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 DFG’s Low Flow Closure Hotline for north coast rivers is 707) 822-3164. For the Russian River and counties of Mendocino, Sonoma and Marin, call (707) 944-5533. South Central Coast streams number is (831) 649-2886. Many streams closed, and others change to artificial/barbless only on March 31 and others on April 25.
CHETCO RIVER, Ore.—It blew out over the weekend but was fishing very well before that and is expected to be fishable again by Tuesday of this week. Expect mostly fresh fish with a mix of downrunners. There have been some big “teener” fish caught, but most average 8 to 12 pounds.
COQUILLE RIVER, Ore.– The Coquille has slowed from what it was over the past several weeks when she was producing cookie-cutter chromers up to 12 pounds, but for the most part the 7- to 8-pound class fish were still bending rods for many who drifted eggs and a Puffball.
EEL RIVER, South Fork—It was fishable over the weekend and anglers were doing well since the river dropped out, but rain fell again Sunday morning. “It hasn’t affected the river yet, and they’re out their fishing in the rain, but if we get more rain it could change,” said Brown’s Sporting Goods in Garberville. Guide Dave Jacobs will be fishing here this week, and guide Wayne “Sierra” Hansen has been fishing it for a few weeks, finding good action.
ELK, SIXES rivers, Ore.—Pretty colored up on Sunday from the rains, but that can change in a few days notice if the rains subside and allow flows to lower and slow a bit. Before the storm, steelheading here was fair to good. She could come back for another round.
GARCIA RIVER—WON Field Reporter Craig Bell of Greenwater Guide Service said he’s been going three for five most days, sometimes more and sometimes less. The river is running low already, and could use some more rain.
GUALALA RIVER—Outstanding fishing here this past week, with guide Michael Kelley finding five to 10 fish days on chromer steelhead, and one day he had 12 fish, according to Steve Jackson at Kings Sport and Tackle in Guerneville.
ROGUE RIVER, Ore., Lower—Anglers are mostly using lures like Hot Shots, Wee Warts, small Kwikfish and Tad Poly’s for steelhead by anchoring up to cover from three to seven feet of water on the rods off the stern. Averages are about two to four fish a day, although now and then there’s a skunk mixed in. Expect spring king salmon to show up next month.
ROGUE RIVER, Ore., Upper—The river is fishing well in the Grants Pass area, and anglers were scoring three to five fish a day for several days, and then dropped to three fish a day, which is still good. Some anglers report fishing just below the Applegate river has been a producer of some pretty good action while side drifting eggs and yarn, according to WON Field Reporter Dave Pitts.
RUSSIAN RIVER—Steve Jackson of Kings Sport and Tackle in Guerneville said the river was starting to turn a little green around the edges, on Sunday and should be plunkable by Monday. He expects the river to be fishing on Wednesday and through the weekend. It’s been a month since the river was fished. Hatchery returns are now 800-900 fish. “I’m excited and ready to fish!” said Jackson. “It’s a good window going into the weekend, and better weather, so I think there’s going to be some good fishing this weekend.”
SMITH RIVER—It’s been fishing well all season long at some stage, but it’s been great this past week, with plenty of fresh steelhead and a few downrunners being caught, too. Even more fish came into the river last week, and they’re scattered from top to bottom, with some anglers getting five to seven hookups a day.
KLAMATH RIVER, Happy Camp—The river is in good, fishable condition, but steelheading has been challenging with anglers working hard for a couple of adults and about the same number of halfpounders. They are being taken on nymphs under indicators, drifted roe, and backtrolled Hot Shots and crawdad crankbaits.
KLAMATH RIVER, Weitchpec—The river is a bit high but fishable, and some nice steelies were being caught under the bridge on spinners fished under spin bubbles.
TRINITY RIVER, Willow Creek—The river has dropped and cleared a bit, but was still a bit high. Fish the mouths of tributaries deep and slow with roe.
TRINITY RIVER, Douglas City–Steelheading was challenging in spite of good water and weather conditions with anglers working hard for a couple of adults per boat. A few downstreamers are starting to show, but some mostly wild adults are making a showing. Backtroll Brad’s Wigglers and Hot Shots and drift roe. Fly fishers were scoring on golden stones, copper Johns, and egg flies.
