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North State Fishing Report

By Western Outdoor News

Posted: 12/14/17

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 as well as near the mouth of the Yuba River.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding to Red Bluff >> Salmon season closes Dec. 16. 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 near Redding.

COLLINS LAKE >> Top-lining for trout can be effective and just about any lure will work. Kastmasters, Brad’s Cut Plugs, flasher/dodgers and hoochies get results for trollers. Big fish continue to be reeled in at the beach by anglers using Power Bait. Water temperature in the morning is 53 degrees, but warms up by 4 degrees by the afternoon.

ROGUE RIVER, Grants Pass, Ore. >> Some summer steelhead are still around and winter steelies are showing now, too, said guide Troy Whitaker at U-Save Tackle in Grants Pass. Anglers can catch them on side-drifted yarn balls, Pautzke’s salmon eggs, nightcrawlers, roe or Puff Balls. Cohos can be taken on pink spinners or jigs. Trout action is good for anglers on Applegate Lake and also on Lost Creek Lake, on floating bait or trolled lures.

LAKE ALMANOR >> Angling continues to be just fair with a few fish caught by anglers fast trolling hardware and a few fish caught slow-trolling night crawlers. Most of the fish caught were smaller 12- to 15-inch rainbows. There is a lot of fishing pressure in and around the coves on the south end of the lake, with bank and fly fishermen picking up fish. Bank fishermen are catching fish with suspended crawlers and/or Power Bait while fly fishermen are catching fish on a variety of flies, adjusting sizes and colors based upon weather conditions,

BAUM LAKE >> Trout fishing is good for small rainbows on Power Baits and fly fishermen are scoring with midges and woolly buggers.

BUCKS LAKE >> Marina is closed for the season, and only a few shore anglers getting an occasional trout.

EAGLE LAKE >> The marina is shut down for the winter. A few shore anglers are still picking an occasional trout on Power Bait, worms or flies.

LEWISTON LAKE >> Trout fishing remains fair on Power Baits from shore near the marina, with boaters using Power Baits and trolled lures at the upper end of the lake.

PIT RIVER >> Areas 3 and 4 continue to produce trout action for fly fishermen working midges and stone fly nymphs.

SHASTA LAKE >> Fishing has been good for trout to 3 pounds. The McCloud Arm is good for some browns and the main body out in front of the dam is good for rainbows. Bass fishing is awesome for numbers! A bass pro caught 61 keeper spotted bass, all on plastics. Only seven were over 2 pounds and his best five went 12 pounds, 14 ounces. These were caught on the main body in deeper coves 5 to 20 feet deep. About any plastic worm or Ned rig fished fairly slow is working.

TRINITY LAKE >> Fishing remains on the slow side on the lake, with anglers preferring the trout action in the river below the dam, and most catches are being made on Power Baits.

WHISKEYTOWN LAKE >> Fishing remains slow with only a few anglers picking up a kokanee on trolled lures, or bass on plastic worms in the brushy areas near the 299 Bridge. Marina is closed for the winter, and will re-pen in April.

AMERICAN RIVER >> Anglers are now focusing on steelhead, which are being caught near Watt Avenue and Howe Avenue on roe, nightcrawlers and beads. Kastmasters also are working. There is a mix of wild and hatchery fish up to 3 pounds. Salmon fishing has been slow. Salmon season closes Dec. 16.

FOLSOM LAKE >> Trout fishing is slow. Bass fishing has slowed down, but some spotted bass and smallmouth are being reported.

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

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff to Colusa >> Fishing for salmon is slow in the Woodson Bridge area. It is slow above Colusa. 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 at Second Beach. 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 midtown area between Miller Park and Garcia Bend, with very few kings still being caught. The season closes Dec. 16. 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, with lots of half-pounders and some larger adult fish. Small plugs and yarn and roe are working best.

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

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. The water is getting low and clear. Any rain should bring in fresh fish from the Klamath, where larger fish are reported to be staging. Flows at Lewiston are 281 cfs, while flows at Douglas City area 338 cfs, flows at Junction City area 370 cfs, and flows at Hoopa are 1,605 cfs.

BULLARDS BAR >> Bass guide Larry Hemphill made a scouting trip last week and reported the bass appear to be 50 feet deep. The lake is 74 percent of capacity and the water temperature is in the mid-50s. The dock at Dark Day has been pulled out of the water.

