North Freshwater Fish Report


Updated January 10, 2022

BON TEMPE RESERVOIR — Bon Tempe will receive another during the week of the 16th. Kastmasters, Power Bait, spinners, and jigs all work at this lake. Use the Bon Tempe Trailhead parking lot and walk down to Bon Tempe Dam Road, Bon Tempe Aerator Road, or along the shoreline on the Sunny Side Trail. Access the Southeast side of the lake from the Lake Lagunitas parking lot. Parking is limited but there should be less traffic at this time.

CALERO — Water levels rose to near normal but were pumped back down to about 40 percent. Fishing is limited due to poor water quality.

CHESBRO — Water levels have risen with water now in the creek and most lake structure is once again underwater, but fishing remains tough due to poor water quality.

CONTRA LOMA — 1200-pounds of Mt. Lassen Farms rainbow trout were planted last week, and 1000-pounds will be planted this week. An additional DF&W plant is also expected. The best action has been on the West Shore to the right of the swim lagoon, Channel Point, or the peninsula just before the boat ramp with Power Bait, Mice Tails, or tube jigs with 4- to 6-pound test. To avoid the crowds, fish the Vista Point fishing dock across the lake.

COYOTE — Water levels up to 47 percent. The ramp has not reopened. Fishing is tough due to poor water quality.

LAKE CHABOT —The lake received 1000 pounds of Mt. Lassen Farms rainbow trout last week, and weekly plants will continue until spring. Water levels continue to rise, and the quality is fair with little algae. Indian Cove and bass Cove have fished the best on Berkley Power Bait, white tube jigs or mini spoons in red, white, or a red/white combo.

DON CASTRO —The lake received the last plant of the year at the beginning of December and is fishing poorly.

LOS VAQUEROS’ RESERVOIR — The lake received another 1000 pounds of Mt. Lassen Farms rainbow trout last week, and fishing for trout, stripers, and catfish remains very good between the South Cove and the marina. The water level has come up a few feet, but runoff has muddied the water especially around South Cove. Garlic Berkley Powe Bait and bright lures will work best until water conditions improve. Trolling for trout with spinners and for stripers with soft baits or shallow swim baits have been working along the shoreline and out deeper near the dam. Fishing pressure has been light and there are still plenty of trout remaining.

LAKE DEL VALLE —Received 1000 pounds Mt. Lassen Farms rainbow trout last week and continues to be a top producer with consistent limits of trout. The East Beach shoreline up to the marina and from the ramp to Hetch Hetchy remains very good. The West Shore near the back of the lake has also been producing. Garlic Power Bait and flashy lures have worked best with current conditions. Some shaker striped bass, but nothing of any size yet. There has been an increase in the algae.

LAFAYETTE RESERVOIR —Received a CDFW rainbow trout plant last week. The docks just below the children’s playground and closest to the main lake or the docks below the soccer field over by the Visitor Center are the top locations with garlic Power Bait, Mice Tails. The water is off-color but fishable.

QUARRY LAKES — Received 1200 pounds of Mt. Lassen Farms rainbows two weeks ago and the bite has slowed. Fishing has been best from the bank along Old Creek Trail between the Pescadero and Encinal picnic areas, the North Fence Line near Swim Beach or on the North side of the island across from Encinal with Power Bait, Mice Tails, or tube jigs.

SAN PABLO RESEVOIR —Is closed for the season and will remain closed until February 4, 2022.

LAKE TEMESCAL, Oakland —The lake received 750 pounds of Mt. Lassen Farms rainbows last week and will receive a CDFW plant during the week of the 16th. The water quality has improved, but it is still off-color. The best spots remain along the shore between the Broadway Terrace entrance and the swimming beach. The West Shore trail is still closed, and tickets have been given to anglers in this area.

UVAS RESERVOIR — Water level is up to 90 percent of average but remains off-color. An occasional bass reported holding deep on spoons, rattle baits or bright blade spinners.

