Lake Oroville Update

Lake Oroville - Oroville, CA (Butte County)


by Craig Bentley
12-16-2015
Website

Lake surface elevation is rising and is now at 652 feet. The surface temperature has cooled to 55 degrees. The water is mostly green up in the river arms, main body and coves with mudlines showing near points when the wind blows. Bidwell Canyon launch is now closed until the lake comes up to 655 feet. The auxiliary ramp at the spillway is the only launch ramp open. Four wheel drive vehicles are now required by State Parks officials for launching boats at the spillway.

All of the car-top boat access points are closed with the exception of Foreman Creek where the gate is still open to access the lake. Boaters are advised to call the lake's Visitor Center at (530) 538-2219 to check the daily status of the launch ramps prior to making a trip up to the lake.

Winter is here with frost and a slight chance of showers through the week, then cloudy with rain Saturday thru Monday. Daytime temps are forecast to be from 34 to 44 in the mornings with daytime highs 53 to 56. Winds will be east and southeast to 5 mph, then light and variable through the weekend.

The cold weather and cooling water temperatures haven't stopped the bass bite on the lake and fish are still being caught by anglers braving the elements to catch a good number of fish! Brent Cline at Oroville Outdoors said the fishing is still decent with two anglers catching from 20 to 30 bass a trip. Most anglers have switched back to finesse fishing for better results. Fishing in the shade lines along steep walls, or long points remains decent on jigs and tubes. Some anglers were finding success casting crank baits. Bass have been holding from about ten feet, down to 40 feet deep. Look for fish near any runoff streams flowing into the lake with 52 degree or warmer water.

Anglers are either drop-shotting small tubes, or casting wacky rigged Senko's, dart-head four-inch worms, or fishing 1/4 or 3/8 ounce finesse jigs and small paddle-tail swim-baits on light line to catch decent numbers of bass, 12 to 14 inches long, with an occasional 2 to 3- pound fish being caught. Natural colors and earth tone baits like bait fish, Prizmshad, watermelon, pumpkin, oxblood and brown are all working.

Trolling for king salmon fishing remains slow primarily because of lack of interest.

Some of the recently planted eight to ten-inch long juvenile kings along with some sixteen to twenty-inch long adult kings and a few rainbow trout are being caught by anglers fishing bait or casting lures from the shoreline. Popular baits have been cut anchovies, minnows, fished under a float and rainbow PowerBait. The fish have been scattered all over the main body of the lake and boating anglers are few lately. Boaters that are trying for salmon are trolling lures down from the 60 to 100 foot mark and deeper, over 120 to 150 foot depths to catch salmon or trout. Others targeting these fish are casting and retrieving spoons along the shoreline.

Salmon may usually be caught while trolling over submerged islands or structure, in the river forks mouths, the slot and west of the green bridge, when fishing is good. The best tactic is to try and find bait schools then troll your gear just under the bait. Berkley Power minnows, Apex lures or Hoochies-tipped with a piece of anchovy, rigged behind a medium sized dodger, trolled at 30 to 70 feet, at 1.9 to 2.2 mph have been working for both salmon and trout.


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