Fall Bass Fishing Cheatsheet

Bass fishing by houseboat

Bass fishing by Jones Valley Resort’s houseboat

The 2 best times of year for fishing are in the early spring and the early fall, before the winter weather.

And with fall arriving this week, it’s time to grab your gear, cooler and binoculars and read over this fall fishing cheatsheet!

Why Early Fall?

In order to be the best fisherman you can be, it is best to understand why early fall is the best time for bass fishing.

To put it simply, bass fish school together in the early fall when the weather cools down. When the weather cools down, so does the water, which equals more oxygen in the lake. With more oxygen in the lake bass become more active!

Get those bass hooked!

This is the season when bass will strike at about anything you throw at them. However, some patterns work better than others.

You need to know these 3 things in order to catch premium bass:

fishing boat bass fishing

Bass fishing on Jones Valley Resort’s fishing boat

1. Understanding the natural feed in the lake.
2. Awareness about marine plant life in the lake.
3. Knowledge of areas of the lake where shallow water is closer to deep water.

Colder temperature makes bass more active, and with more activity comes a higher energy burn, thus the need to seek more food. Familiarizing yourself with the natural forage and plant life in the lake assists in picking out correct bait and finding the bass. Bass is usually found chasing shad or other forage fish, in their normal habitat of deep water with close proximity to shallow water.

 Apply what you know on Shasta Lake

The best place to start when going out to hook some bass is to locate the bait. Bass feed on the shad in Shasta Lake. The Jones Valley area offers the finest entrance to the Pit and Squaw Arms, which are considered the best areas for overall fishing.

Other common areas are located where the streams and rivers fill into the lake – McCloud Bridge, on the McCloud, and Riverview (Lakehead) on the Sacramento Arm. However, the Jones Valley area of Shasta Lake is known as the best bass habitat on the lake.

Head out from Jones Valley and look for bird feeding activity or where bait balls are pushed to the surface by feeding trout and bass.

Once you find your spot, its time to imitate the bait. We recommend using small blue and silver spoons like Hopkins “Shorty” spoons. To attract strikes, some people use rip bats through the schools.

Bass fishing with Hopkins "Shorty" spoons

Bass fishing with Hopkins “Shorty” spoons

This cheatsheet has provided you with all the information you need to catch “the big one” this fall – except patience!

4 Ways to get your kids to love fishing

Fishing is a great bonding experience to have with kids; the memories made last a lifetime. However, sometimes it is a difficult task to get kids to love something that requires so much patience.

1. Get their attention: Since kids nowadays are more tech savvy than many adults, going the internet route can really kickstart a child’s interest. fishingkids.com is a great resource to introduce your kids to the world of fishing in a manner that is informative but will also keep their attention. The website includes a glossary, characters, and many affordable books with exciting and informative information. You can also psych kids out by telling them your most exciting fishing experience. 2. Set them up: Kids love brand new gadgets! They are always way more excited about brand new gear rather than dad’s old stuff. There are many different types of kids gear available including Fishing Kids Box Sets, compasses, tackle boxes and a large selection of kids fishing poles and rods at the Jones Valley Resort store or your local sporting goods store. And don’t forget about fishing licenses if they are over 14 years old – Jones Valley Resort has those too!

3. Make it special: Fishing as a kid creates memories for years to come … if you make it a special time.  Maybe the night before the fishing adventure, get kids excited by going to the store to get special snacks for when you’re on the boat, you can even keep it themed with goldfish, swedish fish, or gummy worms! Once you get home you can make the trip feel special by preparing the fishing gear with the kids while watching “Finding Nemo” or your favorite fishing movie. Making fishing seem special will make fishing feel special to kids and keep them wanting more. Young girl with a fish 4. Positive reinforcement: If a fish bites on your first fishing outing with your child, they will be hooked (no pun intended)! But if the fish aren’t biting and patience is waning, try  taking a few breaks for your kids to rejuvenate. Kids do get bored easily, so add to the fun by  taking an afternoon swim break and enjoying the snacks you packed with the kids. And remember, keep the pressure off and the patience up. Kids will remember this time for the rest of their lives,  and may even carry on the tradition someday with their own children!

