Shasta Rainbows dominate the bite!

Shasta Lake - Shasta Lake, CA (Shasta County)

Veronica LeRoy with her personal best rainbow trout caught today while fishing with Captain Jeff Goodwin
Photo Credit: JG Fishing Team

by Jeff Goodwin

Shasta Lake has been one tough nut to crack this year.  I spend a lot of days on Shasta Lake and most always feel like I have the pulse of the lake pretty much figured out.  I know where and when to go to certain parts of the lake to find trout and salmon to catch pretty much year round.  Thats not to say I've stopped learning this lake, I'm a long ways from that for sure, but I feel like I have enough knowledge to pass information along to others and to guide the lake with confidence.  I really like fishing Shasta in the summer because the fishing is so predictable.  July, August, and September have been what can be described as a "no brainer" for me in years past.  This year something changed and left me scratching my head over and over again.  We're catching trout every trip and have done so all season, but its been really tough the past several weeks.  Many of the trout and salmon are not eating shad like they typically do and a lot of them are lean with empty stomach's.  This is common in the spring, but not at all during summer.  There are some small fish in the lake that number in the millions, but they aren't shad.  They are still growing but they look like Blugill to me and others I talk to as well.  Many of the trout and salmon are eating them near the surface now and thats where I'm catching most of my fish daily.  Normally, I'm sending lines down deep to catch easy limits of trout, but not this year.  I get a great early morning bite in the top 20'-50' but when the sun hits the water its over.  I've gone 4 hours some days recently without a single bite.  In hot weather, that makes for a long 4 hours.  I'm going to guess tha lake is still a month behind schedule and we should see some really great fishing soon.  Today we saw a great bite early and then nothing after the sun peered over Bass Mountain.  Fortunately, we had 8 nice rainbows in the box after the first hour and called it a day before spending the next number of hours trying to scratch out two more trout for a limit.  I'm shifting to the Sacramento River next week to start fishing my King salmon trips so I'll be out of the Shasta Lake loop until November when our fall brown and rainbow season begins.  Hopefully I'll see a similiar pattern in the fall.  Keep fishing Shasta and good luck to those of you that do!

Capt. Jeff G.

Jeff Goodwin is a full time Northern California fishing guide.  He guides year round for salmon, trout, steelhead, Kokanee, and bass on Northern California rivers and lakes. He fishes many bodies of water in the Redding area, but also guides the Sacramento River and Feather River during certain times of the year. Jeff can also be found on the California coast chasing ocean fresh King salmon and steelhead each year. To learn more about the fishing trips Jeff has to offer, please visit Jeff Goodwin's Guide Service.  You can also find him on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, or please feel free to call him anytime at (707) 616-1905.

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