North Freshwater

Updated August 3, 2020

ALMANOR LAKE — John Crotty of Quail Lake Lodge reported fishing is unchanged as anglers target trout in deeper waters. Slow trolling crawlers and plastics at 1 mph off the bottom is the top choice. Start your day in the popular haunts, Rec #1 to Big Cove, Big Springs, Rec #2 to the Peninsula and off the East shore early and get off the water by noon when the bite dies. Boats on anchor are picking up a few fish over springs drifting crickets, king worms, crawlers and the cricket/meal worm combo. Hamilton branch remains your best chance to catch fish from shore, crickets, crawlers and power bait work well at the branch. Bass fishing pressure remains light.

AMADOR LAKE — Camping remains the big activity at the lake with fishing becoming secondary. Largemouth bass, crappie, and catfish are the best options until the Amador Hatchery cutbows and ‘golds’ are released towards mid-October depending upon the water temperatures. The trout are currently fattening up in the hatchery. Catfish are taken on chicken livers or nightcrawlers, particularly at night, and the largemouth bass are hitting plastics on a finesse presentation over structure. The lake is slowly releasing water.

AMERICAN RIVER — Salmon fishing is slow as anglers are now awaiting the fall-run kings to arrive. A few stripers are being caught. Boat ramps are crowded.

LAKE BERRYESSA — Troy Barr of T-Roy’s Guide Service said Berryessa is still fishing well for kokanee with no big signs of the season slowing just yet. He fished structure and suspended water this week for good results from both. A lot of the bigger fish are on structure or just off the bottom fishing 65 to 90 feet. The best offerings for the week were RMT 5.5 Dodgers with Apex spoons, Uncle Larry’s Spinners, and RMT squids tipped with Pautzke fire corn. He’s seeing a good 2 months of the season remaining, and the bigger fish are going to get bigger.

BLACK BUTTE LAKE — Per Pflum Fun Rentals, action on bass and cats is still pretty good, but it has slowed due to excessive heat.

BOCA RESERVOIR — Finally filling after years of dam work, it’s been crowded with shore anglers and recreational boaters. The trout are freaked out according to Tony Marotta of Mountain Hardware and Sports.

BULLARDS BAR — Anglers are still targeting and catching kokanee here, and it should be about another month before the fish begin to “turn,” according to Craig Newton of Will Fish Tackle in Auburn. Start at approximately 70 feet deep for the better fish. At those depths try darker colors such as purples and pinks and blues.    

CAMANCHE LAKE — Recreational boating remains the top activity at this lake as fishermen have to work around the windows with a minimum of recreational boats. A few club bass tournaments are scheduled for the coming months, but the best bite remains on the bottom with a slow presentation. Holdover rainbows are the best option for experienced trollers willing to get on and off the lake early. The main river channel from the North Shore Marina to the dam is the top location for holdovers with spoons. The lake dropped slightly to percent.

CARSON RIVER, East and West — No report available.

LAKE CHABOT —Shore fishing is allowed. Small bass and catfish are being caught.

CLEAR LAKE — After 7 bass tournaments in a week, Clear Lake is fishing slower according to Bob Myskey of Bassin’ with Bob. The only places he said he could find fish were hammered.

CONTRA LOMA — The lake is open to walk-in anglers. Trout fishing is slow.

DAVIS LAKE — Shore fishing for trout is good in the early morning and late evening, at all the usual spots such as Mallard. Bass and cats are biting, as are kid-friendly panfish. For boaters, bait has out-produced trolling lures. For boaters, it’s good one day and poor the next.

LAKE DEL VALLE — Fishing remains closed.

DONNER LAKETony Marotta of Mountain Hardware and Sports said shore anglers are catching a few rainbows. The lake’s been crowded, which makes trolling difficult, although some anglers are finding brown trout at 40 to 50 feet. Shaun Rainsbarger of Shaun’s Guide Service had a great day Sunday, putting his clients on several Mackinaw including a 14.5 pounder, released.

DON PEDRO — The Wild West Bass Trail is holding a kayak fishing event on the lake this coming Sunday, August 9, and the final day for pre-fishing was Sunday. Shaun Leytem of Valley Springs pedaled over 9.5 miles for a five-fish limit at 76 inches, but he reported a tough bite. Mike Gomez of the Bait Barn in Waterford said the bass will come out of the deep water to around 25 feet around 9:00 p.m., and the fish will aggressively strike at the Z-Man Fatty Worm on a Texas-rig. The lake dropped from 78 to 77 percent.

EAGLE LAKE – No report available.

FEATHER RIVER —A few kings are being caught, but most anglers are awaiting the fall-run fish to arrive, usually in mid-August. Some of the local guides are getting a fish or two a day at the Outlet Hole. Striper fishing is slow, but some larger fishing are being reported.

