Sacramento River & Feather River Salmon Fishing Report For: Northern California Salmon Fishing On August 16, 2017

      Unfortunately for the Sacramento River salmon fishing guides and recreational sport fishermen who are waiting for any signs of life to show up, indicating that the annual Fall Run Chinook Salmon on the Sacramento River have arrived; I'm afraid yet another week must pass and the fingers are going to have to stay crossed, as very minimal reporting has come in from the Sacramento River since this last salmon fishing report came out on August 3, 2017.  A handful of reports trickled in this last week from Woodson Bridge in Corning, Ca up river to the Sycamore Grove boat launch in Red Bluff, Ca. One such report came from Paul Young, a free diver that spear fishes the Sacramento River for striped bass. Paul reported seeing a half dozen king salmon roll in the Kelly Hole south of Woodson Bridge on the weekend before last. And a pair of local anglers that salmon fishing guide Mike Rasmussen ran into south of Woodson Bridge while doing a striper  fishing trip for giant striped bass said they had lost one salmon and had another follow their kwikfish right to the boat. Other reports from the area include two old timers who had caught one jack salmon of about 10 pounds, when Rasmussen passed them on the Sacramento River between Los Molinos, Ca and Red Bluff, Ca on August 12, 2017.  Other then the recreational fishermen almost no reports have been coming from the Sacramento River salmon fishing guides who are currently working the Sacramento River at the current time. With two exceptions, a veteran salmon fishing guide Scott Kenyon who was reported two have two quality fish in the box in a hours time at the Barge Hole near Cottonwood, Ca on August 12, 2017.  To no surprise the fish were caught on eggs as Kenyon has been known for his egg fishing for several decades on the Sacramento River. And second Mike Rasmussen of Mike's Guide Service www.salmonsacriver.com who reported catching a boat limit for two anglers on a afternoon trip on the Sacramento River near Los Molinos, Ca on August 14, 2017. Rasmussen reported using K16 Kwikfish wrapped with sardine and fresh ocean krill to catch his four Sacramento River salmon. 

 Pictured above is a two person boat limit brought in by Mike Rasmussen of Mike's guide service while on a afternoon trip on the Sacramento River near Los Molinos, Ca. 

Pictured above is a two person boat limit brought in by Mike Rasmussen of Mike's guide service while on a afternoon trip on the Sacramento River near Los Molinos, Ca. 

      Although reports are spotty coming from the Sacramento River here in Northern California at the current time, things could change in a few days time. The king salmon that will migrate up the Sacramento River to the Colman National Fish Hatchery on Battle Creek near Cottonwood, Ca can take up to two weeks time, to travel the lengths of the entire Sacramento River in its entirety. A big push of fish undoubtedly came under the Golden Gate Bridge on the previous full moon cycle  and entered the Sacramento River system destine for a place to spawn. Salmon that entered the Sacramento River system on this last full moon may still be a handful of days away from showing up to the traditional salmon fishing and guiding grounds, located from Woodson Bridge near Corning, Ca to the Barge Hole near Cottonwood, Ca.  Where dozens of Northern California salmon fishing guides and even more recreational salmon anglers await their arrival. 

 Sacramento River salmon fishing guide Mike Rasmussen of Mike's Guide Service holds a bright little chrome jack he caught on the Sacramento River on August 14, 2017 near Los Molinos, Ca using a sardine and krill wrapped K16 Kwikfish. 

Sacramento River salmon fishing guide Mike Rasmussen of Mike's Guide Service holds a bright little chrome jack he caught on the Sacramento River on August 14, 2017 near Los Molinos, Ca using a sardine and krill wrapped K16 Kwikfish. 

      The exact number of salmonoids that will make the annual migration to spawn on the upper parts of the Sacramento River is still uncertain at this point.  This years returning three year old salmon that make up the bulk of the run on the Sacramento River, where trucked as juveniles to the delta and the bay and released from net pens and went directly out to the pacific. As the last year of the trucking program from Coleman National Fish Hatchery the destination of these three year old returning salmon is completely up in the air. However if history repeats itself, the better majority of three year old returning fish spawned at Coleman National Fish Hatchery will stray in great numbers up the American and Feather Rivers.  The trucking program failed miserably to say the very least, and the gamble of the importance of imprinting (baby salmon marking instinctually their returning path as adults to the location of their natal inception) on out going baby salmon was exactly that; a gamble.  Results show that the stray rate from 2016's returning salmon was over 90%.  A complete disaster for the Sacramento River and its history of massive salmon runs. On the bright side this years three year old returning salmon to the Sacramento River was the last year class of baby salmon that were trucked by Coleman National Fish Hatchery. Meaning that any and all two year old salmon (known as Jacks and Jills) were not trucked but released in river and were able to imprint on their out migration as juveniles. Almost guaranteeing a certain return back up the Sacramento River with a very minimal stray rate. The amount of returning two year old salmon into the Sacramento River will allow the biologist to estimate the return of three year olds back into the Sacramento River in the 2018 season. So in a nut shell, if there is a big return of two year olds, hold on because next year will be a amazing year of salmon fishing on the Sacramento River. On the flip side, if the Sacramento River receives very few returning two year olds, we are most likely looking at another dismal season on the Sacramento River.  If there is any inclination that there is to be a stellar return of two year olds into the Sacramento River, it would have to be that the Ocean fleet of sport fishing vessels including party boats and six pack boats absolutely slaughtered the Chinook Salmon off the Pacific Coast showing great Ocean abundance.  And on top of that a great majority of those salmon being caught in the Pacific Ocean were that of sexually mature two year olds that were staging to come into the rivers of California on either this previous full moon cycle or on Septembers full moon event.  Six Pack operators like John McGee of legallimitsportfishing.com and Captain Jay Lopes of righthooksportfishing.com caught boat limits in only a couple hours time, day after day, after day, after day.  Of which a substantial amount were two year olds destine to return to spawn this season. Only time will tell what is in store for the Sacramento River this 2017 season. But it's to early to tell exactly how many salmon are on their way up the historically great salmon fishery of the Sacramento River. 