Northern California Lakes:

ALMANOR LAKE —John Crotty of the Almanor Fishing Association reported there has been little change since last week’s report. He said, “We will see spring like conditions for at least the next seven days with cold morning and daytime highs reaching into the low 40’s. The USFS has plowed both the Canyon Dam boat ramp and the over flow parking lot, there were eight or ten vehicles there today, half with trailers. As is typical for this time of year, fishing pressure is concentrated to the south end of the lake. Shore fishermen are picking up some quality fish around the dam using crawlers and power bait. Trollers are targeting fish in water 30 to 50 feet deep, slow trolling plastics and crawlers at one mile an hour will catch fish. Find bait to find fish.”

AMADOR LAKE — 1225 pounds of mixed cutbow and Amagolds were released this past week, and trollers are getting in on the action as the water continues to clear. It is still stained so bright colored spoons such as Speedy Shiners or plugs such as J7 Rapalas have been finding cutbow trout in excess of 8 pounds. The lake has risen to 10 feet from spilling, and the second launch is back in the water. The annual Trout Derby will last until March 27th with hundreds of tagged fish to be released within the coming months for one-time entry fee of $7.00. Anglers landing tagged fish will be entered for prizes up to $500.

LAKE BERRYESSA — The lake rose slightly to 64 percent, and a few boaters are seeking the lake’s king salmon with minimum success as the shad schools continue to hold near the bottom from 60 to 80 feet. The turnover of the lake is at question, and a big north wind is necessary to seal the deal. Bass fishing remains very slow, but there is always the opportunity to find a trophy in shallow water. Two weeks of clear weather is predicted, and this should improve the conditions on the lake. Bass tournament action will return in 2022 with the American Bass Association opener on January 23rd out of Pleasure Cove Marina.

BOCA/PROSSER — The lakes have frozen over, but access is a problem for those wanting to fish on the frozen lake.

BULLARDS BAR — The lake continues to rise from 55 to 59 percent, and small kokanee are found near the surface along with holdover rainbow trout. Spotted bass fishing will improve on a monthly basis as big fish time arrives in the springtime. The biggest spots generally emerge in March/April, but fishermen will keep these reports to themselves at Lake X.

CAMANCHE LAKE — Another 1200 pounds of Mt. Lassen Hatchery rainbows were released at the North Shore Marina, and trollers are finding the planters to be scattering throughout the lake from the Narrows to the dam area. Running 3-inch Berkley grubs on a slow-troll or with Speedy Shiners or jointed Rapalas on a fast-troll near the surface while avoiding boat traffic and using side planers are resulting in limits for experienced trollers. The NorCal Bass Circuit holds their first tournament of their lake series this coming Saturday, January 15th. The lake has risen from 43 to 47 percent, but launching a boat at North Shore requires getting at least two wheels in the water.

CLEAR LAKE — A lightly attended 18-boat Pro/Am tournament of champions took place from Friday through Sunday, but there were some impressive limits weighed in with a single day over 27 pounds and a three-day total to nearly 62 pounds. It is a matter of finding the bass on the right structure as the weights dropped off dramatically to around a 10-pound/day average for most of the field. Crappie anglers are ganging up around the Rattlesnake Arm, but the slab action is nowhere near last year’s epic fishing as there is concern that the lake’s crappie population was severely depleted due to heavy pressure in 2021. The 5th Street launch is the best option as there is construction near the Clear Lake Oaks ramp, limiting parking.

COLLINS LAKE — The lake continues to rise rapidly, and with the upcoming clear weather, the visibility will improve considerably. Trolling should improve with bright colors of spoons or plugs from the surface to 20 feet. Both launch ramps are open and pontoon boats have been able to be launched with minimal problem.

DAVIS LAKE — The lake has frozen over, and at least 10 anglers were out on the ice over the weekend. Caution has to be taken while entering the frozen lake as the ice isn’t completely formed. Heavy snow has limited access to the lake, and the lake is starting to freeze with patches of floating ice. The lake held at 53 percent.

DONNER — The launch ramp continues to be loaded with snow, and unless it is plowed once again by a private contractor. The county does not plow the ramp, and it may stay inaccessible until March if the freezing weather continues. The lake dropped from 38 to 36 percent.

