By Boots Johnson

 

The storm has arrived and the reservoirs are receiving storage. The rivers will turn brown and the snow will fall in the mountains. All this means better fishing conditions for all of us, regardless of which species of fish you go after. It appears we will see a good fishing year after all.

 

The catfish are on the bite in the Sacramento River at this time. This time of year, especially with the rain making the water on the murky side, is an excellent time to add a delicious catfish fillet to your dinner plans. These fish can be caught on just about any type of bait and they have been known to after live bait as well. One of my favorite baits is chicken livers. It is best to offer enough to get their scent glans excited. I always tied mine onto the hook with thread. It certainly does not hurt to dip the bait in a strong mixture of whatever smells to add to the offering.

 

Rising waters also will improve the catfish success in the Sutter Bypass and all ditches and creeks which empty into them. In the old days we used to throw smelly things in gunny sacks into waters accompanied by some weight to hold it down. After a week or so we would return to the same spot and usually had a couple of catfish ready to be taken. I believe this is now illegal so before you decide to “chum” I strongly recommend you check the regulations.

Striped Bass are currently in the system and are hungry and ready to bend your pole. These fish are amazing in regard to their strength and stamina. A twenty inch fish will appear to be a big one and many of us have screamed and hollered bringing in the “Big One” only to find out it is only a couple inches over the size limit. Sometimes it can be downright embarrassing.

 

As we move into the beginning of the fishing season let us not forget to include the younger generation in our fishing plans. On this topic we recommend safety, patience and lots of help which will make the kids have a great day on the water.

 

Closing thought: “Opportunities to make things better surround us all the time…… if we would only open our eyes.”

By Boots Johnson

 

We have a couple of report which are not current. Striped bass have been caught in the Sacramento River as high upstream as Colusa. Anglers are seeing more action in the vicinity of Verona, both in the Sacramento and Feather Rivers. The Sacramento River temperature was measured at above 65 degrees. With this temperature we expect the spawn to get underway at any time. As far as the Delta goes we hear the bass are plentiful on the Sacramento side. Expect this area to just get better as we move into March.

 

A couple weeks ago our weather source told us to expect rain the middle of March. The rain came on March 7th so we contacted him again. He still predicts rain in the middle of March and also continues to feel we will have snow in the mountains at that time.

 

Congratulations goes out to Yuba City angler Nancy Santana on her big limit of king salmon which were caught while fishing Lake Oroville.

 

Sturgeon are moving up the Sacramento River to spawn. Best area to fish is at Knights Landing. Best bait at this time is Eel and ghost shrimp.

 

When the weather clears up we expect the bite at Lake Almanor to improve dramatically for salmon, trout and small mouth bass.

 

The recent (and continued plant program) plant of rainbow trout at Collins Lake had smiling faces on many anglers last week. The fish were a mix of feisty trout from 12 inches up to four and five pounders.

Closing thought: “Two things define you….your patience when you have nothing and your attitude when you have everything.”

By Boots Johnson

 

The Fish and Game Commission made a ruling on February 21st which could be the beginning of the end for the striped bass population in California. The commission brought up the striped bass policy, was seconded and voted on and became law without any comments from a small group of people who wanted to protest this change like the past huge meetings of people who previously attended meeting on the striped bass controversy.

The new policy amends the 1996 striped bass policy which committed the state to maintain one million striped bass in the Delta and all waterways connected to same.

 

Striped bass are not a native fish in California. The species was introduced to California, from the east coast, in 1879. They were transported by rail and were planted in the Pacific Ocean near Martinez. Not all the small minnows survived the trip across the country, but those who did survive took off quickly in their new environment growing in size and the striper population burst wide open.

 

Since their introduction in the west fish have been planted in various reservoirs in California. The fish has been a popular target for anglers due to their size, fighting ability, table fare and aggressive behavior.  In addition, these fish are regarded as a predator which controls the trach fish population of any water they live in. The predator part of these fish is one of the subjects being discussed which pertain to both salmon and steelhead smolts (small minnows) planted each spring in ln local rivers.

