SACRAMENTO — Salmon fishing continued to be very good on the Sacramento River. Beautiful kings are being caught virtually throughout the long stretch of river open to fishing from the Delta to the Deschutes River Bridge near Anderson.
Kirk Portocarrero of Sacriverguide.com said the second salmon opener on the Sacramento River above the Red Bluff Diversion Dam the “best opener in 8 or 9 years.” He said fishing was unbelievable and was done with limits all around by 8:30 a.m. He was surprised that there were more local anglers than guides fishing, and many went home with limits of nice kings.
“Unbelievable!” “Epic!” “Phenomenal!” were some of the superlatives being used to describe the opener. The fish were in especially nice condition, too, considering they were so far upstream. Don Davis of Milpitas caught the big fish of the day, a beautiful 27 pounder on a T-50 FlatFish at the mouth of Battle Creek.
Guide and owner of Salmon King Lodge, Bill Divens, has been fishing the Los Molinos area, but also moved up to the newly-opened stretch near Anderson after the Aug. 1 opener above Red Bluff. He started offering clients the option of half-day trips to avoid the intense mid-day heat. They may be short, but they’ve been productive, yielding one to four kings to 18 pounds an outing.
For example, Divens and his wife, Julie, took out their neighbors, Ron and Loree Winchell for just a few hours in the Cottonwood area, and they each caught beautiful kings after years of trying on their own without success.
Dave Jacobs of Professional Guide Service described the salmon fishing as the best in many, many years. He’s continued to fish below Red Bluff moving around among Red Bluff, Los Molinos, Hamilton City, and Chico, depending on where the fish were — or weren’t the day before, and boat pressure. He said his clients were catching 4 to 8 “really nice” kings daily on drifted and backbounced roe, and backtrolled Brad's Killerfish. Among some the nicer catches, Patrick Burr of Petaluma scored a pair of 22-pound cookie-cutter kings drifting roe.
Moving downstream, Bob Bradbury of Johnson’s Bait and Tackle provided a nice example of how good the salmon fishing is. He said a customer came in asking where to fish and what to use. Bradbury told him to troll Blue Fox spinners around Tisdale. The customer returned the next day saying he caught two kings following Bradbury’s advice.
Fishing was also pretty good around Sacramento, as well, according to Yee Vang of Broadway Bait Rod and Gun. He said there’s been some good salmon fishing from Miller Park to the mouth of the American River. Anglers were catching salmon by anchoring up with Kwikfish at Discovery Park, as well as trolling Silvertron spinners. Bankies also got in on the action. Leland Swonger of West Sacramento caught a 17 pounder from shore on Mepps Flying C spinners. Yee also said that some good catches of salmon were being made around Freeport.
Though most anglers were focusing on kings, Vang also said that fishing for striped bass and catfish has been pretty good in the Deep Water Channel. For example, Kevin Hill of Sacramento caught a 17-pound striper on a mudsucker.
BRIGHT KINGS ARE being caught out of the Sacramento River, and action is depedent on whether you're in a fresh run of fish or not. Here, 6-year old Connor Ortiz of Placerville, fishing with dad, Cos Ortiz and Mike Rasmussen, who is holding salmon, landed this beauty. The fish hit a sardine-wrapped KF-16 Brad's Killerfish. He was fishing with guide Dave Jacobs of Professional Guide Service.