North state fishing report
By Western Outdoor News
FEATHER RIVER >> King salmon fishing at the Outlet Hole was wide open last week, with many guides limiting out and plenty of bank anglers also getting in on the action. Boaters are running T-55 FlatFish in the morning and then switching to roe. Bank anglers are tossing spinners or drifting beads. Some kings are being caught in the Boyd’s Pump area on spinners.
FEATHER RIVER (NORTH FORK) >> A plant of large rainbows in the 2- to 3-pound class was delivered before the weekend and made fishing memorable for campers, said Mike Hanson of Caribou Crossroads Resort. Trout were planted at the Little North Fork, Queen Lily and Ganser Bar campgrounds. “They are bringing them in,” Hanson said. “The river is higher than normal, there’s no moss and it’s very good for this time of year. It might make for some nice fall fishing.”
TRINITY RIVER >> Salmon season closed last week, with good numbers of jacks being caught between Lewiston and Junction City. Few anglers are now steelhead fishing because of a major fire near Junction City. Several sections of Highway 299 are closed.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding to Red Bluff >> Salmon fishing is fair at the Barge Hole, although many of the fish are jacks. Fresh fish are arriving daily. Trout fishing has 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.
ROLLINS LAKE >> A 27-pound catfish was caught by a camper during an evening session of fishing last week, by far the best catch of the summer. Bass anglers can catch 10 to 15 fish per day but bite is over by mid-day. Action is near the jetties at the Bear River inlet and in the shade along the Greenhorn bank. Ned rigs, Roboworms are popular offerings. Water temp is 77 degrees and lake has come up two feet in the last two weeks.
LAKE ALMANOR >> Fishermen are stacking up at the Hamilton Branch. Most of the fishermen are using their bait of choice, but few are catching fish.
BAUM LAKE >> Trout fishing is OK for shore anglers with baits, following plants from local hatchery.
BUCKS LAKE >> Trout fishing remains very slow for rainbows, but a few small browns have been caught by trollers.
EAGLE LAKE >> Fishing has been slow for a few weeks with not much improvement seen for the near upcoming weeks.
FALL RIVER >> Fair trout action reported on calebetis and PMD flies.
LEWISTON LAKE >> Trout fishing has remained very good followings plants. Many anglers are getting limits from shore on Power Baits, while boat anglers are scoring limits on trolled flashers and worms combos.
PIT RIVER >> Area No. 3 is still the best spot for fly fishermen, with black nymphs.
SHASTA LAKE >> Fishing very well, especially for big rainbow trout. Guide Scott Caldwell of SC Guide Service and his son scored 8- and 9-pound rainbows. King salmon and brown trout are also being caught, but with less frequency. Rainbow trout fishing on the main body of Shasta has been outstanding with easy limits of trout on guided trips. Bass fishing remains fair to good in most shoreline areas on jigs, plastic worms and crank baits.
TRINITY LAKE >> Brush fires have kept many anglers away, with roads to the coast closed as a result. Holiday weekend angler numbers were well below normal due to the weather conditions. Some trout and kokanee were caught on trolled lures, while bass fishing remains fair at northern parts of the lake.
WHISKEYTOWN LAKE >> Trolling Sep’s Promaster Dodgers with corn-tipped hoochie skirts trailers at depths between 45 and 80 feet produce steady action. Kokes are averaging 1.5 to 2 pounds, with some in the 3-pound class. The kokanee are moving in from the main lake and are beginning to take on their spawning features.
AMERICAN RIVER >> Salmon fishing has been slow at Discovery Park. A few are being caught at The Wall. Big numbers of kings are holding in the bay and are expected to move up once the herring spawn is over.
FOLSOM LAKE >> Boat traffic is heavy. Trout are being caught at first light before the waterskiers arrive. Bass fishing is fair.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Dunsmuir >> The river is in prime shape. Trout fishing is good, with afternoon hatches for fly anglers.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff to Colusa >> Fishing pressure has been light. Salmon fishing is best between Red Bluff and Los Molinos. Plugs are working best at first light.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Verona to Colusa >> Half a dozen kings are being caught daily near Verona on spinners. Boats anchoring and running plugs are reporting slow fishing. Fishing for catfish has been wide open at Knight’s Landing, where chicken liver, sardines and anchovies are working well.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento >> Trolling spinners near the mouth of the American River has been slow. Jiggers are catching more salmon now at Freeport. Big numbers are kings are still in the bay, but should move upriver in the next few weeks. Fishing for catfish has improved at the Port of Sacramento.
