By Western Outdoor News
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Verona to Colusa >> Sturgeon fishing has been fair from Knights Landing to Colusa, with eel and nightcrawler combos working best. Striper fishing is fair near Verona and Tisdale, although high water is making access difficult. Boaters are anchoring and fishing cut sardines or pile worms. Anglers have reported big numbers of fish in the river. Flows at Verona went from 20,000 cfs to 57,200 cfs.
LAKE ALMANOR >> The recent storms dropped over 2 1/2 inches of rain. The Hamilton Branch and the Super Ditch are bringing in lots of muddy and the lake is on the rise. Water surface temps have fluctuated between 41.5 to 48 degrees. With more unsettled weather on the way you can expect the trend to continue. Forecasts calls for some cooling temps with a chance of snow later this week. Fishing has been good this past week when weather allowed, good numbers, just no large fish.
BAUM LAKE >> Recently stocked and produced fair to good action for fly fishermen and shoreline bait anglers.
SHASTA LAKE >> Excellent trout and improved landlocked king salmon fishing was posted. Upper arms of the lake are producing smaller 14- to 16-inch trout. The lower sections of the lake arms are still seeing the best brown fishing of the year. Bass fishing remains good in the coves and off points on plugs and plastics.
WHISKEYTOWN LAKE >> Kokanee fishing is best on the surface early and down to 25 feet by the afternoon. Boats anglers are getting 16-plus-inch fish right now. Anglers can start trolling at the buoy line in the Whiskey Creek in 40 feet of water and get into them. Trolling by the bridge has been fair, but the dam and curtain areas have been doing well. Over by the inlet near Brandy Creek in deep waters has been a good spot also.
FOLSOM LAKE >> The lake is muddy with inflows topping 30,000 cfs late last week. The lake is 85 percent full, and 122 percent of it 15-year average. Fishing is poor with the heavy inflow.
FAR NORTH LAKES AND RIVERS
LEWISTON LAKE >> Trout action is holding at a pretty good pace, with fly fishermen picking up rainbows near the marina on a variety of mayflies and other assorted dry flies. Up toward the dam area, most of the action on similar rainbows is being posted by boat anglers anchoring or drifting white Power Bait.
PIT RIVER >> Pretty much blown by high water flowing through.
SISKIYOU LAKE >> Fishing is slow.
TRINITY LAKE >> Bass fishing has been slow but is starting to pick up. Trout action remains fair to good at creek inlets.
AMERICAN RIVER >> Completely blown out.
FEATHER RIVER >> Striper fishing was hot early last week on the Feather, with minnows working well along with swimbaits. High water made fishing tough over the weekend, but keeper-size fish were being caught on cut bait. Conditions are expected to improve. All of the boat launches remain open.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Dunsmuir >> The river blew out, then reached 6,000 cfs before dropping back to 2,500 cfs over the weekend.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding to Red Bluff >> Flows from Keswick Dam have remained stable at 3,220 cfs, as water is held back at Shasta Dam. Trout fishing has been good from Keswick to Anderson. Glo Bugs, beads and roe are working well. Some hatches are helping fly anglers in the afternoons. The river remains open above Highway 44 until April 15.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff to Colusa >> Heavy runoff slowed striper fishing above Colusa. Sturgeon are being caught on eel and pile worms. Flows at Colusa jumped from 7,000 cfs to 37,200 cfs over the weekend.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento >> Striper fishing was good early last week at Discovery Park and Bright Beach before rains blew the river out over the weekend. Boat access is now difficult in the Sacramento area because of high water. Flows at Freeport jumped from 30,000 cfs to 72,700 cfs.
KLAMATH RIVER, Hornbrook >> The river remains blown out. Flows over the weekend at Iron Gate Dam were 6,700 cfs, up from 2,100 cfs a week ago.
KLAMATH RIVER, Happy Camp >> The river remains too high for late-season steelhead fishing. Flows at Seiad Valley were 12,000 cfs over the weekend, up from 3,563 cfs. Flows at Orleans were 28,600 cfs, up from 10,900 cfs.
KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen >> The river is high and off-color. Spring salmon season is still a month away. Flows at Terwer over the weekend were 70,600 cfs, up from 20,000 cfs a week ago. They crested at 91,000 cfs before beginning to drop.
TRINITY RIVER >> The river blew out from top to bottom, and remained high from Douglas City down over the weekend. Flows at Lewiston held steady at 300 cfs all week, as water is being held back at Trinity Lake.
BULLARDS BAR >> Bullards is still good for kokanee, although the bite has slowed. Anglers are scoring while trolling dodgers and hoochies. Most fish are in the 12- to 13-inch range. The bass bite continues to be good for numbers, with some nice quality mixed in. The bass are up shallow.
CAMP FAR WEST >> The bass bite is going strong. Anglers are reporting big numbers on 1 to 2 pounders, on jigs, Twist Tails, and other plastics. Crappie are starting to bite. The trout bite up the Bear River arm has slowed. The lake is full and spilling. It’s stained and 62 degrees on the surface.
COLLINS LAKE >> Weekly 1,800-pound trout plants continue from Mt. Lassen Trout Farm. Trout weighing 5 to 8 pounds are in the mix. The recent storm has stained the water again. It seems to make no difference to the fish. Limits and near limits were common, and trout up to 5 pounds were caught. Meanwhile, crappie entered the counts at Collins Lake Recreation Area, and Bob Arfsten of Yuba City caught a 13.25-pound catfish.
LAKE OROVILLE >> Warm rain pounded Oroville leading into last weekend, but it didn’t hamper the bite. The April 7 Nor-Cal 90 tournament had 35 boats fish right through the foul weather. Incoming water produced some good fish, but not all incoming water was equal. Ryan Friend and Clint Isbell motored miles around the lake to find productive incoming water. They tanked two 6-pounders and a couple of 4-pound largemouth to bag the winning weight of 20.87 pounds.
SCOTTS FLAT LAKE >> The DFW stocked Scotts Flat on March 18. Last week, they were still hitting well. Smallmouth bass are okay. Rainbows are the heaviest catch. The lake is full and spilling.
THERMALITO AFTERBAY >> The DFW Feather River Hatchery stocked 51,800 yearling steelhead into the afterbay. This is the second juvenile steelhead release of the year and brings the total number of steelhead stocked in the afterbay this season to 234,000. They are going in at one-quarter of a pound each but are expected to grow quickly to 20 inches by late summer and fall.
NORTH COAST LAKES
LAKE BERRYESSA >> Bass anglers are enjoying catching good numbers of smallmouth and largemouth bass all over the lake. Most are males in the 1- to 3-pound range with a few over 10 pounds. The major creeks (Putah and Pope) remain stained so spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, A-rigs and a variety of plastics are working up the creeks. From the narrows and on up the main lake to the north end you’ll find clear water and plenty of bed fish. Best technique has been drop-shotting 6-inch Robo worms in oxblood, Aaron’s Magic or weightless Senkos in the trees in 5 to 10 feet of water.
BLACK BUTTE LAKE >> Fishing has been slow, but some action seen on crappie and bass near the dam coves.
CLEAR LAKE >> Bass fishing has been fair to good on plastics and jerk baits at the north end of the lake. Crappie fishing is good on jigs and minnows.
LAKE MENDOCINO >> No reports of action by bass anglers.
LAKE PILLSBURY >> Fishing remains slow for trout and bass.
LAKE SONOMA >> Not much action reported with few anglers out.
NORTH COAST RIVERS
CHETCO RIVER, Brookings, Ore. >> The river closed to fishing March 31 and will reopen May 22. Steehead fishing was fair last week, with good flows.
ELK RIVER, Port Orford, Ore. >> The Elk River closed to fishing March 31 and reopens May 22.
ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Ore. >> The lower Rogue remained fishable after last week’s rain, but fishing for spring salmon was fairly slow over the weekend. A few hatchery salmon are being caught. Recent rains may draw in more fish.
ROGUE RIVER, Grants Pass, Ore. >> There were a couple of days of muddy waters, but It’s clearing now, said guide Troy Whitaker at U-Save Tackle in Grants Pass. Steelhead anglers should try back-trolling with dark-colored plugs or pink rubber worms. Also side-drifting roe is producing steelhead action. There have been some salmon moving up, too, and being caught on sardine fillets. A little rain is expected this week, but it should not be enough slow the fishing action.
RUSSIAN RIVER >> As of Sunday it was flowing very high and very muddy river. The Russian River basin picked up anywhere from 3-7 inches of rain on Friday, so it will be a while before it is fishable, according to Scott Heemstra from Kings Sport & Tackle in Guerneville. “Before the rain, the river was in excellent shape and there were a lot of downrunners and some new steelhead being caught. There is still a chance to get some late steelhead when the river comes into shape. The good news with the high flows is that it will make for a good American shad run. We should expect to find them in the system when the river comes around. It is also time for black bass to get active, since the water temps will start warming as we move into spring.”
SMITH RIVER >> Heavy rain blew the Smith out from top to bottom over the weekend. The river was muddy on Sunday but expected to be fishable by late week. Steelhead fishing remains open through April, but has been slow.
SIXES RIVER, Port Orford, Ore. >> Steelhead season closed March 31. The river reopens May 22.
SIERRA LAKES AND RIVERS
BOCA LAKE >> Rising slightly. Shore launching is the only option. The boat ramp is muddy and the dam road is closed, according to Brian Nylund of Mountain Hardware and Sports.
CARSON RIVER >> Recent heavy rains “completely blew out” the East Carson, according to Todd Sodaro of Todd’s Bait and Tackle. He expects the year-round catch-and-release section to be shut down for several days to a week.
