North State fishing report for week of March 29 – Chico Enterprise-Record

TOP PICKS

FEATHER RIVER: Striper fishing is fair on the Feather River, where pile worms are working best. Some boaters going up from Verona are catching limits. Lots of shakers have arrived.

TRINITY RIVER: The upper Trinity remains in good shape for late-season steelhead and browns. The lower river is blown out. Flows over the weekend at Lewiston Dam were 315 cfs, while flows at Douglas City were 987 cfs and flows at Junction City were 1,152 cfs. Flows at Hoopa were 10,714 cfs.

SHASTA LAKE: Big largemouth continue moving up and staging for the spawn. Smaller trout have been getting chased near the edge of the shore so anglers are using swimbaits and glidebaits to target them. Numbers of fish are using main lake points and creek coves and can be caught on smaller swimbaits, jigs, Alabama rigs, and Senkos.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff to Colusa: Stripers and sturgeon are showing up. Wards, Colusa State Park and Steelhead Lodge boat ramps are now open. Not much in the way of fishing action yet due to river flows and lack of clarity.

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.

GENERAL

Far North Lakes and Rivers

LAKE ALMANOR: The bite varies depending on the weather conditions. The lake is expected to receive 17 inches of snow this next week which will cause water temperatures to drop and creeks to muddy up again. Boaters have been catching fish trolling Artic Fox flies and Optimizers in red/gold colors.

BAUM LAKE: Fishing remains red hot for fly anglers. Non beaded prince nymph, Eng thing, Tungsten Bead PT Prince, leeches, and midges are all working well with fish up to 18 inches being caught.

TRINITY LAKE: Colder conditions change the fishing pattern day to day. One day it is warm and sunny and the fish are trying to move up shallow to feed and the next its cold and snowing making it hard to lock down a consistent pattern. More snow is expected to fall the next week.

WHISKEYTOWN LAKE: Fish are starting to move up shallow and have been eating reaction baits when conditions are good. Swimbaits, spinnerbaits, Alabama rigs, and finesse style rigs are great this time of year for catching the big spotted bass.

Sacramento Valley

AMERICAN RIVER: Flows at Fair Oaks dropped from 6,500 cfs last week to 5,150 cfs over the weekend. Steehead fishing remains slow, although driftboaters floating down from Sunrise are reporting fresh fish.

FOLSOM LAKE: Folsom Lake Marina reported last week that Granite Bay, Brown’s Ravine, Folsom Point, Rattlesnake bar and Peninsula boat ramps are now open. The lake level increased 5 feet last week, from 432 feet of elevation to 437 feet. Bass fishing is good, with plastics working well. Shore anglers are catching bass on minnows.

RANCHO SECO LAKE: Trout fishing is fair, thanks to plants every other week. Power Bait is working best. The big trout derby will be held in April.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Dunsmuir: Trout fishing is poor because of high water. Flows hit 3,500 cfs last week, and remained over 2,200 cfs during the weekend.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding to Red Bluff: Flows at Keswick Dam dropped from 28,000 cfs to 9,720 cfs over the weekend. Trout fishing is good for jetboaters drifting beads and roe, said guide Kirk Portocarrero of SacRiverGuide.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento: Lots of shaker-size stripers have arrived at Miller Park and Discovery Park, where pile worms and blood worms are working best. A few keepers have been reported.

Trinity/Klamath Rivers

KLAMATH RIVER, Hornbrook: The Upper Klamath is high but fishable. Fishing pressure is light. Flows from Iron Gate Dam are 1,550 cfs.

KLAMATH RIVER, Happy Camp: The Middle Klamath near Happy Camp remains high for late-season steelhead. At Seiad Valley, flows are just under 5,000 cfs, while flows at Orleans topped 11,500 cfs.

KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen: The lower Klamath is high and unfishable, with flows near 30,000 cfs.

Northern Foothills

BULLARDS BAR: Craig Newton of Will Fish Tackle said the lake is still producing kokanee, although the action isn’t as fast as it had been recently. Guys who have the program dialed in are still getting limits. The bulk of the kokanee are up in the Willow Creek arm, holding between 30 and 50 feet and eating hoochies in orange and pink.

CAMP FAR WEST: Kathy DeRossett of North Shore Resort reported fishing has been extremely slow, despite the water clearing. The lake continues to spill, and she doesn’t expect fishing to improve with the next series of storms due this week.

COLLINS LAKE: Collins trout continued to bite well, and although there were no giants caught, there were plenty of 5 pounders finding stringers. Visibility remains about 3 feet, and the fish have moved off the bank a bit, although they are still accessible from shore and boat as well. The dam has been a prominent hot spot. Yet another 1,000 pounds of Mt. Lassen trout splashed into Collins this week. Craig Newton of Will Fish Tackle said it’s a good time to target bass at Collins, with most likely in pre-spawn. He recommended a variety of finesse plastics and reaction baits such as crankbaits.

ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR: Lisa Rogers of Skipper’s Cove Marina said the lake has a nice green tinge, and conditions are good. The sun was shining on Saturday, bringing some anglers to the lake. Two boats each caught two trout, and they were good ones, running 18 to 19 inches. Another boat somehow hooked a kokanee. Fishing is looking up.

LAKE OROVILLE: The water level rose a relatively mild 5 feet this week, and the bass continue to acclimate to the higher water level. The bulk of the bass appear to be holding between the shore and 20 feet deep and are biting reaction baits such as Keitech 3.3 swimbaits. Spinnerbaits are another option particularly when it is windy. The key is to work baits slowly, as the water is still cold. Most anglers are averaging 12 to 13 bass an outing, but some are doing better, with counts in the 20-fish range.

THERMALITO AFTERBAY: The Afterbay has offered hit and miss fishing all week, with the best bite in the 60-degree water found in the back by Larkin Road, and area Jamey Sorensen of North Valley Tackle calls the South Cove. There he caught a bunch of 2 to 3 pounders while pitching and flipping the tules. The stocked steelhead weren’t very active this week, according to retired guide Craig Bentley.

North Coast lakes

LAKE BERRYESSA: The fishing has been good but the bigger bass are still harder to find right now. Most of the lake is stained but anglers have been using the muddy water to their advantage with the most successful fisherman fishing in the muddiest parts of the lake with a-rigs, jigs, LV500, and chatterbaits.

BLACK BUTTE LAKE: For flood control they have dropped the water level back down to where it was during duck season so half of the lake is a mud flat once again. The remaining part of the lake remains very muddy and cold. Anglers went out and reported not even having a bite.

CLEAR LAKE: The fishing has really taken off with the full moon with multiple double digit bass being caught this past week. Alabama rigs, LV500, drop-shot, spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, and swimbaits are all working for big pre-spawn bass.

LAKE SONOMA: Not many reports from anglers heading out, the lake is very full and the water has cleared up quite a bit from recent storms. Reports were the bass are still down deep and the bite had been tough.

UPPER BLUE LAKES: The resort reports the water color still being murky and they haven’t seen any anglers out on the water.

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 DFW’s 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.: Rain boosted flows just before the weekend, and brought in a mix of fresh steelhead while moving spawned out fish out of the upper tributaries, said guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing. The handful of guides still fishing the Chetco are reporting good catches. The river closes March 31.

ELK RIVER, Port Orford, Ore.: Steelhead fishing was fair over the weekend. The river is clear, with flows of 3.5 feet on Sunday. The Elk closes for the season on March 31.

ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Ore.: Spring salmon fishing is slowly improving. Guide John Anderson caught a wild springer and a hatchery keeper during a trip last week, along with a few steelhead. Rain this week should keep flows near ideal levels.

SMITH RIVER: Fishing is slow, with almost nobody still fishing. The Smith remains open through April.

Sierra Lakes and Rivers

BOCA LAKE: Miles Zimmerman of Mountain Hardware and Sports in Truckee said the ice on Boca is no longer safe. The inlet area is becoming accessible to lifted, 4WD vehicles but exercise caution, you could get stuck.

CARSON RIVER: Todd Sodaro of Todd’s Bait and Tackle and the Alpine County Fish and Game Commission said the East Carson River has come up 8 to 10 inches due to snowmelt, but it still has a nice green tint, it’s not dirty yet. He’s seeing a car or two parked at the entrance to the year-round, special regulations section every day, and figures that means someone’s catching.

DAVIS LAKE: Jim Graham of J&J’s Grizzly Store said the lake is still frozen, but Grizzly Creek had thawed. He said there were ice fishermen out on Saturday, but they didn’t return to share a report.

DONNER LAKE: Miles Zimmerman of Mountain Hardware and Sports said Donner Lake is open in the middle, although there is still ice covering the east and west ends of the lake. Some shore fishing access has opened, and there’s limited parking at the public boat ramp.

FRENCHMAN LAKE: Staffers at Goodwin’s and Son market in Chilcoot said the lake is frozen and some people are still ice fishing, although they couldn’t recommend it as the ice is starting to separate from the shoreline. Trout fishing has been good by the dam. On May 4, the store will host a fishing derby at Frenchman Lake. Entry is $25 for adults; $20 for juniors. Sign up by stopping by the store or call them at 951-446-2471.

JENKINSON LAKE (AKA SLY PARK): Karen Ward of Sly Park Resort said there have been a lot of fishermen at the lake, and they are catching small trout from both the shore and boats. The lake is full and clearing. It’s a good time to fish.

LAKE TAHOE: Brown trout are the story this week, targeted up shallow and even in deep water. Mike Nielsen of Tahoe Topliners said he and clients caught 40 in 3 days. Zach Gordon of Tahoe Sportfishing said their boats fishing the South Shore have been targeting Mackinaw at 60 to 150 feet, right on the bottom using live bait, and averaging one 7 or 8 pounder per outing. Meanwhile, Chuck Self of Chuck’s Charter Fishing on the North Shore has been working deeper water from 180 all the way to 450 feet for their lake trout limits. The fishing is starting out on fire, then tapering a bit as the morning wears on.

