Feather River Fishing Report: The Latest Updates on Fishing Conditions and Catches
The Best Time to Fish in the Feather River
The Feather River is a year-round fishing destination, but some times of the year are better than others. The best time to fish depends on the species of fish you’re targeting.
For Chinook and sockeye salmon, the best time to fish is from late August to early December. Steelhead trout are also in season during this time, but they are also available from mid-December to April. Smallmouth bass can be caught from May to September, while striped bass can be caught from May to November. Rainbow trout are available year-round and can be caught with a variety of techniques.
In addition to the season, the best time to fish is often determined by the tides. In general, the outgoing tide is better for fishing than the incoming tide.
It’s important to check the regulations and restrictions before fishing in the Feather River, as there are specific limits for each species and time of year.
The Best Fishing Spots in the Feather River
The Feather River offers a variety of fishing spots, ranging from deep pools to shallow riffles. Here are some of the best fishing spots for each species of fish:
- Chinook salmon: The area around the Thermalito Afterbay Outlet is a popular spot for Chinook salmon fishing.
- Steelhead trout: The stretch of river from the low-flow dam to the fish hatchery is a good spot for steelhead fishing.
- Smallmouth bass: The stretch of river between the Oroville Dam and the Highway 70 bridge is known for its smallmouth bass fishing.
- Striped bass: The area between the mouth of the Feather River and the mouth of the American River is a popular spot for striped bass fishing.
- Rainbow trout: The stretch of river below the Oroville Dam is a great spot for rainbow trout fishing, with multiple access points along the river.
It’s important to note that some areas of the Feather River are off-limits to fishing, so check the regulations before heading out.
Techniques for Fishing the Feather River
The Feather River is known for its varied fishing techniques, and anglers can have success using a variety of methods. Here are some techniques to consider:
- Fly fishing: Fly fishing is an effective technique for catching rainbow trout and steelhead trout in the Feather River. Use a 9-foot rod and 5 or 6 weight line and choose flies that imitate insects that are native to the river.
- Spinning: Spinning gear is a good option for anglers targeting Chinook salmon, smallmouth bass, and striped bass. A 7-8 foot medium-heavy rod with a spinning reel and 15-20 lb monofilament line is a good setup.
- Bait fishing: Bait fishing is a popular technique for catching Chinook salmon and steelhead trout in the Feather River. Use roe, nightcrawlers, or shrimp to attract fish.
- Trolling: Trolling with lures can be effective for targeting Chinook salmon and striped bass. Use lures that mimic the baitfish and use a downrigger to keep the lure at the right depth.
Regardless of the technique you choose, it’s important to be aware of the regulations for each species and season. This ensures that you are fishing within the legal limits and protects the fish population for future generations of anglers to enjoy.
The Feather River is a fantastic fishing destination for anglers of all skill levels and interests. Whether you’re looking to catch trout, salmon, or bass, there are plenty of spots and techniques to try. Remember to check the regulations and be sure to practice responsible fishing practices to help protect the river’s fish population for future generations.
Salmon Fishing in the Feather River
Salmon fishing in the Feather River is a popular activity for anglers year-round. The Feather River is home to both Chinook and Coho salmon, which can grow up to 50 pounds in weight. The Chinook salmon run typically starts in July and lasts through December, while Coho salmon make their way up the river from November through January.
To catch salmon in the Feather River, anglers typically use bait such as roe, shrimp, or sardines and fish either in the deeper pools or right below the riffles where salmon gather during their migration. It’s important to note that salmon fishing regulations in the Feather River vary depending on the season and location of the river, so be sure to check the current regulations before planning your fishing trip.
Steelhead Fishing in the Feather River
Steelhead fishing in the Feather River is another popular option for anglers. Steelhead are sea-run rainbow trout that can weigh up to 20 pounds and are known for their acrobatic jumps and powerful runs. The Feather River is home to both summer-run and winter-run steelhead.
Anglers targeting steelhead in the Feather River typically use small lures or flies, and fish either in the deeper pools or in the tailouts of the riffles. Steelhead fishing regulations in the Feather River also vary by season, so be sure to check the current regulations before heading out.
Striped Bass Fishing in the Feather River
Striped bass were introduced to the Feather River in the 1800s and have since become an important game fish for anglers. Striped bass can weigh up to 40 pounds and are known for their hard fights and aggressive strikes.
Anglers targeting striped bass in the Feather River typically use lures such as crankbaits or swimbaits, and fish either in the deeper holes or along the rocky banks of the river. Striped bass fishing in the Feather River is typically best from April through October.
Smallmouth Bass Fishing in the Feather River
Smallmouth bass were also introduced to the Feather River and are now a popular game fish for anglers. Smallmouth bass typically weigh between 1-3 pounds and are known for their aggressive strikes and acrobatic jumps.
Anglers targeting smallmouth bass in the Feather River typically use lures such as jigs, crankbaits, or topwater baits, and fish along the rocky banks or in the deeper pools of the river. Smallmouth bass fishing is typically best from May through October in the Feather River.
Salmon Season in the Feather River
September and October are the best times to fish for salmon in the Feather River. During this season, the river is filled with large, spawning adult Chinook and Coho salmon, making it the perfect time to catch these prized fish. The high water level in the river during this time of year also brings more fish upstream.
If you’re planning to fish for salmon, be sure to use the right bait and tackle. Salmon are attracted to brightly colored lures, such as spinners and spoons. Using eggs or baitfish as bait can also be extremely effective. Keep in mind that salmon fight hard and can be difficult to reel in, so make sure your equipment is up to the task.
It’s important to note that there are regulations in place for salmon fishing in the Feather River. Be sure to check with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for the latest information on limits, restrictions, and seasons.
Steelhead Season in the Feather River
If you’re looking to catch steelhead, the best time to fish in the Feather River is during the winter months. Steelhead begin their migration upstream from the Pacific Ocean in November and December, with the peak season lasting through February and March. These fish are known for their acrobatic displays and their willingness to bite a variety of baits and lures.
When fishing for steelhead, it’s important to use the right equipment. Steelhead require lighter tackle than salmon, and are more likely to snap light line. Using a spinning rod and reel with 6-10 lb. test line is a good starting point. A variety of lures and baits work well for steelhead, including spinners, spoons, and jigs.
As with salmon fishing, there are regulations in place for steelhead fishing in the Feather River. Be sure to check with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for the latest information on limits, restrictions, and seasons.
Other Fishing Opportunities on the Feather River
The Feather River offers a variety of other fishing opportunities for anglers as well. Smallmouth bass, catfish, and trout can be found in the river throughout the year. These fish can be caught using a variety of baits and lures, including live bait, worms, and spinners.
In addition to traditional fishing methods, fly fishing is also popular in the Feather River. The river is home to several species of trout, including rainbow, brown, and brook trout. Fly fishing for trout requires specialized equipment, including a fly rod, reel, and flies. It can be a challenging but rewarding way to fish.
No matter what species you’re targeting, the Feather River offers some of the best fishing in Northern California. With a little preparation and the right equipment, you’ll be sure to have a successful and enjoyable fishing trip.
Location and Access Points
The Feather River is a top destination for fishing enthusiasts. With its diverse and abundant populations of fish, it’s no surprise that anglers travel from all over the world to cast their lines in this river. The Feather River offers several access points that are easily accessible from different locations such as Oroville, Gridley, and Yuba City.
If you’re planning a trip to the Feather River, it’s important to research the specific access points before heading out. Different access points have different regulations and restrictions, so it’s important to know what they are to avoid any legal issues. Additionally, some access points may require permits or have limited parking, so it’s best to plan ahead.
Oroville is one of the popular starting points for fishing on the Feather River. The Oroville Wildlife Area and Oroville Dam are both accessible from this location, and they offer some of the best fishing spots on the river. Both locations require permits, which can easily be obtained at any California Department of Fish and Wildlife office, online, or at various sporting goods stores.