DAVIS LAKE >> The lake is 100 percent ice free and 95 percent full. The launch at Lightning Trail is open. Mallard is still covered by snow. The east side is fully plowed. The west side of the lake is inaccessible due to snow.
DONNER LAKE >> The shoreline mackinaw bite has slowed, according to Brian Nylund of Mountain Hardware and Sports. Boat anglers are faring better. Toplining for kokanee recently started. For now, they are typically smaller fish. Toplining for rainbows is an option. On Sunday, guide Shaun Rainsbarger said the mackinaw bite was a little tough. Fish are scattered through the water column. The surface water temperature is a frigid 39.5 degrees.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR >> Now that it’s accessible, anglers are finding Indian Creek Reservoir fishing spectacularly for rainbows. Guests at Creekside Lodge fished it two days last week and found non-stop action according to Todd Sodaro of Todd’s Bait and Tackle.
LAKE TAHOE >> The lake is full to the brim and fishing very well for chunky 3- to 7-pound mackinaw, according to Chuck Self of Chuck’s Charter Fishing. Afternoon trips have been very good as well. The only downside is fishing very deep. The surface water temperature was 42.5 degrees, a bit cold for the larger rainbows to play. Zach Gordon of Tahoe Sportfishing also enjoyed fast action for mackinaw. Surface action for browns continues for Mike Nielsen of Tahoe Topliners of Tahoe Sportfishing. The fish are hitting Storm Thundersticks in gold and black.
PROSSER RESERVOIR >> Prosser is fishing well from the shoreline for anglers soaking Power Bait, according to Brian Nylund of Mountain Hardware and Sports. The bass fishing is slow due to cold water.
PYRAMID LAKE >> While most boats were tied up due to high winds, shoreline anglers cleaned up, according to Capt. Robert Hagerty of Pyramid Fly Company. Hagerty said the locals have been spanking the fish from the shoreline. “Candy Apple John” and “Greg the Professor” caught 74 fish up to 14 pounds in eight hours. Hagerty, with Joe Contaldi and Capt. Tom Berg, landed more than 100 fish up to 10 pounds. Midges have been a top producer but don’t disregard stripping woolly buggers and popcorn beetles.
TRUCKEE RIVER >> Fishing is tough due to runoff from recent warm rains according to Brian Nylund of Mountain Hardware and Sports. Flows are up to 6,000 cfs down the hill, 500 out of the head dam, and 2,500 at Glenshire. If you want to try it, fish the edges and soft water. Nymphing with heavy weights is the best option.
BERKELEY >> Berkeley boats hammered halibut and busted bass throughout the week, with bass, halibut and even white seabass all over the deck on California Dawn and Happy Hooker. California Dawn had amazing success on white seabass. Berkeley Charterboat vessels like New El Dorado III caught halibut to 28 pounds at Berkeley Pier and Alameda.
BODEGA BAY >> While waiting for word on salmon season, Bodega Bay boaters stayed on crab, finding enough in their traps to keep running them. Tomales Bay offered a reasonable chance at a halibut especially for bait drifters and slow-trollers working near Hog Island and near the entrance to the Bay. Surf fishers had good times with various surf perch at Lawson’s Landing and Doran Beach. New Sea Angler will be ready to fish rockfish daily beginning the day after the opener.
EMERYVILLE >> Boaters worked the area for halibut and striped bass aboard most anything that would float including larger craft, skiffs and kayaks. Even with the water freshening up from the rains, halibut were fond of conditions and appreciative of the live bait availability which gave the fish exactly what they wanted.
EUREKA >> Shore-based fishing was the one opportunity for the week because rockfish and salmon seasons haven’t yet begun (salmon season is as yet undetermined). Fishing the south jetty was good for lingcod on herring and anchovies. On calmer days people could fish from the parking lot almost out to the dolos where they caught plenty of black snappers, kelp greenling and other fish.
FORT BRAGG >> Crabbing was kind of quiet due to sea state and dwindling interest late in the season. Shore fishing and crabbing was viable and even very good at times. Noyo Jetty was always fishable. Westport and Ward Avenue were great for redtail perch. Rockfish and cabezon were on the bite at The Mill and other rocky spots when the swells would allow folks to fish the good spots.
HALF MOON BAY >> The first full week of rockfish season below Pigeon Point was very good and limited only by wind and seas. Half Moon Bay boats Queen of Hearts, New Captain Pete and Riptide got into some solid action with full sacks. Huli Cat came back from the boatyard and is ready to rock & roll. Striped bass bass bit for surf anglers from Mussel Rock to Montara. Pacifica Pier people found improved crab action and slower perch fishing.
SAN FRANCISCO >> Live bait (anchovies) were available for sale and this ignited bass, halibut and even white seabass action throughout San Francisco Bay for boats like Bass Tub, Argo and Lovely Martha which fished comfortable waters and stacked their decks with fish. Shore anglers found decent striped bass action along the Pacific side of town and perch fishing inside the bay.
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