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.
ROGUE RIVER, Lower, Gold Beach Ore.- The Lower Rogue River is continuing to pump out springers like there will never be a end to them arriving. Average weight for these salmon is close to 20 pounds and the tides play a big part in the time period of the bite, according to WON Field Reporter Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Guide Service.
ROGUE RIVER, Foster Bar, ,Ore.– Anglers should expect to see a few more fair to good weeks ahead for spring salmon fishing and not be afraid of heading farther upriver, according to WON Field Reporter Dave Pitts. “The Foster Bar area is one of my favorite haunts when the runs slows in the lower section, but you need to fish differently,” he said.
ROGUE RIVER, Grant’s Pass–Grants Pass spring Chinook are upriver where some anglers are connecting. Restricted upper Rogue flows by the Army Corps of engineers continue in an endeavor to raise Lost Lake levels, according to WON Field Reporter Dave Pitts.
RUSSIAN RIVER-Shad are in the river and being caught, but only by those using lots of splitshot or sinking lines to get down to the fish in the high flows that continue. It’s still early in the run and no larger females are showing yet, but the fish are shooting upriver towards Healdsburg, where they hang up below the dam for the spawn. When the flows drop, looks for plenty of action in the holes and runs. Current flows are 1100 cfs, and it’s best between 500 and 800 cfs, according to Nick Wheeler at King’s Sport and Tackle in Guerneville.
UMPQUA RIVER, Main Stem, Roseburg, Ore.—The Forks has been spotty for spring Chinook fishing, but the bait of choice for most anglers seems to be a large amounts of salmon roe with a sand shrimp, according to WON Field Reporter Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Guide Service. Smallmouth bass and shad fishing is coming up.
UMPQUA RIVER, North Fork, Glide, Ore.-Spring Chinook fishing is picking up, and the evenings are proving too be the better bite as the river levels drop. The river has dropped, so anglers are starting to spread out more. A request/proposal is currently on the ODFW table asking for the take of a limited number of wild Chinook from the South Umpqua River to the California border, stay tuned.
KLAMATH RIVER, Iron Gate-The river is in good shape below Iron Gate Dam with respect to flows and clarity, but continuing cold weather has suppressed the insect hatches which normally would be starting in about a week. Scott Caldwell of SC Guide Service said that it looks like the start of the salmon fly hatch won’t be until well into June this year unless the weather warms dramatically. Downstream of Iron Gate, snowmelt from tributaries is keeping water conditions poor.
TRINITY RIVER-The Trinity River peak flow release at Lewiston Reservoir of 6,000 cfs has passed and the river is dropping but still way too high throughout its length to fish.
AMERICAN RIVER-The release at Nimbus Dam has increased to 5,000 cfs, making fishing a real challenge for waders just as the shad run gets going. However, most anglers are quite happy about the high water, because it’s sure to attract more fish upriver, including shad, striped bass, and small steelhead. Striped bass are being caught behind Cal Expo, mostly on jumbo minnows, but even some on topwater lures. Fishing for shad hasn’t broken wide open yet, because of the high, cold water but some were being caught at Discovery Park
FEATHER RIVER-Fishing for striped bass has had both good days and not so good days, but guide J. D. Richey’s clients had a couple of very good days last week fishing jigs above Star Bend. Shad fishing has been outstanding both at the mouth of the Feather and just below the rapids at Shanghai Bend. Craig Bentley of Huntington Sports reports that fly fishing has been excellent in the Low Flow Section as temperatures rise and hatches increase.
FOLSOM LAKE-The lake is almost full, and fishing for bass has been very good. Anglers have lots of options, including fishing the flooded trees and brush, working spawning beds which are deeper than usual because of rising water, and fishing the mid-depths for post-spawn bass. While reaction baits have been scoring a few fish, drop-shotting Robo-Worms and wacky-rigged Senkos have been particularly effective. Minnows too. Trout fishermen are still catching fish, although most anglers have headed to other locations. Try the North Fork and troll nightcrawlers without flashers along the canyon walls.
