Anglers fishing Lake Berryessa can catch a wide assortment of game fish, including trout (rainbow, brown), largemouth bass, bluegill, kokanee salmon, catfish, and more. If you’re aiming to catch trout or salmon, try trolling with needlefish, salmon eggs, or silver spoons. For catfish, try using minnows, chicken liver, crayfish, or nightcrawlers. The bass take well to crankbaits, plastic worms, and zara spooks.
Lake Berryessa inlets like Capell Cove and Steel Canyon are very productive fishing spots. Popular locations for catfish are the Putah Creek Inlet, Pope Creek Inlet, and north of the northern bridge.
Bass action can get really busy on Berryessa, and some anglers boast of 50-fish days. Here you can catch three major black bass species – the largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass. For a good chance to land all three on the same day, hit the water in May or June.
Look for smallmouth at the Putah Creek Inlet, or the Narrows at the south end of Berryessa (the Narrows is also excellent for Spotteds). Early in the season, use craw-fish imitating jigs, minnow-imitating crankbaits and swimbaits. After May, use soft plastics on drop-shot rigs.
Markley Cove is a favorite spot for fishing largemouths, although they may be caught all over the lake. Largemouths respond well to delicate lures like downsized finesse worms. After the spawn, crankbaits become very effective for catching largemouths.
Spotted bass bite year-round. They like finesse soft plastics on drop-shot rigs, jigs and wacky rigs, and crankbaits. During the summer, while the spotteds are chasing schools of bait fish, you’ll get good catches out of jerkbaits, cranks and swimbaits that mimic the local bait fish.
Weekends may be busy on Lake Berryessa, because the lake is close to the Bay Area and a popular destination for boaters, but fishing during the week and away from major access points will offer plenty of chances to find quiet water.
Lake Berryessa Fish:
Lake Berryessa boat ramps:
The following boat ramps provide access to Lake Berryessa.