North Freshwater Fish Report
Updated November 28, 2022
Bay Area Lakes
CALERO — Bass action is slow and so are the catfish. The lake dropped slightly to 20 percent.
CHESBRO — Bass and catfish action is slow. The lake held at 21 percent.
COYOTE — Bass action has slowed, but there are still fish being taken near the dam on smaller Keitech swimbaits. Catfish action has been slow. The lake held at 26.5 percent.
UVAS RESERVOIR — The water level continues to drop and so has the action. There are still a few bass being taken on lipless crankbaits or Senkos. Catfish action is slow. Water level continues to drop at a drastic rate, currently at 17 percent, most likely due to anticipated maintenance on the dam.
CONTRA LOMA, Antioch — Received another 750 pounds of Mt. Lassen rainbows. Action has been very good on Berkley PowerBait, nightcrawlers, small jigs, spoons or spinners. Bass and catfish action has been slow with most anglers targeting trout.
LAKE CHABOT, San Leandro — Received another 750 pounds Mt. Lassen Trout Farms rainbows and 250 pounds of lightning trout. An 8.25-pound rainbow was caught from a boat off of Racoon Point. Action has been very good from the marina to Racoon Point with Berkley PowerBait, nightcrawlers, small jigs, spoons or spinners. An occasional largemouth and catfish.
LAKE DEL VALLE, Livermore — Received another 750 pounds Mt. Lassen rainbows and 250 pounds of lightning trout. Action has been very good from the East Beach Swim Area to the narrows on Berkley PowerBait, nightcrawlers, crappie jigs, spoons or spinners. Striper action has slowed with a few shakers and keepers in the mix anchovies and pitching glide baits or paddle-tailed swimbaits. Smallmouth and largemouth action has slowed with only a couple reported on crankbaits near the rockwall in the Narrows. Most anglers are fishing for trout. Along with EBRP plants almost weekly, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife will plant trout this week.
DON CASTRO, Hayward — Received 750 pounds of Mt. Lassen rainbows and numbers have been very good on Berkley PowerBait, nightcrawlers, small jigs, spoons or spinners fished from the dam.
QUARRY LAKES, Fremont — Action still very good for rainbows and lightning trout Berkley PowerBait, nightcrawlers, crappie jigs, small spinners or spoons. Bass and catfish remain slow.
LAKE TEMESCAL, Oakland — Received 750 pounds of Mt. Lassen rainbows and 250 pounds of lightning trout. Action was slow for a couple of days, but has picked up as trout to 6 pounds were taken on Berkley PowerBait, nightcrawlers, small jigs, spoons or spinners. There is still an occasional bass taken on crankbaits or small jigs. An occasional cat on PowerBait. Most anglers are fishing for trout.
LOS VAQUEROS’ RESERVOIR — Received 1,000 pounds Mt. Lassen Trout Farms rainbows and 2,500-pounds of California Department of Fish and Wildlife rainbows in mid-November, and action remains very good for trout, catfish or striped bass. Berkley PowerBait, nightcrawlers, or small jigs, spoons, and spinners from the shore in South Cove for trout. Striper action is fair for a mix of shakers and keepers from 17 to 22 inches on anchovies, trolled Rat-L-Traps, crankbaits, jerkbaits or small swimbaits. Catfish action is fair in Cowboy Cove but most anglers are fishing for trout. Bass are on the slow side.
SAN PABLO RESEVOIR — The lake is now closed for the season. The season ended with good counts of trout and a very good bass bite and there should be plenty of holdover fish available when the lake reopens on February 3.
Northern California Lakes:
LAKE AMADOR —Another 1,000 of cutbows and rainbow trout were released into the lake this week and 50 of the fish were tagged for the annual Trout Derby. Lightning trout to 13.04 pounds have been taken on silver Kastmasters from the Blue Dock. The best action is on the banks from the spillway to the dam. Regular plants are scheduled from the onsite hatchery as trolling remains slow. The lake is 35 feet from spilling with one lane open at the launch ramp.
LAKE BERRYESSA — Finding the shad schools is the key for solid action for crappie, catfish, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, Eagle Lake-strain rainbows and king salmon. The bait is holding on structure. The right side of the launch ramp at Markley Cove is the only place to put in a boat, but it takes some finesse. The lake dropped to 49 percent.
