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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 F&WC to set salmon/halibut seasons 04/18/15 -- The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission will set ocean salmon and Pacific halibut seasons and discuss the status of wolves when it meets in Bend on April 24. The meeting will begin at 8 a.m. at Deschutes National... Full Story
F&GC closes Sac River in Redding
Winter Run Chinook, photo courtesy of CDFW
04/18/15 -- Recommendations by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to provide dual areas of protection to Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon were approved by the state Fish and Game Commission on April 17... Full Story
OR DFW seeks help with stocking program 04/16/15 -- This year the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife plans to stock 11,000 rainbow trout (including 3,000 of trophy size) in popular Lake of the Woods, and the agency would like anglers help in figuring out what...Full Story
Generous recreational salmon season set
 The lower Rogue River produced Culver, OR resident Kari Nelson’s first-ever salmon on Tuesday. The springer was caught on an anchovy. Photo courtesy of Steve Huber’s Guide Service
Fishing the North Coast by Kenny Priest
04/15/15 -- The most anticipated opener of the year for ocean anglers is a lot closer than we had thought. On Wednesday morning, the Pacific Fishery Management Council adopted the most generous of the three alternatives...Full Story
State’s BS meter running overtime By Gary Heffley
04/15/15 -- Let me first acknowledge that I was unable to attend the meeting regarding the proposed closure of 5.5 miles of the Sacramento River to all fishing to protect the Winter Run Chinook Salmon Run. The reason given...Full Story
Trophy trout, big cat mark Collins catch
 Sal Cagliano from Dobbins and his friend Terry from Elk Grove caught the Biggest Trout this week, a 6 lb. 12 oz. rainbow. They were fishing with worms in Elmer’s Cove from their boat.
Article and photos by Kathy Hess, Lake Reporter
04/15/15 -- Another trophy trout plant arrived today, Wednesday, April 15th. Although the wind picked up overnight and continued through the day, Ray and Margaret Johnson said their limit of trout just blew right onto their...Full Story
Charter Boat ‘Scrimshaw’ returns to Eureka
 Captain Marc Schmidt, Coastline Charters
Article and photo by Captain Marc Schmidt 
04/16/15 -- Just got home yesterday after a 9-day run starting on the April 1 opener fishing in Santa Cruz. It was great to be back on the water. Fishing was scratchy this year but we got the guys and girls fish every day. With the salmon... Full Story
Oroville Area fishing and outdoor report By Craig Bentley, Golden State Guide Service
04/16/15 -- Lake Oroville’s surface elevation has come up a few inches in the last week to 762 feet. The surface temperature is now 56 degrees. The water is clear up in the river arms and main body coves with mudlines...Full Story
Perch Fishing with Grandpa
By Bill Adelman
By Bill Adelman
04/15/15 -- Way, way back in the day, while experiencing my first panfish outings with my grandfather, he taught us, my cousin and I, ages 9, a secret system. Remember the pre-tied 6 pack of Eagle Claw bait hooks? The leader portion was... Full Story
ODFW: Family fishing event is Saturday 04/13/15 --  A Family Fishing event is set for 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Saturday, April 18 at Middle Empire Lake near Southwestern Oregon Community College. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife partners with the Bay Area Hospital’s Kids... Full Story
The Uncertain Future of the Delta Smelt
Shimmering silver of a smelt, photo by FISHBIO
By Erin Loury, FISHBIO
04/13/15 -- The lowest ever recorded index of abundance for delta smelt (Hypomesus transpacificus) was reported earlier this year in the results from the 2014 California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Fall Midwater...Full Story
Shasta county angling stays strong
Jeff Goodwin, Sacramento River rainbow trout, Jeff Goodwin's Guide Service
By Jeff Goodwin
04/13/15 -- Fishing on local waters remains very good this month. In spite of a CDFW proposal to close 5.5 miles of the Sacramento River above the SR 44 Bridge to Keswick Dam in Redding, our spring and summer rainbow... Full Story
Brookings lingcod action still red hot
Marshal Brose and Dylan Robinson from Red Bluff, California caught limits of lingcod and rockfish on Wednesday out of the Port of Brooknigs Harbor while fishing with Dave Castellanos of Cast Guide Service
On Oregon Waters by Larry Ellis
04/11/15 -- If there is nothing more tenacious than a lingcod, it is perhaps the lingcod warriors who pursue them. This past week, anglers had plenty of opportunity to prove their tenacity when ocean conditions that were as flat as a sheet...Full Story
What to expect in E. Sierra this year
South Lake down to large puddles, photo by Don Quilici
Article and photos by Don Quilici
04/11/15 -- We are into the first part of the month of April, winter is behind us, and the outlook is grim for the rest of the year due to our prolonged drought. Here are some things that are currently occurring and will probably occur... Full Story
Trophy trout? Collins Lake has proof
Radonna and Terry Tillis caught their 13 lb. 14 oz. lunker trout, photo Kathy Hess
