Big Kings and sunny days on the Sacramento River beginning July 16th, 2019.
2019 SACRAMENTO RIVER KING SALMON
The 2019 Sacramento River King salmon season is set! A forecasted run of 120,000 Kings in the Sacramento River means plenty of fishing fun for our clients and with a (2) King limit, that also means coolers full of fresh Kings for the bbq! Two day anglers will be able to possess (4) Kings so for all you long distance clients, that means a trip very worthwhile.
This is what I’d call a bubble season in that the forecasts are higher than we typically see annually, especially the past few years. What that means, or should mean to most, is that this season isn’t one you want to sit out or plan salmon trips elsewhere. The season opens July 16th, but we don’t typically see our best fishing until August. By September, we’re in the peak periods of the run which will last well into October. Our late fall season usually starts around November after we’ve seen our first few periods of rain which will pull the late fall Kings up river towards Coleman Hatchery in Anderson, Ca. Mid November thru mid December can be very good fishing for these big bright Kings on the Sacramento River.
2019 KING SALMON OPENER
The Sacramento River opens to King salmon fishing below the Red Bluff diversion dam on July 16th. Since removal of the diversion dam, the season opener hasn’t been all that great. The salmon don’t stay in the lower river below the fish ladder at the dam, they now just shoot up to the Anderson area where the Coleman Hatchery is located. We’ll still fish in the Red Bluff area though and often find some really nice Kings from July into August. If you want to get into chrome river salmon, July and August are always a great option. Not as many Kings around, but very good quality fish.
On August 1st, the Sacramento River above Red Bluff opens and thats sort of the official kick off of the King salmon season now days. Guides and anglers from all over will converge on the Barge Hole which is located at the mouth of Battle Creek on the Sacramento River. Its not uncommon these days to see 40, 50, even 60+ boats in the Barge Hole on August 1st. Its a busy place to fish that day, but the action can be among the very best you can find in any one river in the west these days. Numerous boats with numerous rods bent over on big, bright King salmon all day long. Most boats will have limits before noon and then its almost every year that there is an extended calm after the storm in the Barge Hole.
SACRAMENTO RIVER FALL SALMON
By September our salmon season is in full swing and we’ll most often be found fishing down in the Corning area below Woodson Bridge. The bulk of the Sacramento River fall run Kings will be moving through that section of the river at that time. Most of the Kings we catch in September are in great shape and make for great table fare. They move through the lower river quickly until they reach the cool water in the Woodson Bridge area where they will stack up in the holes and rest before pushing further up river.
This section of the river is a relatively slow moving section of the river, but has all the feature of most rivers like riffles, runs, and pools. Our boats are all designed with this type of river in mind and we most often drift roe, covering lots of water and putting baits in from of a lot of fish. This typically translates in high success rates for our clients on our boats and is very easy for most of our clients to perform on their own. Catching a big King salmon on a spin rid is an absolute challenge and a lot of fun too! Drift fishing includes an active approach to catching these big salmon and you’re not just sitting in a seat all day waiting for a salmon to swim into your presentation. We go find them and thats why we catch so many using this technique.
SACRAMENTO LATE FALL KING SALMON
The late fall run of King salmon typically show after the first few rains of the October-November timeframe. These fish have spent another few months in saltwater and are typically the bigger of the fall and late fall runs of Kings. Its not as big of a run in numbers, but its the size and quality of these Kings that attract anglers from all over the country. The weather isn’t as nice, and it can be cold, but when you bag a few of these beauties, its easy to forget about being uncomfortable for a long while.
The late fall season is much less pursued and the fair weather fishermen are at home staying warm or taking advantage of their hunting seasons elsewhere. That means light pressure on the river and plenty of solitude for you and your group on the water. We primarily back troll big bait wrapped plugs for these cold water kings and wait for the afternoons to break out the drift rods. It can ba a slower paced day that can involve a warm thermos of coffee, something on the boat bbq, and a little time next to the proper heater keeping the chill off. Plenty of time to relax and kick back before that big King burries the rod and heads toward the ocean!
BOOK YOUR 2019 KING SALMON TRIP
Booking your 2019 Sacramento River King salmon fishing trip is easy and we have (3) great guides fishing King salmon again this year. That means we an accommodate groups of 18 anglers on any given day, but we typically only fish the people that book their day of fishing with us. This means that we are a guide service, not an open charter boat fleet. Private trips are our forte and we have made our fishing trips a very personal experience for our clients. We will run open boat trips on occasion so single anglers can get in on the great fishing as well, even if they don’t have another person to bring with them.
Booking your trip now is a great idea as we anticipate a lot of bookings this season with all the good salmon fishing ahead. You can book a trip on my website, email me, call me direct, or even send a text message. I will get back to you and help get your Sacramento River King salmon fishing trip on the books!
Thank you, and we’re looking forward to having a great salmon fishing season with our great clients again this year! See you on the water!
Captain Jeff Goodwin