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North State Fish Report

North state fishing report

By Western Outdoor News

Posted: 01/04/18

FEATHER RIVER >> Steelhead fishing has been good, and should pick up in Oroville with the Jan. 1 opener. Glo Bugs have been working best. Boaters using swimbaits and plugs are catching some resident stripers to 10 pounds on the lower river. Bait fishing for stripers has been slow.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Verona to Colusa >> Although a few sturgeon are being caught at Knights Landing and Verona, rain is needed to draw in more fish. Ghost shrimp combined with pile worms or eel is working best, especially near Second Beach. Fishing for catfish has slowed at Knights Landing. A few small stripers also are being caught.

BULLARDS BAR >> Dragging jigs, drop-shots near the bottom down 40 feet is the common practice to try to fool big spots readying to spawn.

COLLINS LAKE >> Trout bite has slowed a bit, although anglers can get two to four trout per outing. Best chances are from the shore with nightcrawlers or Power Bait. DFW will plant trout this week.

LAKE ALMANOR >> Fishermen continue to pick up smaller fish in and around the coves on the south end of the lake. Fly fishermen and bankies are catching small rainbows in Geritol, Keddie and roadside. Still waiting for larger fish to migrate to the south end of the lake. Trolling is just not happening right now, not many boats on the water.

BAUM LAKE >> Trout fishing has been fair for fly anglers if they can find the rainbows schooled up. Use zebra midges, laser midges and brown woolly buggers for action. Bait anglers score with Power Baits. Weather has been cold and windy.

BUCKS LAKE >> Marina shut down for winter. No catches reported by shore anglers.

EAGLE LAKE >> The season is over now, to resume when general spring fishing season opens in April.

LEWISTON LAKE >> Trout fishing continues to be good for shore anglers dunking Power Baits, nightcrawlers and salmon eggs.

PIT RIVER >> Area No. 3 has been good for fly fishermen tossing midges and rubber legs.

SHASTA LAKE >> Bass fishing remains fair off most points on plastic worms and crank plugs. Trout anglers still picking up a few rainbows on flashers/lures trolled 60 to 100 feet deep in the main body of the lake.

TRINITY LAKE >> No reports of bass action, but trout anglers are still getting small rainbows on baits fished off the mouths of inflowing creeks at the upper reaches of the lake.

WHISKEYTOWN LAKE >> A few kokanee and bass have been caught but fishing is generally slow overall.

AMERICAN RIVER >> Steelhead season in the salmon spawning area above Ancil Hoffman Park opened Jan. 1. Fishing was slow prior to the opener near Watt and Howe Avenue, although some fresh fish were moving through. Rain will help.

FOLSOM LAKE >> Trout fishing has improved near the dam, where anglers are trolling spoons behind flashers 20 to 40 feet down. A few bass are being caught.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Dunsmuir >> Trout fishing has slowed with winter weather near Dunsmuir.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding to Red Bluff >> Trout fishing has been good between Keswick and the Highway 44 bridge. Roe is working best, although Glo Bugs also are tricking fish. Some hatchery steelhead are being caught in the Anderson area.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff to Colusa >> A few stripers are being caught near Colusa. Sturgeon fishing is slow near Colusa.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento >> A few stripers are being caught in the deepwater channel but fishing is slow. Rain should draw in more sturgeon.

KLAMATH RIVER, Hornbrook >> Steelhead fishing has been very good near Hornbrook. Guide Scott Caldwell has reported fish to 9 pounds. Small plugs and worms fished below divers are working best. Fly anglers are catching steelhead on beads below indicators.

KLAMATH RIVER, Happy Camp >> Steelhead fishing is fair to good near Happy Camp, with lots of half-pounders and some larger adult fish. Small plugs and yarn and roe are working best. Cold weather has resulted in little fishing effort.

KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen >> Fishing is slow, although some fresh winter fish have been reported.

TRINITY RIVER >> Low, clear, cold water is challenging steelhead anglers, but fish are being caught near Junction City on small plugs or roe. Small plugs, especially 3.0 MagLips, are working best. Fish are staging near creek mouths, waiting for rain.

FRENCH MEADOWS >> Trout fishing remains very good here. Roads are open and clear. Beware of ice if temperatures drop.

LAKE OROVILLE >> Water temp is at 50 and bite is slow. Bass are small and scattered in various locations and depths.

ROLLINS >> A lot are pursuing trout but no reports. Water temperature is 48 degrees. DFW will plant trout this week on both the Nevada County and Placer County sides of the lake.

SUGAR PINE >> Fishing is slow and the few trout being landed are small.

THERMALITO AFTERBAY >> Best left to the hunters for now.

LAKE BERRYESSA >> Bass fishing was a little slow last week, but some bass action is being seen in the main body and creeks on spoons. Trout fishing was good for quality, hard-fighting Eagle Lake strain rainbows by trollers.

BLACK BUTTE LAKE >> A few bass and crappie were taken in brushy area near the dam.

CLEAR LAKE >> Few fishermen have been on the lake this week, with bass fishing rated slow to fair for those out there. Action slowed last week due to the cold weather, but the few anglers out were picking up some bass on jigs and plastic worms. Still some good reports on crappie eating minnows.

LAKE MENDOCINO >> No reports of anglers being out.

LAKE PILLSBURY >> Fishing has been slow with not many anglers out.

LAKE SONOMA >> Bass fishing was slow with a few small fish caught on jigs, plastic worms and jerk baits. Some trout action seen on trolled lures in the top 15 to 20 feet of water.

UPPER BLUE LAKES >> A few trout in the 2-pound range are still being caught from last week’s plant, but no new plant slated for this week.

