North state fishing report
By Western Outdoor News
Posted: 08/10/17, 2:02 PM PDT
BULLARDS BAR >> Small kokanee are easily available here, according to guide Bret Brady of Bare Bones Guide Service. He’s been getting limits of foot-long kokes trolling at 40 feet, and staying in the shade on the east side, or the shade of the houseboats as long as you can. The bass have moved into deeper water, especially when the sun is on the water. The smallish kokanee are available in limit quantities, and down about 40 to 60 feet on any of your standard kokanee gear.
WHISKEYTOWN LAKE >> Most of the kokanee being caught are around the Highway 299 bridge at about 50 to 60 feet deep, and there are good numbers of fish being caught. Bugs, spinners and hoochies have been working. Orange, green and pink are the go-to colors. There are fish up the Whiskey Creek arm all the way to the buoy line.
FEATHER RIVER >> Water temperatures have cooled on the Feather, giving salmon fishing a boost near the afterbay outlet, as well as Boyd’s Pump and Shanghai Bend. Plugs with sardine wraps are working best, although some kings are being caught on spinners near the mouth of the Yuba River. This week’s full moon is expected to draw more salmon in from the ocean. Striper fishing is slow.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding to Red Bluff >> The Barge Hole opened Aug. 1 with slow fishing. A dozen salmon were reported on the opener, with 30 boats fishing. Trout fishing reopened between Keswick Dam and the Highway 44 bridge. Fishing has been good, although the best action for bigger fish is still from the Posse Grounds downstream.
LAKE ALMANOR >> Slow troll nightcrawlers and Gulp baits in water between 40 and 55 feet deep for trout action. Anglers are catching smallmouth, German browns, rainbows and some small salmon.
BAUM LAKE >> Trout fishing remain good with stocking from nearby hatchery.
BUCKS LAKE >> DeWitt Henderson at the marina said warm weather has heated up the lake and trout fishing has been slow.
EAGLE LAKE >> Trout fishing remains slow with anglers only getting a few bites each day, said guide Ron Beck.
FALL RIVER >> Fly anglers are scoring trout on caddis, May flies, PMDs and calibetis flies.
LEWISTON LAKE >> Trout fishing is good with lots of limits taken on Power Baits and trolled spinners, as the lake flow level has dropped a little.
PIT RIVER >> Areas 4 and 5 are still too high for fishing, but some trout action is posted in area No. 3, even though this water is a little high, too.
SHASTA LAKE >> Small spotted bass are showing best this week in the Pit Arm, hitting on the surface plugs in the mornings and evenings, but moving to waters about 30 feet deep when the weather heats up in mid-days. Trout fishing fair to good on trolled Speedy Shiners and Wiggle Warts down about 40 to 60 feet deep in areas of the dam, Digger Bay and the McCloud Arm. Going even deeper, salmon hit on Apex lures down about 80 feet deep in the Pit and Sacramento Arms.
TRINITY LAKE >> Fishing remains about the same as it has been for weeks, with bass action fair on the upper lake rocky areas, and trout action posted on trolled lures 20 to 40 feet deep in the lower lake areas.
AMERICAN RIVER >> Flows remained at 3,480 cfs over the weekend. Anglers are catching salmon trolling spinners near the mouth of the American, where the water is cooler than the Sacramento River. The best fishing is first thing in the morning. A few kings have been caught on spinners near Sailor Bar.
