I fished both Oroville and Berryessa this weekend looking to target the kings and remaining coho in Lake Oroville and the Kokanee in Lake Berryessa.
I visited lake Oroville in the late afternoon on Saturday to spend some time on the water with my boys and wife. After a rough beginning, with my youngest son throwing my oldest son’s rod into the lake and then the meltdown following the incident. We spent some time on a sandy section of shoreline in the middle fork.
With everyone now happy, I started fishing a green pumpkin Senko wacky rigged off the shoreline casting onto the rock piles and small secondary points. I hooked 3 bass and let my oldest reel them in.
We then got back into the boat and headed back towards the main body, stopping on a rock pile to catch another decent bass on the Senko. The last 30 minutes of the day, I finally got to chase the salmon I originally wanted to target. I dropped down 2 rods 25′ and 35′ down on the downrigger. I trolled towards the dam and one of the rods goes off after about 20 minutes right as I swung past one of the points on the South/West corner of the lake. I was trolling at 1.8mph using a Pond Smelt UV, Arctic Fox Tube Fly with an Action Disk. The holdover Coho, went airborne several times and I estimated it at approximately 4lbs. It was a big fish and eventually jumped again 4ft from the side of the boat and threw the hook. I had my 4 year old on the rod and he was very excited to watch this all happen. I did more pass over the point with no more bites and we called it an afternoon.
The following day I headed out to Berryessa to do a little scouting. We arrived about 6:30 and headed to the main body, putting our lines in around 7am. Within 30 minutes we had our first hook up. A small rainbow, released to fight another day. Shortly after, we hooked our first kokanee and nice one at that.
Overall It was a slow bite, we managed 1 more fish into the boat, 1 long distance release and a few drive-by bites. We were trolling with Shasta Tackle dodgers and RMT spinners and hootchie’s with a spinner tipped with Gulp pink maggots and Pazuke Fire Cured Corn
Judging by the radio talk, the bite is best 1st thing in the morning and picks up again in the afternoon. Compared to the other boats out we did average. Sounds like most of the fish were caught before we got out there. The main color for us was watermelon and pink. I heard that red was doing well also. We fished the east bank across from the big island and near Ranch House. The fishing fleet was all over this area. The fish were down 55 – 60ft of water. and we were trolling 1.4mph – 1.6mph.
Ill be back out again soon. The bite sounds to be changing daily. Which tells me its all about finding the right school of fish and trying to stay on top of them. I found the fish to be scattered and in small schools. I didn’t find a large concentration of them just kept covering water and marking waypoints where I was finding schools of fish to be able to turn around and come back through them.
Good Luck! River Salmon season is around the corner!!
Captain RJ Bennett
Xtreme-angling Guide Service