CAMP FAR WEST >> Bass bite slowed down with very little angling pressure last week. Lake is between 80 and 85 percent of capacity.

ENGLEBRIGHT >> No angling pressure here last week, according to Skipper’s Cove Marina.

FRENCH MEADOWS >> Trout bite is very good here. Panther Martins cast from the shore between the boat ramp and inlet are getting quality rainbows and the occasional brown trout. Lake is very low.

LAKE OROVILLE >> Lake has turned over. Spotted bass are taking tubes, jigs, worms, drop-shots, dartheaded worms and Senkos off deep points and walls. Find fish shallow to 30 plus feet. Most action is on the main body but there are bass in the coves.

SCOTTS FLAT >> Anglers are getting smallmouth bass to 3 pounds along the Cascade shore to the spillway, off the Ditch Digger’s House and from the shore at the Marina, said Jim Caldwell, supervisor for the Nevada Irrigation District. Nightcrawlers or Rapalas are working best. Lake is six to eight feet from capacity and water is very clear.

THERMALITO AFTERBAY >> Throw swimbaits at the riprap in the afternoon for a chance at largemouth bass weighing 4 to 6 pounds. Don’t expect big numbers.

LAKE BERRYESSA >> Smallmouth and largemouth bass action was fair for bass anglers tossing rip baits and drop-shot rigs, working the northern parts of the lake. Most of the fish are on the small side. Trout catches were fair on a variety of trolled lures.

BLACK BUTTE LAKE >> A few bass and crappie have been taken, but fishing pressure is low.

CLEAR LAKE >> Very few fishermen are venturing out, but for those who are, the reports are good for catching small bass, bluegill and crappie. A few big bass were caught and released, a relief after the dieoff this summer.

LAKE MENDOCINO >> A few bass have been caught, but not many anglers are seen here.

LAKE PILLSBURY >> The water level remains slow, but anglers are finding good action for bass and bluegill, said Christina Diaz at the resort.

LAKE SONOMA >> The bass bite has been on the slower side with anglers slowing their presentation down with jigs, spoons, plastic worms and jerk baits. Some trolling anglers are still picking up a few trout and landlocked steelhead in the top 15 feet of water, top-lining 100 feet behind the boat.

UPPER BLUE LAKES >> Trout fishing has been on the slow side at the upper lake, and a few bass have been caught at the lower lake.

CHETCO RIVER, Brookings, Ore. >> Salmon fishing is slow, while low, clear water has kept steelhead anglers away. The river was 1,300 cfs over the weekend, its lowest level since early November. Most of the salmon have already spawned. Expect good steelhead fishing after the next rain.

ELK RIVER, Port Orford, Ore. >> Salmon fishing has been slow because of low, clear water. Expect one final school of salmon to arrive after the next rain. This week’s forecast calls for dry weather.

ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Ore. >> Steelhead fishing remains slow, despite good conditions on the Rogue for anchoring and running MagLip plugs. Salmon season is over.

RUSSIAN RIVER >> Fishing picked up this past week with high tides and the mouth remaining open to bring in some new fish. According to Scott Heemstra of Kings Sport & Tackle in Guerneville, “There are still a fair number of steelhead in the 2- to 5 pound range, but now some larger adults are also showing up. Long term weather forecast is showing continued clear weather with no precipitation. However, both reservoirs are close to full and are dumping a combined total of 300 cfs. Add some creek water and you have a steady flow around 370 cfs, keeping the river open to fishing. Little Cleo spoons, bait or jigs under floats, and small flies like comets, bosses, crystal buggers and small intruders have been working best.”

SMITH RIVER >> Salmon and steelhead fishing is slow, with almost no driftboats on the water. Anglers expect big numbers of steelhead to arrive after the next rain.

SIXES RIVER, Port Orford, Ore. >> Salmon fishing has slowed with low, clear water. Another batch of salmon is expected after the next rain, along with the first steelhead of the season.

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

BOCA RESERVOIR >> Very little pressure here.

DAVIS LAKE >> Water is getting colder and trout are becoming more lethargic. Very few anglers out and none are reporting success. There is ice on the edges in the morning but it quickly melts, said Jeanne Graham and J&J’s Grizzly Store.

