Category Archives: Editor’s Blog

Preparing For King Salmon Season

Here’s a report from Scott Feist of Feisty Fish Guide Service in Northern California:

It’s Time to Start Thinking King Salmon for the 2014 Season!!!

I am seeing the end of the tunnel on my striped bass season, and can’t help but to think salmon. The question I am getting from all my guys that have fished stripers with me is, will there be water? The answer is, the salmon are coming regardless and leave the worrying to me, LOL! There are some really good numbers forecasted to return this year. The season will open July 16 and run into December with August and September being the prime months.. Many saltwater captains are already catching large salmon, it should be another great season. You do not want to wait until July to book a prime August/September date. Now is the time! I still have some weekends available… I look forward to another season chasing the Sacramento River kings!

Call me for an awesome day of fishing the scenic Sacramento River and California Delta.


I spend a lot of time on the water but I will get back to you as soon as I’m able. Call to book your trip now!



NorCal fishing options with

A message from Kirk and Lisa Portocarrero of Sac River Guide (1-800-670-4448;


Hello,Hoping everyone is doing well and getting ready for fishing time. As you know, it is always fishing time here and there is plenty of fishing to do during  the months of May, June, and July. The Sacramento River Rainbow trout fishing is excellent ! Water level is perfect at 4,450 CFS. Some days can produce over 30 fish days. Great for any style of fishing and any level of angler. Fishing the Sacramento River for these gorgeous trout is great way to spend any day. Offering daily trips, 7 days a week,  on the Sac River and remember, Gift Certificates are available to help make that special day even more “Special”…………….It’s time to enjoy the great outdoors. Call us today.



   Lake Shasta fishing has begun. Picking up beautiful Landlock King Salmon on the Lake now. We are fishing for salmon, trout, and bass.
  The bass fishing has been tremendous. Kirk has had a few 60 bass days this week. Great experience for the kids. The weather is warming, and its time to the family and friends on the water.
   Give us a call or email 1-800-670-4448
 Let us help you get your dates on the calendar for a great fishing adventure.




Setting The Stage For Trout Opener

Trolling at Crowley Lake. (MIKE STEVENS)

Trolling at Crowley Lake. (MIKE STEVENS)


OK, trout anglers: You’re big day is almost here at t-minus one day. Saturday kicks off the 2014 statewide trout opener at lakes around the state, with a big focus on the Eastern Sierras. Here is our story that ran in the April issue of California Sportsman zeroing in on the hot spots in the area around Bishop, Bridgeport and Mammoth, with a big assist from Kent Rianda of the Troutfitter in Mammoth Lake (760-924-3676;


Convict Lake opens for business on Saturday for the trout opener. (MIKE STEVENS)

Convict Lake opens for business on Saturday for the trout opener. (MIKE STEVENS)


By Chris Cocoles

MAMMOTH LAKES – By April 26, when the figurative shotgun start signals the California statewide trout season, Crowley Lake will be full of Eastern Sierra boat and shore anglers searching out its trout residents.

But Kent Rianda of The Troutfitter fly shop and guide service in Mammoth Lakes (, says anglers should take advantage of some less frequented spots around Crowley.

Spawning time is rarely ever predictable for the fish that head into Crowley Lake’s fishable tributaries like McGee Creek, Hilton Creek and Crooked Creek. The rest of the sources that flow into the lake, with the exception of the Owens River in the first section above the lake, are closed to all fly fishing from opening day on.

“In those tributaries you will find big fish that are moving up,” Rianda says of the McGee, Hilton and Crooked creeks. “It’s primarily a fly-fishing deal. But very few people do that. There are only a few people who know the secret.”

Convict Lake is also popular for Eastern Sierra visitors. It differs from Crowley in that it’s more of a traditional deep mountain lake and drops off to deeper water quickly from the shore. So more fishing from the bank can result in big trout hauls at Convict, while trollers and other boats seem to have the most productive success at Crowley. Boats can find some secluded spots on Convict as well.

“A really good spot to always on Convict is at that little shelf that exists right at the inlet from where the stream comes in,” Rianda says.

A similar option to Crowley Lake is Bridgeport Reservoir, roughly an hour north on Highway 395. Rianda calls Bridgeport “an instant replay to Crowley.”

“You can expect lots of hungry fish on opening day, depending on water temperature, which this year should be fairly high,” Rianda says. “The consequence of that is the fish should be actively feeding and growing. I would probably say the forecast for Crowley and Bridgeport Reservoir is to have a pretty damn good opener.”

The Mammoth Lakes Basin, which includes Twin Lakes, Lake Mary, Lake George and Lake Mamie, is traditionally closed on opening day and opens on Memorial Day weekend. But as of press time, Rianda wasn’t sure if the Department of Fish and Wildlife would be involved in early trout planting.

“Most of those lakes are plant and take. But the lowest lake

Lower Twin Lake, the lowest of the basin lakes, should be the best of that group to go for the opener because it’s usually the most accessible, and the large brown trout there could make for an enticing opportunity, provided the season’s lack of heavy snowfall stays constant.

