Fishing The California Delta


As the last ice age ended around 10,000 years ago, the California Delta was formed in the heart of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers convergence point. It’s a rich estuary, and one of the largest deltas on the West Coast, where westward waters enter Suisun Bay. Spread out across 1,100 square miles, including marshland as well as water, it’s an ultimate fishing paradise, and every angler’s dream come true! 

The Delta formation happened due to glaciation, which led to erosion and rising sea levels in the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers. The tidal action helped the residues to collect and form this large freshwater marsh, which later developed islands that were claimed for agriculture. Most of the islands are below sea level.

The delta harbors over 500 animal and plant species, among which there are more than 22 species of fish, including: sturgeon, salmon (which travel upstream to spawn), American shad, steelhead trout, striped/large/smallmouth bass and others. The place is extremely famous amongst thousands of fishers who visit it annually to either fish, take part in derbies and contests, or just to relax. 

The delta is a well-known vacation spot, with lots of recreational activities other than fishing, such as: boating, house boating, sailing, waterskiing & hunting.  Anglers can visit local historical places, including: Locke Boarding House, Delta Meadows, and the Old Sacramento State Historic Park. 

Fun fact: Did you know that over 7 million visitors came and visited the delta during the boating season in 2010 alone?

Fish Species and Fishing

The delta is a paradise for anglers and seafood lovers. Anglers can pursue their passion and fish, while seafood lovers can just enjoy the day’s catch at dinner, sipping their drinks and relaxing on the deck of their houseboat. Mainly, two types of fishing can be done at the California Delta, 1) Using Fishing Holes 2) Bank Fishing

Fishing Holes

Fishing Holes are deeper pools which are great for trout fishing. A few great spots at California Delta are Decker Island, Horseshoe Bend, the Old River and many more.

Bank Fishing

Anglers can sit back and relax on the banks of the river and fish. A few great spots for bank fishing are Downtown Antioch, Jersey Island, Pittsburgh Riverview Park, and many others.

Fish Species

The Delta features many freshwater species, such as:  large/smallmouth/striped bass, salmon, steelhead, sturgeon, bullhead/channel catfish, bluegill, crappie and the famous crawdad.

Catfish (though present all year round) and bluegill are present in the California Delta during the early summer season.

Bass is present heavily from June-September, and sturgeon are present during early winter.

Bait Shops

You would never go fishing unprepared, but the California Delta has got you covered just in case you forget something. Easily accessible bait shops include: Gotcha Bait n’ Tackle at Antioch, The Delta Sportsman at Bethel Island and Fisherman’s Catch at Pittsburgh Marina.



There are over 100 marinas and 25 yacht clubs on or near the delta, along with local bait shops. They rent various types of boats, such as: paddle boats, jet boats, motorboats, houseboats, flatboats, yachts, steamboats, ferries, kayaks, and canoes, or just simply charter a cruise. They have it all. You can take day-long trips, or jus- anchor in the middle of the water and enjoy!

Other water-related activities include: jet skiing, sailing, houseboats, parasailing, windsurfing, paddle boating, kayaking, and canoeing. There are also fishing contests focusing on particular seasons and species with hefty prize money. From amateurs to experts, everyone is welcome to take part in these tournaments. 


A wide range of accommodation variety makes the California Delta a must-visit destination. From luxurious living, to budget-friendly places, from hotels and spas to bed and breakfasts,  the California Delta has all its accommodation options ready and equipped with modern day features and conveniences. Accommodation at its best helps the visitors to rejuvenate themselves and return to their daily routines with a refreshed and positive perspective.



Various 3 to 5-star hotels are available, equipped with all the modern facilities near the California Delta.  A few options to choose from are as follows: Hotel Del Rio in Isleton, Delta King in Sacramento and the Grand Island Mansion at Walnut Grove.

Bed and Breakfast

B&Bs are a great way to know the locals, their culture, and their way of living, along with some budget-friendly prices. Few B&B options are: the Locke Bed and Breakfast at Locke and The Barlett at Walnut Grove. 

Inns and Resorts

To rejuvenate your spirits and refresh yourself from the rat race, inns and resorts are the best options to pick. the Sugar Barge Resort & Marina at Bethel Island, Park Delta Bay at Isleton and the Snug Harbor Resorts at Walnut Grove won’t disappoint you!

Camping and RV Parks

For adventurous souls, camping and recreational vehicles (RV) are the perfect choice, with a wide variety of locations to choose from, such as: Sugar Barge Resort & Marina at Bethel Island, Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Camp-Resort, and the Westgate Landing Campground at Lodi can get you started with an epic adventure. 

Outside Attractions

More than just a fishing paradise for anglers, California Delta has lots of attractions to keep its visitors entertained, such as:

Bird Watching

Love the flocks flying in the sky? California Delta is home to hundreds of migratory birds with many scenic observation spots. You can enjoy spectacular views on your own, or book guided tours.  A few of the famous bird watching spots are: Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge at Antioch, Brown’s Island at Pittsburgh, Rhode Island Wildlife Area, and many, many more

Visiting Bridges

Bridges create links between two places, but they can also be great vista spots. The California Delta has more than 50 bridges connecting the major islands. A few must-see bridges are: Bethel Island Bridge, Steamboat Slough Bridge, Old River Bridge, and Freeport Bridge.


Biking, walking, running, or hiking are a great means to explore a place in its natural element. The California Delta, with its flat land and less traffic, gives you a chance to explore the place on your own.  Some famous trails are: the Delta de Anza Regional Trail, John Muir National Historic Site and the Great California Delta Trail will give you the experience of a lifetime where you can contemplate, relax, read a book, absorb all the scenic beauty or just spend quality time with your family and friends.


As great it is for bird watching, California Delta also provides opportunities for hunting. A few spots where you can go hunting by boat only are: Miner Slough Wildlife Area, Calhoun Cut Ecological Reserve, and Decker Island Wildlife Area.

Picnics and Historical Site Tours

Picnics on the shoreline and banks can be done throughout the delta.  Some spots are: Pittsburgh Marina, Lloyd’s Holiday Harbor, and Contra Loma Regional Park. Historical sites at or near the delta can also be explored.  Places to visit are: Delta King, Locke Historic District, and different museums, including: the Pittsburgh and Antioch Historical Society museums.

The California Delta is an amazingly rich area, full of opportunities for the whole family, not just anglers. It’s adjacent to Two major metropolitan areas, and is rich in culture, history and natural beauty.








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