Lake Shasta Fishing Info
With a size of more than 30,000 acres, Lake Shasta is the biggest man-made water reservoir in California. It consists of four primary arms, namely the Pit River, Squaw Creek, and McCloud River. The lake also has a shoreline that is 370 miles long with maximum depths of up to 500 feet.
It is a popular destination for anglers, as it has a two-story impoundment that provides a habitat for both warm water and cold water fish species.
Lake Shasta has steep-sided banks, fluctuating water levels throughout the year, and it lacks cover in the form of rock and water plants. The lake is, therefore, not the most suitable habitat for warm water species, and these fish populations are somewhat limited.
Also, the populations of warm water fish in Lake Shasta are self-perpetuating while the California Department of Fish and Game maintain the cold water fish in the lake with annual stocking.
There is, therefore, an abundance of cold water fish in Lake Shasta. Fish species you can catch in Lake Shasta include chinook salmon, largemouth bass, spotted bass, smallmouth bass, bluegill, carp, black crappie, rainbow trout, brown trout, Sacramento sucker, blackfish, hardhead minnow, golden shiner, green sunfish, Sacramento Squawfish, white sturgeon, riffle sculpin, threadfin shad, white catfish, and brown bullhead.
The most common fish that are caught by anglers are trout and bass. To catch threadfin, cast in the shallow waters right before the temperature starts to drop. For catching trout, head over to the Jones Valley where there is a gradual slope and an abundance of shad.
Brown trout, rainbow trout, and salmon are also more predominant in the McCloud River Arm. The key is to use lures that mimic shad and minnows as well as a wide variety of plugs and spoons. According to California Fish and Game, lure colors that tend to be effective include pink, orange, blue, green, and red.
To fish in Lake Shasta, you have to be older than sixteen years, and you need a fishing license. You can get your commercial or sports fishing license online from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
If you’re fishing specific species, for example, salmon or steelhead, you may require validations and harvesting report cards in addition to a fishing license. Visit the California Department of Fish and Game website to get your fishing license and to find out about cost reductions if you are a veteran or disabled angler.
The best time to catch brown and rainbow trout or chinook salmon is during early spring before the water temperature rises. From mid-spring throughout summer, these species tend to move deeper into the lake to the colder water.
You’ll be able to catch bass, catfish, and crappie throughout the year. The best time to go bass fishing on Lake Shasta is during spring and maybe even early summer.
If you want to go catfishing, the best time is during summer after sunset. Crappie populations fluctuate from year to year. To find out if there currently is an abundance of crappie, contact the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.