Fishing Line

Salmon biting in Feather River, Sacramento River, Bodega Bay

Fishermen board a boat with guide Jeff Gonzales, far right, on the Sacramento River near Los Molinos before sunrise on Thursday, September 3, 2015.
Fishermen board a boat with guide Jeff Gonzales, far right, on the Sacramento River near Los Molinos before sunrise on Thursday, September 3, 2015.

Here are the best places to fish in the Sacramento region, Northern California and beyond for the week of Aug. 29, 2016.



Salmon fishing was hot and heavy for much of the week at Ten Mile Beach, Elephant Rock, Bodega Head and Fort Ross. Lingcod and rockfish were even hungrier with big lings and heavy sacks of rockfish for New Sea Angler fishers. Scott Heemstra at Kings Tackle reported a customer of his got a 30-pound salmon. Halibut kept up the bite near Hog Island and stripers fed along beaches, especially at Dillon Beach where Gage Vogler of Lawson’s Landing got a 10 pounder.


Better salmon fishing here than the Sacramento River right now. New salmon were reported in the river over the weekend. Bank anglers did well at the Outlet Hole, Fifth Street Bridge and Shanghai Bend. Boaters did best at Boyd’s Pump, fishing T55 FlatFish with sardine wraps. Flows remained around 6,000 cfs last week. Stripers are being caught on artificial lures, such as swimbaits, near the Yuba City boat launch.


Kings are being caught near Miller Park, Freeport and Garcia Bend on jigs as well as M2 FlatFish or K14 Kwikfish with sardine wraps. Fishing is slow but some boats are reporting up to two fish a day. 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

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. 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.


CHETCO RIVER, Brookings, Oregon

The river is at summertime lows, so fishing for sea-run cutthroat trout is slow. No salmon have been reported yet near the mouth, but catches generally pick up in mid-September.

COOS RIVER, Coos Bay, Oregon

Salmon fishing is fair between the Highway 101 bridge and California Street Ramp, while some kings also were caught over the weekend in the Marshfield Channel. Guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing got his customers into three kings on Sunday on plug-cut herring.

COQUILLE RIVER, Bandon, Oregon

Salmon fishing has been fair to good between Bullards Beach and Rocky Point. The run has gotten off to an early start, which generally indicates a big return. Trolling plug-cut herring on the incoming tide has been best.

ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Oregon

Salmon fishing was good last Friday and Saturday, with close to 100 fish a day reported. Cooler water near Agness has begun to draw salmon out of the bay. The latest Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife seining at Huntley Park last week revealed several hundred kings had bolted upstream. Fishing was slower in the bay on Sunday, as water temperatures upstream dropped to 70 degrees. It had been 77 degrees early in the week.


Smallmouth bass fishing is in high gear as they pack on the feed for fall and winter, and you can get them from 8 inches to 16 inches, or almost 1 1/2 pounds, according to Scott Heemstra of Kings Sport and Tackle. Water temperatures have dropped to the upper 60s and flows have increased to 150 cfs.


No salmon have been reported yet in the lower river and estuary. Fishing for sea-run cutthroat trout is slow. Salmon could arrive at the Sand Hole on the next big tides this week.

UMPQUA RIVER, Winchester, Oregon

Fishing for king salmon was very good near Winchester Bay on Saturday. The bite was slower Sunday, but several fish were caught near the mouth of the Smith River. Good tides this week are expected to draw more salmon in.



Flows Sunday at Iron Gate Dam were 930 cfs, down from 1,650 cfs the week before. No salmon have been reported yet on the upper Klamath, mainly because the mouth of the river was sanded in for most of August. 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.


Flows Sunday at Seiad Valley were back down to 1,030 cfs, down from 2,100 cfs the week before. Salmon fishing remains slow. Some steelhead are spread throughout the middle Klamath.


The 555-fish adult king salmon quota was filled for the lower Klamath below Highway 96 in just 2 days by anglers fishing the spit when the river broke through and fish poured in. Anglers can still keep two jack salmon less than 22 inches a day, but fishing for jacks has been poor. Very few adult kings, which now must be released, are being caught. Flows increased to 2,800 cfs at Terwer Creek on Sunday after more water was released from Trinity Lake. The boost in flows should draw in fresh kings this week.


