By Western Outdoor News
FEATHER RIVER >> Fishing for striped bass slowed on the lower Feather River after last week’s rain muddied the river. The stripers are biting from East Nicolaus to Verona. Cut baits, especially pile worms or anchovies, are working best. A few anglers are fishing for sturgeon at the mouth of the Bear River.
WHISKEYTOWN LAKE >> The lake is still fishing very good for kokanee at this time of the year, but this last week’s cold snap has water temps down in the 47-degree range, which can definitely slow down a kokanee bite.
COLLINS LAKE >> Weekly 1,800-pound trout plants continued last week. Trout weighing 5 to 8 pounds were in the mix. There was very little angling activity. Only one limit was checked in at Collins Lake Recreation Area.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff to Colusa >> A few sturgeon are being caught above Colusa. Striper fishing has been good at times near Colusa, with some trophy-size resident fish being caught. Large swimbaits are working best, but some anglers are using jumbo minnows. Bait is working best for smaller keepers between the Chico Straits and Colusa. A few sturgeon are being caught on ghost shrimp and eel combinations.
LAKE OROVILLE >> A strong cold front dropped the water temperature to 47 degrees from 54, although that didn’t seem to deter the first wave of spawners. Those arrived on time at the last full moon in late February, according to Ron Gandolfi of Gandolfi Bass Guide Service. He’s finding fish in 5 to 25 feet of water. Fish slowly, and try jigs, dropshots, tubes, dart-head worms and dart-head Senkos — anything you can get down to the bottom. Favorite colors are green pumpkin, chartreuse and shad. Pay close attention to your bait — the bites have been subtle. King salmon are being caught, also, last year’s plant at 10 to 12 inches and the year before fish up to 17 and 19 inches. Try trolling 25 feet down.
FAR NORTH LAKES AND RIVERS
LAKE ALMANOR >> Lots of snow. Travel has been difficult at best and the Canyon Dam boat ramp as of the weekend evening has not been plowed. The chilly days and cooler nights have resulted in ice forming in the shallow coves.
BAUM LAKE >> Trout fishing remains good for bait anglers or fly anglers using leeches and black nymphs.
LEWISTON LAKE >> Trout fishing is fair to good near the marina and upriver near the dam on floating bait and trolled spinners.
PIT RIVER >> Area No. 3 produced fair action on black nymphs.
SHASTA LAKE >> Fishing very well for trout. Bass action was also good. Anglers are catching both big numbers of rainbows up in the Pit Arm of the lake, and a few big browns in the lower end of the McCloud Arm. Bass fishing remains good on jigs and plastics fished off most points.
TRINITY LAKE >> Some trout action is being posted off the inflowing creeks at the upper end of the lake, but bass fishing is slow.
AMERICAN RIVER >> Steelhead fishing was slow last week at Watt Avenue and Sailor Bar. Anglers are drifting roe or worms with Corkies, but success has been poor because of low water. Nimbus Basin is now permanently closed to all fishing.
FOLSOM LAKE >> Winter weather, hail and snow has kept many anglers away, but trout and salmon are being caught. Bass fishing has slowed, although some are still hitting minnows.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Dunsmuir >> Trout fishing has slowed with winter weather near Dunsmuir. Snow is on the ground beside the river. Flows were just over 469 cfs over the weekend.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding to Red Bluff >> The hatchery winter-run king salmon were released last week from Coleman National Fish Hatchery. Trout fishing has picked up, with good fishing from Keswick to Anderson. Glo Bugs, beads and roe are working well. Some hatches are helping fly anglers in the afternoons. The river remains open above Highway 44 until April 15. Winter weather kept many anglers away last week.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Verona to Colusa >> Muddy water has increased effort for sturgeon fishing. Fishing for sturgeon has been best at First Beach and Second Beach at Knights Landing, as well as near Verona. Roe and herring combinations are working, along with eel and nightcrawler. Ghost shrimp and pile also are working. Striper fishing has improved at Verona and Knights Landing, with artificial lures working at first light and minnows or cut bait working mid-day. Large swimbaits are tricking trophy-size stripers out of Verona.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento >> Muddy water is expected to draw in fresh sturgeon and stripers, but success was poor last week. Fishing for sturgeon and striper has been slow at Bright Beach, Miller Park and Discovery Park. A few sturgeon have been reported below Freeport and Clarksburg. Fishing has been slow at the port and in the deepwater channel.
KLAMATH RIVER, Hornbrook >> Steelhead fishing has been good near Hornbrook, but few anglers are fishing because of snowy, freezing weather. A mix of adult steelhead and half-pounders are being caught. Small plugs, especially 3.0 MagLips, and worms fished below divers are working best.
