Here are the best places to fish in the Sacramento region, Northern California and beyond for the week of Nov. 23, 2015.
▪ LAKE AMADOR
The annual Trout Derby will start on November 25 and it will run into March 6, 2016 with a one-time $7 entry fee. A plant of 1200 pounds occurred November 25 to accompany the 1200 pounds planted on November 19. Bank fishermen continue to experience the best action with the trout holding near the shorelines and near the surface. Trout dough bait, Mice Tails, or nightcrawlers are the top baits from the banks with the best locations along the dam or off of the Boat House Docks. The launch ramp is open with one lane and a courtesy dock.
Rockfish and lingcod stacked up on deck during wild days of fishing the Marin Coast and Farallon Islands. California Dawn, Happy Hooker, El Dorado, New El Dorado III and other boats enjoyed solid success.
▪ COLLINS LAKE
The lake is holding at 68 feet from full. Trout fishing success improved dramatically with a drop in the water temp over the past 2 weeks. WON Staffer Pat Young visited the lake to observe the stocking of the net pens and talked to the “Slow Trollers” of Yuba City and checked out their big catch that included rainbows up to 7 pounds caught topline trolling a CD5 Rapala in the channel between the marina and the dam. Shore anglers did well near the dam using floating dough bait for rainbows to 6 pounds. 1200 more pounds of rainbows were stocked in the lake this week on Monday.
▪ FEATHER RIVER
Bright kings were reported between Live Oak and Yuba City for anglers running T55 FlatFish with sardine wraps. Last week’s rain added color to the water, which improved the plug bite.
▪ SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento
Sturgeon are beginning to show up, with several caught last week. Striper fishing has slowed in the port. Salmon fishing has been surprisingly good for the guides working out of Miller Park, and even some limits have been coming out.
NORTH COAST RIVERS
▪ CHETCO RIVER, Brookings, Oregon
The Chetco blew out last week but came into shape over the weekend. The damage was done, however, and most of the salmon scooted upriver and have even spawned already. Fishing was only fair despite great conditions over the weekend, according to WON staff Writer Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing. There will still be salmon caught for the next few weeks, but steelhead are already showing better and better. Based on the forecast, the river should be fishable for the Thanksgiving weekend.
▪ ELK/SIXES RIVER, Port Orford, Oregon
Heavy rain blew out both rivers the middle of last week, but they were in good shape on Friday, said WON Staff Writer Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing. The Sixes had a good mix of bright and dark fish, while the Elk was producing mainly darker fish over the weekend. Salmon generally continue to run well into December on both rivers, so the Elk and Sixes will be the best bets for salmon in the region in the coming weeks. Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Tackle Company confirmed the good action on the Elk River, with good fishing conditions and driftboats slamming limits. The river had dropped to low and clear on the weekend. Most salmon were being caught on bobber and roe, but some added sand shrimp
▪ ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Oregon
Salmon season is over, with practically no effort by anglers. A few steelhead have been reported near Lobster Creek, but most anglers will wait until big rains in December to focus on winter steelhead. Summer steelhead halfpounders are being caught near Agness.
▪ ROGUE RIVER, Grant’s Pass, Oregon
The weather is very cold, with a big storm due on Monday and Tuesday. Fishing has been productive, though the conditions are tough. “We caught six steelhead on Sunday with one hatchery fish included,” said Troy Whitaker at U-Save Tackle in Grant’s Pass. A few silver salmon are being taken. Best catches of fish are being made on with the usuals, such as side-drifted roe, yarn balls, various baits and spinners. The weather is supposed to return to clear skies by mid-week, and the water level could be rising with this new storm coming in.
▪ SMITH RIVER
The Smith River was in the best shape all season for fishing last week, but was clearing fast at press time. Another storm was expected this week, though, and that will bring it back up for the peak of the salmon run. Fishing was wide open after the river crested and began dropping, said WON Staff Writer Andy Martin. And the best is yet to come.
▪ KLAMATH RIVER, Iron Gate
Steelhead between 1 and 7 pounds are being caught on nightcrawlers, roe and small plugs between Iron Gate Dam and Klamathon Bridge. Pressure has been light. Flows Sunday at Iron Gate were 1,060 cfs.
▪ KLAMATH RIVER, Happy Camp
A few halfpounders and adult steelhead are trickling into the middle section of the Klamath, but most appear to be holding below Weitchpec. Side-drifting small roe clusters is working best. Bank anglers are driftfishing Corkies, yarn and roe. Flows at Seiad Valley were 1,250 cfs on Sunday.
▪ KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen
Rain fell on the lower Klamath last week, boosting flows in most of the feeder creeks and allowing the remaining salmon to spawn. Steelhead fishing has been slow. Flows at Terwer were 3,940 cfs on Sunday.
▪ TRINITY RIVER
Low water conditions have steelhead holding up near Junction City, where halfpounders are biting side-drifted roe and adults are hitting small plugs, such as 3.0 MagLips. The South Fork is flowing at 80 cfs, but some nice adult steelhead are being caught. Flows at Lewiston were 326 cfs on Sunday.
NORTH COAST LAKES
▪ CLEAR LAKE
Bass have full bellies on bait and are averaging 2 two to 5 pounds. The main ramps in Clear Lake Oaks, Clearlake and Lakeport are all still open. But even with low water levels it’s still a little higher than it was this same time last year. For anglers using artificial baits the lipless crankbait fished with a yo-yo style retrieve and or burned back to the boat with a super fast retrieve is working. Now is the time that the Alabama rigs will also come into play along with several styles of swimbaits.
▪ LAKE BERRYESSA
Trout are spread throughout the water column waiting for the lake to turn. Rainbow trout to 3 pounds were caught on P-Line Laser Minnows cast to trout boils on the surface. Yo-yoing a LV 500 in ghost minnow along the east shoreline produced an 8-pound bass this past week.
▪ LAKE SONOMA
Bass up to 5 pounds were caught with a variety of spinnerbaits, LV500s, jigs and drop-shot Roboworms in the 10 to 20 feet of water while working the main body up around Cherry Creek. Water temperatures in the low 60s have landlocked steelhead coming up in the water column. Try trolling a No. 2 Needlefish in the cop car color.
▪ LAKE ALMANOR
Very few reports from here lately. This time of year troll from the Canyon Dam to Rocky Point with fast action lures like Speedy Shiners, Needlefish and Rapalas or a dodger/nightcrawler combination.
▪ BAUM LAKE
The trout fishing has been good all around the lake, although very few have been fishing The Fly Shop in Redding reported a 10 1/4-pound trout caught. Try midges and a few blue-winged olives in sizes 16 to 18 for 12- to 16-inch trout. Be prepared for changing weather and carry chains now.
▪ EAGLE LAKE
From here on out keep chains and warm clothes handy. Trout are on the surface now. Trolling Jay Fair All Around Best trolling flies in 5 to 15 feet of water with lines down 3 to 4 feet produced fish to 3 pounds.
▪ FALL RIVER
Closed Nov. 15.
▪ UPPER HAT CREEK
Closed Nov. 15.
▪ MANZANITA LAKE
No one fished this past week due to snow. Try early and late in the day but make sure you check the regulations here for when and where you can and can’t fish.
▪ McCLOUD RIVER
Closed Nov. 15.
▪ MCCLOUD RESERVOIR
Fishing well. The callibaetis are just about gone. Try zebra midges for trout 12 inches and better.
▪ PIT RIVER
The river is open to fishing year-round and fishing well. Be very careful wading here. Try little bugs and micro mayflies for fish to 26 inches. Zebra midges are also good here.
▪ SHASTA LAKE
Find the baitfish and you’ll find both the bass and trout. The lake is starting to turn over and trout are moving closer to the surface filling up on shad. Try spoons for bass and
midges as blood midges are popping up.
▪ AMERICAN RIVER
Salmon fishing remains slow, with the run almost over.
▪ FOLSOM LAKE
All boat launches remain closed because of low water.
▪ RANCHO SECO LAKE
Bass and trout fishing is slow.
▪ SACRAMENTO RIVER, Dunsmuir
Cold weather expected this week with snow possible is expected to stall fishing near Dunsmuir.
▪ SACRAMENTO RIVER, Knight’s Landing to Colusa
Striper fishing is fair to good on swimbait as well as pile worms. A few large fish were reported last week. Anglers are beginning to target sturgeon at Knight’s Landing.
▪ SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff to Colusa
Salmon fishing has slowed. Some brighter late-fall kings are moving through the river.
▪ SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding to Red Bluff
A few late-fall kings are being caught, but many of the salmon are now spawning. Trout and steelhead fishing has been very good between Redding and Red Bluff as the rainbows key on eggs from spawning kings.
▪ BOCA LAKE
The lake is at 13.6-percent capacity. Cold, snowy weather was in the forecast for this week, which should shut down any ideas about fishing. When the weather clears, try the dam for the occasional brown or rainbow on bait or lures.
▪ CAPLES LAKE
The lake is at 62.5-percent capacity. Shore anglers were finding rather winter-like conditions here and more snow was in the forecast for this week. It would be best to wait until the lake freezes over and ice fishing begins. Caples Lake Resort will reopen on Dec. 19 for the ski season.
▪ CARSON RIVER (East)
The East Carson from Hangman’s Bridge to the Nevada Stateline is open to fishing with artificial, barbless lures only with a zero daily bag and possession limit. With single-digit temps and snow in the forecast for this week, fishing here will be very slow until early spring when the water begins to warm up a bit.
▪ DAVIS LAKE
The lake is at 44-percent capacity. Shore fishing at Mallard Point was producing some nice limits of 19- to 22 1/2-inch rainbows using artificial scented eggs cast only 20 to 30 feet from shore—they’re up shallow!! Fairview was icing over.
▪ DONNER LAKE
The lake is at 36-percent capacity. With the lake so low, boat launching was restricted to small aluminum boats only. Some boaters were jigging for macks in 60 to 80 feet of water with moderate success.
▪ FRENCHMAN LAKE
The lake is at 22-percent capacity. Wiggins Trading Post reported fishing pressure was very low this past week. The best bet still was casting inflated nightcrawlers off the dam.
▪ GOLD LAKES BASIN
Mark Tieslau at Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden reported he caught 16-, 18-, and 21-inch browns from the shore by the outlet on blue/silver Krocodile spoons and a RBT spoon. The roads were still open to the lake but the safest access was at the road to the outlet. The boat ramp road was icy and 4-wheel drive and chains were recommended.
▪ ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR
The lake is at 70-percent capacity. Dale Daneman at Dale’s Foothill Fishing Service reported fishing was very slow here with only 4 strikes and 1 hookup in 4 hours of fishing. The fish were scattered.
▪ INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR
Alpine County stocked 1800 pounds of 1/2- to 4-pound rainbows this past week and anglers immediately began harvesting trout using chartreuse floating dough bait from the shore on the east end of the dam where you can drive down to the water’s edge.
▪ JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park)
The lake is at 63-percent capacity. Sly Park Resort reported a few fish were being caught by shore anglers at the dam and up at the entrance to the Narrows. Trollers were catching some rainbows on flasher/worms run near the shoreline.
▪ LAKE TAHOE
Chuck Self at Chuck’s Charter Fishing reported fishing was excellent with limits of 5- to 7 1/2-pound macks coming in an hour in the early morning at 180 to 220 feet deep—the only thing missing was enough anglers to get in on the action. Zach Gordon at Tahoe Sportfishing reported good morning mack action along the west shore at Rubicon and a strong afternoon bite off South Shore for 3- to 6-pound macks at 200 to 220 feet deep. Skiing conditions were described as marginal, so fishing makes a good option to save a holiday vacation.
▪ LOON LAKE
The lake is at 49-percent capacity. The gate to the ramp was closed—last report until spring. The road up to the lake was getting pretty icy in the shady spots making access difficult.
▪ PROSSER LAKE
The lake is at 25.8-percent capacity. Smallmouth bass were hitting near the dam, but freezing weather this week could easily shut that down. A few rainbows and cutthroats were hitting spoons and nightcrawlers at the Prosser Creek inlet.
