Fishing Line

New schools of stripers found daily in Feather River

Noukeo Saycocie, 65, of Sacramento catches a 28-inch striper after only one hour of fishing along the banks of he Sacramento River in a May 31, 2009, file photo.
Noukeo Saycocie, 65, of Sacramento catches a 28-inch striper after only one hour of fishing along the banks of he Sacramento River in a May 31, 2009, file photo.

Here are the best places to fish in the Sacramento region, Northern California and beyond for the week of April 11, 2016.


▪ DELTA REGION: Sacramento River

Sturgeon action remains very good in lower Suisun Bay with straight eel. The section of the river from Buoy 2 towards the Benicia/Martinez Bridge has produced limits. Striper fishing has slowed down with most trollers migrating over to the San Joaquin River side. Sturgeon are already heading downstream from the upper river. The water is still murky, and the recent rain will bring new mud downstream. The clearer waters of Steamboat and Miner Sloughs are the top locations. Bait fishing below the Freeport Bridge with blood worms, pile worms, or sardines coated with garlic spray are producing stripers.

▪ DELTA REGION: San Joaquin River

Striper trollers are concentrating on the San Joaquin River from the Antioch Bridge to Prisoner’s Point with P-Lien Predator Angry Eye or Yozuri Crystal Minnows in both shallow and deep water locations. There is an abundance of smaller stripers in the river, but the occasional larger bass to 19 pounds and above are caught and released. Largemouth bass have moved into the shallows, and Brush Hogs and Senkos are producing big weights. There was a topwater bite over the weekend during Saturday’s overcast and rainy conditions. Crappie are starting to move into the shallows in the back sloughs, and bluegill and red ear perch are there for the taking with waxworms or jumbo red worms.


New schools of stripers were reported daily on the Feather River last week, with Shanghai Bend, Boyd’s Pump, Star Bend and Beercan Beach all fishing well. Pile worms are working best, followed by minnows and larger swimbaits. Stripers have been running 18 to 20 inches on the Feather, with plenty of bigger fish mixed in. Sturgeon have been reported at the mouth of the Bear River.


The lake is starting to release water, but it is still 90% of capacity. A plant of over 8000 pounds of Nebraska-bred rainbows is anticipated within the next week, and this will bring out the bank bite near the marina. Bass are in the process of spawning in the clear water, and Brush Hogs, lizards, and Senkos are all producing. Kokanee are up the river arm, and various small spinners or hoochies are working for experienced fishermen. The RV Park is scheduled to open between May and July, depending upon the pace of construction.

▪ SACRAMENTO RIVER, Knight’s Landing to Colusa

Striper fishing is very good, with pile worms fishing best, followed by minnows. A big school of stripers has been reported near Knight’s Landing. Many guides are focusing on the Verona area. Bigger females are expected to move in from the delta soon as the water temperature at Colusa is now 62 degrees.

▪ SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff to Colusa

Stripers have arrived in big numbers around Colusa, where fishing has been wide open. Some guides are reporting 70-plus-fish days on minnows and cut bait, particularly pile worms. Sardines also are working, along with swimbaits. Most of the fish are smaller males, with plenty of keeper-size fish. Bigger females have been reported in the delta and should be making their way upriver soon to spawn.


Catfish are being caught in the slower water on nightcrawlers, but stripers are the big news as they move upriver for the spawn, and they are being caught near Discovery Park on minnows and pile worms. Big stripers to 24 pounds also were reported by trollers fishing the deepwater channel last week.



The Chetco closed to steelhead fishing the end of March and re-opens to sea-run cutthroat trout in late May. Salmon won't arrive until October.

▪ ELK, SIXES RIVERS, Port Orford, Oregon

The rivers closed to steelhead fishing the last day of March and remain closed until Memorial Day Weekend.

▪ ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Oregon

Despite good flows, spring king salmon fishing has been slow. Flows at Agness were 6,820 cfs on Sunday, a good level for springers. But with water temperatures already approaching 60 degrees, salmon haven't been biting very aggressively. Guide Steve Huber said he has caught some wild springers that had to be released. He also got into some late adult steelhead last week while fishing anchovies for springers. A better set of tides is expected this week, which could improve the early morning bite at Elephant Rock and Clay Banks.

