Can You Ice Fish in Castle Lake | Hidden Gem

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California is known for its beaches and temperate weather, but the state also offers some great opportunities for ice fishing. One such spot is Castle Lake, located in the Trinity mountains. The lake is a popular destination for both ice fishing and camping, and if you’re lucky you may even catch a glimpse of the local wildlife.

Surrounded by pine trees and picturesque views, Castle Lake is a great place to relax and enjoy the outdoors. Being a glacial lake, the water is very cold, so make sure you dress warmly. The best time to go ice fishing is usually in early December when the lake is most likely to be frozen over.

Spread over 47 acres the lake has some of the healthiest fish populations in California. Due to its rich vegetation, the fish here grow to large sizes. Winters are hard in the mountains and the lake offers a great opportunity to catch fish through the ice.

The ice fishing season starts around December and ends in May, so if you’re planning a trip make sure to check the conditions beforehand. Local bait shops will have the most up-to-date information on where to find the best fishing spots.

What Fishes Can I find Ice Fishing In Castle Lake?

Most of the fish you’ll find in Castle Lake are rainbow trout, brown trout, and brook trout. The lake is also home to a few other species such as mountain whitefish, kokanee salmon, and Sacramento suckerfish.

Rainbow trout are the most popular fish to catch in the lake. They average 10-12 inches but can grow up to 20 inches. The best time to catch them is early in the season when they’re close to the shoreline.

Brown trout are another popular choice for anglers. These fish can grow up to 30 inches and put up a good fight when hooked. They’re usually found in deeper water so you’ll need a heavier rod and line.

Brook trout are the smallest of the three main species, averaging 8-10 inches. They’re not as common as the other two but can be just as fun to catch.

Mountain whitefish are native to the area and can be found in most of the lakes in the Trinity mountains. They average 12-14 inches but can grow up to 20 inches.

When fishing for rainbow trout, the best bait to use is usually a live worm or a small piece of salmon egg. You can also try using corn, dough balls, or power bait. For brown trout, try using a larger worm or piece of salmon egg. Brook trout can be caught with smaller bait such as worms or insects.

If you’re using live bait, make sure to keep your worms or other bait in a cool environment so they don’t die. The best way to do this is to use a bait bucket with some ice in it.

You’ll also need a few other supplies such as a fishing rod, line, hooks, sinkers, and a stringer or live well to keep your fish alive. You can buy most of these items at any local sporting goods store or online.

Best Fishing Spots for Ice Fishing in Castle Lake?

You will find numerous pre-drilled holes along the shoreline that are perfect for ice fishing. These holes are usually about 3-4 feet deep and range from 6-12 inches in diameter. You can find some of the best spots by fishing near submerged logs or rocks.

Being a small lake, it’s easy to explore all the different areas and find your own secret fishing spot. Just remember to be careful when walking on the ice and don’t venture out too far from shore. Asking fellow anglers is also a great way to find out where the hot spots are.

Submerged vegetation and rocks provide good habitat for fish and also offer some protection from the cold water. The deepest part of the lake is near the center where it reaches a depth of about 34 Meters.

Getting accustomed to the lake geography will give you great insights into where the fish are holding and will make your fishing trips more successful. Make sure to go through the local map before heading out so you have an idea of the different features in the lake.

Ice Fishing Tips For Castle Lake

Here are a few tips to help you have a successful and safe ice fishing trip to Castle Lake:

– Check the ice conditions before heading out. The thickness of the ice can vary from day to day so it’s important to be aware of the conditions before venturing out.

– Properly packing your ice shanties and other gear will make your trip more comfortable and enjoyable. Make sure to bring enough food and water for everyone in your group.

-Don’t forget your ice fishing flashers and cameras. These devices can help you locate fish under the ice and also capture some great memories of your trip.

-Finally, be patient when ice fishing. The key is to relax and enjoy the experience. Don’t get frustrated if you don’t catch anything right away. The fish will eventually bite if you give them time.

Ice fishing can be a great way to spend a day out on the lake. Just make sure to follow these tips and be prepared for a successful trip. With a little bit of luck, you’ll be able to bring home a nice catch of fish.

What To Wear For Ice Fishing in Castle Lake?

When heading out for a day of ice fishing, it’s important to dress appropriately for the conditions. This means wearing layers of warm clothing that will keep you comfortable in the cold weather.

Start with a base layer of long underwear made from a material such as wool or synthetic fabric. This will help to keep your body heat in and will also wick away moisture.

Next, add a layer of warm pants and a shirt. Fleece or wool are good materials to use for this layer. You might also want to consider adding an insulated jacket to your outfit.

Invest in a good pair of ice fishing boots that are waterproof and offer good insulation. Make sure to also pack a pair of extra socks in case your feet get wet.

Finally, don’t forget to protect your head and hands from the cold weather. A warm hat and a pair of gloves or mittens will go a long way in keeping you comfortable.

Travel Plans

Hiking is the most preferred way to travel to Castle Lake. Make sure you have waypoints saved in your GPS as the trail is not well-marked in some sections. There are also no maintained roads leading to the lake so a high clearance vehicle is recommended.

The nearest town is Shasta, which is about an hour’s drive from the lake. If, you are not a hiking person, you can also try your luck at fishing from one of the many boat ramps in Shasta.

Castle Lake is a beautiful place to visit and offers great opportunities for fishing, hiking, and other outdoor activities. With a little bit of planning, you can have a safe and enjoyable trip to this scenic location.

What You Need To Bring

When planning your ice fishing trip to Castle Lake, there are a few things you’ll need to bring in order to be successful.

First, you’ll need a good ice fishing rod and reel combo. You can find these at most sporting goods stores or online.

Next, you’ll need some bait. Minnows are a good option and can be bought at most bait shops. You might also want to bring along some artificial lures.

You’ll also need an ice auger to drill holes in the ice. These can be rented at most sporting goods stores or you can purchase your own.

Finally, you’ll need an ice fishing shelter. This will provide you with a place to stay warm and dry while you’re fishing. You can either bring your own shelter or rent one at most sporting goods stores.

With these items, you’ll be all set for a successful ice fishing trip to Castle Lake.


Castle lake offers some of best ice fishing in the area. With a little bit of planning and the right gear, you can have a great time out on the ice. Just make sure to dress warmly and be patient when fishing. With a little luck, you’ll be able to bring home a nice catch of fish.