Fishing Line

Salmon season opens Saturday, July 16

J.J. Reed, left, and Sonny Mitchell, both fisheries technicians with the Karuk Tribe search for a female Coho salmon that they spotted in Aikens Creek the day before on Wednesday December 8, 2015, near Orleans, Calif.
J.J. Reed, left, and Sonny Mitchell, both fisheries technicians with the Karuk Tribe search for a female Coho salmon that they spotted in Aikens Creek the day before on Wednesday December 8, 2015, near Orleans, Calif.

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



Salmon season opens July 16. Flows increased from 4,500 cfs to 5,000 cfs on Sunday was outflows from Folsom Lake increased. Shad are still being caught in the American, although the action has slowed down. Watt Avenue, Gristmill and the Arden Bar area all have been good bets. Tiny lead-headed jigs with chartreuse grubs, or red and white shad darts have been working best for shad.


The secret is out: the kokanee bite is wide open and anglers have left Stampede to fish here. The lake is at 73-percent capacity. James Netzel at Tight Lines Guide Service reported the kokanee trolling was wide-open for salmon running 14 to 17 inches. RMT dodgers and pink RGT hoochies tipped with corn trolled 20 to 30 feet deep at 1 mph did the trick.


Striper fishing is good at the Yuba City boat launch, as well as the mouth of the Yuba River, Shanghai Bend, Beercan Beach and Boyd’s Pump. Stripers up to 14 pounds were reported last week. Cut anchovies or sardines have been working well. Salmon fishing opens Saturday. Good numbers of fish are already being seen splashing near the Outlet. Guides said they will be running plugs throughout the river, while also bouncing roe near the Outlet. The Feather is expected to be one of the better bets for this weekend’s salmon opener. Shad fishing has slowed on the Feather and Yuba rivers.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff to Colusa

Salmon season opens July 16 below Red Bluff. Shad fishing continues to be excellent near Red Bluff, Corning, Hamilton City and Chico as more fish stack up. With cooler water, the shad have yet to spawn. Small 1-inch pink, champagne or chartreuse grubs are working best. A chartreuse jighead with an orange 1-inch grub has been working well. With cooler water, salmon fishing is expected to be decent for Saturday’s opener. Flows are best closer to the Red Bluff fishing deadline.


Salmon season opens July 16. Anglers will be trolling spinners or plugs, or anchoring and running plugs on opening day. Shad fishing has slowed. There are catfish in the deepwater channel as well as the sloughs and ditches around Sacramento. Crappie also are present. A few stripers are still around.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Verona to Colusa

Striper fishing has improved again near Grimes and Verona, with a mix of keepers and shakers. Salmon season opens July 16. Anglers will be anchoring near Verona and running M2 FlatFish with sardine wraps. Catfish are being caught near the wing dams below Verona, as well as the Sutter Bypass and at Knight’s Landing, as well as the Butte Creek Slough. Knight’s Landing has been the best bet for bank anglers, who are using pile worms and chicken liver.


CHETCO RIVER, Brookings, Oregon

The Chetco rose from 140 cfs to 230 cfs after Saturday's rain. Although still at summer levels, the boost in water may draw in fresh sea-run cutthroat trout, which are most likely to hit spinners or flies in the upper tidewater sections. Perch fishing has slowed near the harbor.

ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Oregon

Salmon fishing was fair to good on the Rogue Bay, as water temperatures near Agness hit 74 degrees. Heavy moss in the bay, however, limited success at times, as anglers had to constantly clean their baits. Saturday was especially good, as big numbers of new kings moved into the bay. Rain over the weekend cooled water temperatures back into the upper 60s, so some of the salmon may bolt upriver this week instead of hold in the bay. Trolling anchovies with green spinner blades is working best. Red-tail surfperch are biting well near the south jetty sand spit.