A sudden increases in flows at Lewiston Dam from 450 cfs to 1,200 cfs over the weekend slowed fishing on the Trinity. The boost in flows, however, should draw fresh salmon into the Klamath, and then the Trinity, over the next few weeks. Flows are expected to remain over 1,000 cfs through mid-September. The Trinity remains open to keeping adult kings until the quotas are filled. The quota on the Trinity River is 183 adult kings from the confluence with the Klamath up to Cedar Flat, and 183 adult kings from Cedar Flat up to the Old Lewiston Bridge.



Cooling water temperatures have put the largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass fishing into high gear and anglers are catching good numbers all day long, on spinnerbaits and crank plugs.


Bass fishing remains fair on live nightcrawlers and plastic worms, but trout fishing remains slow.


For bass numbers the lake is still fishing great. Crankbaits, jigs, spinnerbaits and drop-shot rigs are still the main patterns, even with all the smaller fish that can be caught one right after the other now. Not a lot of big bass showing.


Largemouth bass to 3 pounds and smallmouth bass 2 pounds make up most of the catches with plenty of techniques used to fool them, including crank plugs, surface plugs and plastic worms.


Fishing is fair for bass on plastic worms or live bait, and trout fishing has been slow.



Trout fishing is good for trollers working the east side of the lake. Bait fishing for trout can still be good in areas like the A-Frame, Spar Buoy, Rec. 2 and Big Springs.


Fair trout action for fly fishermen.


Trout fishing has been fair in the early mornings, mostly in the dam area on live nightcrawlers or Kastmaster lures. Kokanee fishing has been great, though, according to guide Scott Caldwell of SC Guide Service. The fish are scattered all over the lake at depths of 25-35 feet in the mornings, but they move to about 50 feet deep later in the day. Use watermelon or pink colored lures trolled behind flashers. Many limits are being taken. The water level is dropping slowly and the water temperature is still a warm 74 to 76 degrees.


Fishing is improving with more trout being taken on trolled lures. Fish to over 4 pounds were bagged this week.


Fly fishing is fair for trout, said John Dietz at The Fly Shop in Redding.


Trout fishing is fair on Power Baits, or blue and silver Kastmasters.


Fly fishing is good on cinnamon pupas.


Trout fishing is good in the McCloud Arm and Waters Gulch areas. Bass fishing is good in most shoreline areas with brush or rocks on Senkos and grubs.


The lake continues to produce good catches of kokanee salmon for trollers.


Oak Bottom Marina reported fair crappie and bass fishing for the shoreline anglers, but boat fishing has been generally slow for trout.



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. Crappie and bluegill are found 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.


Rainbow trout action remains good for those trolling shad-patterned spoons at depths from 35 to 40 feet on a fast-troll near the day. The bass are focusing upon crawdads, and jigs or plastics on crawdad-patterns are working at depths from 10 to 25 feet with the fish moving out to deeper water by mid-morning. Catfishing remains solid in the early mornings or at sundown with chicken livers, nightcrawlers, or sardines in the shallows. Crappie fishing has slowed considerably with the slabs holding inside of specific trees. The lake remains high at 72% of capacity.


Few kokanee fishermen are targeting the lake, but a few quality kokanee have been taken at depths below 100 feet with standard kokanee gear. King salmon and rainbow trout 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. Bass fishing has slowed with a minimal reaction bite. Limited numbers are taken on plastics on the drop-shot. The lake has dropped to 68% of capacity.


The crappie bite is picking up at night under lights near the Houseboats with live medium minnows. Catfish, crappie, bass, and rainbow trout have all been caught under lights. The bass bite is best with minnows or crawdads, but there is a small window for topwater lures in the early mornings. Catfishing is good with frozen shad, sardines, or anchovies from the shorelines with muddy, sloping banks. The lake has dropped to 44% of capacity.


The remnants of the 7500-pound plant of a few weeks back have moved out into deep water, and trollers are scoring with blade/’crawler combinations or chrome/blue Kastmasters near the upper dam in the colder water in the lake. Bank fishing is best in the early, early mornings before the sun comes up with garlic trout dough bait, salmon eggs, or Kastmasters from the peninsula near the Marina, the Handicapped Docks, or the Brush Pile.


Striped and largemouth bass remain boiling on the surface, chasing the small shad, and flukes are working best with the topwater bite slowing down as the temperatures cool. The boils last from 45 seconds to several minutes, but boats and jetskiers blasting into the boils put the fish down. The lake continues to drop slowly, and it is currently at 29% 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 rapidly coming to a close, but a few large kokanee are coming on large profile lures along with a large dodger at depths to 100 feet in the main river channel. They should be pushing up the river arm within the next few weeks in their attempt to spawn. Trout fishing is also slow with few anglers trying, also in the deepest part of the lake with big lures. Catfishing is the best option with frozen shad, mackerel, or sardines in the early mornings, late afternoons, or evenings. Crappie fishing has slowed with a few slabs holding in the trees. The Glory Hole concrete launch ramp will be out of the water onto the dirt road once the lake drops two more feet to 865 feet in elevation. The courtesy dock will remain although the ramp is on the dirt.


The opening of the reconstructed Recreational Vehicle Park has been the hub of action at the lake, but experienced fishermen continue to find limits of kokanee, although the action is much slower. The kokanee have dropped from 70 to 100 feet near the river mouth with large profile lures such as Apex lures in gold or orange. 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. A 8-pound largemouth was caught and released this week.


Regular trout plants occur each week on Thursdays or Friday, and trollers working deep water to 50 feet are finding the best action for the planted rainbows. Bank fishing is slow with a few rainbows taken on chartreuse trout dough bait.



The lake is at 42.3-percent capacity. James Netzel at Tight Lines Guide Service reported the kokanee bite had slowed dramatically. His last trip produced 1 kokanee and 1 trout. He was metering big schools of fish at the dam, but he felt they were “next year’s” kokes and he couldn’t get them to bite. The lake has seen a LOT of pressure this season and it’s finally taken its toll. Launching was through the mud on the east shore now that the ramp was out of the water---4-wheel drive only.


The lake is at 76.5-percent capacity. Caples Lake Resort reported fishing was hit-or-miss. The dam was producing some limits, but the bite was slow at Wood’s Creek and Emigrant Bay. Long-time resort owner Jon Voss passed away due to complications from cancer earlier this month—he will be missed.


Water releases from Heenan Lake muddied the water in the East Carson below Monitor Pass. Above Monitor Pass, the East Carson produced 22 rainbows to 4 pounds for 6 anglers in 2 1/2 hours. Todd Sodaro, chairman of the Alpine County Fish and Wildlife Commission, announced that Alpine County would stock 1800 pounds of 1/2- to 4-pound rainbows this week for the Labor Day holiday. Most or all of the fish will be stocked in the East Carson depending on available flows in the West Carson.


The lake is at 59-percent capacity. Ed Dillard at Dillard Guided Fishing reported trollers were only picking up 1 or 2 small planter rainbows and the occasional 18 incher using Dick Nite spoons in the channel between Honker Cove and the dam at 18 to 22 feet deep. Shore fishing was very slow.


The lake is at 78-percent capacity. Kokanee fishing was slow, but some nice macks were being caught by kokanee trollers at 50 to 75 feet deep over the humps in the China Cove to Loch Leven area.


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 34-percent capacity. Ed Dillard at Dillard Guided Fishing reported trollers in small aluminum boats (the only craft that can safely launch) were catching limits of 15- to 17-inch rainbows on Needlefish at 25 feet deep north of the dam. Wiggins Trading Post reported shore fishing was slow with the best action at the dam using inflated nightcrawlers.


Mark Tieslau at Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden reported fishing was slow throughout the Basin—the typical summer doldrums. On the bright side, the upgrades to the parking lot at Gold Lake boat facility appeared to be almost done and the launch ramp could open a lot sooner than previously expected.


The lake is at 81-percent capacity. Rainbows up to 2 pounds were hitting the Crystal Basin Tackle “Funky Chicken” Wild Thing dodger with a nightcrawler tipped spinner.


Todd Sodaro at Todd’s Bait and Tackle at the Creekside Lodge reported there was very little fishing pressure here with the heavy plants going into the East Carson.


The lake is at 71.9-percent capacity and was stocked by the DFW this past week. Brett Brady at Bare Bones Guide Service reported fishing was slow here, but that was before the unscheduled plant. Cooler weather and water should help the bite.


The lake is at 86-percent capacity. Denise Cole at Sly Park Resort reported trout fishing was slow, but bass fishing was decent in the Narrows where there was no high speed boat traffic. The main lake was loaded with recreational boat traffic and should be a ZOO over the Labor Day weekend.


