You can find a wide range of game fish in Lake Almanor. Here you’ll find trout (rainbow, brown), smelt, catfish, smallmouth bass, and king salmon. The warm temperatures of spring create the best fishing conditions. The area around Big Springs Cove has some great fishing spots, as do both sides of the peninsula. Try fishing from the shore or dam, or trolling in these areas, for the best chances of landing a few fish. The jetty near the west shore’s Forest Service boat ramp is another great location to try to catch a few.
You’ll find more good fishing spots by the powerhouse, the Prattville jetties, and the various river and stream inlets on the lake. The rocky banks on the north shore, and the stumps on the south shore, make great hiding places for Bass. Catfish Beach is obviously the place to go for catfish, but also check out the causeway, where catfish like to gather.
Lake Almanor is considered one of California’s best Smallmouth Bass lakes and is also a likely place to reel in a trophy-sized Trout. The lake’s west basin is shallower, and it’s the first part of the lake to warm up in the springtime, so early season fishers will have the best luck there. Summertime insect hatches on the west basin also give anglers the chance for numerous catches – especially the mayfly “hex hatch” in June and July, which brings the trout running.
The east basin is deeper and populated with large schools of pond smelt, so during the summer, you’ll find plenty of Bass and Trout there. Fishing can be tricky here because the lake’s fish are so well-fed, getting them to respond to bait is more difficult. Trout and Salmon respond well to jigs, silver spoons and tube lures, or spin casting bait. Popular bait choices are crickets, nightcrawlers, and red salmon eggs.
Summertime fishing on Lake Almanor can be unpredictable. Anglers should be ready to move if an insect hatching suddenly pulls fish away from the deep east basin and into the buggy west basin.
In the Fall, try to fish by trolling smelt imitations for the best luck. Shore fishing is good in the late fall and winter on Lake Almanor, using night crawlers.
Lake Almanor Fish:
Lake Almanor boat ramps:
The following boat ramps provide access to Lake Almanor.