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North State anglers finding success

Gary Heffley, author photo, myoutdoorbuddy.com, Norcal Fish Reports.com

By Gary Heffley
01/06/16 -- The new year has welcomed North State anglers not only with welcome rainfall but with some outstanding fishing opportunities between storms for the meek fair weather enthusiast and even during the storms for the hardy hardcore. Granted even the fair weather angler will be met with cold mornings for sure and probably a little bit of a cold breeze that can bite right through light clothing throughout the day. Remember it is winter, so dress accordingly with layered clothing and if the temperature warms up during the day the ability to shed layers to remain comfortable. A good set of rain gear is also high priority as being cold is one thing but wet and cold is a whole other set of misery.

Lake Shasta has been fishing very well for bass and trout. Many bass anglers are scoring easy limits, with many practicing catch and release and scoring catch rates into the twenties. Rock outcroppings and rock walls along the main lake arms are producing well with many bass coming off dart heads, drop shot and small jig techniques.

I was out last Tuesday and witnessed catches on dart heads, shaky heads and crawdad jig presentations as well as on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and live minnows. Many of the bass taken were attacking the plastics on the fall or from anglers working the bottom with a slow drift.

Trout are also producing well. Trolling minnow/shad imitation spoons and hard baits are doing well on the main lake body. Some trollers are using electronics and downriggers to target larger browns with success at depth.

Baum Lake is another great option for brown trout. While cold temperatures and some snow have kept many away I have reports of outstanding fishing for some that have braved the weather and enjoyed some excellent fishing tossing Kastmaster spoons and Panther Martin Spinners. Baum is an excellent winter fishery for big browns.

The Sacramento River in the Redding area has also been producing very nice native rainbows for fly anglers in between storms. Rubber legs and Flashback Pheasant tails have been doing well under an indicator. Waders and bank anglers have also been picking up rainbows swinging flies. River conditions are often great in even a day or two after a rain as Lake Shasta is capturing and holding most all of the runoff from north of the dam. The river clears quickly from the local runoff in most cases and often fishes well in a light rain or during intermittent showers.

Do remember that the new 2016 fishing license is needed before venturing out to try your luck. And as always make sure to carry regulations and know the regulations for the area you are fishing in. There are many special regulations and closures during the winter and there are some areas like Baum Lake that many do not realize is open for fishing and not subject to the general trout season regulations although the adjacent Hat Creek and the Cassel Forebay ( aka Middle Hat Creek) areas are closed.

Gary Heffley has been a valued contributor to MyOutdoorBuddy for over seven years serving as manager, sales representative and reporter for much of Northern California. He is an avid outdoorsman and loves to fish and write about his adventures. He has long history in the Sporting Goods field and is presently managing the Gift Bar and Camping Department at Sportsman’s Warehouse in Redding.


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