Late fall salmon season boom or bust?

Sacramento River - Lower - Redding, CA (Shasta County)

Captain Justin Thompson with a Sacramento River king salmon caught while back trolling a Brad's KF-15 lure!
Photo Credit: JG Fishing Team

by Jeff Goodwin

The Sacramento River late fall King salmon season has mixed reviews depending on who you talk to, but overall the season seems to be more of a bust than a boom.  The river above Red Bluff is still open to salmon fishing until December 31st when it will close to fishing for Kings until next year.  Early season drought condition seems to be a driving factor in the tough fishing with the lowest flows seen in more than a few years.  The Kings have had lock jaw for most of the late fall season, but a few boats have had some limited success throughout the last few weeks.  Some days you get them and some days you don't.  Every bite counts when fishing for late fall Kings.  It would seem that most have given up on the salmon for the year and I don't balme them.  With little rain in the forecast before Christmas, low flows will prevail and water conditions will be less than optimal.  There are some salmon in the Anderson area, quite a few actaully.  If we see another push of salmon up river, and we get some salmon crowding in the holes, we just might see an improved bite.  Theres still hope for the last few weeks of the season, but we're not holding our breath right now.  Late fall salmon fishing has always been about quality Kings, not the quantity.  Fishing this time of the year is all about spending time on the river with light to no crowds and enjoying the time with the people in the boat.  catching a fresh run late fall king or two is icing on the cake.  Our own Captain Justin Thompson has found the most success thus far this season and has had some good days on the river catching one to four kings during some of his trips.  The plug bite has been tough this year, so fishing eggs has been the go to method for most of the season.  Every day is a new day on the river and its all about the fishing.  Lets hope we see more catching in the final weeks of the 2020 Sacramento River King salmon season!

Capt. Jeff Goodwin

Jeff Goodwin is a full time Northern California fishing guide.  He guides year round for salmon, trout, steelhead, Kokanee, and bass on Northern California rivers and lakes. He fishes many bodies of water in the Redding area, but also guides the Sacramento River and Feather River during certain times of the year. Jeff can also be found on the California coast chasing ocean fresh King salmon and steelhead each year. To learn more about the fishing trips Jeff has to offer, please visit Jeff Goodwin's Guide Service.  You can also find him on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, or please feel free to call him anytime at (707) 616-1905.

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