware and Sports, was shore casting spoons or jigs for smallmouth bass at the dam or nearby rocky banks.

▪ PYRAMID LAKE

Valarie Taylor at Crosby’s Lodge reported fishing slowed this past week with only two big fish weighed in—a 17-3 caught by Daniel Rengstorff trolling a KwikFish at Separator and a 10 3/4 pounder landed by Edmund Teskoski while casting a gold Kastmaster from the shore at Spider Point. George Molino reported his trips produced 10 to 26 fish mostly in the 17- to 24-inch range. Molino fished the Pelican area at 60 to 80 feet deep with Apex.

▪ RED LAKE

The lake was very low and fishing pressure was non-existent by the last report.

▪ SILVER LAKE

The lake is at 39-percent capacity. Dale Daneman at Dale’s Foothill Fishing Service reported small aluminum boats could still launch. Fishing should be fair with the colder weather.

▪ STAMPEDE RESERVOIR

The lake is at 12-percent capacity. Shore anglers were picking up some nice smallmouth bass to 3 pounds casting spoons off the dam. Only cartopper boats can launch here with the extremely low lake level.

▪ TRUCKEE RIVER

Flows in the main river were down to 77 cfs at Farad, so leave this resource alone. The main river switches over to catch-and-release only with artificial barbless lures from Trout Creek in Truckee to the Nevada State line on November 16.

▪ UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR

The lake is at 53-percent capacity. Ken Mathis at Ken’s Custom Tackle said the best bet here was toplining for the SMUD rainbows using flasher/threaded nightcrawlers.

▪ WEST WALKER RIVER

Pam Hamic at the West Walker Motel reported fishing pressure was very light, but the flows were adequate in the deeper pools and runs. Fishing switches over to catch-and-release with barbless artificial lures only on November 16 from the confluence with the Little Walker River on Hwy 395 to the inlet of Topaz Lake.

NORCAL SALTWATER

▪ BERKELEY

A decent halibut bite on shiners and jacksmelt gave Berkeley private boaters some excitement on the Flats. Happy Hooker went for bass and halibut, scoring flatties to 14 pounds. Shore anglers wished the Berkeley Pier repairs would get underway. Party boats from Berkeley got into some salmon up to 27 pounds on the final day of salmon season.

▪ BODEGA BAY

Private boaters managed a couple of bluefin but the bite wasn’t exactly wide open. New Sea Angler worked on lingcod and rockfish with about a lingcod and a half per rod. Out of Lawson’s Landing, a big white seabass and a last-chance salmon were taken between Elephant Rock and Point Reyes. Inside of Tomales Bay there was a decent halibut bite near Hog Island.

▪ EMERYVILLE

Sea Wolf, New Huck Finn and New Salmon Queen ran rockfish trips through the week, targeting the fish-rich waters along the Marin Coast. Limits of rockfish were daily occurrences and lingcod counts were good. On Sunday, Sea Wolf posted limits of both lingcod and rockfish.

▪ EUREKA

Rough weather made the rockfish closing day a tough one and very few boats made it out. Lonnie Dollarhide used a Lingslayer aboard Reel Steel to take a 7-pound copper rockfish. Both jetties produced greenling, rockfish and cabezon.

▪ FORT BRAGG

Lingcod and rockfish really wanted to feed in the shallows, as evidenced by successes aboard Telstar when fishing between 40- and 60-foot depths off of MacKerricher. Shore fishers had plenty of greenling, rockfish and Cabazon fun at favored spots like Old Mill, Mendocino Headlands and MacKerricher.

▪ PACIFICA/HALF MOON BAY

Striped bass chewed lures and baits from below the Gate on down to Pacifica, where Morey’s Point saw the biggest fish –to 15 pounds -especially at night. Lingcod to 18 pounds and limits of rockfish came aboard party boats Queen of Hearts and Huli Cat from Ritz Carleton to Pescadero.

▪ SAN FRANCISCO/SAUSALITO

Salmon season closed successfully with Bay boats catching both salmon and bonito. A 27-pound salmon came aboard Wacky Jacky at the Towers. Two anglers split the jackpot pool with twin 22 pounders taken aboard Salty Lady out of Sausalito. Bass Tub began the week with lingcod and rockfish for her passengers.

