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 close, and others change to artificial/barbless only on, March 31 and others on April 25. Trouble identifying salmon or steelhead? Go to: http://www.swr.noaa.gov/fmd/identify.htm.
CHETCO RIVER, Ore.-Fishing was still good on the Chetco, but there were more downrunners than fresh fish, and the average was around 2 to 4 fish a day, according to Tony Sepulveda of Green Water Fishing Adventures. The river was expected to blow out big time mid-week, according to guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing, and that is expected to move out a lot of the spawned out fish, but should bring in some late-run steelhead.
EEL RIVER- Once the South Fork Eel River dropped into shape below Garberville early in the week, the bite was on and scores ran high, according to guide Tony Sepulveda of Green Water Fishing Adventures. “My toughest day we 6 landed out of 7 hooked and on my best, we put steel to 13 fish ranging from 5 to 14 pounds. Steelhead fishing really doesn’t get any better. As waters continued to clear, I slipped down to the Main Stem on Friday and found more of the same. We wrapped the day up with 11 landed out of 12 hookups. Mike Stratman of Redwood Coast Fishing was on the drift with me guiding a pair of fly guys and they were getting in on the action as well. After putting them on a few drifting bait, they switched over to the long rods and hooked 4 more with glow bugs under an indicator.” Rain was already hitting the river over the weekend, though, and the rivers were both expected to blow out this week. But season’s not over!
MAD RIVER-Snowmelt kept the Mad flowing dirty for longer than normal, but once the color came around, the action was good. “I heard of good anglers landing as many as 8 fish in a day with a mix of downers and bright wild fish making up the majority of the count,” said guide Tony Sepulveda of Greed Water Fishing Adventures. “Typically the hatchery fish start to thin out this late in the season.”
ROGUE RIVER, Lower, Ore.-A few more fresh spring kings showed up for jetboaters and shore anglers this past week, and along with them a run of steelhead. The springer run will just keep building, and after this set of storms hits this week, there should be a jump in the action, according to Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing. Guide Curtis Palmer of River Secrets said the steelhead season is still in full motion. “My friend and guide Les Craig has been sending me pictures and updates, as there is new information throughout the day all last week,” said Palmer. “He has on average been catching a couple nice fish every day and unfortunately losing a couple steelhead as well. Saturday morning there was another springer caught at the Willows. I was told that they were fishing in 6 feet of water and they were the second boat out from the bank. Water temperature has been 44.5 degrees earlier in the week and on Saturday the water reached as high as 47 degree’s.”
RUSSIAN RIVER-Kings Sport & Tackle in Garberville reported the river running 360 cfs and clear over the weekend, but that wasn’t expected to last with the upcoming storm. A fresh 12-pound steelie was caught at Steelhead Beach along with an 8-pound downrunner. Lots of spawned out fish were showing up, although fresh fish were also still coming in through the open mouth. The river was expected to hit 16,000 cfs by mid-week, so that will keep it out for some time. Maybe even until the shad show up in May!
SMITH RIVER-Phil Desautel of Phil’s Smiling Salmon Guide Service said “the fishing on the Smith has been great. I have been sharing the river with 3 or 4 other guides and that has been it. Every boat has been catching fish every trip.” He said the water remains low and pretty clear, but there have been fish in most all of the fast one-shot slots. He’s using small hooks, small Fishpills and long casts to catch the spooky fish. Mike Hays of Ventura hooked 5 and landed 3, releasing 2 hatchery bucks 8 and 11 pounds and a native hen around 9 pounds. Rich Hicky of Petaluma fished 3 days last week and came back and fished 2 days this week and went 4 for 4 one day and went 3 for 5 the next. Big rains this week will bring the river up big time, but it drops out quickly, so call ahead.
UMPQUA RIVER, North Fork; Roseburg, Ore.–This has been one of the hardest years to predict what the next day’s river conditions will be like and that is due to the erratic weather, accoding to WON Field Reporter and guide Curtis Palmer. A quick look at the viewing station in the fish ladder showed me that there were a hundred steelhead trying to make their way through the maze. All the windows were packed full of fish. I have been catching most of my fish in the afternoon.
