North state fishing report
By Western Outdoor News
TRINITY RIVER >> Low, clear, cold water is challenging steelhead anglers, but fish are being caught near Junction City on small plugs or roe. Guide Steve Huber of Steve Huber’s Guide Service said he is using 2.5 and 3.0 MagLip plugs. Fish are staging near creek mouths, waiting for rain.
DAVIS LAKE >> There is ice out 50 feet from the dam but it isn’t stable. There is open water at Mallards and a few trout are being caught there. Few are trying, though.
FEATHER RIVER >> 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. Sturgeon fishing is slow at the mouth of the Bear River.
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. The salmon season closed Dec. 16. The final month of the salmon season was slow.
BULLARDS BAR >> A 9-pound plus spot was rumored to have been caught last week. Bass are as deep as 60 feet and this is the time of year world records are set.
LAKE OROVILLE >> Fat spotted bass typically measuring 14 to 15 inches are taking tubes, Senkos, drop-shots, dartheaded worms or jigs from the bank to 30 feet deep. Fish are in schools, so if there isn’t a bite, move.
LAKE ALMANOR >> Trout fishing continues to be on the tough side at Lake Almanor. Parts of the lake are beginning to ice over as water temps continue to drop. There is not much boat activity on the lake, and most of the fishermen are targeting fish from shore and in smaller boats in the coves around Canyon Dam. The fish will continue to migrate to the south end of the lake as water temps drop.
BAUM LAKE >> The weather has been cold and the fishing has been very slow for trout anglers using baits and flies.
BUCKS LAKE >> Marina is closed for the season and few anglers have shown up with the weather cold.
EAGLE LAKE >> Not much action reported here with weather cold and the marina shut down. Season here ends Dec. 31.
LEWISTON LAKE >> Trout fishing has slowed and cold weather has fewer fishermen out.
PIT RIVER >> Trout fishing has been slow to fair for fly anglers working midges and woolly buggers. The weather is cold.
SHASTA LAKE >> Bass fishing was pretty good last week with tournament anglers making some good catches despite the weekend weather being windy and cool. The event was won by the team of Jeff Michaels and Justin Ragland of Redding with a limit of bass totaling 11.66 pounds. Trout fishing was a little slow last week with most anglers reporting action on lures trolled as deep as 120 feet. There were also few catches in less deep waters near the dam.
TRINITY LAKE >> Few anglers are on the lake and they are not catching much. Most anglers instead are river fishing below the lake.
WHISKEYTOWN LAKE >> The kokanee salmon are on a fair bite. Anglers can troll for them out by the dam, over by the coldwater curtain and by the 299 Bridge. The kokes are running a good 14 to 15 inches with some already 16 inches.
AMERICAN RIVER >> Salmon season closed Dec. 16. 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.
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. Flows were 281 cfs over the weekend, down slightly from a week ago.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding to Red Bluff >> Flows from Keswick Dam remained near 5,000 cfs. Salmon fishing closed Dec. 16. Trout fishing is slow to fair in the Redding area, while steelhead fishing is decent near Anderson. Anglers are drifting roe, beads, Glo Bugs or crickets, or fishing size 50 Hot Shots or 3.0 MagLip plugs.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff to Colusa >> Salmon season closed Dec. 16. The final month of the season was slow. A few stripers are being caught near Colusa.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento >> Salmon season closed Dec. 16. The final month of the season was slow in the lower river. A few stripers are being caught in the deepwater channel but fishing is slow.
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. Flows over the weekend at Iron Gate Dam were 1,960 cfs, down from 1,002 cfs a week ago.
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. Flows at Seiad Valley area were 1,520 cfs, down from 1,750 cfs the week before. Flows at Orleans are 2,940 cfs, down from 3,665 cfs the week before.
KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen >> Fishing is slow, although some fresh winter fish have been reported. Flows near the mouth at Terwer are 5,850 cfs, down from 7,529 cfs a week ago.
CAMP FAR WEST >> Lake continues to rise but few are fishing and those fishing aren’t catching much.
COLLINS LAKE >> Put a dodger and lure out and slowly troll just under the surface for 16- to 18-inch rainbow trout. Limits are hard to come by, but the quality of fish is very good. Shore anglers using Power Bait are scoring, too. Water temperature is 53 degrees.
