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Sac River Thanksgiving steelhead fishing

By Jeff Goodwin
11/22/16 -- The holiday season is upon us and with many people taking a little time off of work, it's the perfect time to get out to do some Sacramento River steelhead/trout fishing. The fishing has remained pretty good over the past week with the exception of a short blow out the river experienced on Sunday. With an extreme period of heavy rain Sunday morning, the Sac River came up rapidly and the feeder creeks in the Redding area pushed a bunch of muddy water into the Sacramento River all the way through town. By mid day only a small section of the Sac above the Posse Grounds remained fishable. Thankfully, the poor water conditions were short lived and the river was fishable by Monday morning.

I found some excellent steelhead fishing Friday and Saturday and expect the good Sacramento River fishing to continue into December before I switch gears and start fishing Shasta Lake for big rainbows and browns. There is a descent egg pattern bite in Redding, but it's not red hot. I've been having the most success back trolling small plugs, especially on the rainy days. There is a lot of grass in the river so checking your plugs often is recommended. The Steelhead do not hit plugs that have grass hanging off of them and the plugs won't fish properly when fouled up.

Steelhead by Jeff Goodwin
Jeff Goodwin holds a nice example of a Redding area steelhead you can catch during your trip while fishing with him. Photos by Jeff Goodwin.

The steelhead can be found throughout the river right now, but working the current seams is always a good bet. These fish are hanging on the edges just inside of the faster flows so boat control is very important. If your moving downstream too fast or if you are moving from side to side too much, the steelhead will just move around your offerings. Working the water slowly and systematically will yield the best results. Make sure to add some Pro-Cure gel scent to your plugs if you fish them and make sure your hook barbs are completely pinched down so the wild steelhead can be easily released.

Tim Duellman of Sacramento, Ca. holds up his first steelhead of the day caught during a recent trip with Jeff Goodwin Guide Service.
Tim Duellman of Sacramento, Ca. holds up his first steelhead of the day caught during a recent trip with Jeff Goodwin Guide Service.

This is a special fishery and can produce excellent fishing action not often found on California waters anymore. If you would like to get out and learn how to be successful on this section of the Sacramento River or would just like to spend a relaxing day on the river catching beautiful steelhead trout, give me a call and I can get your day scheduled. I run conventional gear steelhead trout trips out of my 24' Willie jet boat and enjoy the reputation of being one of the top steelhead fishing guides on the Sacramento River.

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 jeffgoodwinfishing.com/sacramento-river-fishing/ You can also find him on Facebook,Instagram, and Twitter, or please feel free to call him anytime at (707) 616-1905.


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german brown trout in Modoc creek. MyOutdoorBuddy.com
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