Northstate lakes take the bait for best bass fishing


CITY OF SHASTA LAKE, Calif. - It might be time to untangle the tackle and head to some of the best bass fishing lakes in the nation, two of which are located in the Northstate.

Shasta Lake reels-in the number 32 ranking for lakes with the best bass fishing according to a 2014 Bassmaster list. That's something Phil's Propeller and Tackle Shop Manager, Anthony Messer, is thankful to be living so close to.

"We think our lake is a phenomenal fishing lake and for spotted bass I think it's the best in the nation," Messer said.

A total of seven California lakes made the top 100 list. But Messer believes there's something special at Shasta Lake.

"Great time to go fishing. This is about the best I've seen our lake fish in 24 years of working here," Messer explained.

Phil's Propeller and Tackle Shop sits along I-5, before drivers crossover the lake heading north. Messer said he's seen crowds flock to the Northstate - to cast their lines, looking for the next big bite.

"This fishing community, we have thousands of people who come here every year. We have a hundred boat tournaments. Guys bring their big boats and go runnin' around the lake trying to catch a prize fish. It definitely helps the economy of the area," Messer said.

Nearby Lake Oroville also made the cut, ranking 63rd after not placing on the list the past two years.

But Messer believes the lake in his own backyard has much more to offer.

"I think our lake's better. I think we catch more fish here on a consistent basis. It's a very, very good lake to take somebody out and teach them how to fish," Messer explained.

With the lack of normal rainy weather, would the drought play a role in changing the rankings?

"If anything, it'll make it easier to catch them. It may be harder to launch your boat but there's less water to fish and you have the same number of fish so I think if anything our rating will get better," Messer said.