North Freshwater

Updated June 29, 2020

ALMANOR LAKE — John Crotty of Quail Lodge reported the trout bite has been good for trollers in the flats from Rec. #2 to Prattville north. Slow trolling crawlers has been the most effective method. Try naked crawlers at one mph on a size 6 or 8 hook just off the bottom in water to 40 feet deep. It has been an early morning bite as fish become scarce after the sun gets on the water. The USFS ramp at Prattville is now open which should alleviate pressure at Canyon Dam. Campgrounds are beginning to open up, it is hit and miss, call ahead.

AMADOR LAKE — The lake is in full summer mode with camping taking center stage over fishing. There are still holdover cutbows in the deepest waters of the small impoundment, but few, if any, trollers are working the lake. Bass, crappie, and catfish are the top species for the few fishermen. 1200 pounds of catfish were stocked a few weeks ago. The Tackle Box Café has reopened, but the swim pond is closed until 2021, but they are open for fully self-contained trailers, RV’s, and tent camping by reservation only. The lake is nearly full.

AMERICAN RIVER — Shad fishing has slowed. Some large resident striped bass are available in the lower river.

BERRYESSA LAKE — It was a great week on Berryessa, with good fishing for kokanee according to Troy Barr of T-Roy’s Guide Service. He reported water managers are pulling a lot of water out and it spreads the fish out and they do a lot of short striking. There’s fish in deep water and ones that are starting to think about structure, so look for 55 to 120 foot of water. This week Barr used a lot of 5.5 RMT dodgers with Apex spoons and Uncle Larry’s and Assassin spinners 38 to 60 foot deep tipped with Pautzke fire corn.

BLAKE BUTTE LAKE – Per Pflum Fun Rentals, the bass fishing has been hot on worms and other plastics Texas-rigged on the weed lines, and some locals here troll them up with white lures. Catfish are also biting by Burris Creek. The crappie have faded to deeper water now that their spawn is over.

BOCA RESERVOIR – Dam work continues, as it has now going on years. The lake is so low launching a boat is out of the question.

BULLARDS BAR – Kokanee are on the go here, as they have been nearly year-round. It’s a very consistent bite, but due to warming temperatures the fish have indeed gone deeper. Also, look for areas with less boat traffic, the fish are schooling better in those areas, but if you need a starting place, everybody knows the kokes are near Dark Day.

CAMANCHE LAKE — Recreational boating dominates action during the summer months, and the opening of the campgrounds has been scaled back after fully reopening a few weeks ago. Some reservations will be cancelled due to the closure of some campsites. Holdover rainbow trout are holding in the middle of the main river channel towards the dam at depths to 60 feet, but few trollers are targeting the species. Bass fishing is best early or late with plastics on a drop-shot or jigs over main lake points with vertical structure. It is important to get on the lake early and pick up limits since the recreational boat traffic is extremely heavy after 10:00 a.m. The lake held at 69 percent.

CARSON RIVER, (East and West)

LAKE CHABOT — The café has re-opened. Shore fishing is allowed. There are trout being caught at Indian Cove and Raccoon Point.

CLEAR LAKE — The water looks ugly – thick algae mats will do that – but the bass are still biting, mostly smaller ones to 3 pounds. It’s primarily a finesse game, drop-shot and Ned rig, but topwater baits are producing around some weed lines. The mid-lake area holds the cleanest water.

COLLINS LAKE – The summer doldrums have hit, and even the cats and bass have been hard to get. Trout is a troller’s game, and there’s been no real size, but the best bet is to follow the old river channel.

CONTRA LOMA — The lake is open to walk-in anglers. Fish plants are still suspended, although some trout have been planted by DFW.

DAVIS LAKE – Rainbow trout fishing is steady despite warming water that has put the fish out of range of many shore casters. Huck a good one and go early or late. Trolling has been effective at 12-20 feet for 8-15 trout a day according to guide Ed Dillard. The new old reliable Baby Simon is the fish killer of the moment, in blue/green or copper/flame. Fly casters will be glad to know hex and damsels are still coming off. Bass and cats are biting well, and kids are having a lot of fun catching sunfish.

LAKE DEL VALLE — Fishing remains closed.

DON PEDRO — Ryan Cook of Ryan Cook’s Fishing reported a solid topwater bite with the River2Sea Rover when the bass are busting bait in open water, even over open water at depths from 150 to 200 feet. The most consistent bite is on the bottom at depths from 20 to 60 feet with ¾-ounce G-Money Jigs, tubes, or plastics on a shakey head. The bass are holding on secondary points with rocky structure. Few trollers are targeting either king salmon or kokanee with better action at nearby reservoirs, but there are a few salmon to be taken in deep water to 100 feet with rolled shad while the rainbows are holding higher in the water column with a variety of fast-trolled spoons. The lake dropped slightly to 84 percent.

DONNER LAKE – The trout bite has been consistent mornings and evening from shore. The lake has been decent to poor for Mackinaw.

FEATHER RIVER — Fishing is slow because of low, warm water. Salmon season opens July 16.

FOLSOM LAKE — Landlocked salmon are being caught 40 to 65 feet down on flashers and hoochies near the dam and Beals Point. Bass are in shallow water, and biting before the recreational boaters get on the water. The Brown’s Ravine, Folsom Point, Rattlesnake, Granite Bay and Peninsula ramps are open. Water levels are down 3 feet from a week ago, at 442 feet of elevation. The lake is 22 feet from full pool. The water temperature is up to 80 degrees.

FRENCH MEADOWS – The rainbows and browns are still biting, both averaging about 14 inches with some bigs in the mix.

HELL HOLE RESERVOIR – Good for Mackinaw, which bite consistently. Kokanee however are a scratch.

INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR – This lake near Markleeville has yet to be planted this year and likely won’t be, as it is suffering a nasty algae bloom.

KLAMATH RIVER, Hornbrook — Trout and steelhead fishing has been good below Iron Gate Dam, although anglers are fishing early before the weather gets hot. Flows from Iron Gate are 1,070 cfs, perfect for drift boats.

KLAMATH RIVER, Happy Camp — Few anglers are fishing, although trout and small steelhead are available. Flows over the weekend at Seiad Valley were 1,277 cfs, while flows at Orleans were 2,181 cfs.

KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen — Salmon season opens July 1, with a one-fish limit until the fall quota kicked in Aug. 15, when two salmon including one over 23 inches, may be kept. Most anglers will be trolling anchovies or Kastmasters in the estuary. Flows are 2,181 cfs at Terwer Creek, with a water temperature of 72 degrees.

LAFAYETTE RESERVOIR — The lake re-opened on June 12 with some restrictions still in place. The parking lot is open and annual passholders may use expired passes until further notice. All trails are open, some restrooms are open, shoreline fishing is allowed with a fishing access permit from dispensers. The visitor center is closed, and no boat rentals, private boat launching, barbecues, picnic tables or playgrounds may be used.

LITTLE GRASS VALLEY – This northern foothills water is fishing very well for browns and rainbows according to Craig Newton of Will Fish Tackle in Auburn. The biggest of the week was an 8.5-pound brown. The trick here is to fish plugs deep.

LOS VAQUEROS RESERVOIR — Catfish are now being planted. Trout fishing has been very good at South Cove, while keeper-size stripers are biting cut anchovies near the marina. Fishing is limited to shore anglers, as boats are not yet being rented.

McCLURE LAKE — McClure is one of the only lakes hosting tournaments presently, and the Merced Bass Club and New Jen held events over the weekend. Ryan Cook of Ryan Cook’s Guide Service said, “There are a few decent topwater fish to be caught, but most of the action remains on the bottom with jigs or tubes.” Steve Marquette of the Lake McClure Recreation Company reported great action for catfish to 7 pounds with chicken livers or nightcrawlers while there are still trout to be taken in deep water with Speedy Shiners, orange Kastmasters, or Roostertail spinners. The lake dropped from 74 to percent.

