North Freshwater

Updated October 26, 2020

ALMANOR LAKE — John Crotty of Quail Lake Lodge reported lake levels are at unseasonably low conditions. Water temps finally dipped into the high 50s. High winds had most boats off the water this weekend. There is a mild algae bloom. Pond smelt remain the dietary choice of all fish on Almanor these days. Smallies, rainbows, browns and salmon are enjoying these high protein morsels. Gulps and crawlers at 1 mph, with or without dodgers and hardware at 2.5-3 mph will all work. Crotty had friends up and they did well on Jay Fair trolling flies with hot orange trolled at 1.5-2 mph the top producer. They were using wiggle discs when attached to a downrigger and no wiggle disc when top lining. Sunday Crotty found biters at 30 plus feet deep early and in the top 10 feet of the water column mid-day. Smallies up to four pounds were caught by both trout and bass fishermen with plastics in white the top producer. Bank fishing at the branch is the best shot from shore and Crotty is seeing some pressure in the coves around the dam from fly fishermen.

AMADOR LAKE — 2,600 pounds of the hybrid ‘cutbow’ trout along with Amador Golds have been released into the lake within a 6-day period at the spillway and also along the dam area. The surface temperature remains in the 69/70-degree range, and the lake is 35 feet from full. The planted trout to 3.3 pounds have been taken on crappie jigs, nightcrawlers, trout dough bait, or Woolley Buggers from the shoreline near the dam and spillway. The cooler weather this week should help keep the planted trout into the shallows.

AMERICAN RIVER — Salmon are moving through, occasionally hitting jigs between the 12th Street bridge and railroad bridge. Flows at Fair Oaks are 1,500 cfs.

LAKE BERRYESSA — Lake Berryessa reopened for fishing and boating on Friday, Oct. 23. A day later Reclamation managed areas including the Capell Launch Ramp, South Oak Shores, Eticuera, the Pope Bridge Parking lot, and dispersed areas were scheduled also to reopen. Some concessions are expected to be available beginning Oct. 30. The boat slips at Steele Canyon are being demolished. North Oak Shores and Smittle Creek will not reopen during this time. No fishing report was available by press time.

BOCA RESERVOIR — Shore fishing for trout is fair.

BULLARDS BAR — If you want small, second year kokanee they are available for the catching. They aren’t large, averaging 10 to 11 inches. The concessionaire by the dam has closed shop for the winter. The Dark Day Forest Service ramp is closed for construction until Nov. 1, a date subject to change. The lake can be accessed via the Cottage Creek dam launch facility.

CAMANCHE LAKE — The water temperature remains high at 74 degrees, and it will be from two weeks to a month before the trout plants from the Mt. Lassen Trout Hatchery begin. Bass fishing remains the top draw, and there are a few club tournaments on the horizon. Catfishing remains decent with chicken livers or nightcrawlers in the early mornings or evenings. The lake is at 64 percent.

CARSON RIVER, East — There’s still one more 1,800-pound stock to go before the end of the season Nov. 15, and likely was planted this week. It will include trout from 10 inches to 9 pounds.

LAKE CHABOT — Fishing is good for catfish and panfish. Trout plants should begin next month.

CHETCO RIVER, Brookings, Ore. – Salmon fishing has slowed in the Chetco River estuary. The river remains closed above river mile 2.2, just above the Highway 101 bridge, until significant fall rains. Large numbers of salmon have moved upstream into the closed section. Trollers working the jetties reported poor fishing over the weekend.

CLEAR LAKE — Bob Myskey of Bassin’ with Bob reported bassing is slow. The live bait bite is starting to kick in. He said tackle stores are now receiving live bait shipments every other week. Eighty boats were working the lake Sat. and Sun. for the Wild West Bass Trail team championship tournament. It took 55.85 pounds to win the two-day event. Twenty-pound tournament bags were fairly common. Big fish of the event was an 8.35 followed by a 7.9.

COLLINS LAKE — The fall trout stocking program kicked off this week, and the impact on catch quality and rate was immediate. The trout bite had already picked up as holdovers came up into the shallows. The first stock was 2,000 pounds and included trophies such as the 7.75 pounder caught by Jeffrey DeJesus of Marysville. Plants will continue every week through Thanksgiving.

CONTRA LOMA — Fishing is fair for catfish and panfish.

DAVIS LAKE — Trout fishing is excellent at Davis according to Ed Dillard of Dillard’s Fishing Guide Service. It’s been very steady for boat anglers but challenging for shore-based casters due to heavy weed growth. Still, there are ways to get around them such as wading or tying on heavier lead. Back to boat anglers. Dillard said Jay Fair black wooly bugger trolling flies presented at 6 feet have been accounting for most of the good action, with Baby Simon trolling lures picking up the rest at 10 feet. The ramp docks should all be pulled by Oct. 31. There’s some question whether the access gates will all be closed at that time, but Dillard hopes not as trout fishing should remain solid through Nov.