UMPQUA RIVER, South Fork; Canyonville, Ore. –Same hard fishing conditions on this river as the North Fork. Stanton Park has been a hot spot for the steelhead this last weekend. It appears from reports that the main school is starting to get to that area of the river. The fish do not go much higher than the park, so they hold in the area for some time, making it a favorite spot for anglers, according to Palmer.
TRINITY RIVER, Lewiston-The river was very clear and low last week, but fishing has remained very good, with good anglers hooking half a dozen steelhead an outing. Fishing has been best in the upper river, and there are still fresh steelhead arriving. However, the stretch of river below Lewiston is seeing some downrunners. Fly fishers were using golden stones, copper Johns and big brown rubberlegs under indicators. Conventional fishermen were backtrolling plugs and sidedrifting roe. It’s best to wrap the roe in netting to mitigate against the hordes of bait-stealing smolts being released from the hatchery.
TRINITY RIVER, Willow Creek-The river downstream from the North Fork was fishable last week, but fishing was slow. Storms are expected this week and will likely lead to higher flows and muddy water from tributaries.
KLAMATH RIVER, Iron Gate Dam-The Upper end of the Klamath continued to see fresh steelhead coming upriver. Fish were being caught down to Orleans, but the best fishing continued to be in the first few miles below Iron Gate Dam with virtually no fishing pressure. Drift roe and nightcrawlers, and backtroll plugs with and without a threaded nightcrawlers behind the plug.. Fly fishing continued to be slow in the very cold water.
AMADOR LAKE–An 11-pound bass, 8 pounders and several 4 and 5 pounders have been caught on pig and jig, swimbaits, dragging worms Texas style and crankbaits, said Laurie Lockhart at The Tackle Box Café. They are still releasing between 800 and 1000 pounds of cutbows a week. Some crappie are starting to show. Trout fishing is still good on all the usual offerings.
CAMANCHE LAKE–Trout action is fair with bait fishermen doing better than trollers. Power Bait at the North Shore Day Use area, Hat Island and the deeper water down by the buoy line at the dam on the right hand side has been producing nice fish. Bass are staging to spawn. Dartheading a Wright Baits WB001r recently won a Nor-Cal Bass Tournament there.
DON PEDRO RESERVOIR–Slow rolling shad in Woods Creek and upriver is still working at 70 feet deep for salmon and nice size trout. There is a good trout bite from one end of the reservoir to the other trolling blade/’crawler combo, Needlefish, Ex-Cels and Wedding Rings in 30 feet of water. Bass bite good as they are shallow with swimbaits. Drop-shotting and dartheading plastics still working good.
LAKE MCCLURE–There is a fair trout bite with an occasional kokanee or salmon trolling over the river channel near the dam. Fish are going deeper as the water warms up try 30 to 40 feet deep. Needlefish or Ex-Cel spoons are working. Bass still staging to spawn and are moving up and down with the water temperature. Live crawdads or jigs imitating crawdads are working. Some fishermen are having a hard time finding the fish.
LAKE MCSWAIN–The trout plants have kept the action pretty good off the points near the Marina. Bank fishermen are using Power bait (garlic) and ‘crawlers. Trollers are using Ex-Cel Lures, Needlefish, Kastmasters and Wedding-Rings/’crawlers with some success. No black bass reports.
NEW MELONES RESERVOIR–Trout action is still holding up with lots of limits, said Melanie Lewis of Glory Hole Sports. Trollers are working Carson Creek, Coyote Creek and Angels Creek with Ex-Cel, Needlefish, blades/’crawler combo and spinners/’crawlers. Bass are on the banks in spawn and pre-spawn modes. Crank baits, dart heading worms and swimbaits are working.
LAKE PARDEE–Pistol Pete Fly’s tossed from the shore on a bobber stopper is working great, said Bill Cook of Lake Pardee Marina. Bank fishing is excellent with anglers using Power Bait and Power Eggs scented with garlic. Trollers are working the river arm catching trout and kokanee in the top 20 feet of water. Blades/’crawler, Apex Lures and spinners with Shoe Peg corn is working.