 

These small minnows will orientate themselves, form schools and start the long journey to the Delta and beyond. On their way downstream they will encounter many challenges which include hungry striped bass, both resident fish and those which are drawn up stream from the smell of all those little guys. It is also true  that the striped bass eat their share but other fish in the system, such as small and largemouth bass, catfish (yes, large catfish will attack and eat small fish) squawfish and other fish who show predator abilities also take a toll on the salmon and steelhead smolts.

 

Let us face one fact………..fish eat fish, even their own species. The eventual removal of striped bass in California waters will not stop the reduction of planted salmon and steelhead caused by aggressive and predator fish that remain in the system and have been a part of this state for a long, long time. Besides, the striped bass fishery is a boom to California’s economy, from the bait shops to the motel and hotels, professional guides, eatery’s and beyond. The removal or drastically reduction of the striped bass population in California would be a financial disaster to all.

 

Closing thought: “Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human race.”

By Boots Johnson

 

The sturgeon are beginning to show in the upper Sacramento River. We need rain to muddy up the water in order to increase the run. With no rain in sight it appears sturgeon will not be as plentiful as we had hoped for. As far as the striper run goes some fish are showing up, but it is a little early  according to the calendar but maybe not according to the fish. Expect tough conditions if the rives remain low, especially the Feather River. We do not anticipate any large releases from local dams due to the low water level of same. However, if one puts on his thinking cap there were many years when the water level was up and down as it was released on the Sacramento River when the striped bass were here.

 

Fishing is about the same as last week with some trout being taken in local reservoirs. Collins Lake is planting trout and will continue the program into spring. Bullard’s Bar is still on the hook for small kokanee. Lake Oroville is still slow but some are picking up a few salmon trolling the middle of the lake down deep. A few trout are still being cooperative at Englebright Reservoir. Best bet it to troll around the houseboats.

 

Look for things to bust wide open due to the warm weather ahead. Expect schools of striped bass to be available in the Sacramento River anytime soon.

Closing thought: “Sharp hooks are the name of the game for successful fishing.”

By Boots Johnson

 

All this nice weather we have been having lately sure makes a person want to get out on the water and catch a fish or two. Speaking of water, we advise to stay away from the Feather River with your boat at this time. The River is low, very low and muddy due to the ditch construction north of Yuba City. I am willing to bet even a jet boat would be in trouble.

 

The spring like weather at Lake Almanor has got the bite going at this time. The bite is not hot yet but bank anglers and trollers are catching fish.

 

Englebright Reservoir is still the place to go for rainbow trout. Runoff from the Yuba River has been minimal so far this February which has no muddy water entering the lake. In fact, the water is clear as a bell at this time. Best bet is to troll with flashers and a night crawler.

 

We are told a monster carp was pulled out of Ellis Lake recently. An attempt to get more info has not been successful.

 

A report from Lake Almanor at Chester tells us the warmer weather has gotten the fish active here.  The scenery is outstanding with this beautiful lake sitting in a valley surrounded by mountains covered in snow and the tall active volcano called Mount Lassen in the background. Wow! What a picture it is.

 

Thinking back there is nothing which will turn off the bite this time of year like the north wind and full moon nights. When this happens you might as well stay in the sack and catch a few more sleep because nine out of ten times that is what the fish will do.

 

Collin’s Lake either already has or is about to start their planting of trout for the upcoming season. Some of the fish placed in the reservoir will be trophy fish. If it was I and I caught one of the big ones I would take a quick picture and turn it loose. Planted fish which get that size are not on my table fare due to soft, fat mushy flesh.

Scott’s Flat Reservoir, above Nevada City is still on the must go list. Rainbow trout are still just waiting for your flashers and worms or lures. Reports tell us limits of 14 to18 inch fish are common.

 

Closing thought: “Attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure.”

By Boots Johnson

 

Well folks, the national weather source sure does disagree with our own weather man. As stated last week he indicated we would see rain and snow by mid- February. The big one on weather says there is no rain in sight for the Sacramento Valley. Sure hope their fancy computers are wrong.

