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North State Fishing Report

By Western Outdoor News

Posted: 12/07/17

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. Bank anglers are drifting roe or nightcrawlers with good success below Pigeon Point. Spoons also are working.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding to Red Bluff >> Salmon fishing has heated up again at the Barge Hole, where bright late-fall kings have arrived. Guide Dave Jacobs got a customer into a 42-pounder. FlatFish plugs are working well with sardine wraps, although roe also is working well. A few steelhead are being caught. Trout fishing is only fair.

FEATHER RIVER >> The Outlet Hole closed Oct. 15. Salmon fishing is slow and closes riverwide Dec. 16. A few stripers are being caught near Boyd’s Pump and Shanghai Bend on cut anchovies and sardines. Steelhead fishing is fair in the low flow section in Oroville as well as near the mouth of the Yuba River. Catfish are being caught near Star Bend and just above Verona.

COLLINS LAKE >> Trollers and bank anglers are catching trout throughout the lake. Bankies get action with nightcrawlers or Power Bait near the dam of off the beach. Trollers are scoring in the middle of the lake, typically with Kastmasters or Needlefish. Bass bite is so-so. Water temperature is in the high 50s.

LAKE ALMANOR >> Anglers managed to catch a few fish up past Rec #2 in water between 12 and 30 feet deep, fast trolling hardware from 5 to 20 feet at 2.6 to 3 mph. Bank and fly fishermen continue to pick up fish in the coves around the Canyon Dam boat ramp. The majority of the fish are in the 12- to 14-inch range, with a few larger fish thrown in the mix caught on nightcrawlers, Power Bait and hardware. These fish get lots of fishing pressure and become skittish, so fly fishermen are downsizing their presentations and throwing midges with 6x tippets.

BAUM LAKE >> Trout action remains good for bait anglers, while fly fishermen are scoring well on leeches and midges.

BUCKS LAKE >> Not much action seen here as marina shut down for winter.

EAGLE LAKE >> Few anglers are on the lake with the marina shut down for the winter.

LEWISTON LAKE >> Trout fishing remains good on Power Baits for shore anglers near the marina, while upriver areas continue to be good for trollers and bait dunkers.

PIT RIVER >> Areas 3 and 4 are fair for trout action for fly anglers working midges and leeches.

SHASTA LAKE >> Good action is reported, but bass are consistently in the 2-pound range, with few above that weight. A typical limit will run about 12 pounds. The lake level is now down about 50 feet from the high-water mark. Trollers are still picking up rainbow trout with lures behind flashers at depths from 30 to 50 feet. Crappie fishing is good in most brushy areas and near docks.

TRINITY LAKE >> Fishing remains slow with a few bass and trout caught, but there are not many anglers out. Most are fishing for trout in the river below the dam.

WHISKEYTOWN LAKE >> Fishing remains slow for bass and trout anglers.

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 been slow, although a few kings are still being caught. Salmon season closes Dec. 16.

FOLSOM LAKE >> Trout fishing is slow. Bass fishing has slowed down.

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

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff to Colusa >> Fishing for salmon is slow. Salmon season closes Dec. 16.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Verona to Colusa >> Fishing for catfish has been good at Knights Landing. More sturgeon have shown up near Verona and Knights Landing, where roe and eel are working best. A few small stripers also are being caught. Salmon fishing is slow. The salmon season closes Dec. 16.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento >> Salmon fishing has slowed down in the mid-town area between Miller Park and Garcia Bend, with very few kings still being caught. The season closes Dec. 16. A few stripers are being caught. Fishing is slow at the Port of Sacramento and in the deepwater channel.

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 is good near Happy Camp as the river drops. Flows at Seiad Valley dropped to 2,162 cfs over the weekend. Flows at Orleans were 4,950 cfs.

KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen >> Fishing is slow, although the river is dropping back into shape. Clear weather is expected this week. Flows over the weekend at Terwer were down to 10,748 cfs.

BULLARDS BAR >> Boat traffic is picking up but anglers are tight-lipped about results. Jamie Sorenson at North Valley Tackle in Oroville said he saw a picture of a pair of 8-pound spots caught last week.

CAMP FAR WEST >> Bass bite is good in the Bear River Arm. Swimbaits get larger fish, plastics get dinks. Lake is 85 percent of capacity.

ENGLEBRIGHT >> Trout were planted here last week by DFW. Trout in the 14- to 16-inch class are being caught with flashers/nightcrawlers outside the 5 mph zone.

