2005 Headshot


Finessing Shasta Lake

By Howard Hughes
Shasta Lake Fishing & Tournament Guide 2008

Shasta Lake is an awesome bass lake, with a tremendous population of bass. The spotted bass is the predominate species. There is a good population of small mouth and a few large mouth bass. The reason the bass population is so good is plenty of food for them. Threadfin Shad and crawdads lead the way.

Bass have also been known to eat trout and blue gills. Knowing what bass are likely to feed on helps us pick colors and techniques to mimic their food source. For instance, clear or white worms and clear or white crank baits would be examples of shad patterns. Red, brown and green worms, dark jigs and brown or red crank baits would mimic crawdads or blue gills.

Probably the easiest way to catch bass on Shasta Lake is drop shooting. I use a #2 Gamakatsu Drop Shot Hook and tie it on the line with Palomar knot with the tag end having a 1/4 oz. drop shot weight anywhere from a couple inches to several feet attached under the hook. Six to eight pound line is best for this technique. I use Berkley Trilene 100% Florocarbon professional grade in 6 lbs. test. My favorite lures are 6 in. Berkley Finesse worms; my favorite colors are prism shad, ox blood light red fleck and purple greenie Christmas. Dart heads work exceptionally well on Shasta, or lead head weights. Drop shot and dart heads are both considered finesse fishing.

These techniques are the easiest and most productive ways of catching bass on Shasta Lake, presenting an excellent opportunity for success for family and kids of all ages. Catch you on the water.


-Howard Hughes was the 2005 B.A.S.S. Shasta Champion