RANCHO SECO LAKE-A few trout were still being caught, but most of the action has turned to panfish and bass. For panfish, try worms under bobbers. Bass are being caught drop-shotting and wacky-rigged Senkos.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento-The river is dropping but still muddy and striper fishing has slowed. However some are still being caught at Garcia Bend, Miller Park and Bryte’s Beach. Shad are being caught downstream of the mouth of the American River on mini-jigs in spite of the off-color water.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Colusa-Striped bass fishing was very good some days, not so good others, but most anglers putting in the effort caught their limits. However, on some days they might score a dozen or more keepers. A few sturgeon were being caught, too, and shad have moved into the area in good numbers.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding- Trout fishing was excellent for both fly fishers and spin fishermen has warmed a bit and insect hatches have increased. Boat passage is forbidden under the Cypress Ave. Bridge because the release from Keswick Dam is over the 7,000-cfs max allowable. Fly fishers are using golden stonefly, caddis, and small Mayfly nymph imitations under indicators, and, occasionally dries in the evenings. Spin fishermen have been drifting Glo-Bugs and backtrolling small Hot Shots.
BOCA LAKE-The lake is at 68-percent capacity. The fishing has been a little slow. The best bet is in the west side coves near the boat ramp for rainbows using Power Bait, nightcrawlers and salmon eggs. Some browns are being caught at the dam on spinners and small Rapalas.
BUTT VALLEY RESERVOIR-Rainbows, 15 to 17 inches, are hitting X-cel spoons at 20 feet near the dam. Look for bait schools on the meter, and then go to work. Dick Mason at Dick’s Guide Service has been making regular trips to this lake which is known for big fish. It is designated as a trophy lake by the DFG with a two-fish limit. Smallmouth bass action should be good for those giving it a try-there’s a bunch of them in this lake.
CAPLES LAKE-The lake is at 53-percent capacity. The ice is still thick on the main body of the lake but getting a little “blue” at the dam indicating a thinning of the ice. Snowmelt is puddling on the surface of the ice. There were only a few ice fishermen out and it may be time to avoid the ice.
CARSON RIVER (East, West)-Both Forks are scheduled for DFG trout plants this week. The East Carson has been fishing very well, but it’s slower than it was for the opener. The biggest fish of the week was caught by 4-year old Raychel Jenkins of Stockton who landed a 5 1/2 pounder on her pink ‘Barbie’ rod. The East Fork water level is up 6 to 8 inches, but the color is still good. Due to the unsettled weather, Woodfords Station reported very little action on the West Fork all week.
DAVIS LAKE-The lake is at 65-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFG trout plant this week. Ed Dillard made it out and picked up 8 fish to 19 inches on his first exploratory trip trolling Dick Nite spoons at 10 feet near the island. His first guide trip produced 14 fish up to 18 inches, with most of the rainbows measuring 12 to 14 inches. Shore anglers are doing fairly well as are the fly casters at the mouths of the creeks that flow into the lake, but the streams themselves are closed for the rainbow spawn. Put the Portola Rotary Club’s Fish Derby on your schedule for June 19–$1000 first prize!!
DONNER LAKE-The lake is at 70-percent capacity. This lake is in need of a DFG trout plant. Keith Kerrigan has been finding Macks spread out all over the lake at depths from the surface down to 100 feet, with 50 to 100 the most productive depth. Macks are running 8 to 14 pounds and hitting AC Plugs, Trophy Sticks, and Jointed Rapalas in silver/black.
FEATHER RIVER CANYON-Native fish are hitting in the upper reaches of the North Fork below the Caribou dam and at the Caribou Powerhouse when the generators are running.
FRENCHMAN LAKE-The lake is at 51-percent capacity. Fishing is good from the shore at the dam with inflated nightcrawlers and marshmallows. The area stream fishing is excellent.
ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR-The lake is at 61-percent capacity and is scheduled for a DFG trout plant this week. Toplining is excellent here. Dale Daneman described it as “like fishing at the trout farm” where fish will hit anything thrown into the water. Anglers are reporting 20 to 25 fish days. Put the Rites of Spring Family Trout Fishing Derby on May 22 on your schedule–$10,000 worth of prizes for derby and raffle winners.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR-Poor weather and wind has made for tough angling here. No word of any success from Woodfords Station store.
JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park)-The lake is full. Rainbow action is still good at the inlet area in the Narrows by the old boat ramp.
LAKE TAHOE-Fishing has been good on both ends of the lake. Mickey Daniels at Big Mack Charters and Chuck Self at Chuck’s Charter Fishing have been doing well trolling for Macks at North Shore from 180 to 400 feet deep. Fish are running 4 to 6 pounds. Mike Neilsen at Tahoe Top Liners has been picking up rainbows, browns, and Macks at South Shore in 20 to 25 feet of water with a B-14 Bomber lure in rainbow trout and firetiger patterns or a 1-ounce Krocodile spoon.
PROSSER LAKE-The lake is at 70-percent capacity. Prosser Creek inlet near Hobart Mills has been the most productive for rainbows. The dam and Alder Creek get better when the lake level is higher.
PYRAMID LAKE-The fishing is still better for the shore anglers, but it’s improving for the trollers as the cutthroats finish spawning and move back out to deeper water. Fly fishermen have reported catching-and-releasing fish from 6 to 11 pounds. With the cooler water temps being maintained by the frequent storms, fishing should be good until the season closer on June 30.
RED LAKE-There’s some open water around the edges, so shore fishing is a possibility.
SILVER LAKE-The lake is at 29-percent capacity. There is a 100-yard open section of water along the road by the dam that shore fishermen are trying.
STAMPEDE RESERVOIR-The lake is at 48-percent capacity. Kokanee fishing is wide open and the fish are hitting any dodger/lure presentation, without regard to colors, in the top 10 feet. You can use any spoon, spinner or bug behind a dodger and catch these tasty little sockeyes. Some large Mackinaws, 8 to 20 pounds, are prowling just below the kokanee and occasionally hitting an AC Plug. An 11-pound brown trout was caught by a local trolling for Macks.
TOPAZ LAKE-The lake is at 60-percent capacity. Fishing is good for trollers who have been catching limits of rainbows on flasher/worm combos worked at 15 feet deep in the middle of the lake. Shore anglers are having a tougher time with the best action coming out of the southwest side of the lake on Power Bait.
TRUCKEE RIVER-The area below the dam at Tahoe City is best because it is insulated from the heavier runoff that has increased flows in the rest of the river. Some browns are hitting BWO’s and March Browns.
UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR-The lake is at 74-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFG trout plant this week. Still a good topline bite for trollers after the planter rainbows, though some holdover fish are running 18 to 20 inches. No action on the kokanee yet, and the Mack bite has been sporadic, according to Ken Mathis at Ken’s Custom Tackle. One or two Macks is a good day.
WEST WALKER RIVER-With the runoff causing the water flows to increase, the cold water has slowed the bite. There are fewer fishermen catching fewer fish, but the ones being taken are running 12 to 16 inches and hitting nightcrawlers, salmon eggs, and spinners. Mono County plants will continue after the run-off is over in mid-June. If the weather warms, the river will be blown out within the next week or so, according to Sam Foster at the Toiyabe Motel.
BERKELEY-Halibut came alive in the bay on Sunday for some anglers, with the California Dawn running with a light load of four anglers who caught 11 halibut to 34 pounds while fishing south bay in prime conditions with a good drift and clean water.
BODEGA BAY- Uneventful due to weather. There was a hard northwest wind until Friday, when the fleet did get out. The New Sea Angler had three for 11 or 12 anglers, but the Miss Anita ended the day with one around, and all were big bombers from 20 to 28 pounds. The fish were in 100 feet of water between Bird and Elephant rock.
EMERYVILLE-The landing activity has been slow, with no trips out on Saturday or Sunday. Still no live bait, which deterred the halibut chasers, and the weather all week kept the salmon efforts in port.
