The Fish Sniffer - Landlocked Salmon Bite Shifts Into High Gear
Landlocked Salmon Bite Shifts Into High Gear

Written By: Dan Bacher, June 2, 2014
Species: Landlocked Salmon Bass
Location: Lake Oroville,

As the thermocline forms at Lake Oroville, anglers are hooking increasing numbers of robust landlocked Chinook salmon.

Paul Kneeland, Fish Sniffer Publisher, and Cal Kellogg, Fish Sniffer Editor, made a short 3-hour morning trip with Rick Kennedy of Tight Lines Guide Service that yielded solid salmon action. They hooked 7 and landed 5 Chinooks ranging from 15 to 20-1/2 inches in front of the dam.

“We caught three fish while trolling Ex-Cel spoons in shad patterns at 25 to 40 deep,” said Kellogg. “We hooked one big salmon on an anchovy strip and another on a Berkley Gulp Minnow.”

He added, “We could have caught limits if we had fished longer. We left right after we had a double hook-up. One of the fish had a 6 inch Senko in its belly, while the rest of the fish had empty bellies.”

“Anglers are hooking landlocked Chinooks averaging 16 to 18 inches long while trolling spoons and hoochies, tipped with anchovy strips,” said Bob Boucke at Johnson’s Bait and Tackle in Yuba City. “They’re fishing at 20 feet deep in the morning and 40 feet in the afternoon.”

Spotted bass fishing continues to be good, but most are “slot fish” in the 12 to 15 inch range. Anglers are using ripbaits, swimbaits and other offerings to entice the bass in the top 20 feet of water.

Lake Oroville is holding 1,837,279 acre-feet of water, 52 percent of capacity and 63 percent of average. The water level is 766 feet in elevation, 34 feet from maximum pool. 


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