▪ ROGUE RIVER, Grants Pass, Oregon

“We have 3 steelhead in the boat today,” said guide Troy Whitaker from the river, still on a guide trip on Sunday evening. “The water level is up a foot, and clarity is good with water temp now about 53 degrees. Lots of springers coming through town area with a mixed bag of downers and uppers. Colors working best are pink-and-silver, or gold.” Crawdad plugs and Brad’s Wigglers are also good, according to Whitaker, who works at U-Save Tackle. “It’s probably best for springers up in the Shady Cove area. Lake Selmac bass fishing remains pretty good on buzzbaits, Rat-L-Traps and any noise making plugs. Galesville Reservoir remains good for coho on flashrs with a Weddding Ring and worm. Applegate Lake largemouth and smallmouth bass are improving on small crankbaits in the stumps, or down 20-30 feet on Senkos.


The clarity and the flows are right where they need to be to target any late season steelhead, according to Scott Heemstra of Kings Sport & Tackle in Guerneville. Flows at Hacienda were at 1200 cfs as of Sunday April 10, with 2 to 3 feet of visibility in beautiful steelhead green water. “Best bets for tackle right now would be casting Little Cleos, spinners, or drifting jigs or pink worms under a float,” Heemstra said. “Remember, the Russian is now under artificial only regulations, which includes adding scent. The smallmouth action is starting to pick up with the increased water temperatures and they are in the shallows digging beds for their spawning ritual. Haven't heard much on the shad front yet, but they should be arriving any time now.”


A few new steelies are still showing up, but the vast majority of fish are all downers right now. Flows were 2,190 over the weekend, or 7.5 feet, so it’s low and clear, but still plenty of water for side-drifting, according to WON Staff Writer Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing. Rain expected middle of week, and river open until the end of April. Biggest steelhead of the year come in towards the end of season.


▪ KLAMATH RIVER, Hornbrook

Flows from Iron Gate Dam were down to 1,360 cfs on Sunday, the lowest level in months. Fishing pressure has been light, but some spawned out steelhead and native rainbows are present.


Steelhead fishing has been poor. Flows Sunday at Seiad Valley were 6,110 cfs, and 16,000 cfs at Orleans.

▪ KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen

Flows on Sunday at Terwer were 25,300 cfs. The river has been blown out the entire year. Anglers will begin spring salmon fishing in late May.


Steelhead fishing has been slow as the run comes to an end. A few downrunners are still available, along with some brown trout. The river is in good shape from Lewiston to Junction City. Flows at Lewiston were 316 cfs on Sunday, 673 cfs at Douglas City and 828 cfs at Junction City. The lower Trinity is still high with flows of 6,270 cfs at Hoopa on Sunday.



Bass are moving in for their spawn and the community holes like the mouths of Rodman Slough, Adobe and Kelsey creeks and the State Park all provided consistent action. Live bait was the way to go for larger fish and artificials produced numbers of smaller ones. Weightless Senkos, drop-shotted worms, spinnerbaits and chatterbaits have been producing the best action. The docks and shoreline access areas around Lakeport, the County Park, State Park and Indian Beach continue to kick out crappie for shore anglers and boaters. But there are still no reports of catfish.


Work the transitions or edges along spawning flats with Pointer 100s, chatterbaits or Keitech swimbaits for largemouth bass in 5 to 10 feet of water. Smallmouth and spotted bass have been on main body secondary points with baseball-sized rock. Senkos or drop-shot 6-inch Roboworms in Morning Dawn have been deadly for smallies and spots. The water has come up so fast that the lake is stained, so you’ll have to wait a few more weeks for trout.


Largemouth bass have crashed the banks and anglers are seeing some of the best bass fishing in years. Target the main lake with Shad Keitech swimbaits while covering water fished on a leadhead in 5 to 15 feet of water. Senkos, jerkbaits, swimbaits and plastics are also working. Most of the males are up on the spawning flats of the creeks and bays with the big girls not far behind. A few crappie are being caught in and around the campgrounds in brush in 10 to 15 feet of water with crappie jigs or live minnows under a slip bobber.


