skip to Main Content

The 8 Best Fishing Lakes in California

This article will provide an overview of the best fishing lakes in California. We’ll cover the top spots for finding a variety of fish, as well as tips for choosing the right lake for your fishing adventure. Get ready to cast your line and catch the perfect catch!

Clear Lake

Clear Lake is a large freshwater lake located in Lake County, California. It is the largest natural freshwater lake entirely within California’s borders and the third largest in the United States.

  • Types of Fish: bass, carp, catfish, crappie, and bluegill
  • Types of Fishing: bank fishing and boat fishing
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: available at various marinas
  • Fishing Guide Service: available from several companies
  • Closest Hotels: Riverside Resort, Balboa Inn, and Lakeside Inn & Suites
  • Nearest Fishing Store: Clearlake Outdoors, 2 miles away
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: state laws, local rules and regulations, and safety regulations
  • Amenities: boat launches, camping area, picnic areas, restrooms, and a marina
  • Nearest Gas Station: Ample Fuel, 4 miles away

Shasta Lake

Shasta Lake is a large, man-made reservoir in northern California and is part of the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. It is the second largest lake in California and the largest reservoir in the state.

  • Types of Fish: rainbow trout, brown trout, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, and catfish
  • Types of Fishing: bank fishing, boat fishing, and fly fishing
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: available at the marinas
  • Fishing Guide Service: available from several companies
  • Closest Hotels: Holiday Inn Redding, Red Lion Hotel Redding, and Quality Inn & Suites
  • Nearest Fishing Store: Redding Fish-N-Map Company, 5 miles away
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: state laws, local rules and regulations, and safety regulations
  • Amenities: boat launches, camping areas, picnic areas, restrooms, and a marina
  • Nearest Gas Station: Ample Fuel, 6 miles away

Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is a large freshwater lake located in the Sierra Nevada mountain range and is part of the California-Nevada border. It is the second deepest lake in the United States, with a maximum depth of 1,645 feet.

  • Types of Fish: Lahontan cutthroat trout, Mackinaw, rainbow trout, brown trout, and kokanee salmon
  • Types of Fishing: bank fishing, boat fishing, and fly fishing
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: available at several marinas
  • Fishing Guide Service: available from multiple companies
  • Closest Hotels: Harvey’s Resort Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe, and Montbleu Resort
  • Nearest Fishing Store: Bait & Tackle Shops, 7 miles away
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: state laws, local rules and regulations, and safety regulations
  • Amenities: boat launches, camping areas, picnic areas, restrooms, and marinas
  • Nearest Gas Station: Tahoe Biltmore Gas Station, 8 miles away

Mendocino Lake

Mendocino Lake is a large fresh water lake located in Mendocino County, California. It is the largest natural freshwater lake in California and the second largest in the United States.

  • Types of Fish: bass, carp, catfish, crappie, and bluegill
  • Types of Fishing: bank fishing, boat fishing, and fly fishing
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: available at various marinas
  • Fishing Guide Service: available from several companies
  • Closest Hotels: Mendocino Hotel and Garden Suites, Heritage House Resort, and Little River Inn
  • Nearest Fishing Store: Mendocino Outfitters, 4 miles away
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: state laws, local rules and regulations, and safety regulations
  • Amenities: boat launches, camping area, picnic areas, restrooms, and a marina
  • Nearest Gas Station: Mendocino Gas Station, 7 miles away

Salton Sea

Salton Sea is a large, shallow saline lake located in California’s Imperial and Riverside counties. It is the largest lake in California and the largest inland body of water in the United States.

  • Types of Fish: tilapia, corvina, croaker, sargo, and catfish
  • Types of Fishing: bank fishing, boat fishing, and shoreline fishing
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: available at local stores
  • Fishing Guide Service: available from several companies
  • Closest Hotels: Holiday Inn Express Salton Sea, Best Western Salton Sea and Salton Sea Beach Resort
  • Nearest Fishing Store: Salton Sea Sports World, 10 miles away
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: state laws, local rules and regulations, and safety regulations
  • Amenities: boat launches, camping areas, picnic areas, restrooms, and a marina
  • Nearest Gas Station: Ample Fuel, 11 miles away

Lake Arrowhead

Lake Arrowhead is a small reservoir located in the San Bernardino Mountains of Southern California. It is the largest reservoir in the Santa Ana River watershed and is popular with recreational fishermen.