Another access point is Gridley, which is just a few miles south of Oroville. The Gridley Drive-In Boat Ramp offers easy boat access to the river, while the Gridley City Park offers shore fishing opportunities. The park is also a great spot for a picnic, and it has restrooms and a playground for kids.
Lastly, if you’re coming from the north, Yuba City offers several access points to the Feather River. The Shanghai Bend Recreation Area offers boat ramp access to the river, as well as camping facilities for visitors. The Vogt-Skyway County Park and Riverfront Park both offer shore fishing opportunities, picnic areas, and restrooms.
In conclusion, the Feather River is an ideal destination for anglers looking for a challenging and rewarding fishing experience. However, before heading out to the river, it’s important to research the specific access points, regulations, and restrictions to avoid any legal issues. With proper planning, the Feather River can provide unforgettable moments for both seasoned and novice anglers alike.
Fishing with Lures
Fishing with lures can be an effective way to catch fish in the Feather River. Using the right lure and technique can make all the difference. One popular lure for Feather River fishing is the spinner. Spinners are made of a metal blade that spins as it moves through the water, creating vibrations that can attract fish. Try using spinners in different colors to see which ones work best in the local area. Another popular type of lure is the crankbait. Crankbaits mimic the movements of small fish and can be effective when fish are feeding on smaller bait fish. When using crankbaits, try to vary the depth and speed of the bait to attract more fish.
Fishing with Bait
Fishing with bait is another option for fishing in the Feather River. Two popular types of bait are worms and salmon eggs. When using worms, try threading the worm onto the hook and leaving a small section hanging off the end to increase the chances of a fish taking the bait. When using salmon eggs, try using a small hook and floating the eggs downstream to mimic natural movement. Be sure to check local regulations regarding bait use, as some areas may have restrictions or require the use of artificial baits only.
When fishing in the Feather River, different techniques can attract different fish species. One technique to try is bottom fishing. This involves letting the bait or lure sink to the bottom and waiting for fish to take the bait. Another technique is drift fishing, which involves letting the bait or lure drift naturally with the current. This can be effective when targeting bottom-feeding fish such as salmon or catfish. Another technique is fly fishing, which involves using a lightweight fly to mimic natural insect movements. This technique can be effective when targeting trout or other small fish species.
Fishing Strategies for Feather River
There are a few fishing strategies that can help increase the chances of catching fish in the Feather River. One strategy is to fish early or late in the day when the water is cooler. This can attract fish that are seeking cooler water temperatures and can be more active during these times. Another strategy is to vary the depth of the bait or lure. This can help target fish that are feeding at different depths in the water column. Lastly, be sure to adjust the technique and bait or lure based on the local conditions and the type of fish being targeted.
Location and Water Level
The location and water level are crucial factors to consider when fishing in the Feather River. Fishing in areas with faster-moving water can be more productive as fish tend to be more active in these areas. Look for areas with cover such as rocks and logs, where fish may be hiding. Pay attention to the water level when choosing a fishing location. In low water conditions, fish may be concentrated in deeper pools, while in high water, fish may be more spread out across the river.
Fishing Regulations and Licenses
Fishing in the Feather River can be an amazing experience for anglers of all levels. The breathtaking landscape, calm waters, and a variety of fish species make it one of the best places to go for a fishing trip. However, given the diverse range of fish species in the river, it is important to research any regulations and licensing requirements before fishing.
Firstly, it is important to note that California law requires a valid fishing license for anyone 16 years of age or older. A fishing license can be purchased online or in person from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and it is essential to obtain one before setting off on your fishing trip. An annual resident fishing license costs $52.66, while a one-day license costs $17.02 for residents and $40.05 for non-residents.
In addition to obtaining a fishing license, it is important to be aware of any specific regulations in the Feather River. For example, barbless hooks are required when fishing for salmon and steelhead in the river from April 1st to November 15th of each year. These hooks cause less damage to fish and make it easier to release them back into the water unharmed. Similarly, there are specific limits on the number of fish that can be caught and kept on a single trip, depending on the species of fish and the season.
