A new year ahead for Redding area fishing.

Well, its here!  2018!  Most of the fishing we did last year ended up being on the three lakes, (Shasta-Trinity-Whiskeytown), located near Redding, Ca., but we fished many other areas as well. 

2017 started with some excellent Striped Bass fishing in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, but with a massive run due to high water in the Sacramento River system, we also found some great Striper fishing on the Feather River, where we ended our "line side" season.  

Mokolumne River morning trip for Stripers!

Mokolumne River morning trip for Stripers!

By May, Whiskeytown and Trinity Lakes were producing some excellent landlocked salmon (Kokanee & King) fishing. Most days were action packed and the Kokanee were above average in size this past year making for some pretty impressive bags of fresh salmon fillets at the end of the day.  

Whiskeytown Lake 18" average Kokanee salmon!

Whiskeytown Lake 18" average Kokanee salmon!

By July, Shasta Lake trout fishing was red hot, and we landed numerous trout on every trip which included some trophy rainbows and browns in the 5-7 lb. class.  August revealed some bad news for us on the Sacramento River steelhead/trout fishery, in that we saw a major decline in the numbers of fish we were used to catching on our daily trips.  We still had fun and caught 20-30 fish most days, but thats a low number compared to what we are used to.  It didn't end up being a problem because the lakes were still producing some very good fishing.  

Shasta Lake rainbows were big and plentiful in 2017!

Shasta Lake rainbows were big and plentiful in 2017!

By September, we started to see some descent numbers of Sacramento River King salmon.  Catch rates were better than expected, but we saw a lot of two year old's which meant our days were yielding salmon in the 7-10 lb. range.  With 5-10 fish limits on our local lakes, a lot of our clients opted for lake fishing in lieu of a cane at a few small salmon.  

Average size Sacramento River King salmon in 2017...  Ugh!

Average size Sacramento River King salmon in 2017...  Ugh!

By the end of October we made a move to chase trophy class German Browns on Shasta Lake and I'm so glad we did!  We missed out on a pretty good late fall salmon season, but its been very slow in recent years so it was unexpected to say the least.  Fortunately our German Brown trout trips produced some great specimens to 7 lbs. and we only had one trip where we didn't land at least one big brown.

The fall spawning migration for the big browns is a great way to end the year!

The fall spawning migration for the big browns is a great way to end the year!

Overall we were very pleased with how our year came together and we had some very memorable days on the waters we fished.  Each and every one of our clients contributed to the season we had and I am so very grateful they chose us to fish with.  We learned a lot about the areas we fish and have continued to upgrade our boat and equipment we use to get our clients into as many fish as possible.  I'm looking forward to our 2018 fishing season and am especially looking forward to seeing this years clients, both new and old!  Now lets go fishing!

Shasta Lake brown bite still good!

Well its been one heck of a month and I'm happy to report that the fishing has been very good nearly every trip.  We've concentrated on bigger fish and have spent a lot time hunting for the big German Brown trout.  We've landed a handful of browns in the 6-7 lb. class and have caught quite a few in the 3-5 lb. range.  Overall its been a great fall/winter season and it looks like its going to continue as we head into the new year.

German browns are moving up and down the Shasta Lake arms and we're catching them every trip.

German browns are moving up and down the Shasta Lake arms and we're catching them every trip.

The rainbow trout have also shown up in the mix and I'm starting to find some bigger rainbows than I had been the past few weeks.  I'm mixing up my trolling lure spread so I'll attract both browns and rainbows and it seems to be working out just fine.  Trolling fast with big spoons has been good for big browns, and slowing it down and sizing down my presentations is getting more attention from the rainbows.  Meet somewhere in the middle and we're catching both at the same time.

We started to see some of the big rainbows this week and should continue to see them more often as they start to make their push up to their spawning grounds in early spring.

We started to see some of the big rainbows this week and should continue to see them more often as they start to make their push up to their spawning grounds in early spring.

I wil continue to run trips on Shasta Lake for rainbows and browns, but I've had some good days on Whiskeytown Lake for Kokanee salmon as well.  With Kokanee in the 15"-16" size category now, we're in for some great fishing this summer.  Its still possible to get limits of Kokanee so let me know if you'd like to get out early in the year and get some fish for the smoker!

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Shasta Lake winter trout bite continues.

Randy with his first Shasta Lake German Brown of the morning.  This brown was caught trolling 2.5 mph on the surface with a Mack's Tackle 1/2 oz. Hum Dinger spoon.

Randy with his first Shasta Lake German Brown of the morning.  This brown was caught trolling 2.5 mph on the surface with a Mack's Tackle 1/2 oz. Hum Dinger spoon.

