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.-Pretty much the same assessment from all of our Field Reporters and contacts up here. Manager of the Chetco Outdoor Store Dave Pitts and WON Field Reporters Curtis Palmer of River Secrets guide Service and Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing, all concurred that the best fishing right now is in the estuary where the next run of kings is staging, waiting for the next rain. The river itself was dropping and clearing over the weekend, and there weren’t the number of kings that were expected-so far! Kings from the last rain are scattered throughout the upper river and hard to catch.
ELK RIVER, Port Orford, Ore.– The river in the middle of the week was doing fair, according to WON Field Reporter and guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Guide Service. By Saturday the river was very clear and on the low side for easy floating in the driftboat. Fish counters for ODFW say that there are only a few Chinooks in the higher section of the river. Gregg Eide had caught a couple kings by the middle of the day on Saturday and did say that it appeared that the salmon were spread out and a little thin in the river, but obviously there are salmon to catch. The mouth of the Elk river was good to anglers that were willing to make the one mile walk from Cape Blanco State Park south on the beach. It seemed as if everyone had at least hooked a Chinook during the incoming tides.
RUSSIAN RIVER-There are steelhead in the river, but not a whole lot of them, according to “Scott” at Kings Sport and Tackle in Guerneville. River conditions are great-the river is a nice milky color and the flow is good, about 800 cfs at Wohler Bridge, and there are enough fish for it to worth a trip, but more are expected during the next storm. There are kings in the river, and 1800 have already gone by the counter, but they are off limits. Read the regulations before you fish here.
SIXES RIVER, Port Orford, Ore.– A few reports say that on Friday that there were lots of Chinooks being caught, according to WON Field Reporter Curtis Palmer of River Secrets Guide Service, while on Saturday it was hard to find anybody that could vouch for any king salmon being caught on the river. Extremely clear water conditions on Saturday were not helping anglers in their pursuit of catching that trophy salmon that this river is known for.
SMITH RIVER-Dave Castellanos of Cast Guide Service has been fly fishing the Smith, and his clients hooked two and landed a 30 pounder on Saturday, but they haven’t gotten anything Sunday when we called him on his cellphone Sunday at noon. We could use another shower to freshen the water,” he said. Rain was expected Thursday or Friday. He spoke with other guides on the Smith and they said a few fish had been scratched up. The Smith clears quickly after a storm, so it’s the first to fish, and the first to drop out and clear.
KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen-The Klamath between the mouth and up to Happy Camp continued to be blown out, and is running too high to be able to fish effectively, but the river was clearing by the day.
KLAMATH RIVER, IRON GATE-Fishing continued to be excellent for halfpounders and adults to 5 pounds, and was very good. The river was in good fishing condition down to Happy Camp, but high downstream of there. Backtroll nightcrawlers behind Hot Shots, drift roe, and dead drift or swing flies drifted under indicators or on the swing.
TRINITY RIVER, Willow Creek-The river was blown out below Del Loma but clearing by the day. Call ahead.
TRINITY RIVER, Douglas City-The river was fishable and in good shape down to the North Fork, and a good number of fresh steelhead arrived on the recent rains. Some fresh king salmon, as well. Some bright adult steelhead to 9 pounds were being caught on flies either on the dead drift under indicators, or on the swing. Backtrolled Brad’s Wigglers and side-drifted roe were scoring for spin fishermen and bait casters.
NORTH COAST LAKES
CLEAR LAKE- Live baits such as jumbo minnows will be best for bass for the next few months as we settle into the winter pattern. The Red Bud arm, as well as the upper end of the lake were good for bass to 7 pounds. To target the good catfish bite try cut mackerel, minnows or nightcrawlers. They have been weighing up to 20 pounds and even caught by anglers targeting bass.
LAKE BERRYESSA- The lake has cooled off and the bait is starting to bunch up more. Bass and other species are taking advantage of that. The best thing to do is to move around and look for baitfish in the main body creek channels and offshore structure. Work bass with spoons and drop-shot baits.
