Sacramento River King salmon fishing!

We've been catching King salmon on every trip this year!

We've been catching King salmon on every trip this year!

The Sacramento River King salmon season is in full swing now and we're seeing some pretty good numbers of fish in the upper river near Red Bluff.  Anglers who are putting in some time on the water are taking home fresh salmon.  Plugs and bait seem to be working equally as well right now and water conditions couldn't be more perfect.  The bulk of this years run consists of two year old salmon that are averaging 7-10 pounds.  There are some bigger fish around, but they are definitely fewer in numbers right now.  I personally haven't seen this many jacks in the Sacramento River since I started guiding over here, although I hear there was a big run of them in 2011.  If current trends prove to be accurate, the Sacramento River will see a good run of salmon returning next year as three year olds that average 18-25 pounds.  After two devastating years of a smolt (juvenile salmon) trucking program from Coleman NFH to the California Delta, we should once again see the lions share of the salmon in the upper sections of the Sacramento River.

Happy clients from a trip earlier this week!  

Happy clients from a trip earlier this week!  

With the Feather River seeing such good fishing this year, just a handful of local guides and anglers have been fishing the upper river making for some very roomy conditions on the water.  Its been a late start up here near Redding this year, but if the current conditions and continued numbers of salmon hold steady, we will end up calling the 2017 salmon season a good one!  I have September 26,27,28th available right now if anyone is interested in some Sacramento River salmon fishing this month.  The run should peak sometime around the end of the month, but we should see some good fishing through mid October if we avert any big rains between now and then.  Tight lines and enjoy the rest of the summer, its almost over!

Shasta trout and Whiskeytown Kokanee salmon report!

We're catching some great trout on Shasta Lake this week!

We're catching some great trout on Shasta Lake this week!

Shasta Lake is really fishing great right now!  We are seeing limits of big rainbows and browns daily and theres no chance of things slowing down anytime soon.  We are digging deep for these fish in the warm waters of Shasta, but anything below 70' feet is producing good numbers of fish!  I'm running Mack's Lure tackle for these trout and honestly, theres no need to use anything else.  4" Sling Blade or Double D dodgers with UV tape are a top producer and a shad pattern Humdinger or Criplure  tied on a 3' foot leader behind the dodger will definitely get bites.  I have been trolling 4 rods at about 1.5-2.0 mph to get most of my bites.  I'm also kicking the motor out of gear after hooking up and we're seeing doubles and triple hook ups as the dodgers fall behind the down rigger weights.  The fishing is really good folks and now is the time to get on Shasta to catch limits of these great fish.

Limits of Whiskeytown lake Kokanee salmon this week!

Limits of Whiskeytown lake Kokanee salmon this week!

Whiskeytown Lake is also producing limits of great Kokanee salmon to 17" inches.  Its go time on this lake as the quality of these great fish begins to diminish in mid September as they prepare to spawn in late October when we typically see the first good rain periods.  The fishing is good at the green bridge and in the Whiskey Creek arm right now.  I expect this area to just get better from here on out.  Deep in the Whiskey Creek arm, I'm starting my troll 45' feet deep.  As I make my way out into the channel, I'll drop down to as much as 65' feet to consistently get bites.  In the main body, I'm dropping two rods at 65' feet and two at 63'.  There is a tight bite window and you'll find that once you find it, the fish will come a lot quicker.  I'm running Mack's Lure UV Sling Blades and an assortment of Mack's hoochies and wedding ring lures.  Use a .8" smile blade above your hoochie for more bites.  Lures that have their own action can be run on longer leaders, but I like the hoochie rigs to be around 8" inches from the top of the bait rig.  Don't forget to marinate with some garlic scent, krill powder, or oil canned tuna on your shoe peg corn.  Some days it makes a world of difference to have a few different scent smells for these Kokanee.  I'll be booking Kokanee trips through mid September and still have a few available dates if you would like to load the cooler with Kokanee or would just like to learn more about how to effectively fish Whiskeytown Lake.  Tight lines!

Nor Cal fishing buffet!!

Gracie showing off one of her Shasta Lake rainbows she caught this week!

Gracie showing off one of her Shasta Lake rainbows she caught this week!

Pick any of the bodies of water I fish right now and I'll put you on some great fishing!  Shasta Lake is by far my favorite right now because of the size and numbers of fish we are seeing each and every trip out.  I'm trolling down to 70' with a lot of success and the trout are running from 3-5 pounds a piece.  Easy limits have been the rule on Shasta and its not going to change any time soon.

Whiskeytown Lake Kokanee salmon are worth your effort and then some this season!

