CALIFORNIA'S ONLY SPORTSMAN'S NEWS SINCE 1953

Northern CA Freshwater

Sacramento River blows out, full of salmon again

BY ANDY MARTIN/WON Staff WriterPublished: Nov 29, 2018

RED BLUFF — Big numbers of king salmon stacked up at the Barge Hole early last week, then quickly moved to their spawning grounds as the Sacramento River blew out the day after Thanksgiving. When it dropped back into shape over the weekend, schools of fresh kings were spotted from Red Bluff to Anderson, an almost unheard of occurrence this late in the season.

“I got into a big school of them today,” guide Robert Weese of Northern California Guide Service said after fishing the Red Bluff area on Sunday. “There were 10 to 15 fish in a group, every 10 minutes. It was a really good plug bite.”


Weese said salmon stacked up at the Barge Hole the beginning of last week, but after nearly 3 inches of rain fell on Thanksgiving, the fish blasted up Battle Creek. New fish arrived on Sunday. “There were a lot of fish in there on Thanksgiving, and then Friday the river came up and all the fish were gone,” Weese said. “On Sunday there was a huge school between Bend Bridge and the Barge Hole. The fish were jumping everywhere.”


Rain is expected this week, and could blow the Sacramento River out again. If the river stays in shape, Weese said he expects good salmon fishing clear up until the mid-December closure. “We are just praying we don’t get too much rain and it gets too muddy,” Weese said. “There will be a bunch more steelhead and a lot more salmon coming for sure.”


Weese said he is running T55 FlatFish plugs with sardine wraps with good success. He also was able to catch some kings and steelhead over the weekend drifting roe with spinning rods.


Guide Kirk Portocarrero of SacRiverGuide said his clients got quick limits of late-fall kings on Sunday at the Barge Hole on FlatFish plugs. There are good numbers of big, fresh kings in the river above Red Bluff, Portocarrero said.


Trout fishing, meanwhile, is very good in the Redding area. Anglers drifting beads, Glo Bugs or roe late last week said they caught and released big numbers of fish. The river should remain fishable below Keswick Dam and above Anderson after this week’s rain.


sacramnetostripersSACRAMENTO STRIPERS CAN be caught year-round if you know how and where, and WON Staff Writer and guide Billy Driessen shows a pair he caught while fishing custom built Hiroshima Custom glidebaits recently. Both fish were revived and released safely.


sunrisesalmonSUNRISE SALMON — Mark Vanderlist of Davis shows off his 20-pound king salmon that he caught while fishing with Captain Monte Smith of Gold Country Sportfishing in the metropolitan area of Sacramento. The fish hit a Brads Cut plug behind a Pro Troll flasher with a Phenix rod.


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