EUREKA-The ocean finally calmed down and anglers got out for Pacific halibut with good results that included a big fish of 70 pounds, and several others in the 35- to 45-pound class caught. Most fished around the 300-foot contour straight out. “The action isn’t great, but it’s fair,” said Lonnie Dollarhide, who fished with Captain Phil Glenn on the Shellback. Three anglers on board caught three pacific halibut topped by a 46 pounder. “Captain Gary Blasi of Full Throttle Sportfishing has had limits of halibut the past three days!” he added.
FORT BRAGG-Early in the week, salmon action was fair to good with six fish for seven anglers on the Trek II, topped by a 20 pounder. The weekend was tougher, with only one king per day boated. “The water cooled off with all the northwest wind, but a couple days of warming temperatures should turn things around,” said Captain Jason Rosetto. “We have great brown water, and lots of krill in the area.” Bottomfishing will add to the mix on May 15, and Rosetto is planning a morning trip for rockfish and an afternoon effort for salmon.
HALF MOON BAY-Captain Tom Mattusch on the Huli Cat got in his first successful rockfish trip south of Pigeon Point, finding a mixed grade of fish, and good numbers of Dungeness crabs.
LOCH LOMOND-Halibut fishing is picking up. Captain Jim Cox of Jim Cox Sportfishing got into the halibut with a short trip that could have produced better (his group wanted to get off the water early) when five anglers caught two keepers and one shaker released, and missed a few. “The bite just started up good when we had to head in,” said Cox. The fish hit frozen herring drifted at Southampton Shoals.
SHELTER COVE-Captain Trent Slate of Shelter Cove Sportfishing is starting his charter season Saturday, and said the salmon fishing has been pretty good. On Saturday, four boats ran and scored 12 salmon to 15 pounds, then on Sunday, seven boats got 15 fish to 15 pounds. “We’re going to drop some crab pots Monday, and do a little trolling,” said Slate. Starting May15, he’ll be targeting Pacific halibut, rockfish, lingcod and salmon, as the action presents.
SUISUN BAY-Still some sturgeon showing up, with two weighed at Martinez Bait, one 52 incher and one 64 incher. Top spots are the Mothball Fleet and Ozol, with the Martinez Pier not a bad choice for the shore anglers. One lucky pier guy, first name given only of Jeff, hooked and released a 70 incher.
AMERICAN RIVER-Middle Fork in the Georgetown area has been producing some nice browns and rainbows for anglers hiking down to the river. Fish to 18 inches are hitting nightcrawlers and spinners.
BULLARDS BAR-The lake is at 86-percent capacity. Spotted bass action is good with the fish on the bank in spawning mode, so practice catch-and-release. Darthead, wacky, and drop-shot Roboworms are all working on fish running 3 to 4 1/2 pounds. No word on trout or kokanee from Emerald Cove Marina.
CAMP FAR WEST-The lake is spilling. Bass fishing is good in the afternoons along rocky banks on the main body with green plastics for fish up to 4 pounds.
COLLINS LAKE-The lake is virtually full, only down .1 feet. Trout limits are common for shore anglers and trollers. The big fish for the week was a 9 1/2-pound rainbow caught by Lewis Chauvin of Lincoln while trolling a Yozuri lure. Catfish and bass action is picking up. A Grass Valley couple caught 5 cats, with two over 8 pounds, on anchovies by the dam. Bluegill and red-ears are starting to bite, also.
ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR-The lake is at 89-percent capacity. Only trout action is for holdover rainbows, 14 to 16 inches, for trollers working up toward the inlet above Black’s Ravine. Bass are stacked up along the banks getting ready to spawn.
FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR-The lake is at 44-percent capacity. Will Fish Tackle had not heard anything about this lake yet.
HELL HOLE RESERVOIR-The lake is at 49-percent capacity. The road in is rough with lots of mud and some snowdrifts-4-wheel drive is mandatory right now. Launching is difficult due to the low water level. Trollers are picking up easy limits of 12-inch kokanee on dodger/hoochie rigs from the surface down to 40 feet. The Macks are right behind feeding on the kokes and trollers have picked up a few on Rapalas and Trophy Sticks. Brown trout are hitting Rapalas pumped along the shore before the sun hits the water. Fluorocarbon is mandatory for the browns.