Whiskeytown Lake Kokanee salmon are worth your effort and then some this season!

Whiskeytown Lake Kokanee salmon fishing has been amazing this year, and although some anglers are having trouble catching them, we are not.  Its definitely limits style fishing and the Kokanee are above average in size this year with most coming to the net at about 2 pounds each. I'm trolling down to about 65' feet for these fish and most are coming on UV dodgers and small hoochies or spin gloves rigs.  Not much more to say here, but the fishing is great and will be through September.

Sacramento River steelhead trout is pretty good still and there are some quality fish being caught every trip!

Sacramento River steelhead trout is pretty good still and there are some quality fish being caught every trip!

Sacramento River steelhead trout fishing is pretty good still and there are some quality fish being caught every trip!  I'm fishing from just below Lake Redding down to Cypress St most days and we are coming in with double digit days on just about every trip.  I've been having success drift fishing Dick Nite spoons and more recently, catching some great steelhead with natural cured roe.  Its not as good as I would expect for this time of the year, but you have to take the bad after the good sometimes.  The continuous high water on the Sac River last winter has most certainly impacted this fishery to an unknown extent, but there are plenty of great fish still around to provide my clients with plenty of hook ups!

Salmon fishing trips are right around the corner but we're still waiting to see a big push of fish above Hamilton city.  When we do start to see good numbers of salmon in the system, I'm sure we will have some great fishing in the months ahead.

Sacramento River steelhead/trout report 8/3

Sacramento River rainbow steelhead trout fishing is a great time for the whole family!

Sacramento River rainbow steelhead trout fishing is a great time for the whole family!

The Sacramento River continues to fish very well for steelhead and rainbows.  The section from Keswick Dam to the SR 44 bridge is open again giving back 5.5 miles of trophy trout water to anglers who enjoy fishing this section of the river.  Steelhead trout to 5 lbs have been caught recently and anyone who's ever caught one of these supercharged rainbows knows how much fun they are to catch, especially on our ultra light G.Loomis rods.  Many techniques will take these fish, but I most often drift small Dick Nite spoons, back troll plugs, or have even been bobber doggin egg presentations (cured roe or pegged beads) to catch the most fish daily.

Ultra light G.Loomis spin rods makes fighting these fish pure fun!

Ultra light G.Loomis spin rods makes fighting these fish pure fun!

There are salmon in the system spawning and there are also salmon smelt and fry throughout the upper Sacramento system.  Thats why the eggs and the spoons are so effective most days I fish.  The trout love the protein rich salmon eggs dropped by spawning king salmon and feed on them heavily.  The small Dick Nite spoons are a great salmon fry imitation, and like the salmon eggs, the trout feed heavily on the salmon fry as well.  Both the roe and spoons can be fished on standard drift rigs while side drifting or boon doggin.  A very popular and effective technique called bobber doggin is starting to catch on as well and many guides have gone to this technique as there first option for catching steelhead and trout. 

Big tails and torpedo shaped bodies help these fish fight hard, and boy do they!

Big tails and torpedo shaped bodies help these fish fight hard, and boy do they!

The Sacramento River steelhead trout fishing will remain very good and I will be guiding my guests on this great fishery well into December.  If you would like to experience this great steelhead trout fishing on the Sacramento River in Redding, Ca. please don't hesitate to give me a call or send a contact message to get your day of fishing reserved.  I can accommodate fishing trips for friends, family, or even large groups.  This trip is very popular and is always a great day on the water for everyone on the boat!

Shasta-Whiskeytown Lake fishing report 7/28

We're still catching limits of beautiful Kokanee salmon on Whiskeytown Lake!

We're still catching limits of beautiful Kokanee salmon on Whiskeytown Lake!

Fishing here in the Redding area has been good again this week and the size and quality of the fish we are catching is impressive to say the least.  Many of our trips are yielding limits of salmon or trout within the early part of the day creating an opportunity to head for the boat launch when the heat of the day starts to wear on everyone in the boat.  Whiskeytown continues to be the best lake for catching big Kokanee salmon and Shasta Lake is definitely the place to fish if jumbo rainbows are the target fish.  

Shasta Lake rainbow trout fishing has been very good this week!

Shasta Lake rainbow trout fishing has been very good this week!

