North State Fishing Report

Top picks

FEATHER RIVER >> Good striper fishing is expected this week after hatchery steelhead smolts were expected to be released into the Feather at Boyd’s Pump. Jumbo minnows will be the bait of choice. A few resident stripers are being caught at Boyd’s Pump and Star Bend. Sturgeon fishing is slow at the mouth of the Bear River.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Verona to Colusa >> Fishing for sturgeon has been best at First Beach and Second Beach at Knights Landing, as well as near Verona. Roe and herring combinations are working, along with eel and nightcrawler. Ghost shrimp and pile also are working. Striper fishing is slow near Verona.

TRINITY RIVER >> The upper section of the Trinity is producing two to six adult steelhead a day for local guides, while the lower river is full of half-pounders, but very few adults. MagLip plugs or roe fished below bobbers are both working.

WHISKEYTOWN LAKE >> Kokanee fishing has been pretty good this week. Most anglers have been trolling in the dam area. The early morning bite has been good for the planer-board trollers. The kokanee are in the top six feet of water early, so the planer boards work better. After sunrise, the kokes drop down a little, with about 13 feet of depth working this week. The kokes were all over pink spinners and hoochies.

Far north lakes and rivers

LAKE ALMANOR >> Trout fly fishermen are catching some pretty good numbers of rainbows. Water levels have dropped a bit and clarity is 9 to 10 feet, while temperatures continue to hover around the 41.5-degree mark. Temperatures most likely will drop this week. Trout are scattered throughout the lake and hitting on fast-trolled hardware, like Speedy Shiners in red/gold and red-dot-frog. A few fish caught on Artic Fox trolling flies in the pond smelt pattern.

BAUM LAKE >> Trout action remains very good for fly fishermen tossing woolly buggers. Fish to 6 pounds were included on catches for fly fishermen last week.

LEWISTON LAKE >> Trout fishing remains fair near the marina and upriver in the dam area on Power Baits and trolled spinners.

PIT RIVER >> Trout fishing remains fair at Pit 3 for fly fishermen.

SHASTA LAKE >> Bass fishing remains fair to good with action from the surface down to more than 25 feet deep on jigs and plastic worms. A few trout catches are still being made near the dam on trolled lures, but not much action reported on catfish and panfish.

TRINITY LAKE >> Fishing still on the slow side for bass anglers, but there was an unconfirmed report of an 11-pounder being caught. Not much action reported for either bass or trout last week.


Sacramento Valley

AMERICAN RIVER >> Steelhead fishing has been good at times near Watt Avenue, where a few hatchery fish have been moving through each week. There also have been a few fish caught at Sailor Bar. Anglers are drifting nightcrawlers and Corkies.

FOLSOM LAKE >> Landlocked salmon and trout fishing has been good for trollers dragging small plugs or flashers and Needlefish near the dam and in the South Fork. A few bass are being caught by anglers fishing minnows from shore or drop-shot rigs from boats.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Dunsmuir >> Trout fishing has slowed with winter weather near Dunsmuir.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding to Red Bluff >> Trout fishing has been good between Keswick and the Highway 44 bridge. Roe is working best, although Glo Bugs and soft beads also are tricking fish. Some hatchery steelhead are being caught in the Anderson area.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff to Colusa >> A few sturgeon are being caught above Colusa. Striper fishing has been good at times near Colusa, with some trophy-size resident fishing being caught. Large swimbaits are working best, but some anglers are using jumbo minnows.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento >> Fishing for sturgeon and stripers has been slow at Miller Park and Discovery Park. A few sturgeon have been reported below Freeport. Few boaters are fishing in the Sacramento metro area. A few stripers were reported in the deepwater channel.

Trinity/Klamath rivers

KLAMATH RIVER, Hornbrook >> Steelhead fishing has been good near Hornbrook, but few anglers are fishing. A mix of adult steelhead and half-pounders are being caught. Small plugs, especially 3.0 MagLips, and worms fished below divers are working best.

KLAMATH RIVER, Happy Camp >> The middle section of the Klamath is in good shape for steelhead, with local guides reporting two to four adults a day, along with nearly a dozen half-pounders. Yarn balls are working well.

KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen >> Fishing is slow, with the lower river high and muddy.

Northern foothills

BULLARDS BAR >> Light traffic here despite good conditions. Bass may be in deep water because shallow water action has been slow, said guide Ron Gandolfi. Bass should be moving up soon.

CAMP FAR WEST >> A pair of anglers fishing near the boat launch in Rock Creek last Sunday caught 25 bass to two pounds using black-and-blue spinnerbaits 30 to 40 feet deep, said Kathy DeRossett from the North Shore Marina. The anglers measured the water temp at 54 degrees. On Friday, a bank angler who frequents the lake reported very poor results.

