Southern CA Freshwater

Castaic Lake bass poppin' off

BY BLAKE WARREN/WON Staff WriterPublished: Jul 13, 2017

Abundant shad have all three bass species active

CASTAIC — A hale and hearty shad spawn can do wonders for a bass fishery, and that's just what is taking place at the moment at Castaic Lake, in what is yet the latest positive development at the classic L.A. County watershed. With the small threadfin cropping up everywhere and stripers, largemouth and smallies all active and gorging on the finbait, it's been a great time to be bassin' at Castaic Lake as of late.


GETTING DOWN BELOW the small bass boiling on shad has been the key to finding a better grade of largemouth at Castaic Lake. Some quality smallies in the 2- to 3-plus range are also making appearances during the hot bite.

“The bass bite has been on the verge of epic for me the last few outings,” said Castaic regular John Petroski. “The smallmouth bite has just been insane the last two weeks – most smallies are running 2 to 3 pounds but there have been a few that are well over 3.”

“For the largemouth, it's all about getting your bait below the boiling dink bass,” he continued. “I've been nabbing 'em tossing a little 3-inch swimbait or a C3 Ice Pick on a small darter head, but you got to get your bait to sink past all the rats and get in front of some older fish. Slow reeling and popping tubes has been pretty money too.”

Fishing main lake cuts and main points at first light with smaller poppers and weightless Flukes has been whacking the boiling bass, both largemouth and stripers. While the striped bass boils have been a tad bit sporadic, the jailbirds are active and biting. Most of the linesides are running in the 1½- to 3-pound range with a few bigger models in the mix to keep things interesting. With the shad bloom blowing wide open at Castaic, anglers are finding steady surface action well into the morning.

“After the morning fray we've been hitting main lake points and working the shoulders of those points to the secondary points inside the coves,” Petroski added. “We haven't even been going too far back in there since we've been getting solid fish in the first 200 yards off the main lake.” When things slow down a bit after the morning frenzy, drop-shots are also whacking Castaic bass at a good clip. Both 4- to 6-inch Roboworms and C3 Ice Picks and Jobus in shad patterns are picking off more than a fair share of fish to complement the solid topwater bite.

“The heat has been torture the last few weeks with temps to 112 here, but if you brave the sun you will be rewarded. As the heat rises, so do the fish. There are a lot of novice boaters out there though,” Petroski noted. “and tickets are being given out to the knuckleheads who feel the need to break the 35mph speed limit, so be alert out there.”

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The Longfin Tackle Shop
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