Which Fish Should I Target at Lake Almanor?

Lake Almanor is as bio-diverse as any lake in the Northern Sierras. The lake produces, but may not be limited to:

  • Rainbow Trout
  • Brown Trout
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Landlocked Chinook Salmon
  • Sacramento Perch
  • Northern Pikeminnow

Crayfish can be trapped using cat food or fish guts as bait. The old “bacon-on-a-string at night with a flashlight” method is not as effective but ten times as much fun.

During the Spring the trout are tough to entice, but who knew that football season was just beginning? Lake Almanor is known for its aggressive and large Brown Trout, but there is an even angrier fish in these waters. Micropterus dolomieu, or the Smallmouth Bass is in our opinion, the toughest pound-for-pound fighter in fresh water. The warming waters of Spring signal the bass to breed and they can be caught protecting their nests at this time of year. Location is key for these predators now, the bait you choose is slightly less important (green pumpkin Senkos are a great bet). They are also in at shallower depths and can be accessed from most docks during the Spring. Smallies are a great option to target when fishing with kids at Lake Almanor.

When the weather takes a turn into Summer, the bass calm down and return to chasing crawdads and baitfish. At the same time, mayfly eggs from the previous Summer burst to life on the rocky bottom. These hex flies float to the surface to escape their aquatic prison and fly into the evening. Unless they run into one of these…

A Red Boat Guest Admiring His Dinner

Brown and rainbow trout will both chase the hex flies. Using bait or lures that imitates the bug and their cycle will be the ticket to success. Location is less important at this time, the fish will come with patience. Keep your line in the water!

During the middle of Summer and early Fall, the trout in Lake Almanor don’t want to look at another bug until the next year. It is now that they begin to scavenge, attack ailing baitfish, and dig for crawdads. Imitating their prey is key, so pay attention to the nature variables and adjust your presentation accordingly.

Your Future

When choosing which species to fish for at Lake Almanor, consider the time of year, water temperature, wind and clouds, and your goal. All species can be caught in the Spring, Summer and Fall, but your quantity will depend on how well you read the lake. Good luck and tight lines!

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