ENGLEBRIGHT >> A 9-pound brown was reportedly caught-and-released from upriver by a customer of Will Fish Tackle in Auburn. The angler was casting a Rapala and also caught a good number of rainbows. Trolling with a Rapala in the upriver area has been resulting in rainbows and the occasional brown.
FRENCH MEADOWS >> If anglers are willing to drive the two hours in and two hours out from Auburn they can be rewarded with very good trout fishing. Last week anglers had success throwing dark-colored marabou jigs from shore, catching browns to 6 pounds and plenty of rainbows. Most of the action is in or near the inlet.
ROLLINS >> Bass are plentiful, but small. An angler last week used a drop-shot in 25 feet of water and caught 35 to 40 bass, said Ryan Drake, a supervisor with the Nevada Irrigation District. Most were spots, but the largest was a 3 1/2-pound smallmouth. Trout are attacking the bass lures, though not many are focusing on trout. Water temperature is 55 degrees and lake is 98 percent of capacity with four feet of visibility.
THERMALITO AFTERBAY >> Wind plus duck hunters means it is best to stay away.
LAKE BERRYESSA >> Bass anglers are picking up smallmouth and largemouth bass to 3 pounds on drop-shots, rip baits and spoons fished as deep as 30 feet in some areas. Trollers are getting a few rainbows on the surface and also on deep-trolled lures.
BLACK BUTTE LAKE >> Fishing remains slow with a few bass and crappie caught near the dam.
CLEAR LAKE >> Few fishermen are on the lake, but reports remain fair to good for catching bass, great for bluegill and crappie and a few catfish. The weather has been unseasonably warm. There is still a vast amount of bait for the fish, with bluegill caught all around the lake. Crappie are starting to show well off Indian Beach and in brushy areas of the north, and there are a few catfish caught in brushy areas.
LAKE MENDOCINO >> A few largemouth bass to 3 pounds were caught last week on jigs, and a couple of striped bass to 6 pounds were also reported.
LAKE PILLSBURY >> Fishing remains very slow overall with only a few bass and crappie caught in coves near the dam. Weather is cold, said Christina Diaz at the resort.
LAKE SONOMA >> Some bass action is being reported with fish from 2 to 5 pounds topping the action. Most bass are being caught in the backs of creek arms on Kitech and Ned rigs fished down to 30 or 40 feet deep.
UPPER BLUE LAKES >> A few trout are being caught, but action is fair at best.
CHETCO RIVER, Brookings, Ore. >> Rain expected this week should give steelhead fishing a boost after several days of low, clear conditions. Flows were down to 900 cfs over the weekend, but expected to jump back up above 2,500 cfs by Thursday. Salmon fishing has been slow as most of the fish are spawning.
ELK RIVER, Port Orford, Ore. >> The Elk was down to 2.7 feet over the weekend, low and clear for salmon or steelhead fishing, which has been slow. Expect fresh salmon and some early steelhead after this week’s rain.
ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Ore. >> Steelhead fishing has been slow, although conditions are good on the lower river. Rain is expected this week, which could draw in fresh steelhead. Salmon season is over.
ROGUE RIVER, Grants Pass, Ore. >> “We need some rain to get the fish going again and some new fish to move upriver,” said guide Troy Whitaker at U-Save Tackle in Grants Pass. He said a few holdover cohos and steelhead can still be caught on side-drifted plugs and yarn balls. Pink-and-silver or black-and-silver plugs seem to be getting the most fish.
RUSSIAN RIVER >> Steelhead fishing picked up as a big school of adult fish came into the river. Dave Delmue caught a 12-pound hatchery steelie at Johnson’s Beach using cure roe under a float bought at Kings Sport & Tackle, and another unidentified anglers caught a 10 pounder a the same spot with the same bait. Fly guys are loving the low and clear conditions using Type 1 shooting head or sinktip with comets, bosses and small intruders or leeches. Flows are at 350 cfs.
SMITH RIVER >> Low, clear conditions have made salmon and steelhead fishing tough. Very few anglers have been on the water this past week, with no action reported. Flows were down to 1,270 cfs at the Jed Smith gauge. Rain expected this week could draw in the final portion of the salmon run.
SIXES RIVER, Port Orford, Ore. >> Very few salmon are being caught because of low water conditions, which are making drifting from Edson Creek or Mid Drift to the Grange difficult. Rain this week could give fishing a boost before the weekend.