Fishing for rainbow and German Brown trout on Shasta Lake continues to be productive most days.  I think a lot of the browns are up the tributaries spawning, but its clear that they don't all spawn at the same time.  We are catching a mix of pre spawn and post spawn browns in the McCloud arm near Hirz Bay.  Trolling techniques vary, but trolling above 3.5 mph using 3"-4" spoons seem to be producing the best numbers of bigger browns.  For rainbows, smaller spoons trolled at 20-2.5 mph has been productive.  Almost all of our bites are coming near the surface, although running a few weight rods down 10-15' can produce strikes as well.  

Shasta Lake rainbow trout caught on a recent trip this past week.

Shasta Lake rainbow trout caught on a recent trip this past week.

Most bites are coming early in the morning and late in the afternoon, with some pretty slow bite action late morning into mid day.  Fishing the shorelines should be your first option, but if you are not getting bites, try fishing out in the open water and you'll sometimes find a few bites.  Trout fishing on Shasta Lake is slower this time of the year so be patient and keep your lines wet.  Cover lots of water and keep trying different lures.  The trout will love a gold spoon one day and won't give it a second look the next. Chances are, if you put in some time on the water, you'll get into a bite at some point in the day.  Tight lines!

Gold and red mack's Tackle Hum Dinger 1/2 oz spoon top line trolled at 2.5 mph!  This color is my top big fish producer when the fish are looking for smaller presentations.

Gold and red mack's Tackle Hum Dinger 1/2 oz spoon top line trolled at 2.5 mph!  This color is my top big fish producer when the fish are looking for smaller presentations.

Shasta Lake trophy trout!

Good friend and owner of Trinidad Tackle Co. (Stan Kulak) with a big brown he caught with me while trolling a white Optimizer Spoon!  Check out www.trinidadtackle.com and the whole line of Optimizer Spoons.  These are killer big fish spoons!

Good friend and owner of Trinidad Tackle Co. (Stan Kulak) with a big brown he caught with me while trolling a white Optimizer Spoon!  Check out www.trinidadtackle.com and the whole line of Optimizer Spoons.  These are killer big fish spoons!

Fall is in full swing now and although we have seen mostly mild weather, winter is right around the corner.  I've been spending a lot of time on Shasta Lake hunting big trout.  I'm catching some multi pound German Browns of late and we've hooked some real monsters!  We're seeing a mix of big adult browns heading up into the McCloud Arm to spawn and some big hens (females) this week that have already spawned and are migrating back down the arm to fatten up on shad.  We are running big spoons at fast speeds which tends to get the attention of these bigger Shasta Lake trout.  We aren't seeing the big numbers our summer fishery provides, but we are hooking trout that are above average for anyone who fishes for trout out there.  As the spawning ends and these adult size browns head back into the deep waters of the lake to feed, we'll surly see some impressive fish come to the net!  If this sounds like your kind of a trip, give me a call and we'll set a date for your trip provided I think the fishing and water conditions will be viable.  Tight Lines!

Nice female German Brown caught this week in the McCloud arm of Shasta Lake.

Nice female German Brown caught this week in the McCloud arm of Shasta Lake.

Sacramento River steelhead season begins!

Sacramento River hatchery steelhead caught by Pat Young in the Anderson area on 11/1...

Sacramento River hatchery steelhead caught by Pat Young in the Anderson area on 11/1...

The Sacramento River steelhead season is off to a good start!  We have our wild steelhead in the Redding area, but we have already seen a good number of Coleman Hatchery steelhead returning the past few weeks.  This is great news because we normally see the biggest push of steelhead in January-February.  This is when Coleman Hatchery sees its best numbers of steelhead show up at the Battle Creek fish ladder.  Good reports of big numbers of steelhead as far down river as Butte City and Los Molinos continue to come in so its just a matter of time before we start to see more arrive above Red Bluff.  

We are back trolling plugs, pulling bait with divers, and side drifting Pautzke BorX o Fire Natural cured roe to catch these steelhead.  Drifting and plugging shallow rifles, current seams, and pushing steelhead into tail outs have been the most productive.  We do hook steelhead in the deeper sections of the Sacramento River, but they are usually incidentally caught while fishing for King salmon.

This hatchery steelhead was recently caught below Battle Creek on the Sacramento River!

This hatchery steelhead was recently caught below Battle Creek on the Sacramento River!

We have some rain in the forecast so I expect it will pull some new fish up into my area of operation.  Keep an eye out for future reports or visit www.norcalfishreports.com for my frequent reports.  I have available dates through out the winter season so if you want to get out and experience fishing for these great fish, fill out the contact me info and I'll get back to you asap.  I can also be reached at (707) 616-1905 if you have more questions or want to book a trip.

