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North state fishing report

By Western Outdoor News

Posted: 08/24/17

FEATHER RIVER >> Fishing has improved at the afterbay outlet, where bank anglers are catching fish on spinners and boaters are running FlatFish with sardine wraps. Trolling spinners at Boyd’s Pump and Shanghai Bend is taking fish daily. Resident stripers are now biting near Boyd’s Pump. Anchovies and nightcrawlers are working best.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Verona to Colusa >> More salmon were caught last week on spinners trolled closed to shore in the Verona area. Fishing for catfish has been wide open at Knights Landing, where chicken liver, sardines and anchovies are working well.

TRINITY RIVER >> The river remains open to salmon fishing through the end of August. The river is now down to normal summer flows. Guides running MagLip plugs or roe from driftboats are catching springers from Steel Bridge to Junction City. Salmon will now hold in the deeper holes as the river is at a steady summer flow. The water is dirty from Junction City downstream.

FEATHER RIVER (NORTH FORK) >> The river has favorable flows, no algae and enough planted trout to keep things interesting, said Mike Hanson from Caribou Crossroads Resort. “They did a good plant two weeks ago and there haven’t been many people, so it has lasted,” Hanson said. “We have been going through worms and salmon eggs like crazy. One guy caught a 4-pound rainbow but most are 12 to 14 inches.” Trout were planted at little North Fork, Ganser Bar and Queen Lily campgrounds.

BULLARDS BAR >> Ten-fish kokanee limits continue to be caught here, said Craig Newton of Will Fish Tackle in Auburn. His customers are trolling 60 feet deep and getting limits before noon.

LAKE ALMANOR >> Slow trolling along the bottom remains the preferred fish-catching method. Nightcrawlers and Gulp! worms naked or behind your favorite flasher or dodger continue to produce quality fish in deeper water. Trolling between .8 and 1.1 mph without hardware and up to 1.5 mph has the bite good early one day and not happening until early afternoon the next.

BAUM LAKE >> Trout fishing remains good on baits and various flies, especially Zebras and damsels.

BUCKS LAKE >> Trout fishing has remained on the slow side lately with most fish under 12 inches. The weather has been hot.

EAGLE LAKE >> Fishing remains slow for guides and anglers with only a few trout being caught. The weather has been too warm.

FALL RIVER >> Action remains good for fly fishermen with streamers.

LEWISTON LAKE >> Trout fishing has been very good with lots of limits caught on Power Baits or trolled flashers/lures, from the marina up to the dam area. An 8-pound rainbow was the top catch, but no angler name was recorded.

PIT RIVER >> Trout fishing remains fair at area No. 3, but still slow at areas 4 and 5 due to high water flows.

SHASTA LAKE >> Bass fishing remains fair for anglers tossing plastic worms, crank plugs, tube baits and spinnerbaits. Most of the bass are coming from waters 20 to 30 feet deep. Trout anglers continue to drag flashers and lures down as deep as 80 feet.

TRINITY LAKE >> The water level continues to drop with the lake now down about 30 feet and still dropping. Bass fishing remains fair in upper reaches of the lake with some topwater action in the early mornings. Deep trolling is producing some kokanee action in the main body of the lake. Streams that flow into the lake were planted with rainbows last week.

WHISKEYTOWN LAKE >> The lake is putting out some nice kokanee and it should be this way until the spawn. There are fish in Whiskey Creek arm, at the 299 Bridge, the curtain and the dam. There are fish right on the bottom in the dam area. Bottom bouncing is good right now. Orange, pink/chartreuse or green have been good colors, as has black.

AMERICAN RIVER >> Flows remained at 3,530 cfs over the weekend. Anglers are catching salmon trolling spinners near the mouth of the American and up to Howe Avenue. The best fishing is first thing in the morning. A few kings have been caught on spinners near Sailor Bar. Jiggers are catching some kings between 12th Street and the railroad bridge.

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, Redding to Red Bluff >> Flows from Keswick Dam remained at 10,300 cfs. The Barge Hole opened Aug. 1. Salmon fishing is still slow, but more kings are being caught daily on sardine-wrapped FlatFish. Many of the salmon are jacks. 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.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff to Colusa >> Salmon fishing remains slow, but more fish are now being caught on FlatFish between Red Bluff and Woodson Bridge. Pressure has been light as anglers await more kings to move in from the ocean.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento >> Trolling spinners near the mouth of the American River has been producing a handful of kings each morning. Jiggers are catching more salmon now at Freeport. Striper fishing is slow, but fish are still being caught at Bright Beach.