FRENCH MEADOWS >> A couple of customers of Will Fish Tackle in Auburn reported good action here. One trolled Shad Raps for limits of trout in just a few hours. The fish were 12 to 14 inches in length. All of the trout had crawdads in their bellies. Another customer reported trolling gold and red Speedy Shiners for limits of rainbows.

FULLER LAKE >> A trout plant from DFW went in last week.

LAKE OROVILLE >> Ned Rigs, tubes will get bass if offered off the bottom. Spots to 2 pounds are being caught more frequently. The Slot and main body of the lake are productive.

ROLLINS LAKE >> Water temperature is down to 54 degrees and it’s a very slow bite, said Nevada Irrigation District supervisor Ryan Drake. “We have had maybe six boaters all week,” Drake said. “It’s the lull after Thanksgiving.” Drake said there is 3-4 of visibility.

SCOTTS FLAT >> A large trout plant went in last Wednesday. “A double tanker came in and we got 5,000 fish,” said Nevada Irrigation District supervisor Jim Caldwell. “They were all 8 to 12 inches long. It was a good plant, that’s for sure. As far as catches, I haven’t heard anything. Not many have been fishing.” Caldwell said the lake is five feet from full and visibility is very good.

THERMALITO AFTERBAY >> “This time of year is just tough,” said Jamie Sorenson of North Valley Tackle in Oroville. “You can throw big swimbaits and hope for big bass.” Beware of duck hunters in the tules. Not only is the water warmer later but most of the hunters will have left.

LAKE BERRYESSA >> Bass fishing has been fair to good with a few lunkers to 5 pounds reported. Top techniques being used were LV500’s, drop-shot, A-Rigs and jerkbaits while anglers covered a lot of water. A few anglers found good schools of bait and worked spoons for trout in the 30 to 45 feet of water. A few trout are also being caught on trolled lures.

BLACK BUTTE LAKE >> A few spotted bass are being caught, along with a few crappie catches.

CLEAR LAKE >> The bass fishing was sort of slow this past week, but a belly boat tournament over the weekend found the winner getting 10.13 and 8.21 pounders to anchor his 8-fish limit for a two-day event.

LAKE MENDOCINO >> Not much bass action has been noted here recently.

LAKE PILLSBURY >> Not much action reported here with few anglers out.

LAKE SONOMA >> There were not many reports, but there were a few good bass catches made. Some good bass in the 4-pound range were caught from Cherry Creek on jigs. A few scattered trout catches are also being made on trolled lures.

UPPER BLUE LAKES >> Trout fishing has been fair following the first plants of the winter last week. Most fish are half-pounders.

CHETCO RIVER, Brookings, Ore. >> Salmon fishing is winding down for the season, while steelhead season is just beginning. Fishing was slow last week. Conditions were good over the weekend, with flows of 2,600 cfs. The river is expected to drop to low, clear conditions by this weekend.

ELK RIVER, Port Orford, Ore. >> Salmon fishing was good last Wednesday and Thursday, but had slowed over the weekend with low, clear conditions.

ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Ore. >> A few anglers are now fishing for steelhead, but catches have been light. Steelhead fishing generally improves between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

ROGUE RIVER, Grants Pass, Ore. >> There are still a few steelhead and cohos in the area, but anglers are still waiting for the winter action to perk up and new fish to move into the area. Some fish continue to be caught on pink jigs, bobbers with jigs, and spinners. Drifting nightcrawlers, Pautzke’s and Puffballs also produces some action. Lake Selmac is producing good trout action on Power Bait, as is Lost Creek Lake.

RUSSIAN RIVER >> Things slowed down on the Russian last week when the mouth closed due to high ocean swells. “On Saturday, as the estuary was approaching flood height, the mouth was breached,” said Scott Heemstra of Kings Sport and Tackle in Guerneville. “With water flowing out and high tides I would expect a good push of fish coming in this week. Flows are currently at 360 as of Sunday and dropping slowly, so make sure you call the ‘low flow’ hotline to ensure the river is open to fishing. Best bets for steelehad will be Little Cleo spoons in copper, copper/red, nickel/blue, and gold or small baits drifted under a float. For the fly fisherman try swinging smaller intruders, comets and bosses with a slow sinking line.”

SIXES RIVER, Port Orford, Ore. >> Salmon fishing has slowed as the run winds down. No reports of steelhead yet.

