Shasta Lake winter trout fishing!

Shasta Lake - Shasta Lake, CA (Shasta County)

Shasta Lake winter trout fishing!
Big browns are available in the winter and especially early spring on Shasta Lake.
Photo Credit: Jeff Goodwin Guide Services

by Jeff Goodwin

Shasta Lake water temps have cooled and lake levels are on the rise!  This is a great time of the year to get out on Shasta Lake and sample some of its great winter trout fishing.  Big browns and rainbows are heading up to the tributaries to spawn and this can be a great time to intercept these big adult class trout before they spend several months on the spawning grounds of the rivers where they were born.  I've also learned over the years that the hatchery variety trout often times return to the boat launch areas where they were palnted in Shasta lake in previous years.  This is a great opportunity to catch some great trout, especially if you don't have access to a boat.  Launch areas like Centimudi and Jones Valley are a favorite place to trout fish for those who already know.  Clear float fishing with flies is very popular but plenty of trout are also caught soaking worms or Power Bait off the bottom near shore.  For the trollers, I recommend concentrating on the top 10-15' of the lakes surface trolling spoons without any dodgers.  Flies tipped with a chunk of nghtcrawler can be very effective too.  If you really want to get into some fast trout fishing action leave the downriggers at home and dust off those side planers.  During the winter months, side planers are king when looking for trout near the surface.  My trolling speeds generally average 2.8 mph in the winter and for some reason the trout like a faster presentation when the water is cold.  I've written quite a few informational articles on Shasta Lake trout fishing and they can all be found on my website at  If you would like to get some true hands on trout fishing experience on Shasta Lake, our guided fishing trips are highly instructional and many of our clients learn enough during their day on Shasta to head out and catch trout on their own.  We'll be offering daily guided trout fishing trips on Shasta Lake beginning in January and will fish through August of 2023 before moving to the river to catch King salmon if we have a salmon season next year.  Jaynie can answer any of your questions and can help get your Shasta Lake fishing trip scheduled for 2023. She can be reached at (530) 510-2925.

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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