Northern California’s Baum Lake Sporting Hot Trout Bite

By: Chris Shaffer

Trout are being stocked in most Northern California reservoirs and lakes. Meanwhile, it’s going to be a chore to find a better bite than what Baum Lake is sporting. Baum’s trout bite was epic last week. Limits were coming in five casts. In fact, we caught and released dozens of trout in an hour while filming Pautzke Outdoors.

All the trout were rainbows. And of the four-dozen we caught and released in an hour most were 10-13 inches. We did, however, catch a few to 16 inches, too. It was a bite that happens most nights on Baum Lake. I’m not sure if the morning and daytime action is similar because we only fished from 7:30 to 8:30 pm. During those hours we couldn’t stop catching trout – and getting bit by mosquitos. If you are planning to come up make sure to bring bug spray. They were as aggressive as the trout.

All the trout were caught in front of the Crystal Lake inlet. I’m sure there were trout near the inlet from the hatchery, but the bite was so good we didn’t give it a chance. We caught trout on almost every cast for roughly an hour and a half. The recipe for success was floating eggs or plunking Fire Bait in the current. As long as there was current the trout were there, too. We talked to a few kayakers who struggled to catch limits in a half-day fishing. Most of the action seemed to revolve around the inlets.

Our action came on three baits. One of the two guys fishing with us used Peach Fire Bait, exclusively. He sent a cast into the current, let it sink to the bottom and the minute it tapped the rocks a bite arrived. The other angler used Chartreuse Anise Fire Balls and Silver Label salmon eggs. Instead, however, he fished them under a float and drifted them in the current. The trout crushed them. Using a bobber kept the bait from getting hung up in the rocks.

When it came to the Fire Bait we found it best to roll up a piece the size of a fingernail. For the Fire Balls we only fished one at a time on a size 12 single salmon egg hook. For Silver Label we used two eggs. All baits were fished on four-pound test. There’s no need for anything heavier.

Editor’s Note: Baum Lake is a public lake. Shore fishing is allowed. There’s a launch ramp, but no motorized boats are permitted. A well-established trail can be found near the restrooms. It leads to the inlets. Campgrounds are nearby.