Guide To Striped Bass Fishing In California
Striped Bass Lakes
While stripers are native to salt water, they naturally migrate into fresh water streams to spawn. Their eggs must remain in motion in order to hatch so the fresh water rivers and streams become the ideal spawning grounds for stripers. Landlocked stripers then populate the lakes.
California offers fantastic opportunities for striped bass fishing, attracting anglers with its diverse waterways and abundant fish populations. While California is home to native striped bass, it is the hybrid striped bass that have become particularly popular among anglers. These hybrids are a crossbreed between striped bass and white bass, resulting in a fish with a unique combination of characteristics.
One of the major draws for striped bass fishing in California is the presence of several large lakes that provide ideal habitat for these fish. The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, a vast network of waterways and channels, is a prime destination for striped bass fishing. This delta region offers excellent opportunities to target both native and hybrid striped bass, especially during the spring and fall seasons.
In addition to the Delta, California's major lakes, such as Lake Shasta, Lake Oroville, and the California Delta, are renowned for their striped bass populations. These lakes provide ample forage and suitable conditions for striped bass to thrive. Anglers can find a variety of techniques to be successful, including trolling with lures, casting swimbaits or topwater plugs, and using live bait such as anchovies or shad.
Hybrid striped bass, also known as wipers, exhibit a combination of the aggressive feeding behavior of striped bass and the resilience of white bass. They can grow to impressive sizes, offering anglers exciting battles and rewarding catches. Many anglers target these hybrids for their hard-fighting nature and the potential to land trophy-sized fish.
While California is well-known for its striped bass fishing, it is important for anglers to stay informed about the specific regulations and fishing seasons in each waterway. This ensures the sustainability of the fishery and helps preserve the striped bass populations for future generations of anglers to enjoy.
Whether you're fishing the expansive California Delta or exploring the vast reservoirs and lakes across the state, California offers a thrilling striped bass fishing experience. The combination of scenic locations, the challenge of hooking into these powerful fish, and the opportunity to land trophy-sized hybrids make striped bass fishing in California a favorite pursuit among anglers.
The Colorado River lakes along the California-Arizona border are populated with striped bass. Before dams were built the river was a major spawning ground and many monster stripers have come from these waters.
Southern CA has several options including Canyon Lake, Castaic Lake, Diamond Valley Lake, Lake Cahuilla, Lake Hemet, Lake Elsinore, Lake Havasu, Lake Perris, Pyramid Lake, Silverwood Lake and Skinner Reservoir.
The California state record striped bass was caught from the O'Neill Forebay.
Inland world record: 64 lbs 8 oz
State Record: 67 lbs 8 oz
Click the images and links above for species details.
Fishing for Stripers in California
When fishing for stripers concentrate on the deeper waters in the lake. If you can locate schools of shad, stripers are often close by. When the baitfish are shallow over the deep water, you can catch stripers on crankbaits or by swimming spoons at appropriate depths. Check California fishing reports for current striper information. And for the ultimate thrill try large topwater baits if you see any surface feeding action. When the stripers are deep, jigs and jigging spoons work well. Live and cut bait will also take striped bass when they are in medium to deeper water. Fish nearby or in the river channel if it is a defined depth change. Trolling is also an excellent way to fish for stripers. Use flashy lures in bigger sizes.
Striper Fishing Video
Learn the basics for catching striped bass.
Striped bass fishing information, by state.
Learn the migration of stripers
The more you know about the seasonal migration of striped bass, the more likely you are to be looking in the right area next time you visit California striper fishing lakes. Visit the striped bass fishing page for more in-depth information about striper movements.