North State fishing report for week of May 3 – Chico Enterprise-Record

TOP PICKS

FEATHER RIVER: Peak season has arrived for stripers on the Feather River. Boaters are limiting with minnows, while shore anglers are using pile worms or cut sardines or anchovies. There is a lot of boat pressure. Shad arrived last week at the mouth of the Yuba River. HAT CREEK –– Many smaller fish were caught during the stream trout opener on Saturday, especially near the Cassel campground. Fly anglers that went off the beaten path found larger fish on small black midges and pheasant tail nymphs.

SHASTA LAKE: Bass fishing is wide open right now with just about every preferred method working. The topwater bite has picked up and is producing quality fish all day long right now. Glidebaits and other large sub surface baits are also working for bigger bass. Trout fishing has slowed with the rising temperatures but can still be caught out in deeper water.

DAVIS LAKE: Ed Dillard of Dillard Guided Fishing and Jeanne Graham of J&J’s Grizzly Store both said Davis has iced out. The fishing is good too, particularly at Mallard on inflated nightcrawlers and Power Bait, according to Mark Tieslau of Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden. The snow is melting quickly, and the launch ramps at both Mallard and Honker Cove are accessible for most vehicles – there could still be a little snow on the roads – but there are no docks.

FEATHER RIVER, MIDDLE FORK: Mark Tieslau of Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden said the stretch of river through town is fishing well for anglers dangling nightcrawlers or working Rooster Tails and Panther Martins in yellow and black. As a reminder, the entire system opened Saturday. Water levels are high but fishable.

Far north lakes and rivers

LAKE ALMANOR: Bass fishing is picking up with more and more larger bass moving up shallow to feed and spawn. Anglers are catching them on flies, jigs, and soft plastics. Trout and salmon fishing remains good and most methods are working from trolling to fly fishing.

BAUM LAKE: Float tubes and smaller boats are still doing well and catching quality fish on damsels, betas, callibaetis and midges.

FALL RIVER: Not many reports from the opener, a mix of fish were caught on baetis patterns, callibaetis nymphs and small gold Kastmasters.

HAT CREEK: Many smaller fish were caught during the opener near the Cassel campground. Fly anglers that went off the beaten path found larger fish on small black midges and pheasant tail nymphs.

LEWISTON LAKE: Flows are still high and the water color is still stained.

PIT RIVER: Water continues to pour over the Lake Britton dam and water levels are too high to fish yet.

TRINITY LAKE: Temperatures continue to rise and with it the bass keep moving shallower for the spawn. Like many other higher elevation lakes, the spawn will be later than many of the other lakes lower down. The bass are staging and getting more aggressive with some larger fish being reported.

WHISKEYTOWN LAKE: Bass are still biting but all reports are that the size has diminished with many fish being caught from 12 inches and smaller but in high numbers. There is still no word if anyone has managed to find kokanee while trolling out on the main lake.

Sacramento Valley

AMERICAN RIVER: Shad showed up at the mouth of the American last week, with the best action in the Discovery Park area. Anglers are using shad darts or 1/16:ounce dartheads with 1 1/2:inch grubs. Small stripers also are being caught near the mouth. Fishing for stripers and shad remains slow upriver. Flows over the weekend were 7,250 cfs.

FOLSOM LAKE: The water temperature jumped to 68 degrees. Granite Bay, Brown’s Ravine, Folsom Point, Rattlesnake bar and Peninsula boat ramps are now open. The lake level increased 4 feet last week, from 452 feet of elevation to 456 feet. It is now 10 feet from full pool. Bass fishing is good, with plastics working well. Shore anglers are catching bass on minnows. Trout fishing is good.

RANCHO SECO LAKE: Trout fishing is fair, thanks to plants every other week. Power Bait is working best.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Dunsmuir: High water is keeping most trout anglers away. Flows remained over 3,200 cfs most of last week. A few large trout have been reported.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding to Red Bluff: Trout fishing is very good. Flows dropped form 12,000 cfs a week ago to 5,400 cfs over the weekend. The river is closed above the Highway 44 bridge. Glo Bugs, roe and beads are all working for wild rainbows. The carp spawn is now over.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff to Colusa: Striper fishing improved last week as schools of fish continue to move upriver and water conditions improve. Good fishing is being reported near Colusa, Butte City and as high as Woodson Bridge. Minnows are working best.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Verona to Colusa: The Verona ramp is open, but Knights Landing remains closed. A few sturgeon are being reported near Knights Landing. Fishing is slow at Verona, but a few stripers are being reports.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento: Small stripers are being caught at Miller Park, Bright Beach and Discovery Park, along with a few keepers. Pile worms and nightcrawlers are producing fish. Fishing has improved for shad.

Trinity/Klamath rivers

KLAMATH RIVER, Hornbrook: The Klamath is blown out from top to bottom, with flows near 3,000 cfs at Iron Gate Dam over the weekend. The salmon fly hatch should trigger good fishing by late May.

