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California Striper Fishing

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All about fishing for striped bass in California lakes.

Striper fishing

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.

Striper Fishing Lakes In California

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.

Northern CA lakes offering striper fishing include Bucks Lake, Lake Mendocino and Los Vaqueros Reservoir.

In Central CA, Millerton Lake, New Hogan Lake, San Luis Reservoir and The Delta are the primary options for striper fishing.

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 ONeill Forebay.

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.

Fishing for striped bass in California

Striped Bass


Saltwater world record: 81 lbs 14 oz

CA State Record: 67 lbs 8 oz

By clicking on the images and links above, you will be taken to a page offering more information about the selected species.

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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.

Best striped bass fishing lakes in California!