Sacramento River Salmon, Trout & Steelhead Fishing Guide


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The As California’s largest river, Sacramento River is one of the most popular fishing destinations in the entire state. The river is a preferred destination for salmon, trout and steelhead fishing, though anglers will also have a chance to catch sturgeon and shad fish at certain parts of the year. In fact, there are years where 200,000 salmon will swim through the river, on top of the other species of fish that also make their way to the Sacramento River.

The Sacramento salmon fishing season opens the middle of July for the section of river below the Red Bluff diversion dam. The upper section, above the diversion dam, opens on the first of August, with the fall run peaking in September. The late run fish, which are usually, the largest and brightest arrive in November and December. The Sacramento King Salmon normally average fifteen to eighteen pound, but twenty and thirty-pound fish are not uncommon. A few fish in the fifty-pound range show up each year with the state record caught out of this stretch of river that weighed in at eighty-eight pounds. In 1999, the Department of Fish and Game, trapped, filmed and released fish they estimated in the ninety-pound range.                                                                  

The Sacramento trout fishing season is open all year, but the best fishing is from October through May. The section of the river between Anderson to Redding is well known as being one of the premier wild rainbow trout fisheries of California. During the peak of the season, it is common to catch and release fifteen to twenty trout a day, with the average trout averaging two to three pounds, with lunkers up to five or six pounds. The Sacramento steelhead begins their migration up the river in October and usually run until mid February. These fish average between four to twelve pounds and can provide an action packed event when mixed in while fishing for either salmon or trout.

The shad season usually begins in May with thousands of fish moving up river until approximately mid-July. These fish average between two to four pounds, with some approaching seven to eight pounds. During the peak of the run, it is not uncommon to catch fifty to sixty fish a day.

Ken Cunningham Guide Service is renowned for being the most reputable fishing guide in the area, as we take both novice and advanced anglers on fishing outings that will create memories that will last a lifetime. Regardless of whether you’ve never used a fishing pole or you’ve gone fishing more times than you can count, our team will help you find a high level of success while out on the water. The Sacramento River salmon fishing season opens in the middle of July, while steelhead fishing lasts from October until about mid-February. Meanwhile, Shad season begins in May and trout season is year round. Whenever you choose to come, you can rest assured knowing that Ken Cunningham Guide Service will put you in optimal positon for successes, and provide you with a chance to load up on fish. For more information about what makes our fishing guide services unique, please contact us today.


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