By Kathy Hess, Lake Reporter
04/11/15 -- Collins Lake continues to plant monster trout and the proof is in the pudding!! Most of these huge trout are picked up by trollers using anything from a Kastmaster, Rapala, Needlefish or worms and flashers. The graphs are... Full Story
Only one Eagle Lake ramp to be open
 Eagle Lake low water ramp photo by Val Aubrey/EagleLakeFishing.net
By Val Aubrey, EagleLakeFishing.net
04/10/15 -- As you know the drought continues but it appears at least one ramp will be available for the opener on May 23rd. The one ramp to serve lake visitors is located at Gallatin Marina (Eagle Lake Marina) and is well...Full Story
Lake Oroville: Spit on your hook! By Chuck Giles
04/08/2015 – This is the time of year when Lake Oroville lives up to its name of a bass lake, albeit quantity not necessarily quality. It almost seems as if you could spit on your hook and boat a bass. I’m exaggerating of course...Full Story
Kids' Fishing Day in Paradise By Chuck Giles
04/08/15—Paradise Irrigation District (P.I.D.) will be hosting their annual Kids’ Fishing Day (KFD) on Saturday, April 18 from 6:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Paradise Lake. This event is highly anticipated both by local and other communities...Full Story
ODFW to test new approach to fish passage
  typical culvert that shows a barrier to fish passage, ODFW Photo
04/08/15 -- The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) has announced the details of a new pilot project that will allow ODFW to steer fish passage mitigation resources from individual impact sites, such as culverts...Full Story
Good bite for Shasta Lake bass & salmon
Patrick Mitts of San Francisco took this spotted bass on March 26 while fishing with Pro Guide Kirk Portocarrero of SacRiverGuide.com. Photo courtesy of Kirk Portocarrero
By Frank Galusha
04/08/15 -- Guide Kirk Portocarrero of Redding reports his clients were catching good numbers of bass and king salmon at Lake Shasta as of April 6. Portocarrero says trolling the main body at 75 feet deep was producing...Full Story
Loss of an outdoor buddy By Gary Heffley
04/07/15 -- I never fished with him, but he was often with me. When I drove around alone exploring new areas we often shared a conversation, but he was never in the car. In fact I never met the man but he was a good friend...Full Story
Now is the time to catch some shad
By Bill Adelman
04/06/15 -- The American shad, first delivered by rail to Tehama in 1871, is an extremely sought after quarry today. Should you prefer to toss and fling on foot, the Russian River is a good bet. Although it takes a bit of effort...Full Story
And so it begins
Article and photos by Mike Mogler
04/04/15 -- Several friends were going to fish Grace Lake, a PG&E impoundment a few miles south of Shingletown, so I thought I could meet them Friday morning and give it a try. CDFW had planted Grace the day before... Full Story
Part of Sac River in Redding could close 03/04/15 -- The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is holding a public meeting to solicit comments on a proposed closure of 5.5 miles of the Sacramento River above the Highway 44 Bridge in Redding...Full Story
Reducing Diversion Risk for Green Sturgeon
By Erin Loury, FISHBIO
04/03/15 -- Water diversions make outmigration a risky business for juvenile green sturgeon in the Sacramento River, but new research points to solutions for reducing this threat. In a previous Fish Report, we described...Full Story
Drought barriers push Delta toward collapse 04/01/15 -- Restore the Delta (RTD), opponents of Gov. Brown’s rush to build water export Tunnels that would drain the Delta and doom sustainable farms, salmon and other Pacific fisheries, today responded to Gov. Brown’s...Full Story
Pot grows dry up streams; devastate fish
Northern California marijuana grow, photo courtesy of CDFW
03/25/15 -- Environmental scientists with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) recently published a first-of-its-kind study that clearly shows that water used for growing marijuana has a devastating effect on...Full Story
Coleman NFH to truck juvenile salmon again
After trucking to locations such as Mare Island the juvenile salmon are released into net pens for a period of acclimatization and then released. USFWS photo
03/24/15 -- For the second year in a row, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today that the Coleman National Fish Hatchery will begin a process this week that could result in approximately 12 million Chinook...Full Story
Black Cod commercial fishing... what?
Black Cod or Sablefish
By Mike Mogler
03/21/15 -- A fishing buddy of mine, John D,  and I had a conversation last week regarding the ‘old days’ we had fishing Albion and Ft. Bragg for salmon and rockfish. As you probably know both these ports are located in Mendocino County... Full Story
Samoa Surfperch Derby/fish fry is April 18
John Nicolini with his 4th place Redtail (15.3”)
By Frank Galusha 
03/18/15 -- “Perch'n on the Peninsula” a Surfperch Fishing Tournament and Fish Fry Fundraiser, will return to Samoa on April 18. This is the Samoa Peninsula Fire District’s 6th annual derby, which will be hosted at the Peninsula... Full Story
How to improve your striper catch
Bill Adelman  with two nice keeper-sized Sacramento River stripers.
