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Late summer lake salmon and trout bite on!

Article and photos By Jeff Goodwin
09/05/16 -- NorCal water temps are on the drop and that means anglers are going to see an increase in their bites on their favorite lakes and reservoirs. The fish are still fairly deep making downriggers a necessity when trolling for landlocked King's, Kokanee salmon, and trout. I've been fishing both Shasta and Whiskeytown Lakes recently and I'm catching fish at 90' and 70' feet respectively. Because the cool thermoclines are still sitting at those depths, the trout and lake salmon are staying down where its cool. Things are about to change though, because I've seen both lakes come down about 4-5 degrees in just a week.

Jaynie Goodwin with rainbow trout, by Jeff Goodwin
Jaynie Goodwin with a great Shasta Lake rainbow trout she caught while trolling a Dick Nite UV dodger and a Kokanee fly.

Shasta Lake is really fishing very well for both rainbow trout and King salmon. Places like Digger Bay, Shasta Dam, and Bridge Bay have been producing well for me and I'm catching limits every trip out. I rely a lot on my electronics, but don't be afraid to fish above or below the fish you are marking. In general, I'm finding most of my bites near the 90' mark. Multi pound King salmon and rainbow trout are feeding heavily on shad and their bellies are stuffed with them. Blue and white baits are working well for me, but I've seen some of my biggest rainbows come on my pink Kokanee fly's. PLine Sunrise 2.5" squid are one of my top baits currently and work even better with some Pro-Cure anchovy gel scent. Trolling Dick Nite UV dodgers at 1.5 - 1.7 mph in front of the baits seems to be pulling the most strikes. Don't let the soft bites fool you, because at 90' there isn't a lot of bounce in the rod tips. I've been surprised many times by the size of the trout when they finally get close to the boat.

Shasta Lake Trout, by Jeff Goodwin
Beautiful Shasta Lake rainbow trout caught with a Dick Nite UV dodger and a pink Kokanee fly tied by Jeff Goodwin.

Whiskeytown Lake is still fishing very good and 50-70' is where most of my bites have been coming from, although I caught fish recently at 85' just out of curiosity. Orange Kokanee fly's started out red hot some days, but the pink baits have been solid every trip out still. I recently started using some blue 2.5" PLine Sunrise squid and have been catching plenty of Kokanee and a few Kings on those baits as well. 1.1 - 1.5 mph is still the sweet speed for trolling for Kokanee. I'm still using corn dipped in garlic scent and can honestly say its making a solid difference with bites or no bites.

Noah Levine with Kokanee salmon, by Jeff Goodwin
Noah Levine of Palo Alto, Ca. with a great Whiskeytown Lake Kokanee salmon he caught while fishing with Jeff Goodwin Guide Service.

I'm still booking trips on the lakes and my clients are having a blast! I have been catching limits on every trip and my clients are going home with some nice big bags full of fillets. The Kokanee quality will begin to diminish as fall approaches when they take on their spawning colors so I would consider fishing within the next month or so before they turn. The rainbow trout and King salmon in Shasta Lake are looking great for the most part, but we are releasing a few with parasites. These fish will really shape up with the colder water coming, and with all the water we still have in Shasta and Whiskeytown Lakes, I think we are in for some really good fishing this fall!

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 many bodies of water in the Redding area, but also guides the Sacramento River as far down as Colusa during certain seasons. Jeff can also be found on the Klamath River chasing ocean fresh King salmon and steelhead in August each year. To learn more about the fishing trips Jeff has to offer, please visit Jeff Goodwin's Guide Service at You can also find him on Facebook,or please feel free to call him anytime at (707) 616-1905.

Fishing Reports

A Hot Summer’s Day on Chico Creek
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Brownie’s Choice
Art work by Isabella Langaman
By Don Webster
Disregard the story’s title. I don’t really have a “first” name. If I did, it would probably be something like Leviathan or Behemoth or maybe Lunker. Officially, I’m a trout. A brown trout. A giant, brown trout. Possibly the biggest, fattest...Full Story
Keddie Ridge
Scouting Deerheart Lake, photo by Phil Akers
Article and photos by Phil “Flip” Akers
11/14/15 -- Adjacent to both Lake Almanor and Mountain Meadows, between the towns of Westwood and Greenville, is a seemingly forgotten piece of backcountry; Keddie Ridge – aka Ridge World – where ancient rocks... Full Story
Let’s check out the Upper Sac
Lake Siskiyou with Mt. Shasta standing sentinel. photo by Phil Akers
Article and photos by Phil "Flip" Akers
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
How to make Tuscan Tuna Salad with Fennel By Frank Galusha
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German brown trout afternoon in Modoc
german brown trout in Modoc creek.
By Lea Huetteman
09/04/14 -- Catching a German Brown Trout from the creeks in Modoc County is a fine way to spend an afternoon. There are many creeks in this part of California that drain the Warner Mountains. Stream trout fishing in this region opens...Full Story
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
08/20/14 -- Our wilderness areas are special, where Mother Nature is landlord and natural forces operate freely. Within the wilderness you will find no roads, shelters, picnic tables, toilets, or other conveniences. You enter at...Full Story
Humboldt Bay: Busy port, excellent fishery
Woodley Island Marina, Humboldt Bay, Eureka, California
03/06/04 -- Humboldt Bay, a busy commercial harbor and home port to many charter and private offshore fishing boats, is also popular with shore-based anglers and small boaters seeking bottomfish, sharks, crabs and clams...Full Story
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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