KLAMATH RIVER, Happy Camp >> The middle section of the Klamath is in good shape for steelhead, with local guides reporting two to four adults a day, along with nearly a dozen half-pounders. Yarn balls are working well.
KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen >> Steelhead fishing has slowed on the lower Klamath, with a bump in flows and freezing weather.
TRINITY RIVER >> Steelhead fishing is slow, with few anglers trying. Winter weather kept most anglers away last week..
BULLARDS BAR >> Slow fishing for bass. The lake that is really good one week and slow the next is turned off, according to Ron Gandolfi of Gandolfi Bass Guide Service. He said a recent tournament was won by just two fish and the limit was less than 8 pounds. It’s a tough bite.
CAMP FAR WEST >> Bass fishing has been slow. A pre-frontal tournament was won by a sub-10 limit.
ENGLEBRIGHT >> Trout fishing is reportedly solid. An angler trolling the main body had 8 trout by the afternoon
FRENCH MEADOWS >> According to the Foresthill Ranger District, access is closed due to recent snows. Call (530)-367-2224 for road updates.
NORTH COAST LAKES
LAKE BERRYESSA >> The wine country was getting pounded by storms this past week and it’s just what the lake needed. With 48-degree water temperatures in the morning and clear water, a good rain wind will stir up this pond. Most fish were caught in 15 to 25 feet of water on a Yamamoto pumpkin Hula Grub on a 1/2-ounce football head jig. The other technique used was ripping a Pointer 128 in American Shad across wind blown points along the main body, with smallmouth the majority grabbing the rip bait. Other bassing techniques that have been working include LV500’s, A-Rigs, S-Wavers, plastics and jigs throughout the lake with the 15- to 35-foot range the target to fish.
BLACK BUTTE LAKE >> A few crappie and bass are being caught in the coves near the dam.
CLEAR LAKE >> This past week had some of the coldest temperatures of the year so far. Mix that in with rain, wind, and snow at times and it was a very slow week for fisherman out on the lake. The fish caught were mostly in the 1- to 3-pound range. The key to the drop-shot and the Ned rig was to fish very, very slow, and the bite was super light when they picked up the bait. The water temperature has dropped a few degrees as a result of these cold nights and as a result the bite has gotten a lot tougher. The one surprising thing is that the live bait bite has not really kicked in and catching them on plastics seems to be a better bite than using the jumbo minnows.
LAKE MENDOCINO >> Fishing has been slow for the few bass anglers out.
LAKE PILLSBURY >> Trout fishing remains on the slow side.
LAKE SONOMA >> Much needed rain and hopefully filling up while putting some stain back in the lake. Currently the lake is 84% water capacity and rising, which is good news for the bass anglers. Before this latest storm hit, the few anglers who made the trip were greeted with a stingy bass bite with the clear water and cooler water temps in the 48- to 49-degree range. Most had to slow down, fishing jigs or slow jerkbaits in the 10- to 20-foot range.
UPPER BLUE LAKE >> Trout fishing remains fair following recent stocks of rainbows.
NORTH COAST RIVERS
CHETCO RIVER, Brookings, Ore. >> Cold, rain and snow. Guide Phil Desautel of Phil’s Smiling Salmon Guide Service said Jack and Jenna Harley of Bend, Ore., went 2 for 3 steelies on Monday and 2 for 2 on Tuesday before the river blew out. According to guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers, the Chetco blew out last Friday but was fishing well by Sunday and in prime shape to begin the week. Decent numbers of fresh steelhead arrived with last week’s rain. Another big storm could have the river high and muddy this weekend.
ELK RIVER, Port Orford, Ore. >> The Elk was high but fishable over the weekend, with fair success for steelhead.
ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Ore. >> Steelhead fishing was very good over the weekend, with jet boats anchoring and running plugs and shore anglers plunking large Spin-N-Glos. Some guides reported landing as many as six steelhead a trip on the lower river. A couple of spring salmon have been caught so far this season.
ROGUE RIVER, Grants Pass, Ore. >> The Rogue has mostly cleared up after being muddied by rains last week, and steelhead fishing is on the improve, said guide Troy Whitaker at U-Save Tackle. Winter steelhead are showing better now with many fish bigger than 30 inches in length. The best action has been on roe, dark-colored Puffballs and yarn balls in the darker colors. There is also some steelhead action being found in the Illinois River on Cleos, bobbers and jigs. On the Applegate River, the fish seem to be hitting best on Cleos and on pink worms. For trout action, anglers are scoring very well at Selmac Lake on baits and trolled lures.