BULLARDS BAR — Spotted bass remain the top species and lake’s spotted bass action will continue to improve in the coming months. The lake will host a Kokanee Power Tournament next year on April 1.. The lake held at 59 percent.
CAMANCHE LAKE — The fourth trout plant of the season took place this past week with a total of 1,000 pounds apiece at the North Shore and South Shore Marina with 500 pounds of rainbows and 500 pounds of lightning trout at the South Pond. Trolling is best in the 10 feet of the surface, and with the cold water at 52 degrees, slow-trolling grubs is coming into play. The spoon bite for spotted and largemouth bass is improving as the bass are holding on the bait schools. The lake held at 50 percent with the South Shore Marina on the low water ramp and the necessity to get your back tires in the water at the North Shore.
CLEAR LAKE — Clear Lake remains low at -2.5 feet on the Rumsey Scale, but launching a boat is no problem as eight feet of rock and gravel was put in at the 5th Street and Clearlake Oaks ramps. The 3rd Street ramp remains closed. Bass action remains tough, but there still are some trophies out there. Water clarity is muddled as the grass is breaking up with the cold water temperatures.
COLLINS LAKE — Trout trolling has improved as the water clarity has also improved during the past week. The anticipated storm this week may muddy up the lake, but trollers have been working the main river channel with Rapalas or spoons for the recently-planted rainbows. A total of 11,000 pounds will be released in fall/winter. Shore fishing is best with PowerBait, nightcrawlers or Kastmasters from the campsites or the Open Area.
DAVIS LAKE — Despite ice attempting to form in the coves, bank action has been solid for holdover rainbows or browns at Mallard with PowerBait or nightcrawlers. Fly fishing has also been decent in the open water. A thin layer of ice is forming in the mornings, but it dissipates by mid-afternoon. The lake held dropped slightly to 46 percent.
DONNER — The lake continues to drop rapidly from 47 to 39 percent this week, but this is the normal lake level for this time of year. It is quality over quantity for Mackinaw trout, but dedicated anglers can find a jewel with Shaun Rainsbarger of Shaun’s Guide Service putting client Chris Barabino onto a 17.2-pound Mackinaw at 45 feet on a large plug. Construction has yet to start on the revised launch ramp.
DON PEDRO — Bass fishing is picking up over steep bluff walls in the main lake at depths from 40 to 50 feet with G-Money jigs in brown/purple with a green pumpkin trailer. Finding bait balls is a key, and spoons such as 3/4-ounce Hopkins Shorties in shad patterns along with 3-inch plastics on the drop-shot continue to be effective. Anglers should always possess a fizzing needle as the bass are coming out of deep water. Trout trolling is also improving at depths from 25 to 55 feet with heavy spoons. Finding the shad schools is the key. The lake held at 50 percent. The Fleming Meadows, Blue Oaks and Moccasin launch ramps remain open, but the Fleming launch requires a long walk to the parking lot.
EAGLE LAKE — There hasn’t been much change here as only small aluminums, cartops, kayaks or float tubes have access to the lake now that the dock has been removed at the only launch at Gallatin. Eagle Lake-strain trout are there for the taking with orange Jay Fair’s trolling flies or with orange/white, red/white or red/orange spoons at depths from 4 to 14 feet.
ENGLEBRIGHT — The trout bite has slowed overall, but dedicated trollers are finding up to limits of holdovers from the surface to 20 feet near the Houseboats with blade/’crawler combinations, Wedding Rings tipped with a piece of nightcrawler behind a dodger or spoons. The lake held at 97 percent.
FOLSOM LAKE — The 5MPH restriction remains in effect as the lake continues to drop on a weekly basis, 1.5 feet this week to 378.80 feet and 26 percent. Trout trolling has been slow overall, while bass fishing is the best option as the fish are oriented to the bait balls with 1.75-ounce Blade Runner spoons in shad or pond smelt patterns in the bait balls. The Granite Bay low water ramp is the only ramp open.
McCLURE LAKE — The bass bite has been consistent as the fish are holding on the shad schools at depths from 30 to 70 feet with 3/4-ounce Hopkins Shorites plastics on the drop-shot, or 3/4-ounce jigs in brown/purple with a green pumpkin trailer. A trout plant occurred this week, and this should help with the swimbait bite. Several tournaments are scheduled on the lake over the next month. Crappie continue to be taken in the coves with minijigs or small swimbaits. The lake held at 18 percent. The launch ramps at Barrett Cove South and McClure Point remain open, but the Barrett Cove South is the better ramp despite the long walk back to the parking lot.