BLUE LAKES >> Road is closed for the winter at the second gate.
BOCA RESERVOIR >> There is ice on the edges of the shore.
CAPLES LAKE >> Ice is starting to take hold and lake may be fully covered later this week. Still too early to venture out on the ice.
DONNER LAKE >> Surface temperature is 43 degrees and lake is 42 percent of capacity. Guide Shaun Rainsbarger reported fair action on Mackinaw in the 2- to 5-pound range.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR >> Ice extends 30 to 40 feet beyond the shore. Should be fully iced over by the end of this coming week.
GOLD LAKE BASIN >> Roads are open but Gold Lake is ice-covered.
LAKE TAHOE >> Charters from Tahoe Sportfishing in South Lake Tahoe are having steady action on Mackinaw during both morning and afternoon trips. Mooching with live minnows down 200 feet is doing the trick. Most weigh 3 to 5 pounds, but a 20-pound-plus Mack escaped the net Friday.
PYRAMID LAKE >> The weather hasn’t changed and neither has the fishing. Decent action from shore and boat but winds from the southeast have been a bother. Big fish last week was an 18 1/2-pounder, but there were no available details on where and how.
RED LAKE >> Lake is frozen and safe to access.
SILVER LAKE >> Ice has formed on the edges but it is unsafe to venture out.
SLY PARK >> A plant of 1,500 pounds of trout delivered last week has greatly improved action here. The trout were planted by the first boat dock and fishing in the front part of the lake has been very good, said Karen Ward from the Sly Park Resort. Nightcrawlers and Power Bait work best and the first dam has been a hot spot.
TOPAZ LAKE >> Lake is closed to fishing. It will reopen Jan. 1.
TRUCKEE RIVER >> The river has dropped down to 300 cfs out of Lake Tahoe. Use nymphs mid-day for best action. Best stretch is below the Boca outlet.
BERKELEY >> Berkeley boats worked the Farallon Islands and the Marin Coast for decent crabbing, great fishing for rockfish and decent lingcod fishing. New El Dorado III put aboard limits of rockfish a half dozen lings and about half limits of Dungeness. California Dawn and Happy Hooker also found rockfish to be hungry but lings to be a bit off due to high winds.
BODEGA BAY >> Party boat trips on New Sea Angler to Point Reyes were impressive producers with high counts of sizable lingcod to 23 pounds, and chunky rockfish consisting mostly of reds, coppers, Chinas and quillbacks. Crabs came up at roughly half limits and the crab were heavy and gratifyingly full. Shore and jetty fishing was good for perch, rockfish and cabezon.
EMERYVILLE >> Anglers aboard Sea Wolf, New Salmon Queen and New Huck Finn used shrimp fly gangions for rockfish and lingcod or used Lingslayers, jigs, swimbaits or whole baits in trap rigs for big lingcod. Crabs were good and full, adding substantially to the weight of the sacks carried to cars.
EUREKA >> Crabbing was good inside Humboldt Bay and limits were possible with a little work. Outside the bay, overnight soaks typically mean 20 crabs per pot and quick limits for Reel Steel and other boats. Long runs to Cape Mendocino resulted in large lingcod to 25 pounds. Jetty fishing was exceptionally good for kelp greenling, rockfish to 3 pounds, cabezon and lingcod.
FORT BRAGG >> Crab/rockfish combo trips to the Westport area were excitingly successful, often resulting in the trifecta of limits of crab, rockfish and lingcod for passengers aboard Capt. Tuna and Sea Hawk. Rockfish/lingcod-only trips to Casper meant limits of both. Shore angers worked super-hotspots like Dynamite Shack, Mendocino Headlands and MacKerricher.
HALF MOON BAY >> Huli Cat ran a trip to San Gregorio and pulled limits of rockfish, a lingcod per rod and good crab counts. Queen of Hearts, with owner Sherry Ingles serving as deckhand and having a blast, fished off of Pescadero and had success pulling limits of rockfish and good counts of lingcod. Surf fishers caught barred surf perch, redtail perch and a few striped bass.
SAN FRANCISCO >> Most boats stayed at dock for the week for various reasons. Bass Tub had to cancel a Saturday trip due to weather. Argo took passengers up to San Pablo Bay to catch limits of striped bass and release many more. Shore anglers hooked striped bass with lures or caught surf perch with baits or Gulp! sandworms.