LAKE DEL VALLE — The lake was planted with 3,500 pounds of rainbows last week. Fishing is best for catfish and stripers. A 20-pound striper was caught last week on anchovies near the dam.

DON PEDRO — The bass bite remains tough, but there are signs of improvement with Ryan Cook anticipating significant improvement in the coming weeks. The bass are holding deep in the creek channels from 30 to 60 feet with jigs or plastics. A 13-pound limit won this weekend’s Future Pro Tournament. Trout trolling is best over the shad schools at depths from 35 feet in the morning to 50 by mid-morning with Speedy Shiners or Trinidad’s Optimizer Jr. spoons are working in various colors patterns. The lake held at 68 percent.

DONNER LAKE Shaun Rainsbarger of Shaun’s Guide Service said the Mackinaw bite has been slow. He added that he’s still catching kokanee that are cutting well, including a trophy 15 incher he was surprised to see. Shore anglers are still catching a few put and take trout.

EAGLE LAKE – No report available.

FEATHER RIVER — Salmon season closes above the Live Oak Dam Oct. 31. A few salmon are being caught at the Outlet, while fishing has been fair to good downstream. Fresh salmon are still arriving.

FOLSOM LAKE — The speed limit is now 5 mph, as the lake has dropped below 400 feet of elevation.  The Hobie Cove ramp at Browns Ravine is open, while Granite Bay, Folsom Point, Peninsula and Rattlesnake Bar are closed. The Granite Bay lower water ramp opens once the lake elevation drops below 397 feet, which will likely happen this week. The lake level was 398.5 feet on Sunday. Salmon fishing is fair.

FRENCH MEADOWS Craig Newton of Will Fish Tackle in Auburn said this lake is fishing “okay.” Anglers aren’t catching a lot of fish, but the quality is good. One group of his customers caught a nearly 5 pounder and every other trout or cutthroat was 20 inches.

HELL HOLE RESERVOIR — According to Craig Newton of Will Fish Tackle in Auburn, anglers here are concentrating on Mackinaw. Hell Hole produces lake trout into the high teens and 20s. The water level is low but still launchable for now.

INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR – The lake will not be stocked this year due to a pervasive algae problem.

KLAMATH RIVER, Hornbrook — The fall salmon quota was met as of Oct. 18. Two jacks a day less than 23 inches may still be kept. Steelhead fishing is good, with glo bugs, beads and roe working best as the fish key on eggs from spawning salmon.

KLAMATH RIVER, Happy Camp — Steelhead fishing has been very good near Happy Camp and Orleans, with a mix of adults and half pounders. Fly fishing has been effective for steelhead, while bait and plugs also are producing. The salmon quota has been met, and a few jacks are still around.

KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen — The salmon run is over. A few steelhead are still around, but overall effort has been light.

McCLURE LAKE — Ryan Cook of Ryan Cook’s Fishing and Guide Service said, “The bass are all over the place from one foot to 96 feet, and we put in a 13-pound limit this week which is double what it has been taking to win recent tournaments. We are scoring with small 2.5-inch swimbait on the drop-shot with the better fish coming at 65 to 80 feet in the cuts. Spoons, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and G Money jigs in shad patterns on an underspin are all working off of main lake points and cut. A 900-pound trout plant from the Calaveras Trout Farm took place at McClure Point this week. The lake dropped slightly to 40 percent. The Bagby, Horseshoe Bend, and McClure Point North launch ramps are closed due to water levels.

McSWAIN LAKE —The Calaveras Trout Farm released 900 pounds of rainbow trout into the lake this week. Department of Fish and Wildlife has not scheduled a trout plant this month, and trout action is limited to a few holdover rainbows in the early mornings or evenings from the normal locations of the Handicapped Docks, the Brush Pile, and the peninsula by the Marina with trout dough bait or nightcrawlers. The lake levels remain high.

 

NEW MELONES — John Liechty of Xperience Fishing Guide Service has been scoring with ½- to ¾th- ounce P-Line Laser Minnows on spinning rods over the shad schools. He said, “I got on an insane school of fish as the mergansers, grebes, and herons were all working the surface, and we caught and released 100 bass one day, 50 to 60 the next, and only 2 the following day as the bait moved out. Vertical jigging in the creek channels or tossing the spoon into surface boils is working as the Laser Minnows are the perfect bait size.” Trout trolling for planted rainbows is picking up with Speedy Shiners or Optimizer Jr. spoons at depths to 50 feet over the shad schools. The Glory Hole and Tuttletown boat launches are open, but the Angels Cove launch ramp is closed. The lake held at 63 percent.

