Fishing Line

Salmon moving steadily into the Delta Region

Here are the best places to fish in the Sacramento region, Northern California and beyond for the week of Aug. 22, 2016.


DELTA REGION: Sacramento River

The majority of salmon and stripers are on their way from the ocean and San Francisco Bay, and both species are moving in steadily. Salmon fishing is best from below Freeport with jigs or off of the Dillon Point State Park with spinners. Stripers are as far north as Liberty Island, and swimbait or live mudsuckers are the best bet. Trollers are focusing around Decker Island with deep-diving lures in green for numerous small striped bass with the best action at the bottom of the tide. Sturgeon fishing has yet to take off with the consistent winds in Suisun Bay. Smallmouth continue to hold in Steamboat and Miner Sloughs with deep-diving crankbaits or plastics on the drop-shot.

DELTA REGION: San Joaquin River

Largemouth bass are attempting to adjust to the changing weather conditions, and the triple-digit temperatures pushed the bass back under the mats. Punching the mats with large creature baits is a solid technique, but numbers are best with plastics on the drop-shot on the outside weed line. Current is the key to catching fish as the water is cooler and holding bait. A few stripers are starting to move in to the San Joaquin, and the first signs of salmon have arrived along the Antioch shoreline. Legal sturgeon are still available off of Antioch with lamprey eel, and for the first time in months, grass shrimp is available at selected bait shops. Fresh shad continues to grow, and the Stockton-area bait shops have a steady supply.


Flows dropped from 9,000 cfs to 6,500 cfs over the weekend, creating better conditions for bank anglers tossing size 6 Blue Fox spinners. Salmon fishing has been best from the outlet to Gridley. Boat anglers are back-trolling T55 FlatFish with some success. Fresh kings were reported in the river last week. Stripers are still biting near the Yuba City boat launch. Plastics are outfishing bait in the morning.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff to Colusa

Salmon fishing improved between Red Bluff and Woodson Bridge last week, with most guides reporting a fish per rod. T55 FlatFish are outfishing roe. Boat pressure increased over the weekend, in part because of several fresh schools of salmon reported last week. Water temperatures are in the upper 50s and lower 60s, good for summers salmon fishing.


Kings are being caught near Miller Park, Freeport and Garcia Bend on jigs as well as M2 FlatFish or K14 Kwikfish with sardine wraps. Flying C spinners and Silvertron spinners also are tricking some salmon. Catfish are being caught near the Port of Sacramento.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Verona to Colusa

Salmon fishing has been slow, but some kings are being caught by anglers anchoring near Verona and running M2 FlatFish with sardine wraps or Silvertron spinners. More new groups of fish were spotted over the weekend. Fishing for catfish was fair last week at First and Second Beach at Knight’s Landing, as well as behind the wing dams at Verona. Chicken liver, pile worms and salmon roe are working well. Night fishing has been best.


CHETCO RIVER, Brookings, Oregon

A few anglers have started to troll for kings in the Chetco estuary, as anchovies are thick in the harbor. No kings were reported over the weekend.

COOS RIVER, Coos Bay, Oregon

Salmon are now being caught daily in the lower Coos River and upper section of Coos Bay. Peak season is in September. Anglers are trolling plug-cut herring behind Fish Flash flashers.

ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Oregon

It’s peak season for salmon on the Rogue River down by Gold Beach for anglers fishing the estuary, as kings are piling into tidewater but not heading up the river due to warm water temperatures. Guides are getting multiple hookups now, and WON Field Reporter and guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing put two clients on their 2-fish limits in 4 hours. There were 145 boats in the Bay on Sunday, so plan on company. Salmon fishing was very good on Saturday and fair on Sunday. The water temperature near Agness remains in the mid-70s, too warm for salmon, forcing them to remain in the bay, where anglers are trolling anchovies and catching one to five fish per boat.

ROGUE RIVER, Shady Cove, Oregon

Salmon fishing has been slow as they are still waiting for fish to come up from the mouth area. Only a few were caught last week, said guide Troy Whitaker at U-Save Tackle in Grants Pass. Squawfish have been a problem, too, grabbing baits. Try small plugs or drifted nightcrawlers, or trolling Kwikfish, wobbling spoons or roe (in a protective sack). A few steelhead have been caught. Try small plugs or drifted nightcrawlers. Hopefully the salmon action will pick up by this weekend for the Steelheaders annual salmon derby on Saturday.


No kings have been reported yet in the estuary. Fishing is slow for sea-run cutthroat trout.

UMPQUA RIVER, Reedsport, Oregon

Salmon fishing is good between Winchester Bay and Reedsport, with most boats catching two to three fish a day. Plug-cut herring is working best.



Flows Sunday at Iron Gate Dam were 1,650 cfs. They had jumped from 950 cfs to 2,050 cfs on Friday. Trout fishing has been good at first light and again in the evenings, but the river will be out of shape for a few days. Nightcrawlers are working well, as are small plugs. Expect the first salmon to show up in mid-September.


Flows Sunday at Seiad Valley jumped from 1,110 cfs to 2,100 cfs over the weekend and were down to 1,850 cfs on Sunday. When the river recovers from the pulse release intended to help salmon on the lower Klamath, expect good trout fishing. Salmon fishing has been slow, but fish should arrive in a few weeks once the mouth of the river opens again with the higher flows.


Salmon fishing was poor last week for boaters, but shore anglers fishing on the spit caught plenty of fish over the weekend and were closing in on their quota. Flows jumped from 2,000 cfs to over 3,200 cfs on Sunday at Terwer as more water was released from Iron Gate Dam to cool water temperatures on the lower river and prevent a fish kill. The higher flows helped draw a fresh batch of salmon into the river on Sunday. Fall salmon regulations went into effect on Aug. 15. Anglers are limited to one king a day over 22 inches as part of a two-salmon limit.


Flows from Lewiston Dam remained at 449 cfs over the weekend, but are scheduled to jump to 900 cfs this week. That should give salmon and steelhead fishing a boost on the Trinity. Salmon fishing has slowed on the upper river, but bank anglers and driftboaters are both catching kings on roe and tuna balls. Fishing has been best in the mornings. Plug fishing is slow, but could be good again with the water releases from Lewiston Dam.



Bass anglers are still clinging on to an early morning topwater bite at first light, either around the grass in the north end of the lake or the points in the narrows of the south end. Trout fishing is good if you find the balls of bait—the trout and bass are under them.


Trout fishing is slow, said Art Cerini at The Narrows Resort, but bass fishing is good on plastic worms and live nightcrawlers fished in shallow waters. A youngster topped action last week with an 8-1/2-pound bass.


Bass catches remain good in most areas of the lake, despite a large dieoff of shad. Guide Bob Myskey of Bassin’ With Bob said he is putting clients on 40 to 70 bass in 5 hours every day, a mix of small bass and some big ones to 9 pounds.


Good numbers of kokanee to 14 inches are being taken by trolled Apex lures in either gold, silver or pink. Fish the river mouth inlet and out to the orange buoy, trolling lures 45 to 80 feet deep, said guide Troy Barr of T-Roy’s Guide Service.


Bass fishing is still on a summer pattern, with fishing best in the early morning or late evening. Midday fishing and weekends have been tough with all of the waterskiers.



Trollers are scoring well on rainbows to 4 pounds on trolled lures. The east basin has produced the best catches, but basically fish are being caught in all areas of the lake.


The fishing has only been fair for trout.


The kokanee bite continues to be strong. Fish in the 13- and 14-inch range are whacking rigs from 25 to 35 feet down all over the lake, producing limits for most anglers. Best color combination right now is watermelon and pink. Water temps are in the low to mid 70's with this heat wave we are currently experiencing and the lake is still nearly full.


Anglers are bagging limits of rainbows in the 2-1/2 pound range over by the Eagles nest area in 50 feet of water, trolling leadcore about 20 to 25 feet deep. There are thousands and thousands of minnows along the shoreline, which should make this fall a great time for fishing for the big ones, said Ron Beck of Flying Eagle Guide Service.


Fishing is up and down with hatches determining the fly fishing action. Caddis flies have been working well.


Trout fishing has been fair below the powerhouse with a May fly hatch hatch stirring up the action.