“There are some particularly large holdover brown trout that live in Lower Twin Lake,” Rianda says. “And they are extremely difficult to catch over the summer, but they get dumb over the winter. I guess you would consider if a feeding strike if they were chasing a streamer. But it’s also an aggression strike. They’re big, full of testosterone monsters, and if something comes across their nose, they’ll strike at it, anywhere from half their own length.”

Fly anglers in float tubes would probably have the best opportunity to take out one of these browns in Lower Twin Lake. The brown trout are much more likely to caught in the middle or far side of the lake by float tubers than shore anglers.

Certain lakes and streams in the past have been all but impossible to reach in late April due to heavy snowfalls. But the lack of snow during this drought period should make for some wild card options for those anglers who do some selective searching.

“Anything you can get to that hasn’t been fished all winter on opening day can be particularly good,” Rianda says.

“The fishing should be good in all the areas, primarily because of high local planting, and the fact that we’ve had a mild (winter) and the fish are already active. When the water temperature on the bottom on opening day is 40 degrees, those fish are lethargic.”

However, an expected increase could make a major difference, says Rianda, who recommends purchasing an underwater thermometer at his or other outdoor stores to really gauge what’s most important: how cold the lake’s bottoms are.

“The water temperature on the surface doesn’t mean anything,” he says. “This year I’m predicting 50- to 54-degree water, so the fish will be in general more active. And more active fish translates to just moving faster to go and get some food.”

Editor’s note: Contact the Troutfitter at (760) 934-2517, or, for all of your fly fishing needs. The Troutfitter also provides top-notch guide services.

Fish and Game Commission Adopts 2014 Big-Game Tag Quotas

Important news for hunters from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Here’s the press release:

The California Fish and Game Commission (FGC) finalized big-game tag quotas at their April 15 meeting in Ventura. A total of 204,337 deer, 316 elk, 200 pronghorn antelope and 14 bighorn sheep tags were approved for distribution to California’s hunters for the 2014 hunting season.

“Hunters should be aware of the changes for the 2014 season,” said Stuart Itoga, CDFW Big Game Program Coordinator. “We are still dealing with the after-effects of several large wildfires, and the drought conditions are not helping the habitat recover. A prolonged drought could negatively impact big game species populations, but the biggest hurdle for hunters now is gaining access to hunting grounds.”

Notable changes from the 2013 hunting season include a reduction in the D6 general season tag quota from 10,000 to 6,000; a reduction in the G11 deer hunt from 500 to 250; loss of the Del Norte elk hunts and a reduction in antlerless elk hunting opportunities in the Owens Valley hunt area; and a 40 percent reduction in overall bighorn sheep tags due primarily to a recent disease event in the Kelso/Old Dad hunt area. No tags are being issued for that hunt zone this year.

The 2014 Big-Game Digest can be found online at and the final tag quotas will be posted for the individual programs at

Hunters are urged to review this information carefully as there are significant tag quota changes to consider

CDWF, Siskiyou County team up on blacktail deer tagging


From the California Department of Fish and Wildlife

CDFW and Siskiyou County Landowners Collaborate on Black-Tailed Deer Capture

APRIL 16, 2014

A doe is transported by helicopter during a CDFW deer capture in Siskiyou County.

A doe is transported by helicopter during a CDFW deer capture in Siskiyou County.


With cooperation from local landowners, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) recently captured and attached telemetry collars to 10 adult female black-tailed deer before successfully rereleasing them in western Siskiyou County.

CDFW staff work on a black-tailed deer during a recent capture in Siskiyou County.

CDFW staff work on a black-tailed deer during a recent capture in Siskiyou County.

The capture began a five-year investigation into factors responsible for declining population trends in the far north state. Beginning next year, CDFW plans to collar and monitor up to 50 adult females annually for this study.

The does were captured April 2 using helicopter net-gunning techniques, then carried to a base camp where biological samples and measurements were taken. An ultrasound was performed on each deer to determine body condition and reproductive status and satellite telemetry collars were attached so that biologists can monitor the movements of the deer for up to a year. This capture would not have been possible without the permission and cooperation of Scott Valley landowners near the towns of Fort Jones and Etna.

This was one of three successful deer captures conducted by CDFW this year. Information from these studies will be used to improve the department’s deer management programs. Key components of the studies will help identify population trends, movement, nutritional status, reproductive rates and survival. Movement data will help CDFW identify habitat that is important to deer conservation.


Scenes From Clear Lake Bass Tournament

Our magazine was a sponsor for last weekend’s team bass tournament at Clear Lake’s Konocti Vista Casino and Resort. Brian Lull, our sales manager, represented California Sportsman and will have a full report in the May issue of CS, which should come out in a couple weeks. In the interim, here are some scenes Lull shot at the event, which was won by the tandem of Marvin Dixon and Roy Desmangles, who weighed in 10 total fish weighing 51.05 pounds.