ROGUE RIVER, Grants Pass, Oregon

Fishing is not on fire, but the anglers are picking up some salmon and steelhead. You can keep wild fish below Dodge Bridge now, reminds Troy Whitaker, guide at U-Save Tackle in Grants Pass. Some salmon are being taken from the Shady Cove area and on down into the Grants Pass areas, on sardine-wrapped Kwikfish, bounced roe or back-trolled plugs. Some steelhead catches are also being made in the Grants Pass area, on nightcrawlers and Puffballs. Lake Selmac is producing good bass fishing, but most of the stocked trout have already been caught. Applegate Lake continues to produce trout action on trolled Wedding Rings, and bass on plastics. Lost Lake is also producing bass action, but not much on trout.


Rain over the weekend swelled the Smith River from summer time flows of 400 cfs up to 700 cfs. Sea-run cutthroat trout are spread throughout the lower river. Try Rooster Tail spinners wherever flowing water hits the deeper holes.



Trout fishing continues to be very good on the upper Klamath below Iron Gate Dam. Flows on Sunday of 903 cfs were ideal for fly fishing and gear fishing. There are big hatches in the afternoons, while bait anglers are catching fish all day.


Flows Sunday at Seiad Valley dropped to 1,370 cfs, good for trout and steelhead fishing. Hot weather has limited the best fishing to first light and late in the evening.


Summer steelhead are now being caught by anglers drifting roe between Blue Creek and the launch at Terwer. There are hatchery steelhead showing up in the catch. Salmon are expected to show up at the mouth and near Blue Creek by the end of July. Flows Sunday at Terwer were 4,870 cfs.


Flows from Lewiston Dam dropped to 1,200 cfs on Sunday, the lowest so far this spring and summer. Guides began catching spring salmon on Sunday with 4.5 MagLip plugs with sardine wraps. Although still a little high for bank anglers, salmon also are being caught from shore. Expect salmon fishing to continue to improve as the river drops. Flows below 1,000 cfs are expected this week. Bank anglers are fishing Steel Bridge, the Cemetery Hole and BLM access with tuna balls and roe.



There have been limits of bass (and then some) between 20- and 30-plus pounds reported as the really good summertime fishing continues on an uncrowded full lake. The more productive parts of the lake have been in waters from 5 to 20 feet around the many areas of rock and breaks. The bigger fish are around and mixed in with the smaller fish, you just have to wade through them. No one seems to be targeting the catfish or crappie, but they are there.


Eagle Lake strain rainbows are still on tap with fish at 25 to 40 feet deep. Find flats and underwater points and structure and you can make good limits of both rainbows and bass.


The focus here has been on bass with early morning trips before the watercraft arrive, with pretty good action on smallmouth and largemouth bass to 2 pounds.


Start out with some sort of topwater tackle for bass on main body points and then switch it up to brown jigs and Senkos off ledges in 25 feet of water. Channel cats to 13 pounds can be found by soaking stink baits at night. Trout trollers with downriggers are working the main body in the 35 to 50 feet for landlocked steelhead in the 14- to 18-inch range.



Insect hatches continue to pop off all over both basins and both the trout and bass bite are taking off.


With more hatches going off, the trout bite picked up. Damsel nymphs, midges and a few little mayflies like calabatius or PMDs (yellowish/olive) could get 6 to 10 possible fish although most are released.


The kokanee bite continues to be strong with three to five limits being pulled every day. Fish are from 25 to 35 feet in the main body of the lake. Fish early for wide open action until the sun hits the water and then the bite picks back up around 10 a.m. Best baits have been watermelon or silver dodgers followed by Uncle Larry's Pink Tiger spinners.


Both ramps are in the water and the trout are looking healthy. Try damsels, leaches and Chuy chubs or maybe a beetle or ant.


The river is doing well with a few hatches still coming off.


This is the time to get out, as very few have been here and the trout are hungry. Also the entire system was planted this past week. In the wild section try PMDs in the morning and evening or little black caddis. Dry flies are good early and late. But don’t forget the regular standard dries like parachute Adams, missing links, or grasshoppers.


Fishing has been fair to good with damsel nymphs.


Nyphying or streamers like skulpthzilla or diepz sculpin are good here, along with black micro mayflies or LYs nymphs. Fishing has been fair to good.


This river is only for the advanced outdoors person and angler –so be careful out there, as the waters are still high and fast. Big, dark flies work here or try big black nymphs, popper Johns or a Mercer Tb Pt Prince for trout up to 23 inches seen.