NORTH BAY LAKES — Bon Tempe was planted by CDFW with trout last week. Walk-in fishing is allowed at Lagunitas Creek, Alpine Lakes, Kent Lake, Bon Tempe Reservoir, and Nicasio Reservoir, all managed by the Marin Municipal Water District. The parking lots are closed.

LAKE OROVILLE — With Sac. Metro area river salmon so tough, some anglers are falling back on the landlocked kings here. Craig Newton of Will Fish Tackle in Auburn said actively feeding kings have been holding around 60 feet, with more down at 100 but not as willing. Spotted bass to 2 pounds are taking finesse baits such as drop-shot. Many of these fish were as deep as 60 feet, yes 60, along the shorelines in the past couple of weeks. The bite will get better through late fall and into winter according to Jamey Sorensen of North Valley Tackle.

PARDEE LAKE — The lake will close on November 1st until mid-February 2021, and a number of the 36, 150 pounds of rainbow trout will be holding over throughout the winter and getting ready when the lake reopens in February. Fewer trollers have been visiting the lake in the final days of the season, but trout limits are possible by pulling Speedy Shiners or similar fast-trolled spoons in the main lake. Catfishing is best in the evenings with chicken livers or nightcrawlers from the bank areas. The gates now open at 5:00 a.m. with the marina opening at 7:00 a.m.

PYRAMID LAKE — Pyramid Lake will reopen to fishing, camping and day use on Nov. 2. Fees have increased, permits will only be available online starting Nov. 2, but the fishing is expected to be hot. The lake was closed for some 8 months.

QUARRY LAKES — The lakes have reopened and were planted with catfish last week.

RANCHO SECO LAKE – The recreation area is open daily from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Trout fishing is slow.

ROGUE RIVER, Gold Beach, Ore. – The fall salmon season has wound down. A few kings and silvers are still being caught in the bay, but overall catches have been poor. Steelhead fishing remains good upriver.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Dunsmuir — Trout fishing has been good near Dunsmuir. Trout were planted last week.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding to Red Bluff — The Barge Hole remains the best bet for fall salmon, but the action is slowing. Windy weather made fishing tough over the weekend. More steelhead are showing up in the catch. Late-fall salmon should arrive by mid-November.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff to Colusa — Lots of dark salmon can be seen splashing near Red Bluff and Los Molinos. Overall fishing has slowed as anglers await fresh late-fall kings.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Verona to Colusa — Salmon fishing remains slow, but fish are being caught on jigs and spinners and plugs trolled downstream. A few new schools of salmon moved through last week.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento — A few salmon are being caught daily at Freeport, while trollers working the Miller Park to Garcia Bend stretch are reporting slow fishing with a few salmon a day. Pressure remains heavy. Striper fishing is slow.

SAN PABLO RESERVOIR — The lake was closed over the weekend because of fire danger. Trout have been planted. Catfish are biting well. The lake closes for the season Nov. 8.

SHADOW CLIFFS RESERVOIR — Catfish are biting well. A few panfish also are being caught.

LAKE SHASTA — No report available.

SMITH RIVER – Salmon have been quickly moving through the lower river to the closed section above Rowdy Creek. Low-flow closures will be lifted once flows pass 600 cfs at Jed Smith. Flows were only 202 cfs over the weekend. Fishing has been slow at the Sand Hole and Piling Hole below Rowdy Creek.

 

SOUTH BAY LAKES — Fishing has been slow at Coyote, Chesbro, Uvas and Calero because of very low water.

LAKE TAHOE — Zach Gordon of Tahoe Sportfishing said Mackinaw fishing was good leading up to a spell of expected high winds. Morning trips to the east shore were yielding limits, but afternoons were half as good. Gordon said they’ve been fishing live bait on the bottom in 130 to 160 feet of water and pulling some nice stringers. The Macks are spawning, and that means moving around from spot to spot to find the biters. Occasionally rainbows crash the party, nice ones.

THERMALITO AFTERBAY — Waterfowling activity at the Afterbay is keeping most anglers away. It hasn’t been good for some time due to unusually aggressive water management operations. Open 1.5 hours before sunrise to 1 hour after sunset.

TRINITY RIVER — The water is extremely low and clear. The fall salmon quota has been met for the upper Trinity. Steelhead fishing is good river wide, with MagLip plugs working well. With steelhead keying on eggs from spawning salmon, roe, beads and egg patterns also are working well for steelhead.