We will continue to fish these lakes into fall and expect the great fishing to remain strong for months to come.  Some of our success has come from staying on the water daily and establishing bite patterns and locations of these great fish.  The Shasta trout seem to have dropped down a bit and we are now finding the best bite to be in the 60'-70' range trolling at 1.7-2.0 mph.  The most important factor seems to be finding the schools of shad that these trout are feeding on, and thats not too difficult right now as they are just about everywhere.  Every big rainbow we catch is absolutely stuffed with 1.5" shad.  With that in mind, we are finding success attracting these fish with like size (1.5"-2.0") spoons.  We are running them behind Dick Nite UV dodgers on a 36" leader.  Nickel/holo tape, silver, and white spoons are catching a lot of nice trout, but other colors will work as well depending on the mood of the fish.

Whiskeytown Lake Kokanee salmon are coming in at about 17" inches now, but some 19" fish have been caught already!

Whiskeytown Lake Kokanee salmon are coming in at about 17" inches now, but some 19" fish have been caught already!

Whiskeytown Lake has been fishing much the same for most of the summer and with a continued inflow of cold water from Lewiston Lake, I doubt if the Kokanee will go too much deeper this year.  55' feet has been a good depth to target these Kokanee for much of the June and will likely be a good number into August.  The only real challenge for anglers on Whiskeytown has been the consistent bite that we saw last year.  I continue to experience that its not a slow bite as much as its that the Kokanee are very picky about what they will chase this year.  I've had some days that had me trying anything and everything I could think of in the way of bait presentations.  It has been frustrating at times, but I've certainly been enlightened in a sense that I have found baits that these Kokanee will take that I would have never imagined they would.  I continue to tell people to show these fish the tackle box this year to be successful and to avoid running the same baits all day because they will change what they will bite throughout the day.  If a bait stops getting bites, change it out for something different.

Good fishing will continue on Shasta and Whiskeytown Lakes this next week so get on out there and take advantage of this years bumper crop of big Kokanee salmon!  The Kokanee Power fishing tournament will be held on Whiskeytown Lake on August 5th so be prepared for a big crowd on the lake that day.  Last year they held the event out of Brandy Creek so there wasn't too much of a parking problem at Whiskey Creek or Oak Bottom boat launches.  If you would like to participate in the tournament on August 5th, check out www.kokaneepower.com for registration information and tournament details.

 

Shasta Lake rainbow trout report 7/22

Shasta Lake trout fishing is very, very good right now!

Shasta Lake trout fishing is very, very good right now!

I've been running my seasonal trips on Shasta Lake and am very impressed with how good the fishing is.  Fishing early is best by far, but we are catching fish all day.  Trolling with downriggers is by far the best technique when fishing for Shasta trout and Kings.  This great fishing will hold up well into the fall season!  Come on up and fish this great lake with me, you won't be disappointed!

Father and son showing off their great Shasta Lake rainbows!

Father and son showing off their great Shasta Lake rainbows!

Shasta, Trinity, and Whiskeytown report 7/16

Here we are in mid July and I think we are finally starting to see consistent fishing just about everywhere here in the Redding area.  I've been watching my clients catch limits on just about every trip I've had this past week and into the weekend.  I fished Shasta and Whiskeytown Lakes and also spent a day on the Sacramento River in Redding chasing wild rainbows. Its been just over a week since my last Trinity Lake trip which was also very productive.

Here we are in mid July and I think we are finally starting to see consistent fishing just about everywhere here in the Redding area.  I've been watching my clients catch limits on just about every trip I've had this past week and into the weekend.  I fished Shasta and Whiskeytown Lakes and also spent a day on the Sacramento River in Redding chasing wild rainbows. Its been just over a week since my last Trinity Lake trip which was also very productive.

Shasta Lake rainbow trout trip!

Shasta Lake rainbow trout trip!

Shasta Lake has been producing limits of rainbow trout for my clients, with the occasional King salmon thrown into the mix.  I've had the best fishing in the early morning hours and have been trolling at 45'-55' feet to get the most bites.  UV dodgers and small spoons have been very productive, but you do have to pay attention to what colors are getting the most attention.  Never fish the same lures all day, you'll be cheating yourself of a few more fish in the cooler.  Shasta trout change their minds about what baits they will take throughout the day.  Keep showing them your tackle box and they'll stay interested in what you are showing them.

Limits of Kokanee salmon!

Limits of Kokanee salmon!

Whiskeytown Lake has been hot and cold all summer, especially for the anglers who fish it like they did last year.  You can't just drop something down and have it inhaled this year like you could last year.  This years water conditions are unstable.  The Kokanee are turning on and off so you have to keep them interested as well.  Pay attention to the depth you get your bites, what color they bit, what your boat speed was and even which direction you were trolling when you got your bites.  All of those things are important and when you pay attention, you are going to get bites.  The Kokanee are biting for me anywhere from 53'-55' feet.  You can't spread your depths too far apart.  If you do, you might as well just take the rods that are too far from the 55' range and put them back in the boat.  

