24 May 19
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding to Red Bluff: Trout fishing is very good on beads, crickets, roe or Glo Bugs from the Highway 44 bridge down to Anderson. Fly fishing also has improved in the afternoons. Flows from Keswick Dam remained at 8,500 cfs all week. This year’s salmon limit will be two fish a day. Salmon season opens Aug. 1 above Red Bluff.
FEATHER RIVER: Striper fishing remains good from Verona to Yuba City, with several fish over 20 pounds reported last week. Limits of 20- to 24-inchers are being caught on drifted minnows. Shad fishing is good on the Yuba River. Sturgeon fishing is slow. The salmon limit will be two fish a day this year.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff to Colusa: Stripers are moving up from Colusa to Chico. Swimbaits, trolled plugs, rubber worms and drifted minnows are all catching schoolie-size stripers and some bigger fish over 20 pounds. Shad are moving upriver. Salmon season opens July 16, with a two-fish limit.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Verona to Colusa: Striped bass fishing improved in the Colusa area. Swimbaits, minnows and cut bait are all working. Shad are beginning to move upriver. Sturgeon fishing is slow at Knights Landing. Fishing for catfish also is slow with the cool water.
BAUM LAKE: The fishing only seems to get better and better with many of the techniques remaining the same as they have been. The crowd has thinned out but the anglers that are still there are reporting nice big healthy ‘bows being caught. Leeches, zebra midges, and small emergers work best.
BLACK BUTTE LAKE: Bass and crappie fishing is still red hot and you can catch them on the baits of your choice right now. It is more about location then what you throw at them and the fish seem to be moving for the shallowest parts of the lake they can find, but they are still relating to channel ledges and thick structure they can hide against. Crappie seem to be sitting in the top of the submerged willow bushes and many anglers are doing best fishing a float setup.
Far North lakes and rivers
LAKE ALMANOR: This weather system put the staging bass back out into deeper water and prolonged their spawning season until temperatures rise. The lake received heavy rain and light snows and the trout and salmon have been scattered throughout the northwest end of the lake. Boats report few bites that are far apart. There has been little to no bank pressure with this weather.
FALL RIVER: Fly fisherman are using callibaetis nymphs, olive mayfly in size 18. There has also been a dry fly bite under an indicator with anything that looks like small beetles or ants. The long awaited hex hatch will be put off for a while longer now that this storm system has rolled through.
HAT CREEK: The fishing is still good and reports from this weekend with this weather system were great. Rubberlegs, micromays, and small gold Kastmasters are still producing fish. Sometimes you have to try a few different spots before you find a place where the fish are really hanging out.
LEWISTON LAKE: With Trinity Lake being within 5 feet of full pool and the lake still being on the rise they are releasing quite a bit of water through the dam right now.
PIT RIVER: Pit 5 had come down enough to fish for a few days prior to this storm and anything dark colored was working well. After the large amount of rain that fell, water levels have risen again, making wading unsafe for now.
SHASTA LAKE: Bass fishing is still red hot. The debris on the lake is really bad right now so boaters beware. Guides are indicating that they are catching anywhere from 30 to 50 bass a day between them and clients on just about whatever you want to throw. Trout anglers are struggling to find fish, they are very spread out right now and you have to cover a lot of water to find your bites, between 10 and 50 feet deep.
TRINITY LAKE: Bass have been staging for the spawn and up until this storm system anglers reported finally catching fish on beds in shallow water and on the submerged flats at the northern end of the lake.
WHISKEYTOWN LAKE: The kokanee are on the bite, anglers are reporting decent numbers of good-sized kokes being found while trolling very small hardware from the surface down to 30 feet. Bass are still biting, but the overall size is still small fish, barely keeper-sized spots. After the large amounts of rain the creek arms and smaller arms of the lakes have gotten muddy again, which might stall the kokanee bite.
AMERICAN RIVER: Shad are now spread throughout the American River, with good fishing at Discovery Park, Gristmill and Harrington. Tiny grubs fished below bobbers are working well. Striper fishing is slow. The salmon limit this year will be two fish a day.
