California’s Top Freshwater Fishing Spots

If memories of your favorite vacation include fishing gear and long hours on a lake, why not share that legacy with your family? Everyone should know the thrill of pulling in a huge lake trout or swapping fish stories over a campfire! Give your kids the fishing vacation of a lifetime by exploring the freshwater fishing spots of California.

Southern California Freshwater Fishing
Whether you’re a shore fisherman or an avid boater, you’ll find the perfect vacation spot in Southern California. Fly into Los Angeles and make the two hour drive to Lake Isabella. There you’ll find every kind of fishing, from Largemouth Bass to Crappie. While you’re there, fish the adjacent Kern River for its famous Rainbow Trout.

Also north of Los Angeles, you’ll find Castaic Lake, a bass angler’s dream. Fish, swim, hike and camp at this scenic gem in Southern California. For a chance at a monster-bass, check out Lake Dixon, a small lake near Escondido. It’s produced record-breaking bass in recent years, and offers numerous inexpensive campsites.

Before heading north, stop by San Vicente Reservoir. Fish from the island, in a boat or on the shore, and take home your limit of catfish, bass or trout. You could also enjoy the gorgeous scenery at Lake Perris, near Riverside, and fish for Largemouth Bass, Black Crappie and catfish.

Northern & Central California Freshwater Fishing
If you venture into Northern California on your vacation, make a stop at Lake Berryessa, about halfway between Sacramento and Santa Rosa. With 165 miles of shoreline, there’s lots of room to fish and camp. Watch for eagles as you enjoy trout, bass and bluegill fishing.

If you’re in the Sacramento area, why not vacation at Clear Lake? At the largest natural lake in California, Clear Lake fishermen regularly catch bass over ten pounds. In fact, professional bass fishermen flock to the lake from all over the nation! Why not treat the family to world-class bass fishing, then take the kids on a hike to the site of a Native American village?

If you’re after King Salmon, plan to stay at Lake Shasta, just north of Redding. This enormous lake is home to two species of trout and bass, as well as catfish and bluegill. Fed by four rivers, Shasta Lake sits at the edge of Shasta Trinity National Forest and offers your entire family the opportunity for an unforgettable vacation.

South of Sacramento, Lake Amador is nestled in the foothills of the Sierras. Here, the fishermen in your family will find bass up to fifteen pounds, as well as the Lake’s own “Cutbow” hybrid trout. Let the kids catch their first trout in this well-stocked lake, and try their hand at snagging one of the forty-pound catfish!

And no fishing trip in Northern California would be complete without stopping by the Lakes Basin Recreation Area, which is north of Sacramento near the town of Truckee. Actually made up of fifty lakes and streams, LBRA offers excellent Rainbow and Eastern Brook Trout fishing.

You’re going to love fishing in California! Bring the whole family and plan to camp and stay at one of the Golden State’s prime fishing lakes. You’ll go home with your minds full of memories and plans already started for next year’s trip! A note to all of the RV campers out there – many of these California fishing locations are near RV campgrounds.

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