9 Best Fishing Spots Near Oakland and Alameda County

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You might not immediately think of fishing when you think of Alameda County, what with Oakland’s famous sports teams and all.

But this East Bay county is home not only to a part of the San Francisco Bay shoreline but also to several of the region’s best fishing lakes.

Besides Oakland, the following fishing hot spots are convenient to county residents living in Fremont, Hayward, Berkeley, San Leandro, Livermore, Alameda, and elsewhere in the county.

Alameda County is home to more than 350 parks, the University of California in Berkeley, Oakland Zoo and USS Hornet Museum. Outdoor spots of note include Lake Merritt, San Francisco Bay Trail, McLaughlin Eastshore State Park and Lake Elizabeth.

The following are some of the best or noteworthy spots when it comes to fishing near Oakland and across Alameda County.

After you check out the county’s fishing holes, scan the “Fishing in Neighboring Counties” section at the bottom of this article. That feature will link you to other great fishing spots just a quick drive over the county line in whichever direction you choose.

Alameda Creek

Fishing is prohibited in most of this stream’s drainage, where biologists are attempting to restore steelhead runs.

However, part of Arroyo del Valle next to Shadow Cliffs Lake is open to catch-and-release fishing with barbless hooks only.

Chabot, Lake

Empty fishing pier at Lake Chabot.
Photo by BristolDen (Canva)

This 315-acre lake within Lake Chabot Regional Park in the southern Berkeley Hills offers great fishing opportunities for anglers.

Lake Chabot (also known as Chabot Reservoir) is stocked with trout when the water is cool and catfish in warmer months.

Anglers can also catch bass, crappie, panfish and other fish.

The park also offers other outdoor amenities such as picnic areas, a grassy play area, horseshoe pits, hiking, bicycling, jogging and running trails, and seasonal lake tours aboard the tour boat “Chabot Queen.”

The lake is in the hills just a few minutes east of San Leandro.

More information: Lake Chabot Fishing

Del Valle, Lake

Scenic view of Lake Del Valle, which offers great fishing for trout, bass and more.
Photo by It Must Be F/8 (Canva)

Lake Del Valle is another of this area’s best fishing lakes.

The 5-mile lake is within Del Valle Regional Park, south of Livermore, and offers anglers seasonally excellent fishing, with trout being stocked in cooler months and catfish during the warmer seasons. 

Largemouth and smallmouth bass, striped bass and several species of panfish can also be caught at Lake Del Valle.

The 4,395 acres of beautiful Del Valle Regional Park surrounding the lake also provides various outdoor activities such as hiking, horseback riding and nature viewing. The park is also open for camping, picnicking and boating, including boat rentals and facilities to launch your own watercraft..

Visit the park website for more detailed information.

The lake can be found south of Livermore Valley following the S. Livermore Ave.

More information: Lake Del Valle Fishing

Don Castro Reservoir

This reservoir in the 101-acre Don Castro Regional Park is stocked regularly with trout in winter and catfish heading into the warmer months.

Bass and panfish can also be caught at the Don Castro Reservoir.

The park is described as an urban oasis that also features hiking along the shore with a chance to discover a miniature wilderness where animals come down and drink at sunset.

Don Castro Reservoir does not allow boats and swimming in the main lake, although there is a swimming lagoon near the lake.

For more detailed information you can visit the park website.

The reservoir is located on the northeast side of Hayward just off U.S. 580 (Sergeant Daniel Sakai Memorial Highway).

Google Map and Direction to Don Castro Reservoir

Lake Horseshoe

This 100-acre lake is a part of a larger unit of Quarry Lakes Regional Recreation Area.

The lake is stocked with trout during the winter months and catfish during the warmer months.

The park also features hiking, biking and swimming when the water level is high enough.

The Quarry Lakes Regional Recreational Area is a great place for those who own canoes, kayaks and boats with electric-powered motors. Sailboards and stand-up paddle boards also are popular. 

The Quarry Lakes are used for groundwater recharge so gasoline-powered engines and lead fishing weights are prohibited..

For more detailed information you can visit the park website.

The park is located on the north end of Fremont.

Google Maps and Direction to Lake Horseshoe

Lakeshore Park Pond

This lake in a residential neighborhood in Newark is stocked regularly with trout in cooler weather and catfish in warmer months. 

The park also features walking trails.

Google Maps and Direction to Lakeshore Park Pond

Saltwater

The Dumbarton Pier running along the Dumbarton Bridge.
Photo by Sundry Photography (Canva)

Anglers looking for various types of perch, flatfish, bottomfish and other near-shore species will often try the county’s piers and public shorelines.

Some of the best spots for shorebound anglers include Arrowhead Marsh Fishing Piers (Oakland), Dumbarton Pier (Fremont side of Dumbarton Bridge), Robert W. Crown Memorial State Beach in Alameda, and San Leandro Marina Park. At last check, the long but aging Berkeley Pier was still closed.

Marinas in the county will give you access to deeper water fishing spots known for larger game fish in season, including salmon, striped bass, sturgeon and others.

Shadow Cliffs Lake

This 80-acre lake in the Shadow Cliffs Regional Recreation Area provides good fishing opportunities for anglers.

Trout and catfish are stocked regularly, and the lake also has resident populations of bass and bluegill.

The 266-acre park that surrounds Shadow Cliffs Lake also offers various outdoor activities such as boating, picnicking and birdwatching.

Visitors may rent or bring their own boats, but the length limit is 17 feet and only electric motors are allowed.

For more detailed information visit the park website.

The park is along Stanley Boulevard between Pleasanton and Livermore.

Google Maps and Direction to Shadow Cliffs Lake

Temescal, Lake

This lake in the 48-acre Temescal Regional Recreation Area is periodically stocked with rainbow trout during the winter and catfish in the warmer season.

Anglers can also catch other species, such as largemouth bass, redear sunfish and bluegill.

Additional park amenities include reservable picnic areas, restrooms, trails, swim area, beach house, fishing dock and playgrounds that are wheelchair accessible.

Some parts of the park, specifically the dam, the swimming area and stream areas, are off-limits to fishing, so be sure to read the regulations.

For more detailed information visit the park website.

The park is located in northern Oakland, reached from Broadway near the intersection of highways 24 and 13.

Google Maps and Direction to Lake Temescal

Fishing in Neighboring Counties

Contra Costa County: To the north, this fellow East Bay county borders the famous Sacramento and San Joaquin River Delta and offers up some more great fishing lakes tucked within its hills.

San Joaquin County: To the northeast, the Stockton area shares part of the great fishing waters of the California Delta and Lake Camanche, among other fishing holes.

Stanislaus County: To the southeast, the Modesto area offers a good half dozen reservoirs and rivers that at times can be very good fishing spots.

Santa Clara County: To the south, the San Jose area has a large number of small to medium-sized fishing lakes and reservoirs with bass, trout and more species to catch.

Marin County: To the northwest across the bay, the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge is just the gateway to a county filled with big saltwater fish like salmon and stripers and freshwater hideaways with bass, trout and catfish.