Trinity Lake Kokanee and King salmon!

Trinity Lake Kokanee and King salmon!

Trinity Lake is fishing very good as well, especially for Kokanee salmon.  I'm finding the same practices mentioned above to be a good tactic for Trinity as well.  I've concentrated most of my efforts around the dam and up into the Papoose Arm.  I will say that there are fish between the Fairview boat launch and the dam as well.  We hooked three fish on my last trip just trolling back to the launch at the end of the day.  50'-55' of water has been good for the Kokanee and the occasional King salmon as well.  Change up your baits, but fish a pink pattern on Trinity, its caught fish for me every trip so far this season.

Sacramento River rainbow trout trips!

Sacramento River rainbow trout trips!

My only trip for Sacramento River wild trout was a success last week and we had a great time fishing from SR 44 down to S. Bonnyview.  My clients landed over 20 trout, some of which were in the 20" inch range.  We drifted 50/50 Dick Nite Spoons all day and we caught all of our fish on them. I broke out the plug rods one time to work a small drift, but never found any takers.  We had our best bite after the sun hit the river and later in the morning.  We caught a lot of smaller trout at first because of the big moon, but made up for the smaller fish towards the end of the day. Its well worth a trip out right now, but its just a teaser trip until the whole river opens above SR 44 on August 1st.  

 

Sacramento River trout fishing report 7/12

Sac River wild rainbow trout fishing is always a great day on the water!

Sac River wild rainbow trout fishing is always a great day on the water!

Fishing for wild rainbow trout on the Sacramento River in Redding, Ca. is in full swing and will only get better as we head into August!  I still have August 9th, 10th, and 11th available!  Its a great trip and everyone on the boat will have an absolute blast catching lots of good size, super charged, high flying, wild rainbows!  We are catching these trout on Dick Nite spoons, drift fishing from our 24' Willie jet boat.  Look for my future updates on this fishery both here and at www.norcalfishreports.com and www.myoutdoorbuddy.com.

Beautiful wild Sac River rainbows!

Beautiful wild Sac River rainbows!

Anyone wishing to get in on this great fishing should message me or give me a call at (707) 616-1905.  I have limited dates available now, but depending on how this years salmon fishing shapes up, I may extend my rainbow trout season.  I welcome all ages and skill levels for this fishery and absolutely no experience is required to catch these fish.  Bring your family or bring your friends, it fun for everyone!

Wild Sacramento River rainbow trout...

Wild Sacramento River rainbow trout...

Trinity and Whiskeytown Lakes are producing limits of big Kokanee!

Trinity Lake Kokanee and King salmon!

Trinity Lake Kokanee and King salmon!

Some of the lakes near Redding, Ca. are fast becoming known as the finest land locked salmon lakes in California.  With bumper crops of Kokanee salmon in Trinity and Whiskeytown Lakes this year, anglers are out spending quality time with friends and family fishing for these silver bullets of the deep.  Trinity Lake has a ten (10) salmon daily limit and Whiskeytown and Shasta Lakes have a five (5) salmon daily limit.  Either way, anglers who are filling their limits are going home with some very nice fillets.  

I have been guiding clients on all of these lakes and we are seeing limits to near limits depending on the day.  I've only had two days this year fishing for Kokanee where my clients didn't at least hook their limits.  With the bigger Kokanee this year, its been a challenge to get all of the fish we hook to the net.  Most days we will lose 1 of 3 fish we hook, but we just keep fishing through the lost ones until we have limits.  Using bigger hooks, (size #1 or #2 hooks) and kicking the boat out of gear when we hook up is helping my hook/land ratio.

Trinity lake is fishing the best right now and steady action has been the rule every trip.  Whiskeytown Lake has the biggest Kokanee, but we are having to use all of our knowledge of the Kokanee fishery and a lot of our tackle inventory to stay successful.  Shasta Lake is just now really turning on and a mix of Kings and rainbows seems to be the norm right now.  Shasta Lake is definitely seeing the best rainbow fishing out of the bunch.

I have this weekend available to fish any of the above lakes, but if anyone out there needs to fish another day, I do have a few days available during the remainder of the month.  I would look for the fishing to improve on all of the aforementioned lakes as we move deeper into summer and expect to see some beautiful specimens caught this year!  To book your trip, call me or visit my website to send me a contact message like so many others have done this season.  Its been a great year already and its only going to get better!

Todays limits of Whiskeytown Lake Kokanee salmon!