FOLSOM LAKE — Water levels are down 3 feet from a week ago, at 422 feet of elevation. The lake is 42 feet from full pool. The water temperature is up to 81 degrees. A few landlocked salmon are being caught, but crowded boating conditions are making fishing tough. The Hobie Cove ramp at Browns Ravine is open, along with Granite Bay and Folsom Point.

FRENCH MEADOWS Trout have been consistent here, said Craig Newton of Will Fish Tackle in Auburn. Many anglers start their days here trolling Rapalas for an occasional brown, then switching to dodgers and worms once the sun comes up for rainbows.

GOLD LAKES BASIN – It’s been more than a month since the last trout stock. Lower Sardine, Salmon, Packard and Gold Lake are still giving up some rainbows in the 10- to 14-inch range. Limits are few but possible according to Mark Tielau of Montain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden.

HELL HOLE RESERVOIR — The kokanee are good-sized here, but you have to work for them according to Craig Newton of Will Fish Tackle. There are a lot of Mackinaw here. Newton said limits of 2 to 4 pounders come out consistently.

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

KLAMATH RIVER, Hornbrook — Trout and steelhead fishing has been good below Iron Gate Dam, although anglers are fishing early before the weather gets hot. Fly fishing has been good, along with small plugs.

KLAMATH RIVER, Happy Camp — Fall salmon are still a month away. Trout and steelhead fishing is slow with hot weather.

KLAMATH RIVER, Klamath Glen — The salmon bite continues to improve, with good action during the afternoon tides, Anchovies are out-producing spinners or Kastmasters. A few summer steelhead are around. One salmon a day can be kept until the fall quota kicks in Aug. 16, increasing the limit to two fish, including one adult salmon over 23 inches.

LOS VAQUEROS RESERVOIR — Stripers and catfish are being caught at South Cove and near the marina. Trout fishing is slow. Boat rentals have resumed.

McCLURE LAKE — Ryan Cook of Ryan Cook’s Fishing and Guide Service reported, “The bite realy hasn’t changed much as it is definitely wind driven. There is a topwater bite in the early mornings with buzzbaits, Whopper Ploppers, or River2Sea Rovers, but when the lake is flat calm, you have to drop to the bottom with tubes, or plastics on the Neko-rig. The jig bite is improving, and the bass are coming up with crawdads in their throats. If you want a big fish, the best time is clearly at night.” Catfishing remains a good option swith chicken livers or nightcrawlers along muddy, sloping banks. The lake dropped from 58 to 56 percent.

NEW MELONES — Experienced kokanee fishermen are finding solid action for big fish over 2 pounds by working the bottom in 85 feet of water with Apex lures behind a Gold Series Mag Tackle dodger. The kokanee are fat and healthy, but you have to search around to find them. Glory Hole Sports in Angels Camp reported some impressive largemouth bass in the 4- to 9-pound range using small swimbaits, underspins, and diving crankbaits in the early morning and late evening. With the lake water temperature at 82 degrees, the bass are going deeper mid-morning thru the afternoon, and plastic baits are the go to in the heat of the day on a shakey head, wacky-rigs, or drop-shot over the vertical vertical rock faces up river, near rising hilltops, or the rocky shoreline. They added that quality crappie have been reported in different areas of the lake using live minnows, Crappie jigs and Gulp Crappie Nibbles in the Angels Cove area with submerged lights. The lake dropped from 69 to 68 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.

LAKE OROVILLE — Jamey Sorensen of North Valley Tackle in Oroville relayed an interesting report from the local River2Sea rep, who found great success on the Tactical Bassing edition of the company’s deep diving crankbait, catching a reported 67 bass. Sorensen said it was a surprise, as most anglers this time of year throw finesse baits on the shore to 30 feet or deeper – the bigger bass lurk lower in the water column.

PARDEE LAKE — Kokanee remain the top species at the fishing-only lake although trout plants of 1000 pounds are released on a weekly basis. The kokanee are found from 50 to 125 feet, but the increased depth has no relation to size as the fish are all in the 10- to 13-inch range with the very occasional kokanee to 15 inches. J-Pex lures behind a gold dodger are working at the south end at 80 feet over the humps outside of the river arm. Few anglers are targeting rainbows, but Speedy Shiners on a fast-troll in the south end are the best technique. Gate hours are 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. The lake held at 99 percent.

