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North State Fishing Report

POSTED: 5 

TOP PICKS

FEATHER RIVER >> Striper fishing has been very good from Verona to Star Bend. Minnows, pile worms and swimbaits are all working well. An expected boost in flows this week should draw in some shad, as well as more stripers. A few sturgeon are still biting near Bear River.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff to Colusa >> Shad have been caught as high as Butte City. Striper fishing is very good in the Colusa area, with jumbo minnows working best, along with swimbaits. A few sturgeon are still being caught. 

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Verona to Colusa >> The Verona area has been hot for stripers, with live minnows and swimbaits working best. Stripers also are being caught near Grimes, Tisdale and Colusa. Fishing for catfish has been very good at Verona and Knights Landing. Shad began to arrive last week. A few sturgeon are still being caught.

TRINITY RIVER >> The river is dropping back into shape after last week’s big water release. Steelhead fishing is slow. Flows hit 2,000 at Lewiston and Junction City after releases from Trinity Lake. The fall salmon limit will be two salmon a day, one of which may be an adult. 

FEATHER RIVER CANYON >> The general Sierra trout opener was celebrated at Caribou Crossroads Resort with a fishing derby and festivities. It rained, but that didn’t dampen the fun. Chad Ericson of Concow won with a 21 3/4-inch trout. Brian G. from Micalai wasn’t far behind with a 21-inch trout. Joey Stephans of Red Bluff was third with an 18-inch trout. In kids’ division, Mason McNabb was first with a 14 3/4-inch trout. Paige Sell and Tyson Lolmaugh tied for second with a 14 1/4-inch trout. The youngest fisherman was Jameson Jones, just 2 years old, who caught a 12-inch trout. 

FAR NORTH LAKES AND RIVERS 

LAKE ALMANOR >> Water temperatures fluctuated this past week with surface temperatures ranging between the mid-40s to upper-50s. Lots of bass fishermen are on the water these days and the action has been good to very good at times. The smallies are in the pre-spawn mode and aggressive. The flats and points are producing bass up to 5 pounds. Trout fishing has been fair with lots of boat traffic on the north end of the lake. Trollers are picking up fish fast-trolling hardware. Red/gold continues to be the color of choice with Red Dot Frog producing fish.

BAUM LAKE >> Very good trout fishing is posted by both bait and fly fishermen.

LEWISTON LAKE >> Trout fishing has been good for bait and fly fishermen with fish to over 20 inches caught. Limits are plentiful.

PIT RIVER >> River is running very high, and fishing is tough.

SHASTA LAKE >> Bass fishing is pretty good on plastic worms, swimbaits, topwater plugs and crank plugs. Trout fishing remains fair in the dam area on trolled flashers/lure combos. Crappie hitting off most marina docks.

TRINITY LAKE >> On days when the anglers can get out the fishing is fair for bass on Ned rigs and Kitech swimbaits. Trout fishing has been good most days with rainbows showing well at the mouths of inflowing creeks. 

WHISKEYTOWN LAKE >> Lake is nearing full capacity and the kokanee bite is picking up. Fishing from 5 to 50 feet seems to be productive right now since the water is still in the high 50s. 

SACRAMENTO VALLEY 

AMERICAN RIVER >> Flows were down to 2,460 cfs over the weekend. Although shad have arrived in the Sacramento River, there have been no reports of shad in the American yet. Some stripers are being caught at Discovery Park.

FOLSOM LAKE >> Lake levels have stabilized, producing good fishing for bass, trout and landlocked salmon. Bass anglers are doing well fishing plastics close to shore near the North Fork. Bank anglers are using minnows. Some anglers got into trout and salmon trolling 20 to 40 feet down. Needlefish are working well. 