Both the north and south launch ramps are operational and good numbers of smallmouth and largemouth bass have been reported. Some of the flatter protected coves on the east shoreline will hold most of the largemouth bass, which can still be caught on Pointer 100s, spinnerbaits or Senkos in 5 to 15 feet of water.



It should be a good fishing season here for everything with plenty of water. The west basin is being flushed out with much clearer water and that's the area trout are moving into. Smallmouth bass fishing has been slow, but with warming weather should start to pick up with the hatches which everyone enjoys.


Still fishing well but slowing down a little. The bite has been better in the afternoon when the water warms up. Midges are a good option here and all over the lake, but up by the Powerhouse was the best spot for trout.


There is good trout fishing here and not a single sole on it. Try leeches, sinking flies, sinking lines, midges or dry flies near the dam.


Early season tackle like dark or red nymphs or copper Johns should do the trick here. It’s still high, so be careful wading here due to runoff and releases. No hatches yet, but the weather is getting warmer so it won’t be long. Fast running water has the Pit 3 still the better bet. Gone up, but 3 will be the more manageable. Check for big releases. Always look at stream reports for flow.


The Salt, Squaw, McCloud arms and Jones Valley arms have been good for bass on Spooks, topwater tackle or poppers in any color. Hit the mouths where water is coming in for trout, although the bite has not taken off yet.


Has not been a good option due to launch conditions and lower water levels, but rising.


It is full, but no reports yet.



A double plant of 2400 pounds is expected during the current week, and limits of quality Mt. Lassen rainbows have been taken by boaters heading to the back of the lake in Jackson Creek in order to soak trout dough bait, Mice Tails, or nightcrawlers. Tossing perch-colored Kastmasters has also been productive. There have been more boats on the lake during the past week, and the lake remains full with both launch ramps in the water. Crappie are taken from the big dock or Mountain Springs with crappie jigs. The planted rainbows are still holding in the top 10 feet of the surface. The bass are feeding heavily in preparation for their spawn. Catch and release of largemouth bass is requested.


Trout plants continue at the lake with 600 pounds at both the North and Shore launch ramps within the past week. The bass have moved into the shallows at depths from 3- to 8-foot range, and Brush Hogs, Senkos, or plastics on the drop-shot are all pulling the fish from the bed. For trout, the action has slowed , but trollers continue to score with Speedy Shiners, Rapalas, or blade/’crawler combination in the triangle from the dam to Big Hat and Little Hat Islands and also in the Narrows. Catfish are staging in the shallows with chicken livers, and crappie are holding in submerged structure.


Trout action remains solid at depths from 15 to 30 feet with spinner hooches behind a dodger. Kokanee are possible, but getting through the trout has been difficult. Bass action is tough overall, but there have been some large fish taken on Huddleston swimbaits in rainbow trout. Plastics on the drop-shot or shakey head are producing numbers. All three launch ramps are open. A barrier boom is located 4 miles upstream from Moccasin Point.


The lake is rising quickly, and the spotted bass have been holding off of the shoreline in the 20- to 25-foot range. The cooler temperatures and rising water have kept the fish from spawning consistently. The topwater bite has died off. Spotted bass to 6 pounds have been landed on a jig in the past week, and the action will go ballistic once the weather stabilizes. The lake has risen 712 feet in the last week to 740.30 feet in elevation and 37% of capacity, but the lake is still below the 50% average at this time of year.


The Merced Irrigation District’s annual trout derby occurred over the past week, and the lake is loaded with planted trout. The lake is full, and bank fishing has been best at the Marina, the Brush Pile, and the Handicapped Docks with Kastmasters, trout dough bait, or inflated nightcrawlers.


The trout bite has broken out for trollers working the main river channel towards the dam with most anglers are finding limits with Rapalas, spoons, or blade/’crawler combinations. Bass fishing remains excellent with the fish oriented towards the shoreline with River2Sea SWavers in yellow trout, Berserk Purple Hornet jigs, or plastics on the drop-shot from the banks to 8 feet. Catfish action is heating up with the warmer water, and crappie fishing is the best in several years near submerged structure.



