First, the Feather River Hatchery — there are almost triple the number of salmon there compared to last year. The recent count of salmon arriving at the hatchery is slightly more than 14,500. Last year’s count was just over 5,300. It’s a good sign.
The number of salmon at the American River Hatchery is also good. Recently more than 3,200 adult kings were counted along with more than 500 jacks. Last year the count was 851 adults and 128 jacks — also a good sign.
It’s a banner crabbing year along the coast. Private boaters and charter boats are finding easy limits before noon from Eureka to Monterey. “The best I’ve ever seen,” one captain said.
Weather permitting, it appears he is right. One boat with a full load of passengers out of Eureka checked in with limits for all by 10:30 a.m.
More striped bass are moving in. Bay anglers are finding large schools of linesides just outside of Vallejo and more stripers have moved up the Sacramento River as well. Action has been good from Antioch all the way to the mouth of the Feather River at Verona. Most fish are weighing from 6 to 10 pounds.
The schools are moving up fast according to one guide who said, “You have to keep an eye out to watch what’s happening and follow the schools.”
In the foothills, Lake Amador near Ione is producing trout for both shore anglers and trollers. Rapala lures are best for trollers and PowerBait is working for shoresters. Two to 5 pounds is the norm in weight.
The crappie bite has slowed a bit but more bass are showing up according to Sandy at the marina. The lake is 13 feet from the top thanks to recent storms.
Planting is the key at Lake Camanche as 10,000 pounds of trout are scheduled to be dropped in the lake every month until May. Toplining near the surface with Rapala lures has been better for taking trout.
Weekly trout plants into New Melones Lake near Angel’s Camp have begun and will continue over the winter months. A few more Mackinaw have shown up at Jenkinson Lake in Sly Park. .
In the high country, Eagle Lake near Susanville is still rewarding those who brave the cold weather. The fish are in the top 10 feet of water and will feed all day. Over at Almanor near Chester, winds have slowed the bite and kept anglers home.
Finally, the baffler: What’s the most expensive fishing lure? It costs $1 million and is 12 inches long. It’s made of gold, silver, diamonds and rubies. Any takers?