Shasta Lake winter trout!

Shasta Lake - Shasta Lake, CA (Shasta County)

A Brad's KCP behind a 3 color lead core line has been a really effective bait on Shasta this year. Don't forget to add Pautzke Fire Gel Scents to your cut plugs!
Photo Credit: JG Fishing Team

by Jeff Goodwin

Shasta Lake winter trout fishing remains underway and we're catching some great fish so far this year!  We are on top of the trout every trip, but they have to bite for us to realize the hopes for a great day on the water.  Shasta Lake trout are highly migratory this time of the year and even though we have near perfect water conditions this year, we still have to put in full days to get into the most fish.  Bite windows have been very short so you have to be in the right place at the right time to get into some fish.  The morning bite has been the best the past few weeks, but not too early.  8:00-9:00 seems to produce a short bite just about every morning so you better be ready when it turns on.  Many days we see a short bite period, then nothing!  Other days we pick away at them all day.  Either way, keeping lines in the water is everything right now.  The most positive news for this week is that there are some really great trout available in many areas of the lake.  It would seem the upper reaches of the Sac and McCloud arms have really cooled off and dipped into the 47 degree range.  there are definitely fish up high, but the bite has definitely cooled off.  The lower lake is hovering around 50 degres and has seen a surface temp rise to around 53 degrees on some of our warmer sunny days.  With similiar conditions in previous years, I've found the fishing to be better down low in the system (main lake), especailly for the browns.  We've already caught some nice browns down low and we've seen some others catching them as well.  Side planers and snap weights have been effective and so have 3 color leadcore lines. I've been running a single downrigger at 20' and its taking its share of the action as well.  More rain in the forecast this week will help with water levels in the lake and should help pull down more of the tributary browns as well.  Things should continue to improve as we head into March and April when we see the best brown trout numbers of the year.

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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