DON PEDRO — There is a solid bass bite as shallow as 5 feet and as deep as 40 feet on main lake points with G-Money jigs in green pumpkin with a Hula Grub twin-tail trailer along with 3.5-inch Dry Creek tubes. A few fish are taken on spinnerbaits, but the bait is sparse at best. Don Pedro will be heavily impacted with tournament action for the next two months with the Best Bass Tournaments holding stops on January 15th and February 5th with the American Bass Association holding an event on February 12th. There are 6 additional club tournaments sprinkled in within the next two months. The 2022 daily vehicle fee will be $20 with an additional $15 to launch a vessel. Annual launch passes will be $120 with an annual vehicle fee of $120 with $65 for seniors. The lake held at 54 percent. The Fleming Meadows and Moccasin launch ramps remain open.

FOLSOM LAKE — The lake dropped from 60 to 58 percent and two feet in elevation as water releases continue into the lower American River is preparation for the upcoming snowmelt. The occasional salmon is landed in the main river channel in the North Fork with white GVF Spinner Bugs in Pina Colada behind a nickel Glow Crush Dodger from 30 to 50 feet in the main river channel. Rainbow trout are taken closer to the surface on a piece of nightcrawler behind a small sidekick dodger. Bass fishermen are returning to the lake now that the 5MPH restriction has been lifted. The launch ramps at Brown’s Ravine and Granite Bay are open.


McCLURE LAKE — There is good action for numbers of spotted bass with G-Money jigs or plastic worms in the shallows along with a few spots found deeper from 30 to 35 feet on 3/4th-ounce Hopkins Shorty spoons. The Best Bass Tournaments Mother Lode Region drew 61 boats on Saturday with the team of Shad Sullivan and Troy Thomas taking first at 12.56 pounds with a big fish at 6.35. The BBT will be back at the lake on February 12th along with several additional tournaments in the coming months. The lake rose from 24 to 25 percent, and the best ramp continues to be at Barrett Cove South.


NEW MELONES — There is a phenomenal spoon bite in deep water along with G-Money jigs in brown/purple on a 3/8th-ounce jig head with a 5-inch Yamamoto twin-tail trailer in green pumpkin at depths from 15 to 40 feet. He said, “The Float N’Fly is also very effective for both spotted and largemouth bass at this time of year up the river arm.” The American Bass Association held an 11-boat tournament on Saturday won by Angels Camp locals Jason Remmers and Alex Niapas with a 19.11-pound limit with a big fish at 4.86 pounds. Trout fishing remains excellent for the small planted rainbows with shad-patterned lures near the surface, but the larger holdover rainbows remain in deep water to 100 feet, and few anglers are putting in the effort for the opportunity for a holdover. Kyle Wise of HeadHunter Guide Service went searching for crappie on Saturday, and he found 17 slabs in deep water. Even though the lake rose slightly to 40 percent, there are numerous unmarked hazards throughout the lake. Boaters have to be extremely cautious.

LAKE OROVILLE — The reaction bite for spotted bass to 2.5 pounds has improved with Bass Union custom umbrella rigs loaded with 3.5-inch Keitech swimbaits in Pro Blue, Red Pearl, or Arkansas Shine. Heavier weights on the inside live hooks keep the larger swimbaits toward the bottom, enticing more strikes. The reaction bite is best first thing in the morning. It is still very early for king salmon, but the diehards are still out there trying with hoochie/green Sling Blade combinations, but the best salmon action will start towards the end of February when the bait starts to school. The lake continues to rise, jumping up from 38 to 41 percent, and there is floating and submerged debris on the lake. Boaters have to be cautious. Three club tournaments scheduled in January and another four in February in addition to the American Bass Association tournament on February 12th and the Wild West Bass Trails two-day event on February 19/20th.

LAKE PARDEE — The lake closed on November 7th for the winter before reopening on February 10, 2022. It is currently at 86 percent.

PYRAMID LAKE — Big trout time has arrived at Pyramid as the Pilot Peak-strain are loading up get ready for the upcoming spawn. Thebeaches of Windless, Cattle Guard, Popcorn, Spider, and Pelican are producing cutthroats to 15 pounds and above with midges under an indicator or stripping beetles. The clear weather will allow trollers to get back on the lake to jig spoons or troll plugs, but weather conditions on the lake can change rapidly, and boaters have to be aware of the wind and waves at all times.