UPPER BLUE LAKE-A few trollers are finding trout on flashers and worms, or a 1/8-ounce Kastmaster in silver in the top 12 to 20 feet. A downrigger set at 25 feet produced larger trout averaging 2 1/2 pounds. Eagle Lake trout have dominated the catch and are scattered all over the lake. Water temperatures are the same all over so they are following the food.
LAKE ALMANOR-The bait has started to move down by the dam, and therein lies the problem. The Lassen National Forest Service announced that sometime in late November launch ramp at Canyon Dam will close for improvements until as late as next Memorial Weekend. The only launch sites at least for the winter will all be private ones. This lake can kick out some monster trout during the winter.
BAUM LAKE-The fishing has been very good with cooler weather. Winter fishing here is usually very good here and will be a good option for trout now that streams are closed. There are lots of bugs on the water and cripples, midges, bwo’s with the clouds, and nymphs are taking fish. As usual, Power Bait, Power Eggs, and nightcrawlers are favorites. Brown or olive woolly buggers are fooling a few fish. Lure fishermen are sticking with Kastmasters for the most part. ?
BRITTON LAKE-The bite has slowed to a crawl for bass as these warmwater fish don’t care for the cooling waters and no reports were available.
BURNEY CREEK-Closed November 15, and will reopen the last Saturday in April.
CASSEL FOREBAY- Closed for the season until the last Saturday in April.?
EAGLE LAKE-Trout fishing was great here this past week and should continue as long as the weather cooperates. Fish were caught consistently in water 6 to 10 feet deep trolling orange grubs at 3 to 7 feet deep. Trolling orange and yellow or rust and dark brown colored J-Fair flies inside Spalding Bay between Pelican Point and the launch ramp in 5 to 7 feet of water also produced limits 3 to 5 feet deep.
FALL RIVER–Now only artificial lures with barbless hooks may be used until next spring.
UPPER HAT CREEK- Closed November 15 until next spring.
HAT CREEK (wild) – Closed November 15 until next spring.
PIT RIVER-Pit 7 is open all year but Pit 3 down to there is now only artificial lures with barbless hooks now. The Pit 3 reach access is open during daytime hours, but still under construction during the night-time hours. Test releases began this week at Pit 3 and Pit 4, but scheduled increases are reported to be gradual, not sudden, so the “No Kill” season could start off well. ?
LAKE SHASTA-Water temperatures are in upper 50s in the morning but it hasn’t helped the bass bite. Ten pounds would win any event here right now. Not much of a reaction bite either just drop-shot and dart headed worms in morning dawn (pink). More bait in the Pitt arm makes this one of the better areas to try and all the fish have been small. Stable weather has helped the trout bite and the upper arms are producing outstanding fishing for numbers and size. Trout to 7 or 8 pounds were caught all over the lake.
BENICIA-Tony Lopez at Benicia Bait said the shoreline action remained good for striped bass, pile worms and anchovies the best baits now that bullheads are getting scarce. Sturgeon fishing was great for boaters fishing up near Chain Island until the word got out and the armada arrived, then smart anglers found new spots not so heavily pressured. One six-pack boat had 5 stripers for 4 anglers, topped by a 25 pounder.
BERKELEY-The California Dawn ran crab combos all week, with crab limits every single day. The fishing part of the combo focused on striped bass and halibut, and at first, the count was single digit. Runs up to San Pablo Bay later in the week scored better bass action, with counts up around one around. Live anchovies did the trick.
BODEGA BAY- Crabbing is still going strong, with private and charter boats scoring easy limits. The weather was a challenge during the week, but even the guys who put pots out in the outer harbor scored Dungeness.
EMERYVILLE-Crab combos scored limits of crab and a handful of striped bass and halibut. “We aren’t running any more straight fishing trips, just the crab combos,” said Frank Salazar at Emeryville Sportfishing Center. Still, the combo trips scored some stripers and halibut, and the final fishing only trip on the Captain Hook nailed a 25-pound halibut. The New Huck Finn and New Seeker will offer the combo trips with live bait halibut and striped bass fishing until the live bait runs out, then they’ll seek sanddabs.
