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North State Fishing Report

By Western Outdoor News

Posted: 01/25/18

TRINITY RIVER >> Although fishing pressure has been light, steelhead fishing has been good from Del Loma to Lewiston. The water continues to be low and clear, but is expected to rise slightly with this week’s storms. Flows are being held back at Trinity Lake, so the river is expected to remain fishable as the coastal rivers blow out.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff to Colusa >> Striper fishing has been good at times near Colusa, where trophy-size resident stripers have been feasting on hatchery steelhead smolts. Fish to 40 pounds have been reported. Large swimbaits are working best, but some anglers are using jumbo minnows.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Verona to Colusa >> A few keeper sturgeon are being caught at First Beach and Second Beach at Knights Landing. New fish are slowly migrating in from the delta. Pile worm and eel combinations are working best. Striper fishing is slow in the Verona area.

COLLINS LAKE >> Trout plant scheduled for Friday in time for last Saturday’s derby didn’t arrive until the derby was over. That means 2,000 pounds of trout are waiting for anglers. Next plant isn’t until mid-February. Crappie averaging 10 inches are in schools in deep water.

LAKE ALMANOR >> Fishing pressure remains light with most of the fishermen targeting the hatchery fish in and around the Canyon Dam area. The recently planted browns have moved out of the coves while the rainbows are holding tight. Guide John Crotty fished one day last week, finally getting on a few fish slow trolling from Rec #1 to Rec #2. The majority of his fish were caught 6 to 8 feet off the bottom with a mix of browns, rainbows and one fat salmon.

BAUM LAKE >> Trout fishing has been good on baits and flies. Best flies include zebra midges, red copper, and black-and-brown rubber legs.

LEWISTON LAKE >> Trout fishing remains fair at best on floating baits and trolled spinners at the upper end of the lake.

PIT RIVER >> Some good trout action on flies such as red copper, black and brown rubber legs and nymphs, but snow expected to hit here this week.

SHASTA LAKE >> Some trout action posted on trout for trollers in the main lake and near the dam. Bass fishing remains fair to good on jigs, crank plugs and plastic worms fished off the points.

TRINITY LAKE >> Still not much action reported for trout and bass anglers on the lake.

WHISKEYTOWN LAKE >> Fishing remains slow, and the marina is closed until spring trout opener.

AMERICAN RIVER >> Steelhead fishing above Ancil Hoffman Park remains slow. A few fish are being caught between Watt Avenue and Rossmoor Bar. Rain early in the week could draw in fresh fish.

FEATHER RIVER >> Sturgeon fishing is slow at the mouth of the Bear River. Low water has resulted in slow fishing river wide, although some stripers are being caught on the lower river. Striper fishing will improve in February as steelhead smolts are released from the hatchery. Many of the boat launches are too low to use.

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 on minnows or drop-shot rigs.

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

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 and soft beads also are tricking fish. Some hatchery steelhead are being caught in the Anderson area.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento >> A few stripers are being caught in the deepwater channel, but fishing is slow. Sturgeon are starting to move through the mid-town Sacramento area. Fish have been caught at Freeport and Clarksburg.

KLAMATH RIVER, Hornbrook >> Steelhead fishing has been very good near Hornbrook. Small plugs and worms fished below divers are working best. Flows over the weekend at Iron Gate Dam have remained near 960 cfs, up just 10 cfs from the week before.

KLAMATH RIVER, Happy Camp >> Steelhead fishing continues to be good near Happy Camp, where guides are catching four to eight adult steelhead and more than a dozen half-pounders per trip. Side-drifting roe has worked best.

KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen >> Fishing is slow, with the lower river high and muddy. Flows jumped from 12,000 cfs to 16,000 cfs over the weekend, and are expected to rise again with this week’s big rainstorms on the coast.

BULLARDS BAR >> Bass are deep on points, hugging the bottoms so they are hard to scope. Assume they are present. Be patient and fish slowly with drop-shots. Water temp is 50 degrees.

CAMP FAR WEST >> Lake is nearly full and close to spilling. Fishing has been very slow.

ENGLEBRIGHT >> Mike Cunningham at Will Fish Tackle in Auburn said a customer fished here Friday and caught a limit of trout in 10 feet of water from a docked houseboat with Power Bait. The largest was 22 inches.

FRENCH MEADOWS >> Weather last week may have shut down access, but because of government shut down Forest Service stations are closed and web sites will not be updated.

LAKE OROVILLE >> Fish slowly with plastics on walls outside of coves and long points with crests for best results. Bite is subtle, fish are small.

ROLLINS LAKE >> Trout bite is decent. One angler caught four bass and four trout using a jig suspended 10 feet under a bobber. Another trolled a rainbow spoon in Freeloaders Cove and caught-and-released 15 trout in 45 minutes, said Nevada Irrigation District Supervisor Ryan Drake. “The key is finding the fish,” Drake said. “They are willing. It’s a matter of locating. Last week was one of the best weeks we’ve had in a while.” Water temperature is 47 to 48 degrees. Visibility is four to seven feet, depending on location.

THERMALITO AFTERBAY >> With duck season over on Sunday it is safe to venture out here. Best bet is throwing jigs near the rip rap.

LAKE BERRYESSA >> Bass fishing has been only fair on drop-shot rigs fished off the main body points and the islands. Action was also fair for bass on Robo worms in the morning dawn color.

BLACK BUTTE LAKE >> A few crappie and bass can be caught in brushy areas near the dam, but overall fishing is slow.

CLEAR LAKE >> Bass fishing has been fair, but the weather has been cold. Bass anglers have been picking up lots of small fish on Kitech jigs, LV’s and a few to 7 pounds on swimbaits fished in waters about 10 feet deep. Best catches were on fish to 3 pounds taken from brushy areas at the north end of the lake, on jigs and plastics.

LAKE SONOMA >> Drop-shots and jigs produced a few bass, but overall fishing has been on the tough side. Trout fishing is fair on lures and trolled baits at depths down to about 30 feet deep.

UPPER BLUE LAKES >> Fishing remains slow due to lack of recent trout plants.

CHETCO RIVER, Brookings, Ore. >> The river was blown out most of last week, but fished well over the weekend before blowing out again. Heavy rain may have the river blown out all of this week, with flows expected to approach 40,000 cfs. Guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing said there is a mix of wild and hatchery fish being caught.

ELK RIVER, Port Orford, Ore. >> The Elk was in good shape last week for steelhead, but fishing was slow. A few late salmon are still in the river. With storms expected to blow most of the Oregon rivers out this week, the Elk may be the only option.

ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Ore. >> Guide John Anderson of Memory Maker’s Guide Service ran his first trip of the season on Sunday, and landed four steelhead on MagLip plugs. Plunkers are catching a few steelhead on Spin-N-Glos. The Rogue was down to 6,450 cfs on Sunday at the Agness gauge, but expected to hit 20,000 cfs late this week.

ROGUE RIVER, Grants Pass, Ore. >> Rains muddied up the river most of the week, but it is expected to clear up a little for the weekend angling. Best action should be expected to be on darker colored lures and yarn balls, said guide Troy Whitaker at U-Save Tackle in Grants Pass. Try red roe, black-and-red and blue colored plugs.

RUSSIAN RIVER >> The Russian continued to fish well this past week since the predicted storms did not produce much rain and kept the river fishable (at least until Sunday), according to Scott Heemstra of Kings Sport & Tackle in Guerneville. Back trolling plugs in the runs and narrows produced well, with one boat going 3 for 7 on Friday. Brads Wiggle Warts and K-9 Kwikfish were the go-to lures. Back fisherman drifting cured salmon roe with a Fish Pill or Corkie also came up with some nice catches. As of Sunday Jan. 21 the flow was 750 at Hacienda with a murky 2 feet of visibility. The forecast is calling for two storms this week. Expect to find a higher dirty river by the weekend. Call Kings at (707) 869-2156 for an up to the minute report. The highlight of the week was an 11-pound steelhead caught by 8-year-old Van Allen using a Cleo.

SMITH RIVER >> WON Field Reporter and guide Phil Desautel of Phil’s Smiling Salmon Guide Service said that the first rain brought the river up 5 feet and brought in more steelhead, so fishing was good for a few days, and will be as the river hits fishable conditions. According to WON Field Reporter and guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing, plunkers did well last week, while drift boaters side-drifting from the Forks to Outhouse had fair action over the weekend. The river could blow out.

SIXES RIVER, Port Orford, Ore. >> The river has been high and muddy, with slow success for steelhead.

BOCA RESERVOIR >> There is snow around the lake but no ice. Anglers are fishing from shore. No reports of success.

CAPLES LAKE >> Information on conditions harder to come by with Forest Service closure.