KLAMATH RIVER, Hornbrook >> Hot, smoky weather has kept steelhead anglers away, despite good river flows. The Klamath was flowing at 996 cfs over the weekend at Iron Gate Dam. Salmon season is closed this year. As the salmon begin spawning in October, steelhead fishing will improve as the fish feast on salmon eggs.
KLAMATH RIVER, Happy Camp >> 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 closed in mid-August.
KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen >> The river is now closed to salmon fishing, but remains open to summer steelhead fishing. Steelhead fishing has been fair between Klamath Glen and Blue Creek. Few anglers are fishing.
BULLARDS BAR >> Kokanee action has slowed. Fish are starting to turn and are preparing to spawn. Water temperature is 80 degrees and is 75 percent of capacity.
CAMP FAR WEST >> There was a lot of boat and jetski traffic during the Labor Day weekend. Fishing has been poor. Water temperature ranges from 82 into the mid-80s. Lake is 50 percent of capacity.
COLLINS LAKE >> No big fish reported since mid-August. Smoke from local fires began dissipating Sunday. Expect weekends to be busy through October, but week days will be clear for anglers.
ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR >> Heavy recreational boat pressure on the lake but Lisa Rogers of Skipper’s Cove Marina said there were brown trout caught during the week where the south fork enters the lake. Surface temperature is in the mid-70s and lake is 97 percent of capacity.
FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR >> Heat has kept anglers and campers away, said ranger Pete Robinson of the Georgetown Ranger Station.
LAKE OROVILLE >> Lake has dropped to 47 percent of capacity and will drop another 50 feet by Nov. 1. There is still a top-water bite early for spotted bass weighing less than 2 pounds. Tubes, Senkos and drop-shot work after the morning bite. Find fish 10 feet beneath the surface.
SCOTTS FLAT >> A 7 1/2-pound brown was caught last week by a troller using flashers/nightcrawler. The fish was gut-hooked and so it couldn’t be released. It was caught 50 yards off the Scotts Flat Marina. There is still a bass bite for those trolling Rapalas on the Cascade side of the lake.
THERMALITO AFTERBAY >> The afternoon/evening bite has been very good. Cold water in the morning makes that bite slow. Use frogs or punch grass for largemouth weighing 4 to 5 pounds. Another alternative is to throw crankbaits along the rocks, but expect smaller fish in the 1 1/2- to 2-pound range. Action is very good.
LAKE BERRYESSA >> Fishing has been slow to fair for both bass and kokanee. The weather has been very hot and not many anglers were out on most days last week. The action was also on the slow side for trout. Fair numbers of both largemouth and smallmouth bass are showing on the main body waters. Most of the fish are about 2 pounds and are being caught on drop-shot rigs.
BLACK BUTTE LAKE >> Fishing remains slow overall, with a few catfish and bass caught. Hot weather is keeping most anglers at home. Rangers report lots of smoke from nearby fires.
CLEAR LAKE >> The recent hot weather, along with another current heat wave, has kept most people off of the lake. The majority of bass being caught are still in the 1- to 2 1/2-pound range. Fish are taken on a variety of plugs, drop-shots, jigs and surface plugs. Some crappie are still being caught in the Red Bud area. A couple of bass tournaments are slated for the upcoming weekend, so better reports might be forthcoming.
LAKE MENDOCINO >> Bass fishing has been slow to fair with some largemouth and smallmouth bass caught on plastics and crank plugs.
LAKE PILLSBURY >> A few anglers have been catching a few trout and largemouth bass, but overall the action has been slow.
LAKE SONOMA >> Fishing has generally on the slow side. Some top-water plugs are producing bass action, as are a few swimbaits and deep-cranked plugs.
UPPER BLUE LAKES >> More swimmers than anglers are on hand, but fishing should improve as the DFG is expected to stock some trout this week.
CHETCO RIVER, Brookings, Ore. >> Anglers are still waiting for fishable numbers of kings to show up in the Chetco River estuary. Typically, salmon fishing improves by mid- to late September.
COOS RIVER, Coos Bay, Ore. >> Salmon fishing was decent last week, but slowed over the weekend during a small tide cycle. Look for action to improve as bigger tides arrive this week.