PROSSER LAKE: Miles Zimmerman of Mountain Hardware and Sports in Truckee said, like Boca, the ice on Prosser is no longer safe. There’s a little open water at the Prosser Creek inlet, but it’s a long, out of the way hike to reach it.

PYRAMID LAKE: The water temperature has come up a few degrees to 46, but that’s still cold. The cutthroat are staging to spawn, but it’ll take another 4 to 5 degrees for them to go. Shore fishing was decent, but it was slow going for boaters. On cold, rainy days the afternoon grab has been best. When it’s been calm first and last light are most productive. Popcorn beetles and boobies accompanied by a woolly bugger or streamer on or close to the bottom has been good universally around the lake, according to Casey Anderson of Pyramid Fly Co.

TOPAZ LAKE: The annual trout derby is underway and has a new overall leader, Jeff Sullivan, who caught a 9-pound, 11.1-ounce rainbow this week, edging out the 9-pound, 7-ounce trout caught by Aaron Talhelm on week 1. The week 12 leader as of Sunday morning was Sullivan, followed by Dave Keckla and his fish of 4-pounds, 11 ounces.

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. Miles Zimmerman of Mountain Hardware and Sports said the river is running high and fast, as much as 2,100 cfs in the canyon section. The Tahoe City Dam is releasing 1,100 cfs, which swells to 1,600 cfs by the time the river reaches Hirschdale, but it is clear. He recommended trying No. 8 skwala stones, and said most anglers are indicator fishing. Bluewing olives, midges and worms are other effective alternatives.

North Saltwater

BERKELEY: The sportfishing fleet was still doing maintenance preparing for the April 13 salmon opener. Live bait should be available by mid-April to kick off what should be an excellent striper/halibut season.  Rockcod season opens April 1, but the sport boats here will concentrate on salmon and live bait fishing until fall when the rock cod fishing will take over at the end of the salmon season on October 31.

BODEGA BAY: Rick Powers on the New Sea Angler was on a whale watching trip when called.  Though he has crab pots in the water all season long, there wasn’t enough interest or good weather to mount a trip this past week.  The poor weather made for tough conditions most of last week and the same is forecast for this week. Hopefully the weather will settle down for the April 1 rockcod opener and April 13 salmon opener. Outdoor Pro Shop in Cotati reported good perch fishing at Doran Park Beach and Portuguese Beach using Gulp! Sandworms, and rockfish hitting squid off the rocky shores in Timber Cove north of Fort Ross.

EMERYVILLE: Andy Guiliano at Emeryville Sportfishing reported the fleet was still doing winter maintenance prepping for the upcoming rockcod and salmon openers.  Live bait is expected with the next few weeks, which will kick off the search for stripers and halibut in the Bay. Book now for a spot on a boat for the April 13 salmon opener.

EUREKA: Still no reason to venture outside Humboldt Bay due to the weather.  The jetties produced a mix of perch, greenlings, and lingcod for anglers using shrimp, squid, anchovies, and swimbaits. Freshwater Lagoon, Stone Lagoon, and Big Lagoon were producing trout on Power Bait and inflated worms.

FORT BRAGG: Another tough week on the North Coast due to the sloppy weather.  There were a few redtail perch to 1 1/2 pounds caught at Chadbourne Beach and off the jetty on Gulp! Sandworms.  Anglers were advised to use caution if trying to fish off the jetty in rough weather to avoid getting washed of the rocks by a wave:no fish in the world is worth drowning for!!  The salmon season opens April 13 and the rockcod season opens May 1. Pray for good weather!

HALF MOON BAY: All boats stayed tied to the dock this past week due to the rough weather and the Huli Cat was hauled out for bottom painting. The only fishing reported was from the jetty and pier, or small private boaters seeking crabs.  The jetty produced a mix of small rockfish and monkeyface eels. Crabbers used snares off the jetty and hoops off the pier.  Small boaters dropped their own pots out in 100 feet of water when the weather allowed them to get out. The inside edge of the south jetty was producing good numbers of skates on squid. The local beaches were decent for barred perch using Gulp! Sandworms and a few stripers.

SAN FRANCISCO: The main bay was producing stripers and halibut around Angel Island, while the South Bay was good for stripers, halibut and sturgeon at the Alameda Rockwall, Coyote Point, Oyster Point, and Candlestick.   The South Bay was producing fair numbers of halibut for partyboats trolling herring. The Lovely Martha and the Argo found success near Candlestick for fish to 9 pounds.  The boats were releasing lots of short fish an inch or less from being legal:the live bait season later this spring and summer should be great!  The fleet is anxiously awaiting the rockcod opener on April 1 and especially the salmon opener on April 13. Book a spot now for the opener.

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