Short Take: Approximately 15,500 acres; deep, clear water with both steep canyon walls and sloping sandy banks, rocky points, flooded timber. If ever a fisherman in the western United States wanted to catch spotted bass, he need look no farther than Lake Oroville. This 15,500-acre impoundment in northern California offers fine spotted bass action throughout the year, and although the fish are not of record size, they’re plentiful enough to keep anyone happy. No one has caught a 7-pounder here, but 2- to 5-pounders are certainly not uncommon. And, if for some reason the spotted bass aren’t cooperating, anglers can change tactics and try for largemouths, which, while not as plentiful, do attain weights of over 12 pounds on this lake. What makes Lake Oroville so interesting is its configuration, which allows anglers to try for either spotted bass or largemouths in specific areas. The lake is formed by four very large tributaries of the Feather River, the West, North, Middle, and South Forks. The West Fork and North Fork form the upper end of the reservoir while the Middle and South Forks flow in on the lower end. These four arms are where most of the fishing takes place, and each has its own personality. Primary Species: Spotted and largemouth bass.
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