Southern CA Freshwater

Early-week trout plant spurs on Castaic striper bite

BY BLAKE WARREN/WON Staff WriterPublished: Mar 07, 2018

CASTAIC — While DFW trout plants are fewer and further between as compared to the “old days,” trophy hunters are still taking what they can get and taking advantage, as a handful of anglers did after this past Tuesday's stock of rainbows at Castaic Lake. And as has been the case in the days following previous stocks during the current cold season, the lake's striped bass responded to the fresh injection of “Vitamin T.”

A PAIR OF healthy Castaic stripers on the swimbait for kayak angler Rafael Moreno, who struck after a DFW trout plant early in the week.

One such person to try their hand at a bruiser lineside following Tuesday's DFW plant was kayak angler Rafael Moreno, who after about four hours of throwing the big baits without as much as a sniff, had his perserverence pay hefty dividends after taking a bit of a time out and regrouping for the afternoon session.

“I decided to take a little break and anchored my kayak close to the shore,” Moreno told WON. “About 20 minutes later I heard a splash and saw a trout being chased and quickly reached for my rod, which had a Baitsanity Trout Explorer tied on. I casted it about five feet ahead of where the trout was being chased and after six or seven cranks, BOOM! Fish on!”

Fish on indeed, as Moreno would end up landing a striper going 10.2 pounds as a result of that one astute and timely cast. A couple hours later at his last spot of the day, he would connect yet again with a quality jailbird, this one a 6.8 pounder that fell for a Lunker Punker near some submerged trees off a point. “A very good day to say the least,” Moreno said.

Green bass, on the other hand, have gotten a little scratchier with the recent rains and chilly conditions. An influx of new, cold water continues to funnel into the lake and inch up the water level, and the combination of all that seems to have Castaic’s largemouth and smallies in a bit of a funk. However, anglers putting in the time and effort are coming away with some decent bass nonetheless.

“The smaller fish are moving up, I believe,” said lake regular John Petroski. “Water temps are still chilly at around 54, but if you put in the work you can find fish. It can just take a little time to dial in the right depth and presentation.”

Finesse plastics on the drop-shot, shakey head and Carolina rig are a good way to go in the current bite to scratch out a few grabs, and small swimbaits on darter heads are also working when the fish are a bit more active.

jailbirdsondeckJAILBIRDS ON DECK.

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