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!

We Are Team Red Boat

Thanks for visiting the best place for your Lake Almanor fishing report, stories and information. For four generations we have been fishing Lake Almanor and it’s surrounding areas.

Don Morgan was a United States Marine Corp veteran who fought on Okinawa and Peleliu during World War II in the Marine Corps 3rd Armored Division. After returning home, he started a family with his wife Liz and started working for The Pacific Gas and Electric Company. At that time, PG&E was using the Hamilton Branch of the Feather River for electric power. They built camps and cabins on the lake and invited employees to vacation at the source. In the 1950’s Don and Liz began to vacation at Lake Almanor.

Over the years, relationships formed between the locals, the Morgans and the fish. Don was an avid angler who passed down all of his knowledge to his son Wes. The lessons consisted of more than studying fish. Wes learned to study the water, the birds, the wind and to trust his instincts.

Wes first brought his son Justin to Lake Almanor as a baby in 1987. Justin used the knowledge that his father and grandfather had given him about the lake to develop a deep understanding of the Lake Almanor ecosystem and further their fishing success. Justin began to understand answers to the questions people often asked him.

  • What lure do I use at Lake Almanor?
  • What are the best spots to fish at Lake Almanor?
  • What time do the fish bite at Lake Almanor?

Justin realized that these questions have different answers based on each other question’s respective answer. In short, Lake Almanor fishing is complicated. From baitfish to bugs, springs to jetties, holes and topwater, the variables are endless. For decades, the Morgan family has continuously learned and refined their knowledge of how to fish Lake Almanor.

Today, Justin is passing-on the wonders of Lake Almanor to his children while still trying to keep up with his father on the leaderboard. He loves to help new visitors get acclimated to the Lake Almanor fishing experience. If you see a red Sun Tracker or a Mastercraft out on the water hauling in monsters, come say hi to Team Red Boat.