BOCA LAKE-The lake is at 16-percent capacity. The ice at the dam was still unsafe though there was plenty of open water for shore fishing. Try Power Bait or worms at open water from the dam to the inlet. The inlet area is very shallow due to the low level of the lake.
CAPLES LAKE-John Voss at Caples Lake Resort reported that the ice was still 2 feet thick with little snow on top, but storms forecast for all this week could dump 3 to 4 inches of snow each day. Ice fishermen were frequenting the spillway area for a few rainbows on bay shrimp, Power Bait, worms, and jigged Kastmaster spoons.
CARSON RIVER (East)-Though the river was in beautiful condition, the water temp was still too cold for good fishing-mid- 30’s. Some anglers said that when the temps got into the mid-40’s, fishing would improve dramatically.
DAVIS LAKE-The lake is at 74-percent capacity. The ice cover at the dam was getting smaller every day, but was still a safe 6 to 8 inches thick. Ice fishing was very good this past week with limits of 15 to 17 inchers coming in using Power Bait, according to Ed Dillard at Dillard’s Guided Fishing. Shore fishing at Mallard Point was good, too, with lots of limits of rainbows to 18 inches. Remember for the best success on these light biters to hold your rod in your hands and use long, light leaders with size 16 treble hooks. Caltrans cleared the snow off the Honker Cove ramp and parking lot, but there was still a thick layer of ice on the pavement. After the ice melts off, the dock will be installed.
DONNER LAKE-The west end beach was a good spot to try for both small macks and planter rainbows with inflated nightcrawlers. The macks can also be enticed with a Kastmaster or Krocodile spoon cast from the shore.
FRENCHMAN LAKE-The lake is at 80-percent capacity. There’s still safe ice right at the dam producing good action for ice fishermen using Power Bait and worms. There’s open water showing from just above the dam to the upper end of the lake. Shore anglers were doing well on 14- to 16-inch rainbows using Power Bait and nightcrawlers. Some car top boats were launched this past week, but there was no report on trolling success. Storms are in the forecast for the whole week-use 4-wheel drive to get around the lake.
ICE HOUSE RESERVOIR-The lake is at 73-percent capacity. The snow melted off the roads earlier this past week opening up the access to the lake. More snow is in the forecast for all this week, so call the Pacific Ranger Station for the latest road conditions at 530-647-5400.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR-Todd Sodaro reported that both roads to the lake were clear and passable. Bitter cold nights have caused the formation of skim ice, but warmer days melt it off by afternoon. Shore fishing was productive for bait and lure casters, and fly fishermen. Storms this week could cause some problems with access, so call Todd Sodaro at the Carson River Resort for the latest info at 530-694-2229.
JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park)-The lake is at 76-percent capacity. Bill Brio of Pollock Pines picked up 3- and 5-pound macks trolling a Rapala 30 feet deep in the Narrows this past week. Sly Park Resort reported some rainbows still being caught by shore anglers at the first dam on Power Bait and worms.
LAKE TAHOE-Mickey Daniels at Big Mack Charters and a friend fished this past weekend and landed two tagged 5 1/2 pounders and a 6 pounder in 3 hours. They lost 5 more fish while trolling Sling Blade/Koke-a-nut combos at 300 to 350 feet deep off Carnelian Bay. Chuck Self at Chuck’s Charter Fishing reported limits of macks to 6 pounds for a bachelor party group in 2 hours this past Saturday. Self said they were trolling Needlefish and Blue Fox spoons 190 to 235 feet deep in Crystal Bay.
PROSSER LAKE-The lake is at 32-percent capacity. There was still a thin layer of ice over much of the lake, but some open water was showing at the inlet. A lot of walking involved to fish here-head to Stampede or Donner.
