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Fishing on Shasta Lake: A Quick Guide for Fall and Winter Anglers

Fishing on Shasta Lake: A Quick Guide for Fall and Winter Anglers

One of the most popular activities on Shasta Lake, when the temperatures start to cool, is fishing, and it’s easy to see why!

While Shasta Lake is renowned for excellent fishing all year long, the cooling water temperatures encourage several cold-water species that reside in the expansive lake to move closer to the surface, which makes them easier to catch from anglers on a boat, or along the shore.

November marks the start of trout season on the lake as water temperatures have cooled enough for big browns and rainbows to be caught with gusto.

The fall and winter months are when anglers in-the-know start to look forward to fishing in Shasta Lake in earnest, as those trophy catches start to appear with regularity.

But if you’re brand new to fishing on Shasta Lake, and aren’t sure where to go or what bait to use, it’s understandable to be a little overwhelmed by the endless possibilities.

After all, Shasta Lake has roughly 370 miles of shoreline, so finding the ideal fishing grounds can be a challenge.

Our Bridge Bay Marina is an exceptional resource to get all the information and supplies you’ll need to come back with a prized catch or two, but in the meantime, here’s a quick guide on where and how to fish on your upcoming Shasta Lake fishing vacation.

Where to Fish from Your Boat…

  • The McCloud River Arm – especially for brown trout in the fall!
  • The Sacramento River Arm
  • Around O’Brien Inlet, which is located off the Sacramento River Arm
  • Close to Shasta Dam, although mariners should use caution when exploring this area
  • Close to any trees or stumps in the shallow water, especially near the Dry Creek area and near Little Sugarloaf Creek
  • On the borders of the small islands dotted throughout the lake, such as Ski Island, Toupee Island, and No Name Island
  • Right here in the waters close to Bridge Bay!

What Bait to Use for Shasta Lake Fishing

  • Plastic worms, live bait, and darter heads are good options for bass
  • Salmon eggs, minnows, and nightcrawlers work for just about every big fall species

Anglers should note that due to California regulations when it comes to baitfish, only a few options can be used in Shasta Lake waters, which include:

  • Golden shiner
  • Red shiner
  • Fathead minnows
  • Mosquitofish
  • Threadfin shad

Where to Get Your Ride and Supplies

Bridge Bay Marina at Shasta Lake is your best resource for your accommodations, your vessel, your supplies, and expert guidance on what to catch and where.

We have a fleet of both spacious houseboats for long fishing adventures, as well as smaller fishing boats that can access the secret coves and creeks where the big catches lurk.

Also, we can point you in the right direction when it comes to what you’ll need to attract the big fall catches. We can even help you navigate through the waters on your houseboating getaway via our 1-2 hour orientation before your trip.

When it comes to incredible fishing, there’s nothing like Shasta Lake in the fall and winter! Book your fishing expedition now, and discover what you’ve been missing.