LAKE SHASTA — The water levels continue to rise, and the bass bite has slowed to dropping water temperatures, especially in the arms. The main body has been better for bass anglers using Hula Grubs and jigs in slow mode between 10 and 50 feet. Rainbow and brown trout up to 7 pounds are being caught long trolling Speedy Shiners, Trinidad Tackle’s Optimizer Juniors, or Needlefish on light line. There are two large tournaments this coming weekend with the Wild West Teams on Saturday and Phil’s Propellers on Sunday, both launching out of Bridge Bay. The lake rose to 32 percent.


LAKE SONOMA — The lake elevation has risen considerably but is still 30 feet from full.  The water has a stain to it that will probably stick around for a while.


LAKE TAHOE — The mackinaw action remains outstanding along the south shore at depths from 150 to 200 feet for boats out of Tahoe Sport Fishing. Live minnows under a Tahoe Flasher remain the trick, and there have been some larger mackinaw to 6 pounds showing up. A windstorm with gusts to 100 mph created havoc on the lake earlier in the week with boats being ripped off of their mooring chains and ending up in the rocks.

TRINITY LAKE — Cold water has pushed the fish into deeper water from to 40 to 45 feet with finesse techniques. The lake rose slightly to 30 percent.

TRUCKEE RIVER — Miles Zimmerman of Trout Creek Outfitters in Truckee said, “The clear weather this week will continue to open up access along the Truckee River as snow remains a major factor where you can and cannot fish. Sunny days are in the forecast for the next week, and conditions on the Truckey are great for those willing to put in a big of leg work to get there. Small BWO nymphs or midges continue to work best, but stones, crawdads, or eggs are also a possibility. The river dropped from 326 to 287 cfs at Farad.

WHISKEYTOWN LAKE — The bass bite remains decent, but colder water temperatures have pushed the fish into deep water. Hula Grubs, Senkos, or reaction style baits worked slowly over the shoals and the points have been the best bass baits. Shallow-rolling Wedding Rings or similar spinners, Needlefish, Optimizer Juniors, or Speedy Shiners are the best bets for the holdover trout. The lake rose slightly to 86 percent.

Central Valley Rivers:

AMERICAN RIVER/Above Folsom — Water levels remain high and unfishable but the flows have dropped slightly from 1181 to 1039 cfs at Chili Bar. The American River watershed above Folsom Dam will be closed for bait fishing or retention of trout until the week prior to Memorial Day.

AMERICAN RIVER/Sacramento — The flows remain high despite dropping from 5650 to 4970 cfs at Fair Oaks on Sunday. The steelhead opener was disappointing, but Bill Kiene’s Fly Shop reported fishing has picked up for anglers using roe under a bobber tight to the bank below the hatchery and below Sailor Bar. Wading is difficult due to higher water flows. The hatchery ladder is open, and a decent number of fish are making a showing.

FEATHER RIVER — River levels have risen considerably with the flows at Gridley holding steady at 793 cfs. The conditions should continue to improve throughout the week as water levels become more stable.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Keswick Reservoir to Red Bluff —The flows have come down on the upper section from Keswick to Anderson at 3300 cfs, but the river is blown out down below Anderson. The water quality is starting to improve, but visibility is still limited to a few feet or less. Guides working the Sacramento during the middle of the week near Redding reported a decent trout bite with fish being taken on egg patterns or spoons. Guides Kirk Portocarrero and Justin Thompson have been seeing a mix of both trout and steelhead with up to a dozen fish per day. Both guides posted a mix of trout, including browns up to 22 inches along with some nice steelhead. Fly fishermen in the drift boats are seeing improved catches using roe or small nymphs under a bobber but most are fishing the Trinity, Eel, Klamath, or Smith where conditions are better, and the catch rate is much higher.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff to Chico —Water levels are high, but conditions are improving, and it could be fishable this week.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Metro area —The water level remains high, and the water is muddy and full of debris. A few sturgeon are trickling in, but it is still early, The action for striped bass in the Port of Sacramento remains day-to-day as the striped bass go in and out of the Port depending upon ship traffic and the presence of bait.










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