By Western Outdoor News
COLLINS LAKE >> Lake maintained good clarity through last week’s storm. A plant of 2,000 pounds of trout will go in this week.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding to Red Bluff >> Salmon fishing has heated up again at the Barge Hole, where late-fall kings have arrived. The fish are bright and averaging around 6 pounds, with several in the mid-teens reported last week. FlatFish plugs are working well with sardine wraps. A few steelhead are being caught. Trout fishing is fair in the Redding area.
FEATHER RIVER >> Low water has made salmon fishing tough as the run winds down. A few stripers are being caught near Boyd’s pump. Catfish are being caught near Star Bend and just above Verona.
TRINITY RIVER >> Steelhead fishing has been good near Douglas City and Junction City. The steelhead are running 4 to 6 pounds, with about half of the fish hatchery fish. Small MagLip plugs are working best, but roe also is taking fish. Fly anglers are doing well with beads, while bank anglers are tossing spinners or drifting spoons in the Junction City area.
LAKE ALMANOR >> Some anglers braved 19-degree temperatures to catch rainbows, fast trolling hardware north of Rec. 2.
BAUM LAKE >> Trout fishing is improving on lures, baits and flies. Fly anglers are scoring best on midges, baetis and leeches.
BUCKS LAKE >> Fishing is still on the slow side with few anglers out, and the marina is shut down for the season. It will reopen in April.
EAGLE LAKE >> Trolling flies produced good action for trout, about 150 feet behind the boat and running four flies at 3 feet, 6 feet, 8 feet and 12 feet deep. Action was between Shrimp Island and Pelican Point. Good action was also seen for anglers off the Miners Camp area. Season runs thru Dec. 31 then opens again in spring.
FALL RIVER >> Now closed for season.
LEWISTON LAKE >> Trout fishing is still good in the marina area on Power Baits, while the upper areas of the lake are producing trout limits on baits and trolled lures.
HAT CREEK >> Season is now closed.
PIT RIVER >> Areas No. 3 and No. 4 are still producing fair to good action for fly anglers working small midges.
SHASTA LAKE >> Good numbers of spotted bass can be caught along the shorelines on leadhead jigs, dartheads, plastic worms and small swimbaits worked parallel along the banks and off secondary points. Most of the spotted bass are 1 or 2 pounds and action has been best in waters 25 to 35 feet deep. Trout anglers continue to score on rainbows in the river arms with Needlefish and other lures trolled behind flashers.
TRINITY LAKE >> Few fishermen are on the lake at this time of year and not much action is reported by those few who are out there.
WHISKEYTOWN LAKE >> Fishing remains slow for both bass and kokanee salmon, which are done for the year. Trout are still an option.
AMERICAN RIVER >> Anglers are now focusing on steelhead, which are being caught near Watt Avenue and Howe Avenue on roe, nightcrawlers and beads. There is a mix of wild and hatchery fish up to 4 pounds. Salmon fishing has slowed, but a few are still being caught.
FOLSOM LAKE >> Trout fishing is slow. Bass fishing has slowed down.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Dunsmuir >> Trout fishing has slowed. Flows at Delta were 392 cfs over the weekend.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff to Colusa >> Fishing for salmon is slow in the Woodson Bridge area. The salmon run has wound down.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Verona to Colusa >> Fishing for catfish has been good at Knights Landing. A few small stripers also are being caught. Salmon fishing is slow.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento >> Salmon fishing has slowed down in the midtown area between Miller Park and Garcia Bend, with very few kings still being caught. Fishing for stripers has been slow at the Port of Sacramento. Expect early sturgeon with the next big rain.
KLAMATH RIVER, Hornbrook >> The river is closed to salmon fishing. Steelhead fishing has been very good near Hornbrook. Small plugs and worms fished below divers are working best. Fly anglers are catching steelhead on beads below indicators.
KLAMATH RIVER, Happy Camp >> Salmon season is closed. Steelhead fishing has been very good near Happy Camp, as spawning salmon have steelhead actively feeding. Small plugs and roe and yarn are working well.
KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen >> The river is now closed to salmon fishing, but remains open to steelhead fishing. Fishing has been slow.
CAMP FAR WEST >> Lake is 50 percent of capacity but fishing continues to be poor.
ENGLEBRIGHT >> Trout bite is good above the 5 mph zone where there are some deep holes. Top-lining with dodgers and nightcrawlers brings steady action.