The lake is at 57.7-percent capacity. With the lake at this level, the boat ramp should be in the water. With the rains this past weekend, the snow on the road to the ramp should have melted off and opened the road. Try fishing from shore or boat at the dam. Boaters should also work the inlet area.


The lake is at 63.6-percent capacity. Open water was showing at Wood’s Creek Inlet. Ice was still thick at the dam and spillway, though the fishing was slow according to Victor Babbitt at Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters (TFFO). Caples Lake Resort was predicting that the lake would thaw by mid- to late May.


With rain this past week, the river was blown out.


The lake is at 66-percent capacity. Ed Dillard at Dillard Guided Fishing reported shore fishing was still very slow—one guy caught 3 fish in 9 hours at Mallard Point. Small boats were launching at Honker Cove, but the bite was slow—one boat had several bites on a red dot frog Needlefish, but no hookups.


The lake is at 52-percent capacity. Shore fishing was slow. Trollers were still picking up 4- to 6-pound macks on spoons at 80 to 90 feet deep over 115 to 120 feet of water along the south side of the lake from China Cove to the west end.


The lake is at 40-percent capacity. Wiggins Trading Post reported shore fishing was good at Lunker Point, Turkey Point, Big Cove, and the dam using nightcrawlers and floating dough bait. Some small boats were launching at the Frenchman ramp, but Wiggins hadn’t heard any reports of success trolling.


The lake is at 83-percent capacity. The lake was accessible, but fishing reports were hard to come by with little pressure on the lake, according to Kyle Neeser at Crystal Basin Tackle and Guide Service.


Todd Sodaro at Todd’s Bait and Tackle at the Creekside Lodge reported shore anglers were picking up a few fish at the dam. Victor Babbitt at TFFO said flyfishing with woolly buggers, leeches, and blood midges was producing some fish.


The lake is full and spilling and scheduled to receive another DFW trout plant this week. Denise Cole at Sly Park Resort reported “Autumn L.” caught a 21-inch mack from the shore on a nightcrawler. Rainbow trout fishing will be good around the boat ramp after the DFW plant and then good at the dam as the fish disperse out into the lake. Look for macks to move shallow after the DFW plant to feed on the new rainbows.


Chuck Self at Chuck’s Charter Fishing reported doing very well on morning trips for limits of macks running 4 to 8 pounds trolling 300 to 450 feet deep along North Shore. The fish were stacked in small areas and multiple hookups were possible using spoons and minnow imitations. Mike Nielsen at Tahoe Topliners Sportfishing was doing well trolling and jigging for 3 1/2- to 5-pound macks at South Shore. The troll fish were 70 to 130 feet deep, while the jig fish were 165 to 200 feet deep. Nielsen was picking up some 3- to 4 1/2-pound brown trout trolling Rapala Shadow Raps. Zach Gordon at Tahoe Sportfishing said their fleet was doing very well for macks 40 to 80 feet deep at Camp Rich and Baldwin. The fish were mostly 4 to 6 pounders with the occasional mack to 10 pounds. Gordon said a kayaker picked up a 15 pounder right next to him at Camp Rich.


The lake is at 25.4-percent capacity. With the lake so low, fishing was tough. The lake really needs a DFW trout plant to kick things into gear.


Valarie Taylor at Crosby’s Lodge reported a lot of fishermen but few fish caught. They only recorded two 13 1/4 pounders caught trolling—one at the North Nets and the other at Hell’s Kitchen.


Victor Babbitt at TFFO reported ice fishing was still sporadic at best. The ice was still thick with a layer of snow on top.


The lake is at 52.8-percent capacity. There’s still plenty of safe ice and the area got some new snow this past weekend. Fishing was still sporadic at the dam.


The lake is at 31-percent capacity. The lake was accessible using 4-wheel drive and a heavy dose of caution, according to Mountain Hardware and Sports. Small boats could be launched from the shore, but no reports had come in yet. Be very cautious about muddy conditions.