Photos courtesy of Brian Lull









Tournament champions Roy Desmangles and Marvin Dixon with their trophies.




Kids Fishing Day In Chico

From California Sportsman correspondent Steve Carson:


Press Release

For Immediate Publication


To kick off National Fishing Week, the city of Chico will be welcoming kids to an outstanding

free “Hooked On Fishing, Not On Drugs”** event. It is one of the largest single-day children’s fishing

events in the entire United States!

Kids 14 and under are invited to come to Horseshoe Lake in Upper Bidwell Park from 7:00

AM to 1:00 PM on Saturday, May 31, for a chance at the 8,000 pounds of channel catfish that will be

planted for the event. Admission is FREE, along with all tackle, bait and instruction [limit 1 fish per

child]. Kids can even have their catfish cleaned for free.

Since this is a “kids only” lake, no fishing license is required for anglers under 16. Expert local

anglers will be on hand as coaches. There will be a separate area for the littlest anglers, age 1 to 5.

There will be plenty of rods and reels available to use free, but all are encouraged to bring their

own. Bring your favorite “secret” catfish bait, but please, no lead sinkers at Horseshoe Lake.

With all that help and all those fish, it will be the closest thing to a guaranteed “first fish” for

the little ones. To donate, volunteer, or for more information, call 530-891-4757. A great time is sure

** “Hooked on Fishing, Not on Drugs” is a program of the American Sportfishing Association

To all Butte County Media:

This is the largest youth sporting event of any kind in Butte County. Previous years events have

drawn well over 4,000 kids, plus an estimated 2,000 adults. It definitely merits coverage on

the “stocking” day [Friday, May 30] and the event day [Saturday, May 31]. Stocking will take place

between noon and 1:00 PM on Friday, and the peak crowds are usually between 9:00 and 10:00 on

2014 HOFNOD Media Relations Director

2014 HOFNOD Chairman

901 Bruce Road, Suite 280

Chico, CA 95928

Mountain Lion Sighting In Palm Springs




The California Department of Fish and Wildlife issued this alert about an encounter with a mountain lion around Palm Springs, which has been commonplace throughout the state. Another sighting has taken place in Rocklin, a Sacramento suburb. And in Hillsborough, an affluent community located on the San Francisco Bay Area Peninsula near San Mateo, a dead deer showed evidence suggesting it was possibly killed by a mountain lion.  Here’s the CDFW report on the Palm Springs mountain lion.


Mountain Lion Startles Palm Springs Worker, CDFW Reminds Hikers to be Aware

APRIL 7, 2014

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is advising hikers and residents along the foothills and mountains of Palm Springs to be cautious after a golf course worker’s recent encounter with an aggressive mountain lion.

On the evening of Friday, March 28, 2014 a mountain lion charged a worker from behind as he was closing a gate. The worker was able to seek refuge by positioning himself behind a large iron gate.  The lion was eventually deterred when the man raised his arms over his head and yelled at it.

CDFW biologists were notified of the incident several days later and investigated, but were unable to find signs of the lion at the scene. This incident is considered a threatening encounter, but because it does not rise to the level of public safety, no further action will be taken by CDFW. Under state law and CDFW policy, lions can be taken if they become an imminent threat to public safety.

Mountain lions are wide-ranging animals that can wander over areas as large as 200 square miles. Lions are widely spread out in the Coachella Valley and CDFW reminds walkers and hikers to be aware of their surroundings and use caution in light of this recent incident.

It is rare, but not unheard of, for mountain lions to threaten people. On average fewer than 10 public safety incidents involving mountain lions occur in California annually.  In the event of an encounter with an aggressive mountain lion, CDFW recommends that you do what you can to appear larger. For example, open your jacket or raise arms over your head. If attacked, FIGHT BACK!  People have successfully repelled lion attacks using caps, sticks and canteens or whatever else they had on hand.

Since 1986, there have been 14 verified mountain lion attacks on people in California, including six fatalities. The last fatality was in January 2004 in Orange County.

Problem mountain lions – those that threaten people, kill livestock or are a nuisance — cannot be relocated. Relocation is illegal in California and is biologically unsound.  Studies have shown that relocated mountain lions have poor rates of survival and rarely stay at release sites, and their undesirable behaviors are unaffected by the relocation.


Great White Shark Status To Be Reviewed

Sorry for another shark tidbit, but this is from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife: 

Department of Fish and Wildlife Releases White Shark Status Review under the California Endangered Species Act

APRIL 4, 2014

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has released a full status review of the Northeast Pacific population of white shark under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA).

The review document is available at

In completing the review, CDFW determined that the best scientific information available indicates the petitioned action is not warranted and recommends the California Fish and Game Commission (Commission) not list the Northeast Pacific population of white shark as threatened or endangered under CESA.

At a future meeting, the Commission will make a final decision on whether or not to list the Northeast Pacific population of white shark as a threatened or endangered species under CESA.

Please check the Commission website at for more information.