 

Some might wonder why I occasionally bring up the topic of weather in a fishing column. The reason is it is so important for all fish populations in California. We need water sufficient enough to bring the stripers, shad, steelhead and salmon upstream to spawn. We need runoff from the mountain snow to maintain the rivers, creeks, streams and ditches. The runoff also fills the reservoirs, which by the way are slowly dropping. All this improves the fishing tremendously.

 

A report from Scott’s Flat Reservoir, located off of State Route 20 above Nevada City tells us the bigger rainbow trout are on the bite. Fish up to 18 inches are being caught on or near the surface of the water. Trolling with rapalas or other lures is a good bet. Most of the anglers who are scoring big here are leaving the downriggers home and trolling with the lure at least a couple hundred feet behind the boat.

 

Englebright Reservoir, which is about 25 miles out of Marysville on State Route 20, is also putting out some nice trout. Best place here is to troll by the dam or around the house boats.

 

This is the time of year to consider fishing Camp Far West Reservoir. We have fished this lake along the shoreline trolling plugs, lures or spinners. It used to be common to catch and release 40 or 50 fish a day. The thing to remember is not to waste your time anywhere except next to shore.

 

Closing thought: “Be teachable, you are not always right.”

By Boots Johnson

 

The word around town is about rain. We have had no sunshine and nothing but clouds which make people wonder about participation. Snow and rain is expected in the mountains but we who live in the Sacramento Valley are supposed to stay dry. We decided to contact our weather source for his prediction. He advised us to expect a dry February the first part of the month with storms dropping rain in the valley around president’s day.

 

We certainly hope the old guy is on the money because rain will improve the fishing, both in local reservoirs, the Delta and rivers, especially for sturgeon fishing.

 

Once again stripers are being caught in the Sacramento River from Knights Landing to Sacramento. The fish are hanging out next to shore.

 

The weather turned cold last weekend due to a cold front coming down from Alaska. This really slowed down the fishing in local reservoirs. Collins Lake reported some success with rainbow trout with some big fish caught. Apparently the cold weather did not slow the kokanee bite at Bullard’s Bar Reservoir. Fish were being caught up to 13 inches.

 

Folsom Lake has dropped and is on the low side for this time of year but there is still plenty of water for fishing. Reports tell us landlocked salmon and rainbow trout are hitting on spoons, spinners and small rapala lures.

 

The Department of Fish and Wildlife will be planting steelhead smolts (small minnows) this month in the Feather River which will bring up the striped bass from down below.

 

Kudos goes out to Yuba City Angler George Seekin for his 65 inch sturgeon. George was fishing with salmon roe when the big one hit while fishing near Honker Bay in the Sacramento Delta Region.

 

Closing thought: “Where would you be without encouragers?”

Sturgeon fishing at the Delta got off with a couple derbies planned and apparently plenty of sturgeon reports coming into marinas. Those anglers who go after the big fish should keep an eye out for derby dates and more information.

 

Bullard’s Bar is still producing lots of kokanee salmon but the fish are running small at this time with fish up to eleven inches. This is no big deal but not too bad for January.

 

The King salmon at Lake Oroville are on the bite with fish up to four pounds in the mix. Bass are also available but are hard to catch at this time.

 

We have heard there are some big striped bass being taken on the Sacramento River at this time. We could not get any location but learned the fish are near the City of Sacramento and are being caught on sardines from shore.

 

Ice fishing at Lake Davis is back in swing with good success. Fishing at this reservoir has continued to get better as time goes by. The best bet is to fish with night crawlers or dough bait. We are told the best place is the lightening tree area. The annual Davis Lake trout derby is scheduled for February 1, 2020 with entry fees at $20.00.

 

Sturgeon fishing always brings up the striped bass. All the bait soaking that takes place manages to drift down river and smell gets the stripers hungry as they go upstream looking for food.

Collins Lake, a popular spot for local anglers has slowed down considerably last week due to the cold weather and rain. Expect this reservoir to explode with action when spring approaches, which believe it or not is really not that far away.

 

Folks who have been fishing the Sacramento River for Striped Bass are talking around town about an early run this year in February. We shall see about this one as time goes by.

 

Closing Thought: “Old fishing line could cost you a trophy fish so get with it and replace it”

By Boots Johnson

 

Congratulations go out to Live Oak angler Hayden Samply on his catching a 9.75 pound rainbow trout while fishing at Collins Lake. The fish was caught on dough bait at the marina.

 

Things have changed a bit on the Sacramento River in regard to sturgeon. We will need more rain to increase the sturgeon bite. Things have slowed down at this time. Our weather source tells to expect rain mid-week. If he is right this will certainly help out moving the monsters around.

 

Catchable trout are still being planted in Folsom Lake. Reports tell us the Department of
Fish and Wildlife have also planted Englebright Reservoir.

 

Kokanee Salmon are still being taken by trolling near the dam and around the house boats at Bullard’s Bar Reservoir.

 

Recent storms in the high country have closed many roads to reservoirs in the high country. At this time we advise to check on your favorite water before heading up into the sierras.

 

We remind anglers who purchased sturgeon cards to make sure they are returned by January 31, 2019.

 

Closing thought: “The best route is straight and narrow.”

By Boots Johnson

Foul Weather off and on so far this winter has increased the migration up rivers for sturgeon. These fish are now very active in the bay area and are being caught consistently in rivers throughout the North State.

 

This time of year also brings anticipation for the fishing season lying ahead of us along with many memories of last year and years ago. The other day we pulled out a package of frozen Lake Tahoe Mackinaw trout for dinner. The table fare was excellent and just preparing and eating that meal brought back the memories. I find it amazing what the human mind can remember when this happens. It was a beautiful day at Tahoe. The wind was calm and the waves small. As we pulled out from the marina the sun was peeking over the sierras and there was a chill in the air. It was a wonderful experience in the middle of June and the fishing was outstanding all though the fish were running small that day. The biggest fish caught on our boar was a four pounder. All of us limited out and we returned to the marina shortly after noon.

 

Yes, the memories always come floating back into our brains, like when my family lived in the Yuba County foothills on a combination ranch farm. We raised cattle for the war effort and grew and raised our own food. The nearest neighbor was two miles away and in the winter time during severe storms we had to park the old car and walk the road to the house due to thick mud making it impossible to drive on.

 

We lived by the Yuba River and the Dredger Ponds and it was always a special day when Dad and I walked over to our favorite pond to fish for black bass, catfish and sun perch. The “fish fry” that evening was always delicious with homemade biscuits, hand churned butter and fresh vegetables from the garden.

 

I wish my kids and my grandchildren could have seen and lived that time. It certainly was the way to learn about the outdoors and the food you could grow and the fish you could catch instead of a weekly trip to the local supermarket.

 

Closing thought: “No matter how cool, rich or educated you are how you treat people tells it all.”

By Boots Johnson


We have been told by some old timers who still fish the rivers that the striped bass run this year will be early. In addition, our weather source advises of more rain and snow in the coming months.

 

Folsom Lake has some nice trout waiting for the right offering if a person can spend some time on this reservoir. One way to be successful is to troll lures on or near the surface of the water or down no deeper than 10 to 12 feet.

 

A few trout are being taken at Englebright Reservoir using power bait or worms. Same goes at Collins Lake with fish available but nothing great.

 

Many lakes and reservoirs I the high country are snowed in or blown out with weather conditions.

The kokanee action is back at Bullard’s Bar Reservoir with fish being caught here and there.

 

A report tells us the catfish are still available in the Sutter Bypass areas as well as in local creeks, ditches and rivers. Bigger fish are possible in the Clear Lake area and at Collins Lake above Marysville.

 

We are already into the first part of January and it is time to think about the upcoming spring fishing opportunities available in our area. Might be a good idea to check out the fishing gear, install new line on the reels and make sure the boat is ready.

 

Closing thought; “Don’t compare yourself to others…………….but be content within yourself.”

We talked about the attempt by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to knock the sails out of striped bass fishing and now we have reports of these fish hanging out in the Sacramento River the end of December. The fish are large and can be found from Colusa to Chico and usually show up the end of February or into March. Some people call them resident fish which means they are in the waters all year long. While on the Sacramento River we must mention the Knights Landing area for sturgeon This area is always a good spot when the sturgeon come up the river.