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Dunsmuir >> Flows were down to 762 cfs over the weekend but still high for trout fishing.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding to Red Bluff >> Flows from Keswick Dam jumped to 7,500 cfs over the weekend. Trout fishing has been good near Anderson. Glo Bugs, beads and roe are working well. Small plugs also are working. The river is now closed above the Highway 44 bridge.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento >> Shad fishing is good at Miller Park, Discovery Park and Bright Beach. Small stripers also continue to bite well, although more shakers than keepers are being caught. Reports of more stripers moving through the delta should give fishing a boost on the lower Sacramento River this week as water is released into the Feather and from Shasta Dam. 

TRINITY/KLAMATH RIVERS 

KLAMATH RIVER, Hornbrook >> Flows were just over 1,650 cfs over the weekend, high but fishable. A few steelhead are being caught. Fall salmon anglers will be allowed two salmon a day on the Klamath, one of which can be a jack. A quota of 593 adult kings was set last week for the upper and middle sections of the Klamath for the fall fishery.

KLAMATH RIVER, Happy Camp >> The river was still high last week for late steelhead. Flows at Seiad Valley were 2,960 cfs over the weekend. Fall salmon anglers will be allowed two salmon a day on the Klamath, one of which can be a jack. A quota of 593 adult kings was set last week for the upper and middle sections of the Klamath. 

KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen >> The river is still high and off-color. The fall salmon quota beginning Aug. 15 is 1,745 adult kings for the lower Klamath River. Anglers are allowed two salmon a day, one of which may be a jack. Anglers have begun to fish for spring salmon, but success has been poor. 

NORTHERN FOOTHILLS 

BULLARDS BAR >> Bullards continues to crank out the kokanee. Anglers are scoring while trolling pink dodgers and hoochies. According to Craig Newton of Will Fish Tackle, this durable bite should hold up well for some time. The bass are up shallow (2 to 15 feet) and biting drop-shotted Robo Worms and creature baits everywhere according to “Lunker” Larry Hemphill, who, with a client, caught over 50 spotted bass on Friday. Most were small. He said the water level is around 95-percent of capacity. In a report from Tuesday, Ron Gandolfi of Gandolfi Bass Guide Service said much the same, only bigger fish to 7 pounds were active. 

CAMP FAR WEST >> The lake is full. Kathy DeRossett of North Shore Resort said the 23-boat Camp Far West Bass Tournament Saturday was won by Mark McCord and Mike Caddick with a limit of 8.73 pounds backstopped by a 2.21-pound big fish.

COLLINS LAKE >> In preparation for Saturday’s CIFFI Trout Derby, the lake was double stocked last week, which should fire up fishing for some time. The winning fish was reportedly a little over 4 pounds. The water clarity is good. Limits to near limits of trout are still common. The bass are becoming more active. The Collins Lake Family Trout Derby is May 12. Register at CollinsLake.com. 

FRENCH MEADOWS >> The gate to the lake and nearby Hellhole Reservoir are open. Hellhole was dirty but fishing. Both lakes are full. An unidentified angler pulled a 20-pound Mackinaw and an 8-pound brown out of out Hellhole this week according to Craig Newton of Will Fish Tackle, who saw the photos.

LAKE OROVILLE >> Oroville really turned on this week, according to Ron Gandolfi of Gandolfi Bass Guide Service. He fished the lake four times and found increased numbers each successive trip as the water warmed from 57 to the low to mid 60s. It culminated in two 100-fish days at the end of the week. Senkos, tubes, drop-shots and anything else that falls slowly were productive with these post-spawn bass. Fish are located from a foot deep to 15-20 feet. 

THERMALITO AFTERBAY >> You can spit in the water and catch a fish, according to Bruce Gibson of Paradise Tackle Company, who with a friend tallied more than 50 bass on Saturday’s trip. They were using worms, small swimbaits, Senkos and Roboworms — almost anything other than reaction baits worked. The water is 61 to 63 degrees, and Gibson said the fish are pre-spawn going into the spawn. 

NORTH COAST LAKES 

LAKE BERRYESSA >> Bass action is turning on. In between north winds, the fishing is steady. All the usual spots are holding fish. The mouth of the narrows, the flats on the east side from the mouth up past the ranch house north and from the ranch house to the island in the afternoon when the fish are over deep water. 

