Warm- and cold-water fish thrive in the temperate environment of Shasta Lake, making it an excellent place for sport fishing. The most popular fish species caught here are bass (largemouth, spotted and smallmouth), trout (rainbow and brown), crappie, bluegill, and Chinook salmon. Whether fishing from the shore or a boat, you’re very likely to catch a fish. Premium fishing spots include the areas between Dekkas Rock campground and Hirz Bay, both sides of Salt Creek inlet, close to the Shasta Dam, up into the Dry Creek, Silverthorn area, and Jones Valley.
Fishing Shasta Lake from shore is popular in several areas including Jones Valley, Silverthorn, and Salt Creek Inlet. To avoid crowds, the Clikapudi Trail is a great option along with the Shasta Dam, as well as the Dry Creek Trail on the northwest side of the dam. Lakeshore Drive near Lakehead has about 8 miles of fishable shoreline, but make sure you avoid private property along the road.
To improve your catch rate for Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, and Salmon, try trolling at depths of 30’ to 70’ along the McCloud River Arm and the Shasta Dam. Using bank anglers in the spring is also helpful. During early spring and summer, using a diving plane or 18-26 pound test lead core line along with a deep sea reel and medium or heavy-duty rod is advised. Lures that work well include Thinfins in different colors, Kastmasters, Rebels, Flatfish, Rapalas, and Z-Rays.
If you want to target bass, catfish and crappie in the spring and early summer, we recommend using rubber worms, spinner baits and live bait. Fishing for catfish is best during the summer just after sunset. The most effective baits for catfish are anchovies, chicken liver, and “stink” baits. Crappie populations vary from year to year so check with the California Department of Fish and Game to figure out if there are crappie available and to see if there are any limits or restrictions on crappie fishing. Jigs and minnows usually work best for catching crappy in Shasta Lake.
Shasta Lake Fish:
Shasta Lake boat ramps:
The following boat ramps provide access to Shasta Lake.