Todays limits of Whiskeytown Lake Kokanee salmon!

Whiskeytown Lake Kokanee fishing report 7/5

Return clients experience another great day of fishing with us!

Return clients experience another great day of fishing with us!

Whiskeytown Lake Kokanee fishing continues to produce limit style fishing for our clients.  Some days we will fall a few fish short of limits due to the Kokanee coming off before we can get them in the net, but the opportunity to get limits daily is still there.  The quality of these fish continues to impress not only me, but my clients as well.  Pictures just don't adequately show the size and girth of these Kokanee we are catching this year.  This is by far the best class of Kokanee I've ever seen on Whiskeytown Lake.

Tactics and techniques are key in this Kokanee fishery this season.  Fishing for them nearly every day gives us a distinct advantage over others on the water.  The baits these fish will bite and the locations they are concentrated in are changing every hour.  Really the only thing that seems to have any real consistency is the depth they are active in.  I've been catching the Kokanee at 55' feet for about two weeks now.  Bait selection has been completely random because the Kokanee are keying in on different colors and presentations daily.  We're basically throwing the tackle box at them every day to see what they want, that includes scents added to the baits or corn.  Its a lot of work, but its what has to be done to be successful this year so far.

Fishing will likely improve when Whiskeytown Lake water managers quit playing with water levels.  Every big holiday weekend, Whiskeytown sees a drop in water levels which really plays with the Kokanee bite.  If or when the lake stabilizes and flows in and out of the lake slow, I think the fishing will be very good.  The impressive size of the Whiskeytown Lake Kokanee will just be getting better as the season wears on, and by fall these Kokanee will surely be averaging 2 lbs each.  My clients are already impressed with the amount of meat they are taking home to share with family and friends!  Book your Kokanee trip, its just a year you don't want to miss out on...

Mitch from Las Vegas shows off his catch of Kokanee salmon!

Mitch from Las Vegas shows off his catch of Kokanee salmon!

Shasta Lake fishing report 7/2

Its time for Shasta Lake to turn on, so lets go fishing!

Its time for Shasta Lake to turn on, so lets go fishing!

I've been fishing Shasta Lake for rainbows and Kings this past week and although finding fish is not very hard, getting them to bite is another story.  I've fished a lot of water on Shasta and haven't had much to show for my efforts at the end of the day.  Now when I say a day of fishing, what I really mean is actually 3-4 hours before the recreational fleet of house boats and ski boats start moving around from one end of the lake to the other.  As much as I miss the solitude on Shasta Lake like I experience every month of the year except June-August, its good to see the lake busting at the seams with so many locals and visitors alike.  I don't think the resorts on the lake will have trouble paying the bills this year, if you know what I mean.

Now except for a few people I've heard claiming to be doing well on Shasta, most everyone else I have been talking to has been telling the same story, "fishing is tough."  July and August are typically pretty good on Shasta Lake for anglers targeting rainbows, browns, and King salmon.  I had some really good days on the lake last season in September as well.  I hope its just seeing a slow start and fishing will take off sooner than later this year.  The fish are there and anyone with a fish finder can see where they are hanging out.  There has been a distinct line of fish in the 100'-120' foot range and also in the 45'-55' foot level as well.  I've caught some trout down as far as 100', but the last few days I've seen the majority of my bites at 55'.  With surface temps on Shasta in the 81-83 degree range, I'm not even fishing above 25' feet.

The majority of my days on the water this month will be spent on Whiskeytown Lake, but I've got a beef going with the Shasta Lake trout and Kings right now and I'm going to keep fishing it until I crack the code.  All the fish I caught this past week have been  rainbow trout.  I've had the best results at 55' feet and trolling at 2.1-2.3 mph.  Small dodgers in front of hoochies or small spoons has taken most of the rainbows that are measuring between 15" and 21" inches.  It should be noted as we approach the 4th of July ,the best colors for me have been red, white, and blue lures and dodgers.  Nothing new really, those colors have always been good for fishing Shasta Lake.  Things may just settle down a bit after the lake sees a reduction in boat traffic this weekend, but thats just wishful thinking at this point.  In the meantime all any of us can do is keep fishing Shasta Lake and hope the bite turns on very soon!

Shasta Lake rainbow trout!

Shasta Lake rainbow trout!

Trinity Lake salmon fishing report 6/27

Trinity Lake King salmon!

Trinity Lake King salmon!