LAKE OROVILLE-The lake is up 10 more feet to 63-percent capacity. Bass and coho action is still good. Bass are spawning so they’re in the backs of the coves and pockets in 10 to 15 feet of water. Better fish are running 3 to 4 pounds and hitting Roboworms, Senkos and Flukes. Coho, to 14 inches, were hitting Sling Blade/Cripplure combos near the Green Bridge at 30 to 40 feet. On dark days, the coho will move up to 10 feet and can be found at the dam also.
ROLLINS LAKE-The lake is full. Contestants in a recent bass tournament caught 142 fish, unfortunately, no results were available. Trout trolling near the dam has been good. Resorts will all open full-time for the Memorial Day weekend.
SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE-The lake is full. Not much has changed here. Trout fishing has been good for shore anglers and trollers at the dam, and smallmouth bass should be in the shallows spawning.
SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR-The lake is scheduled for another DFG trout plant this week. With all the DFG plants, the trout action is good for shore anglers using Power Bait and worms and for trollers pulling flasher/worm combos. The bass should be moving toward the bank to spawn.
STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR-The lake is full. The weather forecast for this week should slow the action down a little, but trollers and shore anglers are picking up some of the planters that DFG put in recently.
THERMOLITO AFTERBAY-Bass are spawning in shallow water in the backs of the coves on tule banks. One angler reported catching five bass to 4 ½ pounds on twin tail jigs in 4 to 5 feet of water.
NORTH COAST LAKES
CLEAR LAKE-Big annual catfish derby here for the weekend with over 400 boats expected to show up. Warmer weather may really turn the bite on. Still waiting on the weather here to warm up so the bass will “get going” with their spawn. While some have already finished, most have not started. Their late efforts this year may mean a later and longer spawn into the summer months. Anglers with artificials are catching 6 to 15 fish per day. A few anglers are catching fish by sight fishing, pitching Creature Baits in the tules, a few topwater baits, and a few swimbaits but the water clarity has not been good. This week expect to see a number of anglers focused on catfish as well. If the waters warm, they too, will be on a good bite.
LAKE BERRYESSA-The koke bite continues to be good in the mornings in the top 15 feet and then some fish moved a little deeper to 20 or 25 feet as the sun hits the water. Skier’s Cove to the Big Island continue to find more fish with Rocky Mountain Tackle dodgers in hyper -plaid, Bahama Mama and pink Bahama with double glow pink hoochies, pink Radical Glow Tubes and red Radical Glow Tubes were all good choices. Pro-Cure’s herring oil on corn and sockeye slayer gel on the dodgers helped get their attention.
UPPER BLUE LAKE-Trout fishing slowed but then the lake saw a lot of fishing pressure during the trout derby. The bass were a better bet with drop-shotting still being the most productive method.
LAKE PILLSBURY-The lake still isn’t on the approved stocking list for trout but bass are in the shallows looking to spawn. Try casting a plastic worm to them as the waters here are very clear and the fishing pressure is almost non-existent.
SACRAMENTO RIVER side-There are a lot of milting smaller male stripers. You’ll find wide open action sitting on anchor for fish under 18 inches while you wait for the larger females to show. Just remember to use a 5/0 Owner cutting point hook so as not to let those little guys swallow it. Sturgeon fishing was good around Chain and Sherman islands with depths ranging from 32 feet to 46 feet. The bait of choice seemed to move back to eel, and the incoming tides were by far the most productive.
SAN JOAQUIN RIVER side-Working the Middle Ground area was productive with the best depths ranging from 32 feet to 46 feet. Eel was also the way to go bait wise. The Mokelumne River should start to pick up for stripers again as the smaller milting males have returned.
LAKE ALMANOR- Considering the weather, fishing has been good here with brown trout to 5 pounds, limits of rainbows and some salmon mixed in. Start trolling at the dam, then head to the east shore, and Rec. 1 to the tip of the peninsula for salmon and browns, and then back to Almanor West for rainbows. With water temperatures still only in the high 40 to low 50s still, the lake is behind schedule and you’ll have to stick with fish as they are not always eating yet.