PYRAMID LAKE-Joe Mendes at Eagle Eye Charters reported decent action for limits of 17- to 24-inch cutthroats at the Needles trolling 20 to 35 feet deep over 25 to 60 feet of water using Flatfish. Shore fishing has been slow, but fly casters who use a float tubes or pontoon boats to get out to deeper water have been picking up 15 to 25 fish a day in some cases. Mendes said that the spring spawn was 30 to 40 days behind schedule due to the unusual weather.
RED LAKE-Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters reported decent action for brookies and cutthroats on Power Bait, worms, and jigged Kastmaster spoons. Move around until you find an active bunch of fish-there are plenty of holes already augured.
SILVER LAKE-The lake is very low. Ice fishing should be good, but few reports were available.
STAMPEDE RESERVOIR-The lake is at 88-percent capacity. The road to the lake was open this past week after the snow melted off providing unhampered access. Boats could launch in the afternoon after ice formation on the ramp wasn’t a problem. Shore fishing was producing some trout and macks from the dam to Davies Creek. The storms coming in this week may cause access problems-have the 4-wheel drive ready!!
TOPAZ LAKE-Chuck Fields at Topaz Landing Marina reported limit action for trollers working the middle of the lake with rainbow trout and perch pattern Needlefish. The rainbows were running 13 to 15 inches. Shore fishing has been very slow.
TRUCKEE RIVER-Mountain Hardware and Sports reported good dry fly action on overcast days on midge, BWO, and baetis patterns-size 20 flies on a 6X tippet were the best combination-in the Stateline area. On sunny days, drop deeper into the pools with a streamer, San Juan Worm, PT, or Hare’s Ear. Brian Nylund from Mountain Sports fished two days this past week and landed rainbows to 14 inches and browns to 20 inches. The area through Reno was fishing well on dries. The storms coming through this week will most likely shut down the action.
UNION VALLEY RESERVOIR-The lake is at 56-percent capacity. Kyle Neeser at Crystal Basin Tackle and Guide Service fished the lake this past week and found some 11- to 14-inch rainbows in the top 20 feet hitting dodger/worm combos. Storms forecast for all this week could have an adverse effect on access.
AMERICAN RIVER-Flows are very low at 800 cfs, and the steelies still on spawning should be left in peace. A few halfpounders, spring run fish in the 2- to 4-pound range, as well as 8-inch smolts are still coming upstream, but fishing success is sporadic. Fly fishers have an advantage in the low flows, and most success, such as it is has been on dead-drifted caddis-imitating nymphs .
FEATHER RIVER-The striper bite was slow once again, but a very few were hooked around Star Bend and Shanghai Bend on jumbo minnows, big streamers and jigs. Steelhead fishing was slow, but a few were being caught in the Low Flow Section and around Gridley on nymphs under indicators, drifting nightcrawlers, and swinging spinners.
FOLSOM LAKE-The wind blew for a few days last week, but the rough water, while tough on anglers, coincided with some good fishing for holdover trout and landlocked king salmon for Jerry Lampkin of TNG Motor Sports Guide Service. Fishing at Brown’s Ravine was good, but conditions tough, so a move to the North Fork produced some shelter and more fish to 17 inches on UV Hoochies fished in the top 20 feet of water. Bass fishing started showing some life, too, with drop-shotting and dart-heading still producing the most action, but anglers tossing ripbaits and crankbaits tossed toward structure starting to attract some bites.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento-Striped bass fishing picked up a bit more last week, with anglers finding some action mostly on bait at Bryte’s Beach, Miller Park Garcia Bend, the Deep Water Channel, and Rio Vista. There’s even been some trolling action along the West Bank around Rio Vista. Lots of sturgeon are being spotted rolling all the way to Colusa, but the bite has been slow, and it seems as if most of the fish that are being landed have been over-sized (more than 66 inches long). Storms coming this week should attract lots more fish upriver and lots more bites.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding-The release at Keswick Dam continued to be very low for this time of year at just over 4,000 cfs, making for great flyfishing conditions and lots of action. Fly fishermen have been doing especially well dead-drifting nymphs like Fox’s Poopah, and Prince nymphs, but there’s been some nice dry fly fishing too, when hatches are observed. Spin fishermen are drifting Glo-Bugs and nightcrawlers.