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 is slow.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Dunsmuir — Trout fishing is fair to good near Dunsmuir, with fly fishermen enjoying ideal conditions.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Redding to Red Bluff — The Barge Hole opener was slow, with just a handful of salmon caught in the morning. More salmon should arrive soon. The trout opener between Keswick Dam and the Highway 44 bridge in Redding was described as epic, with big numbers of trophy-size wild rainbows. Anglers did well drifting crickets, roe, beads and glo bugs. Flows at Keswick Dam are 11,200 cfs.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Red Bluff to Colusa — Salmon fishing is fair between Red Bluff and Woodson Bridge. FlatFish plugs are tricking fish at first light, while drifting roe also is catching some salmon.  Schools of salmon are trickling through, but the best fishing won’t happen until later in August and September as the main fall run moves through.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Verona to Colusa — Salmon fishing is slow. A few keeper stripers and lots of shakers are being caught near Verona. Fishing for catfish is very good at night near Knights Landing.

SACRAMENTO RIVER, Sacramento — Salmon fishing is slow. Heavy pressure and just a few kings trickling through are moving fishing tough. The best bet is trolling Silvertron spinners. Expect more salmon to move in from the ocean by mid-August.

SAN PABLO RESERVOIR — The lake was planted with catfish twice last week, along with trout from Mt. Lassen Trout Farms. Fishing is good for both, along with crappie and bluegill.

SHADOW CLIFFS RESERVOIR — Walk-in fishing is allowed.

LAKE SHASTA — According to John Boitano of Phil’s Propeller, topwater is still working well for bass. The plastic bite is hot too, with 6-inch Mother’s Finest oxblood worms a standout. Bass are holding in the top 35 feet, on rocky banks and points. There’s still a bit of a crankbait and blade bite. All are mum on the trout fishing, but they are expected to be as deep as 100 feet or more, along with the landlocked kings. Catfish up to 12 pounds are chewing; one fellow caught a good one on a Roostertail. Most are going for anchovies or shad on the bottom.

SOUTH BAY LAKES — Anderson Lake is 28-percent full. Coyote is 47-percent full. Calero is 43-percent full, while Chebro is 45-percent and Uvas is 61-percent full. Boating is allowed at Calero and Coyote. Bass fishing is fair at Anderson and Coyote lakes, where water levels are now low and warm. Anderson Lake is being drained for dam work. Catfish and a few crappie are being caught at Chebro and Uvas lakes.

STAMPEDE RESERVOIRKokanee fishing is still excellent here according to James Netzel of Tight Lines Guide Service, but larger 15- and 16-inch are harder to find. He fished nothing shallower than 70 to 90 feet on Saturday. Anything above that is next year’s fish. The only change was lure color, to watermelon, pink and green.

LAKE TAHOE — The Mackinaw bite on the north shore has picked up with a new shrimp hatch according to Chuck Self of Chuck’s Charter Fishing. On the south shore, anglers are concentrating on kokanee to 16 inches, very good size for Tahoe.

THERMALITO AFTERBAY — The informal Tuesday North Valley Tackle Bass-Off often produces good fish on this ever-changing water. Nick Klein caught a 20.75-inch largemouth to take first place. He was followed by Nathan Reppert at 20.25, and Brent Kline at 19.25. Very good fish for a lake that’s nearly impossible to pattern.

TRINITY LAKE — John Boitano of Phil’s Propeller said the bass bite is still going. There are a lot of smaller fish with some larger ones mixed in. Finesse baits are your best bet, but there’s a reaction bite on small swimbaits first thing in the morning along points and rocky banks.

TRINITY RIVER — Spring salmon fishing is slow because of low water, moss and hot weather. Flows at Lewiston are 450 cfs, while flows at Douglas City are 467 cfs and flows at Junction City are 565 cfs. Flows at Hoopa are 747 cfs, with a water temperature of 76 degrees.

TRUCKEE RIVER — The nights get down in the 30s, so the river water never climbs above 65 degrees according to Tony Marotta of Mountain Hardware and Sports. Go evenings for dry fly action on caddis, yellow Sallies, and PMD spinners. The day is about nymphing.

WEST WALKER RIVER — The “How Big is Big?” free fishing derby ended July 31. The largest trout weighed at the Walker General Store was an 8.83-pound rainbow caught by adult division champion John Garcia.   .

WHISKEYTOWN – The bass here are still biting topwater a little, as well as the deep diving crankbait. Finesse baits are good to 25 or 35 feet. Some topwater still early and late.

Cencal Lakes

BASS LAKE — Recreational boating remains very high during the week, and particularly on the weekends. Mike Beighey of Bass Lake Fishing has been scoring a few quality rainbows to 19 inches along with the occasional large 3rd-year kokanee with pink or blue Radical Glow Tubes or Mag Tackle hoochie spinners behind a Rocky Mountain purple Moonshine dodger at depths to 35 feet. Few bass fishermen are bothering the species right now between the boat traffic and the enforcement of the Sheriff’s Motor Fee. A webcam of the lake is available at basslakeca.com. The lake held at 95 percent.