A 6 1/2-pound rainbow was leading the Hook, Line & Sinker Fishing Derby. Topaz Lodge and Casino reported there were 200 contestants, but the rainy weekend weather put a crimp in the fishing activity.


According to Victor Babbitt at TFFO, flyfishing was best above the Boca Outlet using BWO, sqwala stone nymphs and San Juan Worms.


The lake is at 86-percent capacity. The lake was accessible to the dam off Pea Vine Ridge Road, but fishing was slow for both rainbows and macks.


Sam Foster at the Toiyabe Motel reported flyfishermen were picking up 3- to 4-pound rainbows in the Canyon before the rain hit this past week and created high, murky flows. Mono County will stock 400 pounds of 1 1/2- to 3-pound rainbows in the river in advance of the season opener.



Flows on the American held steady at 3,020 cfs last week. Stripers are being caught at Discovery Park on pile worms, as well as cut anchovies or sardines, but there have been no reports of fish upriver on the American.


The lake rose 5 feet last week to 444 feet of elevation, about 20 feet from being completely full. Officials said the lake should reach full capacity by the end of May. Bass fishing has been excellent wherever there is shore access, with live minnows fished below bobbers working well. Most of the fish are spots and smallmouth bass. Boaters fishing the main body are doing well with small grubs, Senkos and tubes fished with light jigheads. Landlocked salmon are now being caught on the North and South Fork. While fishing is still on the slow side, it has improved. Trolling 40 to 60 feet down is working best.


Trout fishing has been good since the lake was heavily stocked for the derby at the beginning of the month. Kastmasters and Power Bait both have been taking limits. A 6.5-pounder won this month’s derby.


Running at 2,200 cfs at the Delta gauge over the weekend, the far upper Sacramento is still high and slow for fishing.

▪ SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding to Red Bluff

Fishing is now closed from Keswick Dam to the Highway 44 bridge, a 5.5-mile stretch. From the Highway 44 bridge to Anderson, fishing for wild rainbow trout has been good. Anglers are launching at the Posse Grounds. Carp spawn-colored beads are still working, but some dry flies and nymphs also are getting action, as well as tiny plugs. The river was flowing at 5,040 on Sunday at Keswick Dam, virtually unchanged from a week ago.



With rain this week, the flows were high and rafting season has already opened on North Fork and South Fork. Flows were too high and too cold for safe fishing on the North Fork, according to Kyle Neeser at Crystal Basin Tackle.


The lake is at 87-percent capacity. Fishing pressure on weekends was heavy with bass fishermen looking for the next world record spotted bass. The bass should be spawning with lots of fish already in post-spawn. Jigs, Senkos, and swimbaits should all be working on points and walls. Check out any submerged trees you find for larger bass.


The lake is full. North Shore Resort reported the lake was murky brown with lots of floating debris. Justin Holliman of Lincoln fished a couple days this past week and caught 12 to 14 per day up to 3 pounds on 6-inch Roboworms in the Rock Creek arm at 5 to 10 feet deep.


The lake is full. Collins Lake Resort reported trout fishing was excellent with lots of limits taken that included rainbows running 2 1/2 to 4 pounds. Shore anglers were doing well at the Beach and the dam using floating dough bait. Joe Ward of Yuba City was catching limits of trout at the Beach and also landed a 5 1/4-pound catfish. Kristen Dukes of Marysville caught an 11-pound catfish on a grub while fishing the east side of the lake for bass. Trollers did well using flasher/worms near Elmer’s Cove and at the dam for rainbows to 5 1/4 pounds. Collins Lake Resort was still making heavy weekly trout plants.


The lake is at 94-percent capacity. Skippers Cove Marina reported fishing traffic was very light this past weekend due to the rainy weather. Earlier in the week, bait drifters and trollers were picking up some nice rainbows in the marina and out by the dam.


The lake is at 63.8-percent capacity. The Placer County Water Authority (PCWA) plowed the road into the lake, but the campgrounds won’t open for weeks.


The lake is at 74-percent capacity. PCWA plowed the road all the way to the lake from French Meadows. The Georgetown Ranger Station reported 11 Pines Road was open to the lake. The boat ramp was open but no one had reported launching yet. The campgrounds won’t open for weeks.