Sacramento River Kings and steelhead!

The Upper reaches of the Sacramento River near Anderson, Ca. has been hot and cold the past few weeks.  On big wind days anglers are struggling and when opposite conditions prevail, fishing tends t be pretty good.  We will see the tail end of the King fishery by the end of the month, but theres no rain in sight anytime soon so that will keep some of them around for sure.

A few big Kings are around, but we're still seeing mostly two year olds in the 7-10 lb range.

A few big Kings are around, but we're still seeing mostly two year olds in the 7-10 lb range.

The steelhead season has been on an early start and I hear there are some good numbers of them headed up river. As salmon fishing slows, I will be focusing on the steelhead from Red Bluff to Anderson.  We still have late fall Kings to look forward to, but that typically starts to get good around Thanksgiving.  Until then and after the Sac closes to salmon fishing on December 16th, I'll be out fishing for steelhead!

 

10/14 Hatchery steelhead caught with Pautzke Fire Cure roe.  Hatchery steelhead are now being caught below Battle Creek.  Coleman has already seen a good number of them return so the season may contain some extra good steelhead fishing.

10/14 Hatchery steelhead caught with Pautzke Fire Cure roe.  Hatchery steelhead are now being caught below Battle Creek.  Coleman has already seen a good number of them return so the season may contain some extra good steelhead fishing.

Sacramento River King salmon fishing is still a good option for anglers!

Robert with his 20 pound King he caught with me on 10/7 drifting roe in the Barge Hole in Anderson, Ca.

Robert with his 20 pound King he caught with me on 10/7 drifting roe in the Barge Hole in Anderson, Ca.

Its been fairly steady fishing for King salmon on the Sacramento River near Anderson, Ca. pretty much all season.  Some days produce lots of fish and then you have some days that don't.  Thats salmon fishing on The Sacramento River this year folks.  I've caught more fish this year for sure, but our returns are still down from even a year ago.  We're starting to see some larger salmon higher in the system and the full October moon usually signals the last big push of salmon up towards Coleman Hatchery.  The tail end of the fall run will arrive in the next few weeks, lets hope its a bigger number than we've seen so far this year, although I'm grateful for the fish we do have.  Flows on the Feather river have been cut to 3,000 cfs and the Sacramento River is still pushing 9,000 cfs.  Its possible more Coleman salmon will push up river instead of making the right turn into the Feather now.

Some of the Sacramento River Kings are still in great shape and their meat quality is very good for this time of the year.

Some of the Sacramento River Kings are still in great shape and their meat quality is very good for this time of the year.

We're also still hearing of salmon being caught in SF Bay and in the lower Sacramento River.  Thats good news and helps restore some hope for the final month of the fall season.  Either way, we'll take what we can get and all indicators are present for a good return of salmon to the Coleman Hatchery in 2018.  Prime time is September 1st thru October 15th so mark your calendars and get your trip with me reserved.  I was quite busy this season and it will surely be even busier next year with a big run of big (18-25 lb,) 3 year old King salmon!  Tight lines and stay tuned for my late fall/winter steelhead fishing reports!

Sacramento River King salmon fishing report

We're still seeing some quality salmon in the upper reaches of the Sac River near Red Bluff.

We're still seeing some quality salmon in the upper reaches of the Sac River near Red Bluff.

Its been a few weeks since my last salmon fishing report, and although Its been a good season so far, our worst fears for this years salmon season near the Coleman salmon hatchery have proven to be a reality.  Once again the straying of the Coleman Hatchery salmon into the Feather River system down river due to the trucking of these fish as juveniles to Rio Vista has left us with dismal returns of 3 year olds returning to spawn.  The one thing that saved our up river salmon season was the return of 2 year old salmon (Jacks) that have provided some pretty steady action near the Barge Hole near Coleman Hatchery.  These 2 year olds were not trucked to the delta and released so they are the indicator of a strong return of larger 3 year old fish for us next year.  If current conditions and hatchery releases remain back to normal, the coming years should include some great Sacramento River King salmon fishing.  For now, it has just been some good days and some slower days for sure.  Most days we're averaging a fish per rod and you can't beat fishing on this beautiful section of the Sacramento River.  I will be fishing for King salmon near Anderson, Ca. until mid October and then I'll be focusing on Sac River steelhead and Shasta Lake trout.  Keep checking back to stay informed with my reports about fishing in the Redding area throughout the winter!  Thank you, and tight lines to you all!

These jack salmon were caught on back to back drifts on the Sacramento River this week!

These jack salmon were caught on back to back drifts on the Sacramento River this week!

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!