09 Nov 18
COLLINS LAKE: With three big trout plants in the lake and another coming this week, the fishing is very good. Trollers have been catching fish, but the real news is the resumption of good shore fishing. Most of the big trout on the Collins Lake Recreation Area lunker list came from shore by the dam this past week. A pair of 6 1/4 pounders came out, both on lures. Bass fishing is good too, on drop-shot to 35 feet of water, anywhere they are chasing bait. There’s a ton of shad.
GOLD LAKES BASIN: Fishing remains very good in the Gold Lakes Basin, particularly at Gold Lake. Mark Tieslau of Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden said throwing Kastmasters at the boat launch is producing nice brookies and a few browns. The Mackinaw, however, aren’t biting from shore. Trolling 5 to 10 feet of water is yielding browns, rainbows and a few Mackinaw. The water level is low and it is rumored the dock has been pulled, so boaters should exercise caution.
SHASTA LAKE: Fishing is still good, lots of shad on the surface. Topwater has been working early in the morning and late in the afternoon. Huddelston swimbaits when the wind is blowing can produce a solid fish. Crankbaits, spinnerbaits, underspins, for reaction bite. Drop-shot, Carolina rig, football jig, Ned rigs during the day.
EAGLE LAKE: Fishing is still fantastic. Trolling Jay Fair flies in hot orange has been a popular color around the lake all season for all styles of fishing. Fly fisherman have been doing well from shore and from float tubes. Bank fisherman have been doing well near the marina and Pikes point.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Verona to Colusa: Some big stripers are being caught at Verona and Knight’s Landing. Salmon fishing picked up late last week near Knight’s Landing and Verona, where anglers are doing best with FlatFish with sardine wraps. Fishing for catfish also has slowed at Verona and Knight’s Landing.
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.: Rain fell early last week, but the river was only driftable for a day. Guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing said the best salmon fishing is at the mouth, where anglers are trolling for kings waiting for the next major rain event. Flows hit 500 cfs on Tuesday, but were down to 140 cfs over the weekend.
ELK, SIXES RIVERS, Port Orford, Ore.: The mouth of the Sixes opened with last week’s rain, allowing salmon to move upriver. Low water, however, has the Sixes undriftable from the Grange to Hughes House. The Elk also is too low to drift.
ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Ore.: Salmon fishing is slow in the bay. A few silvers and very few kings are being caught. Steelhead fishing remains good near Agness.
RUSSIAN RIVER: Low flow closures still in effect until good rains bring the river level up.
SMITH RIVER: Flows briefly hit 800 cfs on Tuesday but were back down to 400 cfs on Wednesday afternoon. Flows must remain above 600 cfs for an opener above Rowdy Creek. Salmon fishing has slowed below Rowdy Creek, as last week’s rain allowed salmon staging in the tidewater to blast upriver. A few kings are being caught each day at the Sand Hole. The next rain in the forecast is next week.
KLAMATH RIVER, Hornbrook: Salmon fishing has re-opened between I-5 and Iron Gate Dam, as the hatchery reached its goal of 8,000 kings back to the fish ladder. Most of the salmon are now dark and ready to spawn. Steelhead fishing has been very good with roe, beads and flies all working well. Flows at Iron Gate Dam are 1,040 cfs.
KLAMATH RIVER, Happy Camp: The fall salmon quota has been reached. Only jack salmon less than 22 inches may be kept. Fishing for steelhead has been very good near Happy Camp and Orleans, with one of the best seasons in recent years. Roe and yarn, as well as flies are working well. Flows at Seiad Valley near Happy Camp are 1,270 cfs. Flows at Orleans are 1,770 cfs.
KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen: Only jack salmon less than 22 inches can be kept, as the adult quota has been met below the Highway 96 bridge. Salmon fishing has slowed between Klamath Glen and Blue Creek as the run winds down. Some salmon and steelhead are being caught above Blue Creek, but few anglers are fishing. Flows at Klamath Glen near the mouth of the river are 2,450 cfs, down from 2,500 cfs.
TRINITY RIVER: The fall salmon quota has been reached on the upper Trinity. While jacks may be kept in the Upper Trinity, most are now dark. Steelhead fishing is fair, but anglers are facing low, clear water conditions. Driftboaters are having to drag their boats over some riffles. Flows at Lewiston were 300 cfs. Flows at Douglas City were 311, while flows at Junction City were 328 cfs. Flows at Hoopa were 517 cfs.