KLAMATH RIVER, Happy Camp: High water is keeping anglers away. Flows at Seiad Valley, near Happy Camp, were 7,230 cfs, while flows at Orleans were 16,800 cfs

KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen: Spring salmon fishing will open July 1, with a one:fish limit, after initially being closed until Aug. 15. The river is currently high and muddy, with flows of 31,000 cfs.

TRINITY RIVER: High water will make fishing tough through June. Flows over the weekend at Lewiston were 1,880 cfs. Downriver at Douglas City, flows were 2,680 cfs, while flows at Douglas City were 2,670 cfs. Flows at Hoopa were 8,720 cfs. Flows will fluctuate throughout May, but remain high. A spike in flows to 10,900 cfs at Lewiston is expected this week, with more spikes of 7,200 cfs and 3,500 cfs expected in May. Flows will gradually taper back off to 450 cfs by early August.

Northern foothills

BULLARDS BAR RESERVOIR: The kokanee bite picked up, according to Craig Newton of Will Fish Tackle in Auburn. He said two of his clients caught limits, locating their fish way up the North Fork in the main arm. They also found more fish closer to the launch ramp, at their usual spot by the dam.

CAMP FAR WEST LAKE: Bass fishing is reportedly very good, with bass in tight to shore. One angler reported great results using grubs. Crappie are continuing to show.

COLLINS LAKE: Saturday’s CIFFI trout tournament turned up about 100 competitors, and they did very well, according to Collins Lake Recreation Area Manager Lincoln Young. Adult winner Ryan Barella’s 8.25:pound trout was an easy winner, besting the rest of the field by at least 2 pounds. The Recreation Area’s lunker list is split 50/50 between boaters and shore anglers, evidence that the trout are still high in the water column, reportedly the top 20 feet. Spotted bass are showing up in the counts, and that bite is only expected to improve as they continue to move shallow.

ENGLEBRIGHT RESERVOIR: Lisa Rogers of Skipper’s Cove Marina said trout fishing has been awesome, people are catching them left and right. Most are trolling using a flasher and nightcrawler. Others are finding success with Rooster Tails. She said many people are catching limits. The DFW planted the lake a week ago.

LAKE OROVILLE: Jamey Sorensen of North Valley Tackle said the bass bite is on fire for numbers of 1 1/2 :pound to 2:pound fish, and there’s a solid scattering of bigger largemouth also being caught. All the usual baits, finesse and reaction, are working, and the topwater bite has taken off. The bass are holding right on shore, Sorensen said. There’s only one problem at Oroville now, and that’s heavy debris scattered throughout the lake. Boaters should exercise caution.

THERMALITO AFTERBAY: Craig Bentley, past WON staffer, said water managers are holding the Afterbay at 134 feet of elevation, and that’s enough to flood the tules. Bass limits are common for anglers fishing plastic worms and swimbaits, and early and late there’s something of a topwater bite using Pop R and Spook Jr. lures. Now that the conditions have been stable for several days, males are fanning beds and females are hanging on them. A few bass have been caught by anglers punching mats. As good as the bass bite is, the steelhead bite is poor, with just 1 to 2 fish for 15 shore anglers. It’s not much better from a boat due to heat and lack of wind. It’s an early and late game now.

North Coast lakes

LAKE BERRYESSA: Bass are spawning and the bite has been good. The north end of the lake has largemouth moved up into the shallow flats looking to spawn. Anglers at the narrows and the south end of the lake are catching bigger smallmouth and spotted bass on main lake points and pockets.

EAST PARK: The bass spawn has been slowing down but now fish can be found guarding fry in the submerged willows and in deep cover. There are more crappie being caught on the east side of the lake on small swimbaits and crappie jigs.

STONEY GORGE: The bass have moved up into the shallows and have been biting just about anything you throw their way. The rapidly warming temperatures had the daytime bite slow for anglers but the morning and evening bite was better for reaction baits. Crappie are being targeting in the willows at the south end on minnows and crappie jigs under a bobber.

BLACK BUTTE LAKE: Bass are being caught all around the lake and are being found on beds when the water clarity is good enough to see. Heavy boat traffic has had the lake murky through the weekend but during the week the clarity returns. Burress Creek has been holding some crappie out past the 5 mph buoys in the submerged willows that can be caught on crappie jigs, small spinners and minnows under a float.

CLEAR LAKE: Bass are still in all stages of the spawn at Clear Lake. The initial rise in temperatures hurt the fishing but the bite has returned and anglers are catching many small post spawn males as well as fish that are still tight to cover and even on beds. Crappie are being caught all around the lake in big numbers with fish as big as 3 pounds being reported.

LAKE SONOMA: The bass are spawning all around the lake and anglers have been catching them in numbers on just about anything they throw their way. Small swimbaits, Brush Hawgs, Texas:rigged worms, and jigs tight to cover and in places where bass would be spawning will produce numbers of fish.

UPPER BLUE LAKES: The Narrows Resort is under new ownership and with the trout opener this weekend, they were expecting a big turnout and lots of fish being caught. The have been stocking the lake monthly with rainbows and the water conditions are finally starting to improve after a long winter.