SMITH RIVER >> Salmon fishing is slow, despite near-perfect conditions. The Smith was just under 4,000 cfs at the Jed Smith gauge over the weekend. Many of the salmon have already spawned. Steelhead are expected to arrive after the next big storm.

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

BOCA RESERVOIR >> Very little pressure here.

CAPLES LAKE >> Morning temperatures in the teens and heavy winds during the day has made this unappealing in recent days.

DAVIS LAKE >> Don’t expect limits but quality trout can be caught with bait from Mallards, Honker Cove. Rumor of an 8-pound trout from Honker is circulating. Fly fishers can get trout near Jenkins Cove.

DONNER LAKE >> Mackinaw bite is good and fish can be found all over the lake. Toplining for rainbow trout in China Cove can be productive.

INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR >> Biting cold and high wind kept people away last week.

GOLD LAKE BASIN >> A light snow fell over the weekend, but the basin should be cleared and accessible by mid-week. Fishing at Gold Lake last week was productive for trollers.

JACKSON MEADOWS >> Access is no problem and the fishing for trout from shore is good. Nightcrawlers are the ticket.

LAKE TAHOE >> Mackinaw will bite aggressively in the morning. Charters get Macks from the shallows and deep water. Toplining for rainbows has been productive on the south and west side.

PYRAMID LAKE >> No heavy teen trout caught last week but cutthroat weighing 10 to 11 pounds were landed by shore anglers and boaters. A variety of flies and colors are working for shore. The key is to stay and wait for the fish instead of beach bouncing and hoping to stumble on a hot bite.

SLY PARK >> Lake has turned over and trout bite was good last week. A few Macks to 3 pounds were reported caught in the middle of the lake.

TOPAZ LAKE >> Lake is closed to fishing. It will re-open Jan. 1.

TRUCKEE RIVER >> The outflow from Lake Tahoe was bumped to 1,400 cfs. The flow is 1,600 at the border. The river is not very wadeable. Sunny days bring out big hatches of blue wing olives, said Miles Zimmerman of Mountain Sports and Hardware in Truckee.

BERKELEY >> The Farallon Islands were popular destinations in spite of big swells, which did impact fish and crab counts. Still, skilled crew on boats like California Dawn, Happy Hooker, El Dorado and New El Dorado III generally managed limits of rockfish, decent counts of lingcod up to 20 pounds and about half limits of crab.

BODEGA BAY >> Big swells put a dent in the lingcod and crab counts, but there were still roughly half limits of lings and sometimes full limits of crab taken, plus full limits of quality rockfish aboard New Sea Angler. Tomales Bay provided calmer water and decent crabbing on days when the sea was riled up. Some rainbow perch action was available, but not a wide-open bite.

EMERYVILLE >> New Huck Finn and Sea Wolf rode some large swells and put some good fish and crab aboard for their passengers. Limits of rockfish were standard fare, lingcod to the high teens and half limits to full limits of crab for each of their passengers on light-load trips.

EUREKA >> Boating on the open ocean was out of the question, but crabbing wasn’t bad inside Humboldt Bay. Shore and pier-based crabbers managed enough for easy dinners. Anglers caught rainbow perch at King Salmon and the south jetty produced well, including a limit of lingcod to 9 pounds for one lucky guy.

FORT BRAGG >> There were only a few opportunities throughout the week and weekend to make it out of harbor and it was the hard-working charter and partyboat fleet that went adventuring. Capt. Tuna, Ambush and Sea Hawk pulled limits of crabs, hammered the rockfish and took some good lingcod. Crabbing from shore was good at Noyo Jetty, perch fishing was good at Dog Park and northern MacKerricher State Park.

HALF MOON BAY >> Combo trips, rockfish-only trips and crab-only trips were all on the menu for passengers wanting light-load trips out of Half Moon Bay aboard, Queen of Hearts, Huli Cat and Riptide. Large swells made for harder work, but plenty of limits of both crabs and rockfish came over the rails. Up at Pacifica, the pier was closed Saturday morning due to a combination of swells and tide, but when it was opened back up people went out in force and caught crab.

SAN FRANCISCO >> Fisherman’s Wharf boats, including Wacky Jacky and Lovely Martha targeted Dungeness crab, rockfish and lingcod either along the mainland coast or out at the Farallon Islands. Argo ran up into San Pablo Bay and enjoyed limit fishing for striped bass on the anchor.

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