North Coast lakes
LAKE BERRYESSA: Fishing around the lake was tougher this weekend. Very little reaction bite, some glidebait action on wind blown points if you work the bait slow. Ned rigs, drop-shot rigs, darthead, Senkos, football head jig. One guide fished spoons and they caught many fish suspended in deeper water on Blade Runner spoons.
BLACK BUTTE LAKE: Water is still low, ducks are starting to raft up in the middle of the lake. A few hunters have been trying their luck and managed to shoot birds in the north wind. Fishing remains slow. Football head jigs and senkos near the dam. Drop-shot, dartheads, Carolina rigs in Anglers cove.
CLEAR LAKE: Fishing has been good the past week. Lipless crankbaits, underspins, chatter baits, jerk baits, and glidebaits, are all producing a solid reaction bite. Drop-shot, shaky head, Ned rigs, and Carolina rigs have been working when the bite is tougher. Some reports of big swimbait fish being caught on mid-sized Huddelstons.
LAKE MENDOCINO: Fishing is still slow, fish are pushed deep, Carolina rigs, darthead, Senkos, football jigs, Ned rigs, Axe-blade tail spinner, and drop-shot.
LAKE PILLSBURY: Fly fishing has been more productive but you might have to work harder right now that weather conditions are changing. Spinning gear try ‘crawlers, spoons, and spinners. Trolling hardware, Gulp! minnows, ‘crawlers, Wedding Rings. Bass fishermen use Ned rigs, Carolina rigs, wacky rigged Senkos, drop-shots, slow and deep. Small swimbaits in white
LAKE SONOMA: Finesse fishing for bass on the chunk rock has been producing but stay in contact with the bottom. Drop-shot, Ned rigs, senkos, shakey head jigs, darthead jigs, anything in peanut butter and jelly color pattern. Landlocked steelhead available for trollers up river arms.
UPPER BLUE LAKES: Still little report to go on for this lake, the resort is changing management and the lake is awaiting trout plant. Trout can usually be caught using Power Bait with Trout-Dip, nightcrawlers, spinners and small spoons. Panther Martins, Cleo’s, and Rooster Tails. Bass fishing has been slow.
Far North Lakes and Rivers
LAKE ALMANOR: Fishing is still slow. The few fish being caught have been smaller rainbows caught while trolling hardware, Gulp! Minnows, or ‘crawlers. Troll slow when the lake is flat and calm, speed up when the wind picks up. “Small” rainbows here are 1 1/2 to 2 pounds.
BAUM LAKE: Fly fishing, midges, leaches, baetis are best. Spinning gear try Panther Martins, nightcrawler-blown up or with marshmallow.
BUCKS LAKE: Bucks lake marina is closed for the season. No fishing report.
FALL RIVER: Try fly gear on flats and edges of deep holes. Water boatman, Baetis, callibaetis, and leeches are all good.
HAT CREEK: Downsized everything. Spinner guys use Rooster Tails, spoons, Panther Martins. Fly gear, to use are tiny baetis, drowned spinners and micro caddis.
LEWISTON LAKE: Fly fisherman have been catching fish from Pine Cove marina to the base of the dam. Power Bait, nightcrawlers, small spoons, Rooster Tails and spinners are best. Fly fishing near marina with zebra midges, baetis nymph and copper Johns gets the fish.
PIT RIVER: Pit 3 is too high to wade right now, pit 4 is fishing well. Black nymphs, black micro mays, dark lords, and rubber legs.
TRINITY LAKE: Trinity center ramp is closed. No report.
WHISKEYTOWN LAKE: There has been some reports of a few solid swimbait fish caught by anglers that know the right points at the right time. Downsize swimbait to mid-size and smaller Keitech swimbaits for smallmouth. Fish very slow.
Sierra Lakes and Rivers
BOCA RESERVOIR: Boaters who consider launching from the shoreline should beware the thick mud exposed by the recent lake drawdown. If you manage to launch you may have the entire lake to yourself, but local guide Marc Christophel says it isn’t worth the risk. The drawdown should continue for some time, as Miles Zimmerman of Mountain Hardware and Sports reports dam work may be in the offing. Trout fishing is still good at the inlet and around the dam.
CARSON RIVER (East, West): Todd Sodaro of Todd’s Bait and Tackle and the Alpine County Fish and Game Commission said he fished the East Carson on Thursday, catching and releasing 7 trout between 2 and 5 pounds in just 90 minutes. He was offering salmon eggs on his fly rod, and fishing moving water. It didn’t have to be deep. He caught fish in as little as 12 inches.
