Lake Mendocino offers anglers in the northwestern portion of this wondrous state a unique fishing alternative – striped bass in the 5 to 10 pound range. This 1740 acre reservoir surrounded by woods is just north of Ukiah and just east of Hwy. 101.
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Army Corp of Engineers maintained facilities campgrounds, two launch camps, two marinas, a swim beach and a hiking trail. Striper action peaks most years in March and April. May can also be a prime month. Trolling is the method of choice because you can cover lots of water.
Most popular offering include lip-hooked live minnows, blue-backed, shallow-running, silver Rebel or Rapala minnow plugs in the 4 to 6 inch range, and lead-head jigs with red and white tail feathers. Summertime trollers set downriggers at 40 to 50 feet. Best trolling areas vary depending on the season and time of day.
Check on current hot spots at one of the marinas. If stripers aren’t your cup of tea, Mendocino also harbors small and largemouth bass, trout, panfish and some monster catfish. Information: Lake Mendocino Park Manager, 1160 Mendocino Dr., Ukiah, CA 95482, (707) 462-7581.