Great morning on Shasta Lake!

Check out our biggest Shasta Lake Kokanee salmon of the season Ms. Brooke caught today. 18" and just ounces shy of 3 lbs!
Photo Credit: JG Fishing Team

by Jeff Goodwin

Cooler morning temps on Shasta Lake have been a welcomed change this past week and today was no exception.  A cool breeze kept all of our clients very comfortable until about 10:00 when the sun started to beat down on our boats bringing a little sweat to the brows of our clients.  The first light bite was darn good and we all had our groups fighting trout and salmon until early afternoon.  We're seeing mostly rainbows now, but King salmon, kokanee salmon, and the occasional brown trout are biting our gear as well.  Most of the bites are coming from the 45-65' foot range which offers cool enough water below the bait balls to keep the trout and salmon near the feeding zone above.  The Kings we got today were at 80' and they all came on a Trinidad Tackle anchovy bait head, with double trebles rigged to roll.  I like my anchivies to spin pretty tight (within a 2" pipe) like a cork screw.  A flailing anchovy tail won't generally get bites so check the spin of your anchovy before sending it down into the dark depths of the lake.  Trolling speeds are important too and I generally troll 2.0-2.4 mph this time of the year.  Rainbow trout like to bite small spoons so I'll send at least two spoons down to get the rainbows to go every day.  Kings like the Anchovies, but another great presentation is a flasher/squid or flasher/fly combo.  White, green, or blue squid skirts are pretty dependable for reaction bites from hungry Kings.  I'm hanging close to the old river channels in the main body of the lake right now.  Get too far off the channels and you're gonna find bottom every once in a while.  That can be costly if your losing terminal tackle and downrigger components.  Most of the river channels down in the main body of Shasta are 200'-300' plus deep so hanging gear up on the bottom isn't a real issue.  As is often the case, the trout will dive a bit deeper as we make our way into August and September and getting a good bite at 80-100' is pretty much the standard depths for late summer fishing on Shasta Lake.  We continue to experience some great fishing and there's more lake water than you can possibly cover trolling for days on end.  Our season on Shasta Lake will come to an end in late August, but only because we have a lot of Sac River King salmon fishing trips to run.  Shasta Lake usually fishes pretty good until the end of September when the lake starts to cool off.  The fishing can be good in October through winter, but you have to know where your target species go after they leave the lower end of the Lake in the fall.  Stay tuned for continued Shasta Lake fishing reports and we'll point everyone in the right direction for success when summer comes to an end.  Until then, keep fishing the main body of the lake between the I-5 bridge and Shasta Dam.  Its definitely the very best water to fish for trout and salmon on Shasta Lake this time of the year!  Tight lines!

Captain Jeff Goodwin 

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.