I got a call from fellow anglers Christopher Freeman and Cody Derby to tag along on a fishing trip to Lake Shasta. I thought it would be good practice before the Future Pro Tour Classic on Lake Oroville scheduled for early March.
As we made our way to the lake, we started calling around for room availability, after about 4 calls and because of the Pro Am at Shasta there was nothing available until Saturday. So we changed our plan and decided to fish Lake Oroville on Saturday, and then head up to Lake Shasta for a full day of fishing Sunday. A perfect plan for me!
Lake Oroville is known for a variety of fish (large mouth and small mouth bass, chinook, catfish, white crappie to name a few) and we went looking for bass. The air temperature was just around freezing as we pulled up to the spillway ramp at daylight, the sky was crystal clear and just a slight breeze on the water. The lake has received a lot of rain the last few weeks and is at 80% of capacity.
The water was slightly stained and a lot of wood and debris floating around. Once we made it to our first stop, at Middle Fork, the water temp was 46 to 49 degrees and the water falls were running and absolutely beautiful. I tried the A-rig and Spinnerbait early, fish weren’t interested so I switched to drop-shot and a small swimbait. The Drop Shot and small Swimbait produced the best bite in the 15 to 35 feet range. As the sun started to warm the day, we were able to get fish on points and the bluff walls all the way back to the main lake. Once we made it back to the main lake, Chris got on a small Jig bite in 15 to 20 feet on under water humps, we finished the day catching about 15 to 20 fish and enjoyed the outdoors and awesome views Lake Oroville has to offer.
We got off the water in time to stop by to say hi to the folks at North Valley Tackle and pick up a few things for our next day of fishing on Lake Shasta. Chris’s wonderful wife Mary had already booked our stay at the Bridge Bay Resort right on Lake Shasta and all we had to do was make the drive!
Lake Shasta, wow – what a beautiful lake to wake to! Snow covered mountains and Bald Eagles flying around, we couldn’t wait to hit the water! Now the first thing we noticed was the outside temperature was about 10 degrees warmer than the day before, with quite a bit of cloud cover in the sky. Now like Lake Oroville, Lake Shasta has received a bunch of rain and is filling nicely. The water clarity and temp is just about the same as Oroville. We focused on the Pit River arm of the lake and made the run to some stuff similar to what we finished on yesterday at Oroville.
I think Cody got the first fish on an underspin and little swimbait, Chris and I were throwing small jigs and picked up where we left off yesterday. The fish wanted that jig on the bottom and not moved at all! We got most of the fish in 15 to 20 foot range and had 10lbs for are best 5 by 8:30 am. I also was able to get the spotted bass to eat the A-rig that day and got several fish on it, but they were smaller than the jig fish.
Over all we got about 30 fish that day and had a blast. As we set in the middle of a big cove around noon, taking pictures and just admiring the beautiful surroundings, a Bald Eagle swooped down about 30 yards away and plucked his lunch out of the water, it was incredible to see. What a way to end this awesome weekend! I want to thank Chris and Mary Freeman and Cody Derby for inviting me along. I also want to thank my wife Natalie and daughters Melissa & Rebecca for their support, love you guys!
DROP SHOT: Okuma TCS 7’2” Rod paired with Okuma Helios Hx-25s Reel with 5lb test Fins 40G.
A-RIG: Okuma Guide Select 7’11” Rod and Okuma Komodo 350 with 50lb Fins windtamer Braid. The
JIG: Okuma TCS 7’ jig rod paired with Okuma Helios TCS 8:1:1 gear ratio with 12lb floro line