Chuck Self at Chuck’s Charter Fishing reported the macks were feeding on shrimp and finding the shrimp was the key to success. He did well on his last trip this past week catching limits of 3- to 7-pound macks at 165 to 350 feet deep on UV spoons and small minnow imitations (Lucky Craft and Sebile) from Crystal Bay Point to Flick Point. Zach Gordon at Tahoe Sportfishing reported the kokanee bite had greatly improved and boats were catching 20 to 35 fish on morning trips and 10 to 20 on afternoon trips for 6 to 10 anglers. They were trolling flashers with red or green Wedding Rings tipped with corn at 60 to 100 feet deep from the Keys to Camp Rich. A couple boats in their fleet were still after mid-water macks trolling dodger/minnows 140 to 200 feet deep over 1000 feet of water in front of Ski Run for near limits of 4 to 10 pounders.


The lake is at 74-percent capacity and was stocked by the DFW this past week.


The lake is at 55-percent capacity. Smallmouth bass fishing was still the best bet around rocky banks and weed beds.


Caples Lake Resort reported a few trout were coming off the dam on worms and salmon eggs.


The lake is at 73-percent capacity. Try for trout at the dam from shore.


The lake is at 39-percent capacity. Mountain Hardware and Sports reported there was little to report from here. Kokanee were hard to catch and there was little word on any macks. The ramp is still in the water for a bit longer as the lake continues to drop.


Chuck Fields at Topaz Landing Marina reported the lake had dropped another foot but there was still 19 feet of water in the marina—plenty for launching and berthing. With the hot weather and heavy recreational boat and watercraft traffic, fishing was very slow.


The Little Truckee along Hwy 89 is scheduled for a DFW trout plant this week, but the river flows were very low according to Mountain Hardware and Sports. Flyfishing was best below the Boca Outlet to Stateline on yellow stone and caddis patterns.


The lake is at 75-percent capacity. Dale Daneman at Dale’s Foothill Fishing Service reported the trout and kokanee were still hitting near the dam, powerhouse, and Peninsula Point.


The Little Walker and West Walker at Pickel Meadows and the canyon are scheduled for another weekly DFW trout plant. Mono County was scheduled to stock 400 pounds of 1-pound brown trout in the West Walker this week in time for the Labor Day weekend. Sam Foster at the Toiyabe Motel reported fishing had slowed due to the low flows and clear water making the fish rather spooky—use light line, sneak up to the bank, and make long casts to the deeper pools and runs to improve success.



High winds slowed the salmon and striped bass bite for lure tossers or trollers both in the north Delta and in Suisun Bay. A few salmon are taken daily from the Dillon Point State Park on spinners from the plethora of fishermen casting lures, and below Freeport, jigging in the top technique for a salmon or two. Liberty Island had been solid with swimbaits for stripers, but the water turned off color with the wind, leaving cut baits or live mudsuckers as the best option. Trollers are focusing around Decker Island with deep-diving lures in green or red head/white, but the grade of striper consists of small, legal fish. Smallmouth continue to hold in Steamboat and Miner Sloughs with deep-diving crankbaits or plastics on the drop-shot. Sturgeon fishing has yet to take off with the consistent winds in Suisun Bay.


The changing weather conditions have brought about a transition in the largemouth bass bite, but stable weather should bring out the larger fish. Swimbaits are working for the occasional big fish, but punching the weeds remains the top option for numbers. The winds have helped the spinnerbait and buzzbait bite. Current is the key to catching both largemouth and striped bass. A few sturgeon fishermen are concentrating in front of Antioch with lamprey eel, and the results have been surprisingly good. Fresh shad is getting larger and larger and more abundant in area bait shops. The fresh bait is moving west into the Antioch, Oakley, and Pittsburg bait shops.



Flows dropped from 2,000 cfs last week to 1,700 cfs on Sunday. A few kings are being caught in the river, as well as near Discovery Park, but overall salmon fishing is slow.


The lake dropped 2 feet last week, from 397 feet to 395 feet. The Hobie Cove ramp at Brown’s Ravine and Granite Bay’s low water ramp are open. The Folsom Point, Rattlesnake and Peninsula ramps are closed. The lake now has a 5 mph speed limit. The water temperature was 79 degrees on Sunday. Trout and landlocked salmon fishing have 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.