NORTH COAST LAKES
CLEAR LAKE-A variety of presentations continue to work, despite fronts moving in and out, including shallow running crankbaits, swimbaits, A rigs, shaky head worms, and ripbaits. Minnow fishing was also a good way to go. Fishing pressure increased and will continue to do so now that the tourney season is here.
LAKE BERRYESSA-King salmon fishing has been good by the dam and the mouth of Markley Cove. DFG is also planting here this week. Meanwhile, the bass bite took a hit and backed off again.
LAKE MENDICINO-Pressure has backed off as the trout bite slowed, another plant this week will put the pressure back on by the south ramp.
UPPER BLUE LAKE-Floating baits and nightcrawlers took 3 or 4 trout off the docks, while trollers used Woolly Buggers with an action disc for limits, it they could get them into the boat. After these series of storms pass, the bass fishing should also pick up.
SACRAMENTO RIVER side- Everyone has sturgeon fever over here and with good reason, they are everywhere and anglers are catching a lot of legal-sized fish, releasing a lot of over-sized fish but finding few shakers. As a few stripers begin to show in the Decker Island to Rio Vista area, smaller milking males have started to be reported but no big hens or concentrations of fish yet. Rain should get the action going.
SAN JOAQUIN RIVER side-Sturgeon action was fair in the three bays but the striper bite is still slow. The black bass action is heating up, as they move into the shallow for spawning efforts.
LAKE ALMANOR-The bite may stall for a bit until the fronts pass, but just prior to them, a 7-pound brown trout was caught on the east peninsula side on a dodger/nightcrawler combination. Rainbows were going to 3 1/2 pounds. Spring-time fishing here should be great.
BAUM LAKE-Fishing has been good here one day and then not so good, depending on the weather. The Fly Shop said cloudy days can produce great dry fly fishing action, so watch the weather.
PIT RIVER-According to The Fly Shop in Redding, fishing on the Pit has been great recently but there were no new reports this past week.
SHASTA LAKE-Target the browns at the north end of the McCloud, where trout up to 6 pounds are being caught in the top 25 feet using Rapalas and Apexs. The bass action has been slow and tough, with fish down to 40 feet and cold, wet weather returning.
BENICIA-Curtis Hayes at Benicia Bait said fishing conditions were tough this week due to high winds and the weekend storm. He did send one group up to the Horseshoe near Roe and Ryer and they caught a 74-inch oversized fish that was released. The Dungeness crabs are thick in the system, all the way up to the Mothball Fleet, so fishing above there is a little easier on the bait supply.
BERKELEY-While the landing has been slow, anglers are preparing for the coming April 7 salmon season. Dave Marquardt on the Happy Hooker said they are now taking reservations for ocean salmon. Live bait guru Jim Holloway said he has been preparing for the arrival of live bait, but that no date has been set yet.
BODEGA BAY- Captain Rick Powers on the New Sea Angler is still checking some 50-plus crab pots for Dungeness limits, combining the trips with efforts for sanddabs in the 270- to 300-foot zone. A couple incidental king salmon released bodes well for the coming king salmon season. “Bodega has been the place to be the past couple of years for salmon fishing, so we’re optimistic we’ll have fish around on the April 7 opener,” said Powers.
CROCKETT-Captain Gordon Hough on the Morning Star reported tough fishing conditions, with two trips producing shaker sturgeon action with a keeper striper on Thursday’s trip and a couple of flounder on Sunday’s trip. Both trips were up system to avoid the crab plague in San Pablo Bay, but the crabs are now starting to show up even in Suisun Bay. Rains should help pick up the bite.
EMERYVILLE-“We haven’t run a trip since Dec. 31,” said Craig Stone at Emeryville Sportfishing Center, but the Tigerfish will be heading out soon for halibut, offering a trolling trip on March 31. Just a week after that, the salmon season opens offering a little more reason to jump on an Emeryville charter boat. “There are a lot of fish out there, we should have a good season,” said Stone.
