Beaches, Family Activities, Fishing & Crabbing

Rancho Seco Lake Fishing & Beach Review

Rancho Seco lake is a great way to get your kids interested in fishing. Lake is clear and you can typically see small fish from shore, so kids know where to drop their line into the water. And if you’re using the right bait, catching small fish is easy. So, below is my real life Rancho Seco Lake Fishing & Beach Review.

Note, you’ll want to review the California Department of Fish & Wildlife regulations for all updated rules. If you plan to cook and eat fish you catch, you should first conduct your own research regarding fish consumption guidelines and advisories.

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About Rancho Seco Lake

Per the Rancho Seco Recreation Area website, it is a 400-acre park overflowing with recreational opportunities including camping, boating, fishing, swimming and wildlife viewing. The 160-acre lake is fed by the Folsom South Canal and is a great year-round day or overnight getaway located in California’s Central Valley, just 25 miles from downtown Sacramento.

14960 Twin Cities Road

Herald, CA 95638 

Website –

Admission, Parking & Bathrooms

Note, there is a day use fee like most recreation areas, but it’s affordable in my opinion. The recreation area has bathrooms throughout the park and in my opinion they are relatively clean. For those that are squirmish about using park bathrooms, you can always buy the disposable toilet seat covers. Covers are great at keeping the kids from touching the toilet. Below is a link to the seat covers we use:

Toilet Seat Covers Disposable –

Fishing at Rancho Seco Lake

Per the Rancho Seco Recreation Area website, this fresh water lake is a habitat for bass, bluegill, red ear sunfish, crappie. Rainbow trout are stocked in the lake January through March. Fishing licenses are required and can be purchased at the lake office. Fishing piers allow access for those with disabilities. The annual trout derby is held in the spring and is always a popular event. Night fishing is not permitted.

My Fishing Experience

As I mentioned previously, this lake is a great way to introduce young kids to fishing because it’s really easy to catch fish. We always catch some and release. Note, you will need a fishing license. You’ll want to check with Rancho Seco Recreation Area or the California Department of Fish and Wildlife regarding fishing license requirements and rules for fishing.

Typically we are able to see small and medium size fish from the shore, so the kids know where to place their line in the water. And, we noticed the fish are most aggressive between 9-10 am. The best place to look for fish are near the cattail plants in the water, fish tend to hide in the cattail plants and come out along the edges of the cattail plants to feed.


We use regular red worms for bait. We initially tried night crawlers, but they are just too big for these small fish. The much smaller skinny red worms are just the right size for the small fish to eat. We typically buy two containers (50 worms per container) at Big 5 Sporting Goods or Walmart.


Below are links to equipment we use: hooks, barrel swivels, sinkers, reel or reel and rod combo.

Bassdash 175 Pcs Octopus Offset Fishing Hooks –

AGOOL Fishing Swivels Tackle Kit –

Water Gremlin Removable Split Shot Super Pak –

Berkley Trilene Big Game Monofilament Fishing Line – (10-20 lb test line)

RESTCLOUD Fishing Landing Net with Telescoping Pole Handle – (Strong Stainless Steel, 48 inches)

Zebco 202KBK Spincast Reel –

Zebco 202 Reel and Fishing Rod Combo –

Improved Clinch Knot Diagram

Fish Finder Rig Diagram


There is a designated swimming beach located at the south-eastern side of the lake near the group picnic areas. Beach appears to be comprised of crushed granite or similar material, it’s not sand. But, our kids don’t care, they love playing in the water after we are done fishing.

There appears to be a curtain floating barrier in the water to keep kids close to the shore. And, there are life guard stations but I don’t know what hours they are staffed, so you’ll want to call Rancho Seco Recreation Area to verify if important to you. Also, I’d recommend you bring beach chairs unless you’re okay with sitting on the ground.

My Camera, Harness & Extra Batteries

If you’re thinking about shooting your own fishing videos for posting on Youtube or for just personal enjoyment with your family, below is the camera and harness I used. The camera shoots high resolution video (.MOV format) in my opinion, but the sound quality is just okay. The harness works great!

Sametop Chest Mount Harness Chesty Strap –

AKASO EK7000 4K WiFi Sports Action Camera Ultra HD Waterproof DV Camcorder –

VVHOOY 3 x 1050mAh Rechargeable Action Camera Battery with USB Dual Charger –

I hope you learned something new from my real life Rancho Seco Lake Fishing & Beach Review. Happy fishing!

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