COQUILLE RIVER, Bandon, Ore. >> Salmon fishing has been slow to fair in the estuary. Fishing generally picks up by mid-September.
ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Ore. >> Salmon fishing remained steady in the bay last week, with most guides averaging a fish per rod or better. Water temperatures have cooled, but heat up again with triple-digit highs expected in the inland areas. Salmon will hold up in the bay once the water temperature hits 72 degrees. It was 70 degrees on Sunday, up from 66 degrees last Wednesday.
ROGUE RIVER, Grants Pass, Ore. >> Summer steelhead action is still good with fish hitting on No. 15 sized Panther Martin spinners, back-trolled plugs or roe, said guide Troy Whitaker at U-Save Tackle in Grants Pass. Salmon action has also been good on sardine-wrapped Kwikfish, back-bounced roe and spoons. A couple of the better areas include Schroeder Park to Robinson Bridge, or Baker Park to Mason.
RUSSIAN RIVER >> Summer mode, which means you fish before and after the water users, looking for smallmouth or largemouth bass, or the occasional catfish.
SMITH RIVER >> No reports of salmon yet near the mouth or Sand Hole.
BLUE LAKES >> No reports from here as most focus on the forks of the Carson.
BOCA RESERVOIR >> Little happening here until the browns start making their way to the creek mouths.
CAPLES LAKE >> A good day here is two or three trout, so fishing has been a grind. The lake will receive a DFW trout plant this week, its third of the summer.
CARSON RIVER >> Both the east and west forks last Thursday received 900 pounds of rainbow trout. The largest fish weighed 7 pounds. “This is probably the best load of fish I’ve seen in five or six years,” said Todd Sodero of Creekside Lodge. Nightcrawlers, salmon eggs or Power Bait on fly rods or Panther Martin get fish. Fly fishers should start with copper Johns with a red body — sizes 12 or 14.
CRYSTAL BASIN >> Ice House trout bite has been fair. Ron Fournier reported a good day Friday, catching 12 rainbows, the biggest measuring 19 inches and others in the 12- to 14-inch range. He was trolling from the dam to the dock with Sep’s frog green grubs in 20 to 50 feet of water. Hot weather put off the kokanee bite at Union Valley. The launch at Loon Lake is closed. Ice House and Union Valley both will be planted with trout this week. Loon will not get a plant.
DAVIS LAKE >> The hot weather hasn’t helped resurrect a slow trout bite. Surface temperature is in the mid-70s by mid-day. Best action is for 1- to 2-pound catfish at Eagle Point and Fairview. Bass and bluegill are at Catfish Cove and around the weeds at Lightning Tree and Mosquito.
DONNER LAKE >> Kokanee limits are still coming in, mostly in the morning, but one day last week the bite didn’t start until 11 a.m., said guide Shaun Rainsbarger. There are Mackinaw beneath the kokes. Most kokanee are around 12 inches. Find them 50 to 65 feet deep, keying on tuna-scented pink and white hoochies. Best trolling speeds are 1 to 1.1 mph. Shore anglers continue to get planted rainbows using chartreuse Power Bait near the launch area.
FEATHER RIVER (MIDDLE FORK) >> Trout bite has slowed down with the heat. Best bet is offering parachute olive black caddis in the evening, said Mark Tieslau of Mountain Hardware & Sports in Blairsden.
GOLD LAKES BASIN >> Hot weather is killing the fishing, limiting opportunities to very early or very late, said Mark Tieslau from Mountain Hardware & Sports in Blairsden. A local angler caught an 8-pound Mack trolling 45 feet deep near Rocky Point in Gold Lake. Biggest fish reported in more than a month. Gold, Upper Salmon Lake, Lower Sardine Lake and Snag Lake all were stocked prior to the Labor Day Weekend.
JACKSON MEADOWS >> Trout bite here has been slow since the spring. Plus no plantings.
JENKINSON RESERVOIR >> The weather is hot, the water is warm and fishing is slow.
LAKE TAHOE >> Kokanee can be caught along the south end. Most are 11 to 14 inches long and can be found from 40 to 90 feet down. Charter boats are getting 20 to 30 kokanee per outing. Mackinaw bite has picked up. Macks are focusing on shrimp so find those and find Macks. West shore and north shore have action has improved with charter boats getting averaging two dozen to 50 kokanee per outing. Boat traffic kills the bite. Mackinaw can be caught, but schooling fish seem reluctant to bite. That means picking one or two in one spot and moving on. Depths range from 180 feet to 380 feet.
