California River Reports

American River
Bureau Drops Flows To 1,000 Cfs

by Dan Bacher

(Sacramento) The Bureau of Reclamation has dropped releases into the American River below Nimbus Dam to 1,000 cfs, as it usually does this time of year after most of Folsom Lake’s water has been exported south to corporate agribusiness interests, The reason for the flow decrease is “storage conservation,” claimed Randi Field from Reclamation.
Meanwhile, boaters jigging glow-in-the dark Gitzits on one-ounce jig heads at night are picking up some bright king salmon in the dredger holes of the lower American River. The fish average 10 to 15 pounds each, according to Alan Fong of the Fisherman’s Warehouse.
Anglers fishing Mepps Flying C spinners and other lures from Howe Avenue to Sailor Bar are bagging increasing numbers of salmon, said Leo Salcido of Fisherman’s Warehouse.
“One customer reported that he has caught four steelhead to 4 pounds while fishing the lower American,” noted Salcido.
“After the last rain, anglers reported really good salmon fishing on the lower American,” confirmed Tim Boggs of Elkhorn Outdoors. “Anglers using Flying C spinners have been picking up salmon. Two customers reported that the day they went out, just about everybody they saw had caught Chinooks.”
The Nimbus Fish hatchery ladder is expected to open on November 1.


Redding/Red Bluff
Huge Salmon Hit Above Red Bluff

(Redding) Salmon fishing is actually a little slow on the Sacramento with very few anglers catching limits. Yet there are fish being caught daily and some of them are epic trophies approaching 50 pounds.

Kayla McAnally successfully battled this huge king salmon during a September 23 salmon expedition on the Sacramento River.
Kayla McAnally successfully battled this huge king salmon during a September 23 salmon expedition on the Sacramento River.

“We are still getting salmon up in the Redding area and some of them are very large,” reported Captain Mike Bogue of Mike Bogue’s Guide Service. “Last Sunday we got a really big fish that measured 48 inches long and 27 inches around. I don’t have a scale on the boat, but when I applied the formula to those measurements I came up with a weight of 50.75 pounds. I’m not sure how accurate the calculator is, but clearly the fish weight just under or just over 50.”
“Over the past week we actually got a fish into the boat that was a little bigger than the 48 incher and today I had a fish rip the line eye off a Flatfish. That’s not something you see happen very often. Some of the fish we land are dark, but lots of them are in pretty good shape. They are chrome outside and cut nice and red. We’ve been focused on fishing with Flatfish at this time. Overall we are getting 2 to 3 salmon per day. If you’d like a shot a big trophy fish now is a great time to go,” Bogue said.
Robert Weese of Northern California Guide Service has left the Sacramento and is fishing the Feather, but plans to return to the Sac by the time this issue of the Fish Sniffer hits newsstands. Robert is a big fish specialist, so word of 50 pound kings in the Sacramento is music to his ears!


Colusa/Knights Landing
Bait Fishing Enthusiasts Land Big Stripers

by Dan Bacher

(Verona) Salmon fishing has slowed down in the Verona to Colusa stretch of the Sacramento River, with some anglers switching over to targeting striped bass and catfish.
The switch to striper fishing definitely paid off for two anglers, reported Tim Boggs of Elkhorn Outdoors. Jeff Finch landed a 23 lb. striper while fishing a pileworm from his boat at Knights Landing. Then Rudy Isch bagged an 18 lb. striped bass while soaking a sardine at Knights.
“Catfish action has also picked up as some anglers switch from salmon to cats,” noted Boggs. “The best area to fish is from the Highway 113 Bridge north to First Beach. Use G&S Dip Bait or pileworms for the best success.”
“Salmon fishing was pretty slow on my latest trip to Verona,” said Boggs. “Only two fish were caught by the anglers fishing from 12 boats. The fish were showing on the fish finder, but appeared to be blowing through. We trolled and anchor fished with Silvertron spinners and Kwikfish, but didn’t hook any fish.”


Klamath River
Anglers Meet Adult Salmon Quota Below Iron Gate Dam

(Hornbrook) Anglers have reached their annual quota for salmon on another stretch of the Klamath River, triggering new restrictions on the fishery for the remainder of the year and resulting in decreased fishing pressure.
Monitoring efforts showed that anglers above the Highway 96 Bridge in Weitchpec to 3,500 feet below Iron Gate Dam caught their quota of 189 adult fall-run Chinook, 22 inches or longer, on Wednesday, Oct. 5.
After the quota is met, anglers will still be able to fish in this area, but must release any Chinook longer than 22 inches, according to a press release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW).
Anglers can continue to catch and keep hatchery steelhead while using an array of spinners, spoons, plugs, roe, nightcrawlers and flies, but must release wild steelies.
Anglers may keep track of the status of open and closed sections of the Klamath and Trinity rivers by calling 1 (800) 564-6479.


Sacramento Area
Salmon Fishing Spotty in Metro Region

by Dan Bacher

(Sacramento) If you want to hook salmon on the Sacramento River in the metropolitan area, hard work is required now. Fishing varies greatly on a daily basis, but your chances of hooking up will improve as the fish move through the area and the weather cools down.
“We’re getting one or two salmon per day,” said James Netzel of Tight Lines Guide Service. “We boated a 22 lb. fish today. We’re trolling from Miller to Garcia Bend with Brad’s Cut Plugs and Pro-Troll Flashers.”

This angler scored big time while trolling the Sacramento River near the California capital with Captain James Netzel on September 30.
This angler scored big time while trolling the Sacramento River near the California capital with Captain James Netzel on September 30.

“We had a great day on the Sacramento River Saturday with great people, Tony Martinez and family,” said Monte Smith of Gold Country Sportfishing. “They landed four, lost three, including a massive brute, but hey, that’s fishing.”
They used Pro-Troll flashers and Brad’s Cut Plugs. Phenix rods and P- Line got the fish to the boat and Pro-Cure bait scents helped get the fish to bite, according to Smith.
However, showing the varying bite from day to day, the next three trips produced 3, 2 and 1 fish.
“The salmon fishing has been hit and miss on the Sacramento River,” said Alan Fong of Fisherman’s Warehouse. “A lot of people are getting out on the river now, with the best action reported on jigs and plugs at Freeport. Bank fishermen are hooking up salmon from the bank on Mepps Flying C spinners in the Hood area, but there’s very limited parking available there.”