FRENCH MEADOWS >> Road remains open.
LAKE OROVILLE >> Fish slowly off the bottom with tubes, 4-inch ZMan worms, drop-shots. Find deep points and steep walls.
ROLLINS LAKE >> Crappie bite has been worthwhile.
SCOTTS FLAT >> Lake has come up and is about 6 feet from full. Water is clear, reported Nevada Irrigation supervisor Jim Caldwell. Smallmouth in the 2-pound range were caught last week, but very few anglers are on the water.
THERMALITO AFTERBAY >> Few fishing here now that duck season is in full swing and hunters are firing away.
LAKE BERRYESSA >> A few fall showers and water temperatures dropping into the high 50s have the bass strapping on their feed bags. Bass in the 6- to 8-pound class were caught last week in the narrows and the big island. Trout anglers are also scoring fish in the 14- to 20-inch range, top-lining shad imitations. Top trout areas have been from the mouth of Skiers Cove to the big island and down to Steele Park.
BLACK BUTTE LAKE >> Fishing remains slow with only a few bass and crappie taken from brushy areas near the dam.
CLEAR LAKE >> The best bass bite seems to be covering as much water as possible, using shallow running square-billed crank baits in a shad pattern. There are reports that drop-shot and Senkos are also working, but you have to fish slow and still cover as much water as possible.
LAKE MENDOCINO >> Bass fishing remains slow with few anglers hitting the lake.
LAKE PILLSBURY >> Fishing remains slow.
LAKE SONOMA >> The water temperatures are finally dipping below the 60s, which triggered the bass and trout to strap on their feed bags. Largemouth bass to 6 pounds this past week rewarded anglers that hit the lake. Trollers are hooking 4 to 6 trout a day, top-lining No. 2 Needlefish in the cop car color.
UPPER BLUE LAKES >> Fishing remains slow due to a lack of trout plants.
CHETCO RIVER, Brookings, Ore. >> Two monsters— 48- and 44-pound kings — were caught as the salmon run winds down. The Chetco dropped back down to good levels over the weekend, but is expected to blow out again this week as another big storm hits the coast. Salmon fishing was fair on Saturday and Sunday. A surprising number of steelhead were caught over the weekend, signaling the winter run has already arrived. Plunkers and driftboaters caught steelhead last weekend.
ELK RIVER, Port Orford, Ore. >> The Elk was fishable most of last week but was slow for salmon. With stormy weather expected this week, it may be the only river on the Southern Oregon Coast in shape for fishing. Call the hatchery at (541) 332-0405 for the latest flows. Ideal levels are between 4.2 and 3.5 feet.
ROGUE RIVER, Grants Pass, Ore. >> Anglers are catching a mix of steelhead and salmon from above Grants Pass to below Graves Creek on a variety of enticers. Boat anglers are scoring on both species with about any plugs that feature some red coloring, and also with pink and silver lures. Side-drifting roe also produced action. Bank anglers found action at Robertson Bridge and Schroeder Park on spinners, spoons and drifted nightcrawlers.
RUSSIAN RIVER >> Guided fishing trips out of Kings Sport and Tackle in Guerneville won’t start until the steelhead population builds up in December and January, according to Scott Heemstra at the store, but he said there are already some small steelhead in the system, along with a lot of king and coho salmon, which must be released.
SMITH RIVER >> The Smith was in good shape most of last week, but salmon fishing was slower than expected. Most guides and bank anglers reported slow fishing, although a few bright kings were expected. Heavy rain is expected this week, which could pull in the first decent numbers of steelhead of the season, according to WON Field Reporter and guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing.
SIXES RIVER, Port Orford, Ore. >> Salmon fishing was good between storms last week, with most anglers catching their limits of wild fish. Plugs and roe have been working well just below Edson Creek. Fish are spread throughout the river. High water is expected this week, which likely will blow the river out.
BLUE LAKES >> Road is closed at the second gate.
BOCA RESERVOIR >> Little traffic here last week.
CARSON RIVER >> Stormy and freezing weather last week kept anglers away from the catch-and-release section, said Todd Sodaro from Creekside Lodge in Markleeville.
DAVIS LAKE >> Shore anglers using Power Bait or nightcrawlers at Mallard, Lightning Tree and Eagle Point got rainbow trout in the 18- to 22-inch class, said Jeanne Graham from J&Js Grizzly Store. Trollers using black and white Needlefish have been successful. Lake is 85 percent of capacity.