NEW MELONES —There have been a few large spotted and largemouth bass taken on rainbow trout-patterned swimbaits, but the most consistent action remains in the main lake with 3/4-ounce G-Money or similar jigs in brown/purple with a green pumpkin trailer at depths from 40 to 70 feet. A few bass are moving into the shallows, and spinnerbaits or umbrella rigs are working when the wind is blowing. Holdover trout are found at depths from the surface to 20 feet with big Rapalas out in open water. The lake held at 875.24 feet in elevation this week and is at 24 percent.
LAKE OROVILLE — The only launch ramp available is the Spillway with a 4xD tow vehicle as the lake dropped another 3 feet to 661.83 feet in elevation and 28 percent. Bidwell and Loafer Creek have closed until the lake rises once again. Those able to get out on the lake are finding great action for numbers of spotted bass with plastics on the drop-shot, umbrella rig, dart head, or with small swimbaits. Finding the bait is the key, and the pond smelt can be found in the shallows or in deep water.
LAKE PARDEE — The lake is now closed until mid-February, but the recent trout plants will be growing over the winter months and moving into the main lake. The lake rose slightly to 94 percent.
PYRAMID LAKE — Prior to Thanksgiving, the Lahontan cutthroat trout bite had improved with experienced trollers picking up from 15 to 20 trout on the surface with spoons, Yakima’s Mag Lips or Lyman lures. Bank anglers are out in force on the ladders with streamers along with Popcorn Beetles or balanced leeches under an indicator. Boaters are advised to “keep their heads on a swivel” as the lake can go from calm to dangerous with the arrival of high winds within minutes.
LAKE SHASTA — Bass action remains very good with decent fish from 1.5 to 4 pounds spread throughout the lake. Phil’s propellers in Redding hosted their first of the season team tournament and Robert Tibbits with co-angler Skyler Ingwerson placed first with a combined bag weight of 11.91 pounds — 86 boats entered, 72 boats weighed in fish, and 17 boats received payouts. The lake is at 31 percent. The public ramps at Centimudi, Jones Valley and Sugarloaf remain open.
LAKE SONOMA — Landlocked steelhead have been taken by trollers. The lake held at 26 percent.
LAKE TAHOE — The Mackinaw bite is back on, particularly in the warmer afternoons at depths from 160 to 180 feet on the south side of the lake with live minnows under a Tahoe Flasher. The spawn is over, and the Macks are willing biters once again. Thousands of kokanee have flooded into Taylor Creek and the fish are spawning, which is good news for the future of Lake Tahoe kokanee.
TRINITY LAKE — No reports. The lake held at 22 percent.
WHISKEYTOWN — No current reports. Bass action had been day-to-day with limited topwater action and over the trees in the shallows. There had been fish suspending mid-lake around the shad, but numbers remain low. Try slow fishing glide baits, or slow rolling plastics, Hula Grubs or Senkos, The lake rose to 92 percent.
Central Valley Rivers:
AMERICAN RIVER/above Folsom Lake — The National Forests are open once again, but there are several areas closed due to clean up from the Mosquito Fire. The flows are steady at 360cfs at Chili Bar, but they are expected to rise and be muddy this week with the anticipated storm on Thursday. The river is catch-and-release barbless hooks with no bait allowed until the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend in 2023.
AMERICAN RIVER/Sacramento — Salmon action remains very slow. Kiene’s Fly Shop in Sacramento reported scattered steelhead in the riffles below Ancil Hoffman, Grist Mill and Watt Ave with a mix of half-pounders and hatchery fish, but the numbers remain low. Micro-mayflies, caddis pupa, Wooly Buggers and caddis larva are working best. Despite conditions, the hatchery at Nimbus does anticipate making their quota for egg production. The flows at Fair Oaks up from 1,463 to 1,506 cfs. The upper section of the river from the U.S. Geological Survey gauging station cable crossing about 300 yards downstream from the Nimbus Hatchery fish rack site to the SMUD power line crossing at the southwest boundary of Ancil Hoffman Park closed on Oct. 31.
