Butte County area fishing reports
By Chuck Giles
05/23/13 -- Memorial Day is fast approaching. Many of you will be spending the time fishing on your favorite waters. I have decided to compile a list of some possible angling destinations in and around the Butte County area.
My time spent at Fins, Fur and Feather Sports (FFF) in Paradise affords me the pleasure of talking with a ton of outdoors people during the week. Many are very good fishermen and I am grateful they provide me with current reports on local waters.
This lake, this time of year, offers phenomenal bass fishing and anglers report having days where 30-50 fish are boated.
If you are an early riser and can get on the water before the sun has a chance to brighten up the lake, throw top water offerings. Zara Spooks, Pop Rs and even frogs. You need not focus on the shoreline with these baits. Even open water can produce a surprise taker.
As the day progresses, locate mud lines and toss spinner baits parallel to the shoreline. Lucky Craft pointers or shallow diving Rapalas can be irresistible to a bass as well in murky water.
As usual, Senkos, either wacky-rigged or dart-headed, can be deadly all over the lake. Seek out rock walls, bridge pilings and points with cover and structure. Remember, when fishing with Senkos just a small twitch of the rod is sufficient to entice a spotted bass to investigate. Keep an eye on your line as it is sinking and watch for any little twitch or change of direction; that is a fish, set the hook!
I finally received some credible reports on the coho fishing at Lake Oroville this week. Several trollers have bagged some very nice, fat salmon down at the 30 foot depth. Use a Shasta Tackle Sling Blade trailed with a threaded night crawler or white hootchie. The North Fork and between the dam and the green bridge at the south end have produced well.
This mountain impoundment is a jewel requiring somewhat of a drive, but well worth the fishing and the scenery. Philbrook was recently planted; however, there are some year-round brown and rainbow trout that are going after PowerBait and night crawlers with a vengeance. Boats of all sizes are allowed here as well, so you don’t have to stay on shore. All the snow has poured off into the mountain creeks and streams, so it is possible to access the lake in a two wheel drive vehicle.
Philbrook is located above the mountain community of Innskip. Just follow the Skyway through Paradise, Magalia, Stirling City and Innskip. When you reach the fork on the paved road, bear right and follow the signs. You do have a short stretch of unpaved highway to negotiate, but it has been recently graded.
Just prior to the Kid’s Fishing Day in April, Paradise Lake was stocked with some trophy rainbows and Eagle Lake hybrids. Since the official opening a few weeks back, and an additional plant, there has been steady action from both the shore and boats.
Shore anglers thread on night crawlers with a floating marshmallow held on the bottom with a quarter ounce sliding sinker. Rainbow PowerBait is a perennial favorite here also. Use a small treble hook to really hold the doughy concoction securely.
Kastmasters are on the list of fish catchers here and can be fished from both shore and trolled slowly behind your boat. Combination blue and silver along with all gold seem to be the best options.
Remember there are no gas-powered vessels permitted on Paradise Lake, so all you kayakers and canoe aficionados can have a ball here.
After a drive through Paradise on The Skyway, take a right on Coutelenc Road and follow the signs.
This small PG&E owned body of water is located right along The Skyway just outside of Magalia. Just recently and regularly planted, DeSabla provides some outstanding trout fishing for the shore angler. Most use PowerBait, but many are convinced a live cricket does better to tempt the rainbows found here. The bonus brown trout occasionally ends up on a stringer, or released to fight again by the fly anglers in their float tubes.
I am speaking of the Deer Creek area along Highway 32 between Chico and Chester. There are a few restrictions along this waterway, but above the falls, it is open and reports of quick limits of rainbows to 14 inches have been reported.
A single salmon egg on a gold hook drifted down stream has been working very well. This bite did seem to diminish after 11:00 a.m.
The striped bass run, at least for the bigger fish, has never really materialized so far this spring. That does not mean, however, that “schoolie-sized” stripers are not available to those drifting live jumbo minnows below Colusa.
Fluctuating water levels due to irrigation allotments have caused some issues recently, but seems to have improved, depending if you are a rice farmer or angler.
Several FFF customers have come in to purchase shad darts telling tales that the little rocket ships have arrived on the river in the Chico area. Every angler should have the pleasure of experiencing the fight these fish provide on ultra-light tackle. Find some riffles in the river, anchor well above them, throw your baits out and hang on. The drag setting on your reel will be tested a few times before you can net these fish.
As you can see, fishing is good pretty much everywhere in our area. Get out and wet a line, take a kid and sometime during the holiday, remind yourself of the real meaning of the holiday.
For other destinations in this area, check out the Butte County Page in MyOutdoorBuddy. You will undoubtedly find an interesting way to spend a day or two.
Fishing ReportsSalmon is Spotty above Happy Camp
09/25/16 -- Salmon fishing on the Klamath river above Happy Camp is spotty. We are seeing Salmon move up the river from Klamath Glen but getting them to bite has been tough. The Klamath is very clear and on the low side some...Full Story
Chetco Ocean Bubble Season Opens
09/24/16 -- The second to the last ocean salmon season, what ODFW calls the “2016 Chetco River Fall Chinook State Waters Terminal Area Season” will open exactly one week from today on Saturday, October 1. This year’s season will...Full Story
CDFW Reintroduces Rare Trout to McCloud
Pacific Halibut Closes Friday
09/22/16 -- North Coast offshore adventures will be limited to just rockfish come Saturday morning as the California Department of Fish and Wildlife announced on Wednesday the closing of the recreational Pacific halibut fishery on Saturday...Full Story
Hike For Fall Trout
09/21/16 -- Last Sunday morning I hiked into the Thousand Lakes Wilderness, which is located off Highway 89 in the Lassen National Forest roughly between Old Station and Burney. Along for the adventure was my buddy...Full Story
Sacramento River salmon run appears!
09/21/16 -- I've been on again, off again on our 2016 Sacramento River salmon season, but it appears as though the fish I've been waiting on since mid-August have finally arrived in descent numbers. Salmon fishing from Hamilton City to...Full Story
GGSA Red Bluff Salmon Derby Winner
Hat Creek Post Labor Day
09/20/16 -- Hat Creek after Labor Day continues to receive CDFW plantings. This is great news for those anglers looking for uncrowded conditions with plenty of fish to go around. I stopped by Rim Rock Ranch for information on the...Full Story
All-depth groundfish fishery reopens Oct. 1
Getting out of the North Valley heat By Gary Heffley
9/13/16 -- The Redding area has been hot both in temperature and the fishing. Nothing can beat the outstanding trout fishing on the Sacramento River in Redding, the Kokanee fishing of Whiskeytown or the trout trolling successes enjoyed by...Full Story
Poachers fined for illegal abalone
Run4Salmon traces salmon's journey
CDFW Makes Buying a License Easier
Military Vets Fish Salmon Out the Gate
Buoy 10 Chinook season goes to Sept. 14 09/01/16 -- Recreational anglers will get an additional nine days to harvest Chinook salmon at the mouth of the Columbia River under a season extension approved today by fishery managers from Oregon and Washington...Full Story
Sea Otter Shootings in Santa Cruz County
A Hot Summer’s Day on Chico Creek
07/25/16 -- I’ve been exploring Northern California’s streams -- above and below the surface -- for most of my life. One of my most memorable adventures took place on a hot summer’s day in 1964, not long after my sixteenth...Full Story
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
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
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
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
Fishing the Klamath below JC Boyle Dam
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
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
German brown trout afternoon in Modoc
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
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
Pulled into the pipes: Green Sturgeon
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
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
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