Your Best Spring Fishing in California

There's never been a better time for spring fishing in California, so grab your favorite rod and reel and hit the water! Here are the places you won't want to miss.


Diamond Valley Reservoir

Largemouth Bass

This 4,500-acre lake has earned a well-deserved reputation in recent years as a top-notch big bass fishery, which regularly boots out fish up to 15 pounds!

The lakes big bass make their living devouring planted rainbow trout, so working main lake points and other structure with soft plastic rainbow pattern swimbaits running 8 to 12 inches in length is the way to hook up.

If swimbaits fail to produce, go finesse with 6- and 8-inch wacky-rigged rainbow pattern Senkos. In addition to largemouths, Diamond Valley has a population of smallmouths that absolutely love dead sticked Senkos.

For big, bad-mannered brown trout, Lake Almanor is a great option. Small bits of cured trout roe fished near tributaries generate the strikes.

Mother lode anglers will want to visit Lake Camanche to sling dough baits for planted 'bows.


Lake Tahoe


Lake Tahoe is America's premier alpine lake. Tahoe has established populations of brown and rainbow trout, kokanee salmon and mackinaw. Mackinaw are the main attraction for visiting anglers.

Tahoe's macks are ready strikers that provide outstanding table fare. The overall best offering is a threaded minnow slow-trolled behind a white glow dodger. The hot depths typically range from 100 to 220 feet, although you can find the fish much shallower at times.

If trolling minnows sounds too complicated, small spoons and minnow plugs will generate strikes, too.

For trophy-size largemouth bass during the month of April, California has dozens of locations, but few are as good as Lake Perris. Rig up with heavy fluorocarbon line, tie on a swimbait and hang on!

Lake Don Pedro is home to jumbo landlocked kings that can reach 8 pounds. Roll rigged shad to hook up.



Lake Berryessa

Golden State anglers love kokanee because they put up a great fight and taste great on the grill. Several California lakes have kokanee populations, but in terms of the average size of fish caught, Lake Berryessa is the state's foremost kokanee destination.

Berryessa's 'kokes average 16 to 17 inches and average about 2 pounds each. During the spring the kokanee tend to be scattered throughout the lake's main body from the surface to 40 feet deep. To catch them, you'll want to pull spinners, spoons and bugs tipped with shoe peg corn behind dodgers and flashers. Orange, blue and purple colors usually work well.

At Collins Lake, May is a great month for trout fishing. Dough baits and worms produce lots of easy limits.

Folsom Lake offers excellent action for big channel cats in the 6- to 12-pound class. Live minnows work well.

Don't forget to share your best fishing photos with us on Camera Corner for your chance to win free gear!



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