▪ PYRAMID LAKE
Valarie Taylor at Crosby’s Lodge reported a trout just shy of 22 pounds was caught from shore this past week along with 6 other fish between 11 3/4 and 14 1/2 pounds. The south end beaches were productive for lure casters and flyfishermen. George Molino at Cutthroat Charters reported only catching 6 fish on his last trip that included 2 keepers and the rest above and below the slot. He was trolling Apex 30 to 70 feet deep from Warrior to Pelican.
▪ RED LAKE
The cold front forecast for this week may freeze the lake and get it ready for ice fishing—otherwise fishing was slow.
▪ SILVER LAKE
The lake is at 39.7-percent capacity. The lake level was low and fishing was slow.
▪ STAMPEDE RESERVOIR
The lake is at 12-percent capacity. Mountain Hardware and Sports reported very little was happening here.
▪ TRUCKEE RIVER
The main river was running low and slow. Flyfishermen were picking up a few fish in the slow water in the pools on nymphs, but the resource really needs a rest until flows are restored.
▪ UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR
The lake is at 51-percent capacity. The gate to the Sunset ramp was closed leaving Pea Vine Ridge Road the only option for anglers to reach the lake. Ken Mathis at Ken’s Custom Tackle and Guide Service said toplining for rainbows should be good. Troll 50 to 80 feet deep along the ledges for macks using a dodger/herring or Double Flutter spoons.
▪ WEST WALKER RIVER
The river flows were very low and fishing was very, very slow.
▪ BODEGA BAY/LAWSON’S LANDING
Limits of rockfish and back to dock by 10:00 a.m., were the standard for Willy Vogler at Lawson’s Landing. New Sea Angler ran trips to Timber Cove where fishing was off the hook for lingcod and rockfish. A new surf fishing area at the Mill, accessible via the south path will open December 1. Domoic acid counts in crabs are dropping, but season is still probably a few weeks out.
Roughly 2 lingcod per person, along with full limits of rockfish was the expectation and reality of passengers aboard Emeryville Sportfishing boats. New Huck Finn,New Salmon Queen and Sea Wolf handled the fishing duty, with additional boats put on the line as needed.
North and south jetties were fishable for part of the week and people caught kelp greenling, black rockfish and rainbow perch. Centerville Beach gave up some good red tail perch. Shelter Cove saw some fishing action for perch inside the harbor and rockfish from the rocks.
▪ FORT BRAGG
Noyo jetty was fished frequently and perch were the primary catch. At Jughandle State Beach, folks rigged up with squid strips to catch kelp greenling. Shore fishers are becoming excited because another section of the Mill, accessible from the new path at the south end will be opened to fishing as of December 1.
▪ HALF MOON BAY/PACIFICA
Huli Cat and Queen of Hearts made trips down the coast and hammered the lingcod as well as rockfish. Southside Fishing Club from San Jose fished Huli Cat. Striped bass –mostly schoolie size -bit shrimp and sand crabs at Pacifica Pier.
▪ SAN FRANCISCO
Bass Tub knocked the heck out of rockfish and lingcod outside the Gate. Flash II split her time between leopard shark in South Bay and groundfish along the Marin Coast.
▪ LAKE CAMANCHE
The third trout plant of the year arrived at the end of the week with 1200 pounds split between the South Shore launch ramp and the South Pond. The pond remains the top location for shoreline fishermen with yellow Power Eggs, trout dough bait, or green Power Worms. Trollers are starting to show up, but they are catching as many bass and crappie as trout. Bass action is best at depths from 25 to 40 feet with finesse techniques. The South Shore Ramp 2 is open along with both ramps at the North Shore.
▪ DON PEDRO
The lake should be turning over soon, and the action for king salmon and rainbow trout should start in earnest as the fish climb up the water column towards the surface. Bass fishing is the best thing going, but the bite is slow with the best action on the bottom with shad-patterned plastics such as Robo Worm’s Hologram Shad or Reaction Innovation’s Bad Shad Green. 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 held at 32% of capacity.