Good for trout and salmon as they move in front of the dam. Use lures for rolled shad or go catfishing all night using chicken livers and hot dogs. There are also crappie on jigs and tubes on shallow points and in the coves. But the lake is in its summer doldrums. Little spotted bass are taking flies use sinking line and little clouser minnow. All backcountry lakes are fishing well, such as Trinity Alps areas.


Has not been a good option due to launch conditions and lower water levels but rising and conditions change daily but no good reports yet.


Skiers have taken over the lake, but if you fish early and late you’ll find limits and steady action for 8 to 10 trout. Most of the fish were caught on the main body on the south side of the 299 Bridge. No Apexs, just spinners and beads in pink or white hoochies with a short 6- to 8-inch leader behind 4-inch sling blades.



Holdover rainbow trout are still available for those working around the Blue Dock at nighttime at depths of 40 feet with nightcrawlers or trout dough bait. The most consistent action is for warmwater species of catfish, crappie, or largemouth bass, and plastics over submerged structure or rockpiles are working best for bass. The Moonlighter Bass tournament will be held on August 24th.


Holdover rainbows are hanging around the deepest part of the lake near the dam, and experienced fishermen fast-trolling heavy spoons at speeds from 3.0 to 3.2 mph are finding quick limits of quality trout. Bass fishing is best with Brush Hogs or jigs at depths from 5 to 15 feet with the larger fish found in deeper water. Crappie fishing is slowing down, but the slabs are still holding in submerged trees near Little Hat Island. Catfishing is solid with mackerel or nightcrawlers in the shallows. Bluegill are biting red worms or wax worms.


Kokanee are holding in Middle Bay at depths from 70 to 105 feet, and some of the male kokanee are already showing signs of turning hook jawed in preparation for the spawn. Rainbow trout are also found in Middle Bay with heavy spoons on a fast-troll. For bass, there is a small window for topwater lures in the early mornings before working the bottom with plastics on the Texas rig or drop-shot. All three launch ramps are open with the lake dropping to 76% of capacity.


Still a solid option for catfish, bass, or crappie with a topwater bite in the early mornings for bass before working the bottom with Berserk’s Purple Hornet or Sprayed Grass jigs. Live crawdads and large minnows are another productive choice for bass. Crappie can be found around submerged structure with mini-jigs or small minnows. Catfish are holding on sloping, muddy banks with cut baits or crawdads. The McClure Point and Barrett Cove South launch ramps are open with the Barrett Cove North ramp under construction. The lake is releasing water, and it has dropped to 57% of capacity.


Still a dead sea for rainbow trout with the lack of plants over the past several months. The occasional holdover rainbow is taken early in the morning or late evening with trout dough bait from the shoreline along with the possibility of a spotted bass that has dropped over from upstream McClure. The last trout plant occurred in May.


Kokanee action remains hot as the fish are grouping up in both the river arm and the main lake at depths from 35 to 50 feet with hoochies, spinners, or small spoons in pink, purple, or gold. Catfish are abundant throughout the lake, and bass fishing is good from the Stoney Point Spillway or the Woodpile with jerkbaits, topwater lures, or plastics on the drop-shot. The two-day Kokanee Power Team Tournament is coming on July 23/24. Information at


The striped bass are boiling throughout the reservoir and topwater lures, swimbaits, or flukes cast into the boils are producing quality linesides to 26 inches. The troll bite has slowed with the fish rising to the surface, chasing the lake’s shad supply. The lake is releasing water, and it is currently at 36% of capacity. The launch ramp is still accessible with no problems.


Some quality largemouth bass have been found on topwater lures in the early mornings, but the most consistent bite for numbers is with Senkos, plastic worms, or jigs in deeper water once the fish move off of the shorelines by mid-morning. Kokanee are fat and chunky, but the action is sporadic around the spillway, dam, and the south end of the lake. Catfish are found throughout the lake with sardines, frozen shad, or anchovies along sloping banks. Crappie fishing is fair with a few slabs holding in submerged structure. The lake is starting to release water, and it dropped to 26% of capacity.