EUREKA-A few anglers are using crab nets off the docks to find rock crabs, but with no real fishing options, the boat ramps are pretty quiet. A few boaters are checking pots in the bay with good quality Dungeness the result. WON field reporter Lonnie Dollarhide said he did get a chance to fish on a research trip on Reel Steel with Captain Tim Klassen targeting female yellowtail rockfish, and one of the researchers boated and released a huge lingcod that piggybacked up on a rockfish.
FORT BRAGG-Captain Randy Thornton ran the Trek II while his Telstar is undergoing major upgrades (the Telstar in her brand new-like glory will be up and running for the April 7 salmon opener). On Saturday, he managed a crab only trip, dropping 13 pots while on a whale watching trip on Friday, and taking 7 anglers out plus 3 crew for a total of 93 crabs. The boat was back in port by 9:30 a.m.
HALF MOON BAY-Sport crabbing still going on, but the real excitement is around the coming salmon opener on April 7.
SAN PABLO BAY-North bay and the lower Napa River are loaded with Dungeness crabs, making it tough to keep a bait on the bottom long enough to find a sturgeon. Halibut trollers fishing the Paradise area caught two keeper halibut, and bait boats reported releasing halibut caught in their grass shrimp nets.
SHELTER COVE-Captain Trent Slate said his catamaran Bite Me is getting down-season maintenance, and while he’s not planning to run for the April 7 salmon opener, he will start running salmon trips as soon as the fish show. Also, the sport crabbing remained excellent for the private boaters launching from the beach.
AMERICAN RIVER-The Georgetown Ranger Station reported that the river was running low and clear with lots of gold prospectors working the shallows, but few anglers.
BULLARDS BAR-The lake is at 68-percent capacity. Wind and rain is in the forecast for all this week. Little to report from Emerald Cove Marina.
CAMP FAR WEST-The lake is at 70-percent capacity. The North Shore Resort team tournament was fished by 39 boats. Chuck Watson and Mark Patche of Olivehurst and Wheatland topped the field with 10.49 pounds. The big fish was a 4.13 pounder caught by Ricky Paez. Kathy DeRossett of North Shore said that almost all the boats caught limits and the fish came on brown worms and jigs fished pretty much everywhere on the lake.
COLLINS LAKE-The lake is 14 feet from full and scheduled for a DFG trout plant and a private trophy plant this week. Lots of limits of smaller catchable rainbows were coming in for shore anglers using Power Bait at the dam and the beach. Trollers did well running Rapalas at the dam and up under the bridge. One boater caught a 2-pound, 6-ounce crappie on worms fished near the brush on the east side of the lake. Turkey hunters need to start scouting the Daugherty Hills Wildlife Area adjacent to the lake.
ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR-The lake is at 90-percent capacity and scheduled for a DFG trout plant this week. Bait drifters were doing well from Keystone Cove to Long’s Point for rainbows up to 20 inches. With a plant this week, trolling in the marina should be excellent, but poor weather is forecast for the whole week. Turkey hunters need to begin scouting the open areas around the lake-check with the Army Corps for a map of hunting sites.
HELL HOLE RESERVOIR-The lake is at 51-percent capacity. The road to the lake had a lot of snow on it and the Georgetown Ranger Station recommended 4-wheel drive and chains for anyone trying to get in. There was snow and ice on the ramp that could make boat launching unwise. The weather forecast calls for winter storms all this week-best to wait for the weather to clear, just to be safe.
LAKE OROVILLE-The lake is at 72-percent capacity. According to guide Ron Gandolfi, bass fishing was good early or late in the day with a mid-day lull in the action. Reaction baits, A-rigs and ripbaits, were working best in the morning. Worms, Senkos, and drop-shotting were productive all day for spots running 2 to 2 3/4 pounds. The water had warmed to 53 degrees in the West Branch and pre-spawn activity was increasing. Josh Giordano of Oroville caught the new lake record coho, 6.2 pounds, according to former WON Staffer and guide Craig Bentley.