BENICIA— Tony Lopez at Benicia Bait reported fair sturgeon action with two nice keepers weighed on the weekend, a big striped bass, and lots of striper reports from the shoreline anglers. Top spots have been Glen Cove, Garnet Point and Honker Bay.
BERKELEY—Scott Sutherland said the fleet has been dock bound for nearly a month due to weather and low angler interest. “The crab pots are full, and there are some sturgeon in the areas we fish, but it’s that time of year,” he said.
BODEGA BAY— Captain Rick Powers on the New Sea Angler reported another banner squid trip with 33 anglers decking 710 devilfish on Saturday, the action starting wide open and never paling until the last angler called uncle and threw down his Ahi Club. Thursday’s trip was also strong with 212 squid for 18 anglers. Big squid have been in the 50-pound class.
CROCKETT— Anglers on the Morning Star kept picking at the sturgeon, finding another keeper in San Pablo Bay on Saturday. Also boated were two keeper stripers, and some starry flounder, and plenty of shaker sturgeon and bass were released. Top bait was the grass/ghost combo platter.
EMERYVILLE—Sturgeon trips have been scoring about a keeper per trip on the average, with either South San Francisco Bay or Paradise the recent destinations for the Captain Hook. Frank Salazar at the landing reported a 56 incher that weighed 50 pounds the high point of Saturday’s trip. Several bat rays and leopard sharks also reported released.
EUREKA—A giant swell lasted through the week, making fishing the jetties or beaches extremely dangerous. The ocean is forecast to lay down, but the swell is still going to be pretty big through the week, so surf perch fishing may be possible on some beaches.
FORT BRAGG—Captain Randy Thornton on the Telstar slipped out between giant breakers on Friday morning, but found tough squid fishing. His anglers were able to hook ‘em, just not hold ‘em. A couple squid did make the deck, both jumbos.
HALF MOON BAY—The entire fleet was entranced by the big Maverick’s surf event over the weekend, and the big waves didn’t disappoint. Captain Tom Mattusch said the Huli Cat did head out for squid and crabs on Sunday, but he didn’t have a score by deadline.
MARTINEZ— Captain Steve Talmadge of Flash Fishing reported slower sturgeon action, with lots of shakers, one oversized released, but no keepers on four trips focusing on Suisun Bay waters. “We have a lot of fish in our area, the best concentration I’ve seen in years,” said Talmadge. Top bait was eel/grass shrimp combo, top area near Buoy 9 and by Port Chicago. Top activity was during the last three hours of the large ebb tide.
BOCA LAKE—Good access to the dam and anglers are fishing through 16 to 18 inches of ice for rainbows and browns on nightcrawlers, Power Bait, marabou jigs and mini-Gitzits. Rainbows run 12 inches, while the browns are going 15 to 16 inches. Fish close to the bottom.
CAPLES LAKE—The better weather brought out more anglers. Most are fishing at the dam and the spillway for a mix of browns and rainbows up to 16 1/2 inches. Successful anglers are using Power Bait and worms. Park at the dam and spillway in the plowed turnouts, there is NO winter day use parking at the resort.
CARSON RIVER (East)—Good weather this week with warmer daytime temps bringing some fish to the surface to feed on midges. One angler who checked into Woodfords Station had some rises but no hookups. The warm weather has the river in perfect condition.
DAVIS LAKE—The lake level is holding at 50-percent capacity. Ice fishing has been good at the dam and on the backside of the island. The fish are suspended at 15 to 20 feet over 45 to 70 feet of water. Use a snelled No. 16 treble hook rigged above a sinker with a small ball of Power Bait on only two barbs to catch light biters. Fish at the dam are running up to 16 inches with fish at the island going to 25 inches. The ice is 12 to 18 inches thick. Bring snowshoes if you plan on walking to the island, especially later in the day when the snow gets soft.
DONNER LAKE—Open water available but the boat ramp is still not clear, so no launching. No reports coming into Mountain Hardware and Sports about any shore action.
FRENCHMAN LAKE—The lake level is up to 38-percent capacity. Fishing through 12 to 15 inches of ice at the dam is still producing nice rainbows, 12 to 16 inches, on worms and Crystal Bullet jigs.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR—Warm weather (50’s) has melted some ice, so there is open water here. Some anglers have made it into the lake and are picking up some nice fish to 2 1/2 pounds on worms. 4-wheel drive only—easier to get in than it is to get out due to the uphill climb up from the lake.
JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park)—Lots of Macks hitting up near the second boat ramp above the Narrows. Two guys from Shingle Springs caught 10 that went one to three pounds trolling Rapalas and Kastmasters this past weekend.
LAKE TAHOE—Trolling for Mackinaws has been productive for fish to 8 1/2 pounds trolling SLOW in the Crystal Bay to Dollar Point area from 120 to 250 feet. Chuck Self at Chuck’s Charter Fishing has been doing well on Rapalas and spoons.
PROSSER LAKE—A good walk to the dam or the Hobart Mills area of the lake is producing 12-inch rainbows on nightcrawlers.
PYRAMID LAKE—Fishing has slowed down a little but plenty of cutts are being caught by trollers and shore casters. The Crosby’ Lodge derby was won by a 12 pounder. Trollers are working Apex and FlatFish at 20 to 40 feet.
RED LAKE—Fishing at the dam with worms for brookies and some cutthroats has been fair this past week. Lots of anglers were out with the better weather.
TOPAZ LAKE—Fishing was slower all this week. Anglers really have to work for their fish. One troller caught three fish on a Cleo. Another boat with three anglers only landed three fish all day. One couple did better, picking up seven rainbows and Eagle Lake trout on Needlefish. Shore anglers have had a tough time according to Topaz Landing Marina.
TRUCKEE RIVER—Warmer weather all this week (50’s) has started melting some snow and will increase the flows in the river spreading the fish out of the deeper holes. Baetis, BWO, and small winter stones (16-18) have been working on fish running 16 inches.
UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR—Lake is accessible over Pea Vine Ridge Road. Mackinaws are reportedly active and hitting for trollers.
AMERICAN RIVER— Some fresh adult steelhead to 12 pounds were reported caught down around Ancil Hoffman Park last week, indicating that there’s quite a bit of life left in the season. They were caught drifting roe and nightcrawlers, and backtrolling small plugs. Steelhead were also still being caught in pretty decent numbers from Nimbus Basin to the Sunrise area, but the percentage of dark and post-spawn fish was higher.
FEATHER RIVER—The decent steelheading in the Low Flow Section reported last week seems to have mostly died out. A few small fish were being caught around Matthews Riffle on nightcrawlers, but that’s about all. The striper action resulting from the release of juvenile steelhead seems to have abated and the river below Shanghai Bend was pretty quiet.
FOLSOM LAKE—Trout and king salmon fishing was pretty darn good last week, and some limits were caught, as well as some holdover trout and salmon approaching and occasionally exceeding 20 inches. Different lures are producing fish, but a common denominator seems to be to troll relatively fast, near the surface, and well behind the boat, from 150 to 200 feet. Fish are being caught all over the main body, but trolling near Dike 8 seems to be one of the better spots. Bass fishing continued to improve as the lake rises and the water warms a bit with consistent sunny weather. While the 5 mph limit is ostensibly still in effect, it doesn’t seem to be enforced as many boats are exceeding it with impunity.
RANCHO SECO LAKE—Anglers have been continuing to do well on planters and holdover trout from the bank on Power Bait, Power Eggs, and Power Worms from shore. Boaters in pontoon boats, kayaks, float tubes, and canoes did well on woolly buggers and Power Worms, Kastmasters, Apexes and grubs.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento—The Sac was dropping and clearing a bit, but most of the fishing action was still occurring from the bank. And, most of the action was on sturgeon from Rio Vista to Colusa. Lisbon Slough was one of the better spots, but pressure has increased greatly. Some decent striper action was occurring in the Turning Basin of the Port of Sacramento on jumbo and super jumbo minnows. Jigs were also scoring a few.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Knights Landing—Sturgeon fishing was good from Knight’s Landing to Colusa. Fish were being caught, mostly from shore at various locations, but the Old Tisdale Ramp was one of the better spots. Debris has abated a bit, but navigating the river is still a challenge and the Knight’s Landing and Tisdale ramps were still closed.