DONNER LAKE >> Water temps have dropped to the low 40s and the Mackinaw bite has turned on. Guide Shaun Rainsbarger on Saturday led his client to a 16 1/2-pound and 7-pound Mackinaw trolling in China Cove. Shore anglers are still getting Macks from shore.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR >> Morning temps in the teens plus wind, rain and snow has kept anglers away.
GOLD LAKE BASIN >> Consider this done for the year. Access to Gold Lake and Salmon Lake is blocked by snow. “The lakes basin is pretty much locked up with snow at this point,” said Mark Tieslau from Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden.
JACKSON MEADOWS >> Fishing for rainbows and the occasional big brown has been productive here. A 26-inch brown was caught last week from the dam by an angler using nightcrawlers, said Tony Marotta from Mountain Hardware and Sports in Truckee.
LAKE TAHOE >> Fishing is very good when anglers find a break in the weather. Mackinaw are willing, especially along the south shore. Limits of 3 to 5 pounders are the norm.
PROSSER RESERVOIR >> Lake is low and the shoreline is very muddy. Do not take vehicles into the mud flats. There are trout in the inlet, but a small pram or float tube is needed. So it is a walk through the muck.
PYRAMID LAKE >> A 22-pound cutthroat, the second-largest fish caught this year, was landed Friday by Adam Garcia, who was fly-casting a beetle from the Pelican shore. Algae is gone. Trout are coming toward the shoreline more frequently.
SLY PARK >> Small Mackinaw are being caught from boat. One angler reported action using garlic-scented nightcrawlers. Fish are typically in the 2-pound class.
STAMPEDE RESERVOIR >> Few anglers made the trek here last week.
TOPAZ LAKE >> Lake is closed to fishing. It will re-open Jan. 1.
TRUCKEE RIVER >> Last week’s storm blew out the river for a few days, but it is back in fishable shape.
WEST WALKER RIVER >> River is murky after last week’s rain.
BERKELEY >> Berkeley boats Happy Hooker, California Dawn, El Dorado and New El Dorado III ran combo trips that gave their passengers stuffed bags to haul home. Many trips were to the Farallones where the weather and sea conditions were delightful. There were several lingcod up in to the twenties caught at the islands.
BODEGA BAY >> Party boats with experienced skippers such as Capt. Rick Powers on New Sea Angler were able to pull consistent limits of crabs after they caught easy limits of rockfish and numbers of lingcod that ranged from under a fish per rod on up to full limits and weighing up to 26 pounds. Lawson’s Landing had boaters go out and find decent picking on crabs, but very good rockfishing near Elephant Rock and Ten Mile Beach. Crabbing in Tomales Bay was productive but scratchy.
EMERYVILLE >> Combo trips were the game of the week for Fish Emeryville boats Sea Wolf and New Huck Finn. The typical score was limits of crabs and limits of rockfish plus a decent pick at the lings. On some trips with some real talent onboard, the lingcod count spiked up to full limits.
EUREKA >> Rough sea conditions kept boats bottled up through the weekdays, but by last weekend, boats were able to make it out of the bay to where they found easy crab limits with relatively few pots pulled. Jetty fishers stuck to the safe areas during the week and then by the weekend they were able to venture farther out and catch nicer fish including kelp greenling, cabezon and lingcod.
FORT BRAGG >> Action out of Fort Bragg was the best on the coast. Capt. Tuna, Sea Hawk and other boats found super-fast limits of crabs, limits of rockfish and even limits of lingcod. The best part was that everything was within a quick and easy run, which allowed boats to get back to dock early on some days.
HALF MOON BAY >> Limits of rockfish and lingcod to 19 pounds highlighted trips aboard Queen of Hearts and Riptide. Huli Cat ran combo trips to first catch limits of rockfish and some lingcod, then focus on hauling limits of crabs. With nary a single parking space available in town, Pillar Point harbor was a very busy place, chock full of crabbers working from shore or from skiffs.
SAN FRANCISCO >> It was a great week for Bass Tub with limits of both crabs and rockfish and some heavy lingcod, fishing the Farallon Islands. Lovely Martha ran a crab-only trip and had no difficulty sending folks home with full limits of healthy, full Dungeness.