Summer salmon fishing has really taken off the past few weeks here in the Redding area and anglers are seeing some of the biggest Kokanee salmon in years.  I had heard that even Trinity Lake, which is known for small Kokanee, has been containing some larger than normal Kokanee this year.  I had a short break in my schedule from Whiskeytown Lake this week so I thought I would head up to see if the Trinity Kokanee were as big as the reports had described.

Another local guide, Anthony Cox, and I made an early morning trip up to Trinity Lake and launched at Fairview boat launch.  With my rods already rigged for Whiskeytown Lake Kokanee, my prep time was short and we were fishing within ten minutes of launching. I dropped down as we headed towards Trinity Dam and within a few minutes had a Kokanee pulling on a rod.  Anthony quickly landed it and it was a disappointing 10" inch class Kokanee.  We caught three or four more small Kokanee and my doubts about the big Kokanee I had heard of, became very real.

Trinity Lake Kokanee salmon

Trinity Lake Kokanee salmon

After trolling the face of Trinity Dam with nothing but a few short Kokanee, we decided to troll into the Papoose Arm of Trinity and see what we could stir up.  The sun was low in the sky but was on the water now and the bite turned on.  We proceeded to catch numerous Kokanee and even experienced a few double hook ups.  The same tactics used to catch Whiskeytown Lake Kokanee were working very well on Trinity as well.  The majority of our Kokanee came at 50'-55' feet.  I was marking some fish down at 85' feet and believed them to be kings so I dropped one rod down to try to get one to bite.  It wasn't but a few minutes later, I had a good take down on my King salmon gear.  I was fighting a Kokanee I had hooked at 55' feet so I had to let the 85' foot rod bounce while I played out the Kokanee I already had on.  After landing that nice sized Kokanee I picked up the other rod.  I lost that fish before It got to the surface.  Excited to get a bite down in King salmon territory, I sent the line back down again to 85' feet.

Just a few short minutes later my deep rod started to bounce again.  I was just sure I had hooked a King salmon, but when I got the fish to the surface, I was surprised t see that it was a Kokanee.  Oh well, I guess there were Kokanee dawn at 85' feet too!  As we approached the 11:00 hour, Anthony hooked a nice King of about 2 lbs and landed it.  We landed another Kokanee salmon or two and just about had our 20 fish limit.  I had brought the King salmon rod up to 50' and had my other rod at 55' feet.  My rod at 55' feet went down and I expected another Kokanee.  After fighting this fish to the surface, I was surprised to see that it was a nice bright King salmon.  Another fish or two and we had our limits.

I was delighted to see the quality of the Trinity Lake Kokanee and would say they averaged 14"-15" inches.  The Kings we caught were small, but I have to admit that when we started to catch so many nice Kokanee, we lost our focus and didn't give the Kings much effort. all in all it was a very productive trip and I am looking forward to heading up to Trinity Lake again very soon!

Two generous limits of Trinity Lake salmon! 

Two generous limits of Trinity Lake salmon! 

 

 

 

Whiskeytown Lake fishing report 6/24

Whiskeytown Lake Kokanee salmon are biting very good and our guests are having a blast!

Whiskeytown Lake Kokanee salmon are biting very good and our guests are having a blast!

Water conditions on Whiskeytown Lake are favorable this week and the Kokanee bite is very good!  Lately the hardest part of the day is getting these hard pulling salmon to the net and enduring the hot days on the water.  We're finding Kokanee at 55' feet right now in all the usual places Whiskeytown produces.  We have had a great bite on pink baits behind small dodgers lately and can say the same for orange.  Water temps are running at 75 deg's on the surface and are pushing 80 deg's by days end.  Look for the bite to continue to build as July approaches this next weekend.

AUGUST SACRAMENTO RIVER RAINBOWS!!

Sacramento River wild rainbow trout fishing is awesome in August!

Sacramento River wild rainbow trout fishing is awesome in August!

August is rapidly approaching and its a special time of the year to fish for Sacramento River wild rainbow trout.  After the annual closure of the trophy trout water 5.5 miles below Keswick Dam, August 1st brings the opening of this section of the Sacramento River and boy is the fishing good!  Last year I recorded 313 trout my clients caught and released the first 7 days after the opener on August 1st.  This has become one of my favorite seasons and we have a blast catching dozens and dozens of rainbows almost every day in August.  Like any pressured fishery, the great fishing will cool off after these trout get caught and fished over repeatedly, but its still quite good through the new year.  

This is a great trip for families!

This is a great trip for families!

