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North State Fishing Report

By Western Outdoor News

Posted: 01/11/18

TRINITY RIVER >> Rain improved flows over the weekend and gave steelhead fishing a boost riverwide. Adult steelhead to 11 pounds are being caught near Douglas City and Junction City, as well as on the lower river. Roe fished with bobbers is working well.

SMITH RIVER >> Fishing on the Smith River has improved with the last little storm, according to guide Phil DeSautel of Phil’s Smiling Salmon Guide Servie. “The river only came up a foot but that helped. Angler numbers also went up. It has been 1 to 3 fish per boat. Most everyone is catching them side drifting yarn or bait.” WON Field Reporter and guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Guide Service said, “Heavy rain is expected this week, which could lead to ideal conditions this weekend.”

LAKE ALMANOR >> Anglers are picking up some recently stocked rainbows and brown trout from 14 inches to 4 pounds. At Roadside Cove, anglers caught rainbows around 4 pounds and beautifully colored.

SHASTA LAKE >> Trout anglers are scoring well on trolled Rapala lures or black-and-yellow spinners in the main body of the lake and near the dam. Trout action is actually rated fair on lures trolled on downriggers, about 60 feet deep. Some action is also posted on baits fished in the dam area. Bass anglers are finding lots of action off most points with the spotted bass hitting well on spinnerbaits, topwater plugs, plastic worms and jigs.

BAUM LAKE >> Trout fishing has been good for shore anglers using baits or fly fishing with nymphs and midges.

LEWISTON LAKE >> Trout fishing has been good with lots of limits. Power Bait or any silver lures are working well. Fly fishermen are also scoring well on black nymphs.

PIT RIVER >> Area No. 3 continues to produce good trout action for fly anglers on midges and nymphs.

TRINITY LAKE >> Some trout action can be seen in the upper reaches of the lake, but bass fishing remains slow.

WHISKEYTOWN LAKE >> Kokanee salmon fishing has been slow. A few bass were taken along brushy shore near the 299 bridge.

AMERICAN RIVER >> Steelhead season in the salmon spawning area above Ancil Hoffman Park opened Jan. 1. Fishing has been slow.

FEATHER RIVER >> Low water has resulted in slow fishing riverwide. Many of the boat launches are too low to use. Some stripers are available, but access is limited.

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. Flows were 560 cfs late last week.

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, 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.

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. 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 972 cfs, up from 960 cfs a week ago. Salmon season remains closed.

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.

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

BULLARDS BAR >> Anglers are employing drop-shots or worms at 60 to 80 feet. No reports of big bass since before New Year’s.

CAMP FAR WEST >> Lake is at 90 percent of capacity. Some anglers are catching bass near the river and dam. One angler reported catching-and-releasing 21 bass and a half-dozen weighed more than 2 pounds. Others are saying they have to work for bass weighing 1 1/2 to 2 pounds. Lake is clear but midweek storm could change that.

COLLINS LAKE >> Trout bite is slow, but better for trollers than shore anglers. A 7-pound, 9-ounce trout was caught last week with a trolled Rapala. Bass fishing has been so-so.

ENGLEBRIGHT >> Heavy holiday pressure knocked back a good trout bite. Recent action has been rated as slow, said Craig Newton at Will Fish Tackle in Auburn. Lake is 96 percent of capacity.

LAKE OROVILLE >> Water temp ranges from high 40s to 52 degrees. Find warmest water off south-facing walls. Bass are small — getting a 2-pounder is an occasion for celebration. But steady action is possible if you fish slowly with tubes, ZMans.

ROLLINS LAKE >> A few trout here and a few bass there. It’s hard to catch more than a few fish of any species.

SCOTTS FLAT >> Trollers pulling stick baits have been able to fool large rainbows to 6 pounds.

THERMALITO AFTERBAY >> Fish the rip-rap with crankbaits for the chance at largemouth weighing 2 to 3 pounds, said Jamie Sorenson at North Valley Tackle in Oroville.

LAKE BERRYESSA >> Bass anglers reported tougher conditions with cold mornings and a better bite in the afternoons with plastics, jigs and spoons fished in the 20- to 35-foot range. Trolling anglers continue to pull shad imitations in the top 15 feet of water for some decent rainbow trout to 22 inches and most are averaging 16 to 18 inches.

BLACK BUTTE LAKE >> A few bass to 16 inches are being caught. Catfish to about 4 pounds were caught in the English Cove area on cut baits.

CLEAR LAKE >> Bass fishing has slowed for most anglers but some action is being posted on live jumbo shiners. Rain and cold weather is keeping the action down. Some anglers reported that a few crappie and bluegill catches were made in shoreline brushy areas.

LAKE MENDOCINO >> Smallmouth bass in the 1- to 2-pound range and a few largemouth to 3 pounds have been caught by anglers slowing down to fish a brown jig or drop-shotting a 6-inch Robo worm in natural colors.

LAKE PILLSBURY >> Fishing remains slow with not many anglers out.

LAKE SONOMA >> Bass fishing has been on the slow side with a few small fish caught on jigs, plastic worms and jerk baits. Some trout action is 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 recent plant, but no new plants slated for this week.

CHETCO RIVER, Brookings, Ore. >> The Chetco blew out last Friday after the heaviest rain in several weeks, but was in prime shape over the weekend, and fished the best it has for steelhead so far this season. Guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing said his clients caught easy limits on Sunday drifting roe.

