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Redding: Big rainbows are on the bite at Shasta Lake

By BILLY DRIESSEN/WON Staff WriterPublished: Jul 18, 2019

REDDING — Most anglers are focused on bass fishing at Shasta Lake during the summer, but for some, this time of year marks the start of something special that only gets better as we creep closer to fall fishing for big trout.

BAT RAY BROWN — Barb Simone of Chico caught this Shasta Lake brown trout while trolling a Bay Rat Lure at 40 feet with Jeff Goodwin Guide Service, one of a number of fish they caught.

“We are seeing some big trout up here,” said Jeff Goodwin owner of Jeff Goodwin Guide Service. “Shasta has been fishing really well this past week for big rainbows, especially. We’re picking up some good eating kings, too, with nice oily meat, but they are smaller and they don’t fight as hard as a nice 4- to 5-pound rainbow. The trout are in the main body of the lake and they are feeding on schools of shad.

“For us the best bite has been between 50 and 60 feet deep,” Goodwin said. “The best bait varies from day to day, but for the most part we are trolling spoons, rolling shad, or sending down dodger/spoon combos. We are catching nice 4 to 5 pounders daily and yesterday we went 6 for 12 on the big hard fighting ‘bows, with an occasional brown trout here and there. There are also plenty of smaller trout between 1 and 2 pounds being caught, and they are goot to eat and put up a decent fight. This good fishing will only get better between now and September when we start to see the lake cooling off,” Goodwin said.

“The bass bite is still good for those out looking for it,” said John Boitano from Phil’s Prop Shop. “There isn’t a wide open reaction bite going on right now by any means, but you can still go out and catch a pile of fish if you know where to look. Some days we have a great topwater bite that lasts a long time all day long, and you can catch some really nice fish, the next day you can show up and never catch a fish on the surface. The best bite is still down deep on soft plastics like the drop-shot rig, Ned rig, Senkos, Carolina rig, and jigs are also producing fish. Some days you will be fishing and things will go from dead calm to fish busting on the surface chasing massive schools of baitfish and you can pull some nice fish out of the commotion before everything returns to flat calm,” Boitano said.

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