BATTLE CREEK RESERVOIR–No access to this area at this time due to deep snowdrifts. It may be several weeks until the road is plowed by P.G.E. The lake is likely still frozen in any case.
BAUM LAKE-Fishing has again picked up after slowing earlier in the week. Lots of trout are being caught with some going to 6 pounds. Lure fishermen seemed to prefer Trout Magnets and Kastmasters. Large nightcrawlers were the choice for bait fishermen, though salmon eggs were doing well also. Fly fishermen mainly used pheasant tails, callibaetis cripples, and PMDs are also showing.
BRITTON LAKE-Increasing water temperatures should bring the crappie up. Regulation changes now include bluegill and perch in the 25-fish limit on crappie, so be sure to count them in your total catch.
BURNEY CREEK-Water flow through Burney Falls is colored, causing some problems. Try the lower end where it dumps into Lake Britton for the best bet using nymphs. No salmon flies as of yet.
CASSEL FOREBAY-There has been a lot of fishing pressure here but then, they are catching limits, too. Nightcrawlers, salmon eggs, as well as lures such as Kastmasters were all working well. Fly fishing activity will improve as the weather warms.
FALL RIVER-The fishing continues to be great as long as the wind isn’t blowing. Lots of weed growth and the PMD hatch is just getting started, with the peak of the dry fly action in the middle of the day between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.. In the morning before the hatch starts, and in the afternoon/evening after the hatch, fishing remained good subsurface, either swinging wet flies and nymphs or nymphing under indicators. Reports show good hatches, which should improve with the sunny skies predicted. Should be good numbers of PMDs coming off as well but callibaetis cripples are usually a good bet also.
UPPER HAT CREEK- Large brook trout, many in the 3-pound range are still being taken on Panther Martins, salmon eggs, and worms here. The salmon flies are beginning to emerge, with stonefly nymphs producing well throughout the riffle water and the dry fly action poised to get going any day now.
HAT CREEK (wild)-Fly fishing continues to be good in the riffle sections at Powerhouse No. 2 and above the weir at Lake Britton. Nymphing under indicators and dry/dropper rigs were most productive, with stoneflies and PMD nymphs especially.
IRON CANYON RESERVOIR-Anglers have reported that the lake is fishing very well, with lots of limits.
KESWICK RESERVIOR-The boat ramp at Keswick is closed again for dredging efforts, scheduled to re-open this summer.
MANZANITA LAKE–The lake is still frozen and unfishable at this time.
MCCLOUD RIVER- Fishing very well now as the flows have dropped over the past week, and it is running clear throughout. Some early golden stoneflies and even salmon flies are hatching sporadically throughout the river, along with a mixed bag of mayflies (midday through afternoon) and caddis in the evening. Nymphing the pocket water and riffles is productive during the day, with the best dry fly opportunities in the evening. The Upper McCloud near Fowler’s camp is fishing well and anglers there have been reporting good fishing with either nymphs under indicators or dry flies with dropper rigs. Salmon flies are beginning to hatch right now, along with a few golden stoneflies and smaller winter stones, caddis in the afternoons, and some PMDs.
PIT RIVER-Fishing very well, depending on the location. The best fishing has been in the Pit 3 and 4 sections, with varied hatches (some golden stones, some salmon flies, some PMDs, some caddis), but consistent nymphing in the pocket water throughout the day. There has been a combination of nymphing the pocket waters with some dry fly action midday on warm days (caddis, some PMDs, golden stoneflies, even salmon flies).
LAKE SHASTA-Trout fishing has been as good working the top 20 feet. Trout are averaging 16 inches but a few are hitting the 3-plus-pound mark. The salmon bite is improving as well with some salmon reported up to 5 pounds caught around the dam and Dry Creek. The bass fishing slowed as cooler waters returned but as the waters warm up, expect to see numbers and sizes pick up. Anglers are tossing dart headed 6-inch worms, Senkos and tubes from the bank out to 25 feet as they move in and out with the water temperatures.
AMADOR LAKE-A special plant of 3,000 pounds of trout included 1,000 pounds of 15 pounders, and that really boosted both the action and the average size of the fish. “There were many limits, and those limits were weighing around 30 pounds!” said Laurie Lockhart at the Lake Amador Store. Gold Kastmaster tossed from the docks scored many of the lunkers, but the Power Bait crowd also had some good action. Trollers used a threaded ‘crawler fished behind a small dodger and longlined out about 70 feet for best results.
CAMANCHE LAKE-Louise Buie at Camanche Recreation heard from successful trout anglers who fished both the main lake and the South Shore Trout Pond. Top bet for both was shore fishing with Power Bait. No troller reports, but the fish should be willing for anglers fishing with Rapalas, spoons and flasher/’crawler combos. With the weather changes, bass are in all stages of spring with pre-spawn, spawning, and post-spawn fish. Top action went to anglers fishing darthead jigs rigged with plastic worms and Senkos fished in the first 15 feet of water.
DON PEDRO RESERVOIR-Guide Monte Smith of Gold Country Sportfishing reported solid king salmon action for trollers. He guided two days on the lake, and scored good action on trout and salmon on Tuesday, then focused on salmon on Saturday for 15 fish kept, and a 5 pounder lost at the boat. Some friends caught a 9-pound king, and lost another that was estimated at 8 pounds lost when the lunker snapped the line. “The best action for us has been in the open water from Fleming Bay to Big Oak Island,” said Smith. Bass fishing reports were mixed, with the cold front changing up the weekend action and the wind hampering efforts mid-week. Top bets were fishing worms and jigs in 12 to 24 feet of water.
LAKE McCLURE-Bass anglers did best on Saturday before the weather hit, with fish in the 15- to 20-foot range taking Creature baits, jigs and darthead rigged worms. Trout trollers found the best action upriver where rainbows hit flasher/’crawler combos fished 20 feet down. No reports on the kings or kokanee here.
LAKE McSWAIN-Marilyn Kemper at the marina said the lake was planted on Friday, boosting the bite for both shore and boat anglers. There was a Mariposa Fish and Game Association tagged trout derby on Saturday, but only one tagged fish caught. Plenty of limits for anglers using Power Bait and nightcrawlers from shore, or Wedding Rings and Roostertails from the boats.
LAKE PARDEE-Trout fishing remained good for shore anglers fishing behind the marina, from Blue Heron Point and from the parking lot bank behind Tom Sawyer Island. When not too crowded, the launch ramp also kicks out fish. Trollers caught fish in the top 20 feet upriver, and a little deeper in the main lake. Top lures are spoons like Needlefish in pink or fluorescent orange/red tipped with a piece of worm, and trailing a dodger or flashers. Guide Larry Hemphill fished for bass, finding fair to good bass action while fishing a RoboWorm and Senkos, with both largemouth and smallmouth boated.
NEW HOGAN RESERVOIR-Outdoor writer William Heinselman reported good striper action for anglers fishing with side-planers and crescent weights to get anchovy baits down 20 to 30 feet. Black bass are on beds, and dropping a Senko into the shallows works best.
NEW MELONES RESERVOIR-Kokanee fishing rated fair to good with some mixed rainbow and sockeye limits caught between 20 and 40 feet. Top producers for guide Gary Burns of Take It To The Limit Guide Service are copper dodgers followed by a copper spinner, and pink or orange hoochies behind a Slingblade. His best action for the week came from above the Parrots Ferry Bridge to Coyote Creek. “We put a lot of fish in the boat, but you had to put time on the water to get them” said Burns. Bass fishing has been good, with some fish already spawning. A recent tournament produced a 16-pound limit for the winnders, most of the fish caught on jigs and darthead jigs with worms fished in 10 to 20 feet of water. Bass to 10 pounds were caught and released.
TULLOCH RESERVOIR-Good trout fishing drew most of the attention from anglers, with trollers finding planters and holdovers while trolling 20 feet down with shad, flasher/’crawler combos and spoons.