05 Apr 19
COLLINS LAKE: Collins Lake received two trout plants this week, 1,000 pounds including trophies from Mt. Lassen Trout Farms and 900 pounds of DFW catchables. With some many trout in the lake, the fishing is solid. Collins Lake Fish Reporter Ed Palma said the trout are backing off from the shore, but still active in the top 15 feet. Power Bait is still effective, and trollers are starting to get into the action. Bass are in pre-spawn, while crappie are still in deep, cold water. Big fish of the week was a 8.25-pound trout for Chuck Holman of Folsom.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff to Colusa: Stripers and sturgeon are showing up, but overall action is still slow. Wards, Colusa State Park and Steelhead Lodge boat ramps are now open.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Verona to Colusa: Sturgeon are being caught near Knights Landing. A few stripers are being caught, but fishing has been slow on the Sacramento because of high water.
FEATHER RIVER: Striper fishing is fair on the Feather River, where pile worms are working best. Some boaters going up from Verona are catching limits. Lots of shakers have arrived in the Beercan Beach area. Flows from Oroville Dam could increase this week.
LAKE ALMANOR: Bass fisherman are still struggling to find eager biters with the colder water temperatures. Trout fisherman have been catching good numbers of quality ‘bows and browns while trolling flies or the hardware of your choice around 2 mph. Bank fisherman are catching fish on Power Bait, ‘crawlers, and jigs.
BAUM LAKE: The bite remains red hot but with many more anglers out fishing this past week. Non-beaded prince nymph, Eng thing, Tungsten Bead PT Prince, leeches, and midges are all working well with fish up to 18 inches being caught.
Far North Lakes and Rivers
LEWISTON LAKE: The whole Trinity system still has a lot of water moving through after recent storms, anglers haven’t found good enough conditions yet, but they are improving.
SHASTA LAKE: Bass are still biting really well and have moved into the back of creeks again. Reaction baits like spinnerbaits, crankbaits, rip baits, and swimbaits are all working for catching quality bass. The glidebait bite is also starting to pick up for fish that are sitting in the shallower part of the water column. Trout are still being caught near the surface near the main body where they are feeding on plankton.
TRINITY LAKE: Cooler temperatures after the big storms slowed the bite and pushed the fish back out deep again.
WHISKEYTOWN LAKE: Anglers are catching solid numbers of bass, but nothing of any size yet. Most of the spotted bass are between 1 and 2 pounds and can be caught on soft plastics, and if conditions are good, reaction baits. Before the storm hit, anglers were catching some bigger fish on medium-sized swimbaits.
AMERICAN RIVER: Steelhead fishing is slow. Stripers are being caught near Discovery Park, but most are shakers.
FOLSOM LAKE: The water temperature reached 60 degrees over the weekend. Granite Bay, Brown’s Ravine, Folsom Point, Rattlesnake bar and Peninsula boat ramps are now open. The lake level increased 5 feet last week, from 437 feet of elevation to 442 feet. Bass fishing is good, with plastics working well. Shore anglers are catching bass on minnows. Trout fishing improved last week.
RANCHO SECO LAKE: Trout fishing is fair, thanks to plants every other week. Power Bait is working best. The big trout derby will be held in April.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Dunsmuir: Trout fishing is poor because of high water. Flows hit 5,000 cfs last week, and remained over 2,800 cfs during the weekend.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding to Red Bluff: Flows at Keswick Dam jumped from 10,000 cfs to 14,000 cfs. Trout fishing has been very good, with big numbers for guides drifting beads or roe.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento: Lots of shaker-size stripers have arrived at Miller Park and Discovery Park, where pile worms and blood worms are working best. Crowds of anglers were out over the weekend. Boat access is poor. Fishing is slow at the Port of Sacramento and in the deepwater channel.
KLAMATH RIVER, Hornbrook: The Upper Klamath is high but fishable. Fishing pressure is light. Flows from Iron Gate Dam are 1,850 cfs.
KLAMATH RIVER, Happy Camp: The Middle Klamath near Happy Camp remains high for late-season steelhead. Fishing is slow. Flows are near 5,000 cfs at Happy Camp and over 10,000 cfs at Orleans.
KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen: The lower Klamath is high and unfishable, with flows near 28,000 cfs. Anglers will find out this fall’s salmon quotas early next week when the PFMC meetings near San Francisco. Quotas are expected to be double last year’s numbers.
TRINITY RIVER: Fishing is slow throughout the Trinity River as steelhead season winds down. Flows over the weekend at Lewiston Dam were 307 cfs, while flows at Douglas City were 1,077 cfs and flows at Junction City were 1,670 cfs. Flows at Hoopa were 11,274 cfs.
BULLARDS BAR: Craig Newton of Will Fish Tackle said the kokanee have slowed down. Limits are still possible but it may take all day. It’s a slower pick but the fish are still out there.
CAMP FAR WEST: The North Shore Resort Bass Tournament offered better fishing for numbers, but the bass are still small. Robert Blarderaz and Cody Moore finished first with a 5-fish limit of 8.36 pounds. Shawn and Blake Milligan were second with 8.35 pounds, and Ron Manley and Ryan Delozer were third with 8.09. The Big Fish of the tournament weighed 2.97 pounds and was caught by Scott Hammond. The lake is still full and spilling, and the water is cold, in the low 50s.
ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR: The trout bite is on at Englebright! Lisa Rogers of Skipper’s Cove Marina said several boaters have checked in with limits, most of them trolling with flashers and nightcrawlers. The lake released its pen-raised trout Friday. It’s great fishing and the weather is cooperating.
LAKE OROVILLE: The lake is up 10 feet over last week, to 852, but the bass seem to be acclimating to the new level. Jamey Sorensen of North Valley tackle said he caught a bunch fishing main lake points with 6.95 Juicy Flirt Worms, Keitech 3.3 swimbaits in Rainbow Shad pattern, and jigs from the shoreline to 20 feet deep. He didn’t manage any bites in the coves. His customers were also catching them on Senkos and tubes, and he figured spinnerbaits and ripbaits could play a factor in Satruday’s upcoming NorCal 90 bass tournament.
THERMALITO AFTERBAY: While the Afterbay isn’t red hot for bass, it gave up several 3 pounders to Jamey Sorensen of North Valley Tackle, who fished the tules in the area he refers to as South Cove. The water is shallow there and warms more quickly than the balance of the lake, and it reached the 60s. Otherwise the bass fishing has been poor due to water operations, according to retired guide Craig Bentley, but the fishing for stocked steelhead hasn’t been bad. Those fish are concentrating at the canal and basin, and anglers are taking advantage. Bentley’s group of 10 managed almost a steelhead per rod.
North Coast lakes
LAKE BERRYESSA: Bass fishing has slowed in the wake of the big team tournament events and the big thunderstorms that passed through the past week. Fish are still sitting up in the shallower part of the water column but aren’t eager to bite. The water clarity is still muddy around the lake, especially at the northern end, but temperatures have been getting up to almost 60 degrees in the afternoon on sunny days.
BLACK BUTTE LAKE: Lake fluctuations are keeping the water clarity at an unfishable level. After the big storms they drained the lake almost empty for a week, then rapidly filled it to full pool to relieve some of the water from Stoney Gorge and East Park in the foothills.
CLEAR LAKE: The lake got pummeled by heavy winds and rains the past week which brought the water level back up to monitor stage and increased the boating restrictions. The bass have been harder to catch but are still eating Alabama rigs, Lv500 lipless cranks, spinnerbaits, chatterbaits and smaller swimbaits.
LAKE SONOMA: Conditions are starting to improve around the lake, but it is still 5 feet over full pool and the water clarity is still poor. The creeks are flowing cleaner water than the rest of the lake and the bass are relating to those sections of the lake and can be caught on Brush Hogs, jigs, senkos and drop-shot rigs. Look for catfish in the inflows as waters warm.
UPPER BLUE LAKES: The Narrows Resort still reports the lake is very muddy and that they haven’t seen anyone out attempting to fish yet.
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, Brookings, Ore.: Salmon and steelhead closed for the season on March 31 and re-opens in late May. Steelhead fishing was fair during the final week of the season, with two to three fish per boat.