The lake is at 98.7-percent capacity and was stocked by the DFW this past week. Fishing should be good at Wood’s Creek inlet for shore anglers and trollers alike. Dale Daneman at Dale’s Foothill Fishing Service reported that a trip here this past week produced seven 9- to 11-inch rainbows on Sep’s brown grubs behind a watermelon Side Kick at 7 feet deep near Wood’s Creek.


Both rivers are scheduled for DFW trout plants this week. Alpine County will stock another 1800 pounds of rainbows this week—mostly in the East and West Carson with some in Silver Creek. Alpine Lake will receive an 1800-pound Alpine County plant this week also. Fishing was excellent this past week with all river flows in great shape.


The lake is at 65-percent capacity. Ed Dillard at Dillard Guided Fishing reported shore anglers were picking up some limits of 18- to 20-inch rainbows in the early morning (dawn to 8 a.m.) at Mallard Point on sherbet floating dough bait. The key was casting out a LONG WAY and using 4-pound test to reach deeper water—some anglers were wading out from the shore before casting.


The lake is at 96-percent capacity. Shore anglers were catching DFW planters at the west end beach and off the boat ramp docks. Get out early to avoid the heavy recreational boat traffic.


Mike Hanson at Caribou Crossroads Resort reported folks were still catching limits of 13- to 14-inch rainbows on salmon eggs and worms.


The lake is at 41-percent capacity. Wiggins Trading Post reported shore anglers were doing well at the dam and Turkey Point using nightcrawlers. Trollers did very well on 14- to 18-inch rainbows using Needlefish, Triple Teaser, and Wee Dick Nite spoons at 25 feet deep.


Gold Lake and Lower Sardine Lake were stocked by the DFW this past week. Packer Lake was scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Packer Lake was fishing well from the shore near the big rock by the lodge. Lower Sardine fishing was good 50 yards past the boat ramp using floating dough bait. It was too windy to get out on Gold Lake this past week—remember the launch ramp closes for upgrades on August 1.


The lake is at 93-percent capacity. Trollers were catching a mix of DFW planters and SMUD/Mt. Lassen stockers. Shore fishing was okay near the boat ramp.


Fishing was productive here, but with the heavy plants in the Carson River, pressure was low.


The lake is at 90.4-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Brett Brady at Bare Bones Guide Service reported the bite was tough here this past week, so the DFW plant should help.


The lake is at 96-percent capacity. Sly Park Resort reported trout action was best at the incoming water at Hazel Creek on the upper end of the Narrows. Some small macks were caught at the second dam. Bass fishing was sporadic all around the lake.


Zach Gordon at Tahoe Sportfishing reported limit action on 2- to 5-pound macks at Camp Rich and Sugar Pine Point in windy weather. A trip to Camp Rich produced 4- and 6-pound browns on the same mooched live bait used for the macks. The kokanee bite has not developed yet—the fish are small 10 inchers and scattered.


The lake is at 92-percent capacity. Dale Daneman at Dale’s Foothill Fishing Service reported a trip here this past week produced 7 nice rainbows, one 11-inch fish and six 14- to 16-inch Mt. Lassen/SMUD fish using a naked Sep’s brown grub in the top 15 feet on a 100-foot set back.


The lake is at 67.7-percent capacity. Smallmouth bass fishing was good when the weather wasn’t windy and cold. Fish the rocky points with a tube or darthead worm. Trout fishing was sporadic at best.


Try for cutthroats at the dam and inlet using worms and salmon eggs.


The lake is at 96.1-percent capacity. Trollers should be doing well around the island.


The lake is at 45-percent capacity. The kokanee bite was very slow here according to several sources. The kokes were balled up by big macks and not hitting.


The lake was nearly full but loaded with recreational boaters and jetskiers. Fishermen need to get out very early in the morning and/or during the week and troll flasher/worms or Rapalas at 25 to 30 feet deep for some nice rainbows.


Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters (TFFO) reported flyfishing was good on the Little Truckee and main river primarily nymphing during the day and taking advantage of any evening caddis hatches.


The lake is at 90-percent capacity and is scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Kokanee trolling was still productive using dodger/pink or orange hoochies at 30 to 60 feet deep toward the dam.


The Little Walker River and West Walker River at Pickel Meadows and the Canyon are scheduled for DFW trout plants again this week. Sam Foster at the Toiyabe Motel reported the Northern Mono County Chamber of Commerce would stock 400 pounds of 4-pound rainbows this week to support the “How Big is Big” Fishing Derby that runs the whole month of July. The Chamber will stock another 400 pounds of 3 pounders next week. Flows were fantastic and anglers were catching lots of limits of 10- to 14-inch DFW planters and a few of the trophy rainbows. The 4-pound rainbow caught the first weekend of the derby was still leading the event.



Local anglers are anxiously awaiting the opening of the river salmon season this coming Saturday, and local bait shops have been gearing up. Small stripers are the rule, and fishermen must bring plenty of bait and garlic spray. Larger stripers are taken on live bait in upper Suisun Bay. The first arrival of the fall run should begin in August. Catfishing is good throughout the system with nightcrawlers or chicken livers while smallmouth bass are found at depths from 10 to 15 feet around rocky areas.


Heavy recreational boat traffic combined with big tides muddied up the waters of the main San Joaquin River, slowing down the largemouth bass bite. The cooler temperatures have moved the bass out from under the mats, and the punch bite has slowed. There is still good action with topwater lures or white buzzbaits. Small stripers are the rule, but the occasional lineside to 9 pounds is taken on live bait. Bluegill are thick in the sloughs with wax worms, red worms, or jumbo red worms along the normal locations of Whiskey Slough, Bacon Island Road, Tracy Oasis, and Eight Mile Road.



The lake temperature dropped to 78 degrees over the weekend. Outflows from Folsom Dam increased on Sunday from 5,000 cfs to 8,200 cfs as water is released to make up for flows being cut back at Shasta Dam. Trout fishing has been good near the dam and South Fork for trollers fishing 30 to 35 feet down. Bank anglers are using live minnows with slip bobbers to catch bass as well as some catfish. Bass fishing has been good for the boaters, despite heavy boat traffic. The fish are in their post-spawn pattern and are holding in deeper water along the main body. Drop-shot rigs with 3- and 4-inch plastics imitating pond smelt are working well. Most of the bass are being caught 30 feet below the surface.


Trout fishing has slowed, but bluegill are biting, and the Florida-strain largemouth bass can be caught with big lures early in the morning. Most anglers here release the bigger bass.


Flows dropped slightly from 294 cfs to 281 cfs last week. Bait anglers are doing well for planted rainbows around Dunsmuir, where small spinners such as Rooster Tails also are working well. The river has been planted by the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

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. Flows at Kewsick Dam increased from 9,800 cfs to 10,200 cfs over the weekend. Anglers are launching at the Posse Grounds. Salmon roe and crickets are working well, along with size 50 Hot Shots and small spoons. The area just below the Highway 44 bridge has been crowded, but pressure eases downstream toward Anderson. Some guides are reporting good salmon catches closer to Red Bluff. Salmon season opens Aug. 1 between Anderson and Red Bluff.



The Middle Fork below Oxbow Lake was reopened with the Trailhead Fire at 90-percent containment. Flows were good in all the forks.


The lake is at 83-percent capacity. Emerald Cove Marina reported lots of small bass were being caught in 10 to 20 feet of water on drop-shot worms. Bigger spotted bass were feeding on kokanee at 40 to 60 feet deep.


The lake is at 79.4-percent capacity. Weekend recreational boat traffic was crazy. Fishermen getting out during the week found slow bass action with the best bet up in the Rock Creek and Bear River arms near incoming water.


The lake is 11 feet from full. Lincoln Young at Collins Lake Resort reported most anglers were doing well on bass, crappie, bluegill, and redears using worms off the docks or along the east side. What few trout were caught came out of deep water near the dam or trolling 30 feet deep in the main channel.


The lake is at 95-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Skippers Cove Marina recommended trolling in the marina after the plant. Boaters drifting nightcrawlers in the 5 mph zone on the upper end of the lake were picking up a few rainbows. Try for bass on the points and around the many weedbeds and downed trees.


The lake is at 88.1-percent capacity. All the campgrounds and boat ramps were open. Trollers should be picking up some nice rainbows and browns on flasher/worms and Rapalas in the early morning.


The lake was stocked by the DFW this past week. Shore fishing should be good at the day-use area and the dam.


The lake is at 87.8-percent capacity. All the campgrounds except Big Meadows are open. Trollers were picking up a mix of macks, rainbows, and kokanee.


The lake is at 79-percent capacity—already down 54 feet!! Guide Brett Brady at Bare Bones Guide Service reported that king salmon trolling was wide-open in front of the dam at 30 to 80 feet deep using RMT dodgers and white hoochies tipped with a chunk of anchovy, or a white Speedy Shiner. The kings were mostly 14 to 15 1/2 inchers with the occasional fish to 22 inches. Guide Ron Gandolfi reported bass fishing was decent in the upper river arms in cooler water using buzzbaits, Whopper Ploppers, and Pop-R’s in the early morning on shady steep rock banks. After the sun was up, his clients scored on tubes, worms, jigs, and Senkos at 15 to 20 feet deep.


The lake is at 97.4-percent capacity. Ryan Drake at NID reported bass fishing was still very good using topwater, spinnerbaits, Roboworms, and Senkos around the rocky points. One boater picked up a dozen bass to 4 pounds. Trout action was slow.


The lake is at 92.3-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Try the point near the marina after the plant from shore using worms or floating dough bait.


All the campgrounds and the day-use area were open. Fishing was slow with no DFW plant since mid-June.


The lake is at 91-percent capacity. All the campgrounds were open. Fishing was dependent on whether the DFW made the trout plant that was scheduled for last week.


The lake was at 135.3-foot elevation at press time—91.1-percent capacity. Recreational boat traffic was very heavy on the lake south of the Hwy 162 Bridge. Fishermen should launch at the Wilbur Rd. facility and fish north of the Bridge where the speed limit is 5 mph. Try topwater lures on the rocky banks. Pitch Senkos to the tules banks and outside edges of the grass beds for bass to 4 pounds, according to Bruce Gibson at the Paradise Tackle Company.



California Dawn and Happy Hooker put the hammer down on big bass, a few halibut and plenty of rockfish and lingcod by making combo runs to target what the skipper felt was the best choice. Berkeley Charter Boats sent boats out for salmon and got some limits for all passengers.


Salmon counts went up and most boats ran north to Russian Gulch for them. New Sea Anglers put a good number of them aboard and also took some very large lingcod and plenty of rockfish. Tomales Bay continued to give up halibut near Hog Island and anglers also hooked an occasional white seabass and striped bass while soaking live baits.


Sundance, New Seeker, C-Gull II, New Salmon Queen and Tiger Fish all ran for salmon during the week and every one of them caught limits one or more days, with most of the fish coming from the Marin coast.


Weather kept boats in Bay until Wednesday, then Scrimshaw, Reel Steel and other boats out of Eureka and Trinidad made their runs for Pacific halibut catching fish to 60 pounds. Long runs to Cape Mendocino meant instant gratification from lingcod and rockfish. Shelter Cove boats found a decent pick at salmon to 25 pounds.


Telstar ran pre-booked groundfish trips and scored impressively, including an 11.5-pound cabezon. Our Office found salmon and charter boat Bragg’n managed limits. Fish were 80-100 feet on the wire and hit trolled hoochies with an anchovy inside.


Queen of Hearts and Riptide ran trips down coast to pack the sacks with rockfish and lingcod from relatively shallow water. Bait took the rockfish and jigs took the lingcod. The beaches seemed packed with striped bass and surf fishers from Half Moon Bay to well north of Pacifica hauled bass up the beach. Night fishing proved most productive, especially on larger bass.


Salmon boats like Wacky Jacky scored nicely along the Marin Coast, making for short runs and plenty of time to fish. Bass Tub ran trips inside the Bay for striped bass and halibut, posting good scores. Flash I and Flash II found wide-open leopard shark fishing in the South Bay and on a couple of days hit good bass action at South Towers.Flash II ran outside the Gate one day and enjoyed a good whack at the salmon.

Reports provided weekly by Western Outdoor News,