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Trinity Lake Kokanee and more

Article and photo by John Higley
8/28/11 -- When I hear mention of Trinity Lake visions of lunker smallmouth bass come to mind first. However, while smallmouths have drawing power on Trinity, especially in the spring, Trinity has more to offer. I found that out again last Friday, August 26, during a morning trip with Mike Elster of Mike’s Fishing Guide Service.

At 6:30 a.m. we launched Mike’s 20 foot Duckworth at the Fairview ramp and motored north to the Stuart Fork Arm where we planned to spend most of our time. Our goal was to sample Trinity’s largely unheralded population of kokanee salmon (small landlocked sockeye salmon), and for me it was a real eye opener. Using downriggers, we trolled slowly with Apex and Hum Dinger spoons and Wiggle Hoochies behind Sling Blade dodgers. Elster embellished the lures with Pro- Cure’s Predator gel and one piece of Green Giant shoe peg corn on each hook. Soon we were catching fat, bright foot long kokanee from 40 to 70 feet down. We long arm released a couple and eventually kept five that had great fish dinners written all over them.

In addition, we landed two king salmon in the 17-inch class and a rainbow trout bigger than the salmon. It was a delightful mixed bag typical of the action Elster has enjoyed at Trinity for a couple of weeks. On the trip before ours he limited two customers out on the Papoose Arm.

Fishing guide Mike Elster with a fat, clean Trinity Lake kokanee caught on August 26. 

Trinity is still full and, with mountains all around, as picturesque as it can get. It is also the least pressured of northern California’s big three reservoirs, Shasta and Whiskeytown being the other two. We had no angling competition on the Stuart Fork as the other fishing boats on the water, at least the couple we saw, were those of bass anglers headed to other locations.

One reason we were on Trinity, instead of Whiskeytown, which is well known for its bigger than average kokanee, is because many Whiskeytown kokes are loaded with copepods this year and they look terrible. At Trinity one koke had a single copepod mark but was otherwise clean as a newly minted dime. I’m thinking a lot of us are missing a good bet by not visiting Trinity more often. Kokanee fishing should remain good there until the fish assume their spawning mode in a few weeks.

To hook-up with Elster call (916) 215-6330 or look him up online at mikesfishingguideservice.com.


