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Fishing The Lake


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

  • Trout and salmon: Open season all year. Limit: five trout or salmon in combination.
  • 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.
  • Sturgeon: Open season all year. Limit: one. Minimum size: forty inches total length.

Trout & Salmon: (rainbow & brown trout, king & kokanee salmon)

On the McCloud arm, trolling from Turntable to Hirz Bay will usually produce some brown trout. The Sacramento arm, Dry Fork, Little Squaw Creek and Big Backbone Creek will usually produce some rainbows. Also near Shasta Dam, on either side of the buoy line when releases are high is a good spot. (It is illegal to tie up to the buoy line.) During early spring, bank anglers can usually catch trout and salmon in these areas also. By late spring, the fish are moving to deeper water. Trolling at depths of 30 to 70 ft. seems to be effective.

Bass: (largemouth, smallmouth & spotted)

Smallmouth and spotted bass can be found around rocky points and where streams enter the lake. For largemouth, try steep banks and snags for suspended fish and coves where there is vegetation for shallow fish. The Pit Arm, Squaw Creek Arm and Sacramento Arm are all good producers.

Crappie, Bluegill & Green Sunfish:

Fish around the rocky points, where streams enter the lake, and in the coves where there is vegetation. One of the best places to find crappie is under the lighted docks after dark. Mini jigs, live minnows and nightcrawlers all work well.

Catfish: (brown bullhead, channel & white)

Squaw Creek, Salt Creek, Dry Fork and Little Squaw Creek west of the dam are good areas. Almost any cove is a likely spot to catch catfish. The best catfishing seems to be at night. Worms, minnows, chicken livers, sardines, anchovies, and dead shad, are good sources of bait. Catfishing seems to be best in the spring and summer.


The Pit Arm from Jones Valley on up and around Shasta Dam are some of the best areas for sturgeon. These fish are most likely to be caught on the bottom with sardines. The limit on Shasta Lake is one, a minimum of 40 inches.