NORTH COAST LAKES
CLEAR LAKE—The deep water bite continued at 40 feet with a variety of baits including plastic worms, jigs, and swimbaits. But a shallow bite is also developing along the docks, tules, and retaining walls which are starting to hold some warmer waters and fish are moving into them. Patient jig pitchers looking for shallow bass will start to catch some truly large bass on the right pitch. Also “soon to come,” will be the Senko bite.
LAKE BERRYESSA—Head to the Narrows where a few bass are starting to come in on ripbaits and jigs. The runoff is warmer by the creeks and another good area to target both bass and catfish. A few diehards continue to toss Rapalas to the trout from the shoreline as well.
UPPER BLUE LAKE—There’s plenty of trout here and few anglers, which should make for good results. Drop-shotting for bass along the Highway 20 shoreline has also been productive.
INDIAN VALLEY RESERVIOR—Bass fishing as well as catfishing should be excellent here with all the recently added rainfall. Waters have risen quite a bit, although there have not been any reports.
LAKE ALMANOR—The Canyon Dam, Rec. 2 and the Powerhouse were all good areas for targeting trout and pond smelt is what they have been feeding on, and the bite has been from the surface down to 10 feet. Bait (roe or worms), jigging, and trolling with streamer flies were all producing trout to three pounds.
BAUM LAKE—Anglers had the best luck with flies. BWO’s, Griffith’s gnats, zebra midges, woolly buggers, copper John’s in red and pheasant tails are all doing well. Lure and bait fishermen are not doing as well, though a few fish are still being caught on nightcrawlers and Kastmasters.
IRON CANYON—The last report showed access was limited here to the dam via the Pit 5 Road.
PIT RIVER—This area is open to catch and release only, barbless hooks, and artificials only from Lake Britton dam downstream. With all of the PG&E road closures though, it’s hard to get here and few reports come in.
LAKE SHASTA—While the bass acclimate to rising and changing water conditions, reaction baits such as swim, rip and spinnerbaits are still the best option for them. Dry Creek’s tubes such as Mud Pie or Yuxley have been popular, but so have many other patterns in the Dry Creek tubes. Jigs, dartheads, and drop-shot have also seen more action in recent times. For trout get your lines back behind the boat a good 150 to 200 feet for best results. Trout are averaging 16 inches with a few hitting the 3-pound range. Numbers of them were marked in the Pitt arm.
BULLARDS BAR—The lake is up to 62-percent capacity. Bass fishing is still good for spots that run three to five pounds. Kokanee anglers are hoping that all the bass boaters coming up here now will take all the big spots out of the lake and eat them. Best bite has been coming on shad pattern worms on the main points on the lower half of the lake, according to Emerald Cove Marina. Bare Bones Guide Service was picking up some nice rainbows, up to 16 inches, casting spinners and trolling dodger/nightcrawler combos up in the North Fork.
CAMP FAR WEST—Lake level is still coming up slowly and the water clarity is improving. One angler checked into the North Shore Resort with a 7-pound bass early this past week. Since then more anglers have reported good action on bass with some running four to six pounds.
COLLINS LAKE—The lake level has come up to 23 feet from full. Lake received a 1200-pound plant of trophy fish that weighed from 2 1/2 to 10 pounds. The few anglers on the lake are finding good action on trout, catfish and bass.
ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR—The lake is up to 92-percent capacity. Water clarity has improved, but anglers are still running up above Boston Bar to the inlets to catch 10- to 12-inch rainbows and browns drifting worms and Power Bait or toplining flasher/worm combos.
LAKE OROVILLE—The lake is up to 36-percent capacity with an increase of 6 feet in the water level since last week. Bidwell is still the only ramp open at this time. Fishing is still good for bass and coho. Bass are hitting worms, jigs and reaction baits. Start at the places where water is running into the lake from 10 to 30 feet deep. Cohos are hitting “everything” according to Bret Brady at Bare Bones Guide Service. Brady caught 30 to 40 coho, 12 to 13 inches long, fishing all over the lake.
ROLLINS LAKE—This lake is scheduled for a DFG plant this week. The water level is up and clear.
SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE—The lake is clear and beautiful, but with no DFG plants yet, few anglers are visiting.
SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR—Good access with the break in the weather the area has seen this past week, but with no word on when DFG will resume plants, few anglers are coming here.
STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR—Very few anglers trying to get up here since the roads are not plowed. 4-wheel drive is recommended with the roads so muddy and slushy.