By Bill Adelman
03/18/15 -- Each particular species within our world of the outdoors holds a special place in not only our memory bank, but also in our immediate planning. All during the winter when we plan for sturgeon, steelhead and catfish...Full Story
Bay Area ab poachers get heavy fines 03/18/15 -- Three San Francisco men received thousands of dollars in fines and other penalties after pleading no contest to illegally poaching 59 abalone in November 2014. The daily bag limit for abalone is three. Jinfu Wu...Full Story
In Search of Hatchery Solutions
Salmon spawning photo courtesy of FISHBIO.com
By Erin Loury, FISHBIO.com
03/17/15 -- [Posted with permission of FISHBIO] As discussed in a recent Fish Report, the hatchery system in California is currently facing a growing number of concerns about the role fish hatcheries should play in helping wild...Full Story
Please respect your catch and the law By Gary Heffley
03/17/15 -- The state has set aside many waters to be managed as catch and release “Wild Trout Waters.” For some there is not enough and for some too many. The state also manages many waters as “put and take,” where those...Full Story
One canary rockfish allowed in Oregon
Canary Rockfish, Photo courtesy of ODFW
03/15/15 -- Although Oregon’s Fishery managers still encourage conservation practices ocean anglers will be able to retain one canary rockfish as part of their marine daily bag limit beginning March 11 -- a move intended to reduce...  Full Story
How to Repair Aluminum Boat Hulls
Repair of a transom damaged this severely takes a great deal of experience working with aluminum. Photo by Don Stec
Photos and article by Don Stec
03/14/15 -- Today there is a lot of talk in the trade magazines about aluminum and how difficult it is to repair. It is different from steel, but it can be repaired with the proper training and equipment. What is much more uncommon...Full Story
New Regs: Lingcod up; black rockfish down
Black and yellow ground fish photo courtesy of CA DFW
03/12/15 -- Anglers will be able to take three instead of two lingcod but only five black rockfish instead of 10 per day off California’s coast this season. Yesterday, the California Fish and Game Commission adopted these and other...Full Story
Chinook Salmon Abundance: 2014 vs. 2015
 Annual Sacramento Index (SI), including harvest and escapement, and 2015 PFMC forecast of SI.
By Erin Loury, FISHBIO
03/10/15 -- The Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) releases two key documents each February related to salmon abundance: a Review of Ocean Salmon Fisheries, which evaluates the status of salmon fisheries on the West...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
Humbug to Horse Mountain: 1.3 million kings!
Chinook salmon caught and being held up by Larry Ellis, photo by Larry Ellis
On Oregon Waters by Larry Ellis
02/27/15 -- This year, at least 1,298,600 adult Chinook are expected to be finning their way through the ocean in the KMZ, otherwise known as the Klamath Management Zone, an area that spans from Humbug Mountain, Oregon to Horse...  Full Story
Some steelhead & salmon tags carry reward 02/26/15 -- Successful north coast steelhead and salmon anglers could catch a $10-50 reward for returning their fish tags this season. Of the more than 4,500 fish that were tagged, 3,000 are eligible for a cash reward...Full Story
Mt. Shasta free kids fishing days set
2 men with thier daughters on Free Fishing Day at Mt. Shasta Fish Hatchery, photo by Gary Heffley
By, Gary Heffley
02/14/15 -- Three of my favorite days of the year are spent at the Mt. Shasta Fish Hatchery volunteering at the California Department of Wildlife’s Free Kids Fishing Days. Monty Currier of the CDFW has announced that the free...Full Story
Local lakes on CTT schedule
Keith Bryan with the fish that sealed the win and new world record at Melones
By Jason Haley
01/03/15 -- California Tournament Trail (CTT), the self-proclaimed Working Man’s Tournament Circuit, opened its doors in January 2014 at Lake Oroville and wrapped-up a successful inaugural season at Clear Lake in June... Full Story
Ocean climate revealed in tree rings
Large standing trees in a green pasture, photo by FISHBIO
By Erin Loury, FISHBIO
12/23/14 -- Scientists have tried many approaches to unravel the complex puzzle of past ocean climates. Now, a recent study in the journal Science uses an unlikely source to put the pieces together: tree rings. The study's authors found... Full Story
Bottomfish anglers get knuckles rapped
pacific Halibut
Tom Marking GAP Sport Representative
11/20/14 -- We North Coast rockfish anglers are a victim of our own success! 2014 has been an eventful year for many reasons, but there are definitely winners and losers on the horizon. In a nutshell, halibut is a win/lose... 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
A primer on fishing Lake Shasta By Gary Heffley
01/01/12 -- Shasta Lake draws more visitors to Shasta County than any other single attraction. While it is often a challenge to fish, it is more likely to produce stringers of fat trout or spotted bass. Trout to four and five pounds are caught here routinely...Full Story
Lake Oroville; 'tis the season By Chuck Giles
01/11/12 – Lake Oroville is probably one of the best lakes for sheer numbers of Spotted Bass in Northern California. This is not just on a seasonal basis, but year round. To start, I have a list of baits that produce decent results... Full Story

 

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