Oroville Lake Fishing Report Guide

Oroville Lake Fishing Report Guide

Hey there, fellow anglers and outdoor enthusiasts! Today, we’re diving into everything you need to know about Oroville Lake in California. Whether you’re a seasoned fisherman or just looking to spend some quality time outdoors, this guide is for you. Let’s get started!

About Oroville Lake Fishing

Oroville Lake is a breathtaking reservoir located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, near the town of Oroville, California. It’s one of the largest lakes in the state, renowned for its clear waters and stunning surroundings. This scenic spot is not only perfect for fishing but also offers a wide range of recreational activities such as boating, hiking, and camping. With its expansive size and beautiful landscapes, Oroville Lake is a favorite destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

Oroville Lake Fishing Details

Here’s a quick rundown of the key features of Oroville Lake:

  • Surface Area: Approximately 15,810 acres
  • Shoreline: 167 miles of scenic shoreline
  • Average Depth: 90 feet
  • Maximum Depth: 700 feet
  • Surface Elevation: 900 feet above sea level
  • Location: Butte County, California
  • Coordinates: 39.5388° N, 121.4921° W
  • Accessibility: Easily accessible via Highway 70 and Oroville Dam Road, with multiple boat ramps and parking areas
  • Type of Lake: Reservoir
  • Lake Amenities:
    • Boat ramps
    • Picnic areas
    • Restrooms and showers
    • Fishing docks
    • Hiking and biking trails
    • Campgrounds
    • Marina services

Oroville Lake is an excellent spot for a day trip or a longer vacation. With its vast expanse and numerous amenities, it’s a perfect destination for anyone looking to enjoy some time on the water or in nature.

Types of Fish in Oroville Lake

Oroville Lake is home to a variety of fish species, making it a great spot for anglers. Here’s what you can expect to catch:

Largemouth Bass

Largemouth bass are a popular catch at Oroville Lake. They can often be found near submerged structures, rocky areas, and along the shoreline. The best times to fish for bass are early in the morning and late in the afternoon when they are most active.

Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth bass are also present in the lake, typically found in rocky areas and around drop-offs. They prefer cooler, deeper waters compared to largemouth bass.

Spotted Bass

Spotted bass are abundant in Oroville Lake and are often found in similar habitats as largemouth and smallmouth bass. They are known for their aggressive nature and strong fight.

Rainbow Trout

Rainbow trout are regularly stocked in Oroville Lake, especially during the cooler months. They can be found throughout the lake but are most active in the early morning and late afternoon. Spinners, small crankbaits, or worms are ideal for catching trout.

Chinook Salmon

Chinook salmon are another prized catch in Oroville Lake. They typically inhabit the deeper, cooler waters and can often be found near the dam and in deeper channels. Fishing for Chinook salmon is best during the early morning or late evening.


Catfish are plentiful in Oroville Lake and can often be found in the deeper parts of the lake. They prefer to stay near the bottom, so using nightcrawlers or stink baits is very effective. The best spots to catch catfish are near the dam and in deeper channels.


Crappie can be found schooling near submerged timber and structures. Small jigs or minnows are the go-to baits for these tasty fish. They are usually more active during the cooler parts of the day, making early mornings and late afternoons the best times to fish for crappie.


Bluegill are abundant and fun to catch, especially for beginners. Look for them near the shorelines, docks, and areas with aquatic vegetation. Small worms or crickets are perfect bait for bluegill. They tend to be more active during the warmer months.

Best Fishing Baits, Lures, and Tackle

Fishing at Oroville Lake can be incredibly rewarding, and having the right gear is crucial. Here’s what you should pack in your tackle box:


  • Soft Plastics: Great for bass, especially when fished slowly around structures.
  • Crankbaits: Effective for covering a lot of water quickly and attracting bass and trout.
  • Spinners: Ideal for trout and crappie, especially when cast near submerged structures.
  • Topwater Lures: Best used during the early morning or late evening for bass.


  • Nightcrawlers: Ideal for catfish and bluegill. They can be fished on the bottom or suspended under a bobber.
  • Stink Bait: Perfect for catfish, especially in deeper waters.
  • Minnows: Great for crappie and bass. They can be used live or as part of a jig setup.
  • Worms: Versatile and effective for a variety of species, especially trout and bluegill.


  • Rod and Reel: A medium to heavy action rod with a good reel is ideal for bass fishing. For catfish, a heavy rod with a strong reel is necessary.
  • Extra Line: Always bring extra fishing line in case of breaks or snags.
  • Hooks and Sinkers: A variety of sizes to match the different fish species and fishing conditions.
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Best Fishing Spot Locations

Oroville Lake has some fantastic spots for fishing, and knowing where to go can make all the difference. Here are some of the best spots:

The Dam Area

This spot is great for rainbow trout and Chinook salmon. The rocky structure near the dam attracts many fish. It’s a popular spot, so getting there early can be beneficial.

