August 18, 2016    Headlines
Sac Salmon Still Slow
Fish off the Coast Pushing Up

Upper Sac Salmon Slooooooowly Improving
The salmon action on the upper Sac river is slowly improving as fresh fish make their way up. Guide Dave Jacobs reported Thursday 8-18 that salmon fishing is slow for most but the guides out every day are seeing 1 to 3 quality bright salmon. Dave says the key is to find a quiet piece of water with a few holding fish and to have quality baits in the water. Boat traffic is a bite killer right now and finding "a spot" away from traffic in the early morning is key to success. Dave says his best action has been working the holes from Chico on up to Red Bluff where water temps are much colder than the middle river. Nearly all of his action has been coming on plugs wrapped with quality sardine strips which Dave scored a couple of months ago. The roe bite is still slow but but will pick up as more fish push up and slow down. He says that every day this past week he is metering more fish and scores for the top guides are slowly following. Dave has space available and has a network of guides to hook readers up with for those looking to get out at the last minute.

Main Stem Sac Salmon Still Slow but Giving Up a Few
Alan Fong of the Fishermen’s Warehouse in Sacramento reported Sunday 8-14 the best salmon action in the area is around Verona with sardine-wrapped Kwikfish or Silverton spinners on the anchor. The Discovery Park area is limited to a few fish per day for those out on the water before first light, but once 8:00 a.m. arrives, it is time to pack up.
Near Ord Bend, guides are seeing 0 to 2 fish per boat and the action has been very slow near Woodson Bridge. There are just very few fish in the middle upper Sac system so far and anyone (and there are a few out in fantasy and facebookland) that are proclaiming "good" fishing are just full of fish crap. That said, we have much higher and colder water flows this season and lots of fish (compared to last year) being landed outside the Golden Gate. Many of those fish are now making their way through the Bay, Delta and far lower Sac and should arrive on the middle / upper Sac soon.
Guide Dave Jacobs reports they are workign to put a fish or two in the boat each day but they are hooking some chrome fish to 20 pounds.
J. D. Richey of Richey’s Sport Fishing has cancelled his trips for the next three days due to the slow bite and not wanting to charge his clients for an inconsistent bite, but he said, “Things look perfect on the river, and all we need is the fish to arrive.”
Through Hamilton City and on up through Red Bluff it's the same slow bite and everyone waiting on those fish in the Delta and out the Golden Gate to push on up.

The Feather River near Nicholas and the Outlet Hole has also been producing a few salmon but let me emphasize a FEW. Even the top guides are working very hard to put their clients into a fish or two. The majority of the action so far has been on plugs in the wee early hours before there is any light on the water.

Sacramento River/Metropolitan Area:
There are a few salmon trickling through the Old Sacramento River. On Thursday 8-11 captain Stan Koenigsberger of Quetzal Adventures out of Bethel Harbor went out on his first salmon charter of the season, and he put 11 year-old Eric Almarinez of Fairfield onto a 17-pound, 10-ounce salmon on a custom single blade chartreuse spinner. This proves once again, anything can happen when you have a line in the water.
Uncle Larry Barnes of Sacramento Pro Tackle said, “There are a few salmon in the Sacramento River at the mouth of the American for those jigging, and there is also a bite in the American below Howe Avenue near the college for those anchoring up and jigging.” The majority of fish have yet to arrive.

Sacramento River/Feather Rivers:
Johnson’s Bait in Yuba City reported Thursday 8-11 the salmon action is starting to pick up for those throwing spinners and corkies from the bank near the Outlet Hole on the Feather River. The flows are still high, and once the flows back off in the Feather, the salmon should start to hold in the river longer from Boyd’s Pump upriver. Anchoring with sardine-wrapped Brad’s Killer Fish or Kwikfish remain the top technique. Striper fishing is good on the Yuba River and there is an intermittent bite on the Feather. Anchovies have been the top bait.

Sacramento River:
J.D. Richey of Richey’s Sport Fishing has returned from the Togiak River in Alaska, and he plans on starting working the Woodson Bridge section of the Sacramento River by mid-August before heading up to the Trinity and Klamath Rivers in September and October. He said, “This is the first time I have felt positive about the salmon run on the Sacramento River since 2011 since the majority of smolts were transported to the net pens three years ago, and with the 12.7 million fish released, they have a far higher survival rate. With the high water this year from the releases out of Oroville and Folsom along with the coming cold water out of Shasta, this should be a good season. Plus the salmon are just now starting to show up along the coast. The fish should be coming.” Well JD we can confirm they are! Outside the Golden Gate we has seen far higher counts than last season and there are also schools of fish working through the waters off Bodega Bay. After months of dead slow action (other than the Golden gate) out of most ports we are seeing an influx of both spawn run (breeders) and (feeder) salmon off the Marin and Sonoma coastlines. These fish are staging and will be making a move into the Delta and Central Valley rivers in the next several weeks. This writer was very pessimistic in early July but I'm signing a far more optimistic tune now with the recent influx of fish pushing down along the coast.
You can thank the Golden Gate Salmon Association for nearly every salmon that will be taken along the coast or in the CV rivers this season. The majority of the fish that are being caught along the coast now are of hatchery organ. Thanks to GGSA convincing the state and the Feds to truck fish around the warm river flows and Delta water diversions the past three years we are seeing those fish returning now. If not for trucking we would have likely seen far fewer salmon and possibly no season at all if not for their efforts. That said GGSA needs the support of sport anglers and guides in the Central Valley to continue to return out salmon fisheries to their glory. This cannot be done without the support of YOU sport anglers.  

The section of the Sacramento River from the
Deschutes Road bridge to the Red Bluff Diversion Dam opened Monday August 1st and like the lower river opener the bite was slow. A few fish were taken off the Barge Hole among the few dozen boats working the choice spots from here to Red Bluff. There are schools of salmon pushing through the upper Delta and Metro Sac section and several salmon have been landed in Benicia off the shoreline in the past few days. Overall with higher colder river flows and fish pushing up in late August is a great sign of better things to come.

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