COLLINS LAKE >> Weekly trout plants begin this week and will run through May. At least 1,800 pounds of trout will go in weekly. Trout weighing 5 to 8 pounds will be in the mix.

ENGLEBRIGHT >> This will get planted next week with trout from DFW.

FRENCH MEADOWS >> Access is possible. The first angler to four-wheel through the snow last week caught 28 brown trout to 4 pounds. The snow may be gone after a week of warm weather. Call the Foresthill Ranger District for road updates. (530)-367-2224

HALSEY FOREBAY >> This was planted twice in January by DFW and has been provided steady results for locals. Great place to bring the children. Halsey Forebay is in Auburn between Christian Valley Road. and Bancroft Road. It is fed by a pipe with water from Rollins Lake. It’s had six DFW plants since the end of August, according to Will Fish Tackle.

LAKE OROVILLE >> Bass bite is improving and larger fish are showing. Tubes, Senkos, drop-shots will work as long as you can crawl it across the bottom. Find bass on points and walls. Lake has risen to 41 percent of capacity.

ROLLINS >> Planted trout are providing action where the Bear River enters the lake.

SCOTTS FLAT >> Trout are willing, but most are smallish planters. Trollers are picking them from just under the surface.

THERMALITO AFTERBAY >> Jigs or swimbaits can attract bass from the rocks. Few are fishing the tules.

North Coast lakes

LAKE BERRYESSA >> Bass anglers are posting a good mix of smallmouth, spotted bass and largemouth bass. There is a decent bite for all three species of bass. A-rigs, swimbaits, jigs, and LV500’s have been good producers. Action was pretty good in the Capell Creek and main lake areas for smallmouth bass hitting on drop-shots rigs, and finesse baits with best action in deeper areas, like 20 to 25 feet. There was also pretty good action reported on a mixed bag of smallmouths and largemouths, hitting jigs fished off the points in the main lake.

BLACK BUTTE LAKE >> Warm weather got more anglers out recently, with bass catches being made by shore anglers near the dam and by trollers in mid-lake areas

CLEAR LAKE >> Bass fishing is on the upswing again with the best catches being made at the north end of the lake. The bass bite has definitely gotten better over the past two weeks with daytime temperatures getting into the 70’s and the water temps starting out around 49 to 52 degrees and getting up to around 56 or even 58 in the warmer afternoons. Most anglers reported catching fish on jerkbaits, LV500’s and swimbaits throughout the north end from Lucerne all the way to Lakeport in 5 to 10 feet of water. The water temperatures are down about 5 degrees from the last week.

LAKE MENDOCINO >> A few bass were caught but action is generally slow.

LAKE PILLSBURY >> Fishing remains on the slow side with few anglers out.

LAKE SONOMA >> Bass anglers took full advantage of the warmer water temps with fish getting in a pretty good pre-spawn bite in the 10- to 15-foot range with spinnerbaits, LV500’s, Senkos and jigs with steady action all day catching mostly largemouth bass to 4.5 pounds. Other anglers reported catching bass on jigs, spinnerbaits and jerkbaits in that same 5 to 15 feet of water.

UPPER BLUE LAKES >> A trout plant was made this past week and anglers were finding plenty of action on rainbows to 2 pounds on baits and lures fished from shore.

North Coast rivers

CHETCO RIVER, Brookings, Ore. >> Steelhead fishing was slow last week but was surprisingly good on Sunday as rain fell for the first time since January. Flows are down to 1,200 cfs, but guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing said schools of steelhead are spread throughout the river. More rain is expected this weekend.

ELK RIVER, Port Orford, Ore. >> The Elk is low and clear, making steelhead fishing tough. Rain is expected this weekend.

ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Ore. >> Steelhead fishing has been fair. A few driftboat guides have reported good success in the Agness area, while jet boaters anchoring on the lower river are just catching a few fish a day.

ROGUE RIVER, Grants Pass, Ore. >> Steelhead fishing has been good, according to guide Troy Whitaker at U-Save Tackle in Grants Pass. Lots of fish are being caught, even though the river is a little on the low side. The steelhead action has been good on small plugs and small pieces of roe. Best colors of lures have been black-and-gold or black-and-silver.

RUSSIAN RIVER >> According to Scott Heemstra of Kings Sport & Tackle in Guerneville, “The Russian is in prime shape throughout right now with flows near Guerneville at 500 cfs and Healdsburg 300 cfs. Water is clear in Healdsburg with a slight stain in Guerneville. Fish will begin to slow their upstream migration as water flows drop, so expect holding fish in the Guerneville area and up. Lots of fish caught over the weekend throughout using all techniques. Drifting bait or roe under a slip float will produce with the conditions we have or dust off your fly rod and get your swing on. Slower sinking tips or shooting heads with bosses, comets and small intruders are the ticket. There is still no rain in the forecast, so expect these conditions to continue. Pete Taylor caught a 10-pound buck swinging a black crystal bugger near Duncans Mills.”