COURTRIGHT — Kelly Brewer of the Wishon Village RV Park and Store reported a trout plant occurred this week, and trollers are finding quality rainbows and brown trout to 18 inches at depths from 40 to 80 feet with red or green Wedding Rings tipped with a piece of crawler behind a dodger, blade/’crawler combinations, or Needlefish. With the plant, bank fishing is solid with trout dough bait or inflated night crawlers along both side of the dam. The lake is 10 feet from spilling, and boats are easily launched.

EASTMAN — The largemouth bass bite continues to improve with the best action on jigs or Brush Hogs near the dam. Six-inch Zoom lizards in brown are also effective while green pumpkin o purple brown have been the top colors for the creature baits or jigs. The lake dropped from 26 to 23 percent.

HENSLEY — The lake has consistently kicked out largemouth bass in the 5- to 6-pound range with big baits such as the 7-inch Berkley Power Worm in all black or deep-diving crankbaits. Numbers of bass in the 2- to 3-pound range are possible with crankbaits. Boaters have to be extremely cautious with the low water levels, and most bass fishermen are either running slowly with their big motor or running solely on their trolling motor.

HUNTINGTON — The water releases have finally started as the lake dropped slightly to 97 percent. A smaller grade of trout and kokanee than at downstream Shaver remains available for trollers working from the north shore with orange/green or pink/green spinners along with hoochies in pink/white with a purple stripe or pink/green at depths to 40 feet.

MILLERTON — Jake Figgs of Valley Rod and Gun in Clovis reported Millerton remains a “dinkfest” with small bass taking center stage. The small spotted bass are found throughout the main lake with spy baits, jerkbaits, or plastics on a wacky-rig at depths from 15 to 20 feet. Crankbaits are also working, but it is difficult to find any sizeable bass. Bait fishermen are reporting striped bass are taken on anchovies far up the river arm. The lake dropped from 58 to 50 percent. Park hours are 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., and boats can remain on the water after 8:00 p.m., but navigation lights and the 5 mph speed limit are required after dark.

O’NEILL FOREBAY — Mickey Clements of Coyote Bait and Tackle in Morgan Hill reported boils have been taking place for a short period in the early mornings, and Duo Realis ripbaits in saltwater patterns such as Sardine are working best. The majority of stripers are undersized, but anglers can cull through a number of linesides to obtain a legal limit. Anchovies, pile worms, or blood worms remains the top shoreline offerings.

PINE FLAT — Jake Figgs of Valley Rod and Gun reported a solid bass bite for largemouth bass in the shadows along the banks with jigs in green pumpkin/chartreuse around Windy Gap. He said, “The bass move up quickly in the evenings from deeper water, and they are holding on the chunk rock and not the larger boulders. Casting weightless flukes or the jigs on a 3/8th-ounce jig head to the bank and retrieving to the boat is working best. Since the plant of king salmon in 2019, anglers are catching live shad and drifting them for kings to 17 inches in the river arm past Rattlesnake Creek.”  The lake dropped from 40 to 33 percent.

SAN LUIS — Roger George of Roger George Guide Service reported an improved troll bite with P-Line Predator Minnows or Lucky Craft Points at depths from 45 to 60- range along the east and south portions of the lake.” Two huge stripers at 22.5- and 34-pounds plus were caught and released from his boat this week. Boaters are also working the early morning boils near the Romero Visitor Center with large jerkbaits such as Duo Realis in Sardines, but the boils last for less than 45 minutes. Shore anglers are soaking anchovies, blood worms, or pile worms off Dinosaur Point. The lake dropped slightly to 47 percent.

SHAVER — The kokanee action continues to become more of a challenge, but guides continue to score mixed limits of rainbow trout and kokanee with a variety of kokanee gear at depths between 40 and 50 feet in 70 to 80 feet of water. The majority of the kokanee are 2nd year fish with the occasional larger 3rd-year fish in the 18-inch range. Smallmouth bass are abundant in the rocks, but the larger bass are hard to find. Recreational boat traffic is extremely heavy on the weekends. The lake is starting to release water, and it dropped from 88 to 85 percent.

WISHON — At Wishon, Kelly Brewer of the Wishon Village RV Park and Store reported the trout bite improved this week due to the recent plant, and both bank fishermen and trollers are getting in on the action. Trollers are finding success at depths from 40 to 80 feet with blade/’crawler combinations, Needlefish, or chartreuse/red Wedding Rings tipped with a nightcrawler behind a dodger. A 12-pound brown was reported at the river inlet with another brown at 8 pounds reported last week. These are the larger trout reported at the lake in decades. Shore fishing has improved at the mouth of Short Hair Creek, the boat launch, the dam, and across the lake at the inlet with inflated nightcrawlers or trout dough bait.