Shasta Lake brown trout fishing report!

A Slow Start to Brown Trout Season

2019 8+ pound Shasta Lake brown trout caught last week by Matt Coppens of Chico, Ca.

2019 8+ pound Shasta Lake brown trout caught last week by Matt Coppens of Chico, Ca.

Shasta Lake brown trout fishing is seeing a slower start than we’ve seen in years past, but with all the rain and snow we’ve seen this winter, I’m not surprised. Its a double edge sword in that we have had a slower bite the past few weeks, but we’ve also watched Shasta Lake nearly fill to its capacity in a very short period of time. Abundant water is key in maintaining abundant rainbow and brown trout populations of healthy trout populations in big reservoirs like Shasta Lake.

We’ve had some cold water in the main body of Shasta Lake this winter season. 48 degrees has dominated the temperature reading on my fish finder for over a month now, but just over the past few days, I’ve seen a slow warming trend which should kick start our brown trout bite.

Brown Trout Fishing Recommendations

I’m typically trolling big spoons and stick baits, like Optimizer Spoons and Bay Rat Lures, to attract bites from the big Shasta Lake browns. This technique also gets a lot of bites from the big rainbows as well. Since the big browns seem to orient to structure this tie of the year, you will most often times see me trolling close to the shoreline over big points are steep rock walls. These are the most productive areas right now and will be even through the summer months. I’ll catch them in open water as well, but that’s a pretty random approach to consistently finding these big trout right now.

Brown Trout Trolling Speeds

Trolling speeds will vary and so will depths of my lures during the spring brown trout bite. I catch most of my browns in the top ten feet of the water column very early and then drop down to 20-30’ feet when the sun comes up. I pay special attention to the surface conditions and will fish higher with a wind chop on the lake is present and will drop down deeper if glassy surface conditions persist with no wind. Rarely do I need to drop below 30’ feet to find the big ones this time of the year. Tolling speeds will vary, but 3.5-4.0 can be a great speed to start at. Not only are you covering a lot of shoreline very quickly, you are also triggering bites from the big aggressive brown trout. If you can’t seem to find the aggressive bites, slow things down a bit and sometimes that makes a big difference. This trout will chase a spoon or stick bait trolled fast, but sometimes they don’t want to expend the energy and need a slower presentation to trigger a bite. I have found that a good mid range speed to cover both bites is to run about 2.8 mph.

Try these tactics for yourself this spring or book a trip with me and shorten your brown trout fishing learning curve. Spring is my favorite time of the year to chase big browns and when conditions are right, the brown trout fishing on Shasta Lake can be great! I’ll be fishing Shasta Lake all spring and summer so be sure to look for my fishing reports here and also on Facebook and Nor Cal Fish Reports.