Most anglers are catching at least two or three trout, with red or white Power Baits producing well. Anglers are also getting trout on blue or silver Kastmasters, and fly fishermen are scoring best on Zebra midges, said Louise Baghin at Pine Cove Marina.


Trout fishing has been good for both bait anglers and trollers, said guide Scott Caldwell at SC Guide Service.


Trout fishing below Keswick Dam remains good for fly fishermen using Caddis bird’s nests or cinnamon pupas.


Trout fishing has been good in most areas of the lake, anywhere you can find shad you will find trout, mostly 20 to 60 feet deep, while bass can be found as deep as 40 feet. The Upper McCloud Arm has been one of the better sports.


Anglers are getting limits of kokanee trolling Apex and other large lures 60 to 80 feet deep. The Trinity River is running high and fishing is slow.


Kokanee continue to provide good action here with lots of limits reported near the 299 bridge on trolled Apex lures, beads and spinners and hoochie jigs.



Bass and catfish are the top draw with the lake nearly filled. The Moonlighter Bass Tournament was held on Saturday night with a 10-fish winning weight of 29.82 pounds out of the 16 boats. Jigs and worms are working best with the bass moving into the shallows. Trout plants are expected to start in late October depending upon water temperatures, and the concessionaires will be purchasing their trout from Mt. Lassen Hatchery. Crappie and bluegill are near the docks while catfishing is best at night with chicken livers or nightcrawlers. The swim pond closes for the season after Labor Day Weekend or within the following week.


Large rainbow trout are still a viable option in the deepest waters near the dam at depths to 45 feet with Speedy Shiners or similar spoons on a fast-troll. Fewer anglers are targeting the rainbows now. Catfishing is solid in the early mornings or at sundown with chicken livers, nightcrawlers, or sardines in the shallows. Bass action has improved between 14 and 25 feet. Spinnerbaits are also picking up a few largemouths. Crappie action has improved with mini-jigs in red/black, neon, or green/black along rocky points, over tree stumps or drop offs.


Bass fishing is best with finesse techniques on the bottom with jigs or plastics on the drop-shot picking up a few smallmouth or largemouth bass. The reaction bite is slow, but it will be busy for the Future Pro Tour event this weekend. King salmon and rainbow trout should make up the bulk of the action for trollers with the non-existent kokanee bite, and the best action should be taking place up the river arm near the cold water break. The lake has dropped to 69% of capacity.


The striped bass bite has been great one day when the fish are actively chasing the small shad on the surface, only to slow the following day. Cooler weather may account for the less numerous boils as the fish are staying up shorter periods of time. Largemouth bass have also started chasing bait on the surface, and they are also chasing small fry in the shallows. The lake continues to drop slowly, and it is currently at 31% of capacity. The troll bite should pick up again in the coming weeks as the fish slow down on boiling on the surface.


The kokanee bite is slowing down, but quality fish to nearly 20 inches have been landed on large profile lures and dodgers at depths to 100 feet in the main river channel from the dam to the Highway 49 Bridge. Quality is taking place over quality. Bass fishing is best with finesse techniques as they are oriented towards the deep shad schools, as are the rainbow trout, and although they are not plentiful, there have been some in excess of 3 pounds landed. Catfishing remains excellent with frozen shad, mackerel, or sardines, and several whiskerfish from 4 to 10 pounds have been landed in the shallows. Crappie fishing is also solid with mini-jigs or live minnows around submerged timber.


The Kokanee Power Team Tournament produced a winning three-fish limit of 57.70 ounces, and the gap between the top 15 places out of 106 participants was only a few ounces. The kokanee bite has transitioned from a micro-hoochie bite to larger profile lures such as Pro-Trolls or Apex lures, and various colors are working. The best fishing occurred within a mile of either side of the mouth of the river arm at depths to 60 feet. Catfishing remains solid with chicken livers or nightcrawlers in the shallows while bass fishing is best during a brief window for topwater or with Senkos.



The lake is at 50.6-percent capacity. Jim Netzel at Tight Lines Guide Service reported he was still hooking enough big kokanee for limits, though landing them all was sometimes a problem. His last trip produced nine 16- to 18-inch fish that we showing signs of turning—hooked jaws forming and some starting to get darker. The fish were still hitting a RMT dodger and a pink, 2-tone pink, or orange RGT at 30 to 50 feet deep at the dam. Launching was 4x4 only, and it could be “small boats only” pretty soon as the lake continues to drop.


The lake is at 78.5-percent capacity. Caples Lake Resort reported trollers were doing best in the deep water in the middle of the lake. Shore fishing was hit-or-miss, great one day and dead the next.


Todd Sodaro at Todd’s Bait and Tackle at the Creekside Lodge reported fishing was still very good in the East Carson though it had slowed from 30-fish days to 20-fish days—Awww!! Alpine County will plant 1800 pounds of rainbows before the Labor Day holiday weekend.


The lake is at 60-percent capacity. Jeanne Graham at J&J’s Grizzly Store reported fishing for both shore anglers and trollers was still slow with anglers only picking up a fish or two per day. Mallard Point was producing for shore anglers, and the channel from Honker toward the dam was best for trollers using Wee Dick Nite spoons at 25 feet deep.


The lake is at 81-percent capacity and was stocked by the DFW this past week. Mountain Hardware and Sports reported trout fishing was sporadic—good if you’re in the right place at the right time, and slow if you aren’t! Small kokanee were hitting at China Cove at 40 to 50 feet deep and some nice macks were prowling below the kokes at 80 to 100 feet.


Mike Hanson at Caribou Crossroads Resort reported that experienced anglers were catching some nice rainbows in the East Branch and at the Caribou Powerhouse Reservoir. The North Fork was slow—it needs a DFW plant.


The lake is at 35-percent capacity. Wiggins Trading Post reported fishing was fair for rainbows to 19 inches. Shore fishing was good near the dam, while the trollers were working deep water north of the dam using Needlefish. The USFS pulled the dock out of the water, and only small 12- to 14-foot aluminum boats can launch.


Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden reported fishing was slow throughout the Basin. Boaters could easily launch small aluminum boats at the gravel ramp at the Gold Lake outlet. Sardine Lake fishing was okay, but Salmon and Packer Lakes were slow.


The lake is at 83-percent capacity. One troller hit the lake this past week and caught 2 limits of rainbows up to 2 pounds for 2 days using a Crystal Basin Tackle “Funky Chicken” Wild Thing dodger with a nightcrawler tipped spinner.


There was little fishing pressure here with the East Carson getting stocked so heavily.


The lake is at 75.8-percent capacity. Brett Brady at Bare Bones Guide Service reported trolling here was only fair for small DFEW planters using a dodger/grub or nightcrawler at 30 to 40 feet deep near the Yuba River inlet.


The lake is at 87-percent capacity. With the heat and recreational boat traffic, fishing was slow on the main lake—try up at the creek inlet in the Narrows where the water was cooler for trout and bass.


Nearby Fallen Leaf Lake is scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week. Chuck Self at Chuck’s Charter Fishing reported he was catching limits of 2- to 9-pound macks most days by 9 a.m.—if not limits, then mighty close!! Self was trolling 160 to 500 feet deep at Dollar Point. Mike Nielsen at Tahoe Topliners Sportfishing reported he was catching limits of macks to 10 pounds with a combination of trolling and jigging at South Shore at 145 to 175 feet deep. The average fish were running 3 to 7 pounds. Zach Gordon at Tahoe Sportfishing reported the fleet was split between chasing kokanee and macks. The kokanee trips were only producing 15 to 25 fish—1/4- to 1/2-limits only. Trolling for mid-water macks was producing half to near full limits of 4 to 6 pounders. The fish were 160 to 180 feet deep over 1000 feet of water and hitting a dodger/minnow.


The lake is at 77-percent capacity. The trout bite was slow with a few rainbows and the occasional brown hitting a dodger/grub in the top 15 feet. Get out early to avoid the heat and the crowds.


The lake is at 57.7-percent capacity. The best fishing here was for smallmouth bass on rocky banks with weed beds using crawdad and minnow imitations.


Caples Lake Resort reported a few cutthroats were being caught at the dam using worms and salmon eggs.


