Fishing Near Red Bluff and Tehama County

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Tehama County sits along the Sacramento River and Interstate 5 in Northern California, offering several nice spots to stop and fish, as well as being a gateway to surrounding mountains filled with more angling options.

This largely agricultural county of about 65,000 people includes the city of Red Bluff as well as smaller communities such as Corning, Lake California, Los Molinos, Rancho Tehama Reserve, and Gerber.

Besides fishing, some other attractions include Mount Tehama, Mill Creek Falls, part of Lassen Volcanic National Park, Black Butte Lake, vineyards, casinos, and the well-known The Olive Pit store.

What follows are some of the better fishing spots near Red Bluff and across Tehama County.

While there are a modest number of fishing holes in this county, be sure to see the “Fishing in Neighboring Counties” section near the end of this article. That feature will point you to lots more fishing spots in areas that we cover so far, all a fairly short drive away.

Battle Creek, South Fork

This mountain stream offers good trout fishing in the spring and early summer, especially after it’s stocked with catchable rainbow trout.

The stocked part of the stream is close to Highway 36 west of Mineral.

The creek also offers primitive campsites.

Black Butte Lake

The northern part of this good-sized reservoir is in Tehama County and offers fair fishing for a variety of warmwater fishing.

Those in the know usually fish it in the early season, as the crappie, bass, catfish and the occasional striper get active in the warming weather of late winter into spring.

Crappie fishing in particular can rival some of the best crappie lakes in California when the stars align, but crappie by nature tend to go in boom and bust cycles that can be influenced by conditions including drought.

However, water conditions tend to deteriorate significantly going into summer, and conditions for people in this low-elevation, hot country aren’t much better then.

It’s located about 40 minutes southwest of Red Bluff.

Camp Tehama Pond

This small lake located east of Mineral will offer fishing opportunities if it is stocked with hatchery trout, most likely in the spring or summer.

Check stocking schedules through the resources below to improve your odds here..

Coyote Pond

This small pond located along the Sacramento River north of the Bend community has been stocked with trout at times, but at last check it had been a few years.

Check stocking schedules and, if it’s stocked, fishing will be best in the week or two following the planting. Early season stocking is most likely if trout are planted, as this low-elevation water is likely to get too warm in summer.

Deer Creek

This mountain stream flowing along Highway 32 west of Butt Mountain offers some very nice trout fishing.

Spring and early summer offer the best prospects, thanks to multiple plantings of hatchery rainbow trout.

Camping is available in the area.

Be aware that poison oak and rattlesnakes are both common in this area.

Plum Creek

This creek located south of the Paynes Creek community at times has been stocked with trout in the Plum Creek Road/Fletcher Trail area.

Check the resources below for recent stocking, as it might not be consistent.

Sacramento River

This section of the state’s largest river is something of a highway for some of California’s most prized fish runs, including Chinook salmon and winter steelhead returning to the hatchery upriver near Redding.

Other migrating fish here are striped bass, shad and white sturgeon, although rules are strict for the latter as they also can be for salmon and steelhead, so be sure to read up.

Resident fish in this river section include smallmouth bass and other fish that will bite best starting in spring and going through summer into early fall, when they are more active in warmer water..

More: Complete Guide to Sacramento River Fishing

Fishing in Neighboring Counties

Shasta County: To the north, this Northern California hub has a large number of great fishing spots, including the incomparable Shasta Lake and the kokanee hot spot Whiskeytown Lake, plus some amazing trout streams.

Mendocino County: To the southwest, this coastal county in the Ukiah area includes great fishing in the Russian River, Lake Mendocino and in the Pacific Ocean.

Trinity County: To the west, this rural county with no big cities does have some really big fisheries, especially Trinity Lake and Trinity River.