Lake Almanor Fishing Report

Lake Almanor - CA (Plumas County)

Smallmouth Bass

by RB Bass

Water Temp: 74* – 77*
Moon Phase: Full
Water Clarity: 15-17ft

I was able to spend a few days camping and fishing at beautiful Lake Almanor in Northern California. This lake looks like there should be bass everywhere. This lake has a ton of structure and cover to hold quality smallmouth bass but I think the timing of my trip was not ideal for fishing. With that being said I found the fishing to be very tough. There were a lot of fish to be caught but a vast majority of them were undersized.

I spent the first day running around the lake to see and potentially fish everything I could. I caught a handful of undersize smallmouth from 5-11 inches but was unable to set in to one of quality. Luckily I was able to find some areas that looked perfect for bass to pull up and feed.

Day 2 was a very informational day for me. By this time I had ran around nearly the entire lake and graphed all the ledges, island tops, flats, and docks I could find. Now I wanted to key in to the timing of the fish and which areas and what areas fired at specific times throughout the day. I spent the early part of the day running each spot I deemed worthy after my day 1 “practice”. After fishing about 15 areas I was able to understand that the larger fish were up on the flats feeding. However these fish were not on the flats all day. Similar to the tides in the Delta these fish would use about a 30 minute window to move up on the flat, feed, and then head back out to deeper water.

After my mid-day break for lunch and avoidance of the afternoon rain/thundershowers I decided to head back out on to the water. I headed back out to a flat and fished around it for about 2 hours. I fished the ledges around the flat first and graphed a bunch of fish in 17-20ft but could not get bit. After traversing the ledges I moved up on to the flat itself. As I was coming up the ledge I was looked into the water saw saw about a 3lb smallmouth move from ledge up on to the flat. Seeing this solidified my thoughts of they are only up to feed then they will retreat to the deep water and sit in a negative non-feeding mood.

I ended up fishing on top of the flat for the rest of the evening showing the fish a steady diet of wacky rigged weightless senkos, drop shotting a Shwanger Baits 6 inch whip tail and roboworms, topwater, a keitech swimbait, and a Nichols Lures Spinnerbait when the wind picked up. Luckily I was able to hook in to some good ones the biggest for the evening being a 3.10lber on a dropshot and the smallest weighed about 2 lbs.

The next few days I ran the same pattern I had found in previous days which wasn’t exactly a pattern at all, but it was how I was catching my bigger fish. All I would do was fish a flat for a while waiting for a fish to pull up and feed. Certain areas I would sit and fish for up to 3 hours just waiting for one who was ready to eat. When I felt I needed to give the area a rest I would rotate around the lake to another flat and repeat the process with the 4 key areas I had located. This style of fishing was slow and was most definitely a grind. However, it did allow me to boat a handful of smallmouth over 2lbs every day.

Contrary to the poor bass fishing up there right now there are a ton of trout to be caught right now. From what I was able to see the trout fisherman were trolling from 30ft-60ft some with down riggers and some without. There are trout jumping all over the lake I even saw guys catching some on dry flies.

Thank you for taking the time to read my report on Lake Almanor. If you have any questions feel free to contact me through my social media and will be more than willing to help you out. Check out the links below to see all of the baits and terminal tackle I used last week.

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