ROLLINS LAKE-Casey Reynolds at Long Ravine Resort reported that shore anglers were catching catfish up to 10 pounds on chicken livers and nightcrawlers in Long Ravine. Some rainbows were being taken by shore anglers using Power Bait.
SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE-Jim Caldwell at Scott’s Flat Lake Resort reported that one boater picked up a limit of 11- to 15-inch rainbows while casting wet flies 10 to 12 feet deep at the buoy at the inlet. Another boater picked up some 13- to 15-inch rainbows on an artificial hellgrammite lure while fishing at the inlet. No one reported any bass fishing success this past week though there were boats out on the lake.
SUGAR PINE RESERVOIR-The Foresthill Ranger Station reported that the access was open to the lake. Weather is in the forecast for all this week, so check with the Ranger Station for the latest conditions at 530-367-2224.
STUMPY MEADOWS RESERVOIR-The lake is at 95-percent capacity. The Georgetown Ranger Station reported that the road to the lake was covered with several inches of snow and 4-wheel drive was strongly recommended. Weather forecast for all this week should put a damper on fishing success.
THERMOLITO AFTERBAY-The elevation was 131.5-foot at press time-68-percent capacity. The whole Afterbay system from the dam to the outlet is now open for coho fishing, according to an announcement made by the DFG in Feb. Josh Giordano caught coho averaging 6 pounds-a 30 pound limit-in the tailrace below the dam; one was an 8.2-pound silver. These fish made it through the dam after being planted in the lake and are thriving in the river and forebays below.
BAY AREA LAKES
CONTRA LOMA RESERVOIR-Fishing continued to be good for trout and bass. The Channel Point dock and East Side were working well for anglers soaking Power Bait, Power Worms, and nightcrawlers. Bass have were making a serious move toward the shallows and taking drop-shotted Robo-Worms and Senkos cast toward weedlines all around the lake. Some crappie were biting mini- jigs or worms along the shore at the Boat Ramp area or Loma Island.
LAFAYETTE RESERVOIR-Trout fishing was good when it wasn’t windy or raining. Some nice whoppers were taken along with the usual DFG planters, and, as usual, most of the fish were being caught from the south end and East Cove. Bass were continuing to make their move into the shallows, and were taking drop-shotted and dartheaded plastics along with Senkos.
LAKE CHABOT-Trout fishing was very good for both trollers and bait fishermen once again last week with Raccoon Point, Indian Cove, Coots Landing, and Bullfrog Point all producing. Trollers were dragging Rapalas, Kastmaster within 15 feet of the surface.
LAKE DEL VALLE-Trout fishing continued to be outstanding, and crappie fishing also continued to be very good in the Narrows on crappie jigs and crappie Nibbles. The Narrows also produced some nice bass weighing up to 5 pounds.
LOS VAQUEROS RESERVOIR-Anglers continued to be limited to a small area to fish along the trail from the South Cove to Oak Point. Get there early to get a spot and soak anchovies for a chance at some nice striped bass.
NORTH BAY LAKES–Bon Tempe Reservoir was producing a couple of trout apiece for anglers soaking Power Bait, nightcrawlers and Gulp Worms off points and the sides of the dam. They’re getting some bass at Alpine drop-shotting.
QUARRY LAKES- Trout fishing continued to be excellent off the Peninsula, Kiosk Cove, and Fishermen’s Row for anglers soaking bait. A few catfish were being caught, too.
SAN PABLO RESERVOIR-Trout fishing continued to be excellent, at least for anglers fishing from boats with bait. Trollers were catching some, too, on Rapalas and Kastmasters. Scow Canyon continued to be the hot spot, but Sandy Point and the Rock Wall were good, too. If one spot isn’t working, move to another.
SHADOW CLIFFS RESERVOIR-Fishing was good in the back ponds for bass. Remember, it’s catch-and-release, artificials only in the back ponds. Crank and reaction baits were producing a few strikes, but jigging, drop-shotting, and working Senkos continued to be more effective day in and day. Some nice trout were being caught along the shoreline near the Point, and the Second Dock and along the trail leading to the Third Dock were also producing.