FOLSOM LAKE: The water temperature dropped to 62 degrees last week. Bass fishing is good as largemouth are sitting on their nests. Spotted bass are biting minnows suspended under bobbers by shore anglers. The lake is less than 5 feet from full pool, increasing 2 feet last week from 459 feet to 461.6 feet. Granite Bay, Brown’s Ravine, Folsom Point, Rattlesnake bar and Peninsula boat ramps are now open. Trout fishing is good near Granite Bay.
RANCHO SECO LAKE: Trout fishing is fair.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Dunsmuir: The river remains high for trout anglers. The river blew out last week, and was over 4,000 cfs over the weekend.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento: The Discovery Park boat launch is now open, allowing easier access to the water towers below the mouth of the American. Shad fishing is good at Discovery and Miller Parks. Stripers are being caught across from Discovery Park on pile worms and cut bait.
KLAMATH RIVER, Hornbrook: The river was in good shape last week and over the weekend for driftboats, with good fishing for trout and steelhead. Salmon flies can be seen near the bottom, but have not begun to hatch yet, said guide Scott Caldwell of SC Guide Service. Fish are biting flies, bait and plugs. Flows Sunday were 1,300 cfs.
KLAMATH RIVER, Happy Camp: The river remains high. Flows over the weekend near Happy Camp were 3,800 cfs. This year’s fall salmon quota for the middle and upper Klamath is 1,298 kings, with a two-fish daily limit, including one salmon over 22 inches.
KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen: Spring salmon fishing will open July 1, with a one-fish limit. The fall quota for the lower Klamath is estimated to be 3,818 adult kings, twice the quota of last year. The state has approved a two-fish limit beginning Aug. 15, with one adult salmon per day. Flows Sunday at Klamath Glen were 20,500 cfs.
TRINITY RIVER: The river was back to 10,000 cfs over the weekend as the spring flush continues. Steelhead fishing is slow with the high water. Salmon fishing re-opens July 1, with a one-fish limit. The fall quota takes effect Sept. 1, with a 2,500-fish quota divided between the upper and lower Trinity. This year’s fall limit will be two salmon a day, including one adult king a day.
CAMP FAR WEST LAKE: Unstable spring weather put a damper on angler numbers, and the Camp Far West Night Bass Tournament was cancelled due to rain and lack of angler interest. The few diehards fishing are catching some post-spawn bass up on the bank.
COLLINS LAKE: Robby Underwood of Loma Rica caught a 12.5-pound largemouth Tuesday while trolling a Rapala by the Bridge in hopes of a trout. We trust he was not disappointed in his catch. Trout numbers were down from last week, likely due to lower angler numbers as a result of the frequently foul weather. Two trout plants splashed into the lake, with at least one more coming before the busy Memorial Day weekend. All the trout net pens have been released. Collins Lake is full of rainbows! The bass are spawining or post-spawn, catfish are biting, and crappie and bluegill are showing. It’s a great time of year.
FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR: Craig Newton of Will Fish Tackle said the lake is brimming and may be spilling.
HELLHOLE RESERVOIR: Craig Newton of Will Fish Tackle said customers of his have been catching fish here, but they’ve been keeping it pretty quiet, so by his way of thinking it must be good to very good.
LAKE OROVILLE: Finally, the landlocked king salmon are biting, according to Craig Newton of Will Fish Tackle. He said the fish are concentrated in the Lime Saddle area, where they are keyed on small pond smelt fry. To match the forage, try small trolling baits in silver or pearl glow, or run a large bait right through the bait schools. The kings are scattered from 15 to 60 feet and haven’t stratified yet. Bass fishing remains excellent, according to Jamey Sorensen of North Valley Tackle, with 60- to 70-fish outings not uncommon. It’s mostly a finesse game and right on the shore, but mornings and evenings have produced a fun topwater bite.
ROLLINS LAKE: Craig Newton of Will Fish Tackle said the post-spawn bass bite has taken off here and virtually everywhere else in the Northern Foothills region. A customer of his reported a 70 fish night followed by 50 the next day. Throw right up to the bank and work your baits down.
SCOTT’S FLAT RESERVOIR: Craig Newton of Will Fish Tackle related a customer report that brown trout have been active for anglers trolling, and they were nice-sized, 5 to 7 pounders. It’s a tough lake, it’s not wide open but you can get quality fish at Scott’s Flat, he said.