Indian Summer ~ 20% off Escapade or Titan weekend trips now through September 22nd! Call now!


•20% off a 3 night weekend trip aboard an Escapade or Titan

•Shasta Lake/Jones Valley Resort

• Now through September 22, 2014

•Call our Reservations Dept. today TOLL FREE at 1 (877) HOUSEBOAT
•Must mention this web weekly special when booking.

Fine Print: Does not apply to existing reservations.
•Not valid with any other offer or promotion.
•Applies only to NEW bookings for 3 night weekend trips

How would you like to spend Independence Day out on the Lake?


It’s the 4th of July Weekend ~ how are you celebrating America’s birthday?

Patriotic Boat

Are you planning on spending the day with friends and family?


Are you planning a cookout with delicious food?


Are you planning to keep cool?

Kids Paddle

Well, we are! Here at houseboats.com we celebrate Independence Day on the lake. It’s no secret that the best place to enjoy hot weather is on the water.

Want to join us?

Fireworks Display 2014

Believe it or not, it IS possible to spend 4th of July weekend on a houseboat on Lake Shasta. Lucky for you, Jones Valley has a few boats available this weekend!

Take a last minute weekend trip Friday through Sunday on a Corinthian, Escapade, Odyssey or Royal Star at Jones Valley Resort on Shasta Lake ~ call us for our last minute deals!

And though the water is low, there is still plenty of water to recreate on Shasta Lake. We still have lots of houseboaters enjoying the lake, and no one comes back having experienced any less of a good time. A recent note from a guest puts it best:

“…They are right, plenty of water… Back in 2005 or so a similar drought happened. I was worried that the lake was to low and we were going to be disappointed. 10 of us had the time of our lives. Went back 4 years in a row. Awesome! HIT IT!” – Ray Mikota, Ashland OR 7/2/14

So if you have no plans, or want to experience something new this holiday, come on out for a last minute houseboat trip! See ya out there!

A boy and his dog aboard a houseboat, celebrating the 4th of July

Lake Level & Our Guarantee to You

We all know California needs water…now let’s do something about it and take advantage of the sun while it’s shining.

The water is calm, the fish are biting. And rates are at their rock-bottom lowest this time of year.

So come on, help us make it rain! Just book and take a trip on any houseboat now until May 2, and while at Jones Valley Resort, do a rain dance before embarking on your houseboat trip and receive a certificate for 33% off a second trip to be taken prior to 12/31/2014.*

Excludes existing reservations.

Lake Level & Our Guarantee to You

As all Californian’s are painfully aware, a drought has brought our lake levels down. However, we are confident that Lake Shasta has adequate water storage to last through the 2014 recreation and boating season.

With the current depth of 380’ of water in Shasta Lake and 211 miles of shoreline (full pool boasts 365 miles), there is plenty of water for boating, fishing, and watersports. It is about 130′ from crest at this time, and water outflows have been drastically reduced in the past week or so.

To help alleviate concerns regarding prepayment of rent (our policy is full payment is due 75 days prior to your houseboat embarkation date), here’s your guarantee should Mother Nature fail to produce the needed rainfall:

During the 2014 season, Jones Valley Resort(Shasta Lake Resorts LP/houseboats.com) guarantees a refund of the full rental fee up until one day prior to your vacation start date if the marina is unable to operate houseboat rentals due to low water and unsafe navigation.* 

We hope Mother Nature changes course soon!

*No other circumstances will be eligible for refund, including guest’s decision to cancel based on low water level or any other reason (certain circumstances are insurable, we encourage you to explore and purchase trip insurance). Only applies to trips scheduled after  the point at which the marina(s) can no longer operate, if houseboat rentals take place for a partial season, all trips prior to the non-operation date will be subject to current reservation terms.


Top Ten Reasons Why Fall Houseboating Rocks!

