Black Butte Lake and Reports


Friday, June 2nd, 2023

  • Water Temp: 72

    Water Clarity: Clear (4+ foot visibility)

    Report: Once again the Family spent Memorial weekend out at Black Butte in Buckhorn Camp Ground. This year the lake was completely full (which is rarely the case over the past 8+ years). The waster clarity was well over 6 feet deep. The winds pickup almost every afternoon and blew into the early evening. Fishing was great at the Dam and Fisherman's cove. Spent the first morning up in Stoney Creek area with zero fish in the boat. Water was much colder there with snow run-off still entering the lake. Bass could be found in the main lake at 10 - 20 feet of water around structure and the dam spillway. We even brought in 5+ large bluegill attacking our shad imitation lures. Keitechs as well as smaller broken-back rapalas were bringing them in the boat. Over the 2 days fished, we brought in 35+ into the boat. Even took the family to the West end of the lake to try our luck at bow-fishing carp. We took many shots but the carp were swimming at 3+ feet down and were hard to hit.

    Still a fun weekend with family unity, great food and fishing as well.

    Tips: Take a child fishing, they will remember it for a lifetime!

Sunday, August 29th, 2021

  • Report: by MT » Sun Aug 29, 2021 7:33 pm

    No launch.
    No dock
    No water.

Tuesday, April 28th, 2020

  • Report: by changher » Tue Apr 28, 2020 7:15 am
    Went out for a morning run and had a great time.

    Ended up catching 27 bass under 4 hours of fishing. Best five went for 11.88 lbs.

    Lake: Black Butte
    Water Temp: 68 Degrees
    Weather Forecast: 88 Degrees
    Wind: 2 - 5 MPH
    Launch: Grizzly Flat

    Fished mainly submerged trees in 2-3 feet of water. Fish was chasing shad early in the morning. I was catching bass with a Strike King Rage Blade and senko in the early morning. Switched to a flipping jig and caught better fish as the morning progresses. Also caught fish on square bills, and jerk bait.

Friday, May 4th, 2018

  • Report: Caught lots of small bass! Caught one 3 pounder and a NICE 5.49 pounder!!!

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

  • Water Temp: 70 - 83

    Water Clarity: Stained (2-4 foot visibility)

    Report: Once again my family spent Memorial weekend camping and fishing on Black Butte Lake.

    Although the water level was at or just under full pool, the top water temps were a little high. Ranging from 78 in the mornings to 83 in the afternoons, it was a bit warm and green alga was beginning to grow. We decided to fish southward in the Stoney Creek inlet where water temps were quite a bit cooler. Temps ranged between 70-73 and fishing was much better than on the main lake.
    First morning we found fish under the willows in about 8 feet of water. Throwing soft swimbaits (in various colors) was the ticket. The desired color varied as the day progressed. Starting with white in the morning and changing to smoke/dark in the afternoon was the pattern. They also seemed to want the larger 3.5” and rarely hit the 2.8” smaller variety. Regardless, the trick was to let your bait sink almost to the bottom before retrieving. Typically they attack it on the bottom of the fall.

    The first day I pulled into the boat 46 bass myself. My largest was 3 lbs 13 oz. Most fish were in the 1.2 – 1.5 lb range. An accessional 2+ was caught. In the 4 days we fished mornings only, the boat brought in 167 bass and 2 crappie. Not bad for a post spawned lake.
    Fishing the main lake (shoreline to the West)… it was tough with hot water temps and the beginning of an algae bloom.

    Tips: Take a child fishing... this could be the beginning of a lifetime hobby!

Friday, May 27th, 2016

  • Water Temp: 72-75

    Water Clarity: Stained (2-4 foot visibility)

    Report: Another successful fishing trip on Black Butte for Memorial weekend 2016.
    Even battling 30+ MPH winds, we managed to catch quite a few fish. Most were caught during the first 2 hours of day light and the last hour each day once the wind died down. Between five anglers, we boated 73 fish in three days. Surprisingly, we caught crappie off the rocks by the dam and bass just about everywhere. The larger bass were found up in Stoney Creek, around the trees in about 5 feet of water. Our biggest 5 largemouth were 3lbs 13oz, 2lbs 9oz, 2lbs 6oz, 2lbs 3oz and 2lbs 1oz. Although most were around the 1 lb range. Biggest crappie was 12.5 inches long. Majority of the bass were hooked using a Texas rigged green 6” Zoom lizard. The crappie was hitting 3.8” Keitech swim baits slowly swimming across the rocks. Good time and everyone caught fish (even the kids!)

    Tips: Take a kid fishing, they will remember the experience for life!