Fishing Reports

OR KMZ salmon season opens today
man with stringer of lingcod, courtesy of Larry Ellis
On Oregon Waters by Larry Ellis
05/28/16 -- Southern Oregon ocean salmon aficionados are all trembling like the shaky legs of a newborn fawn, full of nervous energy whose outcome is yet uncertain. That is because today, May 28, marks the beginning of...Full Story
Boaters help combat invasive mussels
invasive species of muscles, photo courtesy of CDFW
05/27/16 -- California agencies combatting the spread of invasive quagga and zebra mussels remind boaters to remain cautious over Memorial Day weekend. Quagga and zebra mussels are invasive freshwater mussels... Full Story
Collins Lake exceeds expectations
2 men, each holding a fish, photo by Collins Lake
By Kathy Hess, Collins Lake Reporter 
05/27/16 -- We continue to see trout catches of 5 pounders and lots of limits this week and expect this Memorial Day Weekend to produce the same, with temperatures in the 70’s and 80’s. Shane, Austin, & Allen caught 11 trout...Full Story
Kokanee fishing derby at Whiskeytown
Photo courtesy of AC Guide Service. Kathy cox holds up a stringer of Kokanee salmon
By Jeff Goodwin
05/26/16 -- On Saturday, June 4th, 2016 Kokanee Power will be holding a Kokanee fishing derby on Whiskeytown Lake. This is a first time Kokanee fishing tournament on Whiskeytown Lake and is stirring a lot of interest...Full Story
CDFW seeks water conservation methods 05/26/16 -- The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), in collaboration with the Santa Cruz and San Mateo Resource Conservation Districts and the State Water Resources Control Board, will hold two public...  Full Story
State offers $200,000 in Habitat Grants
Habitate enhancement, photo courtesy of CDFW
05/25/16 -- California’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR) is accepting grant proposals for projects that enhance wildlife habitat and environmental restoration. The funds come from OSPR’s Environmental Enhance... Full Story
​Lake Britton Crappie active By Gary Heffley
5/24/16 -- There are numerous reports of solid Crappie fishing at Lake Britton located just northeast of Burney. The beautiful lake located on the Pit River and joined by waters from Hat Creek is well known as a surprisingly good...  Full Story
CDFW lifts Dungeness crab restrictions
Crabs in bin, courtesy of CDFW
05/20/16 -- The last remaining stretch of coast is open to the recreational fishery today and will open to the commercial fishery on May 26, after a seven day notice period. Today the California Department of Fish and Wildlife...Full Story
Pacific Halibut Fishery Opens May 1 04/27/16 -- California’s recreational Pacific halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis) fishery season will open May 1. This year the fishery will be held to a federally established quota of 29,640 pounds. The open season dates...Full Story
Recreational Salmon Seasons Set
Boy with fish, photo courtesy of CDFW
04/27/16 -- The California Fish and Game Commission adopted recreational ocean and inland salmon season regulations as presented by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) on April 18. Ocean salmon season...Full Story
CDFW: Dungeness, Rock Crab schedule
Crab in pot, photo courtesy of CDFW
 04/23/16 -- Commercial and recreational rock crab fisheries are open along the mainland coast south of 36° 58.72′ N Latitude at Sand Hill Bluff, Santa Cruz County (approximately 9 miles north of Santa Cruz Harbor entrance) to...Full Story
Tagged Empire Lakes trout worth reporting
This tagged rainbow trout will be released into Empire Lakes, helping biologists understand harvest data. ODFW photo.
04/20/16 -- Empire Lakes anglers have a chance of taking home a $50 VISA gift card if they land a specially tagged rainbow trout. Empire Lakes is a popular coastal rainbow trout fishery, and ODFW biologists need anglers...Full Story
Nor Cal Kokanee Power Tournaments set By Gary Heffley
02/18/16 -- Dates for the popular series of Kokanee Power's Trout and Salmon Tournaments are set for 2016 with three of the events taking place in Northern California. Kokanee Power is one of the top organizations promoting not only the...Full Story
Brownie’s Choice
Art work by Isabella Langaman
By Don Webster
Disregard the story’s title. I don’t really have a “first” name. If I did, it would probably be something like Leviathan or Behemoth or maybe Lunker. Officially, I’m a trout. A brown trout. A giant, brown trout. Possibly the biggest, fattest...Full Story
Columbia spring Chinook seasons set 01/29/16 -- Fishery managers from Oregon and Washington set spring Chinook salmon seasons for the Columbia River today during a joint state hearing in Vancouver, Wash. The recreational springer season on the Columbia...Full Story
Keddie Ridge
Scouting Deerheart Lake, photo by Phil Akers
Article and photos by Phil “Flip” Akers
11/14/15 -- Adjacent to both Lake Almanor and Mountain Meadows, between the towns of Westwood and Greenville, is a seemingly forgotten piece of backcountry; Keddie Ridge – aka Ridge World – where ancient rocks... Full Story
Let’s check out the Upper Sac
Lake Siskiyou with Mt. Shasta standing sentinel. photo by Phil Akers
Article and photos by Phil "Flip" Akers
09/06/15 -- The Upper Sacramento River – The Upper Sac – begins at Lake Siskiyou’s Box Canyon Dam and continues ~37 miles downstream to Lake Shasta. It is a classic freestone river born from the Mt. Shasta and Mt. Eddy... Full Story
Finding Fish from Discarded DNA
Bluegill, photo by FISHBIO
By Erin Loury
06/22/15 -- To round out our series on environmental DNA (eDNA), in which we've described the basic concepts of this technique* in aquatic research, as well as its challenges and limitations**, here we highlight... Full Story
How to make Tuscan Tuna Salad with Fennel By Frank Galusha
05/04/15 -- OK, you went ocean fishing. If your fish is fresh or if you have processed, vacuum packed and frozen your catch properly, there are many ways to enhance your meals. Almost everything taken from the ocean is not... Full Story
Agencies halt commercial sardine fishing
Commercial fishing boats dragging their fishing nets, CADFW
04/30/15 -- All large-volume commercial sardine fishing in state and federal waters off California has been prohibited as of Tuesday, April 28, 2015. The closing will remain in effect until at least July 2016. “This may be an end of... Full Story
Fishing the Klamath below JC Boyle Dam
 Brian Buckingham with one of the larger fish from this section. This trout, estimated at 2 lbs., was caught near the BLM campground on the west shore six miles down the JC Boyle Dam on the Klamath River in Southern Oregon. Photo by author
By Trouteagle
03/02/15 -- Year round trout action can be found on the Klamath River within the 20 or so miles of free flow within Oregon and California. While fishing below the flumes at the JC Boyle powerhouse, it can be difficult to know just when...Full Story
The Mystery of the Middle Fork, Part IV
Jim Broshears, author badge, myoutdoorbuddy.com
By Jim Broshears
11/10/14 -- This trip was to be the final chapter in the saga that began three years ago but is actually over 20 years in the making. As Bruce, Tuck and I journeyed back to the Middle Fork of the Feather River we made...Full Story
Climbing Terms for the Fisherman
Trailhead Tales by Jim Broshears
10/14/14 -- For those of us who prefer to fish the rugged and remote streams and rivers for the elusive wild trout, rock climbing is a skill that is required to reach the special places where catching the big one is a “sure thing.” The skills...Full Story
German brown trout afternoon in Modoc
german brown trout in Modoc creek. MyOutdoorBuddy.com
By Lea Huetteman
09/04/14 -- Catching a German Brown Trout from the creeks in Modoc County is a fine way to spend an afternoon. There are many creeks in this part of California that drain the Warner Mountains. Stream trout fishing in this region opens...Full Story
Throw the kitchen sink at them
Indian Paintbrush is a favorite wildflower that carpets wilderness landscapes. Phil Flip Akers, myoutdoorbuddy.com
Article and photos by Phil Akers
08/20/14 -- Our wilderness areas are special, where Mother Nature is landlord and natural forces operate freely. Within the wilderness you will find no roads, shelters, picnic tables, toilets, or other conveniences. You enter at...Full Story
Humboldt Bay: Busy port, excellent fishery
Woodley Island Marina, Humboldt Bay, Eureka, California
03/06/04 -- Humboldt Bay, a busy commercial harbor and home port to many charter and private offshore fishing boats, is also popular with shore-based anglers and small boaters seeking bottomfish, sharks, crabs and clams...Full Story
Pulled into the pipes: Green Sturgeon
green sturgeon
By Erin Loury, FISHBIO
03/04/14 -- [Posted with permission of FISHBIO] Living in the Sacramento River can be a risky business for juvenile green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris). The young fish must swim through a gauntlet of water... Full Story
Not Just Any Fish
California Golden Trout, California Heritage Trout Challenge, Not Just Any Fish, Phil
By Phil "Flip" Akers
02/14/13 -- Trout have inhabited California waters from the Sierra Nevada and Warner Mountains to the Pacific Ocean since prehistoric times. However, most of the trout caught by anglers are either hatchery raised fish...Full Story
Fishing with Phideaux
By Phil “Flip” Akers
01/26/14 -- Meet Phideaux, a 110-pound neurotic chocolate Lab. His name is pronounced “Fido” but it is spelled “Phideaux” because he is a Cajun dog. Anyway, last summer Phideaux took his human (that’s me) on a trout hunt up into...Full Story

 

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