It's now only a matter of hours that have to be counted down until the 2018 Fall Chinook Salmon season opens here in Northern California for the inland waterways (rivers). Both the Sacramento River and Feather River will be open to the fishing for Fall Run Chinook Salmon on Monday morning July 16, 2018 one hour before sunrise. Much skepticism has been drawn to the public eye as the Sacramento River in the past four or five years has had little to show for the opening day of salmon fishing. A far cry from the limits of bright king salmon that were brought in by nearly every angler on opening day for decades. Prior to the 2007 salmon closure in California. Even after the reopening in 2010, several more years of very productive opening day salmon fishing were had by North State anglers who took to the water on July 16th in traditional fashion. Anxiously waiting salmon anglers would wrap a sardine on a K-15 or K-16 Kwikfish and wait until the clock hit the magic time (legal fishing time). In most instances for decades of salmon fishing on the Sacramento and Feather Rivers, the anglers lure would likely never hit the river bottom before a dime bright king salmon would attack it violently. Possibly the most addicting strike a person can have while fishing fresh water in North America. 2013 was the first year signs of a weakening salmon population started to become noticeable to river guides and life long anglers of the Sacramento River. It was all down hill from there.
Finally this year (2018) signs of light and hope spread through the fishing communities of California. As the Bay Area fleets of party boats have absolutely creamed the chrome chinooks since the day the salmon season in the Pacific Ocean opened last month. With astonishing reports of boat limits of dandy dime bright chinooks in just a matter of a couple hours time. Continuing still everyday for the fishing vessels that operate in and around the San Francisco Bay Area. Six Pack sport fishing vessels like "The Legal Limit" legallimitsportfishing.com with captain John McGee, and "Right Hook Sportfishing" righthooksportfishing.com with captain Jay Lopes, found limits of these thick, hard fighting kings in fire drill fashion after making it to the grounds and dropping the lead. Boat limits of kings to 20+ pounds literally obtained in a hour or two of fishing time. For both of these captains.
Besides the mega concentration outside the Golden Gate Bridge of Northern California's Fall Run Chinook Salmon destain for their natal rivers. Up to hundreds of miles away. Reports of good salmon fishing all up and down the Pacific Coast of California have come in this week. Salmon fishing guide John Pearl of J.Pearl Guide Service https://www.facebook.com/J-Pearl-Guide-Service-483152645162806/ produced big healthy king salmon in the mid twenty pound range while trolling North of Noyo Harbor in Fort Bragg, Ca this week. Bodega Bay charter boats and captains reported excellent salmon fishing as well this week. All this positive hype leading to the only assumption that can be made about the 2018 salmon season in Northern California Rivers. They are going to be stuffed with salmon again for the lucky anglers that go after them. All three of the above mention charter services for the next month will continue to take eager customers out in the salt for the "limits in minutes" salmon fishing action. But all three guides agreed they would be putting away the much larger six pack vessels and hooking up to their jet sled river boats to continue guiding up in interior California as the mass of king salmon find their way up the Sacramento, Feather, and American Rivers to complete their annual spawning migration.
I sit here and write this salmon fishing report with great ambition and a lifted spirit for the first time since 2014 (the last good opening day on the Sacramento River). My expectations of a decent opening day are diminished at the thought of the realization that it has infact been three consecutive years of "goose eggs" for my opening day efforts. That depressing thought alone makes it hard to believe this opening day would be any better then the last three years. As hard to believe as it may be, this 2018 salmon season on the Sacramento River will open much differently then the previous three or for years! This is not opinion on my part, but i believe it to be factual. The proof is already in the river and the daily sightings of these early chrome July king salmon can't be denied. From Ord Bend, Ca to the Barge Hole in Cottonwood, Ca and everywhere in between, anglers who have been on the Sacramento River fishing for striped bass, trout and shad have all reported seeing their fair share of salmon jumping. Over the last two weeks directly following the last full moon phase these bright early July king salmon made a push up through the Sacramento River system. Catching the eye of many anglers who spend time out on the river. Reports from local anglers out of Woodson Bridge in Corning, Ca confirmed what I had personally seen up and down river of the Diversion Damn in Red Bluff, Ca. As opening day approaches in only hours now, I would go out on a limb and say it's going to be worth showing up for. I couldn't tell you if limits should be expected or say maybe one salmon per boat would be a better estimation. I can tell you with one hundred percent certainty, it going to be better then the last three years combined. I would expect to find that opening day fall chinook salmon will come in from all the popular boat launches down the Sacramento River from Red Bluff, Ca to Colusa, Ca. How many salmon will be taken at each boat launch? We can only wait and see.
The Ca Department of Fish and Wildlife, wildlife biologist ("fish counter") will be stationed at some boat launches and will have their vessels out checking the success of anglers who came out for opening day. I would like to let it be noted that although these biologist may take a few minutes of your time and it may seem like a bother to cooperate and let them take all possessed fish to do scale samples and measurements. But please understand the research these wildlife biologist do hold the answers to getting our heathy salmon numbers back up. So please cooperate with these folks and help give data to save the future of salmon fishing.
If you are interested in booking a reservation for the Sacramento River or Feather River for King Salmon after the July 16, salmon season opening day. You can call 530-722-8876 and speak with fishing guide Mike Rasmussen of Mike's Guide Service to get a day pinned down on his calendar for the upcoming season. If it's salt you are after, all three Six Pack Charters mentioned at the beginning of this report can be contacted by clicking the link to their website of Facebook Business Pages. Good luck and tight lines for the 2018 salmon season!!!
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