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Barge Hole on fire for Chinook

By Francisco Garcia

9/23/11—If you want to catch a limit of salmon and you don’t mind the crowds, the Barge Hole, on the Sacramento River is the place to be. The salmon bite is hot in the upper section of the river near Coleman National Fish Hatchery. 

On Wednesday I went out with my brother and limited out by 1 p.m. We could have limited out sooner if not for some small dark jacks we turned back. On our previous trip we had limited out by 11:30 a.m. 

The bite seems to be best early in the morning and later in the evening.  The middle of the day, when the boat traffic slows to a crawl, is also not a bad time to seek some willing biters. As usual roe is the ticket.It’s been my experience that home cured roe works best, so if you can get it from a friend, it could be worth its weight in gold.  The preferred method is to back bounce it through the deep holes. Use just enough weight to keep it on the bottom but not so much that it hangs up on you.

The Barge is not a big hole and can get congested quickly. I didn’t keep count of how many times I saw two boats get several lines tangled with each other. 
If you prefer solitude and still have a good chance of catching a fish you can go below to Old Mouth or down to Jellys Ferry. I have seen some of the bigger fish come out of this stretch. 

On Thursday, I worked between Red Bluff and the Balls Ferry boat launch. There was a ridiculous amount of fish being caught in the Barge Hole. Almost everyone was limiting out. The average fish is still a small jack but they are fighters and still have good meat for the grill or smoker.  Out of the boats that I talked to, which was only 20, I counted 62 fish caught. Now that sounds like some catching not just fishing. Good Luck!