FOLSOM LAKE >> Boat traffic is heavy. A few trout are being caught by trollers fishing early in the morning. Bass fishing remains good. Catfish have been caught near Brown’s Ravine.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Dunsmuir >> The river is in prime shape. Trout fishing is good, with afternoon hatches for fly anglers. Caddis patterns are working well. Spinners and spoons are working for gear anglers.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff to Colusa >> Salmon fishing remains slow. With bigger tides from this week’s full moon, fresh kings are expected to move in from the ocean soon.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Verona to Colusa >> Fishing for catfish has been wide open at Knights Landing, where chicken liver, sardines and anchovies are working well. Salmon fishing has been slow. More fish are expected with this week’s full moon. A few stripers are still being caught, but most are small shakers.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento >> Trolling spinners near the mouth of the American River has been producing a handful of kings each morning. Salmon fishing is slow at Freeport and Garcia Bend, but decent at the Minnow Hole downstream from Miller Park. With big numbers of kings being caught out of the Golden Gate, fresh kings are expected anytime in the Sacramento River, especially with this week’s full moon. Striper fishing is slow, but fish are still being caught at Bright Beach.
KLAMATH RIVER, Hornbrook >> Flows at Iron Gate Dam were 1,030 cfs over the weekend, perfect for summer steelhead and native rainbows. Fly anglers are doing well with caddis patterns. Bait anglers are running nightcrawlers behind divers or running 3.0 and 2.5 MagLip plugs. Hot weather has kept most anglers away from the river, but those fishing are reporting solid action between Iron Gate and Interstate 5.
KLAMATH RIVER, Happy Camp >> The river is in prime shape for trout fishing, although hot weather has limited effort to the early morning hours.
KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen >> Flows are down to 3,802 cfs at Terwer, down from 4,500 cfs a week ago. Side-drifting for summer steelhead between Klamath Glen and Blue Creek has been slow, with guides reporting half a dozen hookups on their better days. Conditions are better as the Trinity River drops to normal summertime flows. Trolling spinners or Kastmasters in the estuary is producing a few kings a day for the guide boats. The river is open to salmon fishing through Aug. 14.
TRINITY RIVER >> The river is now is good shape for bank anglers and drift boaters fishing for the spring-run of salmon. Flows are approaching the normal summertime levels. Guides running MagLip plugs or roe from drift boaters are catching springers from Steel Bridge to Junction City. Salmon will now hold in the deeper holes as the river drops. Overall action is still slow. The Trinity is open to salmon fishing through Aug. 31.
CAMP FAR WEST >> Catfishing is good here for those who try, especially early and late, and bass anglers are struggling, although some smaller grades of spots are hanging in the coves. The water is warm—in the 80s now, so it’s also a great lake for watersports after the morning fishing.
COLLINS LAKE >> Bring the family for fishing and water sport fun. There’s catfish and panfish available, trout in the much deeper water, and bass can be caught, especially early and late when they come up after things quiet down from the watersports. Fish early, swim and play in the water later.
ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR >> Trout fishing has been decent in the inlet areas where holdovers and pen-raised trout are congregating due to the cooler waters. Bass fishing has been decent early and late, but vary depth until you find where the fish are. Rocky points to 15 feet early, and move to worms, deeper, when the sun is on the water.
FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR >> Deep trolling is best here for the trout, although shore anglers can score early, or later in the day by finding deeper water. Cast spoons from shore, drop ‘em to the bottom and slowly retrieve them, or use Power Bait or inflate ‘crawlers and sit back and wait.
HELL HOLE RESERVOIR >> Guide Kevin Ogg fished here this past week and caught a 5-pound Mackinaw and some nice 15-to 18-inch kokanee. Usually a big Mackinaw or two come out of here every year, but that’s the first report so far, and now that it’s hot weather, they’re staying deep. Long drive on a bad road.
LAKE OROVILLE >> Temperatures of 78 on the surface in the morning and 82 in the afternoon have the bass moving deeper, anglers have to go 20 to 40 feet now, but bass numbers are still very good. Morning and evening are still good for topwater. Guide Ron Gandolfi said most of the topwater bass are in the 2-pound range. The level is 114 feet down and dropping a foot a day.
ROLLINS LAKE >> Best bass action now is for spots and smallmouth near the inlet where water is a bit cooler. Work shallower early in the day and after sunset, go deeper during the day. There have been some good days this week, but the full moon this past week has some influence on action.
