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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

Canoe Vs Kayak Fishing A Complete Guide

Canoe Vs Kayak Fishing, we have heard for years that Either a Canoe or a kayak is better for fishing but the debate still goes on today we try to end this debate let’s see what happens.

First, we will look into Canoe fishing and its pros and cons.

Canoe Fishing

Canoe fishing is the old style method of fishing popular in East Asian countries. It is a light weighted pointed at both ends and open from the top. It allows greater maneuverability than Kayaks.


Kayaks Fishing


Fishing Kayaks are also a good option for fishing especially in the areas hard to go to.  Comparable to canoes, kayaks were initially constructed with wood frames as cars of transportation.

The layout of the initial kayak was different than the canoe. Instead of an open intermediary watercraft principle, kayaks were made with a solitary opening as well as designed for someone. Numerous Native Americans utilized kayaks for searching and fishing.

Today, kayaks share the exact same general style that stemmed from the Native Americans.

Materials are different and two-person and even three-person kayaks are readily available however the style principle stays mainly the same.

Kayaks are terrific for angling trips on lakes, rivers, as well as also on the ocean.


Canoe Vs Kayak Comparison

Storage Capacity

For a Professional Fisherman who is looking for the ability to carry a lot of stuff with him or intending on packing a tent and also taking a multi-day fishing trip, storage space is necessary.

A canoe’s open leading style indicates it’s very easy to keep rods and also gear even with several people in the watercraft. Canoes likewise are available in flat lower designs which helps your take-on box stand upright and assists store other gear effectively.

Numerous canoes also have wood seats and also a wooden structure perfect for strapping down equipment. Canoes are the first choice when it comes to storage capacity

Kayak storage is a bit harder. As a result of the closed-top layout, kayaks typically do not use as much storage room as canoes.

Numerous kayaks have an area behind the watercraft opening for incorporating a fishing pole or a take on the box, but it’s difficult to put any fishing equipment within the watercraft.


The kayak is probably the much faster, much more reliable boat in this scenario. The flexible style of the kayak allows it cuts through the rough water well. A double-ended paddle likewise implies paddling as well as steering are simple and also reliable.

If your main focus is to cover more distance then you need speed and for speed, Kayak is the best option.


Everybody needs comfort in any work so why not in fishing. The majority of angling kayaks are typically a sit-on-top style.

You rest with legs curved or straight-out level. You can only deal with ahead, and also twisting around to look behind is tough. In a canoe, you rest greater, which is less stable however your legs are curved and also you can squirm about simpler.

This is the most significant advantage for someone like me. In a canoe, I can agonize, wiggle, crouch, or kneel and also stand to reduce stress on my reduced back.


An excellent sit-on-top kayak suggested for angling will be really secure, but most great canoes will certainly still be more steady general in calm conditions. A canoe’s width and bigger dimension make it very solid in the water.

Mostly all canoes make it very easy for a fisherman to stand as well as walk around. Kayaks don’t permit a lot of motion, however, a large sit-on-top angling kayak will generally enable you to stand. Personally, I constantly choose to have the choice to stand, particularly in circumstances that ask for the most exact casts.

Keep in mind though that a canoe is actually just extra stable than a kayak when in calm water. In rough seas, the canoe’s size and weight make it much harder to manage. It’s fairly very easy to reduce over a wave in a kayak.

Under normal circumstances, canoes are more challenging to tip over than kayaks. Nonetheless, when tipped over, kayaks are much easier to recoup than canoes. This is especially true for sit-on-top kayaks.

The greater gunnels of a canoe make it a lot harder to flip back to the upright setting in the water. Kayaks will roll right back right into placement without much initiative.

Equipment will certainly also usually stay even more protected and also dry in a flipped kayak versus a flipped canoe. No one such as to see their tackle strung out through the water.



When thinking about canoe vs kayak angling, one more point to think about is trolling. Lots of fishermen make use of a technique called trolling when a lake or river fishing. Trolling is when a fisherman places his/her line out behind the watercraft then utilizes the forward motion of the watercraft to provide the attraction life in the water. This works well on electric motorboats with ‘trolling’ motors and also is frequently executed making use of conventional tackle.

Trolling allows anglers to erupt line, protect the rod someplace on the boat, and remain to paddle or power the boat up until the rod starts to bend signifying a fish. This can be a fantastic way to cover water and discover fish in canoes and kayaks, as well.

A kayak is excellent for trolling, particularly if the particular kayak design belongs to put a fishing rod in the back half of the boat. A sluggish, easy dual-bladed stroke thrusts the kayak forward and gives life to the lure. The rod won’t hinder propulsion if the pole is straight behind the fishermen. The capacity to speed the kayak up as well as reduce it down also lends itself to solid trolling efficiency.

An angler can also troll in a canoe, although it’s not as helpful as a kayak for placing your rod down as well as paddling with your line in the water. A lot of canoes do not have a place that will firmly hold your rod while you paddle. Again, fishermen may strike the fishing pole with the paddle if the pole is not straight behind the angler in a canoe. Some anglers merely attach rod holders sideways of the canoe towards the rear of the boat which makes securing the rod much easier.

Best Lakes in California for Fishing

Canoe vs Kayak Fishing Final Words

Both kayaks, as well as canoes, are excellent angling lorries. Both boats enable fishermen to access water that would otherwise be hard to reach in a motorboat or from the shore. Canoes as well as kayaks likewise supply the fishermen with the capability to check out, appreciate water recreationally, and get closer to the fish.

A kayak’s closed-top design gives fishermen the capacity to navigate turbulent rivers or a wavy sea without bothering with filling up the boat with water. A canoe’s open-top design, on the other hand, gives sufficient area for storage as well as is extra conducive to multi-day fishing trips.

Kayaks are normally a lot more streamlined and also user-friendly– easier to paddle and excellent for cover lots of water in a brief quantity of time. Canoes are a little slower but a lot more well-balanced and effective for multi-person adventures. A kayak’s streamlined design additionally assists the angler to navigate superficial water and tiny water circumstances.

All-in-all, both watercraft are fantastic for casting either a fishing pole or a standard pole. While canoes are a better selection in some situations and also kayaks are a much better selection in others, both boats permit fishermen to access brand-new water as well as make one of the most out of any type of shady trip.

This was the analysis of our Canoe Vs kayak fishing hope you can choose according to your needs.