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Northern CA Freshwater

Redding: Shasta Lake is full to the brim

By BILLY DRIESSEN/WON Staff WriterPublished: Jun 05, 2019

REDDING — It is a rare sight to see Shasta Lake full to the brim with water in the trees, but if you find yourself north of Redding anytime soon, that is exactly what you will find, and if you’re fishing, you’ll be finding success on most every species in the lake.

BEV’S BROWN — Bev Meirkey of the Auburn Rooster Tails Fishing Club proudly displays her 8-pound, 3-ounce, 28.15-inch brown trout she caught while trolling a frog pattern Speedy Shiner in the Sacramento Arm of Shasta Lake. PHOTO BY HAROLD JONES

“Stay away from the tree line if you get poison oak,” said John Boitano of Phil’s Prop Shop. “It looks absolutely amazing out there right now, there are campsites around the lake that have their signs sitting in 5 feet of water right now with the lake being so full. The fishing is still great out here as well, for every species you could want to target. We have had some pretty wild weather again this last week, with rolling thunderstorms and that has affected the bite some, but it has finally started to warm up and the long range forecast says it should stay that way for a while.

“The bass fishing has gotten a little tougher,” Boitano said. “You can still catch your fair share of fish, but they have moved out into deeper water so you have to change up how you target them. Soft plastics seem to be the best way to catch fish in numbers. Many people are doing well with a regular weightless wacky rigged Senko in green pumpkin. Spotted bass of all sizes will eat a Senko and it’s a great way to produce numbers at Shasta when things get tough. Small swimbaits like the Keitech are still working also fished down in 15 to 20 feet of water. Jigs and Creature Baits are also popular this time of year when the shad still haven’t shown up, the majority of the bass are feeding on crawfish so you want something that will imitate that.

“The trout are getting bigger,” Boitano said. “The trout bite hasn’t been red hot, but the size of the fish is improving and should continue to improve throughout the summer months and into the fall. I had a rainbow chase one of my Creature Baits out of deep water and right up to the edge of my boat and this thing was a true monster with beautiful colors. Anglers have reported catching trout down in deeper water between 50 and 60 feet deep. Anywhere the lake bottlenecks and narrows is producing well. Bev Meirkey of the Auburn Rooster Tails Fishing Club caught an 8-pound, 3-ounce, 28.15-inch brown trout while trolling a frog pattern Speedy Shiner in the Sacramento Arm of Shasta Lake,” Boitano said.

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