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Red Bluff: Best Sacramento salmon action upstream from Woodson Bridge

BY ANDY MARTIN/WON Staff WriterPublished: Aug 07, 2019

RED BLUFF — After this past week’s generally good opener at the Barge Hole, anglers spread throughout the Sacramento River looking for the best salmon bite, and found the cooler water from Woodson Bridge upstream was producing the best action.

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IT WAS EARLY limits on the Barge Hole opener for guides Mike Rasmussen and Ryan Tripp of SalmonSacRiver.com and their clients, John Mcgee of Legal Limit Sportfishing of Vacaville, Adam Benoit, Danny Weir, his father Rob Weir, and Dustin Miller of Willows. They backtrolled Luhr Jensen KwikFish with a sardine wrap, beginning at the bottom of the hole and eventually moving above Battle Creek targeting fish pushed out by the mass of boats. They were limited by 9 a.m.

Most guides fared well at the Barge Hole on opening day, which was Aug. 1, and then many of them hit Red Bluff, Woodson Bridge and Corning, looking for schools of fresh kings moving upriver. “I fished the Barge Hole opening day, then went to Los Molinos and then went back to the Barge Hole today,” guide Robert Weese of Northern California Guide Service said Sunday evening “The last few days we have been getting three or four salmon a day, and sometimes two. It is up and down. Out of seven days, you have two or three really good days, and a couple of decent days and a couple of slow days.”


Weese said salmon are quickly moving through the Sacramento River because of warm water, before slowing down beginning at Woodson Bridge as they encounter cooler temperatures. “Anywhere north of Woodson Bridge you start getting into the better water temperatures,” Weese said. “It is 60, bumping to 61 at Woodson Bridge. It is 58 at Red Bluff. At the Barge Hole it is 54 to 56 degrees.”


T55 FlatFish have worked well in the mornings, Weese said, while drifting roe has produced later in the day. “I had a really good plug bite at the Barge Hole,” Weese said.


Guide Kirk Portocarreto of SacRiverGuide said the Barge Hole opener produced a good bite on big, bright fish for his customers. After the opener, he switched gears last week to the expanded trout fishery near Redding. The same day the Sacramento River opened above Red Bluff to salmon fishing, trout re-opened between Keswick Dam and the Highway 44 bridge. Fishing was good through the weekend on hard-fighting wild rainbows, Portocarrero said.


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RIVER KING — Scott Johnson of San Jose caught this 23-pound king using a T55 FlatFish with a secret sardine wrap while fishing the Sacramento River with guide Robert Weese of Northern California Guide Service.

freeportchinookFREEPORT CHINOOK — Jerad Palmer of Sacramento fished the Freeport area of the Sacramento River near Metro Sacramento for this nice early morning king salmon that hit a Brad’s K-15 Killerfish with a sardine wrap.

uppervalleybowsUPPER VALLEY ’BOWS — The trout fishing has been excellent between Red Bluff and Redding, and guide Robert Weese Took out Ashley and Charles Wyatt for a fun day of drift fishing the river and playing catch-and-release with double digit numbers of wild rainbows.

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