DONNER LAKE >> The Mackinaw bite slowed a bit but success was possible with perseverance. Macks continue to be caught from shore near the boat launch.

INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR >> A pair of anglers gave this a go last week and fishing was good enough for them to run back into Markleeville for more nightcrawlers and Power Bait. They had four trout to 3 1/2 pounds on their first session before needing more supplies, said Todd Sodaro from Creekside Lodge in Markleeville.

GOLD LAKE BASIN >> Roads are open but overnight lows are in the sub-teens, so expect icy conditions. No reports of anglers giving it a try last week, said Mark Tieslau of Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden.

LAKE TAHOE >> The fishing is good but anglers are scarce. Macks are willing if anglers will bundle up and get after them.

PROSSER RESERVOIR >> Fishing for trout from shore is decent near Prosser Creek and near the dam. There is ice in the morning near the creek but it thaws as the sun hits.

PYRAMID LAKE >> Action for large cutthroat trout is steady by boat and shore but the really big trout have been harder to come by. Calm weather makes the trout wary, but colder water temperatures will draw trout to the shallows for warmer conditions.

RED LAKE >> Lake is frozen. Skaters and ice anglers have been out in force.

SILVER LAKE >> Mormon Emigrant Trail that connects Highway 50 to Highway 88 near Silver Lake is closed for the winter.

SLY PARK >> Small Macks to 15 inches are being caught by trollers. Planted rainbow can be caught from shore near the first dam and the narrows. Use Power Bait or nightcrawlers.

TOPAZ LAKE >> Lake is closed to fishing. It will reopen Jan. 1.

TRUCKEE RIVER >> The river has dropped down to 600 cfs and is now wadeable, but not crossable. Best bet is to continue to fish the edges with large attractor patterns, said Miles Zimmerman of Mountain Sports and Hardware in Truckee.

BERKELEY >> Rockfish, lingcod and Dungeness were the target species for Berkeley boats. California Dawn had slightly higher counts of crabs, possibly due to larger commercial operations packing it in for the time being. Lingcod counts were a fish per rod to a fish and a half per rod and rockfish limits were the rule aboard Happy Hooker, California Dawn and other Berkeley boats.

BODEGA BAY >> On some days boats got limits of crabs and on some days less, but half-limits were the lowest counts. Calm seas made for fabulous lingcod fishing and easy limits of rockfish including colorful fish like reds and coppers and chinas, for boats including New Sea Angler fishing the reef zones down off of Point Reyes. Beach fishers had good catches of barred surfperch, redtail and rainbow perch.

EMERYVILLE >> New Salmon Queen came close to limits of lingcod with 15 for 9 people. New Huck Finn, Sea Wolf and Tigerfish all worked the Marin Coast or the Farallones to put away limits of rockfish, some nice lingcod to about 20 pounds, plus good counts of crabs. The Emeryville shoreline was a good bet for shore fishers seeking perch and striped bass.

EUREKA >> Crabbing was good for people fishing from piers inside Humboldt Bay. Outside the bay, crab boats hauled easy limits with multi-day soaks. Runs to Cape Mendocino aboard Reel Steel produced easy limits of large lings and many more were released while catching limits of rockfish. On the way back, just a few pots yielded limits of crabs.

FORT BRAGG >> Limits of jumbo crabs were reported by Sea Hawk, Capt. Tuna and by the crew of Bragg-n. Crab-only trips were quick and easy. When lingcod and rockfish were also targeted it took longer, but the fishing on calm seas was rated excellent. Shore fishers enjoyed opportunities to fish hotspots they normally can’t safely fish and so they clobbered cabezon, lingcod and rockfish.

HALF MOON BAY >> Combo trips on Huli Cat were quite productive, working favored spots near Pillar Point. There were lingcod taken up into the mid-teens. Crabs counts were at or near limits on most trips. Queen of Hearts and Riptide worked spots south of town for lingcod and rockfish. Shore fishers had good catches of barred and redtail surf perch.

SAN FRANCISCO >> Well over a lingcod per rod plus limits of rockfish was reported aboard Bass Tub. Wacky Jacky and Lovely Martha were also involved with the bottomfish and combo trip trade. Argo ran up to San Pablo Bay and hauled easy limits of striped bass, releasing many fish during the day.

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