The 2019 Sacramento River King salmon fishing season below Red Bluff, Ca. opened today just before first light. The Red Bluff boat launch below the old diversion dam was actually pretty busy and there were obviously quite a few boats headed down river to try their luck on the first day of the river salmon fishing season. I went out to fish with fellow Captains Justin Thompson and Kenny Turner, both of whom are part of my guide team here in the Redding area where we run the majority of our trips. A friend, and fellow angler Kevin Stonebarger also joined us for the day.
We started out with a run down river in the dark hoping to find a fishing hole that wasn’t clogged with boats. To our delight, we got to our destination uninterrupted and set up in our planned location to start our day. It was anticipated there were fish in the hole we were fishing and that was later confirmed by some Kings that were rolling in the area we were located. Most days during salmon season, dropping lighted plugs down into a deep hole filled with salmon will result in some immediate action. Well, today wasn’t that day and we saw absolutely no action at first light.
As the minutes after sunrise wore on, we saw very little action in the 10 boat hole. Justin said sometimes we need just a little sunlight on the water and the bite will turn on. He was right and just down river a few hundred feet we saw the first net of the morning. It wasn’t long and Justin had his rod double over on a big King salmon which he was able to successfully fight to the net. Next up was Kenny’s big King salmon followed by my big King salmon, and finally Kevin hooked up and the next thing we know, we have four big, beautiful Kings in the fish box. We saw a short lull in the action, but once again Justin hooked into a beautiful 20+ pound hen which we put in the net after a great fight.
The fishing as it would turn out was excellent and we had nearly 100 pounds of fresh King salmon in the box before 9:00 am. Satisfied with the success we had, we started back up river and worked a few holes on our way back to the boat launch. We didn’t hook another fish over the next hour or so and after a 2:00 am wake up, we were all tired and grateful for the day we had already experienced. I quick trip to the river bank to take a few pics and to fillet our catch ended our day. It was a great day with perfect weather, good fishing, and good friends making memories on the water.
The 2019 Sacramento River King salmon season is officially under way and its looking like its going to be a good one. We have lots of available dates between now and the end of the King salmon season in mid December. If you and your group would like to put together a King salmon fishing trip, please call, text, or email me and I’ll do what I can to get you booked with one of our three available salmon fishing guides this season.