I use light action gear for these feisty trout which makes catching them an absolute blast!  I normally spend the day drifting small Dick Nite spoons, but I won't hesitate to break out the plugs if the spoon bite is slow.  Plugs catch big fish and my clients caught a lot last year.  The bottom line is that we always catch great fish in August and thats what has made this such a popular trip for many of my returning clients.  I'm so grateful to be able to share this great fishing opportunity with my clients, both new and old.  No fishing experience or skill is required to catch these trout.  In fact some of my most inexperienced clients out fish the veterans in the boat. If you would like to see what all the hype is about, give me a call or send me a message and I will get your day on the river with me finalized.  You'll be talking about this trip long after your day on the water!

Pure fishing fun on the Sacramento River!

Pure fishing fun on the Sacramento River!

Whiskeytown Lake fishing report 6/19

Quality Kokanee are the highlight of this years Whiskeytown Lake season!

Quality Kokanee are the highlight of this years Whiskeytown Lake season!

Last week provided some excellent Kokanee fishing on Whiskeytown Lake.  Easy limits for our clients were had for most of the week, but the weekend saw a dramatic change in the bite.  Federal water managers released over 6,000 acre feet of water from Whiskeytown, dropping the lake by nearly a foot.  We still caught some quality fish on Saturday and Sunday, but our numbers saw a considerable drop.  

Whiskeytown Lake Kokanee enjoy stable water conditions and when the temps and or lake levels are changed over a short period of time they tend to shut down until stable conditions return.  This year has seen a continuous inflow of cold water from Lewiston Lake and as water comes into Whiskeytown, water is then released into Clear Creek and Keswick Reservoir to maintain near full pool levels in Whiskeytown.  Its a complex environment for the Kokanee and this season has been full of ever changing conditions.  We're hoping that at some point this season stable water conditions will persist and we will have predictable fishing for the rest of the summer and early fall.  

Fridays group with 10 of their 15 Kokanee limit!

Fridays group with 10 of their 15 Kokanee limit!

In the meantime, I will continue to to stay on top of bite patterns and will surely continue to experience some great days of fishing on Whiskeytown Lake through October.  Currently I'm finding a good morning bite in 45' of water, give or take 5' feet.  Most traditional Kokanee baits are attracting bites, and trolling speeds haven't changed for me at all.  Mixing up your presentations until you find a bait and color the Kokanee are keying in on will help get the most bites during your day on the water.

The Whiskeytown Lake Kokanee are continuing to grow at a steady pace and there are a few fish that are coming in at 17' inches now.  The fight these fish are displaying after being hooked is impressive and its getting to be more difficult to manage these hot fish near the boat.  Ariel displays and tangled lines are becoming a part of everyday Kokanee fishing now and its only going to get better as the season wears on.  I'm expecting great fishing in July so if this Kokanee salmon fishery on Whiskeytown Lake is of any interest, now is the time to get your day on the water reserved.  I can accommodate up to six anglers in my comfortable 24' foot boat and the canvas top provides shade for my clients on those really hot days on the water.  Call (707) 616-1905 to book your trip today!

Whiskeytown Lake Kokanee fishing report 6/12

Limits of Whiskeytown lake Kokanee salmon.

Limits of Whiskeytown lake Kokanee salmon.

Red hot Kokanee fishing has been experienced on each trip the last two weeks in spite of a constant changing of water temps and levels in Whiskeytown Lake.  Its taking 2-3 hour on average to get up to 4 limits in the boat depending on the catch to loss ratio.  I can't say enough about the quality of the Kokanee this year and the numbers are again very good!  I will continue to run Kokanee trips thru October and expect this fishery to gain even more recognition as these Kokanee approach the 18"-20" mark.  We're beginning to catch a lot of Kokanee in the 10" range indicating next years Kokanee fishing will be very good as well.  A lot of my clients are new to Kokanee fishing but I can honestly tell you that everyone is having a blast catching them on our ultra light trolling rods.  This is hands down the best family fishing trip available just about anywhere here in the north state right now.  No experience needed and its fast paced for the kids in the boat.  Lets go fishing!

Whiskeytown Lake Kokanee fishing report 6/8

Limits of Whiskeytown Lake Kokanee salmon.

Limits of Whiskeytown Lake Kokanee salmon.

