Top 10 Best Fishing Sites in California

California is a renowned state of the United States. This state is situated beside the Pacific Ocean, which stretches nearly about 900 miles. This region includes cliff-lined beaches, some popular rivers, redwood forests, and mountains.

This place also has some trendy fishing spots as the state stands with the Ocean and has several rivers all around.

If you plan to go fishing in Los Angeles, you might want to give this article a read as this part of the United States has most of the fishing spots. Let us go and start exploring the places which are perfect for fishing:

Best Fishing Sites in California


Fishing in California is a very diverse and exciting activity, just like the state. You will be able to find almost all types of fishes as it contains different water bodies. Whether you want freshwater, saltwater, or even deep-water bodies, you can find all in this area.

Best Fishing Sites in California

1. Yosemite National Park – Best Overall

This place is very famous worldwide for its natural beauty, wildlife, and waterfall; this place is also best known as a fishing spot. You will find some exciting fishing spots with boundaries.

You can find so many different types of fishes: Smallmouth Bass, Crappie, Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Bluegill, Black Bass, and Sunfish. If you plan to go fishing in Yosemite National Park, you need to know some rules and regulations of fishing inside the park boundary.

According to park rules, you cannot catch trout until June 15; this rule is for protecting the offspring of Trout.

You can only catch trout using the catch and release process. All the spots remain open all year round exact for Mirror Lake. Mirror Lake remains open only during stream fishing season. Another rule is you can only use artificial baits or lures to catch fish.

2. The San Joaquin Delta is One of the Most Popular Places Among the Anglers

This inland river delta running throughout California is one of the most popular spots for fishing. This is known as a fishing hotspot for anglers. Here you can get big Bass, Common Carp, Catfish, Stripers, Bluegill, Steelhead, King salmon, Sturgeon, and more. If you can manage a decent striper combo rod and reel, then this area is a jackpot for you.

The best time to catch fishes like stripes is the late spring and early fall when fishes start to run into the Delta. Fishes like Sturgeon, Bluegill are best to be found in this spot. You can use fishing guides to know where to find fish from the beginning of winter till the early summer.

Fishes like Big Bass, Common Carp, and King Salmons are caught in this stream delta in any season using a proper spinning reel.

3. The McCloud River is one of the Best Trout Fishing Lakes in California.

This is a northern Californian river which is known for trout fishing. The upper portion of the stream is more accessible than the lower part, but you will find big fishes in the lower part of this area. Summer is the best time for fishing in this spot.

4. Lake Shasta is the Best Place to Catch and Eat

This lake is also a well know spot-fishing and the right place to catch and eat in California. You can find fishes like:

White sturgeon, White catfish, Sacramento squawfish, Threadfin shad, Spotted bass, Smallmouth bass, Brown bullhead, Rainbow trout, Largemouth bass, Bluegill, Blackfish, Black crappie, Hardhead minnow, Channel squawfish, Carp, Brown trout, etc.

The reason behind finding fishes of water of different temperatures in the same lake is that it provides comfort to both warm-water fish and cold-water fish. using proper fishing line setup and good reels, you can catch them perfectly. While fishing in Lake Shasta, you should remember that fishing in the buoy line is not legal. You can use any bait or lure you want to fish in this spot.

5. Santa Monica Pier – Best Place to fish in Southern California

This is a Southern spot and best known for the beach. This spot has a reputation for being an upsetting fishing spot, but if you are aware of the certain sport of Santa Monica Bay, then you can enjoy urban fishing.

If you want, you can attain fishing classes which are available there for beginners. There are many other reasons why this is called one of the best places to fish in southern California.

You can also enjoy the leverage for relaxing on the beach and fishing simultaneously, or you can rent a boat and go for a site visit and go fishing at the same time. The best to fish in Santa Monica Pier is night time when the place is less crowded.

6. Klamath River is Perfect for Salmon

Klamath is the best place for salmon anglers and coastal islands, as it is extremely famous for its Chinook salmon; you can find Steelheads.

The best time for fishing in this river is August to September, when the water is a bit warmer. In the cooler months, you can find fishes in the upper part of the river.

7. Lake Cuyamaca is Filled with Plenty

This is a big lake with a 110-acre space located in San Diego County. The authorities every year stock about 38,000-40,000 pounds of trout so that the lake does not get empty.

Other fishes like Bass, Crappie, bluegill, etc. can also be reel in this lake. If you do not want to carry fishing rods and lures, you can easily rent those from lakeside shops.

8. Lake Berryessa is Perfect for Different Bass Fishing in Ca

Berryessa is a human-made lake and is very famous for Bass fishing. It was ranked 7th as Bass lake in 2016. As it is human-made, the water level fluctuates from time to time.

You might find Largemouth Bass, Spotted Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Bluegill, Kokanee Salmon, Catfish, etc. but you will find different fishes in different seasons.

The best time for fishing in this lake is summer; you can go boating, fishing, and even kayaking at this time of the year.

9. Smith River is Best for September fishing in California.

This is a Northern Californian river popular for Premium Salmon and Steelhead. This area made records of the biggest Salmon and Steelhead several times. The Smith River is also called LA’s “Last Wild River.” The best time for catching Salmon in this area is September and October is the worst month for catching King Salmons in Smith stream.

If you do not have a license, you can rent licensed anchors from there. April is the best time for catching Steelheads in this area; all April is the month when you can find the biggest Steelheads around.

10. San Francisco Bay is Right for Fishing in May and June

It is located next to the city of San Francisco. Like the city, San Francisco Bay is also very lively, along with the regional parks. This waterbody is 10-35 feet deep, depending on the spot. The best time for fishing in this spot is Mayor summer till early winter.

As the water is muddy, you need to be careful while you move your lure. Otherwise, you will end up moving muds rather than moving your lure in the water. You can find different types of fishes: Lingcod, Sturgeon, Salmon, King Salmon, Striped Bass, and Tuna.

Best Ocean Fishing Spots in Southern California

If you want to choose a time where you can get a lot of fish, then you should choose summertime without any doubt. While Striped Bass come to the Bay, they carry saltwater along with them, and after that, the saltwater gets diluted and moves to the river and then to the Pacific Ocean.

Best Ocean Fishing Spots in Southern California

This place has some rules for catching fishes. Therefore, always make sure you know the rules properly before you start fishing.

Last Few Words

California has a vast area of space for anglers that offer various species in huge amounts and allow anglers to pursue their leisure career or activity. This state is especially good for those who want to catch Bass and trout. This state also offers plenty of other species like Steelhead, Sturgeon, king salmon, and Carp.

If you want to spend your vacation fishing, California should be at the top of your list. This trip will surely be a memorable one for you, and you will definitely want to suggest other anglers to go fishing.

This state will not only amaze you with fishes. This will also amaze you with the perfect scenario your eyes have always wanted. Also, try to plan your trip before ahead so that you can spend a good amount of time researching for a suitable place.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments