North Freshwater Fish Report

DON PEDRO IS COOKING – Diana Cook with a quality Don Pedro bass fishing with her husband, Ryan Cook of Ryan Cook’s Fishing

Updated June 6, 2023

Bay Area Lakes

CALERO — Josh at Coyote Bait and Tackle reported that bass anglers continue to see decent action with very good counts of fish in the 1- to 4-pound range. There has been a good early reaction bite with chatterbaits, cranks, and reaction-style baits. The lake is in good shape with 10 feet of visibility and water to the trees in most of the coves. The coves are providing some good action on frogs or other baits punched through the weeds. Lake level 45 percent.


CHESBRO — Lake is full. Conditions are fair and the evening crappie bite is still solid on bobber rigs with wax worms or jigs. Bass action has been slow.


COYOTE — Action is very good for smaller bass to 2 pounds on drop shots and Senkos. Shad spawn has started with fish currently holding in the 8- to 10-foot range. Water conditions are good, but very clear. Water level holding at 52 percent. Lots of summer boat and jet ski traffic.


UVAS RESERVOIR —Bass action for fish in the 2- to 3-pound range is picking up as the fish get comfortable with the higher water. Topwaters, spooks, and Senkos producing. Water has dropped allowing cross-dam access. The crappie bite has been mixed and cat numbers are low.



CONTRA LOMA  —  Conditions have been challenging with fluctuating water levels and weeds. Some holdover trout action, including a 10-pound rainbow taken from the far side dock. Bass action is fair and generally best from a kayak, or other non-motorized vessel. Please release your bass! No more trout plants this season.

LAFAYETTE RESERVOIR — Trout action is slow, there has not been a recent trout plant in some time. The lake level is good, and bass action has been ok for smaller fish.


LAKE CHABOT — Action has been very good for a mix of trout, bass, and the occasional cat. The shoreline between Indian Cove and Raccoon point remains solid, but access is still limited due to high water. Berkley PowerBait has been the top producer. Boat rentals, boat launch and marina store all open. The last trout plant of the season was May 24.


LAKE DEL VALLE  —  Action is very good for trout, bass, and stripers. Striper action continues to improve with fish taken from both the beach and from boats. Cut baits, plastics and swimbaits all work. No bait schools reported yet. The largemouth bass bite has been very good with fish in the 3- to 5-pound range taken along the shoreline and in close to the weeds. Plastics, or weighted paddle tails with or without an underspi and skirted spinnerbaits fished tight against the weeds all working. The last trout plant of the season was May 24.

QUARRY LAKES  — Trout action has dropped off. The fish have moved into the deeper water on the back side of the peninsula. There are still some trout taken along the row, mostly on bait. The last trout plant of the season was May 24.

LAKE TEMESCAL — Trout action has been good but is dropping off. PowerBait, natural, chartreuse and white jigs and spoon patterns in tequila sunrise and rasta have also been working but the lure bite is slowing down. Special call out to 5-year-old Gary Boyd from Hayward who took his limit!  Bass action along the shoreline has been good for smaller fish in the 1- to 1.5-pound range, but the bass are seeing a lot of pressure. No more trout plants this season.

LOS VAQUEROS’ RESERVOIR —  George at the marina store reported great trout action from South Cove on jigs, spinners, Atomic Tubes, and Berkley PowerBait. Very good striper action at both South Cove and the marina docks using cut bait. Some carp working the weed line. No bass, no cats reported. The lake remains high and continues to receive water. The cooler water should extend the season. Still receiving trout plants.

SAN PABLO RESERVOIR — Marcie Shoemaker, concession manager, reported planting over 7, 000 pounds of trout in the last 14 days. Fishing is great, for trout and bass. Cats are starting to feed! The water conditions and temperature are very good. Boat rentals, boat ramp and marina store are all open. Still receiving trout plants.


Northern California Lakes:


LAKE ALMANOR — John Crotty of Almanor Fishing Adventures said, “Targeting fish at 16 feet has proved successful as the trout are enjoying the transitional layer. With that being said, the trout are being taken throughout the water column down to 35 feet.

Anglers are reporting success throughout the lake and using a myriad of techniques. The mayfly is now present in the water and showing up in the bellies of trout in addition to midge flies. Spring is in full swing. Road maintenance has begun, and construction delays are present on most all entrances into the Almanor basin. Be sure to check current conditions when driving and have patience.” The lake rose to 83 percent.