THERMALITO AFTERBAY: It was a good week for bass fishing the Thermalito Afterbay, according to Jamey Sorensen of North Valley Tackle. The water level was in its mid-range, and fishermen could target every kind of structure the Afterbay offers, including the tules. His weekly social fishing outing produced several largemouth over 20 inches, which is in the 5-to-6 pound class. Numbers were good too, and some bass are patrolling open water. Sorensen said he caught nine 2 pounders casting to open water. Water temperatures ranged from the 50s to 68 degrees in the very back.
North Coast lakes
LAKE BERRYESSA: Kokanee are biting in the main lake from the surface down to 30 feet deep. Anglers are catching them while trolling between 1 and 2 mph and have to use sonar to locate them right now. Bass are still biting and anglers are starting to report some bigger fish being caught with post spawn techniques.
BLUE LAKES: Trout anglers report that large bass have been chasing their smaller trout up to the boat trying to eat them off of the hook. The trout are still biting at the newly owned Narrows Resort. There is a wide range of sizes being caught from 12 inches up to 19 inches on ‘crawlers, Power Bait, and from boats trolling with flashers. A total of 2,400 trout were planted near the Narrows Resort on Thursday.
CLEAR LAKE: The lake has seen a lot of pressure this past week but local anglers report that the fishing has held up for the most part through all of it. Many anglers were catching aggressive post spawn fish last week on reaction baits, but once the big weather arrived the bite slowed down and the bait of choice seemed to be jigs and drop-shot rigs on deep tule edges.
EAST PARK: The last reports came just before the storm hit, which dumped large amounts of rain in the higher elevations and foothills. Up to that point the fishing remained good for bass, crappie, and catfish. Bass are biting on post spawn techniques and soft plastics fished on the tule edges. The Ladoga side of the lake had been producing catfish on bait at night time.
LAKE SONOMA: Steelhead are starting to be caught in more numbers, bass anglers even reported catching multiple steelhead an outing on bass tackle with fish as big as 18 inches being caught. The bass bite has been outstanding and the bass being caught are starting to show a better overall quality with many fish being in the 2-to-3 pound range. Crankbaits, spinnerbaits, topwater, and small Keitech swimbaits, are all producing quality fish.
STONEY GORGE: The crappie bite has still been up and down with the biggest obstacle being locating them. Once you do, there is no problem catching them in numbers, but they are there one day and elusive the next, anglers report. Bass fishing is still good and fish can be caught on just about anything.
North Coast Rivers
North Coast streams and rivers are regulated by low flow closures. Always call ahead to determine the condition of the river you want to fish. If not mentioned, the river is closed or no reports. The DFW’s Low Flow Closure Hotline for north coast rivers is (707) 822-3164. South Central Coast streams number is (831) 649-2886.New low flow closures for Mendocino, Sonoma and Marin counties, Oct. 1-April 30, call (707) 822-3164 for Mendocino, (707) 944-5533 for Sonoma, Marin and Napa.
CHETCO RIVER: The Chetco re-opens to fishing this week. With high flows, sea-run cutthroat trout should be spread throughout the river. Surfperch are being caught along the jetties.
ELK RIVER: The river re-opens this week. Look for trout on the lower end.
ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Ore.: Spring salmon fishing has been slow as the run winds down. The bay fishery is still a few weeks from kicking into gear, although a few fish have already been caught near the Highway 101 bridge.
RUSSIAN RIVER: Recent rains has Russian at Guerneviile at 3500 cfs and rising expecting high muddy conditions all the way through Memorial Day.
SMITH RIVER: The river opens for the season on Saturday. Look for sea-run cutthroat trout from Jed Smith to Outfitters. Rooster Tail spinners work well.
Sierra lakes and rivers
ALPINE LAKE: In a May 16 Facebook post, Alpine Lodge reported the lake is still frozen over and there is still 3 to 8 feet of snow in the trees. Staffers at the resort were shooting for a Memorial Day weekend opening, but that is dependent on the snow accumulation, and the area received 5 to 7 inches mid-week and more over the weekend. Call (209) 753-6350 for updated conditions.
