Fishing Petaluma River & Other Spots in Petaluma

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Petaluma is the third largest city in Sonoma county near the boundary of Marin county in California. There are several good fishing lakes surrounding the city all around but most of them are out of the county. However they are pretty near the city and in the range of one hour drive from the city center. Except lakes there is an amazing river named after the city Petaluma, the Petaluma river is a great source of stripers. Fishing in Petaluma river you will find wide variety of species you can catch throughout the year.

We will discuss fishing in Petaluma river as well in detail but for now we will stick to other spots near Petaluma.

Among more than 50 parks situated in the city there are two parks having reservoir. Both of them are very suitable for anglers and they provide great opportunities. When done fishing you can have more fun time as well in the parks like hiking, biking and paddling.

After fishing the Petaluma river there are a few other streams nearby that can catch anglers attention. Adobe creek that is a tributary to the major flow of the area Petaluma river near Shollen-Berger park.

Here is your further guide about fishing in Petaluma river and good spots in its surroundings.

Fishing in Petaluma river

Petaluma river is really a great spot for the local anglers to go fishing. There are usually plenty of anglers casting their lines due to lack of many spots in the area. There are however a few spots near the city but those are not suitable for fishing like Laguna lake. Its in the west of Petaluma river and its just about seven miles from the city but there are no fish at all. No single opportunity for anglers to cast lines.

Same is the case for some other reservoirs in the city parks they also don’t offer any fish. Others have restrictions on fishing and they are focused for other tourist activities.

This situation makes Petaluma river the best possible and nearest option for all the residents of Petaluma. There are plenty of fish in Petaluma river and there is much space for all to get their share of fish. Petaluma is quite an interesting place and attract even those to fishing who are not into it.

Here are top California fishing rivers you must read, fishing Bear river and San Diego river.

It provides species that are not available in any spots in the area. The species this river provide are stripped bass, bat eagle ray and leopard shark. Here is the detailed guide of all species and tips to get them easily hooked to your line.

Fishing species in Petaluma river

There are three types of fish that are caught most commonly in the water. But there are few others as well that are found sometimes in Petaluma river but they are rare. We will share all the species and share some tips to catch them more easily.


Stripers is the leading family over all others in the waters of the area. It is actually something that is nearly unlimited in the river and anglers can catch any time. They are the most widely spread and has the highest population in Petaluma river.

Most of the anglers are fishing stripers or so called striped bass because they are very easily available. Almost three in every four catches are striped bass in the area, not only Petaluma river but other spots also has great population of stripers. It is very easy to catch them compared to smallmouths or other species in of the spot. They do not go deep until the end of summer each year, the chances of getting them at night are higher.

You don’t have to be super picky about the lure you pick. Any lure that is a bit more colorful and shiny will work perfectly and a larger in size will catch you large fish.

Leopard shark fishing in Petaluma river

Before you continue here is another incredible fishing lake in California you may like to read.

This species is really the magnet of the area, it attracts so many people to the river. Its also has good population in the nearest San Pablo bay where the water of river also falls. They frequently head over to the river but stays deeper and return back to bay in some time. That is the golden time for locals to have a chance of catching leopard shark at the Petaluma river.

Most of the times they are more than 100 meters or 300 feet deep but they are also found in around 60 feet deep. But as the stream is not very deep you can catch it easily if you can locate it. You can use leaders or for sharks and that work pretty well, you can also learn how to make them. They are so easy and does not need any hard skill to make them.

Other species

Other than the two types of fish you can also find some different sorts like rainbow trout, bat eagle ray and largemouth bass. Most of the people stay away of the two species, but bat eagle ray and leopard sharks both are pretty normal.

Largemouth bass have rarely seen in the river but they have a decent population. Because most of the people focus on others like eagle ray and sharks so there is no good trend to target largemouth.

Other spots for fishing in Petaluma

While there are several other parks with reservoirs and a lot of fish in water of those reservoirs. But they might not be open for fishing most of the time. Like Shollen-Berger park which has a large reservoir but its not open for anglers to cast lines. However the Petaluma river flows in the west of the park and anglers can approach the river from park. But for that you should be aware if it is allow fishing in the park from the river.

Also steamer landing park is a great place to approach both the river and MC-Near channel. Anglers will have to ask if the area is open for fishing and then cast their lines from the park. MC-Near is a great place for fishing largemouth bass, stripers and bluegill.

Bon Tempe lake

Bon Tempe is a reservoir in west of Petaluma in Marin county its an amazing fishing hotspot. It is probably better than all the spots in Petaluma except the river. We have a full article about fishing in Bon Tempe lake you can read here. We have included it in the last of our list because its out of the county and has a little more distance than other spots. But it is not very far having almost 28 miles of distance and you can reach in 30 minutes to the reservoir from Petaluma.

Must read about the California fishing regulations before heading to any spot in California.