The secret is out. If you think houseboating season ends after Labor Day, you have a big treat in store. There are dozens of reasons why fall is the best time to take to the lake. But we have narrowed the list down to the ten best. Please read on.


10.  Kids are gone – Yeah, we love kids and all. But once they have all gone back to school, the lake takes on a much more adult feeling. Fall is time to let the grownups have their fun.

9.   Lake is quieter – See “kids are gone” above. But in addition to the lack of young sounds, there are just quite a few less people on the lake. Drop anchor anywhere you want. Take your watercraft anywhere you want. The place is yours.

8.   Water is smoother – We have already established that the kids are gone and that there are fewer people. But fall weather generally brings days of absolute still air keeping the lake glassy. Time to really let rip with the wake boards and water skis!!

7.   Weather is the best of the year – Okay, we all like 110 degree days on the lake (or mostly “IN” the lake!). But how about some nice 90 degree days, plus 75+ degree water? You’re comfortable all day long in and out of the water. See the average temps at http://houseboats.com/shasta-lake/

6.   More romantic – You get where we are heading with this? No kids. No crowds. Quiet, smooth water. Nice weather. Fall is time for romance on the lake.

5.   Food tastes better – Time to put away the hot dogs and macaroni. When the weather is nice and the mood is slower, it’s time to spend a bit more time in the kitchen galley or on the upper-deck outdoor grill making some really special meals.

4.   Fish are hungrier – The fish are toning up their taste buds as well. They sense that winter is not far off and they are looking to eat. And fewer fishermen mean more bites for you.

3.   Wildlife is more abundant – This might seem contradictory to what we have said above. But we are talking about wildlife and not “wild life”.  Quiet lakes bring out the birds and beasts in larger numbers.

2.   Best selection of watercraft – It stands to reason that, with fewer people on the lake, you get the pick of the litter when it comes to the watercraft you want to rent. And while those super-fine models might cost dearly during the summer, read on to our number one reason why fall is the best time for houseboating!!

1.   Screaming deals – Yes, the best reason of all for fall houseboating is the price. Most prices drop by over 40% from the peak summer rate! Click here to see what sort of deals we have for you!!

Call Reservations TODAY at 877-HOUSEBOAT or email Reservations.

Planning your houseboat trip

Okay – You’re houseboat vacation dates are set! You’ve completed your guest manifest and used our new online payment feature. So where do you start in the planning process?


Meal planning is a very important aspect of your trip, for obvious reasons.

There are several ways you can plan your meals, depending on your group. Some ideas are:

#1 Have one person prepare the entire menu for the trip – post a written menu indicating what food is for what meal.


#2 Assign meals to various people, making each person responsible for one or more specific meals.


#3 Let each individual or family take care of their own food.


As for beverages, it is often a good idea to have each family bring their own. Keep in mind that sharing is a big part of houseboating, so throw in a few extras! Here is an easy breakfast recipe for a big group.

Of course there are advantages and disadvantages of all of these choices – the guests on the houseboat vacation will need to decide which is best for the group as a whole.

Lovely ladies having a great time on a houseboat

So, besides food, what else will you need to pack?

Our houseboats come equipped with most of the necessities. The only things we recommend you put on your packing checklist are itemized here including your electronics (cell phone, IPod, camera, etc.), personal bathing necessities, hats and sunscreen, bedding, and your outdoor entertainment like inflatables and fishing gear.


We always recommend bringing another boat to enhance your houseboat vacation. If no one in your party owns a boat, our marinas can rent them to you!

Don’t forget your floaties and towables! If you don’t own all of the towables and toys you would like in order to add some variety to your floating, we have all the latest models for rent.

Loving the water!

The next step is to take the scenic drive to Shasta or New Melones! Once you arrive, our quad squad will unload all of the gear you packed and load it into the houseboat for you. The pilot service we offer will drive your houseboat safely out of the marina, then you find your own private cove and begin the fun of a houseboat vacation.