BOCA LAKE: Miles Zimmerman of Mountain Hardware and Sports in Truckee said work has started on Boca Lake dam. The dam road is closed, limiting access to the launch ramp, and the lake level is very low. Popular fishing areas at the dam are likewise closed. The best fishing is at the eastern shoreline and inlet area, where 800 cfs of water is pouring into the lake from the Little Truckee.
CARSON RIVER: Todd Sodaro of Todd’s Bait and Tackle and the Alpine County Fish and Game Commission said the East and West forks have rounded nicely into fishing shape just in time for an 1,800-pound private plant on the Tuesday prior to Memorial Day weekend that includes 11 tagged fish each good for a prize from the Markleeville Chamber Board.
DAVIS LAKE: Ed Dillard of Dillard Guided Fishing said he fished the lake during a spell of horrid weather and the trout didn’t mind. He and a friend landed 5 nice rainbows up to 21 inches while fishing a pink and white Excel. Other successful anglers trolled flasher and worm rigs. The DFW was expected to stock the lake on Tuesday, May 21. Jeanne Graham of J&J’s Grizzly Store said shore fishing has been solid at Mallard and Eagle Point, for rainbows to 20 inches or above.
DONNER LAKE: Guide Marc Christophel fished Donner twice for only a single Mackinaw. He reported it was very slow early in the week. Guide Shaun Rainsbarger fished it Sunday for better results, five 2- to 3-pound Mackinaw and a few kokanee. Miles Zimmerman of Mountain Hardware and Sports said the kokanee action has been comparatively better than the Mackinaw fishing. Shore fishing has slowed. The DFW stocked sub-catchable cutthroat trout. Zimmerman asked that anglers who catch them release them to grow. Between fishing pressure and hungry Mackinaw, these stockings have been ineffective in reestablishing a self-sustaining cutthroat population in Donner.
FRENCHMAN LAKE: Johnny Hernandez of Goodwin’s and Sons General Store reported it was snowing Sunday morning, the capper to a week of wintry weather. Still, a few never-say-die anglers made the trek to the lake, which is full and spilling. Hernandez said the hot spots for trout were the dam, Crystal Point via float tube, and Turkey Point.
ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR: Guide Kyle Neeser of Crystal Basin Tackle and Guide Service said the lake is open and the launch ramp dock is in, but he expected a slow Memorial Day weekend due to low water temperatures. However, better days lie ahead as it snowed on the dogwood trees in blossom, which he said signals the true end of winter in the high country.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR: Todd Sodaro of Todd’s Bait and Tackle and the Alpine County Fish and Game Commission said the lake received an 1,800-pound private trout stock on May 19, which happened as scheduled despite a late spring snowstorm. The DFW stocked another 2,000 pounds of catchable trout last Wednesday. A kids’ fishing event Sunday drew some 80 people, most of whom caught plenty of fish. Trout fishing at Indian Creek Reservoir is so good, on Saturday an unnamed float tuber caught 30, keeping just one, a 9 pounder.
JACKSON MEADOWS LAKE: The road to this Truckee area water is rumored to have been plowed. The gates are expected to open in approximately one to two weeks, according to Miles Zimmerman of Mountain Hardware and Sports.
JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park): Kyle Neeser of Crystal Basin Tackle and Guide Service said it was snowing Sunday and anglers were a rare sight, although those who tried trolling the lake were catching trout. It was slower from shore.
LAKE TAHOE: Tahoe experienced terrible weather including snow and rain, but save for Sunday, many charters made it out and found very good fishing. It was spectacular for Mike Nielsen of Tahoe Topliners, who caught a wild flurry of browns up top throughout the week. For good measure, Zach Gordon of Tahoe Topliners said their morning trips limited out early on Mackinaw all week, allowing them to troll for trout. Afternoon trips were slower, yielding about a fish per rod.
LOON LAKE: Guide Kyle Neeser of Crystal Basin Tackle and Guide Service reported this lake is still snowbound.
PROSSER LAKE: Miles Zimmerman of Mountain Hardware and Sports in Truckee said Prosser remains low, but the smallmouth are stirring. He recommends the Prosser Creek inlet or the area by the dam for the best shot at a bass. Really, any area with rocky structure should produce.
