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Kerckhoff Lake - san Joaquin River Gorge
Fishing The Lakes
Of The San Joaquin Gorge
Blog Cast Off to Fun at these Fishing Lakes of the San Joaquin Gorge
Alex Silgalis | 03/31/2021Family Friendly, Fishing, Hiking, Nature, Photography, Seasons, Sports, Tours, Tours |   

When people hear of central California’s longest river, they think of the agriculture that it supports within the central valley. While they aren’t wrong, it’s also home to amazing fishing. Every fall, king salmon swim upstream to spawn in the slopes of the Sierra as well as world-class trout fishing and more. Here’s a few of our favorite fishing lakes in the San Joaquin Gorge.

History Of the Name

Although the river has gone by many names, the one it has now came from Gabriel Moraga, a Spanish Explorer looking for possible sites for a Mission. He named a tributary Saint Joachim who was the husband of Saint Anne and father of Mary, the mother of Jesus. The name he chose was later applied to the entire river.

Mammoth Pool Reservoir

Mammoth Pool Reservoir

If you’re seeking brown or rainbow trout, Mammoth Pool is a great option. Situated at an elevation of 3,300’ above sea level, fishing season typically runs from mid-April to the end of April, (then halts to allow deer migration) and re-opens on June 17th until the first snowfall.  Note - the area and facilities surrounding Mammoth Pool were directly impacted by the 2020 Creek Fire and two key recreation assets, the campground and boat launch are closed iaw Forest Order No. 05-15-00-21-04. We are awaiting updates from the Sierra National Forest regarding what will be open later during the 2021 season. For the most up-to-date status, please contact the Bass Lake Ranger District office at (559) 877-2218.

Combine your fishing foray with exploring the Sierra Vista Scenic Byway to see attractions like Globe Rock. Also, on the west side of Mammoth Pool, the French Trail provides wonderful views of the lake. Note, in the summer it can get quite warm so it’s better to hike in the spring or fall.

Redinger Lake

For fishing any time of year, anglers can head to Redinger. Due to its remoteness, you’ll probably find seclusion and solitude while you’re casting your reel. Although the lake isn’t stocked by anyone, you’ll find German brown, striped bass, bluegill, and even catfish.

Kerckhoff Reservoir

If you’re staying in Bass Lake and are looking for a day adventure with a bit of seclusion, Kerckhoff is a good option. About a half hour from Bass Lake, you’ll find year-round fishing featuring eastern brook trout, small mouth bass, bluegill, or catfish.

When visiting in the fall, be sure to bring a bucket to do some wild blackberry picking. This is also a great lake to go kayaking on.

Corrine Lake

If you aren’t catching anything at Kerckhoff Reservoir, head over to Corrine. Although a mile or two as the crow flies, it’s about half an hour away and a thousand feet higher than Kerckhoff. While Corrine is only seven acres in size, it does pack a big wallop if you want to hook a fish. Expect to catch everything from crappie to rainbow trout and even carp.

If you want to learn more about fishing in and around Yosemite, be sure to visit our fishing homepage.


Like what you see? Save any of these pins (or possibly all of them) to your travel planning board(s) to give you an easy way to find your way back here!  Also check out our other travel stories/blog posts as well as itineraries for more ideas and pins!

Alex Silgalis

Alex founded® in 2014 to be the #1 website providing the “local scoop” on where to eat, drink & play in mountain towns throughout North America. When he’s not writing and executing marketing strategies for small businesses & agencies, he’s in search of the deepest snow in the winter and tackiest dirt in the summer.

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