The Best Bass Fishing Lakes in California
Largemouth, smallmouth, and striper bass are one of the most popular freshwater gamefish in California, and for good reason. California ranks as one of the top states when it comes to producing trophy bass. While many lakes and reservoirs in California produce their share of giant bass every now and then, the ones listed below are known for consistently kicking out trophy bass, which is why they're listed as the best bass lakes in California.
- Clear Lake is a large inland lake in Northern California. Lined with houses, it offers abundant docs, launches, and other man-made structures. In addition, Tules, chunk rock, submerged brush, hydrilla and other abundant cover combine to offer rich habitat for harboring trophy bass.
- Diamond Valley Lake is a relatively new reservoir in Southern California, but has quickly become a destination for avid anglers seeking both largemouth and smallmouth bass. 4- to 8-pound bass are common, with an excellent opportunity to catch a double-digit lunker.
- Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta covers hundreds of miles in Northern California. It has a reputation for producing giant striper bass, but also has a very healthy population of largemouth and smallmouth bass. It consistently produces heavy limits at tournaments year round, but most especially in the spring.
- Castaic Lake is well-known for producing world-class trophy largemouth bass. As a result, it receives heavy angling pressure. Nonetheless, persistent anglers could be rewarded with a trophy of a lifetime.
- Lake Isabella is located in the high desert, 40 miles northeast of Bakersfield. The lake is well-known for its largemouth bass, but it also has smallmouth bass along with crappie, bluegill, and catfish. The big bass can be elusive, but many believe the next world record bass resides in Lake Isabella.
- Casitas Lake is within driving distance of Los Angeles, and has a reputation for producing giant largemouth bass, thanks to boating and recreational use restrictions, abundant forage, and excellent habitat. Casitas consistently produces monster bass for trophy bass anglers, who often fish this lake exclusively.
- New Melones Lake is another Northern California lake holding populations of big largemouth and smallmouth bass. It's one of the few lakes that allow night fishing, which is likely the best opportunity for hooking a trophy bass.
- Lake Camanche offers a variety of structure and cover, making this an excellent fishery for producing healthy populations of big bass. Located within striking distance of Sacramento, huge bass feed on stocked trout, often growing to absurd double-digit size.
- Don Pedro Reservoir is a Central California reservoir known for kicking out double-digit bass on a regular basis. Ideal habitat and climate conditions combine to create an abundance of big bass eager to take a swipe at your lure. It's a definite bucket list lake for trophy bass enthusiasts.
- Bullards Bar is located east of Yuba city. It has a healthy population of largemouth and smallmouth bass, but if you want a good opportunity to catch a trophy spotted bass, this is the place to go. Big spots over 8 pounds have been caught here, and spotted bass over 4 pounds are routine.
California Fishing Licensing Information
Licenses By Phone: 1-916-227-2245