The June Lake Loop itself is home to many hiking trails for all levels, and fishable lakes, streams, and rivers. On our most recent trip to the area, in October 2017, I spent most of my time at June and Gull lakes. These lakes both have marinas and boats available for rent, and were very accessible for personal boat and kayak launches and shore fishing.
From the campground, I was able to cart my kayak down the road maybe a quarter of a mile (minus the little fisherman) and easily use the launch ramp to launch my kayak at Gull Lake. Gull Lake is smaller than June, so I was able to cover more ground and see exactly where the fish were more quickly.
The entire time I was on Gull Lake, the fish finder on my kayak was loaded with fish. I saw multiple 20+ inch trout caught during my stay, and even some crappie caught from the reeds, near the bank. That was a sight to see in this high mountain lake! Getting on the lake early in the morning, at about 6 am, gave me about three hours of wind free, glassy water to paddle and troll.
I caught fish trolling a 3/8-ounce Krocodile needle fish, and a silver trout patterned Kastmaster, while paddling circles around the lake. The fish were planters, ranging from 12-14 inches and were a blast to catch on my medium action rod and 6-pound test.
I caught this beauty as I first paddled out, around 6:30 am!
June Lake, which is much larger than Gull, I found to be a more productive fishery from the bank. Entering the June Lake Loop immediately gives you the option to enter the swimming and camping area off Oh! Ridge, at the eastern end of June Lake. This area has never been an option in my mind, as I don’t want to fish a sandy bottom with no structure, lots of transitory people, and honestly an extremely low chance of catching anything.
I prefer to pass the Oh! Ridge turn off and continue toward the town of June Lake. Between the campground turn off and the town, there are many turnouts, allowing roadside parking, and trail access to the beaches of June Lake.
Now, these trails are not level with the lake and the incredibly steep decline requires some planning. Although not long hikes to the lake edge, ensure you have a good hold on your gear and good footing while descending the steep trails. Once lakeside, there is great structure, rocks, and fishing opportunities. Using bait and lures here have paid off for me. Chartreuse and rainbow Powerbait, with glitter and garlic are my go-to baits, with worms being a close second. Rooster Tail’s, and silver and gold trout Kastmaster’s are my go-to lure.
Another great area to fish at June Lake is the reed shore west of the marina wrapping around to the rocks to the north, and the banks just east of the Big Rock Resort. For some reason, these spots attract trout. They can be difficult to reach at times due to high traffic, weather, or inexperience. My advice is to talk to the staff at June Lake Marina and ask for advice. They have always been a great help any time I’ve stopped by. The staff at Gull Lake Marina haven’t seemed quite as knowledgeable, so if you want information about Gull Lake, ask the local fishermen!
Looking for a one-stop shop for any gear you may have forgotten? Or if you are searching for a great all-around fishing report for the area, both lakes and rivers, be sure to stop in at Ernie’s Tackle & Ski Shop on Highway 158 in the heart of town.