KLAMATH RIVER, Hornbrook >> Salmon season is now closed. Flows at Iron Gate Dam were 1,008 cfs over the weekend, down slightly from 1,030 cfs the week before. Conditions are prime for trout and steelhead, but hot, smoky weather has limited effort. Fly anglers are doing well with caddis patterns. Bait anglers are running nightcrawlers behind divers or running 3.0 and 2.5 MagLip plugs.

KLAMATH RIVER, Happy Camp >> Flows Sunday at Seiad Valley were 1,270 cfs, while flows at Orleans were 2,141 cfs. The river is in prime shape for trout fishing, although hot weather and thick smoke from several Siskiyou County fires have limited effort to the early morning hours. Salmon season is now closed.

KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen >> The river is now closed to salmon fishing, but remains open to summer steelhead fishing. Flows are down to 3,184 cfs at Terwer, down from 3,480 cfs a week ago. Steelhead fishing has been good at Starwin, Cleveland and near Blue Creek, although dirty water limited catches at times last week.

CAMP FAR WEST >> Surface temperatures range from 81 to 84 degrees. Some have had luck catching sub-keeper bass using morning dawn or bluegill Senkos drop-shotted from 30 to 50 feet deep. The Bear Creek Arm is where the action is.

COLLINS LAKE >> With a surface temperature of 80 degrees it’s catfish time. Weekday crowds have diminished now that school is back in session but weekends remain crowded. Two cats in the 5-pound class were caught last week, otherwise expect pan-sized cats.

ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR >> Recreational traffic has greatly diminished, which is good news for anglers. Lisa Rogers at Skipper’s Cove Marina said she has had reports of trout being caught halfway up the lake. Trolling with flashers and nightcrawlers get rainbows and browns 10 to 15 feet below the surface. Lake is 97 percent of capacity.

FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR >> This lake received one trout plant this season — during the week of 4th of July. None are planned the remainder of the season.

LAKE OROVILLE >> Morning surface temperatures are down to 77 degrees and the topwater bite is back on, said guide Ron Gandolfi. Lake is dropping a foot per day and is 52 percent of capacity. Once the topwater bite goes away, bass will chase lipless crankbaits, tubes or darthead worms.

SCOTTS FLAT >> Weekend boat traffic was heavy, but during the week anglers caught smallmouth along the Cascade shoreline and in the inlet above the Ditch Digger’s House. Nightcrawlers work best. A good outing results in two to three bass. Trout bite remains slow, but this lake received just one trout plant and it was back in June. Lake is down 10 feet and is 80 percent of capacity. Surface temperature has dropped to the low 70s.

STUMPY MEADOWS >> Fishing from boats is more productive than shore fishing. This lake hasn’t received a plant since May.

THERMALITO AFTERBAY >> Cold water from Lake Oroville has changed conditions here and turned off morning action. Once the sun warms the water anglers can punch the grass or use frogs. Some employ shaky heads off the rocks.

LAKE BERRYESSA >> Action is fair in the main body of the lake with spotted bass leading the way on drop-shot rigs and Senko plastics.

BLACK BUTTE LAKE >> Fishing remains slow to fair with few anglers getting any action due to hot weather.

CLEAR LAKE >> Currently any fish in the 3- to 4-pound range is considered a good quality fish due to the vast amount of smaller fish being caught. Guides report good numbers of bass are being caught on most lures, with few fish in the lunker class. Most big bass are in the 4-pound range, but they are being caught in most shoreline brushy areas. Crappie fishing is still fair in the Redbud area on jigs.

LAKE MENDOCINO >> Not much action has been reported here lately with few anglers testing the waters.

LAKE PILLSBURY >> Christina Diaz at the resort said fishing has been generally slow for most anglers, with only a few trout and bass being caught.

LAKE SONOMA >> Trollers reported catching rainbow trout plus a few landlocked steelhead to 18 inches while working that main body slot from the dam up to the no-ski buoys up the east shoreline. Bass anglers are still keying on early mornings or night fishing for any consistent action. Top water offerings around primary and secondary main body points at daybreak are triggering a few good largemouth to 4 pounds.

UPPER BLUE LAKES >> The fishing remains slow with a lack of trout plants for several weeks. Most visitors are swimming.

CHETCO RIVER, Brookings, Ore. >> A 70,000-acre forest fire burning along the Chetco has North Bank and South Bank roads closed. Hundreds of homes have been evacuated. Salmon fishing is slow at the mouth of the river.

ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Ore. >> Salmon fishing remains very good in the bay, with up to 100 fish a day still being caught. Many guides are catching near limits each day. The water temperature at Agness is 72 degrees, causing many of the fall-run salmon to stack up in the bay.

ROGUE RIVER, Grants Pass, Ore. >> Salmon fishing has been slow this week, but steelhead fishing has been pretty good with lots of action on plugs and spinners, or side drifted pieces of roe at Finley Bend and Robinson Creek. Beads and Corkies are still getting a few salmon on sardine-wrapped Kwikfish side drifted. Lost Creek Lake still has some good trout action on tap for Power Bait anglers and trolled spinners.

RUSSIAN RIVER >> The bass fishing has seemed to pick up the past week with the cooler weather. Expect fishing to continue to pick up as we approach fall.

SMITH RIVER >> Fishing is slow as anglers await the first fall salmon of the year to show up in the estuary. Anglers will soon be anchoring near the mouth and running anchovies.

BLUE LAKES >> Both upper and lower Blue Lakes were planted last week and the lakes were heavily fished over the weekend, reported Todd Sodaro from Creekside Lodge in Markleeville. No reports on success rates.

BOCA RESERVOIR >> Shaded inlets with cool, incoming water provide a chance at trout.

CAPLES LAKE >> With just two plants of small, DFW trout all summer, fishing has been a struggle. Trolling is slow. Best action is near Woods Creek or Emigrant Creek, according to Tim at Caples Lake Resort. Float tubers throwing large streamers are having success getting rainbows from inlets, according to Eric Meza of Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters.

CARSON RIVER >> East Fork is in very good shape and well-stocked. Salmon eggs, orange Power Bait, nightcrawlers and Panther Martins — in that order — have been most effective, said Todd Sodaro from Creekside Lodge in Markleeville. Both the east and west forks will get large plants of trout next week prior to the Labor Day Weekend. There’s great dry fly fishing on the West Carson in the evening. Caddis, little yellow sallies and stoneflies are prolific, said Eric Meza of Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters.

CRYSTAL BASIN >> A 4 1/2-pound brown was caught this week at Loon Lake, said Julie Siebert from Ice House Resort. Generally fishing has been slow at Loon. The boat ramp at Loon closes for repair after Labor Day Weekend. The trout bite at Ice House is picking up and trout are moving closer to the surface where trollers are picking the planters, Siebert said. She also said the kokanee action at Union Valley has picked up again now that the weather has cooled.

DAVIS LAKE >> A 4-pound largemouth was caught last week from Catfish Cove with nightcrawlers. Lots of catfish in the 1- to 2-pound range are coming from Eagle Point, Fairview and Catfish Cove. Trout bite remains challenging, but they are shallow early before going deep by 9 a.m., said Jeannie Graham from J&J’s Grizzly Store.

DONNER LAKE >> Kokanee bite is productive for kokes 10 to 12 1/2 inches. Be prepared to release a lot of small fish to get to the larger kokes. Mackinaw are feeding beneath the schools of kokanee, said guide Shaun Rainsbarger, and most of the kokes have teeth marks. The Mackinaw bite has been tough. Use wounded baitfish imitations off the bottom, 85 to 120 feet deep. Mack’s are focused on the kokanee. Most of the Macks are 18 to 24 inches with a few larger fish to 4 pounds, although there are far larger Mackinaw in here.

FEATHER RIVER (MIDDLE FORK) >> Dry fly anglers starting in the evening at the bridge in Graeagle and walking either way cash in using little yellow sallies or parachute bluewing olives.

GOLD LAKES BASIN >> Troll with flashers and nightcrawlers around the Gold Lake Island for limits of planted rainbows, said Mark Tieslau from Mountain Hardware & Sports. Big fish are hard to come by and shore fishing is slow. Best shore spot is to the left of the boat ramp. Fishing at neighboring lakes has been slow, Tieslau said.

INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR >> There are plenty of trout here, but not much pressure due to the heavily planted Carson forks.

JACKSON MEADOWS >> Slow fishing continues. There have been no trout plants here this summer.

JENKINSON RESERVOIR >> A few juvenile Mackinaw were caught last week by trollers, said Denise Cole from Sly Park Resort. Best action is for smallmouth bass. Use nightcrawlers toward the back of the lake or near the island. Not a great bite, but it’s possible to catch three or four. Trout action is slow.