The Whiskeytown Lake Kokanee bite really turned on the past few days.  On Tuesday we put 20 adult Kokanee in the ice chest by noon and on Wednesday, we bagged 20 Kokanee before 10:00. The Kokanee are swimming in the 40'-50' range pretty much everywhere in the lake.  The water temp on the surface is 72 degrees and at 40' is 56 degrees.  I've had equal bites on my Kokanee baits in both pink and orange.  Certain parts of the day the Kokanee will like one color over another and then they will show a preference for the opposite a few hours later.  My average trolling speed has been 1.3-1.5 mph and its obviously what the kokanee want.  We had a cold front roll in today, but it looks like the cold wind and rain will be short lived.  By Saturday we will have warmer temps on the lake again.  Releases from Trinity Lake into Whiskeytown will stop today so that should help stabilize the lake for a while which will likely send Whiskeytown lake into the red hot summer fishing we've all come to love.  I'm booking several days a week now so if you want to get family or friends out to experience this fishery, now is the time to book your trip.  You'll be in good hands fishing with me as I'm really the only guide on the lake fishing it several days a week.  Its going to be a great year on Whiskeytown Lake fishing for Kokanee salmon!

Whiskeytown Lake Kokanee report 6/4

Whiskeytown Lake Kokanee salmon

Whiskeytown Lake Kokanee salmon

Whiskeytown Lake Kokanee fishing is still falling short of last years action at this time, but overall the fishing is still good.  There is definitely more size to this years class of Kokanee and that makes up for the slower bite in my opinion.  Today was typical for Whiskeytown Lake in that it was very windy to start before laying down a bit around 10:00 am.  The wind picked up again around 11:00 just before we ended the day with a triple hook up, finishing a 10 fish limit before noon.  I found most of the fish on the north east end of the lake and caught just about every one of them at 40-45' feet.  The water temperature at 40' is 56 degrees and thats where they are hanging out.  The surface temps are running about 69-72 degrees so the Kokanee are going deeper.  This trend will continue throughout the summer into fall.  By October, we will likely be fishing in the top 25' feet of the lake again.  I'm finding orange baits to be a staple again this year, with pink coming in at a close second option.  Spin N Glos, Dick Nite Spoons, and mini squid skirts are picking up most of our fish.  This Kokanee season is just getting started and there are a lot of great fishing days ahead.  I will be fishing Kokanee through October and have plenty of days available to book your trip!

Our 24' Willie Boat is a great boat to fish from and our new top is really helping with the heat of the sun while on the water.

Our 24' Willie Boat is a great boat to fish from and our new top is really helping with the heat of the sun while on the water.

Whiskeytown Kokanee fishing report 5/31

Whiskeytown Lake Kokanee salmon.

Whiskeytown Lake Kokanee salmon.

Kokanee fishing on Whiskeytown Lake continues to produce slow limits for anglers who have this lake dialed in and continue to put in the time to attain the daily limits of 5 fish per person.  Recently, Whiskeytown Lake has been receiving and releasing surplus cold water pulses from Trinity Lake.  This can have a negative effect on the Kokanee bite this early in the season.  The good news is that the Kokanee are abundant and their size for this time of the year is very good.  15"-16" Kokanee are the average now and they are only going to get bigger as the season progresses.

With current King salmon returns on the Sacramento River looking to be down again this year, the Whiskeytown lake Kokanee salmon fishery will be a great alternative for that group or family looking for a great day on the water.  The Kokanee are very good eating and rival the table fare of any ocean caught salmon.  Kokanee are land locked Sockeye salmon so their quality should come as no surprise to anyone and with the Kokanee averaging more than a pound a piece, harvesting limits can certainly provide some great meals for the family.

I will be guiding on Whiskeytown Lake thru October and expect to have another season to remember.  I had a great number of trips last season and expect to see even more days on the lake as this fishery continues to gain in popularity.  Give me a call or shoot me an email to get your day of Kokanee salmon fishing booked this summer!  Its always a great day on the water in my comfortable 24' Willie jet boat.  I have a canvas top to provide shade for my clients this year and as always, ask about a bbq lunch on the boat.

Striped bass fishing report 5/7

San Joaquin Striper double!

San Joaquin Striper double!

Striped bass fishing remains solid from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta up into the Feather and Sacramento Rivers near Yuba City and Colusa.  Although my Striper season has come to an end, great fishing will surely continue through May and into June.  With the upper sections of the rivers clearing up a lot, drifting live minnows will continue to be a top producer.  Down in the delta, trolling deep diving plugs has become a standard technique this spring.  

Great day in the Delta with this group.  They landed and released double digit keepers and shakers, but kept some limits for fish taco's!

Great day in the Delta with this group.  They landed and released double digit keepers and shakers, but kept some limits for fish taco's!

Flows on both the Feather and Sacramento Rivers are scheduled to go up again so make sure you do your homework before heading out.  With that being said, the Sacramento River side of the delta will once again see high flows and turbidity making fishing tough.  Concentrate your delta efforts on the San Joaquin side and your Striper fishing efforts will continue to pay off.