BLACK BUTTE LAKE >> Lake rangers report that bass are hitting well on jigs and plastic worms fished in the Angler’s Cove and near the dam. Catfish action is also good with best catches being made in Angler’s Cove and Stoney Creek.

CLEAR LAKE >> The bass spawn seems to be in full swing and lots of bed fish are being seen and lots of people are fishing for them. The upcoming full moon should see another wave of spawners moving in as the spawn will continue on into and through May. Lake clarity has been very good and with the clarity comes the weed growth. 

LAKE MENDOCINO >> Not much action reported here.

LAKE PILLSBURY >> Fishing was slow last week.

LAKE SONOMA >> Bass have moved into spawning areas and are being caught on jigs, cranks and surface plugs.

UPPER BLUE LAKES >> Trout fishing has been fair. 

NORTH COAST RIVERS 

ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Ore. >> After a week of good fishing in mid-April, spring salmon fishing slowed last week, although a few guides still got customers into hatchery fish. The best slot has been just above the Riverview Restaurant, and it has been crowded. Only hatchery salmon can be kept through May. 

RUSSIAN RIVER >> The Russian is in prime shape for fishing right now with flows at 620 cfs and 5-plus feet of clarity. “We have gotten reports of down-running steelhead being caught, with the hatcheries still seeing some new fish but slowing way down,” said Scott Heemstra of Kings Sport and Tackle in Guerneville. “A few reports also in of some American shad being caught at Johnsons Beach, but the bite is not wide open yet. I was out with my kids last week at the river, just tossing a silver Little Cleo to poke around and managed to land a nice smallmouth close to 2 pounds. That being said, there is a variety of species to fish for on the Russian right now.” 

SMITH RIVER >> The Smith closed for the season Monday evening. Steelhead fishing was slow in April before the closure. 

SIERRA LAKES AND RIVERS 

BOCA LAKE >> Action slowed for anglers fishing bait from shore by the dam, according to Miles Zimmerman of Mountain Hardware and Sports. Shore launching only for boats, but if you can get out and top-line for rainbows, browns and kokanee you stand a good chance.

CARSON RIVER >> The general Sierra trout opener was a tale of two rivers according to Todd Sodaro of Todd’s Bait and Tackle. The East Carson was slow due to cold, 41-degree water and high flows. Give it a few days for the trout to acclimate. The West Carson was a much better bet, with fish to 9 pounds caught on Saturday’s opener. Both waters, as well as Markleeville Creek, were stocked heavily just before the opener. 

DAVIS LAKE >> The lake is 99 percent full. Jeanne Graham at J&J’s Grizzly Store reported action slowed as the weather got funky as the weekend approached. Prior to the front, one group of trollers did well, but bank fishing was picky. If you’re after trout, it’s important to fish your baits from the top down, as offerings fished from the bottom up have been catching catfish.

DONNER LAKE >> Donner Lake was planted last week, according to Miles Zimmerman of Mountain Hardware and Sports. He suggests anglers try bigger Rapalas for Mackinaw. From shore, Power Bait or worms work well for the stocked trout.

INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR >> According to Todd Sodaro of Todd’s Bait and Tackle, the fishing at Indian Creek was spectacular the weekend of the opener.

LAKE TAHOE >> The weather turned for the worse this weekend, with high winds that made for mixed results. On Saturday at Chuck’s Charter Fishing, the catching was good with fish averaging 3 to 11 pounds despite conditions that Capt. Chuck Self called “rough as heck.” Self caught his fish at 120 feet. Tahoe Topliners was scoring great results early in the week, had a rough trip on Friday, but knocked ‘em dead on Sunday. At Tahoe Sportfishing, Capt. Zach Gordon said they got all their trips out in spite of the weather. Fishing shallow in 40 to 80 feet was fun and productive near Camp Richardson and the Tahoe Keys. 

PROSSER RESERVOIR >> Reports are scarce. The water level is low, hanging in the 40 percent range. There are some trout lingering around. It is cold for the bass. In general, fishing is slow.

PYRAMID LAKE >> A number of nice 10-plus pounders were checked in at Crosby’s Lodge this weekend, and they came equally from boaters and shore anglers. Capt. Robert Hagerty of Pyramid Fly Co. said that the fish have responded well to water temperatures rising into the low 50s. He said the cutts are in spawn and post-spawn mode. The streamer bite has picked up. Some Tui chubs are being seen in the shallows at times, which is the main source of forage for these trout and just in time for the post spawn bite when the fish put on the feed bag.

STAMPEDE RESERVOIR >> The boat ramp is open. The kokanee bite finally turned on with warmer water temperatures. It was fishing best around the island, according to Miles Zimmerman of Mountain Hardware and Sports. Topline hoochies and dodgers in pinks.

TRUCKEE RIVER >> Nymphing and streamer fishing is best, according to Miles Zimmerman of Mountain Hardware and Sports. Dry flies have been unproductive. Flows have been very good and steadily dropping. The Truckee is running crystal clear. As of the trout opener, general trout regulations prevail on the upper Truckee. Now that nearby creeks are open, the angling pressure has dropped as fishermen spread out their efforts. Zimmerman said the trout are spawning on the Little Truckee. He asked anglers to avoid the redds. 

SALTWATER 

BERKELEY >> Most Berkeley boats like New Huck Finn, California Dawn and Happy Hooker fished the bay and enjoyed some of the best bass fishing in memory and also a darn good bite on halibut. Drifting live bait was the key to success and many trips were as nearby as Berkeley Flats or Alameda Rock Wall.

BODEGA BAY >> Halibut were caught in decent numbers in the southern portion of Tomales Bay, where the seasonal fishery is picking up steam. Along the beaches of the area, surfperch were biting much better on overcast days than bright sunny days. New Sea Angler had solid success with rockfish and lingcod during early week trips to Point Reyes and also on weekend trips to Fort Ross.

EMERYVILLE >> Bay fishing was awesome. New Huck Finn, for example, turned in a score of 30 striped bass and 23 halibut for 15 anglers. Drifting live baits was the key to success. Sea Wolf ran through the Golden Gate and made mincemeat of rockfish and lingcod at the Farallones. Skiff anglers fished along the Emeryville shoreline for stripers and halibut.

EUREKA >> On a shakedown trip with buddy boats Scrimshaw and Reel Steel caught loads of sanddabs and also petrale sole. Incidental catches of Pacific halibut and lingcod were released unharmed. While out there, the crew saw great signs of feeding salmon. Jetty fishing was good on both jetties, however the South fished slightly better than the North.

FORT BRAGG >> Outside of a few crab trips, most Fort Bragg activity was all about preparing and outfitting boats for the rockfish opener May 1. Expectations are very high for easy limits of rockfish and possibly full limits of lingcod for boats like Capt. Tuna, Bragg-n and Sea Hawk. Shore fishing was good at Noyo Jetty and much better at Old Mill, Glass Beach and nearby state park beaches.

HALF MOON BAY >> New Capt. Pete made a foray for salmon down south of Pigeon Point and scored roughly a fish per rod, with at least that many again coming unbuttoned. Other boats, Huli Cat, Queen of Hearts and Riptide fished rockfish and lingcod with good success at Deep Reef and spots down the coast like Pescadero. Shore fishing was good for various surfperch and a few striped bass were also taken. 

SAN FRANCISCO >> Flash II fished inside the bay for nice counts of striped bass and halibut. The boat was joined by Bass Tub which had equally positive results. With bass roaming the entire bay, even shore fishers got into the act along the San Francisco shore inside the Bay and outside down to Mussel Rock and below. Bass Tub also made a run out to the Farallones to knock out full count of rockfish and some lingcod.

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