MOTHERLODE

▪ LAKE AMADOR

Catchable rainbows in the 1- to 2-pound range are the rule from the shorelines at the dam and from the Boat House docks with Power Eggs in white, pink, or chartreuse along with crappie jigs or silver Kastmasters. The trout plants were on hold this week, but 5000 pounds are expected on November 10. The larger trophy rainbows will be released around Thanksgiving as the water continues to cool. The annual derby will start during the third week of November. Plants of up to 5000 pounds will occur on a weekly basis through May 2017. The restaurant has reopened for the season.

▪ DON PEDRO

Bass fishing is best with shad-patterned 4.5-inch plastics on the drop-shot at depths from 25 to 30 feet. Most of the action is off of the banks, and they are tossing the plastic worms into deep water and working the lure slowly back to the shoreline. The shad are starting to school up, and the bass are suspending on the shad schools. Trout and king salmon action will not improve until the water cools. A grant for the improvement of the Fleming Meadows Launch Ramp has been approved, and construction to create a two-lane ramp should start shortly. The lake rose slightly to 32% of capacity.

▪ NEW MELONES

Bass fishing for smaller fish continues to be excellent with the bass chasing small shad throughout the water column. Shad-patterned plastics, vertical jigging with 1/2- to 3/4-ounce P-Line Laser Minnows, or ripbaits are all are effective for the suspended fish while jigs on a Texas-rig or shaky head are working for the increasing number of bass oriented to the bottom. Catfishing from the banks is solid with frozen shad, anchovies, sardines, or mackerel from Glory Hole Point to the Highway 49 Bridge along areas with flats adjacent to deep water access. Trolling for trout will improve with the rainbows coming up in the water column towards the surface. More fishermen are coming out to work the lake as the fall progresses. The launch ramp is limited to the dirt ramp at Glory Hole Point, and a 4WD tow vehicle in essential. The area around the dam has been buoyed off due to strong currents from water releases.

NORTHERN FOOTHILLS

▪ AMERICAN RIVER

The river was running low and clear with little or no fishing pressure.

▪ BULLARDS BAR

The lake is at 38-percent capacity. The lake is low and fishing is slow.

▪ CAMP FAR WEST

North Shore Resort reported Ron Franks of Folsom fished this past week and caught 36 bass that included 8 largemouths. He was throwing orange Zoom craws and green pumpkin lizards in 10 to 15 feet of water on the main body by the dam. One angler reported catching 13- and 14-pound catfish on minnows from the shore at the South Shore Resort.

▪ COLLINS LAKE

The lake is 68 feet from full. Shore anglers and trollers were picking up a couple trout to 4 pounds per person, though some lucky folks were scoring limits of rainbows. Big fish of the week was an 11 1/4-pound catfish caught at the dam on floating dough bait. The lake will get another 1800-pound trout plant this week.

▪ ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR

The lake is at 95-percent capacity. Skippers Cove Marina reported houseboaters were catching limits of 10- to 12-inch rainbows in the marina on floating dough bait.

▪ LAKE OROVILLE

The lake is at 29-percent—down 235 feet!! Guide Ron Gandolfi reported bass fishing was still very good with clients catching an average of 63 fish on his 11 trips this past month. Drop-shotting a mini-fluke that imitates the pond smelt was the most consistent producer, though buzzbait and spinnerbaits were working around the standing trees in Spring Valley and Dark Canyon. Spinnerbaits were also good on the mudlines. Drop-shot worms and tubes worked better for larger fish on steep walls and points at 5 to 20 feet deep. Launching was “4 wheel-drive only” at the Spillway and Bidwell Marina.

▪ ROLLINS LAKE

The lake is at 68.3-percent capacity. Launching was available at Orchard Springs and Long Ravine. Bass fishing was good on the steeper rocky points drop-shotting worms at 10 to 20 feet deep.

▪ SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE

The lake is at 39.8-percent capacity. Launching was restricted to 12- to 14-foot aluminum boats—trim the motor up until past the cables in the marina for the first 100 to 150 feet out from the ramp. Smallmouth bass to 3 pounds were hitting crankbaits for shore anglers, so boaters should do well.

▪ THERMOLITO AFTERBAY

The lake was at the 135.4-foot elevation at press time—91.8-percent capacity. There were a lot of ducks in the Afterbay with little flooding in the rice, so beware of the duck hunters set up in the coves and on the tule berms. Steelhead fishing using nightcrawlers in the canal at Wilbur Rd. was the safest bet.

– Western Outdoor News

www.wonews.com

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