SMITH RIVER >> Low and clear and few fish. A report from WON Field Reporter and guide Phil Desautel of Phil’s Smiling Salmon Guide Service: “Fishing here on the North Coast has been real tough. We are in more then desperate need of rain. The river is very low and very clear. There are a few fish around but they are real skittish.”

SIXES RIVER, Port Orford, Ore. >> The river is low and clear, making steelhead fishing difficult.

Sierra lakes and rivers

BOCA RESERVOIR >> Shore anglers work for a fish or two near the inlet. Cold weather this week could bring back fringe ice.

DAVIS LAKE >> Few are fishing and results have been poor.

DONNER LAKE >> Guide Shaun Rainsbarger took out three anglers Friday and came back with seven Mackinaw. Nothing large was landed but the anglers did experience a pair of double hook-ups.

INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR >> Todd Sodaro of Creekside Lodge in Markleeville said a local angler has been fishing here and having solid success catching rainbows to three pounds using nightcrawlers or Power Bait.

LAKE TAHOE >> Winds kicked in last weekend but that didn’t deter the Mackinaw bite. Charter boats reported limits each trip during the weekend and through the tough conditions of the weekend.

PROSSER RESERVOIR >> No recent reports of success.

PYRAMID LAKE >> Shore anglers last week had some success at Pelican Point where 15- and 14-pound cutts were landed. Charter boats are both toplining and trolling deep. Both are recording fair results. A variety of methods at a variety of depths will get fish, but action is sporadic.

SLY PARK >> Planted rainbows are being caught by shore anglers soaking worms or Power Bait or casting Kastmasters and Thomas Bouyants. Nothing big, but limits are possible.

STAMPEDE RESERVOIR >> No reports of good results lately.

TOPAZ LAKE >> Trout bite continues to be slow. Shore anglers are enjoying best results but size and numbers have been elusive.

TRUCKEE RIVER >> There are good dry fly prospects from Trout Creek to Stateline. Skwala flies are emerging during the day.


BERKELEY >> Nearby Richmond Point had a major herring spawn during the week and people from shore were able to load up to have bait for the coming season. By the weekend the fish had moved just far enough off the shoreline that boats were needed to be able to get them. Anglers are watching for progress on plans to repair iconic Berkeley Pier since the funding is supposed to be secured.

BODEGA BAY >> Private boats and 6-pack boats worked crab out on Bodega Bay, finding that the crab were there, but longer soaks, like overnight, produced far better than short soaks. So folks that just had a day set pots, went out and caught buckets of sanddabs and then went back to pull their pots. Snare casters managed some crab from inside Tomales Bay. Surf fishing for surf perch was oddly better at the bottom of the tide instead of the top.

EMERYVILLE >> The party boat fleet was quietly doing winter time maintenance and updates but PBers did get out to make runs to San Pablo Bay for sturgeon and stripers, made runs out the gate for Dungeness or fished locally to try to scare up a striped bass or halibut. Shore fishers had good luck on pogies and rubberlip perch.

EUREKA >> Another bright week of good weather and seas allowed anglers to hit the favored hotspots along both the North and South jetties and have a blast pulling lingcod, cabezon, rockfish and perch out of the pockets of the jetties. Crabbers got some keeper Dungeness and red rock crab inside Humboldt Bay. Redtail surf perch were plentiful along the beach at Table Bluff and anglers enjoyed comfortable days on the beach pulling in fish.

FORT BRAGG >> Crabbing was probably better out of Fort Bragg than perhaps anywhere along the California coast. Sea Hawk pulled limits on each trip. There was talk of the numbers coming down a bit, but a limit is a limit and pulling a few more pots to achieve limits is perfectly all right. Shore casters got crab at Noyo jetty and hook and liners caught fish at surf fishing hotpots like Glass Beach and Mendocino Headlands where lingcod and cabezon were taken along with rockfish and kelp greenlings.

HALF MOON BAY >> Crabbing was quite slow and many commercial guys were switching gears to try other things. A few Pbers went out and pulled at most a crab per pot because they didn’t need nearly as many as party boats do. Snare caster from the jetty did almost as well as the boaters. At Pacifica Pier people were happy and took home decent counts of crab. Boats that wanted to crank up sanddabs had all of those they would ever want from out in 150 to 250 feet of water. Barred surf perch and redtail perch bent rods for surf fishers near Half Moon Bay and Pacifica.

SAN FRANCISCO >> Bass Tub is now back in the water and booking reservations for trips inside and outside the Bay. Lovely Martha and Wacky Jacky were at the ready. Argo worked inside the Bay and managed good catches of striped bass and a keeper halibut. Shore anglers along the beaches of San Francisco and South San Francisco caught barred surf perch, redtail perch and other perches. Some people cast tirelessly for striped bass and there were a smattering of them caught.

Source :

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