Clear Lake1 of 9
Good for yearlong fishing, Clear Lake is particularly rewarding to those who drop a line in the spring or fall. A largemouth bass fishery sustains the lake, and 10-pound catches aren't uncommon.
Lake Shasta2 of 9
What do you want to fish? Take your pick from king salmon, rainbow trout, a variety of bass, crappie, sunfish, catfish and more. Like Clear Lake, Lake Shasta is a year-round fishing destination, but spring and fall are the ideal time to get on the water.
Plus, with plenty of other fishing sources nearby, if the fish aren't biting at Shasta, just scoot on over to another body of water.
California Delta3 of 9
The most popular fish in the Delta is striped bass, with catches that regularly weigh in between 10 and 20 pounds. Sturgeon, catfish, black bass, salmon and American shad round out the list of other popular species. The grand derbies are also a site to behold—particularly the black bass tournament—when hundreds of boats hit the water at any given time.
Eastern Sierra4 of 9
Visit the Eastern Sierra for the fishing but stay for the views.
If you want some seriously good fishing with the vistas to match, this is the location for you. It's especially popular for trophy trout, and those who cast their lines here can catch golden trout, bass, catfish and crappie—among others. Regular trout season runs the last Saturday in April through October, but there are year-round opportunities to fish.
Yosemite5 of 9
When it comes to natural beauty accompanying the sport of fishing, Yosemite might be the only one on this list to best the Eastern Sierra's. The park is already well known for its mountains, waterfalls and abundance of wildlife, but it's the smallmouth bass, trout and bluegill that attracts avid anglers from all over.
Make sure to work in a hike or rafting trip after reeling in your catches.
Bodega Bay6 of 9
No need for a boat to access the good fishing along the serene Sonoma Coast. Fish are plentiful right off the Bodega Bay Spud Point Marina Pier. Look for rockfish, Pacific mackerel, anchovy and more. If you're up for a little more excitement, charter a fishing trip through a local business. You won't regret it!
Santa Monica Pier7 of 9
One of Southern California's most famous landmarks, the pier extends roughly 2,000 feet into the water, and in some spots, anglers can be as close as 10 to 12 feet to the surface. Species of fish that are plentiful along the pier include halibut, croaker, sardines, surfperch, kelp and white seabass.
San Diego8 of 9
Last but not least, San Diego is one of the top fishing destinations in America. With world-class attractions, lodging and dining, it may be hard to stay focused on the task at hand: reeling one in! Still, with saltwater (yellowfin, bluefin, marlin, calico bass, halibut and croaker), freshwater (trout, bluegill, catfish, carp and crappie), and pier fishing (a variety of bass, leopard sharks, halibut, barracuda and bonito), the angling opportunities are as numerous as the city's attractions.
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