The lake is at 75.3-percent capacity. Shore fishing was decent at the dam for planter rainbows.


The lake is at 39-percent capacity. Mountain Hardware and Sports reported the kokanee trolling was tough, but trollers were picking up some nice 15- to 16-inch fish close to the bottom in the Little Truckee and Davies Creek arms. Boat lunching was getting difficult—don’t drive off the end of the concrete because there’s a drop-off that will trap your trailer.


The lake level dropped less than a foot this past week to 57-percent capacity. Chuck Fields at Topaz Landing Marina reported the hot weather and heavy recreational boat and watercraft traffic shut down the fishing.


Mountain Hardware and Sports reported the flows were good below the Boca Outlet and flyfishing was productive for good quality trout using nymphs in the heat of the day and caddis, yellow stone, and PED’s in the afternoons. Flows in the Little Truckee above Boca were down to 28 cfs and flyfishermen were asked to leave the river alone to protect the resource.


The lake is at 77-percent capacity. Dale Daneman at Dale’s Foothill Fishing Service reported the trout and kokanee bites were good near the dam, powerhouse, and Peninsula Point.


The Little Walker River and West Walker River at Pickel Meadows and the canyon are scheduled for another weekly DFW trout plant. Pam Hamic at the West Walker Motel reported anglers were catching plenty of small DFW planters. The Northern Mono County Chamber of Commerce will stock 400 pounds of 2- to 3-pound rainbows for the Labor Day weekend.



Flows on Sunday were down to 2,000 cfs, from 4,230 cfs the week before. Some kings are being caught on beads near Hazel Avenue.


The lake dropped 5 feet last week, from 402 feet to 397 feet. The Hobie Cove ramp at Brown’s Ravine is the only launch still open, although the Granite Bay launch should open once the lake drops below 397 feet. The lake now has a 5 mph speed limit. The water temperature was 79 degrees on Sunday. Trout and landlocked salmon fishing has slowed. Bass anglers are fishing suspended fish on the offshore rockpiles, 25 to 35 feet down. Drop-shot rigs with 3-inch plastics are working best.


Trout fishing is long over after the occasional winter plants, and the warmwater species provide some action. There’s Florida strain bass here of monstrous proportions that come on big swimbaits occasionally, and bluegill around the shorelines.


Flows held steady last week at 209 cfs at the Delta gauge. 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

Salmon fishing remains slow at the Barge Hole. Only three boats were counted there Sunday, with no salmon brought in. Fishing re-opened from Keswick Dam to the Highway 44 bridge on Aug. 1. Trout fishing was especially good on the far upper section, but remains good down to Anderson. Roe and crickets are working for bait fishermen, while fly anglers are enjoying afternoon hatches.



The 3 forks were running normal and clear. Lots of sun worshipers were at the Hwy 49 confluence, but not much fishing activity. Hike down to the North Fork above Foresthill at Italian Bar for rainbows, or into the Middle Fork below French Meadows.


The lake is at 72-percent capacity. Emerald Cove Marina reported fishing was slow with the heat and recreational boat traffic.


The lake is at 53-percent capacity. North Shore Resort reported bass fishing was decent. Ron Franks of Folsom fished early in the week and caught 18 bass in the Rock Creek and Bear River arms at 5 to 10 feet deep on green pumpkin lizards and Brush Hogs. Another angler reported catching 26 bass and a crappie in the early morning while fishing all around the lake. Weekend recreational boat traffic gets CRAZY so fish during the week if possible.


The lake is 18 feet from full. Trout fishing perked up a bit this past week with one group picking up 9 rainbows from the shore in the Open Area near the dam using floating dough bait. Jimmy Trejo hooked 13 rainbows trolling 7 colors deep (30 to 40 feet) in the main channel using flasher/worms. Catfish to 7 3/4 pounds topped the weigh board. Bass and bluegill were also active.


The lake is at 93-percent capacity. Skippers Cove Marina reported trout fishing was very slow with the hot weather.


The lake is at 76.1-percent capacity. The Foresthill Ranger Station reported all the campgrounds and boat ramps were open. Fishing was slow.


The lake is at 67.2-percent capacity. The Georgetown Ranger Station reported the campgrounds and launch ramp were open but very few people were there. Kokanee should be hitting at the powerhouse.


The lake is at 56-percent capacity—down another 10 feet this past week! Bruce Gibson at the Paradise Tackle Company reported the bass bite was good in the Slot using drop-shot worms in greens, jigs in green pumpkin or brown/purple, and crankbaits in red/black.


The lake is at 93.2-percent capacity. Ryan Drake at NID reported there was very heavy recreational boat traffic on the lake with Folsom Lake going to 5 mph. Bass fishing was still good for fish to 3 pounds using drop-shot shad worms, wacky Senkos, and Pop-R’s and Spooks.


The lake is at 83.4-percent capacity. Jim Caldwell at NID reported the bass fishing for smallmouths was spotty at best, and the trout fishing was slow.


The Foresthill Ranger Station reported the campgrounds, day-use area, and boat ramp were open. Fishing was slow.


The lake is at 80-percent capacity. The Georgetown Ranger Station reported there were few campers or fishermen at the lake. Fishing was best for trollers getting flasher/worms and Rapalas down 30 to 40 feet deep. Launching was good at the current high lake level.


The lake was at 135.2-foot elevation at press time—90.4-percent capacity. Bruce Gibson at the Paradise Tackle Company reported bass fishing was good around the weed beds using frogs, jigs, and Senkos. Look for grass beds that are matted up on the surface—the fish are underneath in the shade.



Typical roller coaster salmon week: up and down. The El Dorado and New Easy Rider had 25 fish days and 5 fish days. Beginning of the week was hot and the last couple days slowed down a bit. Boats have been trolling between the Channel Buoys and Duxbury. The quality has been great, at better than a 15-pound average.


Salmon have moved into the shallows off Ten Mile Beach. The move began mid-week and limits are being achieved. The Surf Scooter on Saturday had limits for 12 anglers to 27 pounds fishing the upper end of Ten Mile. Rockcod fishing has been near epic at Point Reyes with regular limits and plentiful ling catches. Want better news? Flat conditions are predicted for another week.


Rockcod limits are being brought back daily with a good showing of large lings. Farallon trips and forays to the Marin coast produce similar scores, with larger sacks coming from the islands. Salmon bite has been up and down. Large party boats have been getting less than a fish per rod while trolling the Main Ship Channel. Big tides last week knocked down the halibut. Tides are favorable again next week from Wednesday on.


With salmon and halibut fishing closed until Sept. 1, rockfish provided the only game on the water. Tough weather has made it tough to get out and when it has been calm, the bite has been spotty. Halibut bite was quite good for those fishing in 250 to 300 feet of water outside of both Eureka and Trinidad. A 70 and 50 pounder were reported out of Eureka, according to WON field reporter Lonnie Dollarhide. Jens Hansen of Mad River Tackle in Eureka reported a number of 50s out of Trinidad. There are a lot of halibut left on the quota for the season re-opener on Sept. 1. Salmon have just a 5-day window until Sept. 5.


Salmon have been difficult to figure. The rough seas excuse went out the window when calm conditions set in and few fish could be found. One commercial angler picked three salmon trolling from Fort Bragg to Point Arena. Tough day. The good news is the lingcod fishing is showing great promise. Already several 20-pound lings have been landed on party boats, reported John Gebers of Noyo Fishing Center. The lings will only get bigger and more plentiful as the season goes on and the fish move closer.


Party boats go south from Pillar Point to sack limits of rockcod and quality lings. There continue to be lots of anchovies and squid, which has drawn halibut just outside the harbor. Nothing big, but large enough to not have to measure. A commercial angler nabbed a 68-pound white seabass and stripers are moving up and down from Pescadero north. Surf anglers can take a shot at stripers and perch. Striper reports have been better from Pescadero south.


Big tides roiled the Bay and made conditions unfishable and pushed all the boats outside the Golden Gate. Salmon boats picked the Main Ship Channel for less than a fish per rod most days. Potluck boats scored limits of rockcod if they made the islands and 3/4-limits if they drifted the Marin or San Mateo coasts.

Western Outdoor News