EUREKA-Crabbing has been phenomenal with limits the rule for sport anglers. “Dean Antonsen fished with Billy Christiansen, dropping 30 commercial sized pots in 120 feet north off the stacks,” said John Corbett at the Pro Sport Center. “After they dropped their string, they turned around and pulled three pots after a 30 minute soak. The first one had 8 keepers, the second had 15 and with the third, they finished with 30 nice jumbos!” Trinidad has also offered good crabbing for kayakers, with one kayaker getting his limit in about 30 minutes in star traps.
FORT BRAGG-Captain Randy Thornton on the Telstar continued to score crab limits despite the less than perfect weather. Mid-week, a giant squid effort blanked. On Saturday, the Telstar scored 300 crabs, limits for 28 passengers and crew, then on Sunday, with an overnight soak, his group of 23 scored their 230 crabs and were back in port by 10:30. “We had up to 20 keepers per pot, and biggest was a 3.2 pounder that went into Brianna Labue’s limit,” said Thornton.
HALF MOON BAY-Weather kept the boats from running south of Pigeon Point, but the local crabbing continued strong with limits on the boats offering the crab option. ON board the Huli Cat, Captain Tom Mattusch reports the best crabbing he’s ever seen. “The crabs are very large,” he said. “The Huli Cat will continue to offer crab only trips, crab and sanddab combos, and crab and giant squid combos,” said Mattusch.
MARTINEZ-A real mix of action, with the Happy Hooker finding good bass numbers and a couple halibut, and the Reel-lentless finding the first solid sturgeon action of the year. The pier is booting out stripers also, and while bullheads are the favored bait.
AMERICAN RIVER-Salmon were pretty much a no-show last week throughout the part of the river open to fishing, but there are quite a few steelhead present. No big adults are being reported, but steelies in the 2- to 3-pound range are relatively plentiful and are being caught on backtrolled Hot Shots, spinners, mini-crawlers and roe. Fly fishers have been scoring on egg imitations and caddis nymphs fished under indicators.
FEATHER RIVER-Steelhead fishing continued to be very good for fly fishers fishing with egg imitations and nymphs under indicators in the Low Flow Section and in the main stem of the Feather below the Outlet. The key to success has been to use light line and leader and to work and move around quietly. Spin fishermen are scoring on roe, Glo-Bugs, small spinners and mini-crawlers. Again, use light gear, and be stealthy.
FOLSOM LAKE-More and more bass are now being caught shallower than before on reaction baits like crankbaits and swimbaits. Spooning and jigging have also been effective around the main body. Prime depths are a bit of a guess to start with. Bass might be as shallow as 10 feet, or as deep as 30 feet. Fishing for king salmon and trout bite was hit and miss, but try in front of the dam and Dyke 8 with nightcrawlers behind blades, small Rapalas in Hot Steel, Speedy Shiners, and Needlefish. Topline with one rod and try the other between 30 and 40 feet deep.
MCCLOUD RIVER-Fishing returned to being pretty good by the end of the week as the weather cleared, and fish have a sense of urgency as winter approaches. Fish mid-day with caddis nymph imitations.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento-Fishing for striped bass was good in the Deep Water Channel for boaters trolling Yo Zuri’s and Rebels, jigging Duh spoons, as well as drifting minnows. Bankies were soaking bloodworms and mudsuckers. Trolling deep water plugs also have been scoring on schoolie-sized stripers around Steamboat, Cache, and Prospect sloughs. Bankies were getting a few on bloodworms and mudsuckers. Some sturgeon were being reported from Courtland, and Hood-Franklin.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Los Molinos-Good salmon fishermen were scoring 1or 2 salmon per outing in the stretch open to fishing from Red Bluff to Knight’s Landing on backtrolled Kwikfish and big spinners trolled downstream. It’s a case of being in the right place at the right time as a school passes through. The big news of the week was a monster 50-pound late fall king salmon caught by a client of “Big” John Enos out Ord Bend.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding-Trout fishing was pretty good for nice trout to 3 pounds for fly fishers dead drifting egg imitations and nymphs under indicators. Spin fishermen were drifting Glo-Bugs.
YUBA RIVER-It’s late in the season, but really nice trout, some exceeding 20 inches, continue to be caught on grasshopper imitations according to Mike Powers of American Fly Fishing. Even though blue wing olives are still hatching, trout are still keying on grasshoppers. Fish from the Highway 20 Bridge down to Daguerre Dam.