 

Sturgeon Fishing has hit a high in San San Pablo Bay. One spot on fire is the China Camp area with other areas producing nice fish including McNier Pier. Striped bass were also in the mix with fish ranging from 10 to 30 pounds.

 

If it is crappie fishing you are after head over to Clear Lake. These fish are hitting just about anything thrown in the water. In fact there are so many fish it is difficult to get your offerings down to where the bigger fish are schooled. The little fish attack before you can get your lure or bait to the right level.

 

We have reports of big rainbow trout are being taken at Collins Lake above Marysville at this time. The biggest fish reported so far is a 12 pound rainbow trout which was caught by Sacramento angler Paul Palacios.

 

Closing thought:  “Tell me and I will forget………teach me and I will remember….involve me and I will learn.”  Ben Franklin.               

By Boots Johnson

 

Fishing folks, guides and just about anyone who loves to fish for striped bass showed up in Sacramento to protest, once again, the regulations pertaining to Striped Bass at last week’s meeting. Once again the attempt by the Department of Fish and Wildlife to seriously curtail striped bass fishing in California was shot down.

 

Once again the experts and concerned sportsmen invaded the December 5th meeting and disagreed with the Fish and Game in regard to the striped bass being responsible for the decline in Salmon.

 

Recent and ongoing foul weather has raised the rivers and muddied them up a bit which has started the sturgeon to move upstream. This time of year, when the water turns brown is the best time to fish for these huge monsters. Catfish are also on the bite.

 

Our weather source tells us to expect wet conditions on and off through the end of December. In fact he has advised us to possibly expect a white Christmas down as low as Grass Valley. Those of us who live in the valley might just be able to throw a snowball or two in the Sutter Buttes.

 

A report tells us that Eagle Lake, above Susanville is starting to freeze over. This popular natural lake closed to all fishing on December 31st.

 

We wish all a Merry Christmas. May your dreams be answered and your wishes come true.

 

Closing thought: “If you have a person on your Christmas list you missed or had not gotten to yet a present which involves fishing is a great idea.”

               

By Boots Johnson

 

Bullard’s Bar Reservoir is slow at this time, very slow due to the kokanee done for the season. A few bass are being caught, but nothing spectacular.

 

The trout bite at Collins Lake has slowed some but fish can still be taken either on the bank or from a boat.

A few nice rainbow trout have been taken at Englebright Reservoir. Best bet is to troll in the top 15 feet of water around the houseboats or near the dam.

 

Folsom Lake has begun to fill up but even with a couple trout plants the last couple of weeks it is still slow going here.

Salmon fishing has closed on the Feather River above the Live Oak Diversion Dam and the salmon fishing below Live Oak is closed December 16th. As usual, a few striped bass have been caught below Yuba City.

 

Lake Davis is basically free of ice at this time but colder weather can change this on a daily basis. Not much action here.

 

We advise all to stay away from Black Butte Reservoir due to low water levels and the wind at this time. Not only are the fish not cooperation but it is downright miserable weather wise and dangerous on the water.

 

Closing thought: “The best place this time of year for us old folks is right next to the fireplace.”

               

               

By Boots Johnson

 

Those who run the state in regard to hunting and fishing have once again decided to change the regulations on Striped Bass fishing. The overwhelming cries to drop this change was heard loud and clear in 2012 when anglers from all over the state protested in Sacramento. The proposed changes are basically the same they are trying get passed now. The new laws, if passed, would result in smaller and fewer striped bass in California waters. The upcoming meeting will take place in Sacramento at the Natural Resources Building at 1416 Ninth Street starting at 9:30 A.M. If you plan on attending this meeting you must have a valid photo I.D. to be allowing in the building. In a nutshell the DFG wants to remove them from California waters or control their population and reduce their size which would destroy striped bass fishing as we know it.Those who love fishing for stripers must have their objections heard.

 

Bank fishing at Collins Lake above Marysville has been the ticket for fun at this reservoir. Planted rainbow trout are being caught along every bank using lures, power bait or worms. Get the kids out there for some fun prior to the Holidays.

