Few counties have as many access points for fishing as Merced County, which is surrounded by the Central Valley’s reservoirs. In fact, there are 11 lakes within driving distance of just about every community in the county.
Here are some of the most renowned fishing spots in and around the area.
- Don Pedro Lake
- O’Neill Forebay
- Modesto Reservoir
- Lake McClure
- Lake McSwain
- Eastman Lake
California’s fifth-largest artificial lake is teeming with black bass and Chinook and Kokanee salmon, making it a prime fishing spot. Spotted bass and small bass can also be found here in smaller numbers. Bass as heavy as 18.5 lbs have been caught in the reservoir within the last few years.
Fishing in the lake is allowed year round, though the tributary creeks east of Highway 49 are closed to the public from November to April.
The lake is a popular spot for boat-based recreational activities, and is known for the 4th of July fireworks event that takes place here each year.
Known as one of the best fishing areas in California, O’Neill Forebay is known as the small lake below San Luis Dam that produces recordbreaking striped bass, with a lucky angler catching one that weighed 70.6 lbs here in 2008. Another man caught a 67-lbs striped bass in the same lake back in 1992, which set a world record.
With 14 miles of pristine shoreline, O’Neill Forebay is also a popular camping, hiking, and picnic spot.
Come to Modesto Reservoir to catch channel catfish, common carp, largemouth bass, and rainbow striped trout. Aside from fishing, this stocked reservoir is a popular spot for waterfowl hunting, bird watching, jet skiing, and swimming.
Surrounded by lush vegetation, it’s one of the most scenic reservoirs in California. However, pets and other animals are not allowed in the vicinity o the reservoir to maintain the cleanliness of the water.
Lake McClure is stocked regularly with rainbow trout, kokanee salmon, black bass, spotted bass, shad, crappie, catfish, and bluegill, making it one of the best fishing spots in the area.
The Merced River Arm is known for productive fishing for most of the year. Bass can be caught in the rocky points of the lake. The deep areas in the lake’s main body, especially close to the dam, are good for trolling.
Known for rainbow and brown trout fishing, anglers come to Lake McSwain for trophy fishing and the beautiful scenery. The recreational area surrounding it is ideal for hiking and camping. The pavilion can also be reserved for private events.
Located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, Eastman Lake is a prime fishing spot, with one young fisher making the headlines for catching 11- lbs bass in the lake in 2018. Surrounded by undulating hills and mature oak, the areas bordering the lake are also ideal for camping.
Enjoy great fishing year round. Soldavi Realty can help you find the perfect home in Merced County. Get in touch with them at 209.975.7653 and Info(at)Soldavi(dotted)com.