RUSSIAN RIVER >> The river had big changes this week, according to Scott Heemstra of Kings Sport and Tackle in Guerneville. Three inches of rain brought the river up to almost 2,000 cfs and muddied it up. As of Sunday it was dropping and at 1800 cfs.
SMITH RIVER >> Conditions have been cold and miserable and fishing only fair, according to guide Phil Desautel of Phil’s Smiling Salmon Guide Service, who said the Smith came up 3 feet and got dirty. It was still raining on Sunday. The Smith was running at 15.8 feet over the weekend at Dr. Fine Bridge, but could pass 18 feet the end of this week as another storm bears down on the coast. Steelhead fishing is fair, according to guide and WON Field Reporter Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing.
SIXES RIVER, Port Orford, Ore. >> High and muddy over the weekend, the Sixes could remain unfishable all week with more rain expected before this coming weekend.
SIERRA LAKES AND RIVERS
BOCA RESERVOIR >> Accessible to the dam area. Anything beyond that requires a snowmobile or lifted 4X4. No fishing reports.
DONNER LAKE >> Donner is accessible from the shore, but there’s lots of snow. The ramp is closed. Mackinaw and rainbows are producing action.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR >> Indian Creek Reservoir was fishing well before the storm, with inflated nightcrawlers and chartreuse Power Bait the hot tickets. As of press time, the road to Indian Creek was covered in snow.
LAKE TAHOE >> Heavy snowfall and high winds have kept fishing boats off the lake. Shore fishing is dead slow. Most fish are waiting out the weather at 120 feet or deeper.
PROSSER RESERVOIR >> Prosser is iced over. As of Saturday, there were some ice fishers. The road is accessible to the end of Prosser Dam Road. After that, people were walking in. Worms and Power Bait, and jigging small white jigs tends to do well.
PYRAMID LAKE >> Shore-based fly fishing for cutthroat 10 pounds and over was wide open for the Pyramid Fly Company and their friends, with 20 caught on midges in just an hour. Their clients averaged 20-plus-fish days with fish averaging from 22 to 24 inches, with bigger fish 28 to 36 inches in the mix. The biggest landed was 20 pounds. Shore catches reported at Crosby’s Lodge included fish up to 26 pounds. Many boat-based guides were kept off the water by weather this week.
SILVER LAKE >> Silver Lake has been ice free for weeks.
STAMPEDE LAKE >> Inaccessible to everyone but snowmobilers. There should be some open water accessible from the bank.
TRUCKEE RIVER >> The Truckee River was still accessible, and fishing remained good. The flows didn’t come up due to the cold weather. Try nymphing; San Juan worms were fishing well with the weather.
EMERYVILLE >> Herring spawn has been over for a few weeks now. The schoolie stripers on Berkeley flats left with them. Boats from Emeryville Marina will be running trips for striped bass and halibut, both of which should be heating up in San Pablo and South Bay hot spots in the immediate coming weeks.
BODEGA BAY >> Open ocean fishing was very limited due to winds and waves this week. Crabbers are getting good limits of rock crab and some Dungeness off the jetties. Perching is picking up on the local beaches with anglers catching redtail and calicos. Huge bait balls of anchovy spotted in the area giving rise to a hopeful salmon opener.
BROOKINGS, Ore. >> Rough weather kept most boats at the dock last week, although shore anglers did well on redtail and striped surfperch. As the weather calms, Brookings Fishing Charters will get her boats back out and up the coast where the excellent lingcod and rockcod fishing is. Best area has been Bird Island to House Rock, according to WON Field Reporter and guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing.
EUREKA >> Stormy seas most days this week kept boats tied to the dock. Surfcasting for Rosie perch is going strong from the local beaches. Dungeness crab have moved out of Humboldt Bay, but anglers remain amused fishing for leopard sharks and rays.
FORT BRAGG >> Crabbing remains good in Fort Bragg, apparently still the best on the coast. Boat limits were reported on the weekend of big, firm Dungeness. Small stripers reported caught from Westport Beach while other local beaches retain strong perching opportunities.
HALF MOON BAY >> Crabbing is not half-bad from Princeton Harbor. Half-limits reported in as little as 30 feet of water near the Green Can Buoy. Surfcasting is strong on the beaches from Devil’s Slide down to Pescadero. Poke polers and rod and reel anglers continue to catch a few rockfish cabezon and monkey-faced eels from the Princeton Breakwater.
SAN FRANCISCO >> The Argo searched hard on Saturday for an award of two bass and one keeper sturgeon. One undersized sturgeon was released and a few sturgeon opportunities were missed by the charter clients aboard.