 

Foul weather has not slowed down the trout bite. In fact it just gets better and better between storms. Fish are being taken in streams and reservoirs as well as Lake Tahoe. This goes for natural lakes such as Eagle Lake near Susanville. Reports tell us the bite here is in full swing and probably the best fishing since the 80’s. We remind anglers that this body of water closes the end of December and will not be open to fishing until spring of 2020.

 

Closing thought: “Let us focus on the many things we have in common rather than the things that keep us apart.”

By Boots Johnson

 

The best fishing at this time is in the San Francisco Bay area. Rockfish are being taken on a regular basis with limits common at this time. The best area for these feisty fish is the Farallon Islands with a few lingcod for good measure caught in the mix.

 

Now is the time to get ready for sturgeon fishing? These monsters usually come up rivers after the rains muddy up the water but we have reports of some fish being caught at this time. Look for a good year for sturgeon when winter finally comes.

 

 In regards to the weather we asked our weather guy for a prediction. He advised to expect rain by midweek in the valley and foothills with snow above three thousand feet. He said the snow will be light in the foothills with more in the high country above five thousand feet in elevation. In regard to the rain he predicts heavy rain at times with a possibility of two inches of rain. We asked him about the temperature and he said to get ready for a daytime drop in temperature of over 20 degrees with night time temps possibly dropping into the high twenties and middle thirties.

We hear the Department of fish and Wildlife dumped a bunch of trout into Scotts Flat Reservoir last week. This water is located above Nevada City. Turn right off of State Route 20 from Nevada City at the Five Mile House to the recreation area.

 

Local anglers are in the spotlight. Congratulations goes out to Marysville’s Michael Brown on his 8 ½ pound rainbow trout which was caught at Collins Lake near the dam fishing with night crawlers and to Yuba City angler Jerry Kendrick’s on his 58.5 pound sturgeon. Jerry was fishing at the Sacramento/Delta when the fish hit his salmon roe. Kudos also goes out to Chandler Chan, who lives in Grass Valley. Chandler landed a 7.25 pound rainbow trout while fishing at Collins Lake near the power lines.

 

Closing thought: “Your smile is your logo, your personality is your business cards and how you leave others feeling after they meet you is your trademark.”

 

By Boots Johnson

 

Several Striped Bass reports surprised many anglers in the Sacramento Area. Last week larger

Stripers were being caught in the deep channel area of the Sacramento River as well as in the vicinity of Lupe’s Bend. In addition, fish were reported moving up in the Feather River from the Verona Area. The reports were spread out over large areas. 

 

Steelheads are in local rivers and are responding to lures, spinners, bait and roe. The Yuba River in under strict regulations and it would be a good idea to check on this if you decide to go on the Yuba.

 

Some anglers are putting the boat away for the winter. We suggest you also disconnect the battery, check fluid levels and clean up if necessary. It would be good also to pull the plug to allow any water in the bilge to run off. If your boat is to be stored outside in the elements a cover is mandatory. It would also be a good idea to wash down the hull and clean out the inside prior to storage. While you are at it clean and check your tackle boxes and service the outboard or kicker motor. If you have an electric trolling motor do the same.  A trickle charger will also benefit your batteries by prolonging the service of same.

 

The bass at Clear Lake are still getting angles excited at this time. With the cooler weather here the bigger bass are available. Live bait is the ticket for big bass with lures coming in second. Catfish are also being taken on live jumbo minnows with some cats being weighed in at ten pounds. The Crappie bite is on and the fish can be found under docks or in deep water. We are told there is lots of boat traffic here.

 

Congratulations go out to Yuba City Angler Brad Bryan. Brad landed a 9½ pound rainbow trout while fishing Collins Lake recently. He was fishing near the bridge when the “big one” hit his lure.

 

Closing thought: “A flat tire is like a bad attitude…..you will never get anywhere until you change it. “

By Boots Johnson

 

Do not put away your salmon gear yet. Salmon are still being caught on the Feather River at this time. Striped bass are also hungry. Fishing is light which means fewer boats on the water. However, keep in mind that most of these fish will be on the dark side.