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.: Closed for trout, salmon and steelhead until May 22. Surfperch are now being caught at the mouth of the river.

ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Ore.: Spring salmon fishing was good last week. Windy weather made anchor fishing tougher on the weekend, but some hatchery salmon were still caught. Still too early for trolling the bay.

SMITH RIVER: The river closed to fishing on Tuesday. Trout fishing re:opens in late May.

Sierra lakes and rivers

BOCA LAKE: Miles Zimmerman of Mountain Hardware and Sports in Truckee said Boca is being held very low for dam work, which has been moved up to summer from fall. Heavy equipment is already being staged, and the lake is muddy with poor visibility. Still, shore anglers are catching trout despite the difficulty in reading the water.

CARSON RIVER: Todd Sodaro of Todd’s Bait and Tackle and the Alpine County Fish and Game Commission said the East and West Carson are both running hard and dirty, forcing the rescheduling of the big stock so many anglers were awaiting for the general trout opener. He added the West Carson may be ready to stock in 2 to 3 weeks, but he expects the East Carson to take more time – it’s a mud bowl. The DFW stocked 400 pounds of catchables in nearby Markleeville Creek, and anglers tried, but Sodaro said the water was too cold to produce bites.

DONNER LAKE: Shaun Rainsbarger of Shaun’s Guide Service said he’s been catching Mackinaw and the odd kokanee during recent trips. The lake is at only 50 percent of capacity. The launch ramp is tricky, with a rock continuation at the end of the concrete, so owners of larger boats might want to look elsewhere.

FRENCHMAN LAKE: Staffers at Goodwin’s and Sons General Store said right now is the best time to go fishing – the lake is fishing very well. There are tons of trout in the creeks that feed into the northern end. Although there are no docks, plenty of people are launching boats, and the lake shoreline and road system is fully accessible. The Goodwin’s General Store trout derby will fish Saturday, May 4. Sign up at the store or by calling 951:446:2471.

INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR: This water has been a salvation for anglers who travelled to the Markleeville area for the general trout opener, only to find the rivers blown out. The reservoir is fishing well for trout, with some catching limits.

JENKINSON LAKE (Sly Park): Karen Ward of Sly Park Resort said the weather has been beautiful and even better, boaters and shore anglers are both catching trout. The back of the lake has been better.

LAKE TAHOE: Mackinaw fishing has been phenomenal on both the North and South Shores, with easy limits caught mornings in water as shallow as 80 feet. Afternoon are slower but yielding at least a fish an angler, sometimes two.

PROSSER LAKE: Miles Zimmerman of Mountain Hardware and Sports in Truckee reported Prosser is accessible, with no more snow on the roads. The lake level is low, but fishing is good. Trout are biting at the inlet – they stack up there. Zimmerman said he hasn’t heard much about the smallmouth, but it’s usually good early in the season so give it a try.

PYRAMID LAKE: Robert Hagerty of the Pyramid Fly Co. reported the Summit strain cutthroat are in full spawn mode, cruising the shoreline without any interest in feeding. He recommended shore anglers work deeper water for actively feeding fish. Midges fished on a floating line are working during the day but retrieving streamers in low light has been a good technique for larger fish. The south end of the lake has cold and dirty water coming in from the Truckee River. Meanwhile, George Molino of Cutthroat Charters said his boat:based operation has been averaging about a dozen fish per outing. Sunday he was blown off the lake. He also said the spawn is now close to its conclusion.

TRUCKEE RIVER: The Truckee River opened Saturday, April 27 to general trout regulations. It’s running high and fast at Hirschdale (3,500 cfs or more), but the upper section above town is an angler:friendly 800 cfs. There, try nymphs or streamers. Gear fishermen should use worms and salmon eggs, or toss Rooster Tails in black and gold, Zimmerman recommended.

WEST WALKER RIVER: Jenna Casanova of the Walker General Store said a lot of anglers were out on the water for the general trout opener. The river was running a bit fast and murky. Fishing was poor, but there are a lot of fish in the river. It’ll happen sooner or later.

Saltwater

BERKELEY: Berkeley boats including California Dawn, Happy Hooker and Pacific Dream were all over the halibut without traveling far. Much of the action for these boats was off Berkeley, Emeryville and Alameda. A respectable number of stripers came up with the halibut, but the trolling techniques used were designed for halibut.

BODEGA BAY: Bodega Bay area rockfish were all about eating baits and limits came fairly quickly for boats like New Sea Angler, fishing down off Bird Rock and near Point Reyes. Salmon were around and some nice catches were made but they are in the thick jelly and difficult to target effectively. Crab pots came up with more crab than expected. Tomales Bay produced halibut and some crab.

EMERYVILLE: Fish Emeryville boats split up and offered different options. Pacific Pearl went after salmon. Sea Wolf went offshore to catch limits of rockfish. C Gull II, New Huck Finn and Tigerfish worked locally to hook halibut and striped bass. The Emeryville Flats hosted numerous catches of halibut as well as stripers for private boats as well as party and charter boats.

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