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Whiskeytown/Keswick fishing boom!

By Jeff Goodwin
05/19/16 -- The winter of 2016 has provided a re-birth of sorts to the lakes and reservoirs in NorCal, and especially to those bodies of water here in Shasta County. Whiskeytown Lake and Keswick Reservoir, among others, are teeming with very healthy populations of aquatic life, and the Kokanee and trout that live within these bodies of water are thriving. Not only have the current populations of fish benefited from the great winter we have seen, but the future generations of fish populations that are now present after a very successful spawn, will surely thrive in these same waters in the coming years. As I continue to spend time on the water heading into the summer months, I can honestly say that I've never seen such a healthy population of Kokanee and trout swimming these waters.

Chuck Steen and Shawn Montgomery with limits of Kokanee, photo by Jeff Goodwin
Whiskeytown Lake Kokanee fishing is "red hot!" Just look at the mess of Kokanee Chuck Steen and Shawn Montgomery of Palo Cedro caught this week!

Whiskeytown Lake Kokanee are growing rapidly this year, and the sheer numbers are impressive to say the least. I could easily run 2-3 full boat trips a day and limit my clients without question. Aside from some dramatic change in their environment, I would expect this trend to continue well into the heat of the summer and into the fall. I can't think of a better time than now to book a trip for these fat, feisty Kokanee salmon. I have many openings in my boat and also in partner boats for anyone who is interested in putting a Kokanee trip together. The good news gets even better though, and I am pleased to say that there are other fantastic opportunities for great fishing available as well.

brown trout in net, photo by Jeff Goodwin
A hefty Keswick brown trout in the authors net awaiting release

I spend a considerable amount of time fishing Keswick Reservoir for keeper size and trophy rainbow and brown trout as well. We are already seeing "limits" style fishing and the larger trout are beginning to recover from their successful spawning period. Because of the always changing environment associated with flows from Shasta Dam, I have developed several techniques for catching Keswick trout that have proven to be very effective. I'm very excited to be able to share this fishery with my clients again this year. I've caught trout to 7 lbs so far and its just a matter of time before I get more clients into that fish of a lifetime.

Jeff Goodwin with trout, by Jeff Goodwin
Keswick brown trout caught by the author

Not only is the fishing very good, but Keswick is a quiet, and peaceful place to spend a day on the water. There is very little access to Keswick and the water usually runs in the low 50's all year long. This keeps recreational use to a minimum and has become one of my favorite places to fish. I would, and do, recommend Keswick as a top choice for my clients when choosing a great place to spend a day on the water.

Jeff Goodwin is a full time Northern California fishing guide and owner of Shasta Bass Baits where he manufactures and sells custom made bass baits. He guides year round for salmon, trout, steelhead, Kokanee, and bass on Northern California rivers and lakes. He fishes many bodies of water in the Redding area, but also spends many days of the year fishing on the Klamath River chasing ocean fresh King salmon and steelhead. To learn more about the fishing trips Jeff offers or to check out his Shasta Bass Baits, please visit Jeff Goodwin's Guide Service or Shasta Bass Baits at Facebook, Instagram, or feel free to call him anytime at (707) 616-1905 or (530) 510-2925.

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german brown trout in Modoc creek.
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green sturgeon
By Erin Loury, FISHBIO
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