The lake is at 89-percent capacity—only 25 feet from full. Guide Ron Gandolfi reported his clients were catching 60 to 70 bass per day casting tubes, darthead worms, and Senkos on points and walls. Most of the bass caught this past week were post-spawn fish that were feeding heavy to recuperate from nesting. The bite was good all over the lake with bigger fish holding around the newly submerged trees—trees that grew on the banks during the drought years. The lake is loaded with debris, so boaters beware.


The lake is full and spilling. Jim Caldwell at the Nevada Irrigation District (NID) reported the lake was still muddy with lots of floating debris. Fishing reports were few and far between.


The lake is full. Jim Caldwell at NID reported bass fishing was good, especially for smallmouths running 2 to 4 pounds. Jigs, worms, and crankbaits were working on rocky banks.


The lake is full. The lake was stocked by the DFW two weeks ago, so fishing should be good near the boat ramp for shore anglers using floating dough bait and worms. The campgrounds and day-use area will open on April 22.


The lake is full and spilling. The DFW stocked the lake this past week and trout action was good. The Georgetown Ranger Station said the campgrounds will open on April 15.


The lake was at 134.5-foot elevation at press time—85.4-percent capacity. Bruce Gibson at the Paradise Tackle Company reported bass fishing was good using crankbaits in brown/orange crawdad and baby bass patterns in the mornings on rip-rap and cutback banks. In the afternoons when the water warmed up, the fish were moving up on the tules banks and hitting 6-inch Roboworms in bold bluegill and Aaron’s Magic.



Boats from Berkeley didn’t have to go far to target striped bass and halibut. The Berkeley Flats served well as a local destination. Alameda Rock Wall was productive and halibut, as well as bass, were busting loose from Oyster Point to Candlestick Park. California Dawn hit the bass and ‘buts pretty hard and then scored full limits of crabs. Happy Hooker hauled consistent limits of heavy crabs and also picked up a few stripers and halibut. Live bait is now available.


Some salmon action was reported at a rate of a half fish per rod before the blow and improving after the seas calmed. Salmon look to be switching from anchovy feed to krill and working shallower. New Sea Angler and two 6-pack boats got into them outside of Elephant Rock. Crabbers did exceptionally well and the crabs were in very good shape. Surf fishing was good inside Tomales Bay, at Dillon Beach, Doran Beach and Salmon Creek.


Lingcod fishing was great and rockfish were wide open for anglers aboard Miss Brooke out of Brookings, Oregon. Lingcod to 17 pounds pounced on baits and lures. Rockfish were feeding on krill at the surface near House Rock, allowing people to use very light gear and cast red swimbaits for limits of fish.


Boats from the popular landing split their duties over the weekend. New Huck Finn caught 6 halibut and then pulled pots for limits of crabs for 8 people. New Salmon Queen found some salmon and boated 11 for 17 people.


Shore fishing was exceptionally good, thanks to good conditions and the advancing season. Lingcod showed up at the Humboldt Bay jetties, with the South Jetty edging out the North Jetty for productivity. Salmon fishers went down to fish out of Shelter Cove and found fish, but considered it to be generally slow salmon fishing.


Salmon were found over the weekend outside of the whistle buoy in 300 to 400 feet of water. Telstar got into them briefly on a crew trip that ended up with salmon on the barbeque. Sea Hawk got 8 aboard. Shore fishers hauled in cabezon, kelp greenling and black rockfish at Noyo jetty, dynamite shack and local beach parks.


Many boats opted to take advantage of decent sea conditions to run south past Pigeon Point for plentiful lingcod, cabezon and rockfish. Boats that wanted salmon turned to the north after leaving harbor and then focusing on spots of fish off of Pedro Point and in the shipping lanes outside the Gate.


Bass Tub fished inside the Bay for 5 halibut and a bass. Lovely Martha picked up a couple of nice halibut in the Bay and Argo posted limits of halibut for 2 passengers. Deadliest Kast pounded the bass hard in South Bay. Outer Limits from Sausalito on Sunday put aboard 7 limits of salmon.