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Southern CA Freshwater

Castaic bass bite kicks up a notch

BY BLAKE WARREN/WON Staff WriterPublished: Apr 11, 2018

More smallmouth now in the mix

Things were already rolling along pretty good for Castaic Lake bass anglers and they got even better this past week, as the early spring bite picked up even further with more smallmouth finding their way into the counts. More stout 4- to 5-pound largemouth were also reported through the week to add an uptick of quality to the current bite.

MORE SMALLMOUTH ARE showing in the current bass bite at Castaic Lake, and Hailey Petroski got into some spring break smallies while down from school at Boise State on her dad John’s C3 Baits Ice Picks in Red Smoke and Neptune Shad patterns on the Carolina rig.

“I’d say Castaic is about as good as anywhere in SoCal with the exceptions of maybe Diamond Valley or Otay,” guide Rusty Brown told WON. “It’s not quite wide open but it’s been close on some days. There have been a lot of Senko fish lately — especially on the bigger 5-inch Senkos in Green Pumpkin or Copper/Purple anywhere you can find rocks or sticks. There’s also been some good squarebill fish showing in the mornings until about 10 around clay and mud banks with craw-pattern cranks.” Brown noted that a lot of the better-sized bass are coming from the 15- to 25-foot zone still, so that should result in another wave of good fish coming up into the shallows with the next full moon cycle.

Smallmouth are now joining the Castaic party in better numbers now too. “The smallies seem to be kicking into high gear now,” Brown said. “Your darker-colored worms like Black Grape are working good and the best place to look for the smallies is probably the west walls. There have been some real nice 2- to 3-pound fish caught over there in 15 to 25 feet.”

Lake veteran John Petroski found the bite tempting enough to get out twice this past week – on the week of his wedding no less. He too found solid bass action and some good smallies willing to play, getting out with his daughter Hailey for a pair of dozen-fish mornings with over half the catch being quality bronzebacks. The Petroskis were employing their family bait — C3 Baits Ice Picks in Red Smoke and Neptune Shad on the Carolina rig. “Using 6-pound line, these smallies are some good fun to bring in,” he said.

Striped bass are also on the current Castaic agenda. Shad imitations have been the way to go in the morning hours until the bite starts to slow around 10. The key to this bite has been slow rolling the baits in deeper water (15 to 40 feet), with top lure options being Fluke Jrs in Smokin’ Shad on scrounger heads, a Lake Fork Magic Shad or underspins with various shad-pattern trailers. A few anglers are also reporting some quality jailbird bites on bigger trout imitations.

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