TRUCKEE RIVER — According to Tony Marotta of Mountain Hardware and Sports, the river is still the place to be in the Truckee area. The trout are active with the cooling temperatures signaling winter’s approach. There’s more water in the river. Winter tactics are in operation, baetis patterns, BWOs, midges and streamers from the Boca confluence to the state line. The fish are aggressively feeding and taking larger, heartier offerings.

 

Cencal Lakes

BASS LAKE — Access to the lake is limited by the order of the United States Forest Service which has limited vehicle traffic on all roads within the Sierra National Forest. The closure is temporary, and it will be evaluated regularly through November 1st.  A webcam of the lake is available at basslakeca.com. The lake is releasing water, and it dropped from 85 to 75 percent. Updated information is available at www.fs.usda.gov/sierra/

CALIFORNIA AQUEDUCT NOTHERN SECTION  – The increased water flows are pushing bait into the headgates, and the topwater bite for striped and largemouth bass has been solid with Zara Spooks in Baby Bass or Florida Bass along with flukes or Duo Realis jerkbaits.

COURTRIGHT — Road access on the Mckinley Grove Road to Wishon and Courtright is available for residents only during specific times with a permit. The Sierra National Forest remains on temporary closure, but the closure will be evaluated regularly through November 1. The Creek Incident Fire is 61 percent contained as of press time, but it has consumed over 365,000 acres. Updated information is available at www.fs.usda.gov/sierra/

EASTMAN — With the lake at 7 percent, the algae bloom has taken over the lake. A few largemouth bass to 2.5 pounds have been taken on Senkos, but the best fishing remains for catfish with either anchovies or chicken livers in the evenings near the dam.

HENSLEY — Swimbaits are working for a few big bass bite, but hookups have been scarce. The swimbait bite will improve as the fall weather arrives in force. Catfish remain the top bite with chicken livers anchovies near the dam. The lake held at 15 percent.

HUNTINGTON — Road access to Huntington Lake and Camp Sierra is available for residents only during specific times with a permit. The Sierra National Forest remains on temporary closure, but the closure will be evaluated regularly through November 1. The Creek Incident Fire is 61 percent contained as of press time, but it has consumed over 365,000 acres. Updated information is available at www.fs.usda.gov/sierra.

MILLERTON — The most consistent bass bite in the region with plastics on a Neko rig with a 6.75-inch Strike King’s Bullworm in Moon Juice. The river arm has been slow with the best action in the main lake near Finegold Bay, Sky Harbor, and similar cuts. There is a jerkbait and speed crankbait bite in the mornings. The bite will continue to improve as the water temperature drops into the 60’s. The lake held at 32 percent.

O’NEILL FOREBAY — The striped bass are boiling in shallow water, and topwater lures, River2Sea Vixen’s, flutter spoons, double fluke rigs, or LV 500’s are all working in the boils. The bait has moved into the shallows.

PINE FLAT — Jake Figgs of Valley Rod and Gun said, “The bass bite has tapered off, and the topwater bite has died. The best action has been by downsizing to 4.25-inch Strike King’s Dream Shots or 4.5-inch Robo Worms around Windy Gap and along the points from Deer Creek to Billy Creek at depths of 30 feet.” The lake dropped to 20 percent. In the lower Kings, trout plants continue on a weekly basis, and Kastmasters, nightcrawlers, meal worms, or Panther Martins are working. Fly fishermen are scoring with a caddis pattern.

SAN LUIS — The striped bass trolling bite has been sporadic, and the key is to locate actively feeding fish. Topwater action has been solid inside of Portuguese Cove and near Dinosaur Point with Zara Spooks, Evergreen’s Shower Blows 150’s, River2Sea Rovers, or Lucky Craft’s Whopper Ploppers. The bait is small, and medium to large minnows are working better than the jumbo minnows presently. The lake dropped to 46 percent with water releases into the California Aqueduct.

SHAVER — All access to the lake is restricted per order of the Southern California Edison. Access is available for residents only during specific times with a permit. The Sierra National Forest remains on temporary closure, but the closure will be evaluated regularly through November 1. The Creek Incident Fire is 61 percent contained as of press time, but it has consumed over 365,000 acres. Updated information is available at www.fs.usda.gov/sierra.

WISHON — Road access on the McKinley Grove Road to Wishon and Courtright is available for residents only during specific times with a permit. The Sierra National Forest remains on temporary closure, but the closure will be evaluated regularly through November 1. The Creek Incident Fire is 61 percent contained as of press time, but it has consumed over 365,000 acres. Updated information is available at www.fs.usda.gov/sierra.