Sunday, May 24th, 2015

  • Water Temp: 72-75

    Water Clarity: Stained (2-4 foot visibility)

    Report: While my last Black Butte Lake report (3 years ago, May 27th 2012) was very depressing, this year’s Memorial weekend trip was quite the opposite. Maybe due to the very low lake levels of last year, the squawfish (pike minnow) population has declined significantly and the bass has rebounded!
    We camped at the Buckhorn Camp facility between Friday and Monday and fished every morning from sun up to about 10am. Initial first morning shoreline/cove fishing attempts brought only 1-3 bass into the boat the first hour, so I decided to head west to the Stony Creek inlet and concentrate our efforts around the submerged trees/bushes. After finding what they (the fish) wanted, we hammered the bass over the next 2.5 days. We brought 59 bass into the boat (missing and losing that many or more) with one huge crappie surprisingly hammering a 7 inch rubber lizard. This crappie was 16 inches long and may have been a record for this lake (but we let her go unharmed). The largest bass was 2.55 lbs and most around the 13 range. We did boat a 2.33lb, 2.26lb and many 1.5 lbers. Even in windy conditions, we netted fish. About an hour was spent over by the dam along the rocks and still managed to boat 7 more largemouth during that time.
    The hot recipe turned out to be chartreuse colored 5 and 7 inch Zoom lizards rigged Texas style and slow crawling them across and through the bushes submerged in about 3 feet of water.
    Back in camp, the kids enjoyed catching yellow belly sunfish all day long using worms and a bobber. They probably caught 50-70, 4-5 inchers and many children caught their first fish ever this Holiday weekend. The lake was approx. 75% full, about 75 degrees allowing for daytime swimming, kayaking and other fun filled water sports. I would say that Black Butte is back and ready for the family trips again!

    Tips: Take a kid fishing; he or she will remember it forever!

Saturday, March 9th, 2013

  • By

    Water Temp: 51

    Water Clarity: Muddy (0-2 foot visibility)

    Report: My buddy Pat D and I got to the launch and NO dock as it was still in parking lot. Wind was killer and never layed down but they still ate crankbaits. Water down and muddy but rock banks and points produced our best 5 at 17 lbs.
    City: Wheatland

    Tips: Medium to deep cranks, red tiger with black was the key all day. Nothing on plastic or jigs. Gonna get better!

Monday, June 25th, 2012

  • By

    Water Temp: 70

    Water Clarity: Stained (2-4 foot visibility)

    Report: I usually fish Black butte during the summer with my buddies and we catch some decent catfish (Grizzly flats area). Well this time i went to buckhorn campground with my family and we didn't catch a thing! Correction: i caught a pikeminnow! I had just finished reading the report below about pikeminnow and how they are taking over the lake. I had never caught a pikeminnow at black butte lake before and i never wanted to. we catch those stupid things all the time at the sac river. I hate them. Pity to see them at black butte now. Will probably continue fishing over in Grizzly flats for catfish in the near future. Good luck folks!
    City: Woodland

    Tips: New to fishing an need some tips? Experienced fishing and want to give us tips? either way, check out:

Sunday, May 27th, 2012

  • By

    Water Temp: 69

    Water Clarity: Clear (4+ foot visibility)

    Report: Fished early mornings during the Memorial Holiday weekend. Friday a front came in, rained a bit but Sat, Sun and Mon was clear and breezy. Concentrated in North coves with Carolina rigged plastics. Hit only one 1 lb large mouth on a 6inch watermelon punpkin seed brush-hog. Switched to every plastic and color I had (and I have 25-30 different types) - Nothing. Moved to the dam area and hit one more 1.5 lb large mouth on a berkly brown 8" power worm. Nothing else. Moved to the west end of the lake and through a 8" chartruse lizard. One 2 lb hit in the submerged trees but that was it.
    I used to come to this lake and catch 20-30 fish every morning. What was up???
    Decided to call it a day about 10am and noticed thousands of little frylings in every cove. Lots of baby fish! What were they? So on my way back to camp I seen so many fish on the fish finder about 25 feet of water. I decided to throw out a brokenback rapala and troll for awhile. BAM! a fish hit hard and I fought it for a few minutes. This was a big fish and when I netted the brute, I couldn't believe my eyes. It was a squaw fish. A 32" Pike!!!. This lake has been over-run by squaw fish. The same fish that are creating havok in the Sacramento river. They eat every fish egg they can find.
    I trolled another hour and hooked three more 24-28" pike. This was it for me. Pike are no good to eat and they are a menice to water-ways every where. I believe that Black Butte Lake has been ruined with the introduction of this fish.
    I have been coming to this lake for over 30 years and this past year was the first time I have ever caught pike.
    What a shame...
    City: Cottonwood

Friday, April 13th, 2012

  • By

    Water Temp: I DUNNO

    Water Clarity: Stained (2-4 foot visibility)

    Report: Lake is WIDE OPEN, I took my 7 year old, we cranked several in the 2 lb range and I threw hard jointed swimbaits 6 inch Koppers LIVE, smoked 1 over 5lbs, all in a couple of hours then the boy cranked a catfish that broke his hooks, it busted the surface, it must have been 20 lbs or better. GOOD LUCK.
    City: Red Bluff

    Tips: I fished from the shore, it was supposed to be a hunting trip that turned into a fishing trip. I fished near the small willows on the south end. All reaction bites.

