Fishing Lake Shasta California

Lake Shasta Fishing Challenge
Lake Shasta Area Guide
Lake Shasta Hiking Trails


This reservoir in the Shasta District, known as Lake Shasta, has stored water since 1944 due to the stoppage of the Sacramento River by the 9th tallest dam in the United States known as, Shasta Dam. It helps in  flood control in the Sacramento Valley at the foot of the dam, and is a strategic facility of the Central Valley Project.

The flood water outflow helps to generate electricity and power through the Shasta Power Plant, and is also used by the locals for irrigation purposes. Numerous freshwater fish can be found in the lake for which special fishing regulations and eating advisories have been developed by California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment Department due to mercury, and PCB traces found in fish species.

Lake Shasta Map
Lake Shasta Location

Pit, McCloud and other small tributaries from different rivers converge with the River Sacramento. When the water exits the river, it is then stored in Lake Shasta. Dimensionally it is the state’s 3rd largest body of water and the state’s largest reservoir, with a capacity of 4,552,000 acre-ft, a height of 1067 ft. and 30,000 acres of surface area. It is approximately 9 miles from Redding, and has the town of Lakehead on its north shore.

The rest of the area is covered with thick, green forest and steep mountains. Lake Shasta is famous for fishing and other water activities such as house boating, water skiing, camping, and motorboating, etc.. Lake Shasta has a moderate climate, which peaks at around the upper-90s between June & August.

Lake Shasta is a nurturing environment for both warm and cold water fish.   However,cold water fish thrive there more, considering the climatic conditions, water level fluctuations, steep banks, and the absence of large quantities of aquatic vegetation.

Various species can be found in the Lake like: white catfish, Sacramento sucker, brown/rainbow trout, black crappie, spotted/large/smallmouth bass, Sacramento/channel squawfish, Chinook salmon, green sunfish, threadfin shad, bluegill, golden shiner, carp, blackfish, white sturgeon, brown bullhead, and riffle sculpin, to name just a few. Anglers are generally drawn towards trout and bass fishing at Lake Shasta.

Fish Species and Fishing

smallmouth bass

Smallmouth Bass

Largemouth Bass

Largemouth Bass

spotted bass

Spotted Bass



raindbow trout

Rainbow Trout

brown trout

Brown Trout

chinook salmon

Chinook Salmon

Channel Catfish

Channel Catfish

bullhead catfish

Bullhead Catfish

Lake Shasta is an angler’s paradise with unlimited opportunities to relax on a houseboat and enjoy the splendid views of the luscious, green forest, snow-capped mountains, or just sit on the shore and fish!

For brown trout and salmon, anglers need to direct themselves to the arm of the McCloud River, while rainbows are heavy  in the Sacramento River Arm or near Shasta Dam. The best time to find these fish is the early spring before the water starts to warm up, as these aquatic species move to cooler banks by late spring, as the temperature takes a rise due to the upcoming summer season.

Fishing for bass, crappie and catfish on the lake is feasible all year round, but the best time is during early summer. Local bait & tackle  shops are easily accessible, and have various options, like: rubber worms, spinner baits, live bait, and chicken livers.

Various areas like Silverthorn, Jones Valley, Shasta Dam, Packers Bay, Bailey Cove, Salt Creek Inlet and Lakeshore Drive offer the angler visiting Shasta Lake the opportunity to experience shore fishing. There are public ramps as well as private properties that can be rented for shore fishing.


Lake Shasta Boat Launch
Lake Shasta Boat Rentals
Lake Shasta Tackle Shop
Lake Shasta Restrooms
Lake Shasta Picnic
Lake Shasta Swimming
Lake Shasta Pet Friendly

Both commercial and public boat ramps are available at Shasta Lake.  The commercial vessels are usually associated with resorts or marinas.  The public boat ramps charge a minimal fee for using the facility. Rental boats, jet boats, houseboats, deck boats, flatboats and motor boats are widely available at the lake, facilitating epic fishing. 

Anglers can enjoy other water activities as well. Water Activities available at Shasta Lake include: jet skiing, pleasure boating, wakeboarding, water skiing, sky skiing, and Parasailing. These water activities are a treat itself for any water sports enthusiast, and certainly make time spent at the Lake absolutely unforgettable.


Lake Shasta Lodging
Lake Shasta RV Hookups
Lake Shasta Campground

Lake Shasta provides an array of choices for anglers and visitors when it comes to lodging and accommodations. Modern Houseboats are equipped with state-of-the-art technology, like Wifi and navigation/fishing electronics.  They also have huge decks so that you can have a delightful boating experience. Lodges with duplex cabins and cottages near the Sacramento River provide a serene, yet relaxing experience for both shore and boat fishing.

Apart from these accommodations, apartments can be rented near Redding, just a few miles away from the Lake. Anglers have the choice to stay at bed and breakfast inns, hotels, motels or resort ranches to experience all the convenient facilities. The great lodging is just one  reason why Lake Shasta is such a rejuvenating  and relaxing experience.

Lake Shasta camping is also available.  Camping options are incredibly varied, ranging from campgrounds to yurts and wilderness camping.  Wilderness permits are required in some areas if you plan on wilderness camping.

  RV Hookups are available at several RV campgrounds and lodges as well.  All in all, the lodging facilities make the Lake a truly amazing experience that one would never want to miss.

Outside Attractions at Shasta Lake, California 

Lake Shasta Hiking
Lake Shasta Horseback Riding
Lake Shasta Disc Golf
Lake Shasta Biking
Lake Shasta Golf

Trails: The trails at Shasta Lake mainly follow the shoreline which offers various opportunities to experience wildlife, run, walk, cycle, or just hike. The famous trails are the Clikapudi, Bailey Cove and Packers Bay. These also provide an opportunity to camp alongside the shoreline.

Mountain biking and hiking can be easily done on these trails

Golf: Gold Hill Golf Club, Lake Redding Golf Course, Churn Creek, and Tucker Oaks are some of the golf courses near Shasta Lake.

On Water Yoga: Make your morning productive with some On Water Yoga, or Paddle Boating at Whiskeytown Lake, for your well being.

Area Attractions – A visit to nearby historical places, as well as the beautifully designed Botanical and Exploration Park will give you a rich and rewarding experience. A few must-visit places are: Shasta Dam, Sundial Bridge, Bethel Church, Turtle Bay Exploration Park, Lake Shasta Caverns, Shasta Lake State Historical Park, and many others.

Lake Shasta as a whole has so much to offer, it's a must-visit for any fishing enthusiast visiting California.








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