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Original Issue


A digest of last-minute reports from fishermen and other unreliable sources


SO=season opened (or opens); SC= season closed (or closes); SV=season varies by district or water.
C=clear water; D=water dirty or roily; M=water muddy.
N=water at normal height; SH= slightly high; H=high; VH=very high; L=low; R=rising; F=falling.
WT50=water temperature 50°.
FG=fishing good; FF=fishing fair; FP=fishing poor.
OG=outlook good; OP=outlook poor.

STRIPED BASS: NEW YORK: "Them big winds blowed us no good," lamented one Montauk boatman as even diehard surf fishermen put striper tackle away for winter; there'll be a few flurries, but by and large Long Island's bass season has had it.

CALIFORNIA: Suisun Bay, Napa River and lower Delta report FG and OG if good weather holds; Sacramento River picking up as some sections report best striper fishing since '49 and several bruisers caught on bullheads. Yup, bullheads.

NORTH CAROLINA: Huge schools of striped bass in Roanoke-Nags Head area since Nov. 10 with average weight about 4 pounds but occasional 15-pounders reported. Charter and private boats making big catches in waters of Croatan, Albemarle and Roanoke sounds and OG through next week; best lures are bucktails and chromium drones or spoons.

SNOOK: FLORIDA: Myakka River (on west coast above Punta Gorda) was hot last week with snook tearing into topwater plugs and should be productive now; fish are mostly in 5-pound class and fine size for flyrod and buck-tail. Night trollers at Fort Pierce taking big snook on large spoons and plugs near South Bridge, and OG next ten days. Most inland waterway spots producing well, but little action by daylight.

BLACK BASS: LOUISIANA: Bigmouths to 4 pounds were taking minnows and plugs in Saline Bayou in the Catahoula Lake country of central Louisiana last week and OG unless a heavy rain has mucked up the water; stop at Walker's bait shop in Jena for lowdown on local conditions.

MISSOURI: Lake Norfork still far below normal and FP, but heavy rains last week brightened outlook as several 5-to 7-pound largemouths and a few limit catches are reported and may herald overdue return. Bull Shoals still low despite 12-foot rise in past month; FG and OG. NEW MEXICO: Elephant Butte and Conchas lakes producing well on plugs, with OG next two weeks.

NEVADA: Lake Mead bass action slowed in last few days but experts still coldcocking whoppers on salamander bait; OF.

ARIZONA: Havasu Lake producing fair catches but high winds make fishing difficult.

CALIFORNIA: Trailerites are moving into camps below Parker Dam on Colorado River and putting tackle in shape for peak winter bass and catfish seasons; OG through December.

TENNESSEE: Off-and-on weather paying off for Tennessee Valley anglers as Cherokee and Douglas lakes are producing frequent limit catches averaging 3 pounds; small spoons and plugs are favorite lures, and OG on both lakes.

FLORIDA: Apalachicola River reports bassing picking up, but most freshwater areas in northwest Florida need two weeks of slow rain to lift lake levels. Best bass bets in north-central Florida are Griffin, Harris and Carlton lakes. FG in Okeechobee and canals in south end of state, but few large fish reported; OF.

STEELHEAD TROUT: CALIFORNIA: Most coastal rivers are now clearing after rains and runs are picking up; top streams are Russian River from mouth to Monte Rio, and Eel from mouth to Scotia; Sacramento is producing lots of limits, mostly in 5-pound class but Corning, Osborn and Tehama riffles are showing a few lunkers (including a season-record 17-pounder last week on bait); OG through next week.

OREGON: Steelhead are plentiful in coastal streams but most are VH, D, impossible to fish; OP as forecast is more rain.

BRITISH COLUMBIA: First winter steelhead have been caught in Capilano River; South Thompson slowed down a bit last week but reported one 19-pounder on fly. All Vancouver Island and lower mainland streams VH, D, unfishable now, but a few dry days will drop smaller streams to fishing height; then winter fish will be in and fishing will be on.

BLUEFISH: LOUISIANA: If you have a wash-tub you want filled with blues from 2 to 4 pounds take a charter boat from Grand Isle to any offshore oil platform; night fishing is hottest but even by daylight a feathered dude or small plug will get results; OG through next fortnight.

FLORIDA: Blues are showing in most east coast waters but are thickest in Fort Pierce and Vero Beach areas; pier fishermen at Miami Beach are still connecting; OF for next ten days.

PACIFIC SALMON: CALIFORNIA: Chinooks are plentiful in the Sacramento but paying little attention to lures. Silvers providing some action in Noyo, Big and lower Eel rivers but OP.

OREGON: Rains and high tides have wangled good late run of silvers into Siltcoos Lake, and slow-trolled flatfish and cherry bobbers are getting fine results near outlet; weather is unsettled but OG through next week.

WEAKFISH: NORTH CAROLINA: Morehead City-Beaufort waters providing fast fishing for tide-running sea trout in channels of sound and near harbors and causeways, and OG through next week.

FLORIDA: FG in most bays of inlets of west coast, with fish improving in quantity and quality. Editors C. H. Hamilton of Richmond (Va.) News Leader and Peyton Winfree of Lynchburg (Va.) News and Daily Advocate took 24 speckled sea trout on flats of upper Old Tampa Bay last week.

LOUISIANA: FF in Vermilion Bay below New Iberia and will improve as winter progresses.

SAILFISH: MEXICO: 140-pound sail boated Nov. 20 at Acapulco. Charter boats are averaging 4 to 7 strikes daily, and OG while fine weather continues.

FLORIDA: FG from Palm Beach to Miami Beach with most fish under 50 pounds and no real keepers reported.

TROUT: IDAHO: Lake Pend Oreille's season closed Nov. 30 not with a whimper but a bang as three trout over 25 pounds and many from 10 to 20 pounds were derricked from this fabulous fishery in last days of season.

CALIFORNIA: FG for rainbows in Shasta and Almanor lakes, both open year round. (Shasta has fair kokanees, too.)