DAVIS LAKE: Jim Graham of J&J’s Grizzly Store reported fishing improved over last week, which by all accounts was already good. Trollers found their best luck by focusing on the top 6 feet of the water column, using Dick Nite Copper Redheads or Needlefish Red Dot Frogs. Shore fishing was good too, at Mallard, Honker and Lightning Tree, on worms and Power Bait. Fly anglers who worked Fairview and Bluff Cove did well on black ants and brown wiggletail flies.
DONNER LAKE: Trolling for Mackinaw has been slow, according to multiple sources. The shore fishing is a brighter story, with juvenile Macks showing on Power Bait as well as larger spinners and Kastmasters. The same lures – downsized – are working well for planted trout.
EAGLE LAKE: Craig Newton of Will Fish Tackle reported the fishing here has improved after a down period. Anglers are catching Eagle Lake strain trout weighing 2 to 3 pounds on the typical Eagle Lake stuff, trolling flies in orange and cinnamon and pumpkin seed. Grubs are also fishing well. The lake level is up, making fishing easier.
ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR: Guide Dale Daneman said Ice House was planted again last week. These is no shortage of fish in the lake. There’s no rain in sight so folks should get out now before Old Man Winter walks in, he advised.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR: Once the general trout season closes on November 15, Indian Creek will be a primary location for area trout hunters. They have a lot to look forward to, as an unidentified angler pulled in an 8-pound trout while fishing from his canoe this week.
JACKSON MEADOWS: Craig Newton of Will Fish Tackle said Jackson Meadows is fishing well for trout. The fish are beat up due to the water temperature, but the fishing is easy anyway.
JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park): Karen Ward at Sly Park Resort said trout and bass fishing has remained steady since last week. Nothing big came out of the lake, but that could change soon with the water cooling. Jenkinson should turn over soon.
LAKE TAHOE: Another good week of Mackinaw fishing is in the books. It’s been good enough that guides are hunting trout once lake trout limits are in the boat. The fish are spawning but that hasn’t blocked the bite. Both the North Shore and South Shore are producing fish.
PROSSER RESERVOIR: Miles Zimmerman of Mountain Hardware and Sports reported Prosser is dropping quickly. The shoreline is muddy. Boaters should use caution if they plan on launching over the dirt. Bass are still somewhat active mid-day. Trout fishing is steady using bait in deeper water.
PYRAMID LAKE: The biggest fish of the new season, a 23-pound, 2-ounce beast, was caught and weighed at Crosby’s Lodge this week by Matt Smeltzer. He was fishing from a boat at Hell’s Kitchen, using a P-Line Bleeding Frog lure. Meantime, Joe Mendes of Eagle Eye Charter and his clients notched 7 fish over 10 pounds in a single outing, on Firetiger Apex trolling lures and No. 1 FlatFish. It was a week for the big fish.
STAMPEDE RESERVOIR: Marc Christophel of Christophel’s Guide Service filed the best report to come out of the Truckee area in some time this week. He said he fished Stampede on Saturday and did well for rainbows using Mack’s Cripplures. The fish were 12 to 13 inches on average, enough to keep it interesting. Miles Zimmerman of Mountain Hardware and Sports added that some smaller bass are showing, but Mackinaw have been non-existent this year. The dam road is now open, allowing easy access to both sides of the lake, and the lake is nearly full.
TRUCKEE RIVER: The river is in great fishing shape according to Miles Zimmerman of Mountain Hardware and Sports. Fly casters are throwing streamers. There are a lot of active fish on top for dry flies, midges or blue wing olives.
WEST WALKER RIVER: Jenna Casanova at the Walker General Store said the river is running low (there’s been no rain), but two gentlemen who fished the river reported catching limits to near limits of trout. There was nothing huge but they were happy with their catches, she added.
AMERICAN RIVER: Salmon fishing has been fair on the parts of the American still open to fishing. Some guides have reported good fishing. A few kings are being caught near the mouth. Flows at Fair Oaks are 1,810 cfs, up slightly from 1,520 cfs.
FEATHER RIVER: The Outlet Hole closed Oct. 15. Lower water has slowed salmon fishing down river. Boaters are having to deal with low flows. Steelhead are showing up and are biting roe, Glo Bugs and nightcrawlers. A few stripers are being caught in the Yuba City area on topwater lures.