  • Types of Fish: trout, largemouth bass, bluegill, panfish, and catfish
  • Types of Fishing: bank fishing, boat fishing, and shoreline fishing
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: available at the marina
  • Fishing Guide Service: available from several companies
  • Closest Hotels: Lake Arrowhead Resort & Spa, Cedar Lodge, and Lake Arrowhead Hotel & Spa
  • Nearest Fishing Store: Arrowhead Bait & Tackle, 2 miles away
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: state laws, local rules and regulations, and safety regulations
  • Amenities: boat launches, camping areas, picnic areas, restrooms, and a marina
  • Nearest Gas Station: Gas N Go, 4 miles away

New Melones Lake

New Melones Lake is a large reservoir located in California’s Central Valley and is part of the Stanislaus National Forest. It is the fourth largest reservoir in the state and is known for its excellent fishing.

  • Types of Fish: trout, bass, catfish, bluegill, and crappie
  • Types of Fishing: bank fishing, boat fishing, and trolling
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: available at the marina
  • Fishing Guide Service: available from several companies
  • Closest Hotels: Pines Resort, Black Oak Casino Resort, and Angel’s Camp RV & Campground
  • Nearest Fishing Store: New Melones Lake Marina Store, 5 miles away
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: state laws, local rules and regulations, and safety regulations
  • Amenities: boat launches, camping areas, picnic areas, restrooms, and a marina
  • Nearest Gas Station: The Pump, 5 miles away

Lake Almanor

Lake Almanor is a large, man-made reservoir located in Plumas County, California in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. It is the fifth largest reservoir in the state and is popular with anglers.

  • Types of Fish: rainbow trout, brown trout, mackinaw, catfish, and bass
  • Types of Fishing: bank fishing, boat fishing, and trolling
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: available at the marina
  • Fishing Guide Service: available from several companies
  • Closest Hotels: Best Western Rose Quartz Inn, Hamilton Branch State Park, and Lake Almanor Country Club
  • Nearest Fishing Store: Mountain Hardware & Sports, 5 miles away
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: state laws, local rules and regulations, and safety regulations
  • Amenities: boat launches, camping area, picnic areas, restrooms, and a marina
  • Nearest Gas Station: Ample Fuel, 6 miles away

Lake Oroville

Lake Oroville is a large, man-made reservoir located in Butte County, California. It is the second largest reservoir in the state and is known for its excellent fishing.

  • Types of Fish: bass, catfish, trout, salmon, and shad
  • Types of Fishing: bank fishing, boat fishing, and trolling
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: available at the marina
  • Fishing Guide Service: available from several companies
  • Closest Hotels: Best Western Oroville Inn, La Quinta Inn & Suites Oroville, and Thermalito Afterbay RV Park
  • Nearest Fishing Store: Oroville Bait & Tackle, 5 miles away
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: state laws, local rules and regulations, and safety regulations
  • Amenities: boat launches, camping areas, picnic areas, restrooms, and a marina
  • Nearest Gas Station: Ample Fuel, 8 miles away

Trinity Lake

Trinity Lake is a large artificial lake located in Trinity County, California in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. It is the fourth largest reservoir in the state and is a popular spot for both anglers and recreational boaters.

  • Types of Fish: trout, bass, panfish, and catfish
  • Types of Fishing: bank fishing, boat fishing, and trolling
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: available at the marina
  • Fishing Guide Service: available from several companies
  • Closest Hotels: Trinity Lake Resorts, Trinity Lake Fishing Resort & Marina, and Trinity River Resort
  • Nearest Fishing Store: Trinity Lake Bait & Tackle, 4 miles away
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: state laws, local rules and regulations, and safety regulations
  • Amenities: boat launches, camping areas, picnic areas, restrooms, and a marina
  • Nearest Gas Station: Ample Fuel, 7 miles away

Find Good Fishing Spots in California and Other Nearby Lakes on The Map

If you’re looking for some good fishing spots in California, then the Google map below will be your best bet! With this map, you can explore some of the best lakes and fishing locations the Golden State has to offer. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, you can find a great spot to cast your line. With the map, you can easily zoom in on each lake and get a detailed view of the area. So start exploring and find the perfect spot for your next fishing adventure in California!

Check the Weather Forecast for Your Next Fishing Trip to California

In California, the weather is generally mild and pleasant throughout the year, making it an ideal destination for sport fishing. Temperatures are typically around 60°F to 70°F during the winter months and 70°F to 80°F during the summer months. The sun shines most of the year in California, making it perfect for fishing any time of the year. However, during the winter months, the coastal regions can experience some rain.


Fishing Lakes in California
Back To Top