LAKE TAHOE >> Mackinaw bite continues to be a grind for charter boat anglers. Fish are scattered from 120 feet to 400 feet and reluctant to bite. Kokanee have been willing for some, not all, said Zach Gordon of Tahoe Sportfishing. Gordon’s charters have been getting 30 to 50 kokanee per trip, ranging from 10 to 14 inches with an occasional 16 incher. Fish are 60 to 75 feet deep. Green over red and gold/copper have been effective colors. The bite stops when boat traffic grows in the fishing area.

PROSSER RESERVOIR >> Smallmouth are spread throughout the lake. Crawdad imitations work well. Some smallies are as large as 4 pounds but most are a pound.

PYRAMID LAKE >> Lake will open to cutthroat fishing on Oct. 1.

SILVER LAKE >> This lake received plants at the end of June and the end of July, but there hasn’t been a trout plant or a positive report from here all season.

STAMPEDE RESERVOIR >> The kokanee bite shows no sign of slowing and 13- to 15-inch kokes are filling out limits. Some go as large as 16 inches. Fish are moving throughout the lake so be prepared to move. Best action is early. Peach roe-colored hoochies or silver/orange Humdingers have been effective, said guide Marc Christophel.

TRUCKEE RIVER >> Large fish are getting scarce but pan-sized rainbows can be caught with dry flies in the evening. Caddis and little yellow sallies are out near dusk.

WEST WALKER RIVER >> This is in ideal shape and fishing has been quite good. A 6-pound rainbow and a 5-pound brown were caught this week and weighed in at the Walker General Store. Both fell to Panther Martin spinners. River is in mid-June shape and promises a productive fall season.

BERKELEY >> The mad rush salmon action of the previous few weeks slowed to a civilized level of about a fish per rod on average aboard New Easy Rider, El Dorado and Jilly Sea. California Dawn enjoyed a day playing with sharks in the South Bay but spent most of the week catching rockfish and lingcod. Happy Hooker spent a day on halibut and bass, then ran trips out the Gate for lingcod and rockfish. Halibut and lingcod came in at about a fish per rod.

BODEGA BAY >> Salmon counts were lower than recent weeks, but the fish were still around Ten Mile Beach, Bird Rock and Elephant Rock. New Sea Angler tore up the lingcod and rockfish with large lings and vermillion to 10 pounds. Some trips were up the coast to Fort Ross and some were down to Point Reyes, but both directions were productive. Tomales Bay held halibut and striped bass in the high teens were taking slow-trolled baits like shiner perch intended for halibut, according to Willy Vogler at Lawson’s Landing.

EMERYVILLE >> Salmon were taken near Duxbury, Bolina and the Channel Buoys by New Salmon Queen, Sundance and Dragon. New Huck Finn, Tigerfish and Sea Wolf did the lingcod and rockfish duty, scoring high counts of both, depending upon the skills of the passengers aboard each day.

EUREKA >> Gale force winds kept boats in the bay again, however it wasn’t a bad deal because the California halibut in the upper bay just kept on biting anchovies either drifted or slow-trolled. Jetty fishing was exceptionally good for lingcod, cabezon, kelp greenling and black rockfish.

FORT BRAGG >> Two private boats, Reel Action and Diablo, ran 30 miles out and slammed the albacore with respective counts of 38 and 43 fish. Captain Tuna worked the salmon after the August 15 opener and did fairly well between Pudding Creek and Cleone. The skipper plans to run tuna trips very soon. Sea Hawk snookered the rockfish and lingcod with fish up to 26 pounds. Shore fishing was good for cabezon, rockfish, kelp greenling and a few lingcod.

HALF MOON BAY >> Queen of Hearts and Riptide out of Half Moon Bay Sportfishing got salmon up the line at Deep Reef, Channel Buoys or Duxbury. The same boats plus Huli Cat ran highly successful rockfish and lingcod trips down near Pigeon Points where the deeper spots gave up some impressive reds and coppers as well as lingcod. Shore fishing for striped bass was a little slower than in recent weeks, but some nice fish were caught in the evenings.

SAN FRANCISCO >> It was salmon time for Wacky Jacky, Bass Tub and Lovely Martha, all of which fished the Channel Buoys, Duxbury Buoy and Bolinas for salmon with tallies coming in at roughly a fish per rod, though the count on each boat, each day might vary. There were some nice salmon caught, such as a 26-pounder on Bass Tub and 24-pounders caught on Wacky Jacky and Lovely Martha. Flash I and Flash II had a varied gameplan, working on sharks and striped bass in South Bay or catching rockfish and lingcod outside the gate.

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