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California Fishing Destinations

Are you heading to California on a fishing vacation, or are you looking for a new California fishing hot spot? Be sure to make the most out of your trip by choosing the right fishing destination. The state of California offers anglers their choice of freshwater or saltwater fishing, both attracting a wide variety of fish. To help guide you to your California fishing location, go to All you have to do is type in your desired area, and they'll "hook" you up with a hot spot to fish.

California Top Fishing Lakes (Freshwater)

Lake Shasta

Talk about your wide variety of fish! When you cast your line into this lake, you can expect to reel in anything from King Salmon to Catfish, and from Smallmouth Bass to Sturgeon.

Clear Lake

If you're looking for some crappie fish in the spring, then Clear Lake is where you want to set spinner! Besides the abundance of crappie, you'll also have the chance to catch some awesome sized bass!

Lake Tahoe

Beautiful Lake Tahoe, breathtaking scenery and a place where you can haul in a fish that can leave you gasping for air! What can you expect to find? Well, everything from brown trout to rainbow trout as well as Mackinaw. So, if you're looking to gamble in Tahoe, the choice that will save you money in the long run would be to gamble a little time fishing!

CA Fishing Tips

When you're fishing in the freshwaters of California, keep in mind these following rules after obtaining your CA Fishing License.

It is against the law to do the following:

  • Fish without a valid fishing license if you are 16 years of age or older.
  • Fail to return a report card by the deadline printed on the report card. Reporting harvest online at satisfies the return requirement.
  • Take or possess fish taken illegally.
  • Transfer licenses, tags, validations, permits, applications or reservations to another person.
  • Use or possess any license, tag, validation, permit, application or reservation not lawfully issued to the user.
  • Alter, mutilate, deface, duplicate or counterfeit any license, tag, validation, permit, application or reservation.
  • Fish without the required report card on a free-fishing day.
  • Sell or barter fish taken with a sport fishing license.
  • Cause the deterioration of or waste of fish.
  • Use explosives in state waters inhabited by fish.
  • Use or possess any net in state waters except as is authorized.
  • Disturb legal traps set by another person.
  • Litter into or within 150 feet of state waters.
  • Possess fish where the size or species cannot be determined.
  • Fail to exhibit on demand all licenses, tags, validations, permits, applications or reservation to any peace officer or authorized California Department of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW) employee.
  • Fail to exhibit, on demand, all fish, mollusks, crustaceans, amphibians and reptiles and any device or apparatus capable of being used to take them, to any peace officer or authorized California Department of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW) employee; or prohibit a warden from inspection of any boat, market or receptacle where fish may be found.

For more information regarding California Freshwater Sport Fishing Regulations, you can visit

General Information on Fishing in California

To learn more on CA fishing, where to go, what are the rules, and fish identification, visit CDFW's website at