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10 Best Fishing Lakes in Los Angeles

10 Best Fishing Lakes in Los Angeles

Los Angeles is home to some of the best fishing lakes in Southern California. No matter what type of fish you’re looking to catch, you’ll indeed find it in one of these ten lakes. So grab your tackle box and bait, and head on out to one of these incredible fishing spots:

1. Castaic Lake

Castaic Lake is a great fishing destination in Los Angeles due to its diverse range of fish and its many recreational activities. Located in the mountainous region of northern Los Angeles County, it’s easily accessible from Interstate 5 and close to the neighboring Castaic Lagoon. The lake is home to world-renowned largemouth bass, is stocked with rainbow trout and catfish, and has plenty of other species, such as crappie and striped bass. In addition, Castaic Lake has a 24-hour Fishing Pier and offers a range of activities such as boating, swimming, biking, and hiking, as well as a children’s playground, picnic areas, and a campground. Furthermore, the lake hosts several Moonlight Fishing nights in summer, and the first Saturday in May is Fishing and Fun for Kids day, making this a family-friendly destination. With its wide array of fish, recreational activities, and convenient location, Castaic Lake is an ideal fishing spot in Los Angeles.

Castaic Lake

2. Baldwin Lake

Baldwin Lake is a famous fishing lake in Los Angeles due to its scenic location and rich history. The lake is located in the Arboretum and Botanic Garden, surrounded by green meadows, lush trees, and exotic plants. The lake occupies an area of four acres and is replenished by rainwater and natural springs nearby. The lake has a fascinating history, as it was acquired by the legendary Lucky Baldwin in 1875 and later taken over by the state government in 1947 to develop the surrounding arboretum.

Fishing at Baldwin Lake is an experience not to be missed, as it has the potential to offer a majestic view of the surrounding landscape. The lake is abundant with various kinds of fish, its shallow waters are perfect for wading, and it’s a great spot to find peace and tranquility. Fishermen will find the lake an ideal spot to cast their lines. The lake is also surrounded by scenic hiking trails and picnic spots, making it a great spot to spend the day with family or friends.

Baldwin Lake

3. Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area

Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area is a great fishing lake in Los Angeles for various reasons. For starters, it is stocked with rainbow trout in the winter and channel catfish in the spring, so there is always the possibility of catching something. Furthermore, the lake is open year-round, allowing anglers to fish whenever they want. The lake has grassy banks dotted with shade trees and picnic tables, making it a great place to relax and enjoy the outdoors. Finally, it is located in the Santa Fe Dam Recreational Area in Irwindale, only a 30-minute drive east of downtown Los Angeles. This makes it easily accessible to anyone in the L.A. area who wants to take advantage of this lake’s great fishing.

Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area

4. Alondra Park Lake

Alondra Park Lake is a great Los Angeles fishing destination for experienced and novice anglers. Located approximately half an hour southwest of downtown Los Angeles in Lawndale, this 14-acre lake offers anglers a variety of fishing opportunities. The lake is stocked with channel catfish and rainbow trout multiple times during the year, along with other species such as largemouth bass, common carp, bluegill, catfish, crappie, and redear sunfish. The park also has excellent amenities like barbecues, children’s play areas, hiking trails, picnic tables, and a nature center for exploring flora and fauna.

Alondra Park Lake

5. Lake Piru

Lake Piru is a great fishing lake in Los Angeles for several reasons. Located in the Sierra Pelona Mountains on the North Western side of the city and just a few minutes away from I-5, it is accessible and easy to get to. It offers a wide variety of fish, such as trout, largemouth bass, bullfrogs, and more, which poppers can attract. Its scenic beauty makes it a perfect spot for anglers and picnickers, and the lake is open from sunrise to sunset. Furthermore, lake Piru also offers a great atmosphere for anglers to enjoy their fishing experience and provides an excellent environment for catch-and-release trout fishing.

Lake Piru

6. Hansen Dam Lake

Hansen Dam Lake is one of the best fishing destinations in Los Angeles, with plenty of rainbow trout stocked during the winter and catfish stocked in the spring. Anglers can also find other species of fish in the lake, such as bluegill, largemouth bass, and carp. The lake is surrounded by a peaceful park that offers plenty of outdoor activities for visitors, such as trails, a picnic area, a playground, a skate park, and a sports center. The park is located close to Los Angeles and is open daily – making it perfect for anglers who want to escape the city for a day and enjoy a peaceful day of fishing.

Hansen Dam Lake

7. Legg Lake

Legg Lake in South El Monte, Los Angeles, is a great fishing spot for several reasons. Firstly, the lake is conveniently located only 1.5 miles from the city. It is home to many fish, such as largemouth smallmouth bass, rainbow trout, catfish, panfish, bream, bluegill, and crappie. The DFW also regularly stocks the lake with trout from fall to spring and catfish during the summer season, so visitors will have plenty of opportunities to catch fish. In addition, the lake is easily accessible from the shore, with plenty of grassland and fishing docks for easy access. Lastly, the lake is surrounded by a recreational area, with plenty of other activities for the whole family to enjoy, such as hiking trails, playgrounds, and picnic areas. All in all, Legg Lake is a perfect spot for a family fishing trip.