CARSON RIVER (EAST FORK) >> Water looks great, said Todd Sodaro of Creekside Lodge. Anglers were picking up a few fish below Hangman’s Bridge with small nymphs. This week’s colder weather will make conditions more difficult.

DAVIS LAKE >> Open water everywhere and launching is available everywhere but Honker Cove. A few anglers were shore fishing at Mallards on Saturday but results were slow. A few fish were caught, but not many and not much size, said Jeanne Graham from J&J’s Grizzly Store.

DONNER LAKE >> Anglers are casting worms, Power Bait from shore but it is a tough bite, said Tony Marotta from Mountain Hardware and Sports in Truckee.

INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR >> It’s been three weeks since there have been successful reports. Lake remains ice free for now, but that may change this week with colder weather in the forecast.

LAKE TAHOE >> Mackinaw fishing is solid, with limits possible and usually probable, said guide Chuck Self of Chuck’s Charter Fishing. He has been fishing deep on the morning trips and a bit shallower in the afternoon. The bite is methodical, but steady. Macks weighing 6 to 9 pounds are being landed.

PYRAMID LAKE >> Bite is better for trollers than shore anglers, although the big fish of the week, a 17-pound, 3-ounce cutthroat caught by Anthony Benton of Reno, came from the shore at Warrior. Benton was casting a spoon.

SLY PARK >> Fishing for rainbow trout and Mackinaw is worthwhile here. Planted rainbows are being caught with nightcrawler/salmon egg combos near the first dam. Boaters are getting Mackinaw off the second dam between the island. Macks have been small. The bass bite — best in the back of the lake — has slowed.

TOPAZ LAKE >> Wind kept anglers away for much of last week, but a 6-pound, 14-ounce rainbow was landed by shore angler Linda Stockton of Yerington, Nevada, who was using Power Bait. Just eight tagged fish were checked in last week for the Topaz Lodge Trout Derby.

TRUCKEE RIVER >> River is crowded with anglers on nice days (not recently) and finding parking for shore access is almost as difficult as catching fish. Water is low and clear and getting colder, which will make the bite more difficult to engage. “You have to fish slower and smaller,” said Tony Marotta of Mountain Hardware and Sports in Truckee.

BERKELEY >> Berkeley boats remained at dock or in the boatyard for winter maintenance and projects to make this upcoming season the best yet. Private boaters worked the Berkeley Flats for striped bass or made runs up to San Pablo Bay to try for both sturgeon and stripers. Shore fishers had good luck with pogeys and rubberlip perch.

BODEGA BAY >> Crabbing was good for Bodega Bay boats big enough to make it out and work their crab gear in the rough water. Overnight soaks usually meant limits and the quality was still good. With the rough seas, some folks cast snares or soaked baits along the jetty. Tomales Bay produced some crabs but it wasn’t really impressive.

EMERYVILLE >> The Fish Emeryville fleet was quiet for the week, while tending to boat work. Private boaters fished the area for striped bass. Shoreline anglers caught perch from Emeryville on to Alameda Rock Wall.

EUREKA >> Good crabbing opportunities inside Humboldt Bay gave boaters something to do as they were kept inside the bay by horrendous seas outside. Gear set overnight near the main channel often produced limits for boaters. People crabbing from the local piers also had luck. Jetty fishing was limited to protected areas, so the success was impacted, however there were kelp greenling and striped perch caught.

FORT BRAGG >> Sea Hawk ventured out and scored limits of crabs each trip with overnight soaks in 240 feet. Big seas limited range, but it wasn’t necessary to go far or to go deep. Most boats remained tied to the docks. Shore fishers were again limited by heavy surf to fishing or crabbing Noyo Jetty or catching perch at protected Dog Park.

HALF MOON BAY >> Few boats made it out of harbor for crabs and sanddabs due to rough seas, though Huli Cat and boats from half Moon Bay Sportfishing made whalewatching trips and sightseeing trips to watch the big surf at mavericks. Inside Pillar Point harbor people caught crabs, perch and rockfish from the jetties, pier and docks. Pacifica Pier was closed a few times for high surf advisories, but when it was open the crabbing was pretty good, with as many as 6 to 8 crabs for some.

SAN FRANCISCO >> Bass Tub passed her annual inspection and is ready to run trips. Argo and Lovely Martha both made runs to San Pablo Bay to bend rods on striped bass. Fishing was good and limits were at times the result. Local shore fishers worked Coyote Point and Hunter Point for perch, or they worked Ocean Beach to Mussel Rock for striped bass.


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