LAKE AMADOR — The lake is full, and there are still big cutbows over 11 pounds landed by shore anglers from the spillway to the Carson Arm. Bank fishing has taken over as trolling has slowed. Trout plants are over for the season, but night fishing from the Blue Docks has been excellent. Bass, catfish, and crappie are also possibilities. The Swim Pond is now open, but it is only available to campers from Friday through Sunday.


LAKE BERRYESSA — The king salmon have woken up as fast trolling with #3 Optimizer Spoons in shad patterns has been the ticket at depths from 15 to 62 feet. Eagle Lake-strain rainbows are biting aggressively above the king salmon. Kokanee remain scarce, and Kokanee Power moved their July Tournament to Whiskeytown as a result. Bass action continues to be outstanding as the schools of spotted and largemouth bass are chasing bait up to the surface throughout the main lake. The road to Markley Cove is open, and access to the lake is much easier. The lake held at 86 percent.

BULLARDS BAR — Easy 10-fish limits of kokanee remain the rule at depths to 60 feet with Paulina Peak’s pink/purple Flutter Bug. The best action is in the early morning before the bite slowed and you have to work for them. The kokanee are from 11.75 to 13.5 inches, but they are plentiful. With the rising water levels, there is debris scattered throughout the surface of the lake with pollen, pine needles, sticks, and even larger logs. The lake rose to 99 percent.

CAMANCHE LAKE — The lake is back on the rise, and it will continue to rise slowly for the next six weeks as snowmelt in the Mokelumne River system moves it way through Lake Pardee to the Delta. It has come up from 47 to 63 percent in the past two weeks. Summertime is a good time to work for the holdover rainbows, but you have to get on the lake early as recreational boating takes over around 10:00 a.m. The last plant occurred a month ago. The rainbows will congregate in the river channel from the North Shore Marina to the dam. The bass are in post-spawn mode, and they are feeding on a variety of presentations.


CLEAR LAKE — Catfishing continues to attract a hard core group of whiskerfish aficionados as tournaments keep popping up. The big news this week will be the descension of hundreds of boaters pre-fishing for Western Outdoor News California Open Pro/Am this coming weekend. The water is clearing up, and the bass are in all stages of spawning, but most have spawned. With the high water, anglers will be able to focus on shallow fish, and launching a boat will not be a limiting factor for the remainder of the year as it has been the past two years.

COLLINS LAKE —The lake remains full, and a few holdover rainbows are found in deep water in the river arm, but the lake is in summertime mode with bass, bluegill, and catfish being the top species as the water temperatures have risen to the 70-degree level. A largemouth bass plant late this spring is a possibility. The last trout plant was May 1.


DAVIS LAKE — The lake has risen to 96 percent, and trout fishing is best from the banks near Mallard with Power Bait or nightcrawlers while mountain catfish are taken near Lightning Tree. Trolling is expected to be outstanding during the summer months with the high water levels. Check with J and J Grizzly Store for launch ramp accessibility.


DONNER — Trophy time hasn’t stopped as Shaun Rainsbarger of Shaun’s Guide Service continues his clinic on trophy mackinaw on the fast troll with three fish from 11 to 17 pounds on Sunday. He said, “The mackinaw are feeding heavily on kokanee, golden shiners, and tui chubs, and once the water warmed up a few degrees, they have been far more aggressive.” The lake rose from 56 to 89 percent within two weeks.

DON PEDRO — There is a good topwater bite in the mornings with the Strike King Sexy Dog or the Berkley Choppo in shad patterns before heading to the bottom with jigs or tubes. The finesse bite is solid, and you go anywhere on the lake at depths from 5 to 20 feet for all the action you can handle. Dry Creek tubes in green pumpkin or Robo Worm’s Morning Dawn or Margarita Mutilator on the drop-shot along with ½-ounce brown/purple G-Money jigs with a Dry Creek twin-tail trailer in green pumpkin have been working. The key is to slow down when staying in contact with the bottom. 50-fish days are routine. For trout and kokanee, the continually rising water has scattered the fish, and the full moon over the weekend was also an deterrent. The kokanee are scattered, and only a few fish per rod are the norm. While the kokanee are scarce, they are large. Trout and king salmon are a possibility at depths from 35 to 50 feet by rolling shad or heavy shad-patterned spoons. The lake rose four feet to 791.92 feet in elevation and 72 percent.

EAGLE LAKE — Few boats are on the water, but the action for Eagle Lake-strain trout has been excellent at depths from 13 to 23 feet over deep water with red/gold or red dot frog spoons such as Thomas Buoyants. The fish are holding on the rockpiles, and fly fishing with leeches in black, orange, or olive are most effective. Once you find the pattern, fishing has been excellent. The campgrounds and Gallatin marina store are open along with the Eagle Lake RV park in Spalding is open.