 Salmon fishing guide Mike Rasmussen with a two year old chinook salmon he caught on the Sacramento River on August 14, 2017 while back bouncing kwikfish with a sardine wrap.

Salmon fishing guide Mike Rasmussen with a two year old chinook salmon he caught on the Sacramento River on August 14, 2017 while back bouncing kwikfish with a sardine wrap.

      The Feather River near Oroville, Ca at the "Outlet Hole" has been the place to be thus far in the 2017 salmon season. Salmon fishing has been productive for the die hard spinner fishermen wading belt high in the pushy currents of the Outlet at daybreak everyday to chuck metal at the super chrome Chinook Salmon that have continued to trickle in over the last few weeks.  Anglers like Joe Green(#hammerdown) of Oroville, Ca Ryan Tripp (when not deck handing for rhguideservice.com) from Oroville, Ca and Anthony Crawford of gotfishguideservice.com, from Butte City, Ca have all found almost daily success at will when throwing their custom Blue Fox spinners. All bank angling veterans of the Outlet Hole, these three anglers will generally let you know whats going on in the hole day to day with their success. Several days in the last two weeks these "bankies" have pulled limits from the turbid waters of the Outlet Hole. Which is not a common occurrence thus far in the 2017 salmon season anywhere in Northern California.  Boat anglers are also getting their share of the chrome salmon swimming the Outlet Hole.  Although higher then usual flows can make it difficult to maneuver your vessel in the right position need to get the salmon to bite. Raith Heryford of rhguideservice.com considered the Outlet Hole specialist has been picking up 3 to 5 salmon a day in the box and a handful of lost fish to boot. Other salmon fishing guides not quite as familiar with the hole as Raith have still managed to pic up a fish or two every outing as new salmon continue to trickle in.  

 A king salmon that Sacramento River salmon fishing guide Mike Rasmussen caught on a K16 Kwikfish while scouting the Sacramento River below the Red Bluff Diversion Dam on August 14, 2017.

A king salmon that Sacramento River salmon fishing guide Mike Rasmussen caught on a K16 Kwikfish while scouting the Sacramento River below the Red Bluff Diversion Dam on August 14, 2017.

     "Limit Out" style fishing for full boats is not happening yet anywhere in Northern California, although it is thought not to be far away as the bulk of the salmon that entered the river systems during the last full moon phase could be showing up on either river at anytime. Right now for Northern California salmon anglers its a matter of quality over quantity as these dime bright salmon cut red and are excellent table fare. Not to mention they bite and fight hard and crazy, even going airborne which is considered to be non existent when fighting king salmon on rod and reel. The only way to find out for yourself is to get out there and do it!! If you are unfamiliar with the water you are fishing, it is recommended to hire a guide to learn some of the ins and outs of the local waterways saving you far more in tackle loss, vessel damage, and lack of retained fish due to inexperience and frustration.  For those who wish to fish with a local guide to either learn a local fishery or enjoy the accommodation of having everything provided for you including local knowledge and background of the river you are fishing, you can call callto:530-722-8876 or visit us on the web at www.salmonsacriver.com, we can also be reached by email at mailto:salmonsacriver@gmail.com .   

 This 24 pound hen chinook salmon was taken by Kyla Melcher from Cottonwood, Ca as she back bounced a K16 Kwikfish with a sardine wrap on August 14, 2017.

This 24 pound hen chinook salmon was taken by Kyla Melcher from Cottonwood, Ca as she back bounced a K16 Kwikfish with a sardine wrap on August 14, 2017.

Mike's Fishing Guide & Charter Service For Sacramento River Fishing targeting King Salmon, Sockeye Salmon, Striped Bass, Sturgeon, Shad And Trout the best Sacramento River Fishing guide and Sacramento River Charter on Sac River