Off I-5 north from Redding, California.During the early spring bank anglers can catch trout. During the summer the trout seek cooler temperatures with the most effective trolling at depths of 30 to 70 feet. Almost any rocky area on the lake may produce bass. Best catfish taking is in the spring and summer months at night. Although there are white sturgeon in the lake, few anglers fish for these giant bottom-feeders. Record sturgeon catch was in 1977, 190 pounds and 8 feet, 2 inches long.
Public Boat Ramps at Shasta Lake
Antlers - On the upper Sacramento River Arm adjacent to Antlers Campground. Picnicking, restrooms, fee. Exit I-5 at Antlers Road. 1/2 mile.
Bailey Cove - On the lower McCloud River Arm in Bailey Cove Campground area. Picnicking, restrooms, fee. (Not recommended on summer weekends due to excessive congestion, consider using Packers Bay.) Exit I-5 at O'Brien, take Shasta Caverns Road 1 mile to Bailey Cove Road.
Centimudi - Near Shasta Dam, northwest of Shasta Lake City. Restrooms, fee, picnicking nearby. (Not recommended on holiday weekends due to excessive congestion, consider using Packers Bay.) Exit I-5 at Lake Boulevard or Shasta Lake City on Shasta Dam Boulevard, take Lake or Shasta Dam Boulevard to Summit City.
Hirz Bay - On the Upper McCloud River Arm adjacent to Hirz Bay Campground. Restrooms, fee. Exit I-5 at Gilman Road, 10 miles to Hirz Bay.
Jones Valley - On the Pit River Arm at its confluence with the Squaw Valley Creek Arm near the Jones Valley Campground. Restrooms, fee. Exit at Oasis Road or Mountain Gate then east to Bear Mountain Road, 9 miles. (Not recommended on holidays or summer weekends due to congestion.)
Packers Bay - On the Lower Pit River Arm adjacent to the Packers Bay Marina. Picnicking, restrooms, fee. Northbound traffic exit at O'Brien and join southbound 1-5 traffic. Exit at Packers Bay Road, 1 mile.
Sugarloaf - On the Upper Sacramento River Arm in the Sugarloaf area of Lakehead. Fee. Services nearby. Exit I-5 at Lakeshore Drive, left 2 miles
Fish species within the lake are varied and abundant. Species known to inhabit the lake include: rainbow trout, brown trout, chinook salmon, largemouth bass, spotted bass, smallmouth bass, black crappie, bluegill, carp, Sacramento sucker, Sacramento squawfish, riffle sculpin, black fish, hardhead minnow, white sturgeon, channel squawfish, threadfin shad, white catfish, brown bullhead, golden shiner and green sunfish.
Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Salmon: On the McCloud River Arm, trolling from Turntable Bay to Hirz Bay will usually produce some brown trout. The Sacramento River Arm, Dry Fork, Little Squaw Creek and Big Backbone Creek will usually produce some rainbows. Fishing for rainbows is usually good at Shasta Dam when the releases are high... remember that tying to the buoy line is illegal. During early spring, before the water temperatures start warming up, bank anglers can usually catch rainbows, brown and chinook salmon in the areas listed above. By late spring and early summer the trout are moving to deeper water for the cooler temperatures (50 - 57 deg. F).
Marshmallow and egg combinations and live minnows, either from the shore or boat, 2 to 3 feet below a bobber in the spring or 50' to 100' deep in the summer seem to work fairly well. Minnows live longer and have more mobility if they are hooked under the spine in front of the top (dorsal) fin.
Lures that are proven producers are: Thinfins in varying colors, Kastmasters, Rebels, Flatfish in Z-r or X-5, Rapalas, and Z-Rays. Trolling at depths of 30' to 70' seems to be effective. During the summer it is advisable to use a diving plane or 18 to 26 pound test lead core line. Lead core line is lead line encased in a dacron mesh cover. It should be used on a deep sea type of reel and a medium to heavy-duty rod.
Bass, Catfish and Crappie: Bass fishing on Shasta Lake can be good year round. Fishing is best in the spring and early summer. Spotted Bass are the most common, but Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass can also be caught. Rubber worms, spinner baits and live bait seem to work best, depending on the time of year.
Catfishing is best during the summer. Anchovies, chicken liver and "stink" baits are effective. Fishing after sunset is permitted for catfish. Channel Catfish, White Catfish and Bullheads are all found in Shasta Lake.