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CaliforniaFishing in California 

fishing1About California

California has the largest population in the United States and is number three as far as landmass is concerned. The capital of this fine state is in Sacramento. The state has a varied climate and geography. The population is among the most diverse in the country. It is a strange but true fact that Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Wyoming and the Mexican State of Baja was all just plain California. The state as it is now is effectively divided by the Sacramento and the San Joaquin Rivers. Water from the delta formed by the convergence of these two rivers supply all the fresh drinking water for the state. This great state has mountains and beaches plains and plateaus and it is great for the fisherman year round. California’s highest point of elevation is in the Sierra Nevadas (Spanish for Snowy peaks) the mountain there is a mind blowing 14,505 feet above sea level. The oldest living things on the planet are found in California. The Majestic Sequoia trees in the Sequoia National Park. There are more opportunities to go fishing in California than in almost any other state. You can go fresh water or salt water fishing in California. California is one of the United States’ western Border States. The pacific ocean provides fishing year round in the surf or out on the water.


Most of the state enjoys a Mediterranean climate but there are also some subarctic areas in the northern part of the state. The winters in the Mediterranean areas are cool and rainy with very hot dry summers. The oceanic currents of the pacific generally roll in a fog over the coastal cities. As you get further inland the temperatures change the winters get colder and the summers get much, much hotter. California is a part of what is known as the “Ring of Fire” which makes it a prime target for severe weather. Tsunamis, floods, drought, Santa Ana winds, wildfires and landslides plague the state. Sitting on several fault lines including the San Andreas it has a large number of earthquakes. Temperatures in the western part of the state have been recorded as high as 134 degrees.

 fishing california

fishing1Bodies of water

The state has over 3,000 lakes, just as many rivers and 353 streams. This gives the angler thousands of choices of places to go fishing in California. You can go fishing in the fresh or salt waters. Below is a list of five fresh water lakes that carry most of the trophy fish species in the state of California:

Lake Shasta

This is a favorite for the sheer amount of the different species found in its waters. Species found there are the King Salmon, Rainbow trout, Brown trout, Large and small mouth Bass, Spotted Bass, Crappies, Catfish, Sturgeon, Blue gill and many more. Because of its low elevation you can fish here all year.

Lake Tahoe

Surrounded by snowy peaks this lake is a pristine bluer than blue postcard perfect area. The scenery will take your breath away and almost make you for get why you came. The best fishing in California can be done here at beautiful Lake Tahoe. Here it is possible to pull in a Mackinaw that weighs close to 37lbs. The Koke and the Rainbow and Brown Trout can be caught all year.

Diamond Valley Reservoir

This is a relatively new reservoir. It is stocked with Trout, Bass, Catfish and Panfish. Large mouth Bass of almost 17lbs is already being caught in the waters of this new lake.

Eagle Lake

This is an outstanding lake for Trout fishing. The fishing is said to be great in Miners Bay on the eastside of the lake.


fishing1Species of fish

There are over 130 fresh water fish species in the lakes and rivers of California. If you are going fishing in California below is a list of species both salt and fresh water that you might want to catch.
Fresh Water                                            Salt Water
Trout                                                             Yellow Fin Croaker
Channel Catfish                                          California Corbina
Blue Catfish                                                 California Halibut
Salmon                                                         Grouper
Shad                                                              Bat Ray
Carp                                                              Tuna
Sturgeon                                                       Mackerel


Licenses Permits and Stamps

Anyone fishing in California needs a license. Even Native Americans have to get a fishing license some get it for free if they qualify. Below you will find a general listing for licenses in California for more details visit

Residents Non-residents
Sport Fishing Resident 41.5 111.85
Duplicate 9.20 9.20
One day sport 13.40 13.40
Two day sport 20.75 37.50
Disable persons( 65 years +) 6.25 N/A
Disabled Veterans 6.25 6.25


These are just the fresh water licenses there are stamps and report cards to be purchased for different species. There are also special permits depending where you are fishing in California.


Heavy tackle is the tackle of choice for most fish species in the waters of California. For catching the larger sized stripper be sure and use a hook that has at least ½ inch of space from top to shank.