PROSSER RESERVOIR >> This lake continues to produce trout and smallmouth bass and is the best shoreline option in the Truckee basin. Use chartreuse Power Bait or gold Kastmasters in the deeper water near the dam or in the river mouths. Bass prefer crawdad-colored soft plastics.
PYRAMID LAKE >> Lake will open to cutthroat fishing on Oct. 1.
RED LAKE >> Algae is growing and staining the lake. Not worth trying until water clears.
STAMPEDE RESERVOIR >> The koke bite remains very good. Fish remain scattered about the lake although some schools are gathering at the Little Truckee and Sagehen arms in preparation of their spawning runs. Guide James Netzel of Tight Lines Guide Service said there are more silver fish than pre-spawn fish. Pink is the top color and fish are 35 to 50 feet deep.
TRUCKEE RIVER >> River is excellent shape from the general regulation section along Highway 89 down through the state line. A 25-inch brown was caught-and-released last week on the general regulation stretch, said Miles Zimmerman of Mountain Hardware & Sports in Truckee. On the artificial only stretch caddis, PMDs, golden stones, San Juan worms all will work. Streamer bite is expected to pick up soon.
WEST WALKER RIVER >> Highway 395 opened Saturday after fire containment. River is in excellent shape and Panther Martins or salmon eggs can attract trout. River is in July condition in September, promising excellent fall prospects.
BERKELEY >> Berkeley boats like Happy Hooker and California Dawn put the pedal to the metal and ran for the Farallones on calm, comfortable seas, putting aboard limits of rockfish and near limits of large lings. New Easy Rider and El Dorado out of Berkeley Charter Boats worked on salmon near the channel buoys and other roving hotspots and hauled in roughly a salmon per rod.
BODEGA BAY >> New Sea Angler put aboard steady daily limits of rockfish and lingcod counts that varied with the talent aboard but was generally between 1 and 2 fish per rod. Salmon were still possible and some were caught, however Bodega Bay folks are waiting for the body of fish currently near Point Arena to slide down the coast into local waters. A fresh batch of halibut moved into Tomales Bay and renewed the fishing action near Hog Island.
EMERYVILLE >> The Emeryville fleet split duties between bottom fishing and salmon fishing. Rockfish and lingcod galore came aboard Tigerfish and C-Gull II. Salmon duties were adroitly handled by New Salmon Queen, Sundance, Dragon and Wetspot. Salmon keep moving closer to the gate, so fishing for them was nearly a local thing.
EUREKA >> Albacore action busted wide open with high counts of 40 or more fish for some boats including Reel Steel and Scrimshaw which caught fish beginning at just 33 miles from the Jaws. Most north coast ports had good albacore fishing out 30 to 45 miles west where the water was perfect and full of life. WON Field Reporter Lonnie Dollarside even saw a sunning swordfish on the tuna grounds. California halibut were hungry and bit well inside of Humboldt Bay for folks using live baits.
FORT BRAGG >> Ms. Marin, Sea Hawk and Bragg-n all put in good time on salmon through the week and the counts were good. When not chasing salmon, rockfish and lingcod were readily available nearby between Cleone and Pudding Creek. Private boaters ran 40 or so miles offshore and found big numbers of albacore up to 27 pounds. Shore anglers fished The Mill and had plenty of hookups on kelp greenling, rockfish, cabezon and lingcod.
HALF MOON BAY >> Salmon fishing was good and with the fabulous weather it was an easy run to some of the more productive areas such as the Channel Buoys where Que Sera Sera nailed limits. Huli Cat, New Capt. Pete and Queen of Hearts filled sacks full of heavy rockfish and lingcod from some of the deeper spots at Deep Reef and down off of Pigeon Point. Huli Cat and private boats ran offshore to chase albacore and found some longfins plus an opah.
SAN FRANCISCO >> Bass Tub fished salmon for the week, alongside other Fisherman’s Wharf party boats, Wacky Jacky and Lovely Martha. With the fish gathered around such local spots as the Channel Buys and spots along the Marin Coast, travel time has been minimal and fishing time maximized. Flash and Flash II found good action on halibut to 35 pounds by drifting live baits at the North Bar with counts as high as 8 between 20 and 35 pounds on a half-day trip.