McSWAIN LAKE — McSwain is still waiting for a trout plant, and it is become primarily a recreational boating and swimming lake instead of a fishing lake during the summer months. The lack of planting is limiting shore fishermen to the very occasional holdover rainbow in the early mornings or late evenings off of the Brush Pile, Handicapped Docks, or the peninsula near the marina with trout dough bait or inflated nightcrawlers.

MARKLEEVILLE CREEK — The water is getting skinny but there are still trout in it.

NEW HOGAN — Striped bass are rebounding after several months of slow action, and trollers are picking up linesides by rolling anchovies or shad in the triangle from the launch ramp to the dam to Deer Island at depths to 25 feet. The lake dropped from 57 to 56 percent.

 

NEW MELONES — Experienced kokanee fishermen such as Kyle Wise of Head Hunter Guide Service are able to find quality limits to 18 inches running Apex or J-Pex lures behind a gold-plated Mag Tackle dodger at depths to 85 feet, but you have to hunt the small schools out the quality grade down. John Liechty of Xperience Bass Fishing Guide Service reported a solid topwater bite with a variety of lures including River2Sea Rovers or Whopper Ploppers, but the slightly cooler temperatures at the end of the weekend slowed down the topwater action. Working from 15 to 25 feet with small Kei Tech swimbaits on a dart head are the secondary choice. He is averaging from 20 to 30 bass on a ½- day morning or evening trip. All the action is in the early morning or late afternoon because by 10:00 a.m., it’s over. The lake held at 73 percent.

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

OROVILLE LAKE — Still kicking out the kings, although it slowed down some this week due to the oppressive heat.

PARDEE LAKE — Small kokanee remain the rule, and limits are possible for the majority of fishermen working at depths to 70 feet with small hoochies or spinners tipped with corn behind a small dodger. The size of the kokanee are small at 13 inches max, but the numbers and steady action possible more than make up for the limited size. A key is to find your own water away from the boat flotilla working the mouth of the river arm towards the south end. Bass fishing remains slow overall as the majority of fishermen are targeting kokanee. Gate hours are 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. The lake held at 99 percent.

PROSSER RESERVOIR ­­– The smallmouth bite has been decent and anglers are catching quite a few cutthroat.

PYRAMID LAKE — Still closed to non-tribal members through October 21, 2020.

QUARRY LAKES — Walk-in fishing is allowed.

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

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Dunsmuir — Trout fishing has improved above Shasta Lake. Flows were down to 288 cfs over the weekend.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding to Red Bluff — Flows from Keswick Dam are up to 12,500 cfs. Fishing is now closed above the Highway 44 bridge. Wild rainbows are feasting on daily bug hatches, and also hitting roe or crickets in the Anderson area. Anglers are reporting trout form 16 to 23 inches, with the best action early in the day. Salmon season is closed at the Barge Hole until Aug. 1.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff to Colusa — Shad fishing has slowed. Some large resident stripers are being caught in swimbaits and glide baits. Sturgeon are still in the river and have been biting best at night. Salmon season opens July 16.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Verona to Colusa — Striper fishing has slowed, but a few nice keepers are still around. Shad fishing has slowed. Fishing is very good for catfish near Knights Landing, with fish over 10 pounds common. Salmon season opens July 16.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento — Shad fishing has slowed. Most anglers are awaiting the July 16 salmon opener, when they will fish Silvertron spinners on anchor or while trolling or cast Flying C spinners from the shore.

SAN PABLO RESERVOIR — Fishing has been good for trout and catfish since the June 15 re-opening. Catfish and trout were planted last week.

SHADOW CLIFFS RESERVOIR — Walk-in fishing is allowed.

SHASTA LAKE — John Boitano of Phil’s Propeller reports it’s a great all-methods bass bite in the main lake, with crankbaits very effective along shorelines and mud lines. Swimbaits are also producing – there’s a solid reaction bite going – but anglers who prefer finesse techniques will also clean up on Zman, Senkos, and worms in shad, greens and browns. It takes a little looking, but topwater is effective too. The bass are on a full-on post-spawn tear. The trout have gone deep, 45-60 feet, and the kings are below them at 70-100. For the latter try Speedy Shiners and Optimizers.

SOUTH BAY LAKES — Boating is allowed at Calero and Coyote. Anderson is extremely low as the lake is being drained for dam work. Bass fishing is best at Anderson Lake, although most of the fish are small. Some bass to 10 pounds are being caught at Coyote Lake, where the overall action is slower. Catfish are biting in the evening at Chesbro and Uvas. Anderson Lake is 28.3-percent full. Coyote is 47.4-percent full. Calero is 43.5-percent full, while Chebro is 46.6-percent and Uvas is 62.7-percent full.

STAMPEDE RESERVOIR – James Netzel of Tight Lines Guide Service said the trick to catching better (larger) kokanee is to fish deeper. He’s already down to 40-60 feet by 7 a.m. Paulina Peak cotton candy (pink/blue) has been so effective for Netzel he’s running them on 4 lines. He trolls at 1 mph.

LAKE TAHOE — The news here is the lake’s kokanee have started to school, making them accessible to anglers. Tahoe Sportfishing boats have been catching limits of fish that range from throwback 10 inchers up to 14 inchers. The meat quality is said to be perfect. Mackinaw have been a bit tougher, and it’s a morning bite. Guides who find them are catching limits to near limits, but the finding is difficult.

TRINITY LAKE — The bass are biting here, but you have to be patient and cover a lot of water. Most of the bass are small but the bigs are mixed in. There isn’t much of a reaction bite, so anglers are getting by with worms, some swimbaits and Senkos.

TRINITY RIVER — Spring salmon season opens July 1. Flows are expected to be down to 450 cfs at Lewiston for the opener. Salmon are expected to be kegged up at the lower river falls. Some drift boaters will target them with MagLip plugs or tuna balls near Lewiston and Junction City.

WEST WALKER RIVER – The How Big is Big free fishing derby begins July 1 and runs the entire month. Stop by the Walker General Store for more information. Basically, any fish caught in the river are eligible for some 60 prizes, but they’ve saved the best deal for kids. For free, just for entering they get a trout kit and an ice cream cone at Walker Burger. On the eve of the derby, fishing had been up and down due to fluctuating river levels, but they’ve dropped once again to excellent conditions.

WHISKEYTOWN – There’s still a topwater bite here, and it’s complemented by a deep water plastics bite on Senkos and Hula Grub style jigs. The kokanee are down at 50-70 feet, and anglers are catching them on pink and blue wiggle hoochies and wedding rings, supplemented with FireCorn of course.

 

Cencal Lakes

BASS LAKE — Similar to last week, a few quality kokanee pushing 18 inches have been taken with a few others in the 15- to 15.5-inch range, and the kokanee are reported to be fatter than those at Shaver Lake. Bass fishermen are able to access the lake in the early mornings from 5:30 to 8:30 a.m., but the boat traffic is unbearable after the whistle blows in the morning. Spotted bass in the 12- to 14-inch range are the rule, and the weed growth is starting to form. A webcam of the lake is available at basslakeca.com. The lake is at 96 percent.

COURTRIGHT — The lake remains full, and trout fishing is decent for numbers of rainbows with the occasional brown trout taken by trollers working from the surface in the early mornings to 30 feet with blade/’crawler combinations, spoons, or Rapalas. Bank fishing is fair overall, but the early mornings or late evenings are best near the dam or the launch ramp with inflated nightcrawlers or rainbow trout dough bait.

