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.
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