▪ NEW McCLURE
The bass fishing remains good from the shoreline for spotted bass in the 1- to 1.5-pound range. Numbers of small bass are the rule with plastics on the drop-shot or darthead. Few fishermen are making the long trek to the water’s edge, and boat launching is limited to kayaks or float tubes. A-1 Bait in Snelling is open on the weekends with a full supply of live minnows and crawdads. Catfish to 10 pounds have been taken from the shoreline on crawdads.
▪ NEW MELONES
Bass fishing remained fair, but experienced anglers are finding success using search baits such as spinnerbaits, ripbaits, crankbaits, or small swimbaits and switching to finesse techniques once the fish are located. Trout fishing remains slow, but the recent rains, colder temperatures, and coming storms should turn on the bite. The rainbows will move into the shallows and near the shorelines in search of easy meals washing down from the shorelines. Catfishing has slowed with the cooler water temperatures. 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. The lake is at 11% of capacity.
▪ AMERICAN RIVER
The river was running very low, clear and cold, so fishing was very slow with little pressure to report.
▪ BULLARDS BAR
The lake is at 94-percent capacity. Emerald Cove Marina reported they had seen very few boats on the lake this past week. Boaters can still launch at Dark Day and bass fishing should be good for spotted bass on the points and walls at 10 to 30 feet deep using swimbaits and Senkos.
▪ CAMP FAR WEST
North Shore Resort reported fishing was slow with the colder water temps. Boaters can still launch off the shore near the ramp with 2-wheel drive vehicles.
▪ ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR
The lake is at 94-percent capacity. Skippers Cove Marina reported very little boat traffic on the lake, but said that the houseboaters usually do well off the backs of their boats in the marina catching planter rainbows on worms.
▪ LAKE OROVILLE
The lake is at 27-percent capacity. Guide Ron Gandolfi reported the bass bite was still strong pretty everywhere on the lake using darthead worms, drop-shot worms and mini-flukes, tubes, and worm-head Senkos at 5 to 30 feet deep on steep points and walls. Experienced anglers able to detect the soft, subtle bite were hooking 75-plus fish in a day.
▪ ROLLINS LAKE
The lake is at 81.3-percent capacity. Boaters can launch at Long Ravine and Orchard Springs. The bass bite was good but most of the fish were small—under 12 inches. Drop-shot worms were working well for the bass on points.
▪ SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE
The lake is at 42.9-percent capacity. With the lake level up a little, launching was easier for smaller boats. Boaters running on the lake were advised to use extreme caution due to shallow hazards—rocks, humps, and tree stumps!! Smallmouth bass fishing was good on rocky and gravel banks using crankbaits.
▪ THERMOLITO AFTERBAY
The lake was at 134.5-foot elevation at press time—85.3-percent capacity. Watch out for the duck hunters on the weekends. Steelhead fishing should be productive in the canal at Wilbur Rd. for anglers drifting nightcrawlers by boat or using inflated ‘crawlers from shore.
▪ Sacramento River
Salmon action has waned to only a few fishermen trying, but there are still bright fish moving through the river. Striper fishing has taken center stage with the best action in the north Delta near Liberty Island with live mudsuckers, glide baits, or Roadrunner prop baits. Trolling has been up or down with periods of great action tempered by slower fishing. Anglers will have to search for the fish. The water temperature has dropped rapidly within the past week to prime striped bass time, but the rapid drop has spread out the sturgeon. The Pittsburg area remains the top location for diamondbacks, and lamprey eel or salmon roe are the top baits. Grass shrimp and live bullheads remain scarce, but more than a few shops had some grass shrimp this week.
▪ San Joaquin River
Hyacinth is still the story in the Stockton area, but the coming cold spell may cause the vegetation to die off and start sinking towards the bottom. Striper fishing has been very good in the San Joaquin with a variety of techniques including bait fishing with shad, drifting live bluegill or mudsuckers, jigging with spoons, or tossing pro baits. The rapid water temperature decrease has the largemouth bass off of the bite, but the action should improve once the fish acclimate. The launch ramps in the Stockton area are out of commission with hyacinth clogging up the ramps, although Paradise Point Marina off Eight Mile said their ramp working fine. The removal of the False River saltwater barrier has been completed, but boaters must use extreme caution and pay attention to the buoys when traveling through this popular route.
– Western Outdoor News