Lime Saddle

This area is fantastic for bass and crappie. The cooler, clearer waters and submerged structures make it a prime location for these species.

Bidwell Canyon

Ideal for catching a variety of fish, including trout and bass. The Bidwell Canyon area provides easy access to deeper waters and is a great spot for shore fishing.

Foreman Creek

Known for its excellent bass fishing, Foreman Creek is also a good spot for crappie and catfish. The shallow waters and submerged structures provide plenty of cover for these fish.

Loafer Creek

This area is great for shore fishing and provides easy access to the water. You can catch a variety of fish here, including bass, trout, and bluegill.

Fishing Tips and Recommendations

Oroville Lake is a fantastic spot, but a little insider knowledge can make your trip even better. Here are some tips:

Timing is Key

The best times to fish are early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Fish are more active during these times, and you’re more likely to have success.

Match Your Bait

Using the right bait for the fish you’re targeting can make a big difference. For bass, try a variety of lures until you find what’s working. For catfish, nightcrawlers or stink bait are a must.

Check the Weather

Fish tend to be more active when the weather is mild. Avoid fishing during extreme heat or cold. A little rain can actually improve your chances as it stirs up the water and brings fish closer to the surface.

Use a Fish Finder

A fish finder can help you locate schools of fish, making your fishing trip much more productive. It’s especially useful in deeper parts of the lake where fish might be hiding.

Respect the Environment

Always clean up after yourself and follow local fishing regulations. Catch and release is encouraged to keep the fish population healthy. Make sure to dispose of any trash properly and respect other anglers.

Oroville Lake Fishing Reviews

Oroville Lake has earned some rave reviews from anglers who have had great experiences. Here are five top reviews:

  1. John D. – “Caught a 7-pound spotted bass within an hour of fishing! The lake is beautiful and well-maintained.”
  2. Samantha W. – “Perfect spot for a family fishing trip. We caught bluegill and crappie all day long. Highly recommend!”
  3. Tom R. – “The fishing docks are great for beginners. My son caught his first fish here, and he was so excited!”
  4. Linda F. – “The views are stunning, and the fishing is excellent. We had a great time camping here too.”
  5. Mike J. – “Caught a huge Chinook salmon near the dam. The lake is well-stocked, and the staff are super friendly.”

Top-Rated RV Parks and Campgrounds Near Oroville Lake

If you’re planning to stay overnight, there are some fantastic RV parks and campgrounds near Oroville Lake. Here are the top five:

1. Loafer Creek Campground

  • Features: Spacious campsites, picnic tables, fire rings
  • Amenities: Restrooms, showers, boat ramps
  • Distance to Lake: Right on the lake

2. Lime Saddle Campground

  • Features: Quiet, scenic views, and easy access to the lake
  • Amenities: Full hookups, restrooms, showers, laundry facilities
  • Distance to Lake: 2 miles

3. Bidwell Canyon Campground

  • Features: Family-friendly, with plenty of shade and open spaces
  • Amenities: Full hookups, restrooms, showers, playground
  • Distance to Lake: 1 mile

4. Lake Oroville State Recreation Area

  • Features: Marina, boat rentals, fishing docks
  • Amenities: Tent sites, RV sites with hookups, picnic areas
  • Distance to Lake: Right on the lake

5. Oroville / Feather Falls Casino KOA

  • Features: Overlooks the hills, great for relaxing and exploring
  • Amenities: Tent sites, RV sites with hookups, restrooms, showers
  • Distance to Lake: 10 miles

Oroville Lake Fishing Summary

Oroville Lake is a true gem in California, offering something for everyone. Whether you’re here to catch some big bass, enjoy a peaceful day on the water, or just relax at a campground, this place has it all. With its beautiful scenery, great fishing spots, and convenient amenities, it’s no wonder that so many people love coming here. So pack your gear, grab your family or friends, and head over to Oroville Lake for an unforgettable adventure. Happy fishing!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the best time of year to fish at Oroville Lake?

The best times are spring and fall when the weather is mild, and the fish are most active.

Do I need a fishing license to fish at Oroville Lake?

Yes, a valid California fishing license is required. Make sure to check the latest regulations.

Are there any boat rentals available at Oroville Lake?

Yes, you can rent boats at the local marina. They have a variety of options, including fishing boats and pontoons.

Can I camp at Oroville Lake without an RV?

Absolutely! There are plenty of tent camping sites available, along with RV hookups.

Is Oroville Lake suitable for kayaking and paddleboarding?

Yes, it’s great for both. The calm waters make it perfect for these activities. Just be sure to follow any local guidelines.

There you have it, folks! A complete guide to fishing at Oroville Lake. I hope you found this helpful and are ready to have an amazing time out there. Tight lines and happy fishing!

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Best Fishing Bait, Lures & Tackle

Here’s some of the best fishing bait, fishing lures and fishing tackle Oroville Lake Fishing Report Guide: