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Fishing The Lake

Regulations:

Fishing regulations change annually, check in the California Sport Fishing Regulations for current changes.

Because of elevated mercury levels, caution is advised in the amount of fish comsumed, that is taken from Lake Berryessa. Advisable amounts are listed in the California Sport Fishing Regulations.


  • Trout & salmon: Open season all year. Limit: five
  • Bass: Open season all year. Limit: five bass. Minimum length: twelve inches.
  • Catfish: Open season all year. Limit: twenty (except Bullheads no limit.)
  • Crappie: Open season all year. Limit: twenty-five
  • Other species: Other species of fish may be taken in any number and at any time of the year by angling.
Trout & Salmon: (rainbow & brown trout, king salmon)
Spring time fishing is excellent. Troll Needlefish, Rainbow Runners, or Wedding Rings. Trolling depths vary, from 15-17ft. in spring and fall to around 40ft. in summer months. Places to try are from the dam to the Narrows. Troll in Markley Cove, Skiers Cove and along the two rockslides towards the dam.

Shore-fishermen will have luck using minnows or nightcrawlers under a bobber or on a slipsinker, on the west shore at areas such as Capell Cove by the old launch ramp.

Bass: (largemouth, smallmouth, spotted)
Look for largemouth in the coves. Chartruese spinnerbaits, ripping lures and deep diving crankbaits in craw colors often produce. In the middle of the day, try Green Weenies, Gitzits, and plastic worms. Look for fish in the shallows all over the lake during the spawn. Find smallmouths and spotted bass on the big island in the middle of the lake, and steep rocky points in up to 40ft. of water. Throw spinnerbaits across points. In deeper water try jigs, and split-shotting plastic baits.
Crappie - Panfish:
For Crappie use minnows in 10 to 20 feet of water near docks and in coves over brush. Also, try white or yellow mini jigs. Bluegill can be found in the backs of shallow coves all over the lake with meal worms or mini nightcrawlers 5 to 10 feet under a bobber.
Catfish:
You'll find catfish action at Capell Cove, Pope Creek, Putah Creek, and most other coves. Fish the creek mouths in 8 to 10 feet of water where the ripple ends. Running water is sometimes the key. Try chicken livers, clams, night-crawlers, or minnows on a slip sinker.