Lake Oroville – Chinooks Are Big, but Few and Far Between

Lake Oroville  

Landlocked Chinooks Are Big But Few and Far Between

OROVILLE – It continues to be a case of quality, not quantity for salmon anglers trolling at Lake Oroville. Salmon from 8 to just under 12 pounds have been pulled from the lake over the past month, but don’t expect to catch a lot of fish.

On his latest trolling adventure on Lake Oroville, Dave Koistinen of Tornado Flshers on May 31 reported 2 salmon for 3 bites.. 

“The bite was off by 9:30 and I was off the water at 11:00 a.m.” he reported on the Lake Oroville Fishing Reports Facebook page.  “I trolled a Brad’s cut plug white hoochie  and rolling anchovy – both got bite.. All  of the bites came on 8″ Tornado flasher 360 green and chrome dodger 80ft deep 1.7 mph.”

“The Tornado Flasher tip of the day for Lake Oroville king salmon anglers is to upgrade your leader line to at least 15 lb. test and your main line to 20 lb. test,” he advised. “Change out your hooks on your off the shelf hoochies, and Brad’s kokanee cut plugs to Gamakatsu 1/0 finesse wide gap hooks.”

“Use the tray anchovies,” he tipped. “Fillet them somewhat still frozen then cut them up in 3/4″ squares. Place in a baggie with coarse sea salt for 2 days in the fridge. Then freeze the night before fishing. This should help put more fish in the boat.”

On a trip this May, Koistenen successfully battled his personal best chinook at the lake, an 11.92 lb. fish, while using his flashers.

Craig Newton of Willfish Bait and Tackle reported boaters at Lake Oroville are hooking a few kings in the 4 to 9 lb. range while rolling anchovies near the dam and the green bridge at 50 to 70 feet deep. 

Crappie anglers are catching quality slabsides on Lake Oroville. Chang Her reported: “The fish were suspended 10-15 feet in 30-35 feet of water. They were holding very tight to structures and you almost have to hit them in the head for them to bite. A small 2” swim bait on a 1/16oz head did the trick for us. 

Lake Oroville is holding 1,338,756 acre feet of water, only 38 percent of capacity and 45 percent of average.


Los Vaqueros Reservoir

Shore Anglers Reel In Rainbows, Stripers and Catfish

BYRON –  Bank anglers continue to catch rainbows, along with some stripers and catfish, while fishing with PowerBait, nightcrawlers and other offerings in the South Cove, the dock near the marina and Cowboy Cove. 

Just ask Anthony Qiu, who landed five rainbows during his latest trip to the reservoir. On a previous trip, Qiu and his buddy caught 9 trout, two stripers and two channel catfish.

Trollers using nightcrawlers behind dodgers, Speedy Shiners and other lures   are also nailing quality trout when fishermen are able to get out in rental boats.

Stripers are also providing solid action at Los Vaqueros. Most  keeper stripers being caught by rental boaters and boaters are in the 18-22 inch range. Your best bet for the stripers is to bait fish with anchovies, troll with Rapalas or other plugs or to cast out trout pattern swimbaits and top water lures.

Want to target catfish? Chicken liver and anchovies are the top baits and South Cove, Cowboy Cove and Oak Point are among the better spots.

The water level is currently at 126,000 acre feet. The water clarity has been good except for windy days. 

If you are looking to rent a boat it is always a good idea to call ahead to check current wind conditions. Remember; rental boats are first come first serve. Weekends and some weekdays sell out quickly. For more information, call 925-371-2628.



Folsom Lake 

Trollers Lay Into Chinooks and Rainbows

FOLSOM – Boaters continue to experience surprisingly good king salmon and rainbow trout action at Folsom Lake.

“A couple of my customers reported a productive day of fishing at Folsom Lake over the holiday weekend,” said Craig Newton of Willfish Bait and Tackle. “The landed a total of 14 fish, including 4 kings to 20 inches and 10 rainbows to 18 inches long.”

“They trolled with Speedy Shiners,” he noted. “The rainbows hit at 25 to 35  feet deep, while the kings hit at 50 to 70 feet deep.”

Don Paganelli of Paganelli’s Bass Fishing Experience reports decent bass fishing at Folsom Lake.

“There’s a top water bite first thing in the morning and then again in the evening,” he tipped. “The rest of the day you should throw out plastics and swimbaits in 5 to 20 feet of water.”

The low water ramp at Brown’s Ravine is the only open launch ramp at Folsom now. The speed limit on the entire lake is 5 miles per hour.

Folsom Lake is now holding 360,850 acre feet of water, 37 percent of capacity and 44 percent of average. 

Written By: Dan Bacher


Feather River/Knights Landing-Colusa

American Shad Dominate Feather Angling Scene

YUBA CITY – American shad offer the most productive fishing on the Feather River from the rock dam to Shanghai Bend, reported Jacob Dobyns at Johnson’s Bait and Tackle.

“Anglers are hooking the shad while tossing out shad darts and plastic grubs in chartreuse and pink,” said Dobyns. “There are not a long of boaters going out now because of the low water conditions on the river,, so most anglers are fishing from shore or wading.”

Striper fishermen are experiencing the top action on the Feather in the stretch from Nicholas to Verona. 

“Your best bet is to use cut bait, including sardines and anchovies, during the day and to throw top water lures at night,” advised Dobyns. “One of the top lures is a red/white or rainbow pattern Cotton Cordell. One angler also reported throwing a River2Sea Bubble Walker. The fish being hooked at night are bigger, with some in the 10 to 20 lb. range reported.”