FEATHER RIVER — Salmon action below the Thermalito is now closed. Lower sections of the river remain slow. Some steelhead in the upper low flow section. Despite recent conditions, the hatchery is optimistic that salmon egg production numbers will be met. Flows at Gridley down from 2,068-1,349 cfs. Salmon fishing below the Thermalito is now closed from the unimproved boat ramp above the Thermalito Afterbay Outfall to 200 yards above the Live Oak boat ramp. The river at Gridley has dropped to 2,068 cfs.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Keswick Reservoir to Red Bluff — The Fly Shop in Redding reported trout action has been good with nice rainbows still taken on Baetis Nymphs or rubber legs from the Posse Grounds down to Red Bluff. Some spawn action but the egg bite is slow. The flows below Keswick are up from 3,280 to 3,406 cfs. Battle Creek holding at 194 cfs.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Colusa to Tisdale — Salmon action remains slow. The flows at the Colusa Bridge are down from 3,518 to 3,367 cfs.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, Metro area — Salmon action is very slow. Some fish are now moving through the Knight’s Landing area, however.
North Coast Rivers:
As of Sunday, all North Coast rivers subjected to low flow fishing closures, including the main stem Eel, South Fork Eel, Mad, Smith, Redwood Creek, and Van Duzen remained closed. The Mad River from the mouth to 200 yards upstream, the main stem Eel from the South Fork to Cape Horn Dam and the Mattole River are all closed until Jan. 1, 2023. The Department of Fish and Wildlife will make the information available to the public no later than 1 p.m. each Monday, Wednesday and Friday as to whether any river will be closed to fishing. The rivers can be opened at any time. The low flow closure hotline for North Coast rivers is (707) 822-3164. For more information, visit fishingthenorthcoast.com/2021/09/22/2021-2022-low-flow-information-for-north-coast-rivers/.
EEL RIVER (Scotia) — The main stem Eel near Scotia was running at 260 cfs as of Sunday and is closed to fishing. The river is forecast to rise beginning Thursday, but it will likely be dirty if the rain falls as predicted. Minimum flow: 350 cfs at the gauging station near Scotia to lift angling restrictions. River forecast levels can be found here: cnrfc.noaa.gov/graphicalRVF.php?id=SCOC1.
SOUTH FORK EEL, Garberville — Flows were at 50 cfs Sunday afternoon and dropping, remaining closed to fishing. Could open to fishing is flows rise as predicted on Thursday. Minimum flows are 340 cfs at Miranda to lift angling restrictions.
KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen — The lower Klamath is quiet with little fishing pressure. There are some steelhead making their way upriver and the first winter fish should be showing up with the increase in flows later in the week. Flows are predicted to reach 8,600 cfs early Friday morning. River flows on Sunday were 3,100 cfs at the mouth of the Klamath, 1,945 cfs at Orleans and 1,220 cfs farther upstream in the Seiad Valley.
MAD RIVER, Arcata — Continued to be closed to fishing as of Sunday. Forecast to rise starting Thursday and could reopen to fishing. Expect dirty water conditions for a few days, however. Minimum flows are 200 cfs at the gauging station at the State Route 299 bridge to lift angling restrictions.
RUSSIAN RIVER — The river is subject to low flow restrictions from Sept. 1 through April 30, and the river is closed for fishing until a significant amount of rain falls in the watershed. The low-flow closure number is (707) 822-3164. The river remains low at 103 cfs at the Hacienda Bridge near Guerneville.
SMITH RIVER, Crescent City — The Smith closed to fishing as of last Thursday and the flows were down to 460 cfs as of Sunday. With rain in the forecast, flows are predicted to reach 9,500 cfs Thursday afternoon on the Jed Smith gauge. Should be in fishable shape by the weekend. Minimum flows are 600 cfs at Jedediah Smith State Park to lift angling restrictions. River forecast levels can be found here: cnrfc.noaa.gov/graphicalRVF.php?id=CREC1
TRINITY RIVER, Willow Creek —There are a few nice steelhead being caught below Willow Creek, but the fishing pressure has slowed down. The rain in the forecast later in the week, the lower river should see another good push of fresh steelhead. The fall run of kings is pretty much done, but there are a few still around. Fall regulations for Chinook salmon fishing on the Trinity River went into effect on Sept. 1 and run through Dec. 31. The main stem downstream of the State Route 299 Bridge at Cedar Flat to the Denny Road Bridge in Hawkins Bar is closed to all fishing through Dec. 31. Anglers may monitor the quota status of open and closed sections of the Klamath and Trinity rivers by calling the information hotline at 800-564-6479. As of Sunday, flows were 655 cfs on the Hoopa gauge.
