Shasta Lake turnover slows trout bite.

Photo Credit: Capt. Jeff Goodwin

by Jeff Goodwin

Shasta Lake trout fishing slowly deteriorated last week and getting the fish to bite by the end of last weekend was anything but easy.  It was apparent the lake was seeing some changes and the trout responded unfavorably.  So much so, that I cancelled or re scheduled this weeks trout trips.  Water temperatures in Shasta are varying depending on where you check, but the main body has dropped below 54 degrees in most locations.  There is only a two degree drop in temps from the surface down to 200' of water.  The trout have spread out and the abundant Shad balls have disapated and moved out of the lakes main body.  There are still small clusters of Shad to be seen throughout the lake, but the numbers are far from where they were a few weeks ago.  All of the patterns in Shasta right now point to one thing, the annual turnover.  Its behind schedule and happend very slowly but its finally happened none the less.  The turnover marks a pivotal time for the lake and our fishing tactics change dramatically this time of the year.  The browns are transitioning back into the system after their spawn and the big adult rainbows are headed up the frigid tributaries for thier annual spawn, picking up where the big browns left off.  Finding rainbows this time of the year has everything to do with water temps or you can target the recently planted trout near the boat launches.  The browns will be returning to their natural habitat on or near structure.  Its hard to beat the numbers of browns available on the McCloud arm until summer arrives and the Shad balls pull them down into the main body of the lake to feed.  I'm going to continue to fish Shasta through the turnover and will keep everyone posted on the progress of the bite as we start to see a more stable pattern in the coming weeks.

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.