Shasta lake Fishing

Shasta Lake Fishing The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need For



Shasta Lake is the largest reservoir in California and offers an amazing array of fishing opportunities. Here you can find bass, trout, catfish, bluegill, crappie, perch, striped bass, and sturgeon.

No matter what skill level or type of fishing you enjoy most- whether it be fly fishing or trolling- you’ll never run out of fun at Shasta.

Basic Information of a Lake

The lake is about 2 and a half hours north of Sacramento and 3 and a half hours north of San Francisco. The lake was named after Shasta, a Native American chief who was the ruler of the California Chico tribe. Because of the high elevation of the lake (about 4,000 feet), it’s said to have some of the best trout fishing in the state.

The lake is about 98 miles square and has about 3,400 acres of surface water. The lake is about 7 miles wide and 30 miles long. It has one small dam for water control and a dam on the lake’s outlet.

There are a few fish hatcheries and a small resort on the lake. The lake is very shallow and has a very low water retention rate. A lot of the water is lost with evaporation. The lake is very cold all year round.


Shasta Lake Fishing Guide

I love fishing. I’m not great, but I like to think I know a thing or two about it. The best place to fish is Shasta Lake, or so many people say. Shasta Lake is the largest lake in California with over 20 powerboats and over 100 fishing boats on the lake at any given time.

There are people who grow up here just for the fishing. The water is clean and cold, perfect for trout fishing.


Which season is best to fish in Shasta Lake?

The best season to fish in Shasta Lake is during the fall months. This time of year offers the best opportunity for catching trout, bluegill, bass, catfish, and panfish. It will also provide you with a chance to try out your skills on larger-sized fish like walleye or pike. It is the best time to fish for trout because of the relatively high level of oxygen in the water.

Fish are known to be more active when the air temperature is cool. This allows the fish to be more active and thus easier to catch.

Shasta Lake is closed to the public during the Winter months (December through April).


Types of fishes at Shasta Lake:

There are many different types of fish that can be caught at Shasta Lake. Some types of fish, such as bass and catfish, are most commonly found during the summer, but others are more abundant during the winter season. There are also some species of fish that are only found in certain areas near Shasta Lake. Some of the commonly caught varieties of fish include:

  • Paddlefish
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Brown Trout


Paddlefish in Shasta lake may be the most overlooked sport fishing species in the entire US. With their lightweight and meager catch, they have been easy to ignore. However, with a few new techniques and a little patience, you can easily get on their good side.

The paddlefish is a member of the family Polyodontidae which means “having many teeth”. They live for up to twenty years and grow from 2 to 3 feet long.


Rainbow Trout

The Rainbow trout is the only salmonid fish species found in Shasta Lake, which is one of California’s largest reservoirs. Rainbow trout are also found in other high elevation lakes like Lake Tahoe and Pyramid Lake. The rainbow trout was introduced to these lakes in order to provide sport fishing, which later became a huge economic industry for the state. Various methods can be used to catch Rainbow Trout, including fly fishing, bait fishing, and trolling.


Largemouth Bass

Largemouth bass, also known as green bass or wall-eye, is one of the most common game fish found in Shasta Lake. This body of water spans 1,844 acres and has an average depth of about 45 feet. Largemouth bass can live to be 10-15 years old and reach up to 24 inches long. They are typically brownish-green with dark blotches on their scales.


Smallmouth Bass

For fishermen, Shasta Lake offers some of the best smallmouth bass fishing in the world.

Traditional lures are not always enough to lure these slippery fish. Professionals use a variety of fishing techniques ranging from heavy line to light tackle in order to catch Shasta bass. Many anglers use a combination of trolling, fly fishing, and topwater fishing techniques.


Brown Trout

Brown trout are the most common fish in Shasta Lake. These fish have a long, thin body with dark brown to olive green coloring. Adults can grow up to 20 inches and weigh about 2 lbs. They live for up to 10 years, making them popular targets for anglers across the West.

Tools and Techniques for fishing

Fishing Line

You can use any type of line you want. I prefer a polyester braided line to a mono line. The monoline is excellent for fish that swim through the water, whereas the braided line is great for obstacles in the water. For the braided line, you will want a knot that is tied with a double overhand knot.


Fishing Rod

I prefer a 6′ 6oz. rod with a 7′ 6oz. reel. The specs are up to you- but make sure it has a comfortable grip for your hands and has a nice, smooth action. Reel – Make sure the reels are made from aluminum. This will help keep the line from being eaten by the fish. You will also want a spin-cast reel. You will have to experiment with the equipment until you find the right combination of line, rod, and reel.



You will want to start with a light line. The lightest line you can find will make the most sense. You will want to stay away from the light line when you cast to a fish. The line should be very smooth and be able to be cast with ease. Before casting you will need a lot of line on your rod. You don’t want to cast too much line. You want it to fit in your hand. This is a very important part of casting a rod. You will want to start with the line between your thumb and forefinger. As you get better, you will want to use the line between your index finger and middle finger. You will be able to cast almost as far as you can with your index finger and middle finger.

Shasta Lake Fishing Regulations:

All anglers must be on the public water when fishing. It is illegal to fish in private or restricted waters. Fishing licenses and regulations apply.

A valid fishing license is required for all anglers. The license is good for the entire season.

Shasta lake can be fished during the entire year. It is best fished during the spring, summer, and fall months.

Rules that you should follow:

  • Anglers must keep their catch.
  • No live bait may be used.
  • Anglers may not use explosives.
  • Anglers may not use lures that attract fish into the water.


Are you a fisherman with a busy schedule? If so, then this article is for you! We have gathered all the information you need to catch a fish in Shasta Lake and can be found above.


Read More: Canoe Vs Kayak Fishing A Complete Guide

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *