California Bass Fishing

Bass fishing is one of the most popular types of fishing enjoyed by thousands of anglers in California.

This is mainly because bass are a great fighting game fish and can make for great sport when catching them.

The main reason why California Bass Fishing is so popular is because bass can be found in thousands of lakes, reservoirs, and rivers.

The largemouth bass fishing in California is awesome with fish being regularly caught over 10 pounds.

You can easily hire a California bass fishing guide, who will take you to the best areas for big catches in California.

Tip #1 - Eating:

After a bass gets done spawning, it takes a little break and then continues eating. June will see the fish in varying stages of recovery. There are still going to be some big headed, snake looking females bashing on crankbaits, topwater, and trouts but a lot of the bass will also be getting pretty fat again as the month progresses. And the fatter the bass get, the harder they get to catch.

Tip #2 - Timing:

Success in the summer time can have a lot to do with your timing. Now is the time to focus early and late in the day. Try the late evening bite in the summer. With the abundance of bluegill, shad, and other baitfish that most likes to develop in shallow water in the early summer, bass can wait until that perfect window when they can feed at will and target those tasty baitfish silhouettes that never saw the bass coming.

Tip #3 - Lures:

It's time for Rio Ricos, Zara Spooks, Speed Traps, Fat Free Shad, frogs, drop shot and 5" swimbaits. Midday try looking deep or look shallow in heavy cover. Bass don't like the bright sunshine. Catchable bass are likely to be shading their eyes using either cover or depth.

Closest Town: Chester, California

Lake Size: 28,000 Acres

Fishing Species: Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, King Salmon, Coho Salmon, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Catfish

Public Boat Ramps:

Forest Service Ramp (Canyon Dam Picnic Area) – Junction of Hwy. 147 & Hwy. 89

Forest Service Ramp (West Shore) – 1 mile off Hwy. 89 on Almanor Drive West

Lake Notes: Lake Almanor is one of the largest man-made lakes in California. Watch for partially submereged islands in the south and southwest shore areas during low lake levels. Lake Almanor is located in the beautiful Lassen National Forest at an elevation of 4,550 feet.

Closest Town: Napa, California

Lake Size: 17,000 Acres

Fishing Species: Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Spotted Bass, Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, King Salmon, Crappie, Bluegill, Catfish

Public Boat Ramp: Located 1 mile off Hwy. 128 on Knoxville Rd. in Napa

Lake Notes: Lake Berryessa is located in the beautiful wine country of the Napa Valley at an elevation of 440 feet. Lake Berryessa is one of the largest manmade lakes in California with 175 miles of shoreline and a max. depth of 275 ft. The north end of the lake is fairly shallow with a grassy shoreline formed on sloping banks. In contrast, the south end is often steep and rocky with manzanita and oak trees dotting the terrain.

The California Delta is located between Sacramento on the north and Stockton on the south and encompasses about 1,000 miles of waterways. The main contributing rivers are the Sacramento River, coming in from the north, and the San Joaquin River, coming in from the south. These rivers combine with many other rivers and ultimately lead thru San Francisco Bay into the Pacific Ocean.

The California Delta is home to a wide variety of fish including; Bluegill, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Striped Bass, Crappie, Bullhead Catfish, Channel Catfish, Salmon, Steelhead, and Sturgeon.

Closest Town: Ventura, California

Lake Size: 2,700 Acres

Public Boat Ramp: Located at Lake Casitas Recreation Area in Ventura

Fishing Species: Largemouth Bass, Crappie, Bluegill, Rainbow Trout, Sunfish, Catfish

Lake Notes: The Wadleigh Arm is always a good bet in the Spring in addition to the Deep Cat and Dead Horse Canyon areas. If you are looking for that big catch in Lake Casitas, try to get to the lake when the first warm rains fall in the early spring. The rain creates a lot of feeding activity and the big females will momentarily move up from deep water to feed in the shallower points and ledges. During the spring spawn, bass will migrate into the shallow flats and in the backs of coves. Santa Ana Creek and North Fork Coyote Creek flow into Lake Casitas.

Closest Town: Lakeport, California

Lake Size: 43,785 Acres

Fishing Species: Largemouth Bass, Crappie, Bluegill, Catfish

Public Boat Ramps: Many located around Clear Lake including:

Redbud Park – Off Lakeshore Dr. in Clearlake

Lakeside County Park – Off Park Dr. in Kelseyville

Lucerne Harbor County Park – Off E. Hwy 20 in Lucerne

H.V. Keeling County Park – Off Lakeshore Blvd. in Nice

Lakeport Public Ramps

1 off First St. in Lakeport

1 off Third St. in Lakeport

1 off Fifth St. in Lakeport

1 off Clearlake Ave. in Lakeport

1 off Lakeshore Blvd. at Crystal Lake Way in Lakeport

Lake Notes: Clear Lake has a max. depth of 60 ft. Largest natural freshwater lake entirely in California. Known as the Bass Capital of the West. The largemouth bass record at Clear Lake is 17.52 pounds.

Closest Town: Hemet, California

Lake Size: 4,500 Acres

Fishing Species: Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Bluegill, Sunfish, Rainbow Trout, Catfish

Public Boat Access: Launching is currently available at the East Marina only. Launch Fee is $6. Only boats with four-stroke engines or 2001 and later model direct-injection two strokes that comply with CARB emission requirements are allowed.

Lake Notes: Max depth of 260 ft. Diamond Valley Lake is open year-round from sunrise to sunset. Entrance fee is $7 per vehicle. No pets allowed. Body contact with the water is not allowed. For more information contact (800) 590-LAKE. Fishing Permits are $3 per person.

Closest Town: Lake Isabella, California

Lake Size: 11,200 Acres

Fishing Species: Crappie, Largemouth Bass, Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Catfish

Public Boat Ramp: Engineers Point – Located on Barlow Dr. in Lake Isabella

Lake Notes: Lake Isabella is fed by the Kern River with a shoreline of 38 miles. Lake Isabella is known as one of the best Crappie lakes in California.

Closest Town: Oroville, California

Lake Size: 15,500 Acres

Fishing Species: Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Spotted Bass, Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Lake Trout, King Salmon, Coho Salmon, Crappie

Public Boat Ramps: Many located around Lake Oroville including:

Spillway Launch Area – North end of Oroville Dam, off Oro Dam Blvd. on Canyon Dr. in Oroville

Lime Saddle – West Branch of Feather River, 1-1/2 miles off Hwy. 70 on Pentz Rd. in Paradise

Bidwell Canyon – Near the junction of Royal Oaks Dr. and Kelly Ridge Rd. in Oroville

Loafer Creek – Adjacent to Loafer Creek Campground, Forbestown Rd. off Olive Hwy. 162 in Oroville

Lake Notes: Lake Oroville has a max. depth of 695 ft. The main body of the lake with its four major arms ( North, Middle, South, and West Forks of the Feather River ) has 167 miles of shoreline creating a wide variety of fishing opportunity.

Closest Town: Redding, California

Lake Size: 29,500 Acres

Fishing Species: Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Spotted Bass, Crappie, Bluegill, Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, King Salmon, Kokanee Salmon, Catfish, Sturgeon

Public Boat Ramps: Many located around Shasta Lake including:

Jones Valley – On Pit Arm at confluence with Squaw Creek Arm. Exit I-5 at Oasis Road or Mountain Gate then east to Bear Mountain Road in Redding.

Packers Bay – On the Lower Pit Arm adjacent to Packers Bay Marina on Packers Bay Rd. in Lakehead

Bailey Cove – On lower McCloud Arm in Bailey Cove Campground area on Bailey Cove Rd. in O’Brien

Hirz Bay – On Upper McCloud Arm adjacent to Hirz Bay Campground in Redding

Antlers – On Upper Sacramento Arm adjacent to Antlers Campground in Lakehead

Lake Notes: Shasta Lake is located at the Northern tip of the Sacramento valley at an elevation of 1,067 feet. Shasta Lake has a max. depth of 517 ft. Largest man made lake in California. Shasta Lake has four arms (Pit River Arm, Squaw Creek Arm, McCloud River Arm, and Sacramento River Arm). Over 370 miles of shoreline.

Closest Town: Trinity Center, California

Lake Size: 16,000 Acres

Fishing Species: Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Kokanee Salmon, Catfish

Public Boat Ramps: Many located around Trinity Lake including:

Bowerman Boat Ramp – Located on Hwy. 160 south of Covington Mill

Fairview Boat Ramp – Located on Knoxville Rd. in Napa

Stuart Fork Boat Ramp – Located on Hwy. 3 in the far western corner of Stuarts Fork Arm

Clark Springs Campground – Located off Hwy. 3 on Stuarts Fork Arm

Lake Notes: Trinity Lake is the third largest man-made lake in California. The lake consists of three arms (Stuart Fork Arm, Main Arm, North Lake Area). Trinity Lake has 147 miles of pine, cedar, and oak covered shoreline. Dredger piles at the head of Lake Trinity, as well as other structures found in the coves and points throughout the lake provide excellent bass fishing for most of the year.

California Winter Bass Fishing Tips

In the winter when California lakes are muddy, cold and unstable, a bass may have to feed for longer to get the food it wants. Normally the peak feeding time for California bass in the winter is mid day and late afternoon.


In the late afternoon, the water is going to be the warmest, and a bass that is cold and grumpy is going to come alive during this time, knowing that night and morning will be cold and miserable.


A longer feeding time coinciding with an afternoon feeding period, can make catching big California bass in the winter a very good possibility.


Cover to target for bass is wood, rock, points, cuts, etc. Baits to fish are a fairly simple selection as well.


If it’s muddy, try fishing a jig. Big black bulky jig. Try pitching it around any cover, especially cover that can shade a bass’ eyes in the afternoon sun.


If your throwing a trout bait and it’s muddy, try throwing a wood bait. Either a Slammer or a Generic Trout and fish it slowly, hoping that a bass will sense it going by.


Usually trout baits are a visual bait for the bass, but they can be a sensory bait if they make enough noise and you fish them slowly enough.