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2016 starts off with a splash!

Jeff Goodwin author photo,

By Jeff Goodwin
01/09/16 -- 2015 is history, and 2016 is off to a great start for NorCal anglers. We have been experiencing some wet weather here in Shasta County, but that hasn't kept the fish from splashing their way into local angler's nets. Before this last storm system, I had been finding fairly good bass and trout fishing in local waters for this time of year. The good fishing should hold up if we don't get too much rain all at once.

The trout fishing has remained fairly consistent both on local lakes and on the Sacramento River. Even though we have seen a fair amount of rain over the past week or so, both the Sacramento River in Redding and local lakes have remained in good shape. This makes for conditions on the water which are conducive to productive fishing trips. With water visibility still very good, both fly anglers and conventional anglers are attracting fish to their offerings and the catch numbers certainly do reflect it. The Sacramento River below the areas major tributaries tells somewhat of a different story, and the river is off color and pretty much un fishable at the time of this report. Shasta Lake is also getting some color from run off after the heavy rains we have seen the past few days. Time will tell just how much color we actually see in Shasta Lake after more storms continue to make their way over the north state in the coming weeks.

Jeff Goodwin on Shasta Lake with Spooted Bass, Photo courtesy of Jeff Goodwin
Jeff Goodwin on Shasta Lake with an average spotted bass caught on a football jig finesse bait. Photos courtesy of author

Shasta Lake Bass fishing has been pretty solid this past week as well. Its certainly not currently what I'd call "very good", but its definitely still worth the trip out, and limits can be had if you find the fish. I've been finding some good bass fishing up the Shasta arm of late, and its running a bit clearer than the main body of the lake as well. Fishing finesse baits in 25-35' of water seems to be a good place to start. Also, try looking for some structure off the pinnacles and points in that depth range and you should find some fish. Once you find school of bass, stick with them and make sure your presentations are quite slow. The water temps are in the high 40's now in most parts of the lake so the bass aren't really chasing baits now. I've been finding success with soft baits made by Barry Ng of Rainbow Worms, and I'm finding that baits in green pumpkin are taking most of the fish.

John Sanderson holding rainbow trout, photo courtesy of Jeff Goodwin
John Sanderson of Oak Harbor, Wa. caught this nice rainbow trout on a recent trip with Jeff Goodwin's Guide Service.

All in all, I think we are in good shape. We are getting some much needed rain here in the valley, and we are getting a lot of snow in the higher elevations. As long as the storms continue to give us breaks, most of the waters here in Shasta County should remain fishable for the time being. I'm making another trip up to fish the Clearwater River in Idaho next week. This will be my second annual trip up to Idaho to fish for the giant B-run steelhead. Its an awesome fishery they have up there, and I'll be sure to share some pics and stories of the trip when I get back.

Jeff Goodwin is a full time Northern California fishing guide. He guides year round for salmon, trout, steelhead, Kokanee, and bass on Northern California rivers and lakes. He fishes primarily on the Sacramento River, but also spends many days of the year fishing on The Klamath/Trinity River systems. Jeff also guides on local lakes during certain periods of the year. To learn more about the fishing trips Jeff offers, please visit Facebook, Instagram,, or feel free to call him at (707) 616-1905.

Fishing Reports

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Art work by Isabella Langaman
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Scouting Deerheart Lake, photo by Phil Akers
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Lake Siskiyou with Mt. Shasta standing sentinel. photo by Phil Akers
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09/06/15 -- The Upper Sacramento River – The Upper Sac – begins at Lake Siskiyou’s Box Canyon Dam and continues ~37 miles downstream to Lake Shasta. It is a classic freestone river born from the Mt. Shasta and Mt. Eddy... Full Story
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german brown trout in Modoc creek.
By Lea Huetteman
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Throw the kitchen sink at them
Indian Paintbrush is a favorite wildflower that carpets wilderness landscapes. Phil Flip Akers,
Article and photos by Phil Akers
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Woodley Island Marina, Humboldt Bay, Eureka, California
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Pulled into the pipes: Green Sturgeon
green sturgeon
By Erin Loury, FISHBIO
03/04/14 -- [Posted with permission of FISHBIO] Living in the Sacramento River can be a risky business for juvenile green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris). The young fish must swim through a gauntlet of water... Full Story
Not Just Any Fish
California Golden Trout, California Heritage Trout Challenge, Not Just Any Fish, Phil
By Phil "Flip" Akers
02/14/13 -- Trout have inhabited California waters from the Sierra Nevada and Warner Mountains to the Pacific Ocean since prehistoric times. However, most of the trout caught by anglers are either hatchery raised fish...Full Story


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