Lake Shasta, also called Shasta Lake, is an artificial lake created by the construction of Shasta Dam across the Shasta-Trinity National Forest of Shasta County, California. With a capacity of 4,552,000 acre·ft (5,615 Gl) at full pool, the lake has an elevation of 1,067 feet (325 m), and a surface area of 30,000 acres (12,000 ha), making it the state’s largest reservoir, and its third largest body of water after Lake Tahoe and the Salton Sea.
Ten miles (16 km) north of the city of Redding, with the town of Lakehead its northern shores, Shasta Lake is popular for boating, water skiing, camping, house boating, and fishing. Formed by the damming of the Sacramento River, Pit River, McCloud River and several smaller tributaries, the lake has 365 mi (587 km) of mostly steep mountainous shoreline covered with tall evergreen trees and manzanita. The maximum depth is 517 feet (158 m).
Shasta Dam was constructed between 1935 and 1945, while the lake was formed in 1948. It became the second largest dam, and tallest concrete dam in the United States. Known as the keystone of the Central Valley Project, outflow from Shasta Dam provides electricity and irrigation for widespread areas of California below the dam as well as flood control for the Sacramento River during the rainy season. Beneath the lake is the submerged town of Kennett, defunct tunnels and right of way of the Southern Pacific Transportation Company, parts of which can be seen when the water level is low.
Lake Shasta offers great fishing year-round.
Shasta Lake Fishing
German Browns, Crappie, and Catfish
German Browns, Kamloop, Rainbows, Bass and Catfish
Bass, Catfish and Crappie
Bass, Catfish and Crappie
Large mouth, small mouth and spotted bass are the three types in Shasta. Limit is 5 in any combination and not under 12 inches long. . Bass like rocky points where streams enter the lake and submerged vegetation like that found in coves.
Brown Bullhead, Channel and White are the three types in Shasta Lake. There is no limit. . Areas good for Cat fishing are Squaw Creek, Little Squaw Creek west of the Dam, Salt Creek and any mouth of the creeks after a warm storm in the spring and in winter. The night seems to be the best time to fish for the “cats”.
You will find black and white Crappie in Shasta Lake. Limit is 25. Fish with mini jigs in the colors of yellow and white, minnows are good too. You will find crappie under structures and docks throughout the lake. Crappies like to hang around lighted docks at night.
Trout & Salmon
Rainbow, German Brown and Kamloop are the types in Shasta. These are the most abundant fish in Shasta Lake. Limit is 5 in any combination. . Trolling depth is 30-70 ft. Except in the summer when trout move to deeper and cooler waters. German Browns are found on the McCloud from Turntable to Hirz Bay. Some good spots for rainbow are the Sacramento area, Dry Fork Inlet, Little Squaw Creek, Backbone Creek and near the Dam. Land locked Kokanee Salmon are fished the same and have the same limit as Trout.
To fish on Shasta Lake a license is required for all persons 16 years and older.