THERMALITO AFTERBAY >> Stick near the tules early in the morning or late in the evening, but rocks are also working for the largemouth. Cranks and spinnerbaits work, especially around the grass early and late.
LAKE BERRYESSA >> Trout trollers are taking advantage of midweek trips for easy limits of trout. Bass anglers continue to catch good numbers of all three species of spotted, largemouth and smallmouth bass in the mix. Early morning and late evenings are your best bet for any topwater action with poppers, Spooks and Whopper Stoppers.
BLACK BUTTE LAKE >> Some bass and crappie are showing in the catches, but action is fair at best.
CLEAR LAKE >> Bass fishing has been very good on 1- to 3-pounders. Catching the bigger fish requires specialized techniques such as punching baits through the weed mats, using deep diving crankbaits, and throwing topwater frogs, which produce the bigger fish that like to hang out either in deeper, more protected water and in the deepest cover they can find. Most people are using drop-shot rigs, jigs and shallow running crankbaits.
LAKE MENDOCINO >> A few bass catches have been made, but angler pressure is light.
LAKE PILLSBURY >> Bass fishing has been fair to good on fish 1 to 3 pounds. Some big bluegill also are being caught, along with a few trout and squawfish. Lake is about 89 percent full at this time.
LAKE SONOMA >> Bass fishing at night continues to reward the anglers. The better fish hit on the surface baits. Senkos, Brush Hogs and spinnerbaits are also good baits to target the largemouth. Most night fisherman are fishing the deeper creeks like Cherry, Yorty and Warm Springs. During the day, target the channel edges in 15 to 25 feet of water with a drop-shot for largemouth in the 1- to 3-pound range.
UPPER BLUE LAKES >> Trout fishing is slow, but a few bass to 4 pounds were caught this week, along with some carp.
CHETCO RIVER, Brookings, Ore. >> After decent salmon fishing at the mouth of the Chetco in June and early July, fishing has been slow. There have been fewer feeder kings moving in from the ocean the last few weeks. Fall-run Chetco fish won’t arrive until mid-September.
ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Ore. >> Salmon fishing remains good in the bay, as the Rogue is experiencing one of its better runs in recent days. The incoming tide is fishing best in the morning. This week’s big tides may produce better afternoon fishing. Trolling anchovies with green spinnerblades is working best. Summer steelhead fishing is slow upriver.
ROGUE RIVER, Grants Pass to Shady Cove, Ore. >> Salmon fishing is still getting better with action reported from above and through Grants Pass, Finley Bend and near the Applegate River, saidTroy Whitaker at U-Save Tackle in Grants Pass. Salmon are being caught on beads under Corkies, back-trolling plugs with sardine wraps, or back bounce roe (in spawn sacks to ward off squawfish). Some steelhead action is being posted in the Grants Pass area on K-9 Kwikfish, Mag Lip 3.0 plugs or side-drifted roe.
RUSSIAN RIVER >> Currently the Russian River is flowing at 140 cfs with temperatures fluctuating between 70 and 74 degrees. “I got out on the river last week and fished my way up from Johnsons Beach to Rio Nido,” said Scott Heemstra from Kings Sport and Tackle in Guerneville. “The fishing was good but the catching was slow. I managed a few small bass with one that was about a pound and a half.”
BOCA RESERVOIR >> About the only time you can fish here is before and after the crowds have left the lake. Action can be decent at the inlet or down by the dam in the deeper water for rainbows and the occasional brown trout. Chunk a Rapala before the sun is on the water near the rocks on the dam.
CAPLES LAKE >> It just doesn’t seem like the DFW is stocking many fish up here, since it’s been a pretty slow fishing season so far. Most trout are going to trollers working deeper water, but there’s always a few stockers and holdovers hanging near the cooler water where Woods Creek enters the lake on the east side. You need to hike a bit down to it, but there’s a designated parking area for the trail.
CARSON RIVER >> Flows and water color are good for fishing, and the East Carson is still kicking out some nice fish after the 1200 pounds planted last week, including a few trophy fish to 3 and 4 pounds. The West Carson received 600 pounds, so look for the better holes and work the riffles where the water is moving.
CRYSTAL BASIN >> It’s summer here, and all of the lakes have slowed down a bit, although Union Valley is kicking out some planter rainbows. We haven’t heard anything about the kokanee here in Union Valley yet, but they normally produce some decent action now through September. Ice House has slowed, too, but ply the deeper waters for a shot at rainbows or work in the inlet cove trolling down 15 to 30 feet.
DAVIS LAKE >> Trollers are scoring by hitting the water early around Big Island or Camp Five, but it’s all over by mid-morning. Shore anglers can also find a fish or two off Mallard, but again, once the sun hits the water the bite stops.
DONNER LAKE >> Kokanee are being caught down 55 to 65 feet, and if anyone drops a minnow-imitating lure below that level, they have a chance of attracting a Mackinaw. Planter rainbows are caught off the public piers and deep coves later in the day.
FEATHER RIVER (MIDDLE FORK) >> Get away from the roads for a better chance at trout by tossing Rooster Tails or bait at the top of pools or in the riffles. Quiet water isn’t as good as the oxygenated moving water at the top of the holes or even in riffles.
FRENCHMAN RESERVOIR (MIDDLE FORK) >> Trollers do far better than shore anglers to get down to the trout that are holding at 40 to 60 feet. Use downriggers and troll flashers with a trailer ‘crawler, NeedleFish or other small lure.
GOLD LAKES BASIN >> There are brookies in most of the lakes here as well as planter rainbows, and some brown trout. Gold Lake itself also has a population of Mackinaw lake trout. Salmon, Sardine and Packer lakes are all decent fishing now. Shore anglers find deep spots from shore and dunk floating baits or inflated ‘crawlers. Gold Lake is best fished by boat.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR >> Not much going on during the heat of the day but there’s some nice rainbows available early or late or by float tubers who access the deeper water. Free fishing access on the east side, campground on the west side.
JACKSON MEADOWS >> Trout bite has slowed dramatically, and the best reports are from those out on the lake early and late, or those trolling deep.
JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park) >> No word on Mackinaw, although the recent trout plant of dink rainbows by the DFW should have spurred a feeding frenzy. It certainly sparked a fishing frenzy, since it’s been so long since trout have been planted here. Smalllmouth are always available here. More evidence of the DFW not doing their job and cutting back on trout plants statewide.
LAKE TAHOE >> The Mackinaw bite continues to slowly improve, but still not up to normal. The fish being caught are 3 to 6 pounds. Keep searching for them until you find them—don’t fish barren waters. Kokanee still haven’t begun schooling up, but that will happen soon as they gather for the spawn.
PYRAMID LAKE >> Lake will open to cutthroat fishing on Oct. 1.
SILVER LAKE >> Few, if any trout plants here from the DFW — it appears like the DFW has again cut back in trout plants statewide. Slow fishing action, but there are some browns and Mackinaw available here.
STAMPEDE RESERVOIR >> Kokanee action remained good here over the weekend, but slowed a bit due to the thunder boomers and rain that hammered the area, pouring buckets of rain at times, according to guide Brett Brady of Bare Bones Guide Service. He found limits on Saturday, averaging about 5 to 10 fish an hour out in front of the launch ramp He said the dam was still slow, but that will change as the kokes school up. The fish average about 15 1/2 inches. Guide James Netzel of Tight Lines Guide Service has been fishing it almost daily and on Saturday had 20 fish to 16 inches in the box and was done by 9 a.m. He fished the island and in front of the ramp.
TOPAZ LAKE >> Trout action is slow off the shore, but okay early in the morning off the east shoreline. Trollers who get down deep are doing better, and smallmouth anglers are still finding some good action early along the rocky shoreline.
TRUCKEE RIVER >> Fly anglers are having a great time taking advantage of the hatches in the fly fishing only section, and there’s been PMDs below Boca, but nymping and caddis are both well-received by the planters and wild fish.
WEST WALKER RIVER >> Flows continue dropping and clearing, and plenty of trout are available, including some trophy fish that might come in bigger than the 5-pound rainbow currently leading the “How Big is Big” derby at the Walker General store. DFW planted section 3 this week.
BERKELEY >> The Berkeley fleet fished rockfish/lings or salmon depending on the demand, but fishing was excellent for everything that swims. The El Dorado, New El Dorado III, and New Easy Rider had limits on half their trips this past week. Quantities of 5- to 10-pound kings were stacked up off Pacifica where the bulk of the bay fleet was fishing to get the numbers, or there were fewer but better grade kings up at Duxbury. Island trips for rockfish and lings were loading the boats with quality rockfish and lings to 25 pounds. James Smith on the California Dawn reported spectacular fishing for rockfish and lings with the opening of water to 40 fathoms at the Farallon Islands.
BODEGA BAY >> Rick Powers on the New Sea Angler was making combo trips for salmon, rockfish, and halibut and coming in with impressive scores, especially on the salmon/rockie trips. The best action was at 10-mile Beach where the salmon had moved in close to shore. Halibut were hitting in Tomales Bay and at 10-mile. The rockfish were up at Fort Ross.
EMERYVILLE >> Andy Guiliano reported the fleet was splitting their time between the spectacular salmon fishing south of the Gate and the great rockfish/ling action at the Farallon Islands. Salmon boats were limiting out early on most days despite the opening of the commercial season. The Sea Wolf was making daily trips to the islands for limits of rockfish and up to 60 lings per trip.
EUREKA >> Field reporter Lonnie Dollarhide reported that boats were able to get offshore for albacore in the teens at 50 miles. The more successful boats were picking up 20-plus fish on the troll and casting swimbaits on the jig stops. Pacific halibut were on a tear with the Reel Steel scoring limits to 45 pounds. The big fish of the week was a 79.5-pound Pacific caught on a private boat at Cape Mendocino. California halibut were still biting big time inside Humboldt Bay on live bait. The Cape Mendocino rockfish/ling bite was very good with big sacks coming in when the weather was cooperative. A good stretch of calm weather will blow the doors wide open for all species.
FORT BRAGG >> The big story is albacore at 15 to 35 miles. There were some bluefin, yellowfin and yellowtail mixed in with the albies. The bigger numbers, 20 to 60 fish, are out at 35 miles while there were some 25-pounders at 15 miles. The Captain Tuna made the run and had 22 fish for five anglers. Rockfish limits and 10 to 15 lings were a common occurrence for the Sea Wolf.
HALF MOON BAY >> Salmon fishing was still wide open with lots of boat limits coming in by 10 a.m. up off the beaches from Pacifica to Mussel Rock. The Que Sera Sera and Queen of Hearts were scoring limits of salmon early on most days depending on the experience of the anglers. Rockfish/ling trip were producing near limits to limits of big rockies and 1 to 1 1/2 lings at Deep Reef.
SAN FRANCISCO >> The South Bay was producing halibut on 3/4- and 1-ounce Kastmaster spoons tipped with a pink hoochie or a 3-inch pearl swimbait. The outside beaches were good for redtail and barred perch running 12 to 18 inches using grubs, grass shrimp, sandcrabs, and Gulp Sandworms. Eight- to 18-pound stripers were loaded up on the beaches from Linda Mar to Mussel Rock. Halibut and stripers were hitting from below the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge to the Golden Gate at all the usual spots on live bait. The Pacifica Pier was producing salmon on live anchovies fished on a trolley rig.