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Sacramento River Salmon Fishing

You don't have to fly to Alaska or Canada to battle the mighty King Salmon. Among its other treasures, Northern California boasts a healthy run of Chinook (King) Salmon. The Sacramento River System hosts the largest run of King Salmon in California and surpasses many Canadian and Alaskan Rivers.

Red Bluff, CA is home to the best salmon fishing on the Sacramento River. Historically, the Sacramento hosted the largest run of King Salmon in the state. Salmon average 15-30 lb. while fish in excess of 50 pounds are caught every year.

Teetering on the verge of collapse in 2008, the fall king salmon run rebounded the past few years, but remains unstable. When there are lots of salmon in the Sac, it’s one of the most productive rivers in the lower 48. During good years, we fish the Sacramento at the peak of the fall run in Sept. & Oct.

After the fall kings spawn, the late fall run kings run the Sac, usually after the first significant rains of November. This is a trophy run of salmon that makes up for in size what it lacks in numbers. 50 pounders are caught out of this run every year.

We welcome anglers of all skill levels. On the night of your arrival, we provide a brief training on how we will will fish and explain and practice the techniques.

Salmon season on the Sacramento River opens in 2 phases - mid July below the Red Bluff Diversion Dam and early August for the remainder of the river.

From mid-July through late October, the salmon run strengthens normally peaking in late October. Starting in November, the late fall fun arrives. Mid November through mid-December provides the best opportunity to catch that elusive 50 pounder for those willing to brave the rain and cold.

Your Experience
After a relaxing stay at the Salmon King Lodge Guesthouse, you will follow us to the river where you will board the biggest and most comfortable jet boat on the river - our 2012 25' Willie Predator.

We fish where the hoards of fishermen don't. We are not afraid to burn gas to find salmon and avoid crowded places like the Barge Hole on the Sacramento that attract nearly as many fishermen as salmon. While combat fishing generates some interesting stories and certainly save a lot of gas for the Barge Hole guides, it is not an experience that we want to share with our guests!

We will clean or filet your fish and pack the fish for shipping. Like all other guides, we keep the roe so that we can cure it and use it for the next guests.

What to Bring

* California fishing license.

* Clothing appropriate to the season. Layers are recommended. Check out Accuweather for the latest weather forecast.

* Sunscreen and insect repellent.

* Soda, water, and food.

* Cooler for your catch.

* Beer, wine or spirits to enjoy at the lodge. While we don't prohibit alcohol on the boat, we discourage anything that compromises your safety and ability to react when that big salmon grabs your lure. Sober fishermen land more fish! Intoxication of any sort is grounds for ending the trip.

* We provide all fishing equipment.

Special Considerations - Weather

Summer - Summers in Northern California are hot. Weeks of 100 degree temps with bright sunshine are not uncommon. You must stay hydrated and covered with sunblock. Lack of shade, our beautiful clear skies, and reflections from the water make serious sunburn a real danger. Sunburn and dehydration are the most common problems encountered by people fishing this area. If you are sun sensitive, try wide brimmed hats and light long pants and long sleeve shirts developed for tropical ocean fishing.

Fall - October through November weather is unpredictable. Beautiful temperate days, summer-like heat and chilling rain are all possible. Be prepared and dress in layers. Your hosts normally start with shorts and a tank top, covered by sweat pants and light cotton shirt and warm or water proof jackets as needed.

Winter - Rain and cold weather dominate, though 70 degree days are possible. Flexibility is needed at this time of year. While the largest fish of the year populate the river, a hard storm can blow out the river for days at a time. We fish rain or shine, but will not fish the river when it endangers our guest's safety.

Book your fishing experience today - click here to send us an email or call us at (866) 877-8354