Legg Lake

8. El Dorado Regional Park

El Dorado Regional Park in Los Angeles is a great fishing destination for families, offering two stocked lakes with multiple fish species, including trout, largemouth bass, bluegill, and more. In addition to the fishing, the park also has a vehicle entrance fee, barbecues, children’s play areas, hiking trails, picnic tables, and a nature center with walking trails and the chance to explore beautiful flora and fauna. Plus, during the winter season, these lakes are stocked with rainbow trout multiple times, and during the spring, they are stocked with channel catfish. A fishing license is required for those 16 and older, making it an excellent spot for experienced and novice anglers.

El Dorado Regional Park

9. Belvedere Lake

Belvedere Lake in East Los Angeles is a popular fishing destination for many anglers due to its unique offerings. It is stocked with rainbow trout during winter and catfish during warmer months. Anglers can also find bluegill, largemouth bass, and common carp in the lake. The lake is located in the beautiful Sierra Pelona Mountains of the Northwest region of Los Angeles and is close to Castaic. Visitors can take in the tranquil waters and the lush surroundings while enjoying boating, camping, and fishing. There are walking trails and picnic areas with amenities to maximize their experience.

Belvedere Lake

10. Cerritos Park Lake

Cerritos Park Lake is a great fishing lake in Los Angeles for anglers of all levels and experience. It is stocked with rainbow trout in winter and spring and resident fish such as bluegill, crappie, largemouth bass, and carp. This lake is conveniently located in Don Knabe Community Regional Park within Cerritos and is easily accessible from the nearby town. Besides fishing, the park offers other amenities, such as a playground area, a skate park, barbecue grills, and picnic tables. Furthermore, the lake is surrounded by scenic views of the Sierra Pelona Mountains, making it a perfect spot to spend a peaceful day outdoors.

Cerritos Park Lake


Do I need a fishing license to fish in Los Angeles lakes?

Yes, you need a valid fishing license to fish in any of the rivers, streams, or lakes in the Los Angeles area. This applies to all anglers over 16 who plan to engage in fishing from shore, except public piers. Licenses can be obtained through the California Department of Fish and Wildlife website or at most bait shops and sporting goods stores nationwide. Make sure to consult the California Freshwater Sports Fishing guide before heading out on your L.A. fishing trip, which includes all the seasons, limits, and other fishing regulations you’ll need to know.

Is there any size or catch limits on fish in Los Angeles lakes?

The fish may have the size or catch limits depending on which lake you are fishing at in Los Angeles. For instance, at Diamond Valley Lake near Hemet, anglers are encouraged to practice catch and release to help preserve the fish populations. At Alondra Park Lake in Lawndale, rainbow trout are stocked during the winter, and catfish are stocked in the warmer months.

What is the best time of year to go fishing in Los Angeles?

Fishing in Los Angeles can be a great experience, no matter the time of year. Many parks get stocked with trout in the cooler months, and others receive additional channel catfish stockings during warmer months. The best time to go fishing in Los Angeles depends somewhat on your target and somewhat on your preferences.

What types of fish can I catch in Los Angeles lakes?

Los Angeles lakes are home to many fish, including trout, channel catfish, bass, sunfish, yellowtail, sea bass, halibut, and black bass. Trout can be found in the cooler months at Lincoln Park and Legg Park, while channel catfish stockings occur in the warmer months at other parks. Bass and sunfish can be found in the L.A. River, while yellowtail, sea bass, and halibut are commonly caught from piers. Lastly, black bass is plentiful in Lake Castaic during the late summer and fall and can be caught with soft and crankbaits.

Are there any specific rules or regulations I should know before fishing in Los Angeles?

Yes, there are certain regulations that anglers should be aware of before embarking on their fishing trip. First and foremost, everyone over the age of 16 is required to purchase a fishing license, except those who plan to fish from public piers or a boat. In addition, the Southern California region is heavily regulated, so it’s best to consult with the CDFW before heading out. Furthermore, certain species have size and season limits, such as bluefin tuna, yellowfin tuna, calico bass, yellowtail, and lobster. Finally, you may need to purchase additional equipment and supplies, such as rod and reel, lures, tackle, and bait.

How do I get a California State Fishing License?

Step 1: Visit the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s website at to purchase your fishing license online.

Step 2: Select the license that suits your needs according to the species you intend to fish and the water you will fish in.

Step 3: Fill out the application form with your personal information, including address, birth date, and other details.

Step 4: Pay the applicable fees. California fishing licenses are valid for one year from the date of purchase.

Step 5: Print the license or store it on your mobile device.

Step 6: Follow the regulations, practice catch and release, and enjoy your fishing adventure!