Friday, March 9th, 2012

  • By

    Water Clarity: Stained (2-4 foot visibility)

    Report: Had the best day of my life fishing for bass. I caught 18 bass between 12:45 and 6:00 pm using on lure. I was fishing from the boat tossing a crayfish with orange belly crankbait deep dive. I caught a few 3 lbs and a few 2 lbs the others were smaller. Had about a 5 lb to the boat and flipped off as I was grabbing for the net. I was throwing it up against the bank on the east side of the lake.
    City: Orland

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

  • By

    Water Temp: 75-77

    Water Clarity: Stained (2-4 foot visibility)

    Report: Water level is still really high and lake clarity is unusually good! Went out at 2 PM and caught some decent bass from the time we launched till we left at 8:15 PM We sight fished structures and cover.

    Tips: We used dark colored spinner baits. The bite is still a little slow, so make sure you have a slow retrieve.

Monday, March 28th, 2011

  • By

    Water Temp: 50 - 55

    Water Clarity: Muddy (0-2 foot visibility)

    Report: Great weather but terrible bite. Water was very muddy (less than 1 foot visibility) and very low. We tried everything that rattled and could be fished slow. All dark color baits used (rattlin' crank baits and jig/pigs).

    The low water level pushed fish down away from their typical structure so there weren't many pockets or structures to fish.

    Fish started to jump late afternoon as the weather was warm today but we couldn't catch one with spinnerbaits or sammy's. Visibility was just too dirty.

    Tried dropshotting senko's and trick worms (multiple darker colors) and still no luck.

    Can't wait for warmer weather and clearer water. This lake looks like a great largemouth spot.
    City: Orland

    Tips: Don't fish muddy, cold water!

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

  • By

    Water Temp: 50 to 54

    Water Clarity: Stained (2-4 foot visibility)

    Report: big fish day 4 small mouth bass 4 1/2 lb then a 5 lb then a 5 lb then the last 6 l/2 lb all small mouth bass.
    City: orland

    Tips: we fished points.

Friday, November 19th, 2010

  • By

    Water Clarity: Muddy (0-2 foot visibility)

    Report: Again, not a report. Just a response to the request for a fishing tournament on this lake. This lake is too small to support the number of fisherpersons that will show up to a tournament. That is why they quit tournaments in the past. Tournament fishing should stick to the larger lakes that can support the pressure of a large number of quality anglers over a day or two. Black Butte is not large enough to support this type of pressure.

Friday, November 12th, 2010

  • By

    Water Temp: cold

    Water Clarity: Muddy (0-2 foot visibility)

    Report: the red bluff bass anglers club used to do a tourny on this lake. i know several people interested in a toury here. after all is our local lake and the local clubs would have affordable tournaments with a great tourn out if they would fish here year round. people wold not struggle so much here if they would fish it more often... they would realize how great this lake really is.
    City: red bluff

    Tips: there r huge fish here.. i have caught bass on on every thing in the boat here all year long.

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

  • By

    Water Temp: 65-67

    Water Clarity: Muddy (0-2 foot visibility)

    Report: went out in the afternoon and on the first cast caught a 4lb cat. i worked my way down and got 6 more in the 15 inch range they seem to be biting on plastics p.s would anybody want to do a tourniment out here next summer?
    City: sierra nevadaville

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

  • By

    Water Temp: 76

    Water Clarity: Stained (2-4 foot visibility)

    Report: went out about 8 caught 3 and my friend caught 3 all about 15 inches,i caught 2 one after another by the dam.grubs are doing o.k tried top watter no strikes,fish on the fishin commishion
    City: sierra nevadaville

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

  • By

    Water Temp: 81.9/82.6

    Water Clarity: Stained (2-4 foot visibility)

    Report: Fished from about 0800 until 1330, boated 5 fish. Two on spinnerbaits on weedlines, one on a crank, one spot on a rip bait, and one 4.3lb largemouth flipping a jig into willows. Missed a couple drop shotting and had a couple whacks that I missed on the spinner. Pretty slow, no real consistent bite.
    City: Orland

    Tips: Tons of shad. Tons. Everywhere you go. Fish are gorging themselves on 'em. Lots of suspended fish as well. I couldn't get them to hit though.