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Great fishing not far from campus

Section of riverbed near Scotty’s Landing. Photo credit: Matthew Ferreira

Chico is home to some of the most beautiful parks and waterways that have plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy without needing to travel far. One of these activities being fishing on the Sacramento river, with a fishing license, rod and reel, and a basic tackle kit you can get out there in no time.

The Sacramento river is home to a plethora of species of fish, making it an ideal fishing waterway at all times of the year.

View from the boat launch at Scotty's Landing. Photo credit: Matthew Ferreira

Some of the most popular species caught on the river include catfish, trout, bass, sturgeon and striped bass. The river also sees anglers from all over the country travel to fish for King Salmon every fall, but Chico locals and students don’t have to travel far to enjoy all of the good fishing it has to offer.

Just ten minutes from Chico State there are multiple areas both on and offshore to test your luck at reeling in a big one.

One of the spots located on the Bidwell-Sacramento River State Park is where the river meets, Pine Creek. This spot can be accessed directly off of River Road, and has parking just steps from the water.

The Bidwell-Sacramento river information board. Photo credit: Matthew Ferreira

A short, one minute walk leads to the bed of the river where you can cast away and hope for a bite.

Due to the diversity of species in the river, anglers can use many different types of lures but spinners and swim baits work well for catching salmon and trout swimming downstream.

This spot is located on a section of the bank with a fair amount of vegetation, as well as some small coves and nooks, making it ideal for morning fishing when the water is still cool and the fish are biting.

Another spot located not far from the Pine Creek access point is the Boat Launch at Scotties on River Road.

Pine Creek access welcome sign. Photo credit: Matthew Ferreira

The spot is accessible by foot and leads to a calmer section of water that can be fished in, but due to traffic from other anglers launching and picking up their boats, it isn’t ideal to fish until after dark.

Anglers with a boat however can use the launch to access a large portion of the Sacramento River that is within minutes of the launch.

Being in the boat allows you to reach many of the riverbed spots in Chico that are inaccessible by foot. These hard to reach places are where fish love to hang out, and launching from Scottie’s Landing gives anglers the opportunity to catch more fish at these sites.

Sign for Scotty's Landing, a popular restaurant and boat launch in Chico Photo credit: Matthew Ferreira

Fishing offshore also lets you use different lures that may not have worked as well in a river bed area, and gives you the ability to “troll.” Trolling is a practice where you drive the boat slowly while leaving a lure (typically a swimbait) following behind you.

No matter how you go about fishing in Chico, there are plenty of spots up and down the Sacramento River within minutes of downtown ready to be fished and explored by beginners and experts alike.

View from the boat launch at Scotty's Landing. Photo credit: Matthew Ferreira

With the different spots and strategies mentioned above, as well as other places along the river, there are many ways to get into fishing and enjoy all of the beauty that Chico and the Sacramento river have to offer without having to go too far from home.

Matthew Ferreira can be reached at [email protected] or @MattFerreira__ on Twitter.

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