FOLSOM LAKE: The lake level is 401 feet elevation, down 3 feet from a week ago, with a water temperature of 70 degrees. It is on the verge of dropping below 400 feet elevation, which normally triggers a 5 mph speed limit. Speedy Shiners with flashers are tricking trout and salmon near Brown’s Ravine 30 to 40 feet down. Bass fishing also has improved with the cooler weather. Bank anglers are catching trout on Power Bait and salmon eggs.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Dunsmuir: Fishing has been slow, although fly anglers are still catching trout.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding to Red Bluff: Flows from Keswick Dam were down to 5,190 cfs. Salmon fishing has slowed at the Barge Hole, with guides reporting a few fish daily. Many of the fish are getting dark, but a few fresh fish a day are being caught. Rain is needed to jump start the late-fall run. Trout fishing remains very good in the Redding area for anglers drifting Glo-Bugs, roe or beads.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff to Colusa: Salmon fishing has slowed near Woodson Bridge, where guides are reporting one or two fish a boat. Many of the kings are now dark. Drifting roe is working best.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento: Salmon fishing is best between Miller Park and Garcia Bend, where bright kings continue to be caught. The action was good early in the week, but slowed over the weekend. Striper fishing is slow.
CAMP FAR WEST: The lake is very low, requiring boaters to launch off a gravel ramp. Very low fishing effort.
ENGLEBRIGHT: The lake remains slow, with very little fishing activity.
HELL HOLE: Hell Hole should be producing browns, it’s that time of year. Be aware, the lake is low, necessitating boat launching off the dirt shoreline.
LAKE OROVILLE: Fall bass fishing remains hot for numbers, with size gradually improving. Finesse baits presented on steep walls and deep points worked best. The annual North Valley Tackle bass tournament was Saturday, won by father-son team of Frank and Tanner Martinez with 11.83 pounds. Chris Layton was second with 11.34 pounds, backstopped by a 5.10-pound kicker. David Hill and Guy Weichert was third with 9.64 pounds.
SCOTT’S FLAT: Smallmouth are active now. It remains a drop-shot or Ned rig bite all the way down to 50 feet.
THERMALITO AFTERBAY: The Afterbay remains slow, with cold water. Nearby Oroville is a much better option. If you must go, you might try structure in the shallow end of the lake for bass.
BERKELEY: The crab opener provided the start of crab/rockfish combo trips on California Dawn and Happy Hooker. Both boats turned in scores consisting of limits of rockfish and limits of crabs with some lingcod in the sacks, too. The nice thing is that much of the early season crabbing was right outside the Gate. El Dorado and New El Doarado III made two-a-day crab-only trips for limits. Boaters wanting to fish inside the bay found lots of striped bass on the Berkeley Flats, Paradise and other favorite spots.
BODEGA BAY: It wasn’t necessary to go far from Harbor for crabs, in fact some folks worked snares from the breakwater and did well. Boats like New Sea Angler, wanting great fishing to go with great crabbing, began around Elephant Rock and worked on down towards Point Reyes to put some high-grade rockfish and lingcod onboard. At Tomales Bay, a very few halibut fishers stayed at it and had hookups near the mouth of the Bay. Dillon Beach was very good for surfperch fishing.
EMERYVILLE: Some of the Fish Emeryville boats, like New Huck Finn, Pacific Pearl, Sea Wolf, Tigerfish and Wet Spot made opening weekend runs out the Golden gate and up a short distance where they could catch limits of rockfish and then pull pots to add consistent limits of heavy crabs. Bay fishers found good striped bass action right at Emery Point.
EUREKA: Charter boat Reel Steel made an opening day run out to the open ocean, set pots, let them soak for one hour and only had to pull 8 pots to reach limits for 3 people. Crabbing inside Humboldt Bay was pretty good at Englund Marine piers and at Del Norte Pier. Fishing for California halibut inside Humboldt Bay remained viable and should stay that way until big rains come or the shoals of anchovies leave the Bay.
FORT BRAGG: There were loads of healthy crabs available just out front of Fort Bragg and up the coast off Ten Mile Beach. Partyboat Sea Hawk pulled limits of rockfish and crab, as did boats from Hooked on Mendo. Shore crabbing with snares was good at Noyo Jetty and other good casting platforms. Shore fishing for kelp greenling, cabezon, lingcod and rockfish was excellent at Old Mill.
HALF MOON BAY: Salmon season ended on the 31st, with plenty of hatchery salmon inside Pillar Point Harbor. When crab season opened on the weekend, it was game on for party boats like Huli Cat, private boats and people casting or hooping from the jetty and the public pier. Queen of Hearts focused on rockfish and lingcod down the coast from Martins Beach to Pescador.
SAN FRANCISCO: Wacky Jacky from Fisherman’s Landing and Outer Limits from Sausalito finished the salmon season, which ended on October 31st, with the skippers reporting slow action. By the weekend, bat like Bass Tub, Argo and Lovely Martha were out scoring limits of Dungeness and rockfish. Flash I fished the South Bay and caught good sharks near Hunter’s Point.