Fishing Reports

FISHBIO 5K Salmon Run is Saturday
Salmon Run 5K participants kick off the day of events. Photo by Fishbio
By Erin Loury, FISHBIO
04/27/15 -- Spring is here, and fish are on the move. Young fall-run Chinook salmon that hatched in Central Valley streams this winter are making their hazard-filled journey toward the ocean. Meanwhile, adult spring-run salmon are...Full Story
Family fishing event in Grants Pass 04/27/15 -- Enjoy a day of fishing at the Family Fishing event Saturday, May 2 at Reinhart Volunteer Park Pond in Grants Pass from 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. The pond is stocked with rainbow trout, including 200 in the 12 to 14-inch...Full Story
Hat Creek off to great start for trout season
The Bridge Campground along Hat Creek provided Matthew and Cecille from Happy Valley with a few 3-4 pound brook and rainbow trout during the general trout opener in California, which had a little bit of everything including snow for the anglers.
Article and photo by Mike Mogler
O4/26/15 -- Saturday, April 25 the general trout season opener for California and Hat Creek was on “fire” for angling that is. Friday night was wet and yes, snow fell on the campers along Hat Creek. I arrived at Old Station at 6:30 p.m...Full Story
OR salmon/halibut seasons open Friday
Ray Walthall from Medford limited out on striped surfperch, 5 in a row, photo by Larry Ellis
On Oregon Waters by Larry Ellis
04/25/15 -- Oregon and California anglers in the Klamath Management Zone (KMZ) who have been awaiting an agonizingly long 235 days to catch a Chinook since the closing of last year’s general ocean salmon season will finally...Full Story
Trout cooperate from boat or bank at Collins
The Coffman brothers caught two limits of trout on Shasta Lake, displayed here on fish hangers.
By Kathy Hess, Lake Reporter
04/25/15 -- In the past few days we received two trout plants, one from DFG and a private one with trophy sized trout and some of those with prize tags. This week produced many limits of trout along with a 7 pounder caught... Full Story
Whiskeytown kokes slow; Hat Creek opening
Fishing was slow at Whiskeytown on the 23rd but the kokanee are as fiesty as ever. Splash!
Article and photo by Mike Mogler
04/24/15 -- On Saturday, April 23 I had a great day fishing Whiskeytown Lake targeting kokanee. Catching wasn't so goood as I have had sporadic hook-ups at best. This time last year I have had several limits by now...Full Story
Oroville Area fishing and outdoor report By Craig Bentley
04/23/15 -- Lake Oroville’s surface elevation has been fluctuating a few inches in the last week and is now 763 feet. The surface temperature is back up now at 62 degrees. The water is clear up in the river arms and main body coves...Full Story
Controversial regs adopted for L. Klamath
Man holding 2 perch, one in each hand, arms crossed. Photo courtesy of the Samoa Peninsula Fire District
Fishing the North Coast by Kenny Priest
04/23/15 -- The new 2015 Klamath River regulations were approved on Friday, and a couple of them are likely to cause quite a stir amongst anglers. First the good news; we’re looking at a pretty decent return of adult salmon this year...Full Story
F&GC adopts in-river sport fishing regs 04/23/15 -- The California Fish and Game Commission adopted changes to the Central Valley and Klamath River basin salmon sport fishing regulations for the 2015 season on Friday, April 17. The changes include fall-run...Full Story
Opening weekend trout fishing report
Convict Lake in the Fall, photo by Elaine Quilici
By Don Quilici
04/23/15 -- This is my annual reminder that it’s almost time to have fun fishing in the Golden State once again. On Saturday, April 25 the 2015 fishing season will open for all applicable lakes, reservoirs, streams, creeks and river...Full Story
Perch’n on Peninsula tourney biggest ever
Oliver and Sammy Luna of McKinleyville fished at Stone Lagoon beach and caught these award winning perch. photo by Charlie Holthaus
Article and photos by Charlie Holthaus
04/22/15 -- The Samoa Peninsula Fire District’s 6th Annual Perch’n on the Peninsula, Surfperch Fishing Tournament and Fish Fry Fundraiser was a huge success. “The event was held on Saturday April 18 and more...Full Story
Tunnel Opponents: Brown breaks promise 04/22/15 -- Governor Brown promised the people of California that Proposition 1 (Water Bond) funds would not be used for the BDCP, but for dealing with the drought. Now, his administration admits that they could use money from...Full Story
Berryessa yields 10.5 lb. bass for Albert
Albert proudly shows off his 10.5 lb. bass! Photo to author, Lake Berryessa
By Sid Silberberg
04/22/15 -- Saturday I went out with Albert. We launched the boat at 10:30 a.m. and Albert asked his usual question "Where are we going to fish?" Looking at the surface water temperature which was almost 70 degrees...Full Story
Big Chico Creek - Summer Survey 2.0
divers in water and man sitting on bank taking notes for Survey of Big Chico Creek, photo courtesy of FISHBIO
By Erin Loury, FISHBIO
04/22/15 -- At FISHBIO, we believe in giving back to the waterways in our backyard. That's why we conducted a fish population survey in Big Chico Creek this past July for the second year running. Our 2014 effort expanded the geographic... Full Story
Full Throttle Sportfishing ready for salmon
Fishermen holding their Limits of salmon taken on board the Seaweasel II in 2014. Photo courtesy of Full Throttle Sportfishing
04/21/15 -- "It's all set!" says Capt. Gary Blasi of the boat Seaweasel II while referring to the upcoming ocean salmon seasons. "Salmon season will be from May 1st until September 7th. Halibut will be the first 15 days of each month until...Full Story
Factory rods vs. custom rods
Man fishing from boat, with C4 Custom Rod, photo by Jeff Goodwin
By Jeff Goodwin
04/21/15 -- In preparation for my spring rainbow trout season this year, I decided to change out my older rods for some new ones. As I searched for a rod that would fit my needs, I learned there just wasn't anything out there...Full Story
Ready to catch a salmon like this?
Imagine the thrill this young man and his family enjoyed after taking this enormous salmon last year onboard Capt. Ian Kramer’s boat Cuervo. Photo courtesy of Capt. Ian Kramer
By Frank Galusha
04/19/15 -- Joli Time Sport Fishing of Humboldt Bay specializes in salmon and halibut fishing on board the Bertram 31 Sportfisher, aka the Cuervo, for the ultimate in fishing fun. Captain Ian Kramer and the Cuervo will go to any depth... Full Story
Sardine Decline - Real or Imagined?
Pacific Sardine (Sardinops sagax caerulea), photo courtesy of NOAA FISHWATCH
By Tom Marking
04/18/15 -- Are we in “A State of Emergency” or are we watching “Murder at the PFMC.” The big news lately is the Emergency Action for closure of the Sardine Fishery. It’s been all over the news and was even published in the Wall Street... Full Story
KMZ salmon season finalized; lings biting!
 Soon Ae Phillips of Brookings was fishing with her husband aboard the High Hope II last week out of the Port of Brookings Harbor when she caught these two monster lingcod.
On Oregon Waters by Larry Ellis
04/18/15 -- It’s time to start counting backwards. Various fisheries representatives from Washington, Oregon and California spent last week in Rohnert Park, California, crunching numbers at the annual PFMC meeting until they...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
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
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
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
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
Only one Eagle Lake ramp to be open
 Eagle Lake low water ramp photo by Val Aubrey/
By Val Aubrey,
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
The Mystery of the Middle Fork, Part IV
Jim Broshears, author badge,
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.
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,
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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