LAKE OROVILLE: The lake level has stabilized at approximately 850 feet, with the main spillway in operation. At Saturday‚Äôs NorCal 90 bass tournament, a 12.58-pound largemouth stole the show and took home the big money. It was caught on a Lucky Craft swimbait in the Ghost Minnow color pattern, on skinny 8-pound test! Brett Brady of Bare Bones Guide Service fished the lake for landlocked salmon, and he found them in shallow 15-25 feet water while trolling green hoochies and dodgers.
COLLINS LAKE: Collins Lake received another 1,000 pounds of beautiful, plump Mt. Lassen Trout Farms fish, and the lake is absolutely plugged. During the week, angling pressure has been light, but when moderate crowds show on the weekend a good scattering of them are catching trout 5 pounds or better. The fish are still in the top 15 feet, but the bulk of them have moved away from shallow shorelines like The Beach. The dam is a better option.
LAKE ALMANOR: For boaters, if you find the smelt you find the fish. The salmon, rainbows, and browns are migrating around the lake following the schools of smelt and can be caught trolling hardware in water out to 30 feet deep. Bank fishermen are catching fish on Power Bait and ‚Äėcrawlers in Geritol Cove.
BAUM LAKE: The bite remains red hot but with many more anglers out fishing this past week. The bigger trophy sized trout are starting to show up. Non beaded prince nymph, Eng thing, Tungsten Bead PT Prince, leeches, and midges are all working well with fish up to 18 inches and bigger being caught.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Verona to Colusa: Sturgeon are being caught near Knights Landing. A few stripers are being caught, but fishing has been slow on the Sacramento because of continued high water.
LEWISTON LAKE: The rain caused the river to blow out making the lake muddy, but the fish are still biting and if warm weather continues the lake should be back to normal in days. Anglers are primarily fly fishing right now from shore or out of kayaks.
SHASTA LAKE: Bass are biting well and continue to move up in the water column for the spawn. The lake has cleared up but continues to rise from the rain and the fish move right up with the level to main lake points and the very backs of the creeks running clear water. Trout anglers are finding numbers in the main body trolling hardware around 30 feet deep.
TRINITY LAKE: Lake conditions are still cold, muddy, and fish are out deep.
WHISKEYTOWN LAKE: Bigger spotted bass are starting to be found on swimbaits in shallower water. For anglers fishing in deeper water with soft plastics, plenty of numbers can be found but are mostly cooker cutter sized fish. The bigger fish are staging and moving in shallow for the spawn.
AMERICAN RIVER: Steelhead fishing is slow. Stripers are being caught near Discovery Park, but most are shakers. Flows increased to 10,000 cfs last week.
FEATHER RIVER: Stripers fishing is fair on the Feather River, where pile worms are working best. The best action is from Yuba City down. Flows from Oroville Dam increased last week as officials tested the spillway.
FOLSOM LAKE: The water temperature reached 61 degrees over the weekend. Granite Bay, Brown‚Äôs Ravine, Folsom Point, Rattlesnake bar and Peninsula boat ramps are now open. The lake level increased 5 feet last week, from 442 feet of elevation to 447 feet. Bass fishing is good, with plastics working well. Shore anglers are catching bass on minnows. Trout fishing improved and then slowed again.
RANCHO SECO LAKE: Trout fishing is fair, thanks to plants every other week. Power Bait is working best. The big trout derby was last weekend.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Dunsmuir: Trout fishing is poor because of high water. Flows hit 9,200 cfs on Sunday.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding to Red Bluff: Flows at Keswick Dam jumped form 15,000 cfs to 28,000 cfs. Trout fishing is fair near Anderson. The river closed from the Highway 44 bridge to Keswick Dam last week.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff to Colusa: Stripers and sturgeon are showing up, but overall action is still slow. Some oversize sturgeon have been caught above Colusa.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento: Striper fishing has slowed with more water being released from Shasta and Oroville dams. Sturgeon are moving into the river, but success is poor because of limited boat access. The port and deepwater channel are slow.
KLAMATH RIVER, Hornbrook: The Upper Klamath blew out last week and likely will be blown out all of this week, with flows of 5,000 cfs on Sunday.
KLAMATH RIVER, Happy Camp: The Middle Klamath near Happy Camp remains high for late-season steelhead. Fishing is poor. Flows at Seiad Valley reached 9,705 cfs over the weekend, while flows at Orleans hit 28,438 cfs.
KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen: Heavy rain and high flows from Iron Gate Dam and the Trinity rivers have the lower Klamath approaching flood levels. Flows were 53,200 cfs and quickly rising Sunday evening.
TRINITY RIVER: Fishing is slow throughout the Trinity River because of high water. Most guides have switched to other rivers for the season. Flows over the weekend at Lewiston were 307 cfs, as water is being held back by Trinity Dam. Flows at Douglas City were 1,472 cfs on Sunday, while flows at Junction City were 2,030 cfs. Flows at Hoopa were 14,626 cfs.
BULLARDS BAR: Craig Newton of Will Fish Tackle said the kokanee are still biting, but you might have to put some work in to manage limits of these little landlocked salmon. The usual micro hoochies trolled behind a dodger has been most effective.
ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR: The trout bite remains hot at Englebright! Lisa Rogers of Skipper‚Äôs Cove Marina said it seems like everyone is catching nice rainbow trout.
THERMALITO AFTERBAY: Customers of Jamey Sorensen at North Valley Tackle fished the Afterbay all day Thursday without a bite. It‚Äôs emblematic of the tough conditions. Water managers are pulsing a lot of cold water through the Afterbay, and while the bass are in pre-spawn, they‚Äôve been up and down repeatedly as the water temperature fluctuates. The stocked steelhead bite is fair at best. Craig Bentley, a retired guide, said the big outflows have steelhead concentrated in the canal. Most are small, 12 to 14 inches.
LAKE BERRYESSA: Crappie are biting in the coves and anglers were having luck trolling small worms slowly around 15 feet deep and when the school got fired up they would bite just about anything. Bass fishing is slow for some and good for others depending on where you go and how you fish. Anglers were catching bass in the narrows on drop-shot rigs and reaction baits on main lake points that held brush piles.
BLACK BUTTE LAKE: The lake has returned to full pool but remains very muddy. Float planes have been flying in all weekend and landing on the lake for training, closing off much of the water for boaters.
CLEAR LAKE: The lake has been bustling with boaters this past week but the fishing is good all around. Anglers are finding bass in all stages of the spawn and finding fish in all areas of the water column. Many are saying you can catch fish on the bait of your choice right now.
LAKE SONOMA: The lake conditions are starting to improve, the creeks are cleaning up and the fish are moving back into shallower waters looking to stage for the spawn. Carolina and Texas rigs have been working for fickle bass. The water clarity on the main lake is still stained but should improve with another week of good weather.
UPPER BLUE LAKES: The Narrows Resort reports that conditions are starting to improve but much of the lake is still very stained and cold and they haven‚Äôt seen any anglers out trying to fish yet. Another week of warm weather should make the lake fishable.
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 DFW‚Äôs Low Flow Closure Hotline for north coast rivers is (707) 822-3164. South Central Coast streams number is (831) 649-2886.New low flow closures for Mendocino, Sonoma and Marin counties, Oct. 1-April 30, call (707) 822-3164 for Mendocino, (707) 944-5533 for Sonoma, Marin and Napa.
CHETCO RIVER, Brookings, Ore.: The Chetco is closed for the season. Fishing for sea-run cutthroat trout opens in late May. The river hit flood stage Sunday night after heavy rain over the weekend.
ELK RIVER, Port Orford, Ore.: The Elk is closed for the season and re-opens in May.
ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Ore.: Spring salmon fishing was slow to fair last week before heavy rain blew the river out over the weekend. The river is expected to hit flood stage by Tuesday and likely will be unfishable all week.
SMITH RIVER: Steelhead fishing was slow last week, although a few halfpounders and sea-run cutthroat trout were being caught. Steelhead fishing remains open through April. Heavy rain blew the river out Saturday night. The river hit 26 feet Sunday night and is expected to reach minor flood stage.
BOCA LAKE: Steve Soulam of Mountain Hardware and Sports in Truckee said nothing has changed over the week. Boca is still mostly covered with rotten ice. There‚Äôs open water at the inlet, but access is tough. The road is plowed to the Boca Rest Campground and no farther, and anyway, a car has been stuck in the middle of the road for more than a week.
CARSON RIVER: Todd Sodaro of Todd‚Äôs Bait and Tackle and the Alpine County Fish and Game Commission said the East and West Carson both rose a foot. The East Carson has a white, milky tinge indicative of snowmelt. He‚Äôs expecting quite a bit more in the next ten days, as the forecast calls for on and off rain.