AMERICAN RIVER-River is only open to fishing below the Hwy 49 crossing and few reports were available.
BULLARDS BAR-The lake is at 64-percent capacity. Some Oroville area anglers who visited the lake recently were catching lots of 2 1/2 to 3 pounders and some spots to 5 pounds. One fisherman said that this lake provides some of the best spotted bass fishing in the West.
CAMP FAR WEST-Bass are hitting tube baits dragged on the main body points. Fish 3 to 4 pounds have been reported. Some big stripers have been hooked by anglers fishing up in the Rock Creek arm, but none have been landed-lots of broken lines!!
COLLINS LAKE-The third fall plant was made this past Thursday and the fourth will come at the same time this week. The 1000-pound plants consist of 500 pounds of catchables around a pound and 500 pounds of fish over 4 pounds. Fishing has been very good for trollers and shore anglers. Trollers are doing well all over the lake using flasher/worm combos and Rapalas at 15 feet. Some bass are being caught by trollers.
ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR-The lake is at 90-percent capacity. Trout are still being caught by trollers in the marina on flasher/worm combos at 10 feet. Skippers Cove Marina reported some progress in getting DFG to resume trout plants here-the big concern is letting hatchery trout dilute the native steelhead gene pool in the Yuba River below the dam. The DFG is looking into planting sterile triploid trout in the future.
FRENCH MEADOWS RESERVOIR-The few fishermen who are venturing up here are finding pretty good action trolling flasher/worm combos up at the inlet for rainbows and a few browns. The season here is winding down fast.
FULLER LAKE-Very little information has been forthcoming about the fishing here. There should be plenty of fish left over from the DFG plants made earlier this summer. But again, the season is winding down fast here.
HELL HOLE RESERVOIR-The Georgetown Ranger Station reported that very few anglers have been up here and few reports were available. Getting cold up here and the next snow storm will probably make access difficult.
LAKE OROVILLE-The lake is at 47-percent capacity, down 150 feet. The 59 boats in the Dave Rush Benefit Tournament found plenty of small fish, but few quality spots. Most anglers were drop-shotting worms or dragging tubes and Brushhogs on the main body points from 40 to 60 feet deep. There was a short reaction bite before the sun hit the water, if there was a little wind, on jerkbaits and spinnerbaits. The 3-fish Dave Rush Benefit Tournament was won by Ryan and Bill Friend with 9.48 pounds that included the big fish, a 4.58 spot. There were a lot of coho and trout working on bait schools in the backs of some of the short coves off the main lake.
ROLLINS LAKE-A 4-pound brown trout came out of the inlet area to the Bear River. Trollers have been hitting this area with good results. Bass to 3 pounds have been hitting lures fished from shore in the Long Ravine Campgrounds area.
SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE-There are still a few smallmouth hitting worms and tubes fished off the dam area. There should be some good sized browns staging at the inlet of Deer Creek.
SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR-Very few reports were available for this lake. Fishing was slow all summer, but the cooler water temp should be getting the fish in a feeding mode to prepare for winter.
STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR-Still a few anglers giving it a try here for rainbows trolling flasher/worm combos up at the Pilot Creek inlet and by the dam. Some shore action at the dam for anglers using Power Bait and worms.
THERMOLITO AFTERBAY-When WON drove over this lake on Saturday, there were no boats on the water and no one parked at Wilbur Road. Few reports were available.
BOCA LAKE-The lake is at 37-percent capacity. The dam and inlet have been producing for shore anglers.
CAPLES LAKE-Shore fishing should be good at the dam and spillway. Snow is close by on the mountains surrounding the lake. The EID Boat Launching Facility and Caples Lake Resort are both closed, so trailered boats have no place to launch-cartoppers only! Trolling should be good.
CARSON RIVER (East)-Fishing during the last week of the regular season near the Carson River Resort was “superb”. Anglers were catching lots of 2 1/2 to 3 pound browns from the last Alpine County plant. The East Carson only is open to year round fishing from the Hangman’s Bridge to the Nevada State border, but is catch-and-release and barbless artificial lures only.
