Sacramento salmon season hits peak, steelhead arrive



ANDERSON – The fall king salmon season is peaking on the Sacramento River, especially near Anderson and Red Bluff, where hatchery steelhead also are arriving. The Feather River also has been fishing well for salmon.

Guide Robert Weese of Northern California Guide Service said large schools of salmon produced good fishing at the Barge Hole and the canyon just below much of last week. The action slowed over the weekend, before another big school arrive Sunday afternoon. “I saw a lot of fish down in the canyon Sunday,” Weese said. “There are a lot more fish coming. There are a lot of fish from the ocean that just came into the river. They will be here any day.”

Roe has been out-fishing plugs in recent days, but Weese said there was a wide-open bite on FlatFish with sardine wraps last Tuesday. “Right now they are hitting roe,” he said. One of Weese’s customers, Mike Smith of Reno, caught a 40-pound king last week at the Barge Hole on roe.

Guide Kirk Portocarrero of SacRiverGuide confirmed the salmon fishing has been good. His customers landed six salmon on Sunday. Lots of hatchery steelhead, some to 6 pounds, also are being caught while salmon fishing and trout fishing near Anderson. Portocarrero said the steelhead are just arriving, and more will show up as the salmon begin to spawn. Fishing for wild rainbows remains wide open near Redding and Anderson, with beads and glo bugs working especially well.

MAJESTIC KING – Mike Smith of Reno holds a 40-pound king salmon caught in early October at the Barge Hole of the Sacramento River while fishing with guide Robert Weese of Northern California Guide Service. He was using roe.

Salmon also are biting well near Woodson Bridge, where kings are mainly hitting roe, but also smacking FlatFish plugs.

In the metro area, salmon fishing is hit-and-miss. Kings are moving through, but low, warm water has them lockjawed for the most part. “It doesn’t sound like they are slowing down until they get to Los Molinos,” said Larry Barnes of Sacramento Pro Tackle. “It is still relatively spotty here. There are hot days at Sand Cove from shore. I am not hearing of any section that is particularly good. Guys from shore are starting to use Silvertron Rockets because everyone is out of Flying Cs.”

Guides are catching a few salmon trolling Brad’s plug-cut lures and Pro Troll flashers from Miller Park to Garcia Bend. The action has been inconsistent, but the fish that are being caught are bright salmon, often over 20 pounds.

The Outlet Hole on the Feather is fishing good, Weese said, but it is crowded. “The Feather had a surge of fish come through there, but it is real limited for boat traffic,” he said. “A lot of the good spots are tied up.”