DAVIS LAKE: Ed Dillard of Dillard Guided Fishing and Jeanne Graham of J&J‚Äôs Grizzly Store both said the ice on Davis Lake is without a doubt unsafe. Ice fishing season is over. The lake is still covered, and the ice has only just started to pull away from shore. It is currently unfishable.
DONNER LAKE: Steve Soulam of Mountain Hardware and Sports said Donner Lake is open in the middle, although there is still ice covering the west end of the lake. Some shore fishing access has opened, and there‚Äôs limited parking.
LAKE TAHOE: The brown trout are still going strong at Tahoe on the west side in the upper 60 feet of water. The Mackinaw fishing is very good, limit style, on both the South and North shores.
PROSSER LAKE: Steve Soulam of Mountain Hardware and Sports in Truckee said, like Boca, the ice on Prosser is no longer safe. There‚Äôs a little open water at the Prosser Creek inlet, but it‚Äôs a long, out of the way hike to reach it.
PYRAMID LAKE: The water temperature along the shorelines is up to 50 degrees in some places, just shy of the ‚Äúmagic‚ÄĚ 52-degree mark that‚Äôll get the cutthroat spawn going in earnest. That has nice schools of big fish cruising the shallows from 1 to 3 feet, and the shore anglers are cashing in on the quality. For boat anglers it‚Äôs more of a numbers game, and modest ones at that, but once the water warms they‚Äôll get theirs, too.
TRUCKEE RIVER: Except for the special regulations section from the mouth of Trout Creek at Glenshire Drive to the Nevada state line, the Truckee River has closed for the season. Steve Soulam of Mountain Hardware and Sports said the river continues to run high and fast, as much as 2,100 cfs in the canyon section. He said he‚Äôd be very cautious about wading. The Tahoe City Dam is releasing 1,100 cfs, which swells to 1,600 cfs by the time the river reaches Hirschdale, but the water is clear. He recommended looking for slower pockets of water and using larger attractors, stonefly nymphs, worm patterns, and to a lesser extent, streamers. Parking is wide open at Hirschdale and much improved at Glenshire.
BERKELEY: California Dawn racked up some high halibut catches, releasing many shorts but ending up with a respectable number of legal halibut. Striped bass also came over the rails, including a fat 20 pounder. The Berkeley Flats area held bass and halibut. When live bait becomes available, it will be game on! Jilly Sea fished off Alameda Rock Wall and scored a halibut per rod and then ran across to get a 12.5-pound striper off Oyster Point.
BODEGA BAY: The ability to fish deeper water this season meant bigger average sizes on the rockfish. Early season lingcod counts were low and the average size was small. On some trips aboard New Sea Angler, the crew had time after catching limits of rockfish to haul crab pots and add substantially to the catch. Charter boat Reel Magic is finishing up with annual maintenance and will begin fishing soon.
EMERYVILLE: Tigerfish and Pacific Pearl from Fish Emeryville had 10 halibut and 4 halibut respectively over the weekend. The fleet is concentrating on the growing halibut bite and increasing bass counts. Live bait availability will come soon and crank up the furnace.
EUREKA: Boats sat idle or underwent annual work, such as the new deck and new fishfinder on Reel Steel. People needing to wet a line had good times fishing both the North and South jetties for rockfish, kelp greenling, cabezon and lingcod. Redtail perch bit very well at Stinky Beach and at King Salmon behind the power plant. The lagoons were good for catching trout.
FORT BRAGG: A couple of the passenger boats are whale watching, but not crabbing. Most boats pulled their pots due to declining numbers. Shore-based fishing was a viable option during periods of calmer seas. Noyo Jetty was good all week, and Old Mill was a primary destination when the seas were down.
HALF MOON BAY: Queen of Hearts ran down to Pigeon Point for the rockfish opener and nailed the big rockfish from deeper water. While at it, there were some salmon hooked and released. Huli Cat fished San Gregorio successfully with rockfish and lings in the sacks and on Sunday‚Äôs trip added limits of Dungeness. Striped bass began showing in better numbers up along local beaches, especially Montero.
SAN FRANCISCO: Options grew for San Francisco boats and shore anglers. Flash 2 from Fisherman‚Äôs Wharf run up into San Pablo bay to bend rods on striped bass and sturgeon. Bass Tub fished South Bay with other party/charter boats including Lovely Martha to pull halibut and bass over the rails. Boaters and shore-based anglers had a good shot at striped bass at Coyote Point and Oyster Point.