On the Sacramento River, the stretch from Colusa to Ward’s Landing is yielding the top striper fishing. “Boaters are nailing the fish at night while trolling with F-198 Rapalas,” he stated. “Top water lures and glide baits are also producing some stripers.”


Eagle Lake

Opening Day Produces Limits!

LASSEN COUNTY – Opening day was May 29 and most anglers caught their limits of Eagle Lake Trout, not only on Saturday, but Sunday and Monday too. Pretty much all trolling methods worked. Anglers caught limits using down riggers, lead core line, and on surface side planners. Night crawlers and spoons like Needlefish, Thomas Boyant, and Z Rays all caught fish. We caught our limits trolling flies in shallow water at the Youth Camp area.

Wild Cat Point, Shrimp Island, Eagle’s Nest, and off Christy Campground all produced. Trolling depths ranged from just under the surface early in the morning to as deep as 25 feet later in the day.

The surface temperature is creeping up fairly quickly and the fish are not staying long in the shallows. For those trolling the shallows, you’ll have to be there early and move to deeper water as the bright sun hits and warms the water.

We have been trolling flies in the morning then moving to deeper water and down rigging at 12-25 feet in 40-45 feet of water. The bite has been very good.

Cooler weather is expected next week. I hope to spend more productive time back in shallow water. As the weather and water cool,
the fish should move back into shallower water to feed.

The fish we boxed this weekend ranged from 2.5 lbs to 3.25 lbs. We released many fish that are last year’s planters that are around 16 inches.

If you want to book a guided trip, give me a call.

Whether you are fishing with me or not, don’t hesitate to call me if you have questions about the fishing or accommodations at Eagle Lake. We will answer your questions and give you a current report on what’s going on.

Written By: Tim Noxon Fishtraveler Guide Service, Eagle Lake CA


Bullards Bar Reservoir

Kokanee Top Summer Angling Parade

DOBBINS – “Easy limits” of scrappy kokanee salmon are the reward for most anglers trolling at Bullards Bar Reservoir, reported Craig Newton at Willfish Bait and Tackle.

“Most of the fish being caught now are in the 11 to 13 inch range, with a few fish in the 13 inch range showing in the catches,” said Newton. “Anglers are trolling with pink and orange hoochies and spinners, tipped with white corn, behind dodgers at 35 to 50 feet deep. Willow Creek, Garden Point and Mill Creek are the top areas to fish.”

One customer reported catching and releasing lots of small spotted bass during a recent trip to Bullards Bar. “The biggest one was 1-1/2 pounds,” said Newton. “He used Ned rigs and drop shot set-ups from the bank to 15 feet deep.”

Englebright Reservoir is producing solid rainbow fishing now. “One local reported catching a limit of rainbows, including two holdovers in the 3 pound range, while trolling with nighcrawlers behind dodgers,” said Newton.

Bullards Bar is holding 560,126 feet of water, 58 percent of capacity and 67 percent of average.

Englebright is holding 66,799 feet of water, 95 percent of capacity and 99 percent of average

Written By: Dan Bacher


Lake Berryessa

Bass Bite Is Still Solid

NAPA – The black bass bite on Lake Berryessa is still productive, although it has tapered off a bit as the fish are now in post-spawn mode.

“On my latest trip to the lake, the two of us caught and released 15 fish to 3 pounds,” said Don Paganelli of Paganelli’s Bass Fishing Experience. “Most of the fish were largemouths. We fished top water lures early in the morning and then switch to swimbaits and other plastics during the day.”

After some great kokanee trips to Berryessa this spring, Rich Crispi of TW Guide Service, reported a couple of tough days.

“The first trip was with good buddy Chris, who I haven’t seen much of since COVID started,” he stated. “We had a terrible start to the day and finished with 4 keeper kokes and released one second year fish.”

“My second trip was with my good client Sam,” said Crispi. “We caught 5 fish, 3 being small ones. We released 2  second year kokes and had to keep the damaged one. The boat traffic killed the bite around noon.”

Crispi said RMT Assassin spinners in pink, purple and pink and the green and pink produced fish both days. He used them behind pink crush or green crush RMT dodgers.. The best depths were 48 and 62 feet. 


American Basin

Mackinaw and Kokanee Are Biting at Union Valley Reservoir

AUBURN – If you want to catch mackinaw and kokanee in the Crystal Basin, Union Valley Reservoir is a solid prospect.

“Trolling for mackinaws is good right now,” said Craig Newton at Willfish Bait and Tackle. “Boaters are hooking macks to 9 pounds while trolling nightcrawlers behind dodgers.”

“The kokanee are hitting hoochies and spinners, tipped with white corn, behind dodgers at 25 to 35 feet deep,” he stated.

The CDFW recently planted Icehouse Reservoir with rainbow trout. Bank anglers should toss out nightcrawlers, PowerBait and Kastmasters, while boat fishermen should troll with Speedy Shiners and other minnow imitation lures or nightcrawlers behind flashers.

For a mixture of rainbows and browns, can also toss out nightcrawlers, Power Eggs, Kastmasters and Rapalas in the low waters of French Meadows Reservoir. 


RH Guide Service put this lucky angler on a monster Oroville king salmon. This toad fell prey to a Brad’s Cut Plug that was being trolled.