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Anglers from far and wide flock to the Sacramento River each year for its renowned Salmon fishing. More than 70% of California’s Chinook (or “King”) Salmon are caught in the Sac River, including trophy fish that weigh up to 70 lbs or more. It was here that anglers broke the state record with an 88 lb Salmon in 1979, and locals claim they’ve seen fish even bigger than that in these waters. Whether you’re a pro looking to set the new record or simply a curious beginner, the Salmon fishing Sacramento River has in store is sure to knock your socks off.
When to Fish for King Salmon
King Salmon swim up the river several times a year, with runs in spring, summer, and autumn. Anglers are allowed to fish during the early and late fall Salmon runs, from July through December. Early in the season, you can expect large numbers of this fish, mostly weighing 20-30 lbs. Around September, the number of Salmon decreases, but this late fall run offers bigger and higher quality fish. It’s common to land 40-60 lb Kings later in the season, with the occasional 70-pounder thrown in.
Sac River Salmon Fishing Styles
Sacramento River Salmon fishing guides rely on a variety of techniques. It’s common to fish with roe, either by side drifting, back trolling, or back bouncing. One method specific to the Sac River is “boondoggling,” which involves dragging roe along the bottom of the river upstream from the boat, while drifting sideways with the use of a kicker motor. Flatfish and lures like spin-glows also prove effective.
Need to Know
Anglers age 16 and older must buy a California fishing license, even when fishing with a local guide. Salmon fishing regulations can change from year to year and the open season may not always be the same in different areas. You can read more about seasons and size limits online. Anglers are typically allowed to keep 2 King Salmon.
Sacramento River Salmon (Chinook) Fishing Seasons
Top Salmon (Chinook) Fishing Charters in Sacramento River
Top Fishing Charters
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