PYRAMID LAKE: Shore fishing has dramatically slowed with fewer anglers seen on the beaches, a situation that was aggravated by this week’s foul weather. Shore anglers are doing best from rocky areas with access to deeper water. Post-spawn cutthroat moved out where they are feeding heavily. Glenn Lemon of Pilot Peak Guide Service and his clients got into them good on Tuesday, catching over 20 cutthroat including 2 over 15 pounds while trolling pearl white FlatFish at 30 feet in 50 feet of water. On Sunday, George Molino of Cutthroat Charters said he and his clients caught 14 fish before being chased off the lake by the wind. The weather has been a significant problem for boaters. Molino underscored the situation, saying fishing’s not bad if you can get on the water. Just two fish over 10 pounds were checked in at Crosby’s Lodge.
STAMPEDE RESERVOIR: The water temperature crashed 10 degrees, putting the funk on the kokanee bite. The larger fish were scattered, with the few found located near the bottom in deeper water. Fortunately, outstanding rainbow trout fishing saved the day, so long as you could get back in the arms to cast spoons or fling flies.
TRUCKEE RIVER: Miles Zimmerman of Mountain Hardware and Sports said the main stem of the river below town continues to run fast and high. The best bet is the stretch from Tahoe City to Glenshire, where the water is running fairly clear. Anything downstream of Glenshire is difficult. He recommended nymphing or streamer fishing. Top flies are bluewing olives, midges, worms and March browns.
WEBER LAKE: Miles Zimmerman of Mountain Hardware and Sports said this water accessed from the Truckee area is open and ice free. While no reports have come in, it should be a good bet, he said.
BERKELEY: Berkeley boats didn’t have to go far to find good fishing thanks to a wild and at times wide-open bit on halibut, with some striped bass as a bonus.Happy Hooker, California Dawn and Pacific Dream generally scored between 2 and 3 halibut per rod and added a few striped bass. El Dorado and New El Dorado III, both from Berkeley Charter Boats had similar successes, at time achieving limits.
BODEGA BAY: Large partyboats could get out early and mid-week and those with the size to handle the seas were able to get to the better spots. For example,New Sea Angler had a day when the tally was limits of rockfish, limits of lingcod and limits of Dungeness. Halibut were active inside Tomales Bay and showed a definite preference for live baits.
EMERYVILLE: The terms “limits” and “early limits” were used with halibut fishing in San Francisco bay by crew aboard Fish Emeryville boats like Pacific Pearl and New Huck Finn fishing locally without long transit times. The latter boat managed a triple-digit halibut count (102 flatties). Salmon trips were put on hold until after the winds and seas calmed sufficiently.
EUREKA: The recent great Pacific halibut bite slowed somewhat as boats had some trouble locating concentrations of fish and then managing to find them again the next day. Better weather is coming, which may settle the fish down. Rockfish runs to Cape Mendocino were doable early in the week and the results were limits of rockfish and lingcod on boats like Reel Steel.
FORT BRAGG: Fishing days were limited by winds and seas, however a couple of trips were made. Seahawk got out with a group who put aboard limits of lingcod and limits of rockfish, working the Casper and Mendocino areas. Capt. Tuna’s skipper Capt. Randy Marino fished for his freezer and had the same results. Shore fishers pulled in some fish from Noyo Jetty and poke-pollers went deep in the jetty pockets for Monkeyface prickleback eels.
HALF MOON BAY: Salmon trips were cancelled, putting a hold on the season re-opener. Huli Cat and Queen of Hearts made runs for Deep Reef and put high counts of rockfish in sacks, then added some lingcod. Ankeny Street made it out one morning before the winds got too strong and on that trip a white seabass was caught. Along local beaches a striped bass bite was going strong, especially near Pacifica where some fish in the mid-to-high teens were caught by surf fishers.
SAN FRANCISCO: The salmon season re-opener may not have been everything the fleet hoped for in terms of weather and seas, so not many boats went and not many fish were caught. The weather will improve and so will the salmon fishing on Wacky Jacky. Bass Tub, Flash I and Flash II and Lovely Martha fished the Bay and halibut counts were impressive – like sometimes better than 2 halibut per rod.[related_articles location=”left” show_article_date=”false” article_type=”automatic-primary-tag”]