ELK RIVER, Port Orford, Ore.: Steelhead fishing closed for the season on March 31 and re-opens in late May.
ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Ore.: Spring salmon fishing is fair, with a handful of fish being caught each day in the Elephant Rock and Willows area. The hatchery run appears to be off to a good start. Steelhead fishing has slowed. Water conditions should remain good with this week’s rain.
RUSSIAN RIVER: High and muddy, running 8600 cfs and expected to be unfishable for at least a week or so. All Sonoma and Mendocino coastal streams close on April 1, but Russian remains open with artificial barbless only until Nov. 1. Should still be some good action on downrunners when it clears, and shad season should be great in April.
SMITH RIVER: The Smith remains open for steelhead fishing through the end of April. Fishing has been slow in recent weeks, with just a few downrunners being caught. Heavy rain this weekend may draw in a few fresh steelhead.
SIXES RIVER, Port Orford, Ore.: Steelhead season closed on March 31. Fishing re-opens in late May.
Sierra Lakes and Rivers
BOCA LAKE: Miles Zimmerman of Mountain Hardware and Sports in Truckee said the ice on Boca is no longer safe. There’s open water at the inlet and trout fishing has been good. There’s still snow on Stampede Road, but it’s accessible to the Boca Rest campground. Access past that is closed out, with some people who try it getting stuck, so exercise caution.
CAPLES LAKE: Victor Babbitt of Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters said the company had a guide out on Friday and he found a ton of slush and never made it through the ice to fish. Consequently, Babbitt is calling it a season, as it’s just too much effort with failing ice.
CARSON RIVER: Todd Sodaro of Todd’s Bait and Tackle and the Alpine County Fish and Game Commission said the East Carson River is starting to come up from snowmelt. The color is still good, a green tinge, and worth trying in the open, special regulations section downstream of the “Catch and Release” bridge.
DAVIS LAKE: Ed Dillard of Dillard Guided Fishing said his friends, experienced ice fishers, have called it a season out of safety concerns, as the days are longer and warmer now that it’s April. Still, some people are ice fishing, and there’s a foot or more of ice at the dam, according to Mark Tieslau of Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden, but he acknowledged there’s reason for caution. He had no recent reports of successful ice fishing trips.
DONNER LAKE: Miles Zimmerman of Mountain Hardware and Sports said Donner Lake is open in the middle, although there is still ice covering the west end of the lake. Some shore fishing access has opened, and there’s limited parking. The public launch ramp has been plowed but it’s closed off but should open in a week or two. Shore anglers should try Power Bait or worms, spinners, big spoons, and Kastmasters for mostly rainbows and maybe the odd Mackinaw.
FRENCHMAN LAKE: Staffers at Goodwin’s and Son market in Chilcoot said the ice has pulled away from the shoreline, closing the ice fishing season. On May 4, the store will host a fishing derby at Frenchman Lake. Entry is $25 for adults, $20 for juniors. Sign up by stopping by the store or call them at 951-446-2471.
JENKINSON LAKE (AKA SLY PARK): Karen Ward of Sly Park Resort said there have been a lot of fishermen at the lake with the weekend’s good weather, and they are catching trout from both the shore and boats.
LAKE TAHOE: Brown trout remain the story this week, targeted up shallow and even in water as deep as 60 feet on the west side. Mike Nielsen of Tahoe Topliners had 6 in the box on Sunday and was still fishing when WON contacted him. Zach Gordon of Tahoe Sportfishing said their boats fishing the South Shore have been targeting Mackinaw at 90 to 120 feet, right on the bottom using live bait. Mornings are better, with limit style fishing. Afternoons are producing near limits. Chuck Self of Chuck’s Charter Fishing on the North Shore has been working deeper water from 120 feet to 320 for his lake trout limits. He said they have been bigger recently, 4 to 8 pounds.
PROSSER LAKE: Miles Zimmerman of Mountain Hardware and Sports in Truckee said, like Boca, the ice on Prosser is no longer safe. There’s a little open water at the Prosser Creek inlet, but it’s a long out of the way hike to reach it.