 

With the opening of Dungeness crab season we hear there is a health warning out for two coastal areas of the Pacific Ocean. The warning has been issued by the California Department of Public Health. The agency advises not to consume any part of the guts of the crab due to Domoic acid being found. This is a natural thing but can cause a human to be sick which includes nausea, diarrhea and dizziness.

 

Just about everyone has the same thought….when is it going to rain? We are told by our weather source to be patient because it is on the way and according to him Mother Nature will produce some big storms.

We have a report from Lake Almanor at Chester. The fish who swim in this reservoir (yes, it is a reservoir which is sitting right on top what used to be an Indian village) are finally cooperating with some limits being taken. Now is the time to go if you want good action and beautiful fish.

 

Donner Lake got another trout plant last week. The Department of Fish and Wildlife dumped a bunch of rainbow trout in the lake.

 

Closing Thought: “The happiest people are the givers…….not the takers.”

 

By Boots Johnson

 

As we predicted there have been some nice sized trout taken in reservoirs and lakes in the north state. This time of year the big boys as well as the smaller fish go on a feeding frenzy getting ready for winter. It is not uncommon to find brown trout cruising the shallows next to shore as they gorge themselves preparing for the cold months to follow along with snow and ice in some areas.

 

The Mackinaw lake trout up at Lake Tahoe have gone into the spawning mode. The fish have been holding at between 140 and 200 feet down and are cooperating with anglers fishing minnows.

 

The Department of Fish and Wildlife have announced they will stop the planting of trout in rivers, streams and reservoirs soon. As of now trout have been planted in Little Grass Valley Reservoir and Jackson Meadows along with other areas. The planted trout program will be back next spring.

 

A report from Clear Lake tells us if you love bass fishing now is the time to go. Bigger bass are being taken at this time, some in the six and seven pound range.  Best bet is to use jigs with crank baits and deep diving lures coming in second.

 

It is getting cold, real cold up in the high country with Lake Almanor and Eagle Lake showing a little colder at this time. Eagle Lake temperature has been 65 degrees daytime and 34 degrees nighttime and dropping. Quincy, which is close to Little Grass Valley Reservoir has been holding at around 69 or 70 degrees in the daytime, but dropping down to 27 at night. Expect these reading to continue to drop as we continue into November.

 

The trout fishing at Collins Lake continues to be good after the recent plant. Catfish are still being taken on a regular basis. Expect this reservoir to be a good bet for trout throughout the winter due to the continued planting program for rainbow trout.

 

Closing thought: “Work for a cause, not for APPLAUSE and live to EXPRESS not to IMPRESS.”

 

By Boots Johnson

 

Reports tell us the poor salmon fishing on the Sacramento River and Feather River is also the situation on the Smith and American Rivers as well. We are told the only place to score on salmon is the Barge Hole and Woodson Bridge areas on the Sacramento River if you don’t mind crowds and tangled lines.

 

It is that time of year when the wind blows, the leaves fall, the sunny days are replaced with cooler temperatures and some fishing areas are closed for the winter. In addition, this time of year is the best bet to score on a large trout in lakes and reservoirs or steel-head in local rivers.

 

Englebright Reservoir, above Marysville is putting out some nice rainbows at this time. The fish are hitting night crawlers behind flashers in the middle of the lake.

 

Spotted bass are holding at between 20 and 40 feet of water at Lake Oroville. Best bet is to troll lures at this depth or try jigs.

 

Reservoirs are dropping and many have or are turning over which will put the fish more to the surface than down deep. Water temperatures have dropped some but expect this to be more intense with the coming cooler weather.

 

We checked with our weather source. He has predicted cooler days and night through October and into the first week of November. He also told us to expect early snow this year along with lots of rain this winter.

Shore anglers at Lake Davis, which is located near Portola, have had success using power bait or inflated night crawlers. Mallard seems to be the best area. Flies such as Woolly buggers are doing well on or near the surface. Surface temperature has been running around 53 degrees. All docks here have been removed for the winter.

 

As we reported last week Eagle Lake near Susanville has turned over. Anglers on the know have been scoring trolling flies on the surface of the water. All hazardous markers and buoys have been removed for the winter ahead. Boaters are advised to be cautious at this time.

 

Closing thought: “I love it when someone’s laugh is funnier than the joke.”