DAVIS LAKE-The lake is at 58-percent capacity. The trolling is still good, but fewer and fewer boater are going out now that the dock has been pulled out of the water at the Honker Cove ramp. As the temp drops below freezing in the mornings, boaters need to use extreme caution when launching due to ice forming on the ramp after the first boat gets launched. A 4×4 is recommended for launching and if in doubt-DON’T LAUNCH!! Shore fishing has been fair at Mallard Point on Power Bait and inflated nightcrawlers. One angler reported picking up 5 fish, 14 to 15 inches, in 3 to 4 hours.
DONNER LAKE-The lake is at 41-percent capacity. Trollers are having a field day catching lots of planter rainbows on flasher rigs. According to Keith Zenker at Mountain Hardware and Sports, the Mackinaws are starting to move up into shallower water and can be found stacked up in schools. Boat launchers need to use caution-stay on the west side of the ramp and go slow!
FRENCHMAN LAKE-The lake is at 40-percent capacity. Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden reported that fishing was slow. Shore anglers should still do okay at the dam, Lunker Point, and the Frenchman’s ramp area.
GOLD LAKES BASIN-According to Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden, fishing at Salmon Lake and Sardine Lake was good, but action was slow at Gold Lake. There’s snow in the area, but the roads are open.
ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR-The lake is at 72-percent capacity. The rainbow bite for trollers is still wide-open on anything pulled through the top 15 feet.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR-The Alpine County trophy trout plant should be made here within the next couple of weeks. Two guys hit the lake on Saturday and caught limits throwing a combination of Panther Martins, Kastmasters, and worms. The rainbows ran 1 1/2 to 2 pounds.
JACKSON MEADOW RESERVOIR-Mountain Hardware and Sports in Truckee reported that shore anglers are doing very well on Power Bait and worms for 12- to 14- inch rainbows at the dam. The launch ramp may be a challenge for trailered boats.
JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park)-A 9-pound, 32 1/2-inch Mackinaw was landed by Tom Powers of Pollack Pines while trolling a Rapala at 90 feet near the second dam. Shore action has been slow.
LAKE TAHOE-Mickey Daniels at Big Mack Charters still reporting a great early morning bite for macks to 7 1/2 pounds at Carnelian Bay. John Shearer of Tahoe Sportfishing was still very happy with the results his boats were having at the Tahoe Keys shelf at 160 to 200 feet on live minnows for 4 to 5 pounders. His best bite is in the afternoon, 1 to 5 p.m. So early or late, you have a choice.
LOON LAKE-The lake is at 67-percent capacity. Still a great bite for trollers using a single grub or dodger/grub for mostly rainbows and a few browns.
PROSSER LAKE-The lake is at 33-percent capacity. The bite has been good for shore anglers at the dam and the Prosser Creek inlet.
PYRAMID LAKE-George Molino at the Pyramid Store reported fair action for cutthroats on his last charters. The fish are running 17 to 22 1/2 inches and are hitting the watermelon Apex and the new Bleeding Frog Flatfish at 20 to 25 feet from Pelican Point to Warrior Point. During a 4 hour trip his clients have been getting 10 to 12 strikes and landing 5 or 6 fish. Joe Mendes at Eagle Eye Charters has been fishing all day and landing 26 to 31 fish per trip. He was trolling 12 to 15 feet deep near the North Nets and Warrior Point with a pearl/red Flatfish. Sometimes the bite is best later in the day-you have to keep moving until you find an active school of fish.
RED LAKE-Woodfords Station reported that few anglers were visiting this lake and no reports were available.
SILVER LAKE-Trolling is still good, though it’s getting cold up here and the snow is sticking at 8000 feet on the surrounding mountains.
STAMPEDE RESERVOIR-The lake is at 59-percent capacity. Shore action has been good at the dam and the inlet areas.
TRUCKEE RIVER-The main river switched over to catch-and-release, single barbless hooks only until April. Be sure to check the DFG regulations!!
UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR-The lake is at 72-percent capacity. Not much happening here with the Sunset ramp closed, requiring boaters to launch at the dam off Pea Vine Ridge Road.
– Fishing reports provided by Western Outdoor News, wonews.com