FOLSOM LAKE — Bass fishing has been the best of the bunch with plastics such as Aaron’s Magic around the rockpiles in the North or South Forks. Senkos on a wacky-rig, or small Keitech swimbaits or plastics at depths to 20 feet around submerged wood are also effective. The trout bite has slowed with the amount of cold water flowing down the American River into the lake. Catfish are taken from the banks with chicken livers or cut baits. The lake rose 2 feet within two weeks to 458.84 feet in elevation and 92 percent. The main ramp and Hobie Ramp at Brown’s Ravine. Folsom Point, Rattlesnake, and Granite Bay Stage 4A are open.

McCLURE LAKE — Topwater lures such as the Choppo 90 are working throughout the day along main lake points at depths from 10 to 30 feet. There is also a good jig bite at 5 to 30 feet. 30 fish per rod with the occasional 3-pound spotted bass is a typical day. The American Bass Association held a tournament on Saturday won with a 10-pound limit with a big fish over 3 pounds. The lake is on the rise again, and it rose 7 feet to 830.83 feet in elevation and 77 percent.

LAKE MCSWAIN – The lake continues to spill over at 107 percent, and the high water is expected through August with all of the snowmelt coming down the Merced River through the Exchequer Dam at upstream Lake McClure. The water clarity is limited, and trout plants are not scheduled as they will be pushed over the spillway by the high water.  Bank anglers continue to struggle for the occasional holdover rainbow.

NEW MELONES — Kokanee Power held a 70-boat tournament on Saturday, and while only 48 of 70 teams weighed in fish, there was a total of 20 fish over 2 pounds brought to the scales, led by a 2.87-pound kokanee. The fish have migrated to the southern portion of the lake, and Apex lures are working best for the big fish. Kokanee over 3 pounds are anticipated within the next six weeks. Limits of holdover rainbows are taken above the kokanee with Rapalas or Speedy Shiners. Numbers of a smaller grade of bass are readily available, and the action has been anywhere near rock. There is a window for topwater lures along with flukes or Keitech swimbaits but working the bottom at 25 feet with plastics or jigs has been most productive. There hasn’t been enough forage of bluegill or shad along the shorelines, but a late shad spawn should correct this situation and bring out the larger fish. The lake rose 9 feet this week to 1037.53 feet in elevation this week and 77 percent with the start of snowmelt coming down the Stanislaus River.


LAKE OROVILLE — The lake continues to rise, coming up 5 feet in the past two weeks to 895.69 feet in elevation and 98 percent as snowmelt is flooding into the North, Middle, and South Forks. Water releases through the dam into the Feather River remain high to balance out inflow and outflow. Bass fishing continues to be excellent for numbers of spotted bass with plastics on a Ned rig or Bass Union weedless darter head close to the banks. Numbers of spotted bass are outstanding, but finding anything of size is a challenge. King salmon have yet to make a showing, but the high water levels should prove beneficial as the summer months arrive.


LAKE PARDEE — The lake remains high at 102 percent, and trout and kokanee can be found in the south end of the lake. Speedy Shiners are working for the planted and holdover rainbows at depths from the surface to 10 feet while kokanee to 11 inches are found on pink micro-hoochies at depths from 20 to 40 feet. The river arm remains loaded with debris, and there is still quite a bit of debris including submerged logs in the south end. The water temperature in the main lake changes from 67 to 59 at the mouth of the river arm.

PYRAMID LAKE — The Lahontan cutthroat season ends on June 30 until October 1, and the shirt sleeve weather has been pushing the Lahontan cutthroat out into deeper water. Similar to the start of the season, inflatable boats are necessary for fly anglers, but the action remains solid with large flies as the fish are looking for big baits in post-spawn mode. Trophies continue to be landed daily. While the Lahontan season comes to an end, Sacramento perch are available throughout the year.


LAKE SHASTA — The lake is full!  John Boitano at Phil’s Propellers reported a solid bass bite with fish holding in the backs of the coves, the points, the flat shelves outside the coves, and against the bridge pillars. Keitechs, spooks and topwater baits all working. Trout action has also been very good with solid shoreline and trolling action. Catfish have moved into the backs of the coves with fish to 9 pounds on cut bait. Very good for most species!

