2005 Headshot


Keeping It Simple on
Shasta Lake

By Howard Hughes
Shasta Lake Fishing & Tournament Guide 2007

When I give seminars, I like to start with some obvious facts, such as: the fish are deep, shallow, or somewhere in between. There are several ways to determine this. One is visual: can you see surface action, fish breaking the surface? If you have good electronics - Lowrance Sonar Units - you can easily locate the bait and fish. The closer the large fish relate to the bait the more likely they will bite. I start shallow and work my way down. This works Well For almost all species of fish.

I specialize in fishing for bass. Lake Shasta has three species of bass: large mouth, small mouth and the spotted bass.

Bass have a tendency to relate to structure. Structure for the purpose of bass fishing can be defined as change. Examples include a long point of land going out into the water, bluffs, trees and bridge pilings. Bass use these structures to go up or down, or in and out to feed.

Seasons and lake levels have a profound effect on bass behavior. In the winter bass generally move deeper. In the spring they tend to migrate shallow to feed and spawn. In the summer they go to that in between place we talked about earlier. In the fall they are all over the place: deep, shallow or in between. They are feeding heavily to store up for winter.

Lake Shasta has major swings in lake levels. In general, when the lake rises, bass migrate shallower; when the lake level goes down, they go deeper or suspend.

There are complete books written on these subjects. All I am trying to say is, just look at the shoreline for changes, look at erosion, creek channels and points. There are flat points and steep points. Almost all have a steep side. Rivers and creeks hitting the bank cause bluffs. These are natural highways for bass migration.

If bass are shallow and active, diving crank baits, jerk baits and top water may be the ticket.

When they are in between or suspended, you may need a jigging spoon, drop shot or a senko to get the job done. When they are deep, jigging spoons, drop shot, heavy jigs and dart head plastics may be the answer.

One of the best ways to know what fishing techniques are working is to ask questions at a local tackle shop. The good people at Phil’s Propeller will be happy to set you up and answer questions on all of these techniques.

Have a great time on Lake Shasta.

Catch you on the water.


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


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