It is safe to say the date of October 1st every year is as “prime time” as it gets for Northern California salmon fishing. By now there is a feeling of Fall in the air. The mornings are chilly and the days get shorter. The salmon fishing has been going for better then a month. Steadily improving as we approach this date annually. By October 1st every season the Fall Run Chinook Salmon (King Salmon) have arrived in Northern California waterways. The Sacramento River and Feather River being the top two producers. Making these two Norcal rivers systems the primary salmon fishing destination of thousands of anglers annually. Now here we are on October 1, 2019. As it appears to me, we are right on track! Currently in the middle of peak salmon fishing, on both the Feather River and the Sacramento River, here in Northern California.
Salmon fishing action remained solid this week on the Feather River near Oroville, Ca. The daily crowd at the states most popular salmon fishing hole (The Outlet Hole) grew this past week. Estimates nearing 100+ bank fishermen in the water each day over the weekend. Trying their luck at grabbing up some North State salmon before it’s to late. “Bankies” now line up on all sides of the Outlet Hole. Casting into the discharge of white water from the outlet itself. The familiar background noises of people yelling, hooting, and hollering could be heard in the hole behind the steady roar of the 8,000 cubic feet of water being discharged every second. Quite a sight to see. A thrilling experience if you have never been. Certainly a memorable experience if you have been. Bankies have been getting them pretty good for the past week. Time of day hasn’t seemed to matter for the bank crew. Salmon fishing guides operating out of the Outlet Hole boat launch on Larkin Rd. have been stuffing their fish boxes with king salmon, that have remained in pretty good shape. Still cutting with some color. Some newly arriving chinooks are cutting pretty dang close to ocean grade fish. Bright orange! The guided salmon fishing trips taking place in or down river from the outlet hole aren’t taking very long each morning to complete their first fishing charter of the day. Picking up their second round of clients between 9:00am to 11:00am. Depending on the completion time of the first groups daily bag limit. Both the first and second rounds of clients have been finding equal success. Limits are daily right now by all reliable veteran salmon fishing guides. Scott Feist, Raith Heryford, Ryan Tripp, Mike Tripp, Pete Franco and Bret Brady all stand up salmon fishing guides!! Running professional salmon fishing charters twice a day currently.
Across the Sacramento Valley, Sac side salmon fishing has reached a peak as well. Traditionally on or by October 1st the world famous Barge Hole on the Sacramento River is ground zero for salmon fishing in Northern California. This famous salmon fishing hole near Cottonwood, Ca is the spot to be. Historically the region of the Sacramento River surrounding Roosters Landing and the Barge Hole. This location has proven over the last half century to possibly be more influential to salmon fishing as we know it in today’s modern times, then any other salmon fishing location in the world. Not just regarding private and recreational salmon fishing, but certainly concerning the influences it has had on salmon fishing guides for hire. As well as methods, techniques, and baits we still use to this day. Despite how today’s modern times and technical ways have changed a great deal of fishing, and the fishing communities worldwide. Salmon fishing techniques used to this day by salmon fishing guides and the general public were incepted in or around the Barge Hole, decades ago. Probably the most influential innovation to salmon fishing on the entire West Coast. Stemming from the Sacramento River, and more specifically the Barge Hole region of the Sacramento River, would have to be the product of one mans thoughts, and ideas. Then executed without reservation. This man’s name is Clancy Holt www.clancysfishing.com Clancy certainly left his mark on the Sacramento River and his historic influences. Clancy was the salmon fishing gudie that invented “the sardine wrapped Flatfish” https://yakimabait.com. Changing salmon fishing in Northern California forever. Exclusively fished in NorCal waterways it didn’t take long to start spreading North up into Southern Oregon and eventually into the Columbia River Basin. When guiding for hire finally made it up North to Alaska the Flatfish came with it. In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s some of the Northern California salmon fishing guides made their way up to Alaska which hosted some of the biggest runs of pure wild Chinook Salmon on the entire West Coast. The never before seen sardine wrap, applied to a Flatfish had amazing results and is still the standard on all the major fisheries in AK. It is so effective, that Wildlife Officials in all salmon bearing states occasionally enforce a “bait restriction”. This not allowing for a sardine or any other bait to be attached to a Flatfish, when under restriction. The California State record http://www.statefishrecord.com/California.htm of 88.0 pounds was caught by O.Lindberg on November 21, 1979 near Red Bluff, Ca. It was caught with a sardine wrapped Flatfish.
