Shadow Cliffs Lake
2500 Stanley Blvd, Pleasanton, CA
Phone: (510) 562-PARK
Map: Mapquest Map
Size: Appx 25 acres
Water Level: N/A, but always full
Depth: Appx 45'
Species: trout (stocked Oct-Jun), largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, catfish, carp
Fees: $4 parking fee, $3 fishing permit
Boating: electric-powered boats, float tubes
Pros: big trout, good bait bite for trout, big bass, good bass fishing in back ponds
Cons: crowds, $7 to fish, bass fishing in main pond tough
Description: Shadow Cliffs Lake is a unusual place to fish. Unlike the reservoirs around it, this lake is not a drinking water reservoir. In fact it's not a reservoir at all. It was created by flooding an old gravel pit with water to make a fishing and recreation lake. It is a small lake, but deep. There is no natural inlet to this lake, so, like Boranda Lake, water has to be pumped in to keep the water level up. This is great, because they tend to keep the water level at a fairly constant level all year round. And in the winter, when trout fishing can be at its best in the Bay Area, Shadow Cliffs will still remain one of the clearest waters around. There is no muddy runoff to dampen the bite.
Shoreline access is only decent here and on weekends it can be very hard to find a good spot to fish from unless you come very early. Float tubes, and electric powered boats are allowed here and rental boats are available.
There are also some small ponds around the main lake. They are often very muddy but provide good bass fishing at times.
The Fish: Rainbow Trout: This is the main attraction of Shadow Cliffs. This water gets large stocks of trout from both the DFG and East Bay Regional Parks District (EBRPD). Although the DFG fish run small the EBRPD are large, some running over ten pounds with rumors of fifteen pounders being taken. These provide some excellent fishing from November to June.
From shore, there are too many good spots to list, but some of my favorites are the third dock in the pan handle, the first dock, the pump house inlet, and the Stanley Blvd. shoreline. If you fish the third dock try to cast more to the left as the panhandle water to the right is extremely shallow. Very long casts here are often the best. I like the pump house area because often very large trout will cruise through the area. They can be very difficult to catch though. If you see these large fish try throwing a nightcrawler or cluster of salmon eggs towards them. It is best to throw them on light line (3 lb test) and with no weight as these fish can be sensitive.
If you rent a boat, it would be worth a shot to go across the lake up against the gravel factories. It is deep here and the fish will stack up tight.
Largemouth Bass: I think the best place to chase bass here is the back ponds. There is a lot of submerged brush here for the bass to hide in. A good bet is flipping a jig into this brush. There are bass to be caught in the main lake also. With the large trout stocks these bass have the potential to be huge. Throwing a big trout like plug soon after trout stocks may hook you up to the bass of a lifetime.
Other Fish: Catfish are stocked during the hot summer months at SCL. On the other hand the catch rate doesn't seem to be very good for them. It's worth a shot though.
Also, there are some giant carp swimming in here.