Flows held steady last week at 201 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, Red Bluff to Colusa

Salmon fishing is fair between Red Bluff and Los Molinos, while Woodson Bridge has been slow. T55 FlatFish with sardine wraps are outfishing roe. Guides are reporting zero to four fish a day. A large school of salmon was reported near Los Molinos last Thursday.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding to Red Bluff

Flows Sunday at Keswick Dam were 10,500 cfs. Salmon fishing remains slow at the Barge Hole. Trout fishing has been very good from Redding 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 71-percent capacity. Emerald Cove Marina reported there was still heavy recreational boat traffic on the lake and fishing was slow. Early mornings during the week, there were a few boats trolling for kokanee at the dam or up in the North Yuba.


The lake is at 45-percent capacity. The launch ramp was still in the water. Kathy DeRossett at North Shore Resort reported Ron Franks of Folsom fished early this past week and caught 44 bass to 2 1/2 pounds in the Bear River arm on green pumpkin lizards at 5 to 10 feet deep.


The lake is 22 feet from full. Catfish topped the weigh board again this past week with fish to 7 1/4 pounds caught at the dock and the dam. Only a trout or two were caught from shore at the dam. Crappie and bluegill were hitting worms off the dock for the kids.


The lake is at 92-percent capacity. Skippers Cove Marina reported fishing was slow.


The lake is at 74.4-percent capacity and was stocked by the DFW this past week. The Foresthill Ranger Station reported all the campgrounds and launch ramps were open.


The lake is at 63.6-percent capacity. The Georgetown Ranger Station reported there were no campers or fishermen at the lake this past week—things were very quiet.


The lake is at 54-percent capacity—now down 127 feet!! Brett Brady at Bare Bones Guide Service reported king salmon trolling was very good. His last trip produced 2 limits of 14 1/2- to 16 1/2-inch salmon in 1-hour trolling dodger/white hoochies tipped with a chunk of anchovy at Potter’s Point and up into the Slot at 35 to 60 feet deep. Get out early and be fishing before sunrise to score.


The lake is at 92.7-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 81-percent capacity. Jim Caldwell at NID reported smallmouth bass fishing was productive. A father/son caught six 2 1/2 to 3 pounders trolling along the Cascade Shore side of the lake. Trout fishing was slow.


The Foresthill Ranger Station reported the fishing was slow.


The lake is at 79-percent capacity. The Georgetown Ranger Station reported fishing was slow.


The lake was at 135.4-foot elevation at press time—91.8-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.



A whopping 32-pound lingcod catch aboard Happy Hooker was the catch of the week in terms of being a big specimen of its species. Many lings in the teens and 20s were caught, including a 28 pounder taken aboard Golden Eye 2000 and a 24 pounder caught on Sunfish. California Dawn stacked the decks with sharks and halibut on Bay trips and with lingcod and rockfish on trips to the Marin Coast or Farallones.


Boats from Emeryville mixed things up with trips for salmon, which had some decent days and bad days, rockfish and lingcod, which were generally very good. A weekend report had not 1, but 2 wolf eels come aboard. Halibut catches at the bars outside the Gate added nicely to the variety and fish counts.


Eureka boaters made runs south to Cape Mendocino for limits of lingcod to over 20 pounds and near limits of fat rockfish. Exploratory albacore runs out of Crescent City paid off handsomely for 3 boats who put aboard 12, 18 and 50-plus fish. Trinidad anglers got plenty of black snapper and some lingcod. Shelter Cove boats kept after the salmon with half-to-full limits of shiny fish.


The bigger lingcod of Autumn arrived early and the average size went up. A 23-pounder was taken aboard Telstar and good numbers of lings in the teens were taken aboard that and other boats and even from shore. Shore fishers caught cabezon, rockfish and lingcod. Salmon fishing was slow all week for Fort Bragg boats.


Party boats Queen of Hearts and Riptide stuck with the consistency offered by rockfish and lingcod down the coast off of Pescador, evidenced by cabezon to 10 pounds and lingcod to 27 pounds. Private boaters found salmon from just outside the harbor on up to the Channel Buoys. Striped bass fishing along the beaches slowed down, but there were still some bigger units taken at night.


A 29-pound salmon was caught on Nautilus while fishing off of Bolinas. Wacky Jacky put salmon aboard to 24 pounds and Lovely Martha saw a 28 pounder. Flashand Flash II fished for lings and rockfish and salmon outside the Gate and for sharks down deep in South Bay. Bass Tub went salmon fishing on some days and looked for lingcod and rockfish on other days.

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