Salmon fishing on the Sacramento River has been very productive! With a much larger grade of king salmon then on the Feather River. The Barge Hole isn’t world famous for no reason! This 2019 salmon season is no exception! Salmon fishing is as good as expected. The CDFW projections of a heathy Fall Run Chinook Salmon return was dead on. The raising of the daily bag limit back up from one king salmon per day, to two king salmon per day turned out to be a solid decision by the department. Especially for the Northern California salmon fishing charters and salmon fishing guides currently operating on the Sacramento River. The proof is in the fish counts brought in by fish reports and biologist survey’s and local fishing guides. All reporting a exceptional run of King Salmon this 2019 salmon season. One fishing report from the Barge Hole On the Sacramento River this past week stands out. Sacramento River salmon fishing guide John Kenyon reported outstanding salmon fishing in and around the famous “barge hole”. Kenyon reporting catching well over 200 King Salmon in the past two weeks. The day we received his fishing report John had managed limits for his clients. Putting ten chinook salmon in his fish box before 11:00am. Not to mention releasing some fish back into the river. If you know John Kenyon you don’t have to ask what he caught them all on or what technique he may have used to catch them either. All 200+ king salmon this fishing guide caught in the last two weeks, were caught on cured salmon roe. The Kenyon’s fish bait! Mike, Scott, and John are know for hanging eggs. A method used to hover over, holding suspended salmon in a deep hole. Boat control, great bait (cured salmon roe), and strong confidence are a must for this deadly style of salmon fishing.
Farther down the Sacramento River at Woodson Bridge, near Corning, Ca. The salmon fishing picked back up. Salmon fishing charter Legal Limit Sport Fishing and Captain John McGee saw consistent salmon fishing this week for his clients. Hooking double digit numbers of king salmon on several of his salmon fishing charters this week. Similar success was shared by salmon fishing guide Ryan Tripp from Salmonsacriver.com. Tripp showed up at Woodson Bridge on October 2, 2019 to take a group of guest out on the Sacramento River per their request. With a mixture of back bouncing cured salmon roe, and back bouncing sardine wrapped Kwikfish, “The Kid” Ryan Tripp managed to hook over 20 Chinook Salmon. Landing 17 of them. Releasing a handful himself, in hopes of catching a better grade. Twelve salmon were kept for the six guest, with some newer more bright fish mixed in the bag. A strong indication another push of Fall Run Chinook Salmon have snuck their way up the Sacramento River. If my memory serves me correctly there has been a fairly large push of late arriving Fall Run Chinook Salmon the last two October’s. Great salmon fishing was had through the month of October. With much better quality then usual.
Very solid salmon fishing was had in the waterways of Northern California this past week. It is safe to say that not much should change in the coming weeks. In fact with the onset of this next full moon cycle, it is very likely that a late arriving push of bright king salmon will arrive in good numbers. Only time will tell on that matter. In the meantime, their are plenty of salmon to fish for on both the Sacramento River and Feather River. Give salmon fishing charter SalmonSacRiver.com a call at 530-722-8876 to book a reservation for a fully guided salmon fishing trips on both the Sacramento River and the Feather River. Our best month of the 2019 salmon season is upon us. Don’t miss out on this epic Northern California salmon season.
Mike's Fishing Guide Service for Sacramento River fishing targeting King Salmon, Striped Bass, White Sturgeon, American Shad and Rainbow Trout. The Best Sacramento River Salmon Fishing Guide and Striped Bass Fishing Guide on the Sacramento River.