LAKE SONOMA — The water level is steady at 68 percent, and the lake continues to clear. Bass fishing has been good in the shallows with plastics in chartreuse or green pumpkin along with deep-diving crankbaits. Catfishing is best at night with cut baits, chicken livers, or dip bait.  \

LAKE TAHOE — Mackinaw action continues to be excellent at depths from 60 to 300 feet, but you have to find the fish. There have been some large mackinaw pushing 20 pounds over the past week, but the majority are in the 3- to 5-pound rang. Trolling Rapalas or similar plugs, jigging with heavy spoons, or mooching with live minnows under an Al Wilson Tahoe Flasher are all working.

TRINITY RESERVOIR — Bass action is still solid and both smallmouth and largemouth are hitting Keitechs, swimbaits, topwaters, crank baits and rip baits. Water levels have finally started to come up and have risen from 46 percent capacity to 52 percent capacity and rising. Kokanee bite has started, but reports are still light.

WHISKEYTOWN RESERVOIR — Bass action remains good on topwaters, spooks and glide baits. There are still some fish on the beds that can be targeted with plastics. Kokanee action is good right now and should only improve. Water level at 98 percent capacity.


Central Valley Rivers:


AMERICAN RIVER/above Folsom Lake — The opening of the upper river is this coming Saturday, May 27, and there is great interest for the opening of the ability to keep a rainbow or brown trout without bait restrictions. The flows will be the limiting factor as they remain high at 8426 cfs at Chili Bar.

AMERICAN RIVER/Sacramento — Water levels are still fluctuating. Kiene’s reported a good shad bite between Sunrise and Sailor Bar, but action dropped off with the changing levels. Numbers are not high but should improve once the flows stabilize. Some striper from I Street to the mouth.

FEATHER RIVER — Striper action remains very good with plenty of fish spread throughout the system. Concentrations have been spotty, and you may have to cover some water to find them. Some down runners are already starting to show, but great water conditions, and cooler temperatures should keep the fish around until July.  Water conditions are very good with decent visibility and temperatures holding in the mid-60s.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Keswick Reservoir to Red Bluff — Cody at the Fly Shop in Redding, reported very good trout action on rubber legs tan caddis and PMD’s from HWY 44 down to Cottonwood Creek. Below Cottonwood the water is still dirty. Flows are high, with some stain and will fluctuate with the runoff.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Colusa to Tisdale — Striper action remains solid! Austin at Kittles Outdoors reported fish throughout the system up-river and down. Water levels are a bit high, but visibility is good, and the higher water is having little effect on the action. The water temperature is in the upper 60s. Kittles has everything that you’ll need to fish this section of the river including cut baits, minnows, and plastics.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Metro area — Dennis Phanner at Sacramento Pro Tackle reported improving conditions and an improved bite with fish strung out throughout the area. Sand Cove and I Street have been good but fishing fluctuates as the fish continue to move through. Sac Pro has everything that you will need to fish the metro area and is geared up for shad.

North Coast Rivers form charts:

As a reminder, the South Fork Eel, Van Duzen, Mattole, Mad, Redwood Creek, and the Chetco all closed to fishing after March 31.

EEL RIVER— The main stem is finally in fishing shape, flowing at 2,000 cfs as of Sunday. There could be a few downers around, though fishing pressure is light this time of year. The main stem Eel to the South Fork is open all year. Only artificial lures with barbless hooks may be used from Apr. 1 through Sept. 30.

KLAMATH RIVER —  The Klamath is on the drop and turning green. Winter steelhead season is over as most have made their way down with the high water. The recreational spring salmon fishery, which usually begins July 1, has been cancelled as well as fishing for fall Chinook. Summer steelhead fishing should kickoff towards the end of July when flows return to normal. As of Sunday, flows were right around 14,500 cfs on the lower river and dropping. Flows on Sunday were 8,500 cfs at Orleans, and 4,100 cfs further upstream in the Seiad Valley.

RUSSIAN RIVER — Bass fishing for smallmouth or largemouth bass remains the best thing happening, and the river has dropped from 537 to 357 cfs at the Hacienda Bridge near Guerneville over the past two weeks. The seasonal summer dams at Vacation Beach and Johnson’s Beach will start impounding water as follows and locations upriver from these dams will experience rise in current river water levels. Johnson’s Beach – Scheduled to start impounding water at site, Thursday 6/15. Complete filling by Saturday 6/17. Vacation Beach – Scheduled to start impounding water at site, Monday 6/19. Complete filling by Thursday 6/22.


SMITH RIVER — The Smith River opened back up as of May 27 from its mouth to the confluence of the Middle and South Forks; Middle Fork Smith River from mouth to Patrick Creek; South Fork Smith River from the mouth upstream approximately 1,000 feet to the County Road (George Tryon) bridge and Craigs Creek to Jones Creek. Only artificial lures with barbless hooks may be used on some sections. For a complete list of regulations visit


TRINITY RIVER— Due to the high flows, there hasn’t been much angling opportunity. The recreational spring salmon fishery, which usually begins July 1, has been cancelled as well as fishing for fall Chinook. Flows Sunday were around 4,300 cfs on the Hoopa gauge and dropping.


CenCal Lakes:


BASS LAKE — The lake is kicking out some quality trout to18 inches, but you have to weed through a bunch of 12- and 13- inch planters. The trout are found at depths from 15 to 30 feet with Dick’s Mountain Tubes or Mountain Hoochies in orange or pink. The largemouth bass are mostly down with the spawn, but the spotted bass are spawning in deep water near rocky points. Senkos on a wacky-rig, jigs, topwater lures, or swimbaits are all working for bass. A webcam of the launch ramp is available at  The lake rose to 91 percent.


EASTMAN/HENSLEY — Heavy fishing pressure at Eastman has created a slowdown for largemouth bass as the parking lot is full of boat trailers, even during the week. You have to get out there early if you are going to get a spot. The best action has been in the middle of the lake over the humps and submerged islands with swimbaits from 4 to 6 inches along with deep-diving crankbaits. Underspins on a jig head are also effectively, but a slow presentation on the bottom is necessary. The small bass are schooling up. Hensley remains ‘hit or miss’ with small bass to 2.5 pounds being the exception,  Carp remain throughout the shallows, and bow hunters are thinning out the herd. Eastman dropped slightly to 574.80 feet in elevation and 86 percent with Hensley also dropping slightly to 521.57 feet in elevation and 71 percent.


HUNTINGTON/SHAVER — Shaver rose to 90 percent, and the trout bite has slowed down as the fish are feeding heavily on insects washed off of the shorelines. The combination of the full moon and high water levels have created less than ideal conditions. Kokanee continue to be very scarce with only a few reported. When the water stabilizes, the trout bite should improve. The Greg Mark’s Youth Derby is set for this coming Saturday, June 10 at the Edison Road 3 picnic area, and it is full. Huntington rose to 97 percent, and the brown trout trollers are launching their aluminums. All campgrounds remain closed due to snow levels. A webcam of the Shaver launch ramp is available at


MILLERTON — The spotted bass are feeding heavily on shad, and every spot is spitting up shad when landed. The majority of fish are in the one-pound range, but there are a few to 2.5 pounds. Small Keitech swimbaits in shad patterns are working best in the main lake near East Bay and Sky Harbor. Jerkbaits and topwater lures are also effective. The water in the river arm is extremely cold. Recreational boat traffic has ramped up on the weekends. Water releases down the San Joaquin remain high at 9342 cfs at Friant. The lake rose 19 feet in the past wo weeks to 506.84 feet in elevation and 45 percent. The river remains closed below Friant Dam for safety reasons but Sycamore Lake Pond is open.

PINE FLAT/LOWER KINGS — Finding the shad schools is the key to success here for both bass and trout as there is a topwater bite in the early mornings when the bass are pushing shad into the shorelines. Spinnerbaits, umbrella rigs, or jigs are working best by mid-morning. Trout trollers are focusing on the shad schools at 40 feet with spoons such as Cop Car Needlefish or Speedy Shiners along with Rapalas. Crappie fishing has slowed. The lake rose 15 feet this week to 852.63 feet in elevation and 45 percent, The flows on the lower Kings at Trimmer are dangerous at 15,734  cfs with the warmer weather melting the snowpack. The river is closed below the dam for any contact with the water.

SAN LUIS/ O’NEILL FOREBAY/CALIFORNIA AQUEDUCT — The lake remains extremely high at 99 percent, and there is a consistent bait bite for stripers from 18 to 26 inches with anchovies, pile worms, nightcrawlers, or large minnows from the banks. With the high water, anglers can settle on the banks near the roadways. Extra-large and jumbo minnows are not available, but the large minnows are working. When the pumps at Check 12 are on, the bite has turned on. In the O’Neill Forebay, umbrella rigs, topwater lures, and Duo Realis 120 jerkbaits in Neo Pearl or White Flash are working. The California Aqueduct is picking up around moving water at the headgates with jerkbaits, Rat-L-Traps, umbrella rigs, or white flukes on a scrounger head for linesides from 18 to 24 inches. The forebay is at 85 percent.


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