ELK RIVER, Port Orford, Ore. >> A few late salmon arrived with last week’s rain. Steelhead fishing has been slow. More rain expected this week should have the river in decent shape this weekend.

ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Ore. >> Steelhead fishing has been slow, although fresh fish were caught by plunkers over the weekend. Lobster Creek and Huntley Park are good bets.

RUSSIAN RIVER >> Wide-open fishing over the weekend after a rain freshened the river last week, but this week’s rains are expected to muddy it up, so call ahead. A lot of steelhead were caught last week with a high number of hatchery fish, and it’s looking like one of the better years for steelhead over here.

SIXES RIVER, Port Orford, Ore. >> Salmon season is now closed. Steelhead fishing has been slow.

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

BOCA RESERVOIR >> Trout fishing has been slow recently, said Miles Zimmerman from Mountain Hardware and Sports in Truckee.

CAPLES LAKE >> Ice is too thin to access after warm days last week.

CARSON RIVER (EAST FORK) >> There is little pressure on the catch-and-release section below Hangman’s Bridge, which is ice-free and fishing has been decent, said Eric Meza of Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters. “The further downriver you go, the better the fishing,” Meza said. Stoneflies, worm patterns, small baetis, beadhead nymphs, midges and small woolly buggers are candidates. Trout to 25 inches are available.

DAVIS LAKE >> There is thin ice at the dam but open water at Mallards and along the north end of the lake. Upcoming winter ice derby on Feb. 3.

DONNER LAKE >> Shore anglers can get rainbow trout from the shore with nightcrawlers or Power Bait. Kayakers jig for Mackinaw and boaters troll for the same. Anglers have had trouble getting numbers of fish or fish of much size.

INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR >> Warm weather during the day may have compromised the ice. No fishing going on here.

LAKE TAHOE >> With little snow to ski on and mild temperatures, charter boats have been busy. Early bite can be very good but the afternoon bite provides limits to near-limits of Macks in the 3- to 5-pound class.

PYRAMID LAKE >> Cutthroat bite has slowed for both shore anglers and trollers. Fish are being caught, but it isn’t easy. The two 10-pound plus fish caught last week were caught off Pelican — one by boat with a frog FlatFish and the other from shore with a black fly.

RED LAKE >> Lake is frozen but very slick because of the lack of snow. Ice may have softened due to warm daytime temps last week.

SLY PARK >> Fishing is good for both planted trout and Mackinaw, said Karen Ward from Sly Park Resort. Rainbows are being caught all over the lake. Macks are caught with nightcrawlers near the first dam or by trolling plugs. Bass can be caught between the island and the Narrows.

STAMPEDE >> Trollers toplining for trout are taking quick limits, said Miles Zimmerman of Mountain Hardware and Sports in Truckee.

TOPAZ LAKE >> Lake opened to fishing Jan. 1 and five rainbow trout weighing between 6- and 9-pounds were caught. Four of those came from the shore with Power Bait or Power Bait nightcrawler combination. Lake is close to full which limits shoreline access. Cash derby is being run from the Topaz Lodge General Store.

TRUCKEE RIVER >> Rain last week increased the flow and dirtied the river. It should settle back into shape in time for this week’s storm.

BERKELEY >> California Dawn, Happy Hooker and boats from Berkeley Charter boats finished the season with impressive counts of rockfish, lingcod and crab. After boat work or runs from the Carquinez Straits area for the winter, halibut trips will begin in March. From shore, anglers caught perch and a few striped bass.

BODEGA BAY >> Crabbing was good for boaters on Bodega Bay, with overnight soaks generally producing limits and soaks of several hours (while boaters catch some sanddabs) produced about half-limits and sometimes better. Crabbers in Tomales Bay also had enough for a family dinner. Herring spawned back by Marshal. Surf perch fishing near Lawson’s Landing was very good on the right tides.

EMERYVILLE >> After a successful year-end close with rockfish and lingcod hitting the decks of Sea Wolf, New Salmon Queen and other Fish Emeryville boats, fishing effort switched to private boats and shore anglers. Private boats ran up to San Pablo Bay or down to South Bay for sturgeon and stripers, which bit well before the mid-week weather and again by the weekend. Shore fishers worked the tides and did well for various perch.

EUREKA >> Calm water and comfortable weather allowed crab boats to work outside Humboldt Bay and the limits came fast for boats like Reel Steel. Even inside the bay boaters could pull limits with an overnight soak. Both the North and South jetties produced good catches of cabezon, lingcod, kelp greenling, rockfish and perch.

FORT BRAGG >> Easy limits of lingcod and high rockfish counts finished the 2017 groundfish season for Sea Hawk, Bragg-n and Capt. Tuna. After the New Year, Sea Hawk reported limits of heavy crabs. Shore fishing was excellent, thanks to good weather and seas, at the Dynamite Shack, Glass Beach and Mendocino Headlands where cabezon and rockfish were fairly plentiful.

HALF MOON BAY >> Huli Cat, Riptide and Queen of Hearts finished 2017 catching loads of rockfish and lingcod, then attention shifted to crab and dab trips aboard Huli Cat. Crabbing was decent but not great out of Half Moon Bay and from the pier at Pacifica. Shore fishing was quite good on rising and high tides for barred surf perch and some red tail perch.

SAN FRANCISCO >> Bass Tub out of Fisherman’s Wharf had good luck with keeper sturgeon, plenty of striped bass and a leopard shark on a fun great-weather trip. Argo had similar luck with limits of striped bass. Local shore fishing from Ocean Beach down to Pacifica was very good for barred surf perch and red tail perch.

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