VAN DUZEN, Bridgeville — Flows were under 40 cfs on Sunday afternoon and remained closed to fishing. If the rains come as predicted, it could open on Thursday, but the flows will likely be dirty. Minimum flows are 150 cfs at the gauging station near Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park to lift angling restrictions.
BASS LAKE — Crappie are found near structure in 20 to 40 feet of water and also under certain docks. The bass bite is best with jerkbaits or plastics on a Neko-rig, and with the recent trout plant, trout-patterned swimbaits may be effective near the dam. The bank action is fair for planted rainbows from the banks with PowerBait near the Sheriff’s Tower or for trollers working blade/’crawler combinations near the surface. A webcam of the launch ramp is available at https://basslakeca.com/. The lake held at 50 percent.
COURTRIGHT/WISHON RESERVOIRS — Few anglers are heading up to either lake in search of holdover rainbows or browns. If the road remains open, Wishon is the best option for either trollers or bank anglers as Courtright is very low. The normal closure for McKinley Grove Road is Dec. 1.
EASTMAN/HENSLEY — Both reservoirs remain very low at 6 percent, and launching a large boat is problematic. Eastman remains the better of the two lakes for bass fishing with jerkbaits, or plastics on a Texas-rig or shakey head. The recent trout plants should spur on the swimbait bite for trophy largemouths. Trout anglers are picking up the recent planters from the banks for PowerBait, Kastmasters or nightcrawlers.
HUNTINGTON/SHAVER — Both lakes have been much slower with the arrival of inclement weather. Bank fishing will improve as the water continues to cool. It is difficult to launch a boat at Huntington, but some are trying to launch small aluminums from the shorelines in search of the lake’s trophy brown trout.
MILLERTON — There hasn’t been much happening since the recent tournament, and the best spotted bass bite remains on the bottom at depths from 30 to 40 feet with plastics on the drop-shot or jigs. Most bass are deep from 30 to 40 feet, but some fish are hanging in the shallows. The Madera side of the lake warms up faster at Sky Harbor and near Finegold, and this is where anglers should start in the morning prior to heading over to Winchell’s Cove later in the day along the rockwall. The following campgrounds are closed from Oct. 1st through March 31: Fort Miller, Mono, Rocky Point, Dumna Strand, Valley Oak and Meadows. The park hours have also changed to 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. until March 31. The San Joaquin River flows rose from 538 to 658 cfs at Friant.
PINE FLAT/LOWER KINGS — The best bass action is in deep water from 40 to 50 feet, and anglers will need to bring a fizzing needle to release the pressure from the bass out of the deep water. Plastics on the drop-shot are working best as the spoon bite has been slower. The bass came into the shallows from 15 to 20 feet on recent overcast days. Crankbaits or jigs have also been effective as the fish are holding on the shad schools. Trout trollers are searching for bait in deep water near the Power Lines, and a few king salmon have been taken by rolling anchovies at 70 to 80 feet in depth. In the lower Kings, a trout plant occurred last week and action from the shorelines is best with Atomic Tubes or Teasers along with finesse Trout Magnets. PowerBait or nightcrawlers are also effective. The flows held at 337 cfs at Trimmer. The lake held at 17 percent.
SAN LUIS/ O’NEILL FOREBAY/CALIFORNIA AQUEDUCT — Drifting jumbo minnows has been the top technique in the main lake at the mouth of Portuguese Cove or in front of Goosehead Point. There is an early morning ripbait bite along with topwater lures or umbrella rigs. The Heddon Swimming Image has been a top bait. The forebay has been solid with boils taking place throughout the lake, and there is a topwater bite along with jerkbaits, Rat-L-Traps and umbrella rigs. The stripers are feeding on crawdads and crayfish patterns have been effective. The Aqueduct remains solid for striped bass once moving water is located. Putting a boat in at Dinosaur Point requires skill with obstructions in the main channel. It is important to leave the dock going to the south to avoid the shallows that are east of the dock. The main lake is at 24 percent with the forebay dropping to 85 percent.