5 Best Fishing Spots in California

By Carly Zinderman

5 Best Fishing Spots in California

California’s bounty of waterways makes it among the best fishing destinations in the country. From rivers and lakes to the Pacific Ocean, you can catch a variety of fish including bass, salmon, trout, and other varieties. Some of the biggest bass have been reeled in in California. Whether you’re an experience fisherman or just looking to get started, you’ll find plenty of fishing spots to fit your skills. And be sure to have a fishing license, which is required at all fishing spots in the state, to make your catch legal. Here are the best fishing spots in the state. 

1. Clear Lake State Park, Kelseyville, CA

Clear Lake State Park has a long history in California as the site of historic Native American and early settlers. Clear Lake is a favorite spot for fishing and other water activities. You can find largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, and channel catfish in the lake and also explore hiking trails if you get tired of spending time on the water. Clear Lake has been named a favorite fishing spot by various publications.

2. Sacramento River at Brannan Island State Recreation Area, Rio Vista, CA

Brannan Island is home to a variety of wildlife including waterfowl, otters, and a diverse array of fish. Fish species include striped bass, sturgeon, catfish, bluegill, perch, and bullhead. You can spend the day fishing or camp out on one of the available campgrounds. If you plan to camp out during the summer, then be sure to make a reservation because it’s a popular spot to camp and fish during the long days of summer.

3. Santa Monica Bay at Dockweiler State Beach, Playa Del Rey, CA

Santa Monica Bay may seem like an unlikely fishing spot but it has a reputation for being a great spot to enjoy urban fishing. You can fish from select spots on the shore and there are even fishing classes available for beginners or those that want to learn more about fishing. It’s a perfect day spot so that you can lounge on the beach while you fish or rent a boat to take you around the bay and then stay in a swanky hotel in Santa Monica.

4. Bridge Bay at Shasta Lake, Shasta Lake, CA

Shasta Lake offers fishing year-round, with different varieties filling the lake at different times of the year. You can rent a houseboat and fish day and night or take a small watercraft out on the water to try your luck. Be sure to buy a fishing license and you can rent gear at one of the helpful agencies that can provide you with everything you need to know about fishing in Lake Shasta.

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5. Echo Park Lake, Echo Park, CA

Sure, Echo Park Lake is probably familiar from its many appearances in movies and television shows, but did you know that you can also fish in the park? It’s one of Los Angeles’s best-kept secrets but many parks with lakes are stocked by the city’s fish and game department. Whatever isn’t caught is handily devoured by waterfowl. Try your luck in a paddleboat.

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