The opening weekend of salmon season wasn’t anything to brag about, but a few fortunate fishers managed to pull fish out of the Sacramento River near Colusa County.
“I only heard of two fish being caught this weekend,” Doug Austin, of Kittle’s Outdoor and Sport said. He added that he wasn’t sure where the fish were caught. “I went out on Sunday, and there were some guys out on the river, but they were presumably fishing for striper.”
At Ward’s Landing and the mouth of Butte Creek, there were only a handful of boats to be found fishing on opening day, and no one in that area had hauled in a salmon by 10 AM.
Upriver from Colusa there was more success, Colusa resident and fishing guide Drake Fusaro said – but it wasn’t encouraging enough to bring him back for a second day of fishing.
“I only fished Saturday, because it was so good I didn’t want to go back Sunday,” Fusaro joked. “We did have one bite first thing in the morning, but it didn’t stick. I know one was caught in the morning right above us…There are salmon moving through, but they are few and far between.”
The report from Steelhead Lodge – given by tenant James “Jim” Cleland — was that two salmon were caught on Saturday, both about 18 pounds. Cleland said told the staff at the landing that the salmon are “slow and sporadic.”
While Fusaro did admit that he was surprised by the low numbers of salmon fishers out for the Saturday opener, he attributed the lack of excitement to down years in 2014 and 2015.
“You know, you had two slow to bad years. A lot of guys are getting discouraged – but it is still summertime,” Fusaro said. “Seems like a lot more people fish once they get back into the swing of things…”
On Monday, Daniel Vaca, another Kittle’s employee, said that the low number of area salmon fishers does not come as a surprise to him – at least not this early in the season.
“You will hear most of our salmon guys in this area say that the season really starts on August 1,” Vaca said. He added that he had also heard some reports of limited success on the Sacramento River, however.
Sales at Kittle’s Outdoor and Sport leading up to the opener were also somewhat lackluster, owner Pat Kittle said on Friday afternoon. Kittle also attributed the lack of opening day excitement to substandard seasons over the past couple years.
Austin said on Monday that there were a few people who came in to the store to rig up for salmon throughout the rest of the weekend, but not many.
Those that were coming in to set up for the opener were mainly buying spinners and quickfish, with a wire spreader setup.
Kittle said that based on last year, the most effective color for the custom salmon spinners have been white, blue and purple. ■