EASTMAN — The inability to hold a tournament on the lake has driven most largemouth bass fishermen to Pine Flat or even nearby Hensley, but the best action remains on the bottom over submerged island tops or rockpiles with large plastic worms, Brush Hogs, or Senkos on a Carolina-rig. There have been no reports of either crappie or bluegill. The lake dropped from 44 to 40 percent.

HENSLEY — Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis reported an improved quality of largemouth bass than at nearby Eastman with a few double-digit bass reported in the past month. Creature baits on a slip-sinker rig or Brush Hogs on a Carolina-rig are working over rockpiles at depths from 10 to 15 feet in the morning, before moving out to 20 to 25 feet by mid-morning. Working over isolated structure is the key. The lake dropped from 32 to 29 percent.

HUNTINGTON — Small kokanee or rainbow trout remain the rule for those trolling in the center of the lake in open water at depths to 40 fet with small spinners or spoons. The lake is at 98 percent.

MILLERTON — The bass bite is best in the river arm with finesse techniques of working the bottom with small plastic worms on the drop-shot or dart head. There is a window for topwater action in the evening around 7:30 p.m. when the wind is blowing, but boats have to be off of the lake by 8:00 p.m. Camping is now available along with the Madera side of the lake. Recreational boat traffic is heavy after 10:00 a.m., particularly on the weekends. The lake dropped from 83 to 79 percent.

O’NEILL FOREBAY — Small striped bass are the rule for those soaking blood worms or pile worms in the normal locations of Check 12 or the Highway 33 Bridge. Mickey Clements of Coyote Bait and Tackle in Morgan Hill reported pile worms are particularly effective, but you have to cull through numbers to put together a limit.

PINE FLAT — The tournament season has been postponed after last weekend’s Bass 101 event due to the pandemic necessitating the New Jen tournament moved north to Lake McClure on Sunday. Merritt Gilbert of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis said, “The bass bite has been best with finesse techniques as the reaction bite has been very slow. Art Berberian landed a largemouth at 7.87 pounds at night during the night portion of the Bass 101 tournament, but we struggled for a small limit working my worms on the bottom.” The bass are suspending with the dropping water levels. Most trout trollers are heading up the hill, but a few small rainbows and the planted king salmon are taken on bright or shad patterns of Needlefish at depths to 50 feet in the cooler waters of the upper reservoir. The lake dropped from 72 to 66 percent.

SAN LUIS — Roger George of Roger George Guide Service, the only licensed guide on the lake, said, “Intermittent days of heavy wind and falling water have squelched the overall bite, and it seems that there’s been wind almost every morning, keeping the lake closed. The wind has been letting up around 11:00 a.m. before ramping up again around 4:30 p.m. I fished with two guests from noon to 4:00 p.m. on Friday before the west wind came up to 30 mph. The stripers were suspended and inactive and we struggled for two linesides to 6 pounds trolling Lucky Craft Pointers in shad/white at 60 feet. The water temps are about 77 degrees, and the water is green from the algae. Mickey Clements reported a window for topwater when the bass are busting near Dinosaur Point, but anchovies are the top producer. The lake dropped from 56 to 53 percent.

SHAVER — A trout plant from the Department of Fish and Wildlife brought out rainbows to 13 inches this week to mix in with kokanee to 17 inches. The numbers of the larger kokanee are starting to decline as the overall mass was limited due to no plants in 2018, but there are sufficient numbers of 2nd– year kokanee to keep Shaver as a viable kokanee option for the remainder of the summer. Trout are found from 30 to 50 feet while the kokanee have dropped from 50 to 70 feet with a variety of gear including Dick’s Trout or Koke Busters along with the pink Hornet spinner. Smallmouth bass are abundant in the rocks with plastics on the drop-shot, but you have to cull through numerous 6- to 9-inch smallies to find a few over 13 inches. The lake rose from 77 to 82 percent.

WISHON — The lack of plants has led to slower action here, and the fluctuation of lake levels has also been a challenge for trollers and bank anglers alike. Upstream Courtright remains the better option until a load of trout is dumped into the lake.