CHETCO RIVER, Brookings, Ore. >> Low water resulted in tough fishing for steelhead last week, but some adults to 15 pounds were reported and a lot of halfpounders. Rain expected just before New Year’s Day should bring in fresh steelhead this week, and give flows a boost.

ELK RIVER, Port Orford, Ore. >> Salmon fishing has slowed. Expect fresh steelhead after each rain in January.

ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Ore. >> Steelhead fishing has been slow, but should improve after the next major rain. Plunkers have caught a few fish using Spin-N-Glos at Lobster Creek and Huntley Park.

RUSSIAN RIVER >> Steelhead fishing took a big swing up last week, and anglers were using about all fishing methods to catch chromers up to about 12 pounds. Lures, flies and roe all worked well. Flows were about 350 cfs, so the fish are still moving. Call ahead for low flow closures.

SMITH RIVER >> Steelhead fishing has been slow, with few anglers fishing last week. Rain just before New Year’s Day should have more anglers on the water this week. A few dark salmon are still around.

SIXES RIVER, Port Orford, Ore. >> Salmon season closed Dec. 31. A few steelhead have been reported, although fishing was slow last week.

BLUE LAKES >> Road is closed for the winter at the second gate.

BOCA RESERVOIR >> Lake is ice free and there are fair prospects for trout near the inlet.

CAPLES LAKE >> Lake has iced over, but it may not be thick enough to support access.

DAVIS LAKE >> There is open water at Mallards and thin ice everywhere else.

DONNER LAKE >> Water temp has dropped to 41 degrees. Mack bite has slowed from shore. Trollers do best but be prepared to work for fish.


FRENCHMAN LAKE >> Big trout are being pulled from open water at Lunker Point and Turkey Point using nightcrawlers or Power Bait.

LAKE TAHOE >> Mackinaw bite is very good on both the north and south shores. Expect fish in the 3- to 5-pound class. Limits or near-limits are common. Weather has been windless and warm. Lake has been calm.

PROSSER RESERVOIR >> Whatever ice had formed has melted away with recent warm weather.

PYRAMID LAKE >> Trout bite is best when there is wind, overcast and there hasn’t been much of that lately. A 20-pound, 3-ounce cutthroat was caught off Warrior on a trolled frog spoon.

RED LAKE >> Lake is frozen and safe to access. Trout fishing has been so-so.

SILVER LAKE >> Lake is frozen but hasn’t been deemed safe to access. Warm daytime temps may soften the ice.

SLY PARK >> Limits of planted rainbow are common. Best action is near the second dam with Power Bait or nightcrawlers.

TOPAZ LAKE >> Lake opened to fishing Jan. 1. Cash derby is being run from the Topaz Lodge General Store.

TRUCKEE RIVER >> Trout bite is very good below Hirschdale. Large, wild trout are being caught. Golden stoneflies or midges will work. Best action is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. River is flowing at 300 cfs below Glenshire.

BERKELEY >> Berkeley was a relatively quiet place, with few trips going out. New El Dorado III went to the Islands to nail rockfish, a few crabs per person and some nice lingcod to 16 pounds. Happy Hooker also made the run on Thursday, scoring some nice fish to 15 pounds and full limits of crab for passengers and crew. Otherwise, there was plenty of fishing from boats and shore for striped bass and fishing from shore for perch.

BODEGA BAY >> Calm water and winds gave anglers a change to fish some awesome spots throughout the region and the results were impressive. New Sea Angler made repeated trips down to Point Reyes to haul in easy limits of lings, limits of rockfish and crab counts ranging from 2 to 5 crabs per person. Perch fishing was very good in the vicinity of Lawson’s Landing where locals are eagerly awaiting the first of the winter striped bass in the surf.

EMERYVILLE >> Island trips on Sea Wolf out of Fish Emeryville landing produced limits of rockfish, a decent count of lingcod and a few crab per person. Skiff and kayak anglers fished just out of casting distance of shore fishers along the Emeryville waterfront and Alameda Rock Wall to pull in various perch and an occasional striped bass. Delightful weather made for pleasant fishing.

EUREKA >> Dungeness came in by limit loads. Flat water meant that boats like Reel Steel could pull quick limits and re-bait pots outside of Humboldt Bay. Inside the bay overnight soaks often resulted in limits of keeper crab. Pier hoopers and casters also got crab to take home. Jetty fishers, especially on the South Jetty, had very good luck with rockfish, lingcod, cabezon, perch and some surprisingly large kelp greenlings.

FORT BRAGG >> Boats like Capt. Tuna were able to get out on greasy water and fish even small structure spots (where large fish live, that are difficult to hold over and fish effectively when seas are up. Boats reported the trifecta … limits of lingcod, rockfish and crabs. Shore fishers had the time of their lives, fishing exposed shorelines in late December and catching enough to put some fish away for dinners when the winter weather howls.

HALF MOON BAY >> Lingcod into the 20s highlighted trips to Pescadero and other points down the coast from Half Moon Bay on Huli Cat and Riptide. Along with those nice lings came limits of rockfish. Huli Cat also pulled crab pots to add a few crabs per person to the take home payload. Pacifica Pier also suffered from relatively slow crabbing, but folks switched over to hook and line and found good perch fishing.

SAN FRANCISCO >> The fabled Fisherman’s Wharf fleet with Wacky Jacky, Bass Tub, Argo, Lovely Martha and Nautilus spent the week tied to the dock as crews prepared for winter maintenance or plan whale watch forays. Shore fishers down as far as Mussel Rock kept casting lures and soaking baits for stripers, with a few nice ones coming in especially during the evening hours.

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