Southern CA Freshwater

Boilin’ water!

BY BLAKE WARREN/WON Staff WriterPublished: Oct 11, 2017

Castaic Lake giving up some rock-solid surface action on both green bass and stripers

CASTAIC — Put simply, it’s poppin’ up top at Castaic Lake. Early mornings have been hosts to surface feeding frenzies for both striped bass and largemouth, and area anglers getting out on the water are capitalizing nicely on the strong early-fall action. With cooling lake temps and an abundance of bigger threadfin shad schooling around Castaic, conditions are currently ripe for the pickin’.

Local fishing couple Jon and Julie Potts took advantage of the prime conditions and had quite the epic outing at Castaic last week amid surface-smashing largemouth bass.


pottsstickers2POTTS STICKERS — Fishing couple Jon and Julie Potts from Sylmar ran into one heckuva largemouth boil last week at Castaic Lake, connecting with a few solid chunks in the high 4s and 5-plus-pound range.

“Me and the wife hit the normal routine but we were rewarded with some good ones,” said Jon Potts. “We saw some boils up against the bank and went screaming up to them — we spooked out the bait and it caused the most insane bass boil I have ever seen! Huge bass blowing up like crazy, coming completely out of the water! When it finally settled down we ended up with about 10 bass, the biggest being a 5.1 caught by Julie — my biggest was in the high 4s. She lost an even bigger one, too! Old S.S. was the cove and first thing in the morning was the time.”

Southern California guide Rusty Brown hit Castaic last week too, and his quick report to WON on Sunday told of the watershed’s smallies getting cranked up, too. “The smallies in the Ski Arm have been on fire early,” Brown said. “They were eating everything we were throwin’ ’em — cranks, jerkbaits, Senkos, you name it. The shad spawn must have been really good this year and this could really be an outstanding fall at Castaic.”

Castaic’s largemouth and smallies aren’t the only aggressively feeding group at the lake either, as stripers are also tearing into the shad throughout the lake, as well as hammering striper chasers’ baits. Anglers are sticking jailbirds all up and down the water column, from eager boilers on down the elevator as deep as 50 feet.

activestripersACTIVE STRIPERS ARE chasing Castaic’s threadfin shad around the lake in relentless pursuit, and lake regular John Petroski has been doing a number on the jailbirds from the surface on down to 50 feet.

“The boiling stripers have finally begun their relentless pursuit of the lake’s threadfin, and that means more opportunities to catch a few… dozen,” said lake regular John Petroski. “The best bite has been from first light ’til about 9 or 10 o’clock, when they’re normally starting to slow down a little. Most coves are producing but right out of the marina, huge boils of the jailbirds are rising to say hello.”

Petroski has been attacking Castaic’s linesides with a variety of baits ranging from weightless Flukes to C3 Baits Ice Picks in Neptune Shad and Red Smoke — he also added that some of his larger-model stripers have been coming from down as deep as 50 feet early and late on Ice Jigs and Krocodile spoons. “Having decent electronics really helps with locating the deeper feeding schools but when you do, hold on!” Petroski said. “We’ve been landing fish to 12 pounds but most of the deeper linesides are 6 or 7 pounds. Topwater fish can be that big but most of the surface fish I’ve been finding are in the 3- to 5-pound range.”

Lake staffers added that while the action’s been hot for boiling bass, the bluegill bite has tapered off some in recent weeks. Still, waxworms and mealworms soaked around shallow brush are working well enough to put decent numbers of ’gills on stringers.

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The Longfin Tackle Shop
The Longfin Tackle Shop