Best Fishing Spots in Amador County

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This is a somewhat rural county with absolutely fantastic fishing spots, including a trio of the region’s best reservoirs.

Residents here live in Ione, Jackson, Sutter Creek, Plymouth, Amador City, and other small communities and other areas.

The county’s nickname is “The Heart of the Mother Lode” because of its location in California’s Gold Country.

The Sierra Nevada mountain range and its substantial vineyards are among the draws that bring people from population centers like Sacramento, Stockton, and the Bay Area.

After you’ve checked out the primary places to go fishing in Amador County, stick around for the “Fishing in Neighboring Counties” section below. There you’ll find links to some of the closeby counties with substantial fishing opportunities.

Amador, Lake

The fishing docks stick out into Lake Amador during low water.
Photo by jmoor17 (Canva)

This is a popular and well-stocked fishing lake where you are likely to catch larger-than-average trout, bass and more.

While only about 400 acres when full, the lake has its own hatchery program and loads new fish into the lake frequently.

Trout are stocked the most and bite the best in cooler seasons, from fall into spring, while the bass turn on in the spring and can provide months of action.

Other fish you might go after, especially in warmer weather, include catfish, crappie and bluegill.

This Ione-area lake is set up nicely for fishing and activities like water skiing and jet skis are banned.

Services include a marina, supplies including groceries and fishing tackle and RV sites with hookups.

On the downside, there definitely are fees to pay to support all that fish stocking, and at times the water draw-downs or muddy conditions will affect your success.

More: Lake Amador Fishing

Bear River Reservoir, Lower

Lower Bear River Reservoir is a decent-sized reservoir (746 acres) at about 5,000 feet in elevation, making it a popular spot for summertime trout fishing.

Late spring and early summer is the best time to venture in the lake, especially after it’s stocked with catchable and rainbow trout fingerlings and occasional trophy-sized rainbow trout.

The reservoir also holds other species of trout, with resident browns and potentially brook trout in the mix.

Boat and shore fishing are possible, although boat anglers do tend to get better catches. This will be especially true as the water warms and trout move into deeper water.

The small upper reservoir has limited fishing opportunities.

For more detailed information, visit this website.

Camanche, Lake

Trees and sky reflect off the surface of Camanche Lake in low light.
Photo by Larry Crain (Canva)

Also known as Camanche Reservoir, this big body of water offers a wide variety of fishing, from warm water species such as largemouth bass, catfish and panfish to coldwater fish including hatchery trout and kokanee salmon.

The low-elevation reservoir is 7,700 acres at full pool but water levels fluctuate quite a bit and can suffer mightily in drought years.

Services include a marina, bait, tackle and other supplies, and various overnight accommodations, from camping to cottages.

The lake is shared between Amador, Calaveras and San Joaquin counties.

More: Lake Camanche Fishing

Mokelumne River

This stream has some trout-fishing opportunities in the drainage but is not listed as stocked in the Amador County stretch.

Pardee Reservoir

The dam creating Pardee Reservoir, one of many great fishing lakes in central California.
Photo by jmoor17 (Canva)

A large reservoir north of Valley Springs also known as Pardee Lake, this 2,100-acre lake best known for its great variety of fishing opportunities, especially for excellent kokanee, rainbow trout and both largemouth and smallmouth bass.

Trout are often stocked early in the year, and both trout and kokanee will be available closer to the surface when the water is cold. In hotter weather, these fish will seek out deep water.

Anglers can also hook several species of bass and catfish as well as brown trout.

Campsites are also located around the reservoir, along with boat ramps and other amenities.

Swimming in the lake is prohibited, but swimming pools are provided.

More: Pardee Lake Fishing

Salt Springs Reservoir

This reservoir (shared with (Calaveras County) in the upper Mokelumne River watershed is mostly fished for its population of wild brown trout.

It’s more off the beaten path than Amador County’s household name reservoirs farther west, but some anglers have reported some monster brown trout are occasionally caught here.

Shriner Lake

This small lake west of Mokelumne Peak is situated at 6,861 feet, making it mostly a warm season destination.

Shriner Lake is stocked with rainbow trout fingerlings that grow into catchable sizes.

The lake also has campgrounds.

Silver Lake

Silver Lake sits at about 7,200 feet in elevation near Thunder Mountain, making it a cool escape from the summer heat.

This 125-acre lake is open to year-round fishing, but you’ll want to go starting in late May when it’s stocked with rainbow and brown trout and there’s no snow and ice.

Anglers can also hook occasional mackinaw trout in the lake, both from boats and the shore.

RV sites and resorts can be found in the surroundings of the lake.

Tabeaud, Lake

Lake Tabeaud just east of Jackson is stocked with catchable rainbow trout in the early season, making it the ideal time to fish the lake.

Brown trout also have been reported.

The lake is peaceful and surrounded by shady oak trees, making it a popular spot for bank fishing.

There is a day-use area with picnic areas and restrooms.

Fishing in Neighboring Counties

Sacramento County: To the northwest, the state capital area features great fishing spots including the lower Sacramento River and its delta, as well as Folsom Lake.

San Joaquin County: To the southwest, the Stockton area shares in the great California Delta fishery as well as includes part of excellent Lake Camanche.