The Sacramento River above the Red Bluff Diversion Damn opened to fishing for Sacramento River salmon on August 1, 2017 with little to no good news coming from the thirty or so boats that were in attendance. The once amazing display of combat fishing in its most chaotic form has been reduced over the last three salmon seasons to more of a social gathering of sorts. The "Barge Hole" is as deep and important in the salmon fishing history in California as they come. This unique fishing hole on the Sacramento River runs deep with salmon fishing history as far back as salmon fishing goes in California. Three seasons ago (pre-trucking program by Colman National Fish Hatchery) there were over 350 Sacramento River salmon harvested on August 1, 2015 as opening day started with a dozen fish at the second fishing time had arrived and the Flat Fish hit the bottom of the Barge Hole. Over the next three hours a somewhat of a controlled chaos ensued as dozens of boats fought quality king salmon, while others jockeyed for position and boats on the bank in between fish cheered and roared at their companions as they watched the whole show from afar. This is the Barge Hole that got so many people their first salmon, and memories that will last a life time, and a life time of stories to be told from the old days to current time, by salmon fishing veterans that have nearly a half a century of salmon seasons spent fishing at this famous fishing spot on the Sacramento River. It's importance to the salmon fishing industry as a whole can't be measured or compared to any other spot in this country. The sardine wrap that we all put on our flat fish or kiwkfish to this day was invented in this area of the Sacramento River by Clancy Holt (who now resides and is still actively guiding in Washington and Chile for Salmonoids) who watched a few striper fisherman catch salmon on their sardines they were soaking for the bass. In all actuality the original makers of the Flat Fish only carried them in a very small size and it was Clancy himself who worked with this lure company to get the sizes that we use today on the market and available to anglers nation wide. This is where back bouncing eggs (cured salmon roe) and egg cures even egg wars were started and perfected. This is where some of the very first full time guides came from, for fishing salmon as a full time occupation. Some of the greats, the silverbacks (veteran guides) made their living taking the clients from the city and exposing them to the river life of Northern California, and all it had to offer for anglers looking for amazing salmon fishing in the state of California. This was a place where limiting out was not a question of possibility but a matter of time (how long it would take to get your limit). Many thousands of anglers have been funneled through this salmon fishing hole over the course of its existence and some of the most influential minds in salmon fishing refined techniques and baits that we still use to this day. So words can't even start to describe how I feel about the management practices of the National Fish Hatcheries and the State of California for not protecting and enabling this resource for the people and the industry at stake. Going from hearing a dozen or more people yelling "Fish On" at the exact same time on the opening bell of opening day to hearing crickets chirp and anglers yawning on the season opener is a travesty. Not even a dozen fish total for all the boats and anglers have been checked in the previous two years on the seasons opener. Disgusting what this industry as a whole has turned into for Northern California and Sacramento River salmon fishing guides and recreational anglers. However choosing to look at the positive side of things there were a few Northern California fishing guides and Barge Hole specialist that shined on opening day in the hole, catching a handful of kings to get the season started. Jonathan Kenyon (FishOnWithJohn.com) and Matthew Alleva (Matty's Guide Service) both hooked and landed some quality kings on the slow opening day in the Barge Hole. The arrival of the full moon cycle currently underway should bring some fresh new kings into the Sacramento River and give salmon anglers what they have waited all year for.
On the East side of the Sacramento Valley the Feather River near Oroville, Ca has been producing a small number of chinook salmon every day. The quality of the salmon on the Feather River has been hard to beat as the dime bright kings that are showing waisted little time getting to the top of the Feather River. The spinner line has been producing anywhere from one to six fish every morning as the crew tosses blue fox spinners in the #6 size until about 10:00am every morning. And the guides on site at the outlet are producing from one to three fish a day depending on seized opportunities. These fresh salmon have been extremely aggressive and biting well into the day if provoked properly. Like the Sacramento River the Feather River is waiting on a good push of fresh salmon that will be arriving after this full moon cycle sends the salmon on a instinctive migration for their spawning grounds. The salmon fishing that once started out on fire as the season opened may be a thing of the past but the peak of the run from late August to October should be one to remember as the Pacific Ocean has been stuffed with scores of thick bright kings in tremendous numbers.
If quality of fish is more important to you as a angler then the quantity of fish caught, now is the time for you to book a trip with a salmon fishing guide locally and get out on the water. These arriving fish are Ocean quality as far as consumption goes and have thick bright red fillets. Not to mention it seems they get a 20 foot head start before hitting your lure. Making most new anglers addicted instantly to the plug bite of a chrome chinook salmon. Mike Rasmussen of Mike's Guide Service and SalmonSacRiver.com is now working daily on the Feather River out of Oroville and is taking reservations for the entire length of the season. If you get sea sick and have missed out on the action in the Pacific Ocean as of late, please contact Rasmussen at 530-722-8876 or by Email at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org to book a salmon fishing vacation for yourself or someone you may know who loves salmon fishing here in Northern California. Dates for most popular guides are going fast and prime time dates will be hard to come by in the future if not booked asap. Get out and enjoy what these two Northern California rivers have to offer by contacting a salmon fishing guide today!!
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