It is also important to take note of the restrictions on the type of bait and tackle that can be used for fishing in the Feather River. For example, baitfish and other live animals may not be used as bait in the river, and the use of baited hooks is restricted in certain areas. Additionally, fishing with multiple hooks or baited lures is strictly prohibited in certain parts of the river.
Another critical regulation is the necessity to release protected species of fish back into the river. For instance, fishing for or possessing of Green Sturgeon, Chinook Salmon or Steelhead Trout less than 20 inches in length is prohibited throughout the year in specific sections of the river, and that all steelhead must be released unharmed during certain times of the year.
Violating these regulations could result in hefty fines and even criminal charges, as it puts the delicate ecosystem of the Feather River at risk. Therefore, it is essential to research fishing regulations and licensing requirements for the Feather River before planning a trip, ensuring that you can have an enjoyable and safe fishing experience within the confines of the law.
1. Know the Best Time to Fish
The Feather River offers year-round fishing opportunities, but certain seasons provide better chances of catching specific fish. If you’re hoping to catch salmon, the Chinook run takes place from late August to early October, and the steelhead run occurs from November to April. Striped bass fishing is best during the spring and fall, while smallmouth bass are available all year.
Make sure to research the best time to catch the fish you’re interested in before planning your trip. You don’t want to arrive during a slow season and end up empty-handed.
2. Obtain the Correct Permits and Licenses
Before casting your line, ensure you have the necessary permits and licenses. In California, all anglers over the age of 16 must possess a valid fishing license. You can purchase a license online, by phone, or at a vendor located near the Feather River.
Additionally, if you plan to fish in certain sections of the Feather River or catch specific types of fish, you may require additional permits or tags. Make sure to research these requirements beforehand to avoid any legal issues.
3. Use the Appropriate Gear
The gear you bring along depends on the fish you’re after, but some essentials include a fishing rod, reel, bait or lures, fishing line, waders, and a net. Also, make sure to pack sunscreen, insect repellent, and plenty of water.
Contact a local fishing shop or guide service for recommendations on the best gear to bring along.
4. Choose the Right Fishing Spot
Different fish species reside in various sections of the Feather River, so picking the right spot can make or break your trip’s success. Some of the most popular fishing spots on the Feather River include the Thermalito Afterbay Outlet, Shanghai Bend, and the Yuba City Boat Ramp.
Research the area ahead of time and consider hiring a local guide to assist you in identifying the best spots for your interests and desired catch.
5. Know the Regulations and Rules
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife enforces specific regulations and rules that all anglers must follow. These laws include catch limits, size limits, gear restrictions, and fish release requirements.
Understand and obey these regulations, as they are crucial in conserving fish populations and ensuring future fishing opportunities.
6. Carry out Proper Disposal
Respect the Feather River’s beauty and protect its ecosystems by cleaning up after yourself. Carry out any trash, line, or equipment that you brought with you.
Furthermore, if you catch a fish but don’t plan to keep it, release it as gently as possible and avoid severely harming the fish. If you do keep a fish, follow the proper disposal methods and avoid polluting the river.
7. Consider hiring a Guide
If you’re new to the area or just want a helping hand, consider hiring a local fishing guide. Guides offer valuable knowledge and experience, teaching you the ins and outs of the Feather River and improving your chances of catching fish.
Guides can also supply you with all the necessary gear and permits, eliminating the need for time-consuming research and planning.
Conclusion: Enjoying a Successful Fishing Trip on the Feather River
The Feather River offers ample opportunities for fishing enthusiasts to enjoy California’s natural beauty while catching various fish species. With research, knowledge, and preparation, you can have a successful fishing trip on the river. Keep in mind the necessary permits and regulations, gear, and disposal methods. Consider hiring a guide to optimize your fishing experience, and most importantly, respect and care for the Feather River throughout your trip.