PYRAMID LAKE: Tremendous flows of cold water are entering the lake, suppressing water temperatures and, according to several sources, holding back the cutthroat spawn. Guides and anglers are anxiously awaiting the arrival of 52-degree water – that’ll get things fired up. Fishing was slower over the weekend, but some guides put their clients on 5 fish a rod during better bite periods. It’s up and down. Guides are still seeing bigger fish – they’ve yet to swim up the river to spawn, which means trophies are still possible.
TOPAZ LAKE: The annual trout derby is underway, with just a couple more weeks to go. The week 13 leader as of Sunday morning was Jeff White with a 6-pound, 8.1-ounce trout, followed by Edward Sarabia, 3-pounds, 15 ounces. Jeff Sullivan’s 9-pound, 11.1-ounce trout caught last week is still the overall leader.
TRUCKEE RIVER: Except for the special regulations section from the mouth of Trout Creek at Glenshire Drive to the Nevada state line, the Truckee River has closed for the season. Miles Zimmerman of Mountain Hardware and Sports said the river continues to run high and fast, as much as 2,100 cfs in the canyon section. The Tahoe City Dam is releasing 1,100 cfs, which swells to 1,600 cfs by the time the river reaches Hirschdale, but the water is clear. He recommended looking for slower pockets of water and using larger attractors, stonefly nymphs, worm patterns, and to a lesser extent, streamers. Parking is wide open at Hirschdale and much improved at Glenshire.
BERKELEY: Berkeley Sportfishing Charters will start operating in earnest for the salmon opener and is also looking forward to a great live bait season in the Bay. Live bait should be available in another 2 or 3 weeks. The salmon opener looks promising with good water and bait conditions.
BODEGA BAY: Rick Powers on the New Sea Angler and Merlin Kolb on the Reel Magic are looking forward to strong rockcod and salmon seasons. The New Sea Angler will run daily rockcod/lingcod trips until the April 13 salmon opener. Rockcod action will be good from Pt. Reyes to Fort Ross. Lots of bait, feeding whales, and sea lions already chowing down on salmon indicate a great opener.
EMERYVILLE: The Sea Wolf and Tigerfish were sold out for the rockcod opener and fishing is expected to be very good. As soon as live bait is available, the New Huck Finn will be running striper/halibut trips in the Bay. The salmon opener is highly anticipated and signs look good to the north and south away from all the freshwater flowing into the ocean from rain and snow runoff.
EUREKA: With rockcod opening on May 1 and salmon season tentatively set to open on May 25, nothing is happening here with the sportfishing fleet. The only fall back was the shore fishing at the north and south jetties at the entrance to Humboldt Bay and the local beaches. As usual, the jetties were producing a mix of perch and rockfish using squid, shrimp, and swimbaits. The local beaches produced some nice perch on Gulp! Sandworms.
FORT BRAGG: Crab season is winding down as commercial gear is being pulled for the April 15 deadline for whale entanglement avoidance. The local sport boats were keeping busy with whale watching trips until the April 13 salmon opener. Blue water, heavy freshwater inflows, and little bait could mean a tough salmon opener. Shore fishing off the beaches near Westport was good for perch, while the jetty was still producing some rockfish on bait and crabs using snares.
HALF MOON BAY: The Huli Cat was still running sanddab/ crab combos this past weekend, but was looking forward to the rockcod opener on April 1. Rockcod/ ling limits were pretty much insured with the good weather that was forecast for opening day. Salmon season looks good with favorable sign showing near the Davenport Fingers to the south. The salmon season opens April 6 below Pigeon Point and April13 above Pigeon Point.
SAN FRANCISCO: Partyboats were running to the north for stripers, sturgeon, and a few halibut, or to the South Bay for halibut and stripers. Live bait should be available in 2 to 3 weeks starting the striper/halibut drifting season. Most boats are waiting for the salmon opener on April 13. The Bass Tub was trolling for halibut in the South Bay near Oyster Point and North Bay at Paradise this past week, and was not going out for rockcod after the opener preferring to wait for the salmon and live bait season to kick in. The Argo was fishing San Pablo Bay for stripers to 10 pounds and the occasional halibut to 15 pounds. Flash II was fishing San Pablo and doing well on sturgeon, leopard sharks, and stripers.