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2005 Headshot


'Hasta Be Shasta'

By Howard Hughes
Shasta Lake Fishing & Tournament Guide 2006

This was the catch phrase for a popular soda pop company, but definitely relates to Shasta Lake's awesome fishery.

There are many species of fish, rainbow trout, brown trout, salmon, crappie. large mouth bass, small mouth bass and spotted bass to name a few. The reason for this prolific fishery is the abundance of thread fin shad and crawdads as a food source. Bass fishing is my personal favorite. So, here are a few methods that work for me.

Drop shotting is definitely the easiest way to catch bass on Shasta Lake. Drop shotting is when the hook, preferably a small one, such as a Gamakatsu drop shot hook, is tied on the line using a Palomar knot with the tab end having a weight attached to the end, any where from a couple inches to several feet from the hook. I like to use four inch plastic worms or minnow imitations, such as, Berkley's 3" bass minnow in pearl blue shad or Lake Police 3" cross tail shad in the same color. I also like to use 6" worms wacky on this rig. Wacky is when the hook is inserted through the middle of the worm. Both of these have the hook point exposed. Light fishing lines such as Trilene 100% Flurocarbon in six pound test really helps with the lure presentation.

Dart Heads are another great way to catch bass on Shasta. Dart heads are lead heads with the hook attached. They normally come with a barb at the back of the head to attach plastic baits, such as; plastic worms, grubs, tubes and creature baits. Some of my favorites are 4 1/2" Fat Boy S20 Iovino, 6' Mothers Finest in Mohave Oxblood and Aaron's Magic in 6' straight tail Robo worm. When using a creature bait I like a 4' Berkley Power Hawg. My favorite dart head weights are 1/4 oz and 1/8 oz heads. Fish drop shotting and dart heads fairly slow swimming them gently along the bottom.

Now that we have a few techniques where do we use them? Points, steep walls and coves are excellent places to start. When you find the depth where they are biting, focus on this depth on other points in this area. In the winter steep walls work well and coves are great in the spring as the bass move into the shallows to spawn. I sincerely hope you find these techniques helpful in catching bass on Shasta Lake. See you on the water.


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