We want to provide everything we can to make planning this trip the easiest it can be. You will find that organizing your trip is easy and also gets you pumped for your future trips! You, your loved ones, the lake, a cold beverage… All the right stuff to create memories that will last a lifetime.


Memorial Weekend: The Unofficial Start to Summer

Memorial Day is just around the corner. A fun day of boats, bathing suits and beverages!


Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer. What do you have planned? How about a day of boating on either Lake Shasta or New Melones?

Maybe some of us don’t have a boat. Or some of us are procrastinators and maybe you’ve not yet prepped the boat to be out on the water. These are not excuses to miss Memorial Day boating fun! A quick tune up or our daily ‘stress-free’ boat rentals are both simple answers. So pack your bags – Turns out a lake trip is within reach!


Just remember that the Memorial Weekend holiday can be a bustling, busy time on the lake. Crowds can make being on the lake fun and social, but its good to remember safety!

Here’s a few simple reminders… though all apply, remember ‘stress-free’ rentals come with essential safety items such as life jackets.

Have the proper amount of life jackets on board.
Do not drink and drive.
Have an orange flag on board when towing.
Stock up on sunscreen.
Bring and drink lots of water.

Don't forget to fit man's best friend with a life jacket!

Don’t forget to fit man’s best friend with a life jacket!

Not only is safety important for keeping us alive and well, but it will also prevent any tickets from the lake patrol officers!

Let’s all just try and remember to be considerate and courteous. Use common sense. Follow posted rules and regulations.

So – No excuses! We’ll see you out on the water!

Visit California

Get Your Boating Body Back


We’d like to point out that the following 5 tips all have a common thread with houseboating~

1) Get More Sleep Getting enough sleep aids in mental clarity, reduces the risk of diabetes and heart problems, and fights off depression. Sleep is also linked to the ease with which you lose weight and build muscle. In fact, people who sleep less than six hours per night also eat, on average, an additional 220 calories per day. What better way to do this than aboard a luxury houseboat floating on a peaceful lake?

2) Fill your plate with colorful vegetables
Try adding a new vegetable to your diet each week, trying something you’ve never tasted before at least once a month. Brightly colored, as well as dark green leafy vegetables are full of antioxidants and necessary vitamins.
What a pretty picture they’ll paint inside your houseboat full-sized refrigerator!

3) Avoid Processed Foods
You can easily chow down a bag of chips or a chocolate candy bar with 300 calories, but 300 calories is what’s in a lunch size 6-inch sub sandwich! Try to remove highly processed foods like frozen dinners and pre-packaged snack cakes. 
Our houseboats are fully outfitted with kitchen galleys, and some gourmet galleys, to make your meal preparation easy and fun!

4)Cook at home (or aboard a boat) and have dinner around the table
Cooking provides a healthy option to fast food and highly processed foods while building life lasting memories. Taking some time to talk together as a family and create a healthy meal could provide you with a healthy stress relief alternative that you may have not expected. Every houseboats.com vessel features a community table for enjoying delicious meals prepared in the galley kitchen or BBQ.

5) Grab the Weights 
When you do cardio, the calories you burn are a combination of fat and muscle. Weight training burns nearly twice as many calories as doing cardio at a slow, long pace. If you want the fastest results with less time in the gym, your best bet is to grab the weights. 
Or rent a ski boat or wakeboard boat and get out on the lake; skiing and other watersports provide the exhilarating fun and exercise!

Boat Sales Rev Back to Life

12/27/12 Wall Street Journal


SAN FRANCISCO—Don Lorenz decided to hold off on splurging on a new boat until he was convinced the economy had stabilized.

The right moment came this summer, when the 63-year-old chief investment officer for a real-estate firm paid $75,000 for a 20-foot water-skiing boat for his family’s lake trips in Northern California.

“I wouldn’t have bought one earlier because the recession and uncertainty were severe,” said Mr. Lorenz, a resident of Menlo Park, Calif., who last bought a boat eight years ago and plans to keep using it, in addition to the new one. “I was trying to maintain my liquidity.”