SOUTH BAY LAKES-Bass fishing at Anderson Lake produced some decent bass fishing last week by drop-shotting Robo-Worms, Senkos, jigs, Texas-rigged worms between 15 and 20 feet deep. Reaction bait were becoming more productive, too. Calero Reservoir continued to be very slow and the lake is still very low. Some crappie continued to be caught at Uvas by the dam at night on mini-jigs.
CENTRAL CAL SALTWATER
CAPITOLA-A few nice sole showing up on the pier, and the surfperch have been a good bet on area beaches. The barred variety have been most common, with pile worms, grass shrimp, ghost shrimp and plastic grubs working best. A few halibut showing here and there, mostly caught by anglers targeting sanddabs.
MONTEREY-The Checkmate was out over the weekend, finding 15 limits of Dungeness crabs and “all the sanddabs they wanted.”
MOSS LANDING-A big swell over the weekend slowed the surf fishing on area beaches, and no planned charter trips until the salmon opener on April 7.
SANTA CRUZ-Captain Ken Stagnaro on Velocity reported great sanddab counts on their trips. The weekend trip planned for Sunday was weathered out, but earlier trips scored 500 mini-flatties for 16 anglers, and the next had 775 for 27 anglers. “Sanddab fishing is as good as it gets,” said Stagnaro. “We’ve also released several Chinook salmon over the last two weeks.” That put anglers in high hopes for a strong salmon opener on April 7. Crab combos on the Becky Ann scored nearly 100 per rod on the sanddabs plus limits of crabs.
BASS LAKE–Fishing is still limited to float tube or kayak launched. There is a launch ramp close to Ducey’s a good place to eat and look over the lake which is at 50-percent of capacity. The ramp is a 4 wheel vehicle only and is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
EASTMAN LAKE–The warm water has the bass staging to spawn so dartheading and drop-shotting plastics will work. For bigger bass try purple jigs and trailers, said David Burrow of Fisherman’s Warehouse in Fresno. Trout are heading deeper. Bank anglers are scoring on the dam with Power Bait. Trollers are using Needlefish and other spoons at the dam and buoy line in the main lake channel. Lake is 70 %.
HENSLEY LAKE–The lake is less than half full but there is still good action on trout. Trolling for planted trout with blade/’crawler combinations is working. Bank fishermen are still using Power bait at the Swim Beach to catch planters. Some crappie are starting to show. Bass moving up in the shallows 20 feet and shallower warming there eggs. Drop-shotting and dartheading plastics and jigs are best bet for numbers.
MILLERTON LAKE–A few stripers at Finegold in the 7- or 8-pound size, said Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis. He said fishing for black and spotted bass is tough, but limits can be had once you find them. Drop-shotting, jigs and senkos are working.
PINE FLAT RESERVOIR–Trout bite is still good in the Trimmer area of the reservoir and also in Big Creek for planted trout. David Burrow of Fisherman’s Friend in Fresno said a few small salmon are being caught in the main reservoir area at 80 to 100 feet deep on white hoochies and spinners. Trout are 45 to 80 feet deep. Best lures are Ex-Cel, Needlefish, Dick’s Trout Busters, Apex and Shasta tackle Sling Blade/ ‘crawler combo. Bass bite getting better as they get shallower. Jigs, drop-shotting and throwing swimbaits early is working for big fish.
SAN LUIS RESERVOIR/FOREBAY-Minnows, broken back Rebels and Predators are just a few types of baits that are working to catch stripers in the reservoir but the size fish seems to be getting smaller and in the 22-inch range. Night fishing with white flukes and Lucky Craft Pointers at night has been working said David Burrows of Fisherman’s Friend in Fresno. A few stripers being caught at Check 12 use Rat-L-Traps, minnows and anchovies.
SHAVER LAKE-Shaver Lake remains on refilling schedule and is above 25% full. The water is under about 3/4 of the